The Book Of Mistakes- 9 Secrets To Creating A Successful Future

Screen Shot 2018-02-14 at 12.50.51 PM

I recently finished an incredible book written by a dear friend, Skip Prichard.  If you are a frequent follower of myself or Hustle Branding you know how much I believe in the insane benefit of learning through mistakes. Naturally, when I learned of the book’s title, The Book of Mistakes I was tremendously excited to read it. Needless to say, it did not disappoint!

Enjoy the video, let me know your thoughts and I very much encourage you to add this to your MUST READ list. You can thank me later :-)

Have a great day & Hustle Hard!



The Only Reason To Start A Business

Hustle Branding- Kind Snacks

The life of an entrepreneur is extremely challenging. You sacrifice time with your friends & your family, you are on call 24 hours a day and the risk is extremely high. You put all your time, money and effort, all your blood sweat and tears… for what?

A few weeks ago, I did an article in Forbes with David K. Williams and Mary Michelle Scott called The Journey To Selling A Billion KIND Bars 

The article is about Daniel Lubetzky, CEO and Founder of Kind Snacks who has written an incredible book called Do The Kind Thing,  which every aspiring entrepreneur should read. Not because it is one of the most incredible entrepreneurial stories you will ever come across (which it is), but to understand the power of starting a business with a purpose.

The biggest mistake people make in my opinion is trying to start a business for the sole purpose of making money. Money is not a purpose and starting a business without a higher purpose can lead you down a very dark path. Many people (myself included) have made this tragic mistake.

In order to make it all worthwhile there is one ingredient you need that will carry you over valleys and allow you to face the daily challenges with a never give up and never give in mentality.

I encourage you to read Daniel’s book, Do The Kind Thing and find the ingredient you need to start your business and make it last.

Have a great day… & don’t forget to HUSTLE HARD!



A Must-Read Book To Avoid Entrepreneur’s Burnout

Hustle Branding- Entrepreneur's Burnout Burnout

If you are a follower of Hustle Branding you are aware that Gary and I believe there should be extreme hustle in everything you do in your journey as an entrepreneur.

In today’s video, I discuss a new book that changed my perspective not on the hustle itself, but rather on how to prepare yourself to sustain the hustle. I have seen more people than I care to admit become ‘successful’ from the outside, only to wither up and die because they never took care of themselves on the inside during their journey.

We all think we are invincible (I know I did) however there will be times for all of us when life takes an unexpected turn. It is at those times that you need to have developed a very strong foundation to be able to weather whatever storm comes your way. This book helped me  understand the extreme necessity of taking care of myself from the inside-out… physically, mentally and spiritually. It also helped me re-evaluate the true meaning of why I am on the journey in the first place.

This life-changing book, And I Breathed,  was sent to me as a gift from the author, Jason Garner, the former CEO of Global music for Live Nation when he learned of an illness in my family that turned my life upside down last year. Both Jason and the magical wisdom in this book got me through some of the darkest hours in my life as I spent 4 months every day at the hospital watching someone I care about the most fighting for his life.

I encourage you to read Jason’s book, and apply the wisdom in the pages to re-gain control of what is most important to you.

Have a great day… & don’t forget to HUSTLE HARD!



Daymond John’s, ‘Power of Broke’

Hustle Branding- The Power of Broke

Many people believe that the main ingredient necessary to get a business off the ground is money. In today’s video I discuss Daymond John’s new upcoming release, The Power of Broke which offers incredible insight into the the hidden power that entrepreneurs have at their disposal which unfortunately they do not recognize.

Daymond uses case studies to highlight some of the most incredible success stories of entrepreneurs that had absolutely nothing to do with money and everything to do with utilizing resources and hustle to get their businesses off the ground.

I also discuss why his two previous books, Display of Power and The Brand Within should be required reading for every aspiring entrepreneur and small business to properly prepare you for the journey ahead.

Have a great day… & don’t forget to HUSTLE HARD!


