Book Talk with Dmitry Dragilev, JustReachOut founder: I pretty much stopped reading business books
Dmitri Dragilev is the founder of JustReachOut – helping startups forget PR firms and pitch journalists and influencers themselves.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you might be interested in his PR That Converts program. It helped 500+ entrepreneurs since early 2016 get exposure and publicity to go from hundreds of visitors per month to thousands within a few months.
Dmitry’s backgound is in marketing and from 2009 he helped two startups grow from 0 to acquisition through PR and content marketing, as well as SEO and influencer marketing.
One other interesting thing is that he doesn’t really read business books because he thinks most of them aren’t that practical when it comes to implementing the advice they offer.
Was ist dein Lieblingsbuch und warum?
My favorite business book is Rand Fishkin – Lost and Founder. Why? It’s the only startup book that I ever read, it’s the most open, most actionable account on how a startup really really is.
It’s not painting stuff with this amazing success, or this crazy failure or this crazy road of raising money and sailing your ship into the Neverland once you exit.
It’s real and it gives you the real info you need to build your business. It doesn’t paint anything in gold colours.
My favorite favorite favorite book non-business… I don’t know, I’ve read a lot. Currently, I read something like A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen. Which is one of my favorite books. I’m reading something called Die Senilität von Vladimir P.: Roman by Michael Honig. And both are really funny. Takes your mind off the business world, it puts you in a different reality, sort of like Soviet Russia, Communist Russia. I’m from there, so makes sense.
Gab es einen bestimmten Moment, in dem Ihnen etwas, das Sie in einem Buch gelesen haben, geholfen hat? Können Sie uns davon erzählen?
You know, most of the stuff I read in books is like good advice, but you can’t really implement the stuff? I’d say, when I read Rand Fishkin’s Lost and Founder, when he talks specifically about the incentives of venture capitalists and why if you are not aligned with the incentives of venture capitalists to return their money to their LPs, you shouldn’t raise money from investors – period. Really helped me up. That was a big deal.
Welche Bücher haben Sie am meisten beeindruckt?
I mean, Die 4-Stunden-Woche, all that stuff kinda like, I’ve been thinking to work less and I certainly did that. 37 Signals books, Nacharbeiten, a lot of Jason Fried’s writing. Got me thinking a lot about working, and I only work 25 hours a week now. I’ve been on this crusade to work less and less and less and be much more productive. I earn the most I’ve ever earned in my entire career, and it’s all due to books like that, I think.
Welche fünf Bücher würden Sie jungen Menschen empfehlen, die sich für Ihren Karriereweg interessieren und warum?
- How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen is a wonderful book in terms of figuring out what is you’re doing with life in general.
- The ones that I mentioned, Rand Fishkin’s Lost and Founder, plus a handful of others. There’s just a number of these guys that I’ve followed and I can’t remember their actual names.
- The Startup Checklist is another one, it’s a great research by David S. Rose. Very cool book, just practically like what do you do in terms of building a startup. Really enjoyed that.
- There’s a book called Brain Rules, also a great book, by John Medina, sort of like how your brain works.
- There’s a book Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer, amazing book about how memory works in general, really changed the way I kind of think about.
Can you tell us some “opposite” marketing techniques that you experiment with?
I’m not sure what you mean by opposite but I’d say… I do marketing very differently so I usually… You know, I had 125 articles on my blog, I deleted all but 22 of them, I’ve tripled my traffic to tens and tens and tens of thousands of users. Not quite hundreds of thousands of visitors per month, but close to that. What I do is much less content and much higher quality. So kill the quantity, focus on quality content. I don’t do any ads, I don’t do any paid, I don’t do any GV’s, no partnerships, nothing else but pure amazing content on my blog, and I run my business that way.
I made the most money I ever made this year (2019) and I’ve worked the least amount of hours this year. All with much less content. Again, 22 blog posts drive all my leads.
