"If you are not the hardest smart-working person you know, then you will not be successful. I hustle 15-16 hours a day. Full speed."
Dr. Julian Hosp is an author, entrepreneur, and leapfrog high performer. Julian was born in 1986 in Austria. In his teens he played professional basketball in Austria and then went on to become a professional kitesurfer for almost ten years. There he wrote his first book, “Kitesurfing Tricktionary”. He graduated from Innsbruck Medical University in 2011, but later he decided to employ his hard-earned skills and discipline in the business world, rather than in medicine. Looking back, he describes that decision as one of the hardest ones in his life, as both his family and friends expected him to develop a career as a medical doctor.
In 2012 Julian moved to Hong Kong, together with his partner Bettina, to expand his business ventures in Asia. Today he is not only a successful author and entrepreneur, but has become a much sought-after public speaker, coach, and motivational trainer for individuals and companies all over the world. His life motto is “work-life-balance is all about doing that one thing 100%” and his favorite food is the fastest food available to save time. Currently Julian is still based in Hong Kong and when not pursuing his next venture is out playing basketball or rocking the waves, kitesurfing.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started “25 Stories”?
I am originally from Austria, Europe. In Junior High I started my first Sandwich Business at school, which almost got me expelled. It was the early beginning of me eventually becoming a passionate entrepreneur. I had always been a rebellious kid and since I also wanted to improve in basketball, I went to High School in the US to get as far away as possible from anything that I was used to. I planned on going to college there in 2003 as well, but a sport called kitesurfing grabbed my attention, and so I studied Medicine in Austria. I became a kitesurfing professional travelling the world for almost a decade and graduated to become a Medical Doctor in 2010.
After working in the hospital for just a short time, I decided to rather follow my passion for business and together with a few partners we built up an e-commerce mobile application. I took responsibility for Asia and so I moved to Hong Kong in 2012. We were really successful, but after 4 years in, I decided to take on something new and so I stepped back from the business in 2015. It was successful not only money wise, but moreover knowledge wise, and so I could translate all the experience and insight to start “25 Stories I would tell my Younger Self” where I want to inspire people to travel “roads less travelled” on their paths they are on.
Q: Quickly describe what an average working day is like for you?
I am extremely picky on having the same routine every day, and it is laid out on my calendar quite on the minute. Much in my day is based on 3 different time zones: Asia, Europe and America. The rough layout is: I get up between 5am and 5:30am, depending on when Sleep Cycle wakes me. Sports, Medidation and brief Journaling. I get on my computer at around 6:30am, write interviews, blog posts, schedule Social Media content and at the end I try to reach Inbox-, Facebook- and Linkedin-Zero. America is still up, so I can reach clients and partners there. I don’t need a break in this first session, so I can easily go until 9:30. Break until 10:00 and then I start reaching out to people or team members in Asia. 80% of my business is Marketing and getting the word out, so this is what most of my day is about, depending on the timezones that are awake. Lunch normally with a business partner from 12:30 – 14:00. I ususally have an “afternoon low” at 3 or 4pm and I either take a 20min power nap if I need it, or I go to the sauna and pool. Europe is waking up, and I can start contacting and conversing with them. I’m the least productive in the evenings, so I use the time for studying a new language or a new skill, such as Python Programming at the moment. I love going for an evening walk with my girlfriend Bettina before going to bed before 9pm and I am off to an exciting new day.
Q: What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?
Crazy Work Ethics – If you are not the hardest smart-working person you know, then you will not be successful. I hustle 15-16 hours a day. Full speed.
Attracting Talent / Working in a team – Everyone only has very few true talents. Most people overestimate what they are really good in. Normally it is 1, if you are lucky 2 or 3, things. As a great entrepreneur you have to get people around you who compensate all the things you are not good at, so you can excel at those that you rock in and achieve greatness.
Raising Funds – The grade of funding is not a key parameter for success, but it is hard to find any company that was successful and did not have external funding. As a good entrepreneur you have to learn how to do this.
Q: So, what is your best advice to entrepreneurs when it comes to raising funds?
I did not have to raise money (yet) for “25 Stories, but I had to raise money several times in the past and I was quite successful doing so. Investors generally look for 3 things, and if you get to satisfy all of them, chances of an investment are high:
- Depending on your stage (I assume quite early stage), an investor is investing in you, not the company. So, the key question will be: What are you known for? Are you a quitter? Excuse maker? Or are you hardworking, dedicated, and 100% committed. Showing your authentic personality will do wonders! I will always make sure people know and see my hard and smart work ethics, as I know of this key factor.