Don’t Create A Startup, Create A Conspiracy!


Today it seems like we’re in a churn and burn state of mind. I look across the myriad of start-ups that pop up every second on the second, and begin to think that speed has become a strategy over quality. To a certain degree that strategy works, but it works at the expense of quality and differentiation.

Building on that strategy is not a failure but a bad case of self inflicted poor decisions that starts off as a bad cold and ends ultimately in death. A slow death is better because the pain is negligible – for most people.

Success hinges on investment, and return relies on compounding. The entrepreneurs that would rather go the slow death route are investing time, money and resources that slowly but surely kill off their companies. Those mis-guided decisions compounded over time return nothing, nada and eventually end in despair.

The Entrepreneur’s Mission

 To avoid sickness and hopefully death we must start at the beginning and ask, “Why do entrepreneurs (you) become entrepreneurs?”

After reading Peter Thiel’s book Zero to One, he stated, that the function of an entrepreneur is ‘to conspire to change the world.’ Those are big shoes to fill for anyone to get their mind around. I know that wasn’t my frame of mind when I started my first business. Was it yours – is it yours? I probably would have folded up the tent long ago and trekked back home to a cozy 9-to-5 – which I’ve done before.

On that trek (process) I lost something and gained something else. I learned how to do what everyone else was doing (loss), and simultaneously learned that agreement by large committee is strategic dilution. In other words, if enough piranhas pick at something (self interests) long enough an idea goes from being a living and breathing process to a carcass with only remnants left of the original idea.

Obviously there are exceptions but how many brands keep the process an inspirational journey throughout.

Note: To view articles for entrepreneurs starting a business, click help for entrepreneurs 

Creating A Conspiracy

 I learned that entrepreneurs start businesses because they believe things can be done differently and ultimately better. The art of bringing an idea to market without dilution is why entrepreneurs exist. So yes, conspiracy is a good word to use when talking about entrepreneurs.

No matter whether you’re a mom and pops startup, or the next Facebook, your modus operandi is the same – to create new thinking clear of traditional thinking. When it’s all said and done, a startup’s survival and eventual growth depends on continuous radical (I stop using disruptive) thinking.

This thinking starts with a question that entrepreneurs must ask, what do we do exceptionally well compared to our competition? That’s where the conspiracy starts.

–       Apple

–       GoPro

–       Under Armour

–       AirBnB

–       Facebook

–       Tesla

–       Virgin

–       And many others

These brands did not start as startups. They were(are) conspirators. They dominated a niche with a new way of thinking, and then scaled. Business plan done!

Tom Peters once said, “Why would you plan to be like someone else one year from now today – to be a year behind?”

Amen Tom!

The Takeaway

 Be a trailblazer! To copy is not a form of flattery; it’s a means to a disastrous end. Iteration is good – if it’s significant. Take rational big risks. Don’t be afraid to fall flat on your face – your face will get used to it. There was a point you couldn’t walk, ride a bike… you fell, but you also learned how to advance.

Creating and building a conspiracy takes the same process!

*NOTE: You will notice Daymond & MJ are offering 6 free chapters below from the 3 books. I encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity as we will not offer this forever! A Lot of people get upset when we take an offer down so don’t let that be you ’cause I’m telling you now! :-)

Stay hungry, & HUSTLE HARD!


A Look Inside The Extraordinary Hustle of Shark Tank’s Daymond John

Hustle Branding- Daymond John's Hustle

I have always known Daymond to possess extreme hustle, a trait I believe is essential for the success of every entrepreneur. A few years back, however, when I started doing some things with Daymond again I noticed that his hustle had even increased and I wasn’t quite sure why.

Why would someone who doesn’t need to hustle anymore increase his hustle?

While there are many different reasons why people hustle, I believe hustle is inside the DNA of every true entrepreneur. Just because you start a business does not mean you are an entrepreneur as many people try the entrepreneurial route only to realize it was not for them.

