Jimmy Naraine has lived his life according to a great sense of adventure. After getting his dream job at Goldman Sachs, he found that a strictly corporate life wasn’t for him, and he dove headlong into becoming an entrepreneur. Along with entrepreneurship, he also began his coaching career. For seven years, he has already taught more than 197,000 people through his online courses. He was doing this while traveling to 76 countries, too.
With his white-belt mentality, Jimmy Naraine has been recognized as a coach, trainer, and teacher by leading publications like FoxNews, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and BusinessInsider. He has lived according to his mission of helping people overcome their psychological issues. This mission has pushed him to create educational content that everyone can enjoy and learn from.
Once his courses gained traction, Jimmy Naraine was then approached by experts who also want to learn and create courses. He began helping them overcome their issues of fear and confusion, which stopped them from acting.
Currently, Jimmy Naraine and his team help out experts, entrepreneurs, and companies assert their voice in their respective industries. Jimmy empowers them by helping them create their own online courses that are of the highest quality. His experienced team will make sure clients don’t waste a second.
If you doubt that Jimmy Naraine knows what he’s doing, he has already received 29,000 official 5/5 ratings for his online courses. Now, he has also become a regularly featured speaker on different stages like MindvalleyU, WeWork, DNX, among others. At those events, he usually becomes voted the best speaker, too.
Aside from speaking engagements, Jimmy Naraine hosts gatherings like the OCR European Championships for an international audience. He also holds private training sessions for companies.
Check out more interviews with industry trailblazers here. You can also check out Jimmy Naraine’s YouTube channel for more content.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Jimmy Naraine: Nowadays, when people see me speaking on various stages and running my business, they often assume that I was always a confident person with a clear vision. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. I grew up in post-communist Poland as a mixed-race kid, never feeling like I truly belonged. My parents were barely making ends meet as young medical doctors on their meager Polish salary, and I vividly remember living in a typical communistic block of flats infested with cockroaches. Even though I always had dreams of exploring the world and creating something much bigger than myself, I didn’t believe it was possible. I had lots of limiting beliefs, struggled with low self-esteem and anxiety issues.
At some point, I discovered personal development and opened my eyes to different possibilities. I realized that there were many examples of people who overcame the odds and that I was in control of creating my reality. I became a voracious learner, bootstrapped myself to a British university, and completely shifted my paradigm. After working for Allianz and Goldman Sachs, I realized that regular employment wasn’t for me and decided to delve into entrepreneurship. The journey was full of unexpected challenges, but I burnt my bridges and eventually materialized my vision.
I’ve spent the last seven years traveling the world full time while running my business with a 100% virtual Team. I’m an author teaching over 200,000 Udemy students in courses mentioned in Forbes, Entrepreneur, and BusinessInsider, speak at prestigious events and run a course creation agency.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?
Jimmy Naraine: The last job I had was working for a start-up company in Budapest. However, in November 2013, after a series of “aha” moments, I decided to quit to pursue entrepreneurship. In less than a week, I did the unthinkable. I quit my job, left my 2.5-year relationship, and moved out of Budapest. Making three life-altering decisions all at once turned out to be hugely uncomfortable. However, I also knew that embracing discomfort was a sure path to creating magic. My deep urge to build my own education business was so strong that I decided to risk everything. I embraced the life of uncertainty.
Since my funds were limited, I started an equity-based collaboration with a top-level video crew from Poland. We worked extremely hard to create high-quality educational programs. Still, after the successful launch, we saw almost no progress for another six months. During that time, my income was less than $1000 per month. After paying my taxes, I was left with almost nothing and had to pull out money from my modest savings to survive. I had no option but to live with my parents for a while. It felt like a major failure after experiencing a corporate career, and some internal demons began to haunt me. On top of that, I was still heartbroken after ending the relationship and started questioning the validity of my decisions. In fact, there was a time when I lost almost all hope.
