Wk3 (4.7k subs): The Business Boomerang

How I scaled 2 business to 7 figures with 0 reputation

The Business Boomerang

Amidst the chaos, we're finding clarity. This week on David to Goliath, I uncover some of my core business philosophies, and take you on a journey through the trenches where hard-won insights carve out the unfiltered path to success.

Today on David to Goliath [15-minute read]:

  1. A serendipitous encounter

  2. Behind the scenes (the harsh truth)

  3. The business boomerang

  4. How to manipulate yourself

  5. Leverage with Naval Ravikant

  6. Summary/Action Items

Road to 100,000: Behind the Scenes

As we geared up for this week's podcast at Manchester Central Library, something deeply powerful occurred. It nearly brought me to tears (in a good way).

Amidst the hum of technical setup, I told the sound engineer (who grants us access to the podcast booth) about the true inspiration behind David to Goliath.

I want you to picture him clearly: He’s dressed fairly casually - extremely polite, timid and I can tell he’s working hard not to draw any attention to himself.

This was the third time we’ve exchanged pleasantries but something told me now would be the right time to inform him why we keep recording these podcasts.

Little did I anticipate the depth this conversation would reach.  

Whilst Dan was eating a quick breakfast boost outside the studio (a delightful egg and cress sandwich), I shared the struggles I’d been facing with this young man.

About how just three months ago, I was teetering on the edge of suicide, and how David to Goliath became my lifeline, a vessel to document my comeback from my darkest hour, after losing the one person who believed in me most.

Suddenly the energy in the room completely changed. I looked up in shock to see raw emotion riddled all over his face. He was in pain.

Trying to hold back his tears, slowly he opened up to me. He needed someone to listen.

He shared his battles, being on the neurodivergent spectrum, battling inner demons, and the scars from school-day bullies.

But behind the insecurities all I could see was an exceptional human being beaming through. 

Someone who just wanted to be understood, to belong. But lacked the self belief to step outside his shadow.

We spoke about an opportunity he's been contemplating. To quit his role at the public library and take a chance on himself in the data arena.

After a 20 minute conversation we agreed he’s going to take the jump. He’s going to conquer those inner self doubts and show the world the true magic that’s been locked away all these years.

Hopefully I can update you on his progress. And a huge shoutout to him for being brave enough to open up. That takes immense courage - a testament to who he really is.

I feel honoured to have shared that moment and hopefully it inspires one of you to do the same.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Never, ever suffer in silence.

As Dan returned we started to realize we’ve grossly underestimated the impact of David to Goliath.

When first conceived, we envisioned it just for entrepreneurs. But now, the realization is dawning—the movement is becoming a force for ANYONE daring to dream, but going through those inner struggles of self doubt.

Who knows where this journey will take us - but we’ll just keep building, and listening.

This powerful encounter was a beacon of light piercing through the darkness of week 3.

Because behind the scenes, it’s been far from sunshine and rainbows.

The past week hit us hard. We've been sticking to our schedule – two newsletters and podcasts per week – but let me tell you, the workload is mounting.

We record podcasts on Friday mornings at the Manchester Central Library. This is the way we capture the ongoing challenges of the week and naturally let our minds wander.

Then we craft these newsletters based on these conversations.

With Dan having a full-time job and his Microsoft Teams constantly buzzing in the background during our podcasts, it's not exactly smooth sailing.

We wrap up the podcast recording by around 12 noon on Fridays.

But then, the real challenge begins. After editing the podcast we start the Newsletter build. It goes out on Tuesdays.

Thinking, writing, editing, re-editing, thinking, cutting, reviewing. About 50 hours of time goes into each one. It’s relentless.

Right now we’re typing this out stuck in a WeWork office as the day turns night on Sunday afternoon (secretly though we love it). 

For last week's Nothing to Lose newsletter we were burning the midnight oil, rushing to finish it before going to bed late Monday night.

It went out. A quick sigh of relief. But not for long.

We then have two days to complete the Thursday newsletter, where we share interviews with some of the best underdogs of our generation.

Last Thursday’s interview was with Sean Riley, co-founder, and Chief Dude at Dude Wipes, who turned zero into $100 million selling wet wipes (a quite ridiculous feat I must say).

Tuesday and Wednesday night were a frantic race to put together that newsletter, complete with an entire picture comic (that takes a solid 15 hours - shout-out to Dan as he’s the brains behind this operation).

Time is scarce, and last week reminded us of exactly that. Thursday’s LinkedIn post was still being edited on a live Google Doc 30 seconds before the 1:30 pm posting time.

