What is a Growth hacker mindset and its 14 habits?

Want to know what the growth hacker mindset is like and their top 14 habits that make them who they are?

Nader Sabry — Growth Hacking
10 min readJan 11, 2021

Growth hacking is on the rise, and at the center of it are growth hackers, but they are a very different breed of talent. Their mindset is different, and their habits even bizarre for many to grasp.

What we will cover

  1. What is a growth hacker?
  2. What does a growth hacker do?
  3. How does a growth hacker use Growth thinking
  4. What is the Growth hacker mindset
  5. 14-Growth hacker habits
  6. Introduction to Growth Thinking
  7. How to get started with growth thinking

Some important question you might have

What is a growth hacker?

A growth hacker is a person who manages the growth hacking process designed to put the least amount of effort and resources to get the biggest Return on Investment as Possible.

What does a growth hacker do?

A growth hacker specializes in managing the growth cycle a three phase process from growth problem to hacking and then scaling it. This also utilizes the T-shaped skills that help a growth hacker execute.

What is the Growth hacker mindset?

The growth hacker mindset is made of four main areas where a growth hacker developers his thinking around. This is based on drivers, reach, tools and decisions. Their decision-making process is based on data-driven decisions.

Growth hackers are a unique breed of talent shaped over the past decade as growth hacking becomes a mainstream disciple. The discipline has a long way to go, especially when it comes to standardization but what brings everything together is the growth hacker mindset.

We will look a bit deeper into what growth hacking is and, more importantly, a growth hacker and their mindset and habits. Mindset and habits are what make skills work, and results merge. In the growth hacking works, this is key. We will also cover the T–shaped skills model, the mindset, and 14 habits of a growth hacker.

What is a growth hacker?

A growth hacker is an expert focused on the growth hacking process. The growth hacking process is where a growth hacker accelerates the growth of an organization. He/she does this via advanced techniques that are usually not employed by their competitors. These skills include things like strategy, marketing, technology, and beyond. Often this is also referred to as the T-shaped skills.

The T-shaped approach is spread across sections of skills that are combined towards a specific skill set. The T-shaped process isn’t the only model but one of the most popular for growth hackers. This brings into play several aspects like:

LEVEL 1 — skills and capabilities that driven by the growth hacker mindset

  1. Front-End Code
  2. Service Design
  3. UX Design
  4. Behavioral Psychology
  5. Stakeholder Management
  6. Augmented / Virtual Reality
  7. Finance
  8. Omnichannel Marketing
  9. Distributed Ledgers

LEVEL 2 — skills and capabilities that driven by the growth hacker mindset

  1. Analytics
  2. Conversion Rate Optimisation
  3. Experiment Design
  4. Funnel Marketing
  5. Automation & APIs
  6. AI & Machine Learning
  7. Branding / Storytelling
  8. Copywriting

LEVEL 3 — skills and capabilities that driven by the growth hacker mindset

  1. Paid Social
  2. Organic Social
  3. SEO/SEM
  4. Tools Marketing
  5. Marketplaces
  6. Sales
  7. Email Marketing
  8. Content Marketing
  9. PR / Influencer
  10. Qualitative Research
  11. Virality
  12. Retention
  13. Mobile Optimisation
  14. Landing Page Creation & Optimisation
  15. Lead Generation
  16. Revenue Testing
  17. User On-Boarding
  18. Lifecycle Marketing

These 35 skills over three levels are what help determine a good vs. a rising growth hacker. This helps growth hacking teams also manage diverse skills across the whole spectrum.

In conclusion, a growth hacker is a person who manages a growth hacking process where they aim to accelerate growth to achieve disproportionate results.

What does a growth hacker do?

Growth hackers focus on what was illustrated in the book Ready set growth hack as the growth cycle. The growth cycle is a three-phase blueprint where growth hackers focus on the following:

  1. What is a growing problem?
  2. How to growth hack it
  3. How to scale that growth hack

At the center of this is experimentation. Although it sounds pretty straightforward, the game had become super sophisticated. Growth hackers find a way that exploits systems or concepts where they find golden nuggets or unseen opportunities others do not see or are unable to exploit.

There are four types of growth hacks they seek to exploit:

  1. Find a limitation — an area not being solved well enough.
  2. Find a gap — avoid not being solved.
  3. Find a hole — an area where its completely dysfunctional
  4. Find a combo — an area where a combination has not been exploited.

So they use the three-phase growth cycle combined with the four types of hacks, but the most critical part is their mindset and habits, which sets them apart. A talented growth hacker will use his or her T–shaped skills to navigate through exploiting these opportunities.

Remember at the center of this is the growth hacker mindset that enables a growth hacker to see and exploit growth hacking opportunities

How does a growth hacker use Growth thinking?

Growth thinking is a design system for growth hackers to visualize and execute their growth hacks systematically. This system is designed to solve some essential challenges growth hackers have always faced:

  1. Visualizing a growth hack to understand it best
  2. How to quickly and effectively improve and optimize
  3. How to take an idea to action quick and low cost
  4. How to see where things have done wrong and why
  5. How to collaborate with others
  6. How to design a growth hack and get others to execute it

Growth hackers use the growth thinking design approach to helping them solve those five key issues. It also helps them accelerate their efforts so they can quickly develop and improve growth hacks. One of the biggest challenges as well which growth thinking solves is the

Learning process. Learning is vital as it helps growth hackers capture failures and success into a system to accelerate exiting growth hacks or develop even bigger and better, more scalable growth hacks. This learning process helps support the T–shaped skills as well.

What is the Growth hacker mindset?

Four main taxonomies determine a growth hacker’s mind: drivers reach, decisions, and tools. The combination of the four forms the underlying idea of aching disproportionate results.

