Wk21 (30.1k subs): Grow 3X Faster by Joining a Community

7 Lessons I learned from mentoring 15 agency owners

Wk21 (30.1k subs): Grow 3X Faster by Joining a Community

The Comeback - Week 21 (30,100 Subs):

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21 weeks ago we launched the David to Goliath Newsletter.

Due to personal circumstances, I had just stepped down as the CEO of Alpha Inbound.

A performance marketing agency I helped scale from $5,000 - $140,000 a month in 2 years.

After my resignation, I had hundreds of messages from other agency owners asking for my help.

Without a plan to fund the growth of the David to Goliath Newsletter, I started working with a handful of them 1-1.

We got some incredible results but the issue was my time.

So in April, we launched a small community for 15 agency owners.

What happened next has honestly blown my mind.

At least 3 of them have tripled the growth of their agency, people are meeting up in person and the members have inspired me tremendously.

What started out as a good opportunity to make cash to grow this Newsletter opened my eyes to the power of communities.

So today I’m sharing the 7 most powerful lessons I’ve learned mentoring these 15 agency owners in the hope you can find a community that can accelerate your growth!

Today on David to Goliath:

Road to 100,000: Behind the Scenes

Challenges - ICP and Surveys

We have a list of 30,000 people now at David to Goliath.

BUT we don’t have a clear direction on exactly who you are, what your problems are, or where you’re at in life.

Which makes writing valuable content challenging.

So we’re going to start implementing post-subscriber surveys and include surveys within these Newsletters themselves.

With the sole purpose of creating more valuable content for you our subscribers!

So watch out in the coming weeks and please get involved (it will only take 30 seconds). The more you get involved, the more we can help you!

Breakthroughs - A Reminder of What Truly Matters

In a world dominated by the incessant buzz of social media, it's easy to find ourselves ensnared in its grasp, seeking fleeting moments of validation and connection in the form of likes, shares, and comments.

It's become an integral part of our daily lives, almost like a reflex action to reach for our smartphones whenever we have a spare moment.

But as we know, this sends us deeper down a rabbit hole. Yet we STILL do it!

Amid this instant gratification society, we often forget the simple, profound joys of being human—of engaging in meaningful conversations, immersing ourselves in the beauty and bounty of the world around us.

Now - I'm not here to act as some spiritual guru or a nature buff. But the past weekend reminded me of something special.

Last week, Matey (who I’m running the agency mentoring with) came to visit me in Manchester. Congrats to him for managing to put up with me for a whole week - that certainly can’t be easy!!

Yes, we spent most of the week brainstorming, strategizing, and fulfilling our mentoring commitments.

And we also recorded this week’s podcast, reflecting on the journey so far. In my opinion the best yet so check it out!

But we also made a conscious decision to have a break. One thing that was non-negotiable was to spend his final day out in nature. Something I often neglect in the relentless pursuit of productivity.

On Saturday, Matey and I met up with Dan and his fiance Victoria (and her dog Rupert!). It was the first time we met so this was another very special moment for me (I’m the best man at their wedding so hopefully I passed the audit!).

Our trip out to Macclesfield was truly incredible — the crisp air, the peaceful valleys, the rolling hills stretching as far as the eye could see.

But more importantly, it was a gentle reminder that amidst the endless to-do lists and deadlines, there’s a sanctuary of tranquillity on our doorstep.

In a world where social media sometimes serves as a substitute for human interaction, it’s the simple joys of being present, of connecting with others on a deeper level, and of immersing yourself in the boundless beauty of the world around us that truly matters.

It’s ready to nourish our souls and enrich our lives in ways that no amount of digital distraction ever could.

From now on, I'll be sure to carve out more time for days out in nature.

And on that note of human relationships, it’s time for me to share the 7 most powerful lessons I’ve learned helping these 15 agency owners.

In the hope, that you can learn from my failures and find a community to help fuel your growth.

Main Topic: 7 Lessons I learned from mentoring 15 agency owners

Lesson #1: Paid Beats Free

If you’re on social media you’re part of the biggest free community on earth.

0 barriers to entry.

The outcome?

Toxicity, polarization and procrastination.

The opposite of growth.

Great for attention. Not so great for meaningful relationships.

In my opinion, paid always beats free.

The 15 agency owners I’m mentoring all made a big investment to be part of the community.

They’re all at a similar level of growth and all want the same outcome.

The fact they made that investment massively increased their action threshold - because they wanted to make the most out of it.

Take Eugenio for example.

When he joined he was on 30 sales call losing streak.

In 2 short months, he’s tripled the size of his agency - Why? because he made the investment in himself and has gone all-in.

His journey of transformation began right away. A key factor was the accountability partnerships he formed.

Regular check-ins and support from fellow members pushed him to set and achieve ambitious goals.

He implemented advanced strategies learned from the community, optimized his business processes, enhanced his marketing tactics, and refined his sales pitch.

The collaborative environment allowed him to test new ideas and receive instant feedback, accelerating his growth.

This is the true power of a community: not just better metrics, but transformative relationships that propel you to new heights.

If it was free I doubt the outcome would have been the same.

Lesson #2: Qualification Matters

If you can join a community without being checked at the gate that means so can anyone else.

Yes, it might suck if you don’t meet X, Y and Z criteria but remember: A community is only as valuable as the members in it.

To mentor these 15 agency owners I had calls with over 50 agencies. Some didn’t want to make the investment and most weren’t a good fit.

Even though I could have taken the money, as the community owner I had a responsibility to only bring in the right people.

The more due diligence there is up front the more you can bet this is a high-quality community that could change your life.