The newsletter, scheduled to go out at 4 pm, wasn't even built, and the copy was still being fine-tuned until the last moments before hitting publish. It’s intense - there is so much riding on this.

Although admittedly this is not sustainable..

To drive the point home, last week I was on a live podcast with a channel that has had over a million downloads. Our website davidtogoliath.com was running along the bottom of the screen. 

The domain was down. We were directing the audience to a page that didn’t work.

I didn't hide it. I leant in. Showing what life is really like as uncut entrepreneurs. The host enjoyed the refreshing honesty.

Meanwhile action items were piling up – launching on Reddit, trying to systemise an Instagram account, setting up paid ads, and gearing up for the ‘Zero Pitch Webinar’ we’re hosting on Thursday, January 18th.

All this whilst still getting up for those damn 6 am runs. It's been a ride., I’m getting around four hours of sleep each night.

I tell you this not for your vote of sympathy. This was our choice. We imposed this chaos upon ourselves.

I say this because:

1) I know many of you are experiencing the same (I feel you)

2) I’m here to talk solutions

Pain is a signal.

In our case, it's a glaring sign that we need better systems, improved planning, and a more organized approach.

It's time to step up. We're looking at front-loading interviews to get ahead by 2 or 3 weeks.

I'm going to reinvest all the savings I have to build a team. Crafting SOPs, delegating tasks, and spending our time on higher leverage activities (more on that in this week's book recommendation).

The pressure is mounting, but as they say pressure creates diamonds. Right?

Every sleepless night, every ounce of pain—it's not in vain. It’s an indicator.

A sign that you’re growing. But to sustain you must take responsibility.

Now, let me show you how:

The Business Boomerang

This philosophy has been my guiding light in business for the last few years. I call it ‘The Business Boomerang’. 

Imagine a boomerang - one of those odd wooden looking Australian things people chuck about the local park (in reality I’ve never seen one actually do what it’s intended for).

But in business, it works like a treat.

There are two main phases:

1) Forcing the boomerang into existence

2) The boomerang gathers momentum and swings back

First the brute force phase. 

When starting a business, it's not about holding hands and singing kumbaya; it's about getting in the ring, throwing punches, and utilizing every last ounce of energy you have to get noticed. 

Let me just tell you the truth because I wish someone told me this sooner: The world doesn’t care about you. It’s a savage place. Everyone is out for themselves: The earlier you accept this reality, the earlier you can start making progress.

When I joined my last marketing agency, Alpha Inbound, it was no different. We had 0 reputation in a highly competitive market: Competing against the biggest agencies in the Ecom space for a chance to work with the biggest brands. 

We weren't born into the agency game with a silver spoon. We were the underdogs challenging the Goliaths - and personally, I love that energy.

It was like trying to move a mountain with a toothpick, but I believed that if I pushed hard enough, if I grinded in the trenches long enough, doors would eventually open. And they did.

Think cold emails, knocking on doors, and doing whatever it takes to thrust your message into the world.

I still remember sending a cold WhattsApp voice note to some guy who responded saying: “If you ever contact me again, I will go straight to the business advice bureau and make sure your business is shut down for good.” And he was well within his rights.

These are the moments when you question everything: “Will it work out?” “Will I get the breakthrough?” What the hell am I doing with my life?!”

They are tests. Tests to see how badly you really want it.

Bear in mind back then I had no fixed salary - I was only getting paid on commissions I made from signing new business.

But it's about grinding in the dark, when no one is looking, and making the unseen sacrifices that ultimately long-term bring greatness into the light.

And eventually, if your product or service is actually good, the boomerang will swing back.

Word of mouth becomes your strongest ally, and people start referring others to you. 

Although, this doesn't happen overnight; it's a journey, a process, a testament to the law of persistence.

The best example I can give you is what happened for me on LinkedIn – the platform that became our secret weapon.

(for context: every tiny blue line represents 1 day that I posted)

When I started documenting my journey, the ups and downs of running a start-up agency, little did I know that this simple act would become the catalyst for our entire business.

In the first year, I posted every single day - I didn’t miss once, regardless of how I was feeling. The result? 5000 followers and a few posts with half decent engagement. Pretty much no new business. What was all the fuss about?

Well, here’s what happened in year 2:

5,000 to 43,000 followers. Everyone was asking me “What’s your secret Nigel?”

It was the consistent work I put in the year prior.

The boomerang had well and truly swung back, and by 2023, our entire pipeline was built from organic content onLinkedIn - over $600,000 in new business signed, our best employees asking me for jobs, and opportunities to speak on stages in front of 300 people. 