Entrepreneurs go through far more valleys than peaks and it is the hustle inside them that pushes them to never give up and never give in. That does not mean entrepreneurs don’t stop to re-gather, re-assess and re-strategize. It is well documented that Daymond did that a number of times before finally correcting his mistakes and finding his way to the other side.

While many entrepreneurs have initial hustle, I believe in order to keep the hustle the reasons why you hustle change. That is where I found the answer to these questions I was asking myself…

Why does Daymond keep hustling… & why in the world is he even hustling harder now when he clearly doesn’t have to?

Let’s look at 3 types of hustle Daymond has possessed and the type of hustle he has that keeps re-inventing his need to hustle even more today than ever before.

1) The Hustle To Secure Your Mask First

Any entrepreneur worth his or her own salt will tell you the importance of securing the mask tightly around you before securing the mask around other people. The reason is simple… you can’t help anyone if you can’t help yourself.

Back when I met Daymond 20 years ago, he didn’t even have a full set of samples. To go from that point to where he is now takes such insane hustle I can write a book about it. Luckily, I don’t have to, since he beat me to the punch and told the whole story in his first book, Display of Power which should be required reading for every entrepreneur.

While his hustle in the beginning may have been more for monetary reasons (as I believe it should have been), I believe his hustle now is for different reasons.

2) The Hustle To Be The Best of The Best

One big reason for Daymond’s hustle today is that he has a tremendous appetite to be the best of the best in the branding world.

It is important to note that this ‘shark-like appetite’ (pardon the pun) to be the best does not come from a yearning for the praise of others, but rather because it is a demand he puts on himself to constantly elevate his game.

Branding is his stomping ground, he owns it, and he hustles harder than anyone I know to learn more every day.  He has a passion to create great brands, make good brands great and make great brands even greater.

3) Hustling To Help Others

Today, I notice a huge motivator for Daymond’s hustle is how much he genuinely loves seeing other people succeed around him. Now that he has secured his mask financially so to speak, he has the opportunity to help others experience the joy of success. That is one of the traits I admire the most about him.

I remember I took a ride to Baltimore with him this summer to visit someone he was mentoring and, for a good stretch of the ride he was talking about how excited he was to be in a position to help others.

I sit in a meeting once a week with Daymond and his team (if Daymond isn’t traveling) and Daymond is so proud of the wins as he sees how it is changing lives. Not just the lives of the people in the room, but the lives of the people who each department represents. In a given meeting, one leader from one division may be talking about a win that helped 50 people. Go around the room and the numbers add up.

Daymond is making a lot of people successful, however he never takes the credit as he always gives it to the team. Yes, of course the team deserves it… but so does he.

4) Extreme Hustle= Little Sleep

I normally go to sleep around 1130 and wake up around 5am. I’ve tried to cut the hours but I can’t. Many times when reach out to Daymond, I’ll see his response in the morning and notice he sent the reply around 2 or 3 in the morning… and then I see him doing his entrepreneur roll call at 5am! (If you don’t know about his entrepreneur roll call follow him on Facebook here.)

How in the world can someone get 2-3 hours of sleep and still keep it moving without skipping a beat?

I think you know the answer to that… HUSTLE

The Wrap Up

Most entrepreneurs learn to delegate responsibilities as their businesses grow however no entrepreneur can ever delegate his or her own hustle.

Hustle, in my opinion, is the secret ingredient, “the fire” that keeps the dream going within every entrepreneur. If that fire goes out, you will never have that secret ingredient to push you through the stumbling blocks and overcome the bumps, lumps, scrapes and bruises to come out the other side.

Do you have a quick story of hustle you can share that may help someone reading this post?

Have a great day & HUSTLE HARD!