Lesson #3: Look for similarities with Members

It’s true that working with a mentor who has already been there and done it is a great way to increase your likelihood of success.

But it’s also true that teaming up with people at the same stage massively accelerates your growth.

For our community, all the agencies were between $5-$70k/mo in revenue.

As mentioned they all want the same outcome: Knowing how to build an agency that generates over $100k/mo.

The great part about this is they can relate to each other.

In a world where most people now sit at home lonely behind their desks, having people who just ‘get you’ and can give advice cannot be understated.

The last thing you want is to be in a crowd of people and not feel like you belong.

Lesson #4: Speak in Value Not Money

When I was selling the community to these agency owners I focused on all the ‘sexy’ things:

  • Increasing close rate

  • Getting more leads

  • Increasing prices.

I massively undersold and undermined the power of the relationships they’d be developing.

Since we started community members have:

  • Referred each other business

  • Shared their best strategies

  • Teamed up to hold each other accountable

If the community owner only speaks publicly and privately about making money either for them or their community it’s a huge red flag.

Because if you build deep meaningful relationships with the right people - long-term it will make you more money than you could imagine.

Lesson #5: Specialized Skillsets

When humans were hunters and gatherers everyone had their role in the tribe.

Someone collected the food.

Someone raised the children.

Someone trained the army.

This is why we’re all wired differently and the more diversification you have within the community the stronger the tribe will be overall.

When starting out I just focused on Ecom agencies.

Then I had a conversation with Anders - He runs a LinkedIn lead generation agency.

What’s interesting is his specialized knowledge has massively helped the other community members and now everyone is benefiting from his experience.

If everyone is exactly the same then you miss out on cross-pollination of ideas.

Diversity has always been the key since the dawn of time.

And it won’t be changing anytime soon.

Lesson #6: Business Problems are Personal Problems

Sales. Personal Branding. Hiring. Leadership.

These were the topics I thought I’d be talking about when mentoring these agencies.

Boy was I wrong.

Now, many of you may have fled the 9-5 to have the freedom of working from home.

But without a clear vision in sight, this can lead to severe loneliness.

The lack of interaction can steep into all other aspects of your personal life.

And this makes a community ever more important.

Over countless 1-1 calls I’ve realized that the problems these young business owners are facing in their personal lives were consistently being reflected in their business.

Once we fixed the mindset everything else fell into place.

If you’re joining a community and you don’t have 1-1 time with the owner or specialized coaches be careful.

Entrepreneurship can be lonely. It’s you against the world.

Having someone who will sit with you and listen to all of your problems can really pave the way for clarity.

The best education is always 1-1 so someone can understand your context and work with you to devise a specific plan which is tailored to your specific circumstances.

Lesson #7: Network With Superstars Before Their Famous

Everyone wants to be friends with Elon Musk.

But 99.9% of people didn’t care about him 30 years ago.

Point is, that it’s much easier to connect with people you think are going to be successful before they become wildly successful.

Helping them with no expectation of anything in return now and reaping the benefits of those relationships later.

I had a conversation with one of our community members Nativ.

He’s 21 years old and even though he’s extremely successful for his age instead of spending money on fancy clothes he chose to invest in this community.

I told him that if you help these other community members by the time you’re 30 you’ll have a network of people who are wildy successful (including himself).

Just imagine how much opportunity he’d have if he’s best mates with entrepreneurs who have all built massive companies.

This is why joining communities is so powerful.

It’s not just about what the relationships can bring you now.

It’s about what the relationships can bring you in the future.

Playing long-term games with long-term people will always be a surefire way to massive success. Especially when you were there for them when they had nothing.

In summary, to find a great community remember:

  1. Paid beats free

  2. Qualification matters

  3. Make sure you can relate to other members

  4. Listen for value not just money

  5. Seek specialized knowledge in different areas

  6. Make sure you get 1-1 time to fix your mindset

  7. Network with superstars before they come famous

Resource Rec: The Culture Code

This is the perfect moment to share one of my favourite books: The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle.

He not only explains what makes such groups tick, but also identifies the key factors that can generate team cohesion in any walk of life. Examining the verbal and physical cues that bring people together.

Great for building communities and of course a great culture within your team!

As a sneak peak there is one story he shares in the book I’ll literally never forget: “The Design Challenge”.

The goal: Build the tallest possible structure in 20 minutes using the following:

  • Twenty pieces of uncooked spaghetti

  • One meter of masking tape

  • One meter of string

  • One standard-size marshmallow

Rule: You measure from the table to the top of the marshmallow and the structure has to remain motionless without support for 3 seconds for the measurement to count.

After running this with >2000 people of various backgrounds, something amazing happened.

The highest performing group of all were Kindergarteners.

The worst performing group of all?

Business School students.


The Kindergarteners don’t spend 15 minutes deciding who is going to be CEO of Spaghetti Corporation.

They immediately start building and learning. The reality is that most design problems include a huge amount of unknowns that need to be figured out and experimented with.

Very few people have intrinsic knowledge about the structural properties of spaghetti. They know more about what it is like when dinner.

Many of the business school teams had zero or near zero scores because they spent way to much time planning rather than diving in and learning by doing.

Morale of the story: A great team always beats a great individual.

If you want to learn more check out this amazing book here.

I hope it inspires you as much as it inspired me!

In a world where AI and technology is becoming ever more present your best bet is to find your people.

I hope today’s Newsletter inspires you to get involved in a community and accelerate your growth.

Remember: No one is going to do it for you!

Until next time - keep dreaming like a Giant.

But believe, fight and act on your dreams like a god damn Underdog.

Yours truly,

-Nigel Thomas

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