This is where the lesson gets real – the brute force at the start is unparalleled. Building trust is a slow burn, but you've got to push until that boomerang, your reward, swings back.

Another great case study is Sam Ovens. You may or may not know who he is. For those of you who don’t, he made his millions by selling digital courses on how to build online businesses with a product called Consulting accelerator. And yes, he certainly had his fair share of hate.

I’ve never met the guy so I’m fairly impartial but I did build a lot of my early business relationships in that community - so he provided value to me. That’s all I’ll say

However in the last few years he disappeared from the face of the earth.

People were asking:

“Where is Sam?”

“What is he doing?”

“Is he still alive?!”

Well, now we know. He’s been busy building his new business: Skool.com. A platform for online creators to house their entire community, courses, calls, payments.

It was a slow burn and although the product is still pretty raw, it’s started to gather momentum. Word has started to spread and the boomerang has swung back..

To the point where it caught the attention of none other than Alex Hormozi. I’m sure you know who this guy is by now. Alex recently announced he’s made his largest investment ever into Skool. 

Why? Because of the work that has been done in the dark and the compounding effect of word of mouth. Sometimes, you become so good you can’t be ignored.

And if your product or service is backed by great content, of you being you, your personality will build an ecosystem.

An audience of people who share your values.

Massive momentum that compounds long term. The asset that connects all the dots.

The fact that we’ve had huge guests on the David to Goliath Newsletter all stems from my content I started way back when.

I’ve leant into who I am as a person, and now I have the reputation in the marketplace. Although it wasn’t that way just 2 years ago.

No one cared at the start. It took time to win their trust.

At this point, you might wonder why we're putting 50+ hours into each newsletter. We’re playing the long-term game. The fruits of our labour will not be realized until months, potentially years down the line.

But if we keep raising the bar I’m confident eventually we’ll shine through and word will spread.

Even just at a very small level we’re starting to see some positive indicators that our product (the Newsletter) stands out.

 In the past week, to my surprise two people posted organically on LinkedIn talking about David to Goliath. I’d never spoken to these two gentlemen before..

One here

Another here:

If your product or service isn't resonating deeply with people at a primal level, to the point where they want to share it on your behalf, you're not there yet. It's time to dig deeper, work harder, and refine your craft.

I know because this used to be me. I just used to think about short-term money. Now, I play long-term. 

A good product turns marketing into your ally. If you put paid advertising behind a product/service that people are already speaking about, it will amplify.

If the opposite is true, you will amplify that too. No matter how hard you try, you can’t put lipstick on a pig (please don’t try this at home!). This is a message many Ecommerce brands need to hear - because the reality is, their products suck.

After spending over $100M on paid advertising I understand the importance of data - it certainly has its place. 

But what I’ve come to learn is the real impact on humans can't be measured solely through stats. You can’t measure the level of trust with an impression.

It's about creating an experience, a connection that transcends numbers and charts.

Word of mouth, the absolute pinnacle of marketing, is triggered by products that leave a deep impact. That actually change lives.

Imagine the ripple effect – one person tells five, and those five each tell five more, and so on. 

That's how big businesses are built. 

And remember: Negativity spreads faster than positivity. People love complaining. If your product isn't top-notch, you might make some sales short-term, but you'll never hit the big leagues.

Long-term if you have negative word of mouth working against you, you can’t win.

So, here's the call to action – It’s simple. Work harder up front and know that the big rewards are coming years down the line.

Stop thinking in months. Start thinking in years, better yet, decades.

Pour your heart, soul, and every ounce of energy into your craft.

The dividends will come. I promise.

Push that boomerang out there into the wild until it swings back, and when it does, the rewards will surpass your wildest imagination.

The question is, are you willing to wait?

Mindset - Stop manipulating others. Manipulate Yourself.

I keep coming back to this quote from Winston Churchill. There’s something so deep and pure about it. And it’s integral to our core principle at David to Goliath - Self belief.

"One man with conviction will overwhelm a hundred who have only opinions."

Let that sink in.

The unwavering belief you build through hardship becomes a force that conquers doubt, scepticism, and naysayers. Destroying the victim voice in your mind.

Many marketers talk about ‘persuading’ others, but let's be real – that's often veiled manipulation, done for often questionable reasons (you probably have your favourite guru pictured firmly in your mind right about now). 

But instead, you, in my opinion, should learn to manipulate yourself. 

You can bend your own will, shape your own destiny.

It's about proving to yourself, in the most undeniable way, that you can turn the wheels of action, no matter the circumstance.

Vision boards mean nothing without action (sorry Oprah but that’s the real secret).