2 Required Ingredients Every Startup Entrepreneur Must Have To Achieve Any Goal


I recently watched a very inspiring video of Denzel Washington speaking to a group of aspiring actors at a theater. Denzel was discussing with them the 2 components necessary to achieve any goal. It is the same 2 ingredients that are expressed in Napoleon Hill’s, Think & Grow Rich, The Magic of Thinking Big and through the thoughts and expressions of many great leaders today.

Though I cater this post to the startup entrepreneur for the purposes of our Hustle Branding audience, these ingredients can be used for any goal whether personal or business.

Have a great day… & don’t forget to HUSTLE HARD!


The 1 Critical Question That Entrepreneurs Must Answer To Be Successful


In this video, I talk about a very important question that many businesses and startups have trouble answering. I consider this question a very important one in building a successful business.

The majority of the answers come back as a laundry list of what they do. Of course, this response does not answer the most critical question facing a businesses  success and its eventual differentiation proposition. Ultimately, we all have to answer this question – because if we don’t our customer will surely do it for us.

Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Hungry!




The Entrepreneur’s Definition of Murphy’s Law


The power of Murphy’s Law and, most importantly, whether it can hold you back or help move you forward in your entrepreneurial journey all depends upon your definition and perspective of the word.

In today’s post, I discuss the entrepreneur’s definition of Murphy’s law, and how viewing it through the proper lens will allow you to not only prevent it from holding you back, but also give you power over it so you can make it work for you to achieve your goals.


Have a great day!




2 Must-Read Books For Every Entrepreneur That I Almost Never Read!


I think every great entrepreneur has certain books that he or she thinks have played an integral part in achieving his (or her) goals and dreams. In today’s post I discuss two books which have greatly influenced me and why I stubbornly refused to read them for such a long time.



In the comment section below tell me about the book the has most influenced you and why. I’d love to hear from you!


Have a great day!



7 Key Factors Every Entrepreneur Should Consider Before Throwing In The Towel


packers-dont-throw-in-the-towel1bIn last week’s post, I shot a video discussing the battle of fight vs flight when entrepreneurs face adversity. Today I want to discuss 7 key factors every entrepreneur should consider before he or she decides to throw in the towel.

Though I don’t believe an entrepreneur should ever quit, I do believe however, that there are a number of reasons why a company may want to stop, re-assess their situation and re-gather.

A friend and former colleague, Daymond John from ABC’s, Shark Tank did this a number of times with his clothing brand FUBU. He shut down FUBU a number of times to re-gather and come back with a new plan. The result? … He finally got it right and now has shipped over 7 billion dollars to date. More on Daymond and his creative hustle, here.

In my opinion, you have to put your company through a litmus test to determine whether you have what it takes to continue, or whether it may be time to re-think, re-structure and change your plan.

Here are 7 Things every entrepreneur should consider before throwing in the towel.

1) Proof Of Concept

Many people believe disruptive products or services are the key to the kingdom. The problem with disruption, however, is that if you are being disruptive, you are most likely trying to create a market that is not yet proven, thus you have to establish the proof of concept in a new and unproven market.

Proof of concept is quite simply, evidence that there is a customer base for what you are selling. 99% of companies are not disruptive even though they may think they may be. Being innovative and being disruptive are completely different. The following is the Wikipedia definition for disruptive innovation:

A disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology.

Take a look at your brand and establish whether what you have created has a proof of concept.

If you have established a proof of concept (or you are entering a market that has already showed proof of concept) then I would advise against throwing in the towel. Perhaps you need to work on your differentiation, namely, what sets you apart from your competitors.

2) Traction

Much like proof of concept shows there is a market for what you are selling, traction shows that, not only is there a market for what you are selling, but that the market actually wants YOUR product or service compared to (or in addition) to your competition.

Too many people establish their product or service without the customer in mind. This is a huge mistake. I wrote a post about it called, How To  Brand Like An Idiot.

Developing traction doesn’t mean you need to put your product in a thousand stores, it simply means you have to put it in enough stores to show that your a product or service is something the market has a need for. More simply put, it provides further proof there is a customer for what you are selling.

