3 Important Lessons About Business, Life, and Happiness - OkDork.com

3 Important Lessons About Business, Life, and Happiness

Since I started Sumo and AppSumo, I’ve taken a sabbatical every 18 months.

I’ve been to…

  • India
  • Thailand
  • And, most recently, Israel

Israelis + their dogs

A post shared by Noah Kagan (@noahkagan) on

Before I left for my recent trip to work + learn in Israel, the first thing I noticed is people have strong mixed feelings about Israel.

When I told friends that I was planning to go to Israel, I was met with a lot of haters...

  • “Israel is horrible.”
  • “Why are you going there?”
  • “Isn’t it dangerous?”

At first, my trip to Israel was about visiting the place my father was born and taking some time off.

But, as soon as I arrived, my trip to Israel turned into MUCH more.

Hear 3 key takeaways on business, life, happiness from my trip to Israel.

This is one of my shortest podcasts ever, at only 8 minutes. ⏰

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8 responses to “3 Important Lessons About Business, Life, and Happiness”

September 19, 2017 at 9:05 am

The best part for me is about Focus. You are right. How can you focus if there're multiple things that needs your attention. Thanks for reminding me. I just have to list one and focus on it. 🙂

Bobby Caingles
September 12, 2017 at 11:12 pm

Wow! All this from a trip to Israel? My grandfather, whom I loved, and who gave me the courage to be what I am now, was a lover of this nation. He wasn't able to finish college, and worked in a cement factory so he could send his brothers and sisters to school (one of them eventually becoming a lawyer, and another a politician). But he was a lover of good books - something he transferred to me. He read a lot about Israel ("The Jews" - by Chaim Berman, if I remember correctly) and dreamed of going to Israel. I do, too. . . I also read Moshe Dayan's "The Story of My Life," and traditional Jewish literature. And to make a long story short, I fell in love with this people - whom God, apparently loves despite their frequent waywardness.

Israel would be a great place to finish this book I'm writing on biblical heroes of Faith. Who knows? ?? ???? ??? (im yirtzéh hashém) - If God is willing!

Joe Cotellese
September 11, 2017 at 8:34 am

Great post. I'd love you to go deeper into how you set goals at AppSumo. Are you using a strategy like OKRs? Do you set goals once a quarter, twice a year?

Right now I'm a startup with one full-time dude - me and occasionally contractors. However, I want to make sure that I'm starting on the right foot.

I've done this by establishing the vision for my company first. Then wrote out a mission statement. This helped me to find a product strategy. From there it was just a matter of making sure that the goals that I set each quarter are aligned with the strategy, mission and vision.

Rock on \m/
Joe C

Felix Dragoi
August 31, 2017 at 8:22 am

The 3 best parts of this one:

1. "The biggest growth and successes come from sacrifice"
2. Graph's quality looks so random you know it's not sugar coated.
3. Give Israel a go

The trip seems enjoyable. That instagram photo really had a good vibe to it, shows those well deserved recharging moments.

Bobby Caingles
September 13, 2017 at 12:34 am

This is what I like about the things Noah shares. You get the lesson - flops, downsides and all - which is really what learners want go see.

Hey, how are you guys able to attach a photo to your comment? I notice I look like a taco in mine. Nice photo, btw.


August 30, 2017 at 1:44 am

Hi Noah,

You recently mentioned a language tool or app during your interview on James Altucher's podcast. You said it was an app to help you speak better I think?

Can you tell me what it was because I cant remember.

Noah Kagan
September 7, 2017 at 2:03 pm

I use Memrise app.

August 29, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Interesting observation you make about Ayman, your "A" player hire. Your giving him autonomy reminds me of a comment attributed to Steve Jobs. He said of a successful hire, "We don't hire people and tell them what to do. We want to hire people who can tell us what to do."