TBL Episode 85: How Failing Led to Success: Nathaniel Fraser
When Nathaniel Fraser was a teenager, he had a bit of an epiphany. He had dropped out of high school and was working at a steam cleaning company, and he was selling weed on the side. It didn’t take long for him to realize that making money through marijuana was a lot more engaging and fulfilling than his job.
Fortunately, Nathan didn’t immediately turn into a drug kingpin – instead, he decided to start a business. However, being a teenager without a lot of formal education meant that he went to the school of hard knocks instead of an accredited university.
Nathan’s first venture was a record label at 19. Producing music was fun, but it wasn’t the kind of work that vibed with his entrepreneurial spirit. He ran it into the ground. Next was a t-shirt company. He ran that into the ground.
After that, Nathan’s third business was a software program where people could put graffiti on a cake. This idea had initial success, but he soon found himself with a product that he couldn’t sell. Again, he had an “aha” moment; selling is the key to being a successful entrepreneur.
Once Nathan recognized where his path was going to lead, he got into sales copywriting, and now he’s in a much better place than his initial failures would necessarily dictate.
Copywriting and the Sales Process
During his experience in shifting towards a sales mentality, Nathaniel realized that there were some vital questions he wasn’t asking himself before, such as:
- What about this product or service will make people want to buy it?
- If people aren’t buying something, why is that the case?
- Why am I trying to sell something that no one wants to buy?
- Who else is selling this, and what kind of experiences or issues is that business having?
As an entrepreneur, it’s often too easy to get excited about your new idea, but the fact is that you need to prove it’s sellable before you should invest any money into it. After all, it doesn’t matter how cool or slick your ad campaign is – what matters is whether anyone will buy the product.
Other Highlights From Nathaniel
Being an entrepreneur and failing forward is a much better teacher than most sales or business classes. Here are some gems that Nathan offered during our discussion.
- Education is more than a classroom. The modern education system isn’t built to teach students; it’s to create a receptive and domesticated workforce.
- You control your life. Other people may try to tell you how to live, but in the end, you’re the one who has to live with your decisions, so don’t let anyone else make them for you.
- Work for yourself and your interests. When you let clients or customers dictate the terms of your business, you are doomed to fail.
That last part also influences how Nathaniel works. As a copywriter, he writes for his own companies and other clients. However, he’d much rather develop and produce for himself than his clients. Currently, he writes a lot of sales and landing pages, and he’s always refining his writing process to make it as captivating as possible.
You can check out the rest of the podcast here, and be sure to read more about Nathan and his successes from his new book, “How to Write the Perfect Sales Page.” The book illustrates the 12-step method for writing modern sales pages that work, including how to use psychology and stories to get your message across.