If you have developed some traction, I would advise against throwing in the towel.

3) Distribution

After you have developed traction in the market, you need to expand your distribution enough to show that your product or service is scalable enough to make a living (and hopefully more). If your market is too small to make a living on, then you may need to re-think and re-strategize and develop a product or service that reaches a larger demographic.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean you have to create a product or service for a large demographic. Many entrepreneurs do extremely well with a very small market size however the smaller your market, the larger your margins should be on what you are selling. Which brings me to the next factor…

4) Profit

To reiterate, you don’t need a huge market in order to have a successful brand. There are many brands that have a small market and flourish because what they are selling has a high price ticket.  Someone who makes 1000$ profit on every sale and supplies 100 stores makes $100,000. A company, on the other hand, who makes 100$ on each sale needs to supply 1000 stores to recognize the same profit.

If you have a product or service that has good margins, have already established proof of concept, gained some traction and established some distribution, I would advise against throwing in the towel.

5) Revenue

The same math applies to revenue. If you sell 1 widget to 1000 stores for 1$, your sales are $1000. If you sell 2000 widgets to only 1 store for 1$ your sales are double even though you only supply one store and your competitor sells 1000 stores.

Whether your product or service is low ticket or high ticket, if you keep an eye on the margins to make sure your sales are above your costs and there is enough revenue to show the market wants what you are offering, I would recommend against throwing in the towel.

6) Brand Recognition

If you are a marketing driven company, increased distribution and revenue should increase brand recognition.

It normally takes a lot of hard work and effort to establish brand recognition. The more brand recognition you have, the less inclined you should be to throw in the towel.

Brand recognition creates the one word that every business loves… licensing. Licensing, in my opinion is the entrepreneur’s trifecta… It allows them to have someone else help grow their brand, spend the money to grow it and pay them a fat royalty payment at the end of the year …  I will talk about the value of licensing over the next few weeks.

If you have established any level of brand recognition, I would recommend against throwing in the towel.

7) Hip-Pocket Clients

Take a look at your customer base and take a look at those customers who are in your hip pocket. Hip pocket customers are those customers who support you no matter what. Remember, 40 customers in your hip pocket are worth a heck of a lot more than 400 customers who will drop you the moment your sales slow down.

If you have a good enough supply of hip pocket customers, I would recommend you don’t throw in the towel just yet.

The Wrap-Up

Take a close look at these factors above. If you have a number of these on the list checked off, there should be a way to continue on your path to success. Remember, every entrepreneur is going to come across a million obstacles in his or her journey. The key is to know when to keep pushing, compared to when to regather and re-assess.

What challenges have you been through that have made you want to throw in the towel?

What did you do to overcome those challenges?

Have a great day!



The Entrepreneur’s Dilemma: A Case study of Fight vs. Flight


Every entrepreneur will invariably have times when they think the cards are stacked up against them so high that their chances of turning things around are slim to none.

In today’s video, I discuss billion dollar giant Ecko Unlimited (Marc Ecko’s clothing brand), and BNW (my and Gary’s first clothing brand), and how different perspectives between the two produced two drastically different outcomes.

This is the first of a 2-part series of posts which will discuss how entrepreneurs react when dealing with adversity.

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


Have a great day!


How To Be A Master Entrepreneur


Black+beltscI recently finished Robert Greene’s book, Mastery, yet another master-piece of the author who brought us The 48 Laws Of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law and many others.

If you know me or are familiar with N2ITIV, you know that I  believe there is no such thing as an expert  (let alone a master) however, that being said, there was a very strong point that he drove home which I think is essential for every entrepreneur to know.

In order to master a skill, Greene concluded that it takes roughly 10,000 hours. If you include distractions, that amounts to approximately 9-10 years, assuming that’s pretty much all you do.

Therefore, how much time does it take to be a master entrepreneur?

