Episode 001 – Finding your Niche and Building Relationships – Kevin Cohen

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Kevin Cohen

On today’s episode of Entrepreneur Unplugged, Tony G chats with Kevin Cohen. Kevin is the Vice President of Marketing at Hack Reactor, which is the premier online coding school. He recently took over this position and discusses with Tony some of the challenges he’s faced as he transitions into a new position. In addition to working together on some business projects, Tony and Kevin are close friends, which lends itself to a frank discussion. Listen in for some great tips on team-building and overcoming the obstacles many of us face as we tackle new challenges.

The importance of focusing on building relationships.

Coming into a new position certainly comes with its challenges. Not the least of which is acclimating to a new culture. Most importantly, says Kevin, is building relationships with your new team. As Kevin took on the role of VP of marketing at Hack Reactor, he knew he would have to facilitate change in order to get the results he wanted. From day 1, his focus was on building relationships and getting used to the cultural norms of his new environment. Kevin shares some challenges he faced early on, including replacing his #2. He shares some techniques that can help you cope with challenges and pave the way for success in your role.

How to accelerate productivity and happiness.

As Tony G and Kevin continue their chat, Kevin delves into one of his signature strategies for accelerating productivity and happiness: Drainers & Drivers. He explains the importance of the 80/20 principle in his management style and how he is able to work with people to help them gain an understanding of the best ways to maximize productivity. The principle of Drainers & Drivers is all about learning what drains your energy and what drives your energy. Once you go through a few exercises, it becomes clear what you should be doing yourself and what you should be delegating to others. Kevin explains further why this is important and why you should consider doing some Drainers & Drivers exercises yourself.

Going from the accounting/finance space to marketing.

Previously, Kevin worked in the accounting and finance space. He explains what resonated with him most about this space: systems. Kevin also shares the disconnect he felt with the subject matter and how he discovered a way to apply systems and formulas to marketing. This created a unique and successful niche for Kevin, which helped him land his position at Hack Reactor. He shares his particular skill of going from ideation to execution in a very short window and why this is such an asset in his current role. His motto: You just gotta get stuff done.

Perfection is a continuous improvement process.

As Tony G closes out his conversation with Kevin, the discuss the concept of perfection. Kevin shares his belief that perfection is simply a continuous improvement process and the importance of this mindset. Having your goals in mind before you start a campaign, he says, helps you feel balance and a sense of accomplishment throughout the process. Kevin goes on to share some immediate goals and priorities in his personal life and how he maintains balance with a hectic schedule. This chat with Kevin Cohen is fraught with tips, tricks, and strategies that can help entrepreneurs like you maintain focus and energy as you move forward.


  • [0:38] Introduction of today’s guest, Kevin Cohen.
  • [0:51] About Kevin’s job and what his mission is.
  • [1:43] Some challenges Kevin has faced in his new position.
  • [3:23] The importance of building a team and getting the results he wants.
  • [4:58] Kevin explains “drainers and drivers”.
  • [8:53] What Kevin does really, really well and how did he figure out how to make it work for him.
  • [10:17] Kevin’s “super ninja” trick.
  • [12:07] Dealing with resistance when your strategy is to “just get stuff done”.
  • [14:10] Kevin shares his immediate goals and focuses.
  • [17:22] How to connect with Kevin.


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