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A Passion For Optimization And Human Performance Is What Inspires Derek From More Plates More Dates

Passion For Optimization And Human Performance

Derek (more well known as “More Plates More Dates” on his social media platforms) discovered he had a passion for pharmacology, endocrinology, biology and human performance in his teens. He would spend hours each day digging through research, forums and clinical studies to learn as much as he could. 

“I’ve always been fascinated with optimization in all facets. I have a tendency to dive deep down rabbit holes and become consumed with learning as much as I can about whatever it is that I am most interested in at the time. This has stayed consistent since my teens and has essentially been how I’ve learned about everything I’ve published on my website and YouTube channel. My interest in cognitive enhancement is what eventually led me to starting Gorilla Mind in 2017. My interest in hormone replacement therapy is what eventually led me to starting Marek Health in 2020,” Derek explains. 

Gorilla Mind is a dietary supplements company and Marek Health is a hormone replacement therapy clinic that Derek started in 2017 and 2020 respectively. 

Both are aligned with the topics he often discusses on his blog and his YouTube channel. 

“My business strategy has been as simple as identifying a hole in the market and filling it, or creating my own version of a similar product or service I already pay for myself and perceive as valuable. If I deem something is valuable enough to spend my money on, the likelihood is high that those who follow my content will feel similarly, so it is pretty easy to decide what is a good or bad idea business wise,” Derek says. 

The biggest challenge for Derek when starting his first business was patience. You can’t build a successful business overnight, and you can’t build a dedicated following overnight either. When there are so many established entrepreneurs on social media, it is easy to start brainwashing yourself that you aren’t cut out for it, or that your products aren’t good enough if you aren’t getting as many views or subscribers as them. Derek’s YouTube subscribership has grown significantly in the past year. He currently has over 300 thousand subscribers and has over 70 million views. But it certainly wasn’t an overnight success, and he recounts how long it took him to really get traction online. 

“It took me years before I even passed 10,000 subscribers. I felt like a failure because I knew I had so much more to offer, but my rate of growth was much slower than I wanted to see. It snowballs once you start getting traction, but keeping my head on straight and focusing on the long-term growth potential I knew I had in me if I kept pushing is what kept me going. I also knew that the quality of products and services I was bringing to the market were second to none, and it all just felt like a matter of time. I truly knew that I had very high quality educational material that thousands of people would want to learn about, and it was just a matter of time before things picked up steam, and that those same people would value the products and services that I perceive as valuable. But, I had to stay mentally strong and just keep pushing through those years when I was getting no traction,” Derek says.

For those wishing to start their own business, Derek’s piece of advice to you is not to go out seeking to reinvent the wheel, rather he advises that you sit down and think about what it is that you are truly passionate about, and dissecting how you can monetize that. He often iterates that it is very unlikely that you will be both happy and successful in a business that you are not truly obsessed with. 

“I’m very passionate about the content I make and what I center my businesses around. I aspire to grow a much bigger following and educate at scale. When you’re making content about what you love, work does not feel like work. I believe I have found my niche and my path, and now I just need to push as hard as I can to grow my personal brand and my companies as much as possible. Instead of trying to build a business or a social media following around something you think would be popular and sell, I strongly recommend focusing on whatever it is that truly resonates with you and then building everything around that,” Derek explains. 

Julian Lim is a technology entrepreneur and researcher. Julian has graduated from NUS in intelligent systems and started his career pursuing data analytics and research. He’s also an editor and senior writer at Entrepreneur magazine, covering technology, startups, AI, blockchain and entrepreneurship.


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