Build case studies – tangible proof to yourself that you can do it.

James Clear spills the beans in 'Atomic Habits.' It's not just about changing habits; it's about changing your identity. 

That happens through raw relentless ACTION.

Picture this: It's 2 AM in the morning, and the world around you is asleep. The last thing you want to do is complete payroll for your team. But you do it anyway. You keep going.

Next minute you know the alarm is blaring.

It’s 6am.

You pull yourself out of the warm comfort of your blankets, every fibre of your being tells you “just 5 more minutes”. And then you step outside - greeted by thunderous rain, bitter cold, and darkness (yes, I live in the UK, it’s rough in Jan). 

Going into the New Year you told your friends you’d start running in 2024.

But here’s the difference: Do and make this a ritual every day for five weeks. 

Suddenly you ARE a runner. You’ve just rewired your identity.

And let me tell you: It certainly won’t be plain sailing: The bad times will come. 

My LinkedIn posts have tanked in engagement the past week. I’m feeling the stress of falling short on subscriber growth for the David to Goliath Newsletter. To hit 100,000 in 2024 we need to be at 250 per day - right now we’re barely at 100.

When the pressure mounts though, I dig into my library of experience.

Pulling out those case studies

Reminding myself all those times I dug so god damn deep and pulled it out the bag.

I don’t allow the victim voice in my mind to take control.

And as you stack the evidence, conquering one challenge after another, you start taking bigger and bigger bets on yourself.

Regardless of what the world throws at you, you have evidence deeply ingrained in the recesses of your brain.

It becomes undeniable. 

Consider Sean Riley and Dude Wipes on Shark Tank. They didn't have the stellar sales numbers, but Mark Cuban took a bet on them. Why? 

Unwavering conviction - built from consistent relentless action - when battling against the Goliaths of the toilet industry.

Noone gave them a chance, until they did.

Fast forward to today, they now have a $100 million business. 

It's a paradigm shift. Don’t manipulate others. Manipulate yourself.

Rewrite your story, and as Churchill said, let conviction be your driving force.

Book Recommendation: The Almanack Of Naval Ravikant

I recently re-read The Almanack Of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness by Eric Jorgenson.

Naval is an Indian-born, self-made multi-millionaire, entrepreneur, investor, adviser, influencer, and a passionate cryptocurrency enthusiast.

He’s widely known as the CEO and co-founder of AngelList, a U.S based platform where start-ups meet angel investors.

This book distils Naval’s wisdom into some key messages about the future of work and employment, where inputs and outputs are highly connected. 

It homes in on finding ways to have impact while investing minimal time or physical effort, as you learn the importance of building specific knowledge to compound assets over time.

At the heart of Naval's philosophy lies the concept of leverage.

There are 4 types of Leverage:

1) Labour:

Envision a scenario where you earn a living by mowing lawns, dedicating 30 minutes to each job and charging $50 per lawn. In an 8-hour day, you manage to mow 14 lawns, generating $700 in revenue. After accounting for costs, your daily profit is around $600.

Now, introduce the concept of leveraging labour. Hire someone at $20 per hour, enabling you to mow an additional 6 lawns in the same time frame.

Now, you're mowing 20 lawns, generating $1,000 in revenue. Deducting costs, including the assistant's wage, you're left with $740 in profit.

Scaling this, hiring more people, and expanding your business, your profit skyrockets.

And that’s the least powerful type. 

2) Capital:

To grow businesses, as you know, it takes cash.

Imagine if you had the ability to outperform the market by 10% annually. With $100,000 of your own money, this skill would be worth $10,000.

Now, imagine rallying others to invest alongside you, raising $10 million. Suddenly, your market-beating ability is not worth $10,000 but closer to $1 million.

And if you use this skill set for start-ups, although the risk is higher, the reward can be monumental.

3) Content:

In 1436, Johannes Gutenberg revolutionized the world with the invention of the printing press, ushering in an era where content could be produced at scale.

Over time, the cost of mass content production decreased, reaching zero with the invention of the internet in 1983.

Think about it: Right now we’re writing this Newsletter for 4,500 people.

This time next year it will be 104,500 people (yes, I’m putting my neck on the line).

Same input of time to create. Drastically different output.

4) Code:

In today’s digital age, code grants you the ability to create immense leverage using just lines of text as instruction. Picture that favourite software you couldn’t live without (Grammarly saves my life on a daily basis!)

Getting technology to do jobs that humans couldn’t, or 100 times faster for a hundredth of the cost. 

This is why when you hear people say “I’ll outwork everyone” it’s stupid.

