Quick Thoughts on "The Setup"

Dan Bilzerian's autobiography

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I spent my weekend reading Dan’s autobiography “The Setup”. 

It was unfiltered, hilarious, and surprisingly insightful. I came in with a lot of perceived judgements, but left with newfound respect for Dan.

Dan’s book is called “The Setup” based on his idea that in order to achieve your goal, you need to setup your environment for success. Dan’s goal was to get laid as much as possible so he setup an environment where women were fighting to fuck him. Literally.

Was it a good goal? Probably not.

Is there something we can learn from “The Setup”? Definitely

How I’m using The Setup in Startups

After reading Dan’s autobiography, I spent a long time journaling and reflecting on how I could setup my life for success in startups. Here’s how I’m doing it:

Growing on social media:

“Social media helped me get into better poker games, and heads-up matches that made me tens of millions of dollars. It opened doors.”

Dan Bilzerian, The Setup

Like Dan started getting access to clubs and hanging with celebrities, growing my audience has set me up with access to famous founders and VCs. I have 17,000+ followers on Twitter including Marc Andreessen, Gary Tan, and even Dan Bilzerian’s friend and hedge fund manager Bill Perkins.

If you can make good smart content around business and startups, very successful people will follow you and message you. It took me 1000s of hours but has paid off—I’m making 10x what I used to before Twitter. Hopefully, it will keep paying off as I continue to grow.

Hosting events:

Dan hosted the wildest parties in LA. This helped him grow his network and meet everyone from billionaires to Playboy models.

In February, I spent $3,000 to rent out a bar in New York to host an event for people in startups. I wasn’t sure where the direct ROI would come from, but I had a feeling that I would make my money back over the long haul.

My belief was that I’d either meet new customers or meet investors that I could work with in the future. By being the host of the event like Dan was the host of the party, many people were asking to talk to me. This led to me being introduced to a founder let’s call him Jim. I’ve since made $20,000 working for Jim’s friend which would’ve never happened if I didn’t setup myself for an environment where I met founders.

You don’t have to host an event to do this (although it helps because everyone wants to talk to you and will think of you whenever they think of the event). That being said, going to events where there’s founders is also extremely beneficial and I’ve made thousands doing that too.

Choosing customers:

I run social media for startups. At first, I took any startup that would pay me.

But as I’ve grown my reputation, I’m fortunate enough that I can now pick and choose who I want to work with. I now only work with startups where I feel I am setup for success.

For me, this means a few things: 1) working with a fun founder who will let me be creative, 2) working with founders who are willing to put in work themselves and don’t think it’s beneath them, and 3) working with founders who have a budget to make cool stuff on social media.

Thanks for reading nerds.

Create some cool shit this week.

Jason Levin

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