How To Become A Master Entrepreneur

In my opinion, there are two answers to that question. The first answer is, quite simply, NEVER. It simply ain’t gonna happen. The other answer I have is also quite simple… 10,000 hours (or 9-10 years).

If you are an entrepreneur you should see that there appears to be a major flaw with that answer because being an entrepreneur requires quite a bit more than learning (or mastering) one particular skill-set or trade. The fact is that an entrepreneur must deal with a cross section of multiple trades and skills on a daily basis.

So how can you become a master entrepreneur in 10,000 hours?

Again, there is only one answer… working with other masters. Let me flesh this out a bit using a personal example.

The most recent project I have been working on is in a space that requires 5 main components:

 1)   A sales and marketing component

2)   A branding and product development component

3)   A complex financial component

4)   A legal component with heavy IP emphasis

5)   A software and coding component

In order to make sure each of the components are handled to the absolute best of their ability, I need the help of not one but 5 masters.

Again, I need to mention that I absolutely hate words like mastery, expert and/or guru HOWEVER, having a tremendous amount of respect for Robert Greene’s work and, being in total agreement with the point he is trying to make, I will make an exception in this case…

OK, back to my current venture…

The People Who Make Me Masterful

From the 5 components listed above, my new venture is in need of 5 such masters. Fortunately, I have four partners who fill 4/5 of the equation:

The first person is me. My mastery is sales and marketing and, fortunately, I have far exceeded 10,000 hours in that area.

The next master is Gary. Gary has a very extensive background in branding and product development having not only run companies with me, but also having run branding and product development for some of the largest and well known brands in the world. (23 years of experience altogether)

The next master is Big John, who I highlighted in my recent article on how to overcome fear. John has an extensive financial background, having worked on Wall Street on a very high level for well over 20 years.

Our fourth master, Ed is an attorney with an extensive background in IP law, and handles the legal work for some of the largest brands in music and entertainment. He also has 25+ years in this field.

72 Years?

If I were to try to handle the responsibilities myself, according to Greene, I would need a minimum of 40 years until I could be masterful enough to handle each area. Couple that with the software and coding component, I would have to be a minimum age of 72 before I could even begin to start a business with the mastery of these 5 areas (50 years out of college).

Hopefully you see where I am going. The only way to be a masterful entrepreneur is to have partners who are masters at what you need, or at least hire people who are masters in a given field.

According to Greene, the road to being a master is first observation, then apprenticeship, and finally, practice. If you are an entrepreneur or have aspirations to become a successful entrepreneur you need to know that there is no such thing as a master entrepreneur who achieves success on the efforts and expertise (and mastery) of him or herself alone.

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

What Do You Need To Be  A Master Entrepreneur

Here’s a good rule to follow. Look at your business. Most of my businesses have consisted of 6 areas:

1-    Design

2-    Branding & product development

3-    Marketing & public relations

4-    Sales

5-    Financial

6-    Production

 Look at your company and break down what areas your company needs. Then figure out what can be done in-house and what can be done through outside help. Take those areas and make sure you have each department run by someone who has passed Greene’s criteria.

I know what you may be thinking… I am a startup entrepreneur ya dummy! I don’t have 10 minutes let alone 10 years, nor can I hire anyone with 10 years to help me!

I have an answer to that question. Email me with the subject line HELP ME YA DUMMY and I will respond to you within 48 hours… or leave a comment below.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you want to explore a more in depth look at starting a business and raising money, Gary and I have shot 4 FREE product training videos that we have created that provides a much deeper and comprehensive look into starting a business. To visit that section, click here now.

Have a great day!




The Necessity Of Discipline vs. The Necessity Of Distraction


Recently, I have started to go back to doing something that always inspired me. After I lost my first business in 1996, I buried myself inside of Barnes & Noble and devoured every book I could get my hands on that involved inspirational stories of success in order to motivate me and get me out of my depressed state of mind. It worked.