There’s a guy in Kenya right now working 18 hours a day, breaking his back, for way less money than you’d ever accept.

You ain’t outworking that guy. Regardless of how many times you walk on fire at motivational conferences and shout your affirmations (this actually sounds like a lot of fun - maybe one day…).

The people at the top don’t outwork you, they out leverage you. 

If you can build the skill sets in these 4 areas, you will have a huge competitive advantage.

Use the best human tool to your advantage: Your brain. Out-think people.

And personally, I’d advise consuming everything from Naval Ravikant.

In doing so, you'll find yourself leagues ahead, five or ten years down the line. 

In summary: If you want to get rich, you can’t trade your time for money.

The conventional narrative of working tirelessly until 65, then retiring to a life of ‘freedom’(whatever that means) – is completely outdated, and it's not the game the winners play.

You learn the skills of leverage and you build assets.

If you have all 4 types of leverage working for you, you will be unstoppable - and it’s totally possible - just not overnight.

The ‘shortcut’ is sacrifice and put in the work now, then later you’ll have leverage and be completely in control of your freedom.

Lastly, an important reminder from Naval. The importance of reading.

Most people want to build massive businesses but lack the perspective to make high quality decisions. Because their brains are filled with terrible inputs.

With 80,000 thoughts swirling in your mind daily, the quality of those thoughts defines your life.

When you read, you can transfer the philosophies and principles of the most successful leaders into your perspective, so when you make your split decision in the moment, you have the wisdom of all these life experiences condensed into one.

You’re left with the power to make richer, high impact decisions.

This cannot be understated.

Formal education, often touted as the gateway to success, pales in comparison. 


Because it doesn't hold a candle to the practical insights derived from those who have tread the exact path you aspire to walk (apart from a select few disciplines such as medicine).

You have people who have never built businesses teaching business studies, and their theories don’t work. 

It was only until I met people who had actually built businesses that I was able to make decisions that positively affected my business. What a surprise!

It’s crazy because people in the US spend $200,000 on university fees.

But for $15 at your local bookstore, you can invite the experiences and philosophies of Elon Musk into your consciousness.

Which is a better ROI activity?

I’ll let you be the judge.

Follow your heart in this quest for knowledge. You do you. That’s all we can ask. Read whatever you want but stay curious.

Let the wisdom of the ages be the wind beneath your wings.

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.


1) Pain is an indicator: Most people run away from pain - I recommend learning in. Because yes pain is a great metric for growth but to sustain you need to solve. Then you feel comfort. Then you push. Then you feel pain. And the cycle repeats. Take responsibility.

2) The Boomerang of Business: At the start noone cares about you so it requires brute force to push your boomerang out into the market. If your boomerang is shiny gold, and delivers massive value - it will swing back with momentum you won’t be ready for. It will just take a lot longer than you originally anticipated.

3) Manipulate Yourself into Action: Don’t manipulate others. Manipulate yourself. Figure out how to trick yourself into doing the actions that change your identity. Over time you won’t want to be that person. You will be.

4) Leverage: Just outworking everyone won’t be enough. Focus on stacking skills of leverage in one of 4 areas: Capital, tech, media or teams. Then use this one skill to get all the rest and blow past all your competition.

5) Reading: Life comes down to a few key decisions. Reading widens your perspective so every decision is made with the compounded wisdom of the greatest people that have walked this earth. If you read the right things and take action, it’s the best ROI activity bar none.

That’s all for today and if you’ve stayed until the end, as always a huge thank you!

In this Thursday’s Newsletter, we’re interviewing Mr Will Nitze.

And how against all odds he scaled his company IG Bar to multi 8 figures.

If you like original thinkers, you’ll love Will.

Here’s a link to his LinkedIn profile for a taster of what’s to come!

Lastly 2 quick things: 

1) Phone a Friend: We’re on a mission to bring together 100,000 individuals daring to be great by the end of 2024 on the David to Goliath Newsletter.

But we can’t do it alone - it’s going to take a village. If you’re enjoying the content please ask just one friend to subscribe using this link 

And we’ll keep working obsessively to bring you the best free content in the game.

2) The Story of a Brand Podcast: I had the pleasure of sitting down with my friend Ramon Vela on his podcast - he has over 1 Million downloads and is an incredible human doing amazing things for our space

If you want to take a listen to our raw and honest conversation about self doubt, the power of community, and why he thinks we’ve underestimated the impact of David to Goliath tune in here

Until next time.

From me and my friend Dan:

keep dreaming like a giant. But fight and believe in your dreams like a god damn underdog baby!

Yours truly,

-Nigel Thomas