The Biggest Business Mistake I Made Through My 20s

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Hey Guys,

I’m 33.5 years old at the time of writing – and in many respects, I’ve been tinkering with ‘business’ since I was 16 years old.

There has been Deep Impakt, Deep Impakt Recordings, The CV Guy, Studiobookers, Meet My Tutor (and more) in no particular order.

I’ve done and tried a shedload of different things.

And statistically speaking (with what I’m up to now) that is unlikely to change.

Change then – is the constant.

Each business I attempt to build – all at some level needs some marketing and branding.

So that’s a logo, website, brand colours, getting the word out and ultimately trying to make the brand ‘top of mind’ in people’s thoughts when it comes, for example, to a recording studio in the case of Deep Impakt Recordings or Studiobookers.

I’ve had to repeat this process probably 20+ times if I was to count it up.

Some of this doesn’t really involve too much (as mentioned above) getting a logo designed and website developed can all be done yourself with no outside help.

But often…it’s very different.

If you look at the online graveyard of Deep Impakt Recordings, Studiobookers, Meet My Tutor, The CV Guy & Gobsmackers…

You’ll find a pretty decent body of work that still exists in pockets online if you searched intensively enough.

I’ve involved graphic designers, developers, professional recording studios, video directors, music producers, research analysts, marketing executives, business consultants and many others.

And I’m not sorry about that at all – it’s SUPER important to build a brand name.

Take Pearl Lemon (my agency) for example…

I’m working damn hard to build out the agency brand – if you have not yet given us a ‘Google’ – this is what you will find:

As you can see it’s been an adventure getting our brand looking like this.

But I’m wondering if you’ve figured out the mistake I’ve made yet.

I’ll give you a clue…

In a way, you’re reading the first concerted effort to CORRECT that mistake I made throughout my 20s.

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That I never, ever, at any stage …made a consistent and concerted effort to grow my brand name.

While change is a true constant…within that, there is one thing that will never change – and that’s my OWN brand name.

We live in an age where your digital footprint can definitely make a big difference to any success you are chasing in your life.

Imagine building a loyal tribe of followers, who are mostly interested in your journey and the path you’re climbing towards success.

Imagine how powerful an inbuilt audience you have becomes whenever you start a new venture, partnership or association.

Imagine being authentic, being yourself and having people follow you for it.

The true superpower that I missed out on in my 20s was really just not doing this sooner; working as hard as possible to build my brand out into the public eye.

In the last couple of years, it has DEFINITELY helped me ascend within the world of SEO, but also anything else I end up getting into.

This is what people see when they Google me (from a UK IP at least)…and here’s tangibly how it has helped me:

  • It helped convince my partner, Max Carrol of Word Pigeon, to give up his developer job and go full-time with me and live from his savings even with the other things I’m working on
  • It has helped us close clients such as Revolut, Vistajet and multiple others who said they checked me out and wanted to work with me
  • It helps me get sold internally when anyone needs to reference Pearl Lemon they can say ‘this guy runs it’
  • The trust and reputational signals I get help me with any recommendation and referral I make

I really started on this journey over the last 2 years – and I’ve seen my professional success directly correlate with the amount of time I put into building my personal brand.

Now notice I mentioned that this is my first concerted effort to solve this brand problem.

Well, it’s because over the years I have attempted to make some branding inroads…but always in line with the business, I’m currently involved in (in this case SEO; before that I was a resume and applications expert).

Don’t get me wrong – part of that will continue as it’s relevant to the space I’m involved in.

But now I’m also heavily focused on building a brand that really reflects multi-dimensional (as we all are!) me.

I.e the random journeys, different businesses, and stories and adventures that make up my life.

And THAT journey really only started in December 2019…

This is when I started this newsletter – dedicated to my own personal adventures as opposed to ‘Deepak Shukla the SEO guy’ or indeed otherwise!

So in thinking of all of this and how it might apply to your own life – this is the advice that I wish I had given myself in my 20s

“Deepak it’s great that you’re building out your latest business brand!

But also work on the brand Deepak Shukla.

Talk about your journey

Talk about your story.

Don’t worry about self-editing – just share your journey and your story ultimately

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Many others will say things such as ‘well what about your positioning within your industry? What about what your competition is doing ‘What about this being inconsistent?’

Ignore the naysayers and don’t allow yourself to be trapped by the dogma of others.

Don’t become trapped by other people’s limitations and instead turn inwards to doing what you feel is possible.

So build your brand and share your story – because remember:

THERE ARE NO RULES

So make your own”

This is something I’ve begun to become awakened to over the last few years and practically what has it led to:

  • Building out deepakshukla.com
  • Building a relationship with SEMRush
  • Getting myself onto 50+ podcasts (see here)
  • Writing 52k words
  • Exploring how to get onto Wikipedia, get into the knowledge graph
  • Keep growing my brand

The other element of this is that I’ve done multiple things on OTHER platforms which have always ended up hurting me:

From Skillshare courses removed, Quora bans and poor ratings for some of my courses.

And therein lies the 2nd element of the other huge mistake I made with all of the content I’ve put out…

It’s all on other platforms which can pull the rug out from under me at any time.

As has happened after amassing 22 million+ views on Quora and having written 1,100 answers – it all got lost.

This again underlines the importance of building your OWN brand which you are in control of and not building it on a platform you are not in control of….

So that’s really what I wanted to share with you today.

I’m a writer by heart.

I started life as an English Literature major, and have written over 200 rap songs (I will write an email about my music career at some point) and yet it took me until 33.5 to put together 52k words.

The lesson for myself (as much for us all) is simple.

But exceedingly hard to execute because there is no immediate payoff from putting out all of this content with the world.

But if you remain consistent and put out regular content it’ll help you in 3/5/10/20 years to come I believe.

That’s my rationale anyway, and 52k words will go some way in demonstrating that I hope.

Wherever you’ve come into the ‘funnel’ – I hope my brand has grown and that you mercilessly copy as many of the things you like as you can.

As Picasso said!

Good artists borrow, and great artists steal

Catch you in the next email where I’ll be talking about the process of buying my first business; 7upsports 🙂

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