The Best Way To Procrastinate On Your Procrastination

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Procrastination is crippling in both business and in life as it prevents you from pursuing your dreams and achieving your full potential. In this video, I discuss how a friend of mine, Britta Aragon from CV Skinlabs recently gave me an incredible book that has helped me and I hope will help you!

 

 

 

7 Things I Suck At That Make Me Great

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I am horrible at more things than I can count. When I was about 10 years old, my parents sent me to play little league baseball at the Con Ed field in downtown Manhattan where I grew up. To this date, I am confident to say I am the worst player that ever donned little man cleats.

Have you ever see those movies when the kid gets up to go into the game and all the other kids start screaming at the coach and begging not to put him in? I was that kid.

The highlight of my career was actually making contact with the ball once. ONCE. It was a foul ball but the feeling sure beat the hell out of probably 74 consecutive at bats without even touching the ball to the bat (or bat to ball… still not sure how it is done). What happened after I hit the foul? I struck out. Hindsight being 20-20… I’m glad I did.

That was my first experience of learning what I sucked at. I HATED it. Now, however, I love it. Why? Well, as far as my business goes, if I don’t have the skill level or time to learn or get good something, I now know to delegate it and move on to something else. So here are 7 things I suck out that make me great:

1)  I Suck At Baseball

OK, by now, both you and I know that I suck at baseball. So why is the great? Because I gave up baseball and proceeded to get pretty damn good at basketball. In fact, until I had to have my hip replaced a few years ago I played almost every day of my life.

Basketball helped me tremendously in more ways than what one would expect. It was an incredible way of taking out my aggression. It became very social. I went out on many dates as a result of women watching me play … I became friendly with a lot of people that became clients and colleagues in my businesses, I met my literary agent (may he rest in peace) indirectly through basketball, and the list goes on. So that’s the great that came out of the suck as far as baseball is concerned.

 2)  I Suck At Working For People

I suck working for people. I did it for about 24 months in total over the last 23 years. Don’t get me wrong… I LOVE learning from people that are better or know more than me. In fact, I LOVE IT (although I’ll admit I didn’t always but I do now.) What I hate, hate, hate is when a superior doesn’t take a suggestion simply out of spite because his (or her) title says he knows more than me. To read more on this, read why I never put my title on my business card.

So, what did I do? I started my own business and started working for myself. The great of the suck is that if I didn’t experience sucking at working for people, I never would have had the pull necessary to work for myself.

 3)  I Suck At Designing

This one is truly funny. When Gary and I started our first business in college, we decided that I would be the designer and he would run the operations side of the business. The result? I sucked at designing. So what happened? I walked into his office one day and asked him if we could switch. When I left his office, he was officially the designer and I took over the operations side of the business.

The result? Gary has not only been the design director (as well as my partner) in all the companies we have had together, but also he has been the design director for some of the largest and most recognized brands on the planet… That was the great of the suck as far as design was concerned.

 4)  I Suck At Reading Books

I am a tremendously slow reader. I love reading but I suck at it from the perspective that it takes me forever to read something. I think it’s because I scrutinize the text in such a fashion that I must understand every word. If I don’t know a word, I look it up, if I don’t understand the context I re-read it to think it through, I am a certified nut.

So what did I do? I started writing instead. First it was scripts and screenplays, then it became business plans…then it was articles… then PDF Reports and white papers…then blog posts…then books.  Thus far, I have probably written thousands of pages of literature and I am not stopping any time soon. If you are a frequent reader of Hustle Branding, you know I wrote a book called How To Ruin A Business Without Really Trying. The book highlights some of the most prevalent mistakes entrepreneurs make when starting a business for the first time. I used myself and my stories as the lab rat. I am happy to say that I have actually helped people by learning through my failures.

I have also found a way now to go through tons of books a year… through listening. Since I have been turned on to Audible, I go through a book a week. So, because I suck a reading (eyes to paper), I have become great at listening to books.

 5)  I Suck At Complacency

I am never satisfied. I suck at satisfaction. I am never satiated in my thirst for MORE. The good of the suck? … Well, I keep it moving like the energizer bunny. I never quit. I never ever ever think I have learned it all, thus I love people who know more than me (like I mentioned above). My thirst for reaching a goal that keeps setting new markers in the distance will enable me to learn forever.

Speaking of thirst for knowledge…I have a friend. His name is Skip Prichard. Insanely good person and one of the sharpest people I have ever come across. He has accomplished a tremendous amount in life because of his thirst for knowledge. He reads a book a day. THAT IS INSANE. I suggest you check out his blog on leadership. It is awesome.

 6)  I Suck At Dependence

I suck at most forms of dependence. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE working with others. I just suck at having the patience to work with people who don’t love working with others.

