Episode #167 with Serial Entrepreneur Eelco DeBoer



In Episode #167 Ari speaks with Eelco DeBoer, a Dutch serial entrepreneur who got his start in online business selling hip-hop CDs and other wares over eBay. Since then, Eelco has grown into one of Holland’s most prolific digital businessman, with no less than six different companies to his name.

Special Announcements:

Fuel the Fire

Come watch Ari light-up the Drake Hotel in Chicago on Wednesday, August 5th as he delivers a rousing keynote speech for IPPA Business Excellence Conference: Fuel the Fire. This will be a great opportunity to watch Ari translate the lessons of Less Doing into terms business leaders can take to the bank.

Harvard Hijinks

Come watch Ari regale a roundtable of avid Helm Society listeners with the lessons of Less Doing on September 9th from 10AM to 2PM in Cambridge, MA.

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Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 29:00 – Introduction of internet entrepreneur Eelco DeBoer
  • 29:30 – Eelco defines his business background—it all started with hip hop records
  • 31:38 – For five years, Eelco sold thousands and thousands of products on Ebay and other online platforms to make money
  • 32:18 – Information products slowly became Eelco’s bread and butter
  • 33:33 – Strategy wasn’t a part of Eelco’s development—in some sense, success just fell out of the sky based on what Eelco needed and enjoyed doing
  • 34:10 – Eelco labored furiously to educate his customers so they would buy from him
  • 35:30 – The main resource Eelco used to build his business?—pure luck
  • 36:45 – Europe still struggles with accepting Entrepreneurship
  • 38:45 – Why Eelco focuses his operations on Holland as opposed to the globe
  • 40:50 – The absence of a business model can provide a certain level of freedom and flexibility that’s empowering
  • 42:50 – Exciting marketing tools and technologies on the horizon
  • 43:20 – The great thing about Facebook is – in a short amount of time – you can reach large volumes of your ideal audience
  • 44:30 – Forget investing in real estate, invest in virtual real estate
  • 45:20 – Bridging the gap between followers and buyers
  • 46:10 – Just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea
  • 46:25 – Business is two things—sowing and reaping—most people are only good at one or the other
  • 48:06 – Eelco’s Top 3 Tips to be More Effective
    • 48:14 – Switch off the internet
    • 49:29 – Give away your password to your Facebook account to someone you trust
    • 50:50 – Exercise and outsource your discipline

7 Key Points:

  1. Sometimes the best ideas are the simplest ones.
  2. Like it or not, luck will play some role in your success.
  3. Invest in virtual real estate.
  4. To create a winning business, you don’t necessarily need a business model.
  5. Follow your passion and it will lead you places you never thought possible.
  6. Social media marketing is shockingly under-utilized.
  7. Business is two things: reaping and sowing.

Resources Mentioned:

  • The Annoyance of the Unread – An Atlantic article using science to explain why unread emails are so annoying
  • Right Signature – Quick and easy digital document signing
  • Lollie.biz – Same idea as Bump-Sale—every time someone buys your product, the price increases by a dollar
  • Videvo – Stock video footage available on-demand
  • Uber Drive Test Drive – A game produced by Uber and available in the app store to help recruit new Uber Drivers [Note: game no longer available]
  • Natural Inflammation Treatment – Medical Daily article that highlights how breathing techniques and ice baths can naturally reduce inflammation
  • Everyday Tracking – Lifehacker article demonstrating how tracking how we spend our time can help reduce overwhelm
  • How to get more Likes and Comments – For Instagram users, an article that scientifically demonstrates how to get more comments and likes
  • Are the French the Most Productive – An article form Business Week suggesting that French people are the most productive in the world
  • Effects of Egg Consumption – A scientific study that is – ultimately – a fancy way to say adding an egg to your vegetables will allow for better absorption of nutrients