These days, fortunately or unfortunately, I don’t have the time to read at my leisure. While I am not depressed anymore, I like to keep up on books, especially ones that relate to business strategy. I was talking to Gary a few months ago in our normal daily morning meeting and he mentioned another quote from another book he read. I had been meaning to ask him, “How in the world do you have the time to read books?”… Being his business partner, I know any moment away from our business he spends with his wife and kids. It simply didn’t make sense… Enter AUDIBLE. As it turns out, Gary listens to audiobooks every time he is going from point A to point B (and not on the phone with me!). I said to myself, I can do that too… so that is exactly what I have been doing.

My New Best Friend

These past few months since we had the conversation, I signed up for Audible and have gone through 5 books thus far, some of which I read a number of years ago and some I am tackling for the first time. They are all strategy books; Contagious, Made To Stick, Tipping Point, David & Goliath and Good To Great. These days, whenever I am traveling from point A to point B and am not on the phone, I am always listening to an audiobook. To me, audio books are insanely productive to people who don’t have the time to read. They are also extremely helpful for people who read extremely slowly; like me.

Culture of Discipline

I am currently listening (revisiting) Good To Great by Jim Collins. While there are many things that I absolutely love about the book, one of my biggest takeaways is what he calls a culture of discipline. That culture of discipline is broken into 3 components; disciplined people, disciplined thoughts and disciplined actions.

I frequently talk in the N2ITIV Blog about issues I have had with my own discipline and productivity (and/or lack thereof). The simple truth of the matter is that there are some things in business that I am pretty good at and some things I have to admit I truly suck at .


This past week kind of got by me quickly so I guess you can say my agenda kind of kicked my ass. While I did take care of a number of things, I could have done way better to say the least. The biggest problem I have is with distractions…at least so I thought

About a month ago, Gary shot a video module that touched on this called, 8 Reasons Why You Need To Hire a Brand Specialist . In this module he mentioned some statistics that made a lot of sense as it relates to distractions.

These statistics really explain everything to me. Distractions will kill your productivity if you let it. It’s no wonder why Jim Collins found that a culture of discipline is a major component that makes companies go from good to great. You will see, however, that, to an entrepreneur, distraction becomes a necessity.

Discipline meets Distraction

At the end of every day, I try go the gym as I need it for the sake of my sanity, as I normally feel like I have fought a losing battle as there is always a ton of things I had scheduled and haven’t done. I take my disheveled mind and body to the gym and pound the heavy bag until all of the chaos is out of my mind and body and I actually feel relaxed.

What I am realizing is that, on average, one day a week I am actually OK and not out of sorts the way I am the rest of the week. This is typically the day that I will not allow interruptions. It’s what I call my catch up day. I stick to my agenda undisturbed and at the end of the day I actually feel great….

The problem, however, is that I am pretty much responsible for the operations side of the business. Currently, I have two businesses. One is solely owned by Gary and I. The other is owned by Gary, myself and two other partners. I am responsible for making sure everyone is up to speed on everything at all times, so it is difficult not to get distracted because each person has different wants and needs… so that one day a week that I use to catch up, normally is at the expense of other things that didn’t get done because I wasn’t corresponding with my team.

Is There Really An Answer?

So what’s the answer? After all, I’ve been at this long enough that I should know. One thing I can do is not let any distractions throw me off course and just focus on my work… but I just told you how that is a problem. The other thing I can do is take the distractions and accomplish far less and feel out of sorts.

I believe the answer is that there is no answer. It’s called being an entrepreneur. To an entrepreneur, distractions must happen. They are required, I have no choice.

So there you have it. There is no answer. It is give and take. What I try to do is find the best balance I can. The more on the front lines you are in your business, the more you will be distracted, that is the simple fact. Once you understand and come to terms with the fact that this is the bed we made, it becomes far easier to agree to sleep in it.