When I rejected several corporate opportunities, many of my friends kept telling me that I was committing a “career suicide.” Naturally, the temptation to pursue regular employment was becoming palpable. However, deep inside, I was also aware that doing so wouldn’t make me happy. Sure, it would be liberating to have a stable income and the status that comes from working for a successful company. However, whenever I felt like giving up on my business, I reminded myself of my vision of building something bigger than myself. I also recalled all those moments when I managed to accomplish the seemingly impossible, from learning foreign languages and “escaping” Poland to getting accepted by Goldman Sachs. I was aware that nothing great in life comes easy and was determined to test my limits.
Taking my “inner work” seriously allowed me to maintain the inner fire and the drive to keep going. When I was at my lowest, I performed the “define the nightmare” exercise I learned from Tim Ferriss. Instead of making my decisions based on momentary emotions, I decided to approach my situation rationally. I analyzed the pros and cons of staying on my path versus going back to the corporate world. After an in-depth and honest analysis, I realized that the worst-case scenario of pursuing entrepreneurship wasn’t that bad. After all, even if I lost my business and savings, I could still sleep in my parents’ house or on a friend’s couch.
Moreover, I had no doubts that I could always find a well-paying job.
Having that realization gave me a tremendous feeling of freedom. Once I understood that the worst-case scenario wasn’t that terrible, I caught my second wind. I began to work even harder on my business. Several months later, I made over $10,000 income in a single month, and it felt surreal. That’s when I knew that I would never go back.
The majority of entrepreneurs face tremendous setbacks at the beginning of their journey. It’s just a part of this game. This is why it’s essential to remember why you are doing what you are doing and the compelling vision you are striving for. Being clear about your vision and remembering that NOT TRYING is the ultimate failure, will keep you in one piece when going through hard times.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
Jimmy Naraine: When my video crew and I started building our first online courses, we fell victim to the trap called “triumph of form over content.” On the one hand, we knew that to make our video content stand out, we needed to focus on high production quality. However, now, in retrospect, I know that sometimes we took it too far. Our obsession with production quality made it impossible to produce a high volume of content. For example, we traveled to Tenerife with a plan to film a series of video courses. However, due to our unhealthy perfectionism (using three cameras, B-roll, and even drone footage), we could barely finish creating just one course. We essentially tried to turn me into a “character” that I wasn’t, instead of focusing on producing more valuable content.
Now I understand that this strive for perfectionism was partially caused by our insecurity of being new in the industry. It was a sign of overcompensation, which in retrospect, wasn’t necessary. After all, I was shooting content videos, not a James Bond movie. When I see those old videos now, I can’t help but laugh at myself, thinking: “I’m just a guy sitting on a rock, teaching people about confidence and productivity. Why use all those camera angles, drone shots, and dramatic music? It’s borderline cringy!”
Instead, we should’ve focused most of our energy on producing a lot of high-quality content without going overboard. At some point, the law of diminishing returns is just too drastic. Naturally, in hindsight, it all makes sense. However, back then, we believed that our approach was the only way to accomplish success. The lesson is simple. Never allow your unhealthy perfectionism to control your actions. When you feel that you may be overcompensating, pause, ponder, and reevaluate.
Jerome Knyzsewski: Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.
- Consciously decide to shift your mindset and treat delegation for what it is — one of the most significant business opportunities. Even though it may initially feel uncomfortable, it’s a crucial step in growing your business. I’m aware that this may sound simple, but everything really starts with adopting the right mindset. Instead of fearing delegation, get excited about it. Focus on all the benefits it will give you. Also, accept that the more training, guidance, and support you provide to your Team, the better the results will be.
One story that comes to mind is when I was consulting a successful business owner from Florida. At that time, she was running a multi-million dollar printing business. After delving deep into her day to day operations, I was shocked to discover that she was still performing simple physical tasks herself. When I brought it to her attention, she assured me that nobody would be able to do those tasks better. That’s when I asked her one simple question that ended up changing her life:
“so tell me, if I wanted to do this type of work, how much could I possibly earn per each hour of my time?”