There are very few people who will want to get my agenda accomplished as much as I do. Gary is on the list, my future wife (who I don’t think I’ve met) is probably another (or at least she will be I hope.) Because of this, the great of the suck is that if there is a way to do it myself, as opposed to waiting for a person who doesn’t have the same vested interest in accomplishing the particular task at hand, I will do it myself.

 7)  I Suck At Jumping

Although there is plenty more I suck at, here is the last one in this post. I suck at jumping… well, at least I do now Why? Because I replaced my hip and can’t jump like I used to. What is great about the suck? Well, I am training right now to hopefully be back on the basketball court again soon…only I won’t be jumping. I will work on my shot and play the perimeter. For all you ballers out there, you know what I am talking about. For those who don’t, either Google playing the perimeter  or take my word for it that there is a great in the suck.

OK. Now your turn. What do you suck at that makes you great?

Have a great day!

MJ

 

 

5 Excuses For Taking a Risk in Business

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Looking back on my life I realize that taking risks in my personal life (and the lessons I have learned) have proven to been equally as important as taking a risk in business.  The following story explains how I have looked in the eye of risk and won the stare down.

When I was 8 years old I took my very first real risk in life – a risk that almost got me killed. At the time I had no idea of what the word risk meant. All I knew was my parents and friends would always tell me, Don’t do this or don’t to do that. Being that young, I always heeded their advice. There was always a curiosity, but the consequences just seemed to be too much.

I began to realize that most of the people telling me to do these things had never actually gone through the experience themselves, as they were simply just repeating what they had been told, despite the fact that they would say it with such conviction as if they had done it themselves. I began thinking that, if nobody is going through the experience, then how do they really know what the outcome will be? As I thought through this more, a rebellious little boy was born.

Going Off The Deep End

I remember this day still so clearly and it would be one that I will never forget.

I was about nine years old. My dad signed me up for swimming lessons every summer – he believed knowing how to swim was a necessity in life and I actually started to like it once I got the hang of it.

The swim instructors would always say, ‘Do not go into the deep end without an instructor.’ I would think to myself the other kids seemed to be doing just fine – nobody was yelling for their life or screaming uncontrollably, so I decided to venture to that end of the pool. I was in the deep end and everything seemed fine. Whats was the big deal, I asked myself?  After I had been in that area of the pool for a few minutes I decided to look down under the water, and the floor of the pool seemed so far away.

My mind started getting the best of me and I desperately went into panic mode flailing my arms and yelling, ‘I’m drowning! I’m Drowning!‘  The instructor jumped into the pool and yanked me out. I was exhausted and shaking like a leaf. The next day I thought about what had happened, and one thing kept bothering me about the incident – I was swimming fine and only panicked once I looked down. Why? I had always been able to stand in the water – my safety net, so to speak. It was part of what made me confident to swim – my comfort level. Once that was removed, my confidence was gone even though I was swimming seconds before the incidence.

What I learned was that;

  • Taking a risk is the only way to experience new things – Perspective!
  • The risk itself is not the issue. It’s your approach to it.
  • Curiosity, not evasiveness leads to progress
  • Risk taking builds confidence – successful outcomes and failures

Since that incident, I have always approached risk differently. Do I still get butterflies? Absolutely! I have learned to utilize that experience in business – after all, whether it’s business or personal, it’s a human challenge.

Over the years working with companies and creating my own, I’ve come to understand that taking a risk in business is the only way for it to become successful. This ability is not something endowed to you or something you’re born with – It’s your ability to move from curiosity to courage.

Today is the best day to understand if taking a risk in business is something you’re doing enough of. Risk doesn’t mean death – it means taking another step into a place that you may not totally understand but believe it will be for the betterment for your business.

Are you a Risk Taker or a Risk Faker?

Taking a risk in business does not come without certain challenges that you will have to confront along the way – Here’s 5 common excuses you will have to meet head-on with tenacity and courage;

  1. You will have doubts
  2. You will want to turn back
  3. You will question yourself
  4. You will look for excuses
  5. You will want to quit too soon

We will all go through these stages when taking a risk in business, it’s normal. The question becomes, are you creating mountains out mole hills? That’s our defense mechanism – make it much bigger than it is and you won’t do it. I challenge you to look at it for what it really is and make a personal mandate of seeing your business goals through. Taking a business risk can, and will be the reason you succeed. A little courage will take you a long way.

If you’re not living closer to the edge, then you’re taking up too much room :-]

Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Hungry!

Gary

 

When Trust Is A 4-Letter Word

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Before I started my first business in 1991 my father gave me one piece of advice.

He told me, “Ninety-nine point nine percent of all the people you will meet in business are full of sh*t… and most of them would sell their souls for a dollar.”