This is my path. I chose it. I never have enough money to do everything I want to do and I never have enough time to do it either. Personally, it keeps me hungry and on my toes. I have no complaints… and if I did, who would listen to me anyway?

Have a great day!


Everything You Wanted To Know About A Blog But Were Afraid To Ask


One of the things I love most about our blog is that Gary and I write and or say what we want, when we want. Another reason is there is no debating as to why we write or say it. We simply want to share our experience with you if you care to hear it. This is our digital home and, unlike our own homes, ‘Mi casa es su casa’, so everyone is invited… and can leave any time they want. That is the true beauty of the internet.

The Great Thing About Blogs

Blogs are incredible when you know how to navigate them. Unfortunately, there is no good way to extract all the good information unless you have a guide to help you. If you have a blog, I suggest you create a post like this to help people find all the articles you have worked so hard and so long to write. It is such a tremendous injustice that most blogs have less than 1% of its information read.

I was inspired to do this post as Gary and I constantly send article links to people who ask questions about various subjects that we have covered in detail somewhere on this blog… So I have created this guide..

Here is a simple, easy-to-follow guide through that should include everything you wanted to know but (perhaps) were perhaps afraid to ask.


 If you look at the last few entries you will see they are very solution-based and offer quite a bit of information on branding, something Gary (in my opinion) is one of the best at. Gary has spent the last 23 years handling the branding for four of companies in which we have owned together, as well as for some of the top brands and entertainment personalities in the world. If you want to catch up on all branding posts, click how to brand your product.

Turning Failure Into Success

 I, on the other hand, write a lot about what I have learned from failure, and how to turn failure into success. So much so, I wrote a book about it. It is no twenty- page E-Book.  It is an eleven chapter, 213-page book that contains fifty-five case studies of what I have learned from the mistakes I have made over the course of the last 20 plus years as an entrepreneur. If you want to find out more about it, click How To Ruin A Business. You will see that some people and brands you may have heard of have said some good things about it.

 I have also dedicated an entire section of this blog to everything an entrepreneur should NOT do when running a business. My belief is that, by reversing the traditional way we learn and teaching people to learn from the mistakes of others, we take the ego out of the equation so entrepreneurs can take their guards down and learn objectively, while still allowing them to enjoy the freedom of their own experience. If you want to go to that section, click what not to do in business to see the list of articles.

How To Raise Money To Start A Business

 I have also written a number of articles on the subject of raising capital and pursuing investors. I have been on both sides of the table as well as in the middle quite a few times so I have an interesting perspective and decent insight on the subject I think. If you want to read those articles, click how to raise money to start a business.

Help For New Businesses

 If you are starting a business, there is a section you should not miss, as it will give you access to 4 training modules that Gary and I spent quite a bit of time on. It is called The Start-Up Toolkit.  A lot of people contact Gary and I and ask us questions that we have already answered in detail in those videos. To find out about The Start-Up Toolkit, click help for new businesses.

Business Strategy Tips

There is another cool section on the blog that contains short video modules offering business tips that you can implement in your business to help you. It is called the Bear Essentials. To access it click business strategy tips.

For The Entrepreneur

We have developed a section specifically with the entrepreneur in mind. This area of our blog highlights a lot of the challenges we have faced as entrepreneurs and what we have learned in our experiences along the way that may be of help to you. To access this section click help for entrepreneurs

Success Tips & Advice

One of the biggest portions of the N2ITIV blog contains stories of success and various tips and advice on how to be successful in your business affairs, whether you work for yourself, or somebody else. If that is more your speed, click success tips & advice.


 If videos are more your speed, we have tons of videos on this site as well. To watch videos, instead of reading text, by all means, click entrepreneur videos.

 Who Are MJ & Gary Anyway?

 If you want to learn about who Gary is and what he does both professionally and personally, click who is Gary O’Neil. If you want to find out about me, click who is MJ Gottlieb?.

So there you have it. That should keep you reading and watching for weeks. Enjoy and let me know what your favorite