Breaking of Google is probably the best way I do marketing, I’d say, in terms of marketing techniques, as SEO and content and a whole bunch of other tactics that go along with that I’d say is the best way to do this.I deleted all but 22 of the articles on my blog and I’ve tripled my traffic to tens and tens and tens of thousands of users. What I do is much less content and much higher quality. So kill the quantity, focus on quality content. Klick um zu Tweeten
How do you make time for reading? How often do you read? What format do you prefer?
I’ve got two kids, after they go sleep, around 9:30, I dedicate 30-45 minutes to reading a book before I meditate. And I like to read on Entzünden, and I have a regular book as well.
Do you take notes?
Yeah, I think I re-read each book at least twice, sometimes three times. I firmly believe that after the invention of Gutenberg press and paper people’s memories are not what they used to be. That needs to change. That’s where I think small notes helps.
Wie wählen Sie aus, welche Bücher Sie als nächstes lesen? Priorisieren Sie Bücher, die von bestimmten Personen empfohlen werden?
You know, I’ll take recommendations from friends that I trust. If I follow somebody who I admire I might read their stuff, but honestly even like with, I don’t know, the latest book by Tim Ferris, I get jaded with all the stuff that comes out that’s new.
I think reading clubs is a good idea. Go to your local library, find a reading group that you like and just hang out with people you really admire and like, who are just nobodies, but are really, like, smart and you can learn from and take recommendations from them.
Also, within the first chapter of the book I know I’m gonna be really sticking around.
Letzte Frage: Welches Buch lesen Sie gerade und was versprechen Sie sich davon?
I’m reading Michael Honig and I’m just trying to enjoy it and have fun and take my mind off work. That’s probably a very different answer usually here, but business books are just not that practical in terms of actually implementing real advice. They’re nice to read once in a while, but I pretty much stopped reading business books. 90% of what I read, maybe 80%, is non business books.
I’d say what I try to gain from books is sometimes I just try to read for fun just to take my mind off and to really decompress and you do learn certain things like other cultures, and you know, like history. I’m really big into history, so I love reading historical fiction. One of the best, maybe I can mention that in some other questions on recommended books that followed, but he has a book called The First Conspiracy. It’s a conspiracy to George Washington the president and how he caught the people that tried to kill him and that was the genocide of the CIA and that was a big deal. That’s how CIA got started, because George Washington built this ring of spies around us. That was the first counter intelligence unit. And it’s an amazing book. There’s just amazing historical fiction that kind of like plays a different light on it.
Another great book is A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn. Just a must read for anybody out there in terms of like, I’m thinking, Columbus. There’s history there that’s so different from what we learn in school. In school we learned Columbus came over here and we move and that’s just horrible. When he first came here, based on diaries, as this book is based on diaries of people from that time, you can see that they raped most of the women, most of the men had to go and become slaves here to find gold for these conquerors, for Columbus, and his team basically, the people he was with, to bring gold back to the crown, back to Spain. And so… it was just a brutal time.
So anyway, this is some of the books, I hope this really finds you well.
Links where you can follow Dmitry Dragilev or find out more about his projects:
- His blog: criminallyprolific.com
- Connect with Dmitry on Linkedin | Twitter
All books mentioned by Dmitry in our interview:
- Lost and Founder: Ein schmerzhaft ehrlicher Leitfaden für die Startup-Welt, by Rand Fishkin
- Ein schreckliches Land: Roman, by Keith Gessen
- Die Senilität von Vladimir P.: Roman, by Michael Honig
- TThe 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, by Tim Ferriss
- Nacharbeiten, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
- How Will You Measure Your Life?, by Clayton Christensen
- The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business, by David S. Rose
- Gehirnregeln: 12 Prinzipien des Überlebens und Gedeihens bei der Arbeit, zu Hause und in der Schule, by John Medina
- Moonwalking mit Einstein: Die Kunst und Wissenschaft, sich an alles zu erinnern, von Joshua Foer
- Die erste Verschwörung: Der geheime Plan, George Washington zu töten, by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch
- Eine Volksgeschichte der Vereinigten Staaten, by Howard Zinn