- An investor is not a charity, so the investor wants a return on his/her investment. You have to be clear on how many “x” the investor can get back, and also by when you are expecting an exit strategy for him/her. Important is that you will probably think: “But I do not know that!” Of course, no one does, but it is about showing a plan. Think of a large SP500 company – people invest into it, because it displays a clear plan, which it tries to pursue. It hardly ever works out exactly as initially planned, but that is not the point. It is about showing where the journey will head to and adjust along the way.
- Last: An investor hardly ever only wants a return on his/her money, many times they want to provide a deeper meaning or leave a legacy. So, when you pitch, be sure to include a potential “side effect” here. For example I once had an investor who wanted to make a 10x on his money, but just as important, wanted to help the region to succeed. I showed him how I could achieve that together with a 10x return for his investment, and that was how I got the funding eventually.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting your own business and what did you learn from it?
- Forgetting the story about the “scorpion and the frog” – If you don’t know it, google it or read it on Wikipedia. If a person was bad to work with before, it will not be wise to do business with this person this time, even though he/she says it will be different. In my case, a person I was working with, was a scorpion before, and I believed he would change and did business with him. I should have known better.
- Build a namelist or mailinglist as soon as you can! I started when I was 25 years old, but should have done it when I was 16 or something. We are in the information age, and the true assets today are networks and relationships. The larger and better yours is, the more successful you will be.
- I stopped growing in areas outside of my comfort zone, as soon as I started to hustle in a business. I felt like I was already doing everything I could, and forgot to raise my lid over and over again.
Q: How do you go about marketing “25 Stories” and what has been the most successful form for you?
I use 3 approaches:
- General Reputation and Brand building – which is done through Social Media, Public Speaking and Events. I think the HOW you do this, matters a lot more than what you actually do here. Like I said above, people care about what you stand for and how your work ethics are. My reputation is that reliable, because people know and have experienced how I execute and deliver. That is important in marketing my reputation.
- B2C – This is to reach individual customers and users. I truly believe in non-scalable approaches here, just like Airbnb did to grow their first traction in New York, by actually visiting every user in person. My goal is to have 1,000 TRUE FANs of my service. People who truly love what I do. This will not happen through mass marketing, but by actually reaching out to people in person – doing the unscalable things. Of course we do Facebook Ads, and they generate great sales, but more important are the few 100 TRUE fans we have. I want to grow that base to over a 1,000. Think about why Apple is so successful – They have millions of TRUE fans.
- B2B – I build relationships to other marketers, bloggers, networkers and companies. If I can provide value, I generally get value in return. Through this extension of a network, I get to grow my company’s influence.
All three steps are totally duplicatable and doable with any budget!
Q: What was the best business advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?
“You are the average of the five people around you!” Jim Rohn – it is the most important mantra! Period.
Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using?
I love FollowUpThen – it allows me to reach out to people and not forget about things. Price Point: US$ 9 per month, but FREE versions are totally fine.
I am extremely competitive, so I love to stay accountable by challenging myself against others. I put literally any of my daily TO DOs into Coach.me and make sure I beat everyone J Price Point: FREE
Q: What are your plans for “25 Stories” for the future?
I want to take the book and social media platform and go even more multi-modal through podcasts, apps, webinars, and online tools. I want to build a platform for people to learn from others through the power of stories, not only dry lessons or bullet points.
Q: If you had the chance to start your career over again what would you do differently?
I mentioned above that I would have started my namelist/mailinglist a lot earlier. The other thing should have been to start investing into real estate at a younger age. I waited until I was 25 (which might still be young for some), but had I done it at 18, I would have been financially free at 25 already. Other than that, I did many things right, and those that went wrong were excellent lessons and actually breeding ground for the “25 Stories I would tell my Younger Self”
Q: What’s your definition of success?
Having the freedom to do WHAT YOU want, HOW YOU want it, with WHOM YOU want it and WHEN YOU want it.
Q: What are three books or courses you recommend for entrepreneurs?
“25 Stories I would tell my Younger Self” (shameless selfpromotion, but I truly believe it is one of the best books out there!)
“Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future”
“Zero to One” – Peter Thiel
Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs
Q: How can our community get in touch with you?
Best way is through Facebook: www.facebook.com/25stories
25 Stories I would tell my Younger Self: How your choices of seemingly small and unimportant decisions have a huge and often unexpected impact on your life.