The rest, he said, I would have to figure out for myself. Continue reading “When Trust Is A 4-Letter Word”

6 Reasons Why I Encourage You To Fall Flat On Your Face

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For any of you who know me, you are aware that, if you haven’t had the fortunate opportunity of falling flat on your face, I very much hope you do sooner as opposed to later. In fact, the more I care about you, the sooner I hope you get there so you can go through the experience.

There are tremendous advantages in both your business and in your personal life to falling flat on your face. Continue reading “6 Reasons Why I Encourage You To Fall Flat On Your Face”

The “Just Do It” Effect: The Power Of The World’s Most Inspiring Slogan

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Some of the most powerful pieces of advice I have ever heard are very simple but extremely powerful. The first bit of advice was something I was told a very long time ago and at first took offense to, “Keep it simple stupid”. It turned out later to be a phrase that has provided me a blueprint for how I try to live my life.

My entire focus in life is to try to keep things as clear as humanly possible and to try to simplify the complicated to the best of my ability. Continue reading “The “Just Do It” Effect: The Power Of The World’s Most Inspiring Slogan”

Don’t Get Ready, Stay Ready! Create Your Luck Factor!

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How many times have you heard someone say that he or she is so lucky? Of course we’ve all heard that phrase plenty of times. In a lot of cases ‘true luck’ does seem to appear in the most unexpected places.

Business luck, on the other hand, at least in my eyes, has more to do with being prepared at the right time when opportunity comes knocking. Continue reading “Don’t Get Ready, Stay Ready! Create Your Luck Factor!”

The 1 Word That Determines Both The Success & Failure of Every Entrepreneur

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The minds of entrepreneurs are quite different from most. There are certain traits we have that enable us to succeed, and others that lead us to certain failure.

There is one word, however, that every entrepreneur has which has the same power to create success as it does to destroy dreams … It is a trait that all entrepreneurs have for better or for worse to one extent or another: Continue reading “The 1 Word That Determines Both The Success & Failure of Every Entrepreneur”

4 Ways To Tell If You Are A Know-It-All or a Learn-It-All

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Have you ever had the experience of dealing with a know-it-all? If you have, you know it can be an extremely exhausting experience. It is one thing to be confident, but quite another to be an a****** …  I leave it to you to fill in the blanks.

Personally, listening to a know-it-all seems to give me a sense that the person is not self confident – despite the fact that is nearly always their primary intention. Continue reading “4 Ways To Tell If You Are A Know-It-All or a Learn-It-All”

9 Reasons Why You Don’t Deserve Success

18. 9 Reasons Why You Don’t Deserve Success

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If you are a frequent reader of Hustle Branding, you know that I am a strong believer in telling people what NOT to do, as opposed to the other way around.

There are many reasons for this, one main one being that every business has their own unique set of experiences, so trying to give some universal formula to success, in my opinion, is futile. What I can tell you are common thread mistakes entrepreneurs make that I have learned from my own experiences, in hopes that it can give others some better insight so that they may avoid some of the most prevalent mistakes I have made which, in turn should greatly increase their chances of success.

Here are 9 reasons why you don’t deserve success:

1.  You Expect It

There is no current formula that I know of to achieve success. I have heard people say success is the intersection between preparation and luck and I think that is very much true in many cases that I have experienced. Nearly every person I know who has achieved some level of success caught some breaks along the way, much in the same way that they jumped over many hurdles as well.

When someone “expects” success, I believe they are focusing way too much on the end goal without appreciating the journey and, since there is no current formula to success that I know of, I don’t understand how someone can expect it. I know red and blue make purple, blue and yellow make green, but I still have yet to find a universal formula for success.  Most people look at success as a noun. I think of it as a verb … a state of achievement that has no ending point. I only like ending points that indicate the starting point of something else, much like a goal. Once I achieve it, I set the next one, and so on and so on.

2. You Think You Deserve It

(Hence the title) Those who think success is “owed to them” have it all wrong. Nobody owes anyone anything. You have to create it. I have been unsuccessful at many things thus far but I am still putting in the effort. I don’t worry about what I can’t control. I used to, but not anymore. I can do one of two things if I don’t succeed. One option is to bitch and moan and complain and say, “That’s not fair, I deserved it”… the other option is to keep my mouth shut, refocus and try again. I have found that the latter works much better… for me at least.

 3.  You Are Working Just As Hard As Others Who Are Achieving Success

 One of the most important posts on this blog (in my opinion) is a post I wrote about the difference between working hard and working smart. As they say, quality works at a thousand times the pace of quantity. I would even go as far to say that working hard sometimes gets in the way as it becomes some twisted justification that you will benefit because of your effort. I love Tim Ferris’ thinking in The Four Hour Work Week because I think it really opened people’s eyes. I have to admit, however, I am not even remotely close to a 4-hour work week (let alone a 4-hour work day) however I do think that I have learned to pack in my days with a much higher level of quality and efficiency than I used to.

