From park bench to world-renowned:
Who would have thought you can go from sleeping on a park bench to becoming a world renowned modern martial artist, super successful entrepreneur and author, all with only $20 in your pocket? That’s exactly what South African-born Rodney King did.
Today Rodney is noted as one of the world’s leading modern martial art coaches, who combines his educational background, to teach his students how to crush their inner opponent, and turn it into a weapon to excel in their life and career.
As an Embodied Growth Hacktivist he has taught his Full Contact Living principles to special force military operators, super successful entrepreneurs and success minded people all around the world.
In your opinion what is a Growth Hacker?
A Growth Hacker is someone that understands the ingredients needed to grow a start up in the 21st century. What this implies is that they understand a user’s behaviour, are then able to match it with a value proposition that is capable of immediately persuading action.
Why do you, Growth Hack?
I Growth Hack because I love the challenge of starting out at zero, and taking an idea and making it grow, prosper and become successful. In this sense, it’s somewhat like being a gardener growing a Bonsai tree. You start with a seed that you plant, you water it, nurture it, shape it until what you have is a work of art.
Are you currently Growth Hacking a company, project, app, or startup? If so give us a description and provide a link if you can.
My current startup is Full Contact Living. For most of my career I have been coaching martial arts, in which I created and launched two successful brands, starting off with only $20 in my pocket. I am now taking the inner game lessons I learned from a lifetime of martial art practice and coaching it to entrepreneurs, executive teams and success minded people. I like to think of myself as an Embodied Growth-Hacker.
Full Contact Living was launched on a shoestring budget. First I wrote a book about the program, launched the site, got people interested in it via social media, and a free online video course, and now I am launching into delivering the flag ship workshop globally.
Describe your typical day, what it looks like and how do you make it productive?
I guess like everyone I clear all my emails first thing in the morning. I then spend some time meditating, which helps me switch gears from a frenzy of answering hundreds of emails, to becoming focused for the day ahead. I spend the first part of my morning working on my start up, from promoting it via social networks, connecting with people I think may be interested in the program, to writing articles for various online publications for exposure (and to show that I have value to add). I then head off to train.
As my start up is about the inner game, developed through an embodied approach, keeping in shape, and working on my own personal fitness and martial art game is crucial. I then have a power nap — in fact I have been doing this consistently for the past two decades.
I schedule all podcast interviews for the early evening. I then spend more time writing, either working on a new book, or tweaking my websites and social media profiles. I end the evening going through my social media accounts, answering any tweets, or comments that have been left during the day.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as a Growth Hacker?
I never push myself beyond the point of exhaustion. When I feel I am becoming really tired, I take a power nap, even if its for 20min, it’s amazing for productivity.
What recent trend, marketing strategy, technique excites you the most right now?
I think the rise of video is an amazing way to get a message across. It saves time, because writing something take a lot of time. You can shoot a video anywhere, and the cameras on the new mobile phones are getting better each year. Its also a fantastic way for people to connect with ‘you’ through actually hearing your ‘voice’. I feel people feel more connected to you as a person through the use of video.
As an individual, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?(This could be lifestyle habit, productivity, or some secret ninja tea made from a flower found only at the top of a mountain.)
I have this rule that 70% is good enough. I set goals like everyone, but what I have noticed is that most people wait for perfect before they will make a move. As we all know in business, if you waiting for perfect, you are going to be waiting for a long time.
I always take a goal and break it into manageable pieces, or what I call chunking. I reverse engineer the goal, working out the steps that are needed to succeed. I then place them in an order from the easiest to the hardest steps. I start with the easiest steps first, as I have realised if you get that right your confidence goes up, and even though the next step is harder, it doesn’t feel as hard as you thought it would be, because you have just had success in the previous steps.
But here is the trick, I only work on a step to around 70% of its completion and then move to the next step. It’s a way to keep moving proactively to achieving ones goals, without waiting for perfect to happen before moving to the next step (as I noted earlier, if you waiting for perfect, get ready for a long wait). I have also realised that you invariably work on the other 30% even when you move to the next step. By the time you get to step 3 for example, you have pretty much-met step 1 as close to 100% as you are going to get it.
What is one Growth Hacking strategy that has helped you grow your most important metrics? Please explain how.
One of the most important metrics for me is connecting with people. Without an audience, there is no way for my startup to become successful. I think Twitter has been invaluable in aiding in this. I take the time to reach out to people I want to connect with, buy keeping track of key hashtags that are relevant to my start up and then liking those posts, and following the appropriate people associate with them. Typically most people are then happy to follow you back. It’s a great way to build an audience.
What is one pain point you have in the digital space that you wish someone could fix?
Finding more proactive and productive ways to go viral. Getting through all the clutter on the internet these days, even when you have something really valuable to say is increasingly becoming more difficult.
Detail one Growth Hack that has been successful for your growth goals.
Personalised video blogs. A lot of people spend enormous amount of money on high-end fancy advertising videos, but I have found that a simple video of yourself talking to the camera about your startup, your goals, vision etc, is far more powerful. It doesn’t have to be a high-end production for people to connect with you. The fact that the self-shot video won’t be super slick but slightly gritty, allows people to connect with you as a person, as they can sense the genuine nature of the video they are watching.
What are 3 of your favourite marketing software, technology, or tools?
My top three are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. At least for my start up because connection is key. These three social media/marketing platforms allow me to connect with people I would never have been able to without them. It’s invaluable.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Shameless plug I know, but my Full Contact Living (www.fullcontactliving.org). I think a lot of Growth Hackers have realised that their inner game is as important to their success as their knowledge of growth hacking. In fact I would argue that most people don’t get held back by a lack of knowledge these days (the internet has most of the answers if you don’t know) but rather it is their inner opponent that gets in the way. Learning inner management skills will be an important asset to have in tough, stressful times for any Growth Hacker.
What inspires and motivates you on a personal level to be successful?
I grew up on the South Side of Johannesburg in government housing (similar to the Projects in the USA). The memories of growing up poor, and having to dodge the neighborhood gangs, and schoolyard bullies, is what motivates me every day to work hard. When you come from nothing, you really appreciate having something, and nothing is more rewarding when you know that you created that success yourself.
What people or companies should up and coming Growth Hackers seek out and learn from? (include websites, blogs or Twitter profiles)
There are so many great resources, but I am going to suggest one that I think every Growth Hacker should watch, and that’s Seth Godin’s Freelance Course https://www.udemy.com/seth-godin-freelancer-course/
How can people connect with you? (Website Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, ext.)
My startup: www.fullcontactliving.org
My personal website: www.coachrodneyking.com
Where are you located? City + state (if in U.S.) or city + country (if not in the U.S.)
Johannesburg, South Africa.