man shares how to start a 7-figure side business in 2 days


‘Use your day job’: Expert shares how to start successful side hustle

'It took me to year seven to finally make $1 million.'


Eilish O'Sullivan


Posted on Mar 10, 2024   Updated on Mar 10, 2024, 10:02 pm CDT

Speaking at South By Southwest on Sunday, Noah Kagan, CEO of AppSumo and author of Million Dollar Weekend, shared his secrets to success. 

Kagan was the 30th employee to join Facebook, but his time at the company was short-lived. He was fired nine months after accepting the position. “If I didn’t get fired by Facebook 15 years ago, my life could’ve been good, but it definitely drove me to find my own story,” he said.  

Kagan eventually found his own story in 2010. That year, Kagan started AppSumo, a product that acts as a marketplace for entrepreneurs. “I made zero dollars the first year, $40,000 the second year. It took me to year seven to finally make $1 million,” Kagan shared.   

When Kagan started AppSumo, he still had a day job. “I don’t think you should quit your job to start your side hustle. Just use your day job as an investor.” 

Kagan thinks everyone wanting to start a business should have a “freedom number”—how much money you need in order to quit your day job and solely focus on your business—in mind. For Kagan, that number was $3,000. After attaining his freedom number in three months, he quit his day job as a project management consultant to work on AppSumo. 

Kagan encourages people who are coming up with a business idea to zero in on a problem and what they can create to help solve it. “What’s the problem?” He asked. “[People] care about the problems in their day-to-day life.”

“No one cares about the thing you’re doing. They care about themselves,” he later reiterated. “I was very excited about the problem of helping software creators get customers. … AppSumo was the fourth version of trying to solve that problem.”

Kagan also shared some sad news for fans of his first book, Million Dollar Weekend (one audience member said she read the book twice back-to-back and even associated Kagan’s work with Plato’s). Kagan shared that he has no plans to write a second one. “I’m trying to be a father. It takes a lot of energy away from that,” Kagan said. But for fans of his first book hoping for more guidance from the New York Times bestselling author, he shares how-to videos on how to start a successful business over on his TikTok channel, where he boasts over 226,000 followers. 

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*First Published: Mar 10, 2024, 10:30 pm CDT