Drivers —

The drivers are the underlying motivations and stimuli that inspire how growth hackers think and take action.


They deeply need to break the rules, as they do not believe in the rules they have not benefited from governing and limiting their way of life. Therefore this underpins their thinking to find a way to break the rules to their benefit.


They are fascinated by digging deeper into how things work by asking the big why questions. This allows them to better understand theories and phenomena to map out their mechanics to manipulate them toward their benefit.

Status quo

The general rules over institutionalization drive their need to challenge the establishments surrounding them. This allows them to break the rules and change the norms of how society around them works.

Reach —

Growth hackers have a goal to reach as many people as possible without the general population knowing how they did it.


They have an extremely focused approach by pinning done abstract problems and creating unique structures to solve them.


They have a resourceful approach where they work with like-minded people and find other cross-functional people to effectively reach their goals.


They focus on creating value with monetization, often trying to reach the masses to make a change.

Decisions —

When hacking growth optimization is the goal to solve at a high-level, there is no one solution to a single problem but finding the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way.


Growth hackers are resourceful; they find simple, fast, and digestible ways to solve problems. One of the challenges for growth hackers is thinking too technically.


They run tests and lots of them to determine the most optimal approach to getting results using all possible avenues.


They make decisions based on data, even if the data might potentially be blinding. Data helps determine the most optimal options.

Tools —

Growth hackers are always seeking new tools, optimizing existing ones, and finding optimal ways of connecting them to get solutions.


For a solution to work, it needs to be automated, and when automated, the probability of scalability is a lot higher when seeking exponential growth.


When finding the right tools and connecting them, the goals are optimizing the way they work together. This holistic approach helps maximize optimization.


Technology enables automation, scalability, and integration, which underpins growth even if you’re a non-tech company.

The mindset of a growth hacker is defined by how he or she solves problems. The elements described above are the most common thinking patterns of growth hackers.

14-Growth hacker habits

Growth hackers have 14 critical habits they work with. They do not work with all of them as a strength at once. You will find a single strength supported by three other habits and the rest for development over time. The 14 habits are:

  1. Openness
  2. Flexibility
  3. No ego
  4. Risk-taking
  5. Fresh perspective
  6. Generosity
  7. Curiosity
  8. Team focused
  9. Listen before action
  10. Cohesive approach
  11. Consensus
  12. Diplomatic
  13. Action driven
  14. Collective win

Remember that these habits help support T-shaped skills.


They use an open approach to gain resources, using them, and find solutions to growth problems. This often is the underpinning factor behind their creativity.


When using an open approach, they work flexibly to solve growth problems knowing they don’t have the exact solution but need to be flexible in finding it.

No ego

They focus on removing their ego from the equation; often, this is challenged by technical thinking — blinding them in finding creative solutions.


They take bold yet calculated risks, often in a progressive manner, to manage unknown facts that are not seen early on.

Fresh perspective

They focus on finding new ways to solve existing problems by finding new solutions not yet attempted or poorly executed.


They are open-handed to negotiate and broker the acquisition of new resources by being generous to open new doors.


They look deep into the whys. This helps them find unseen possibilities not seen by asking excellent questions and often challenging the status quo.

Team focused

They often are challenged with trust, but when they develop their small groups of trusted people, they thrive by forming collective learning and efforts.

Listen before action

They focus on getting useful quality information before taking action to manage their risks and come up with better growth hacks quicker and easier.

Cohesive approach

They focus on developing networks beyond their teams for the exchange of know-how and cross-development opportunities.


They focus on developing a common approach to ensure buy-in and momentum to generate the energy needed to undertake large initiatives.


They often are challenged with being diplomatic, which is key to ensuring relationships supersede technical barriers to get solutions.

Action driven

All their know-how and tools are geared towards taking action, leaving little space for theories that waste time and not get results.

Collective wins

Finding ways that everyone wins in the process, including those directly involved even if their role is minor in the overall outcome.

These 14 habits are specific to growth hackers; they often draw on these habits as their core capability. With the focus on a single superpower among these habits, growth hackers must develop their habits.

Introduction to growth thinking
growth by design, how to thinking design, and growth hack.

GROWTH BY DESIGN — Most Growth Hackers struggle to get traction for new ideas. A lack of guidance and exact next steps are to blame. Imagine if you could grow a new idea from beginning to end, with a framework to move from idea and action in a fast, simple, and low-cost approach. Actioning ideas with precision isn’t easy; with the growth thinking, science-backed design system built by the top minds in growth hacking, it’s a simple, well structured yet creative system that allows you to find growth.

Growth thinking is a fast, easy, and simple way to prototype growth hacks. This enables growth by visualizing a growth hack in abstract and then detailing them into a systematic approach. This makes it easy to develop and improve growth hacks and generate new, better growth hacks.

Benefits of the growth thinking design methodology — 1. From idea to action — accurately and rapidly turn growth hacking ideas into execution quickly and cost-effectively, 2. Think at scale — quickly and effortlessly find methods to take an abstract growth hack, structure it, scale it, and 3. Save time and money — rapidly prototype your growth hacking ideas saving time and money. This methodology uses a design system that Visualization, Systemize, Optimization, helps Rapid development, and instills Collaboration.

How to get started with growth thinking

The methodology and system are based on the book itself. Your starting point is to buy the book, but here is the best part if you buy the book, you’re supported with over $300 in free training support from the quick start to basic skill-building, and the top 10 secrets advance your growth thinking skills.

Buy the book click here.

See the training click here.

Let’s get started!



Nader Sabry — Growth Hacking

Strategist entrepreneur & innovator in space tech, government, & health/wellness. Has raised $20m directly /+$100m indirectly for startups. www.nadersabry.com