4.  The World Gave You A Bad Hand

 If you are a student of success you will notice that most entrepreneurs and successful business people did so out of necessity. Some of the most successful people on Earth  came here as immigrants with nothing. They say success comes out of either desperation or inspiration. I think the former far outweighs the latter.

Some of the people I admire the most are the owners of the corner bodegas that you see in cities like New York. Some may look at these tiny nickel and dime stores as eyesores but what they don’t realize is that the majority of the owners of these stores came here with nothing and are now heroes to their families.

I met a friend of mine at one of those bodegas one day. My friend is retired and was an extraordinarily successful entrepreneur having had an outerwear company worth  several hundred million dollars. When he told me how much the owner of this little sandwich shop made a year I almost choked on the sandwich. Success looks us in the face every day, many times each day without even knowing it.

5.  You Have Not Struggled

 If you are successful and have not struggled I can guarantee one of three things. Either you inherited your money… got a lot of help, or you were extremely lucky. I have yet to find a person who has just stumbled on success without a struggle. I read some fabricated article on someone the other day who was asked about how they had gotten to the point they had in their career. The person responded by saying he had been an executive his entire career. That is the most obnoxious and bogus statement I have ever heard of in my life. He was as much born an executive about as much as Michael Phelps was born the best swimmer in the world.

Note: To view all articles in this blog on startups, click startup advice

6.  You Are Not Adept At Handling Success

I used to say I would make my money to shut everyone up and show them how great I was. If anyone achieves any level of success while possessing that mentality, they are setting themselves up to crash and burn. I know this from experience. I used to think I had all the friends in the world… until I lost my business. Then I realized I had about three, Gary being one of them.  Don’t ever expect money to change you… or it will.

7.  Because Your Ego Tells You So

 I have told you about people I know who think they are successful because of the money they have. One thing you will notice if you haven’t already is that self-made men and women walk a lot more than they talk. Why? Because they are used to it, that’s why. Ego’s, however have a funny way of clouding memories, if you have one for too long. I have noticed that when ego’s rise, personalities tend to deflate. I love confidence, but despise ego’s, despite the fact that I used to be the most egotistical fool. In realization, it wasn’t ego after all, it was insecurity disguised as obnoxious confidence. Ego also has a funny way of hurting you in business as well. If you don’t believe me, click here.

8.  Your Definition Of Success Is Wrong

To me, success is doing what I want, when and where (and how) I want to do it. Money is but a byproduct, that is if your definition of success is material. For many, teaching, helping and/or giving yourself to a group or cause is success. Personally, I have always said the same thing. “I want to have enough money not to worry about money.”  Why? … So I can do what I want to do, when, where and how I want to do it.

9.  You Don’t Love What You Do

Like I mentioned above, I want to do what I want to do. If that requires money, then, again, that becomes a small part of a much larger equation. I know more miserable multi-millionaires than I care to know. I know some cool ones too. The difference that I have noticed is that the miserable ones talk more about their money and less about their passions. Personally, I have to love what I do no matter what. I love writing and expressing the lessons I have learned in my time on Earth and sharing that experience with others. Nobody is going to pay me a million dollars to write this post. At the same time, however, if I do make some money from something I write for commercial purposes, even better, as it will afford me the time to write more and, like I said, I love to write.

Have a great day!

MJ

6 Powerful Lessons I learned From Failure and 18 Quotes To Support Them

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I have grown to love failure, although I’ll be the first to admit it kicked my a*s for many years. I remember the helpless and empty feeling of losing my first business and having to put both the business and myself through bankruptcy. It was absolutely horrible.

I remember losing the house, the office, the warehouse, the car, & putting the furniture on the front lawn for people to take it as I didn’t even have the money to put it in storage Continue reading “6 Powerful Lessons I learned From Failure and 18 Quotes To Support Them”

10 Reasons You Should Never Put An Expiration Date On Your Dreams

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When we think of dreams, it often times seems like some far away reality that we’re in constant pursuit of. We tend to visualize our dreams as fairy-tales that are void of challenges and failures. Reality just gets in the way of a perfect picture of successful bliss.

Do we ever visualize heart-ache or setbacks? No, not really! … But I guess that would be more like a nightmare! Continue reading “10 Reasons You Should Never Put An Expiration Date On Your Dreams”

4 Words That Will Destroy Your Life (& Business)

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In business, as in life, it is a necessity to pursue our dreams, go after everything we want, and leave nothing on the table. Unfortunately, there is one, four-letter word that prevents us from carrying through with going after what we want.

It is one of the most crippling four-letter words we have in the English vocabulary… FEAR. Continue reading “4 Words That Will Destroy Your Life (& Business)”