She took less than two seconds to respond: “13, maybe 15 dollars per hour.” However, just a moment later, she froze as if she saw a ghost. She quietly repeated to herself: “13 dollars per hour…”
In that instance, she realized that it didn’t make any sense for a multi-million dollar business owner to do a $13 per hour job. She could be the best in the world at it, and it would still not make sense. That was the breakthrough moment. From then on, instead of being intimidated by the idea of delegating, she got excited about it!
- Whenever you delegate anything, crystal clear communication is vital. Always speak to your employees in a manner that leaves no room for confusion. As the former Navy Seal Jocko Willink wrote in his book “Extreme Ownership,” you need to take full responsibility for any miscommunication. It’s your job as a leader to make sure that people know what you expect them to do. Be extremely clear about your desired goals and the exact timeline. Sometimes leaders are frustrated that their employees don’t deliver desired results, not realizing that they never clarified what they were looking for in the first place!
For example, whenever I delegate something, I ask the other person to paraphrase my request. This way, I make sure that we are on the same page. We can also identify any misunderstandings right away and fix them before they turn into real problems. Clarity is power.
- Use empowering language when communicating with people working for you. Instead of giving orders, make them WANT TO do what you are asking them to do. It is especially crucial when you are communicating with entry-level employees. Many leaders make the mistake of underestimating the impact their language and tone of voice have on the overall morale. It takes a true leader to treat even those with the lowest rank as valuable team members.
For example, when you are delegating new tasks to someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience, some mistakes will inevitably happen. Instead of focusing solely on the negative, it’s vital to continuously encourage your Team by giving credit when it’s due. This approach will increase morale and make people WANT TO take more ownership and exceed your expectations.
- As mentioned before, delegating requires the initial investment of time and effort. However, instead of continuously relying on your actions, create systems and procedures to keep making delegation easier over time. I highly recommend that all leaders document their best practices and the most critical processes. New employees can then use those procedures to “get up to speed.” Before leaving Goldman Sachs, I created almost 100 pages of procedures to ensure that the most vital processes would never be lost.
If you want to take things to the next level, I highly recommend creating an internal video course. The purpose is to share anything you believe your employees should know, from your best practices to boundaries or even your answers to frequently asked questions. Doing so will save you a tremendous amount of time. Sure, creating a course requires an initial time investment, but it practically “clones” you. Instead of doing the same training over and over again with new team members, you simply give them access to your video course.
- Finally, it’s essential to understand that delegating is a skill like anything else. It wouldn’t be very reasonable to expect that you could surf a giant ocean wave without any prior experience. In the same way, it would be foolish for us to expect that we can be incredible at delegating from day one. The more you practice, the better you become. Mistakes and challenges are inevitable, and no amount of “how-to” articles will prevent it from happening. However, this is also how you will learn the most, so it’s important that you don’t get discouraged by temporary setbacks. Delegation is something that any leader needs to embrace to create tremendous results. Be patient, do your best and stay positive, knowing that you are improving each day.
When I started delegating, I was uncomfortable and made mistakes. However, I got to the point where I cannot imagine running a successful business without delegation. When I recognized all the benefits, I started enjoying it tremendously. After all, it allows me to free up a lot of time to do the things that truly matter.
Jerome Knyszewski: One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the oft quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?
Jimmy Naraine: I believe that this statement is true ONLY to some extent. Each person has a different skills and set of priorities. What high-performers have in common is their ability to distinguish their top value tasks from all the minutia. There is an opportunity cost to every action, which is why it is vital to determine your priorities and stick to them. Based on my experience, the 80/20 principle I discussed earlier is one of the most powerful tools you can and should use.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Jimmy Naraine: The best place to find me is through my website where you can find lots of valuable resources including my eBooks. You can also follow my adventures as a “travelling businessman” on my Instagram @jimmynaraine
I appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts and everyone who took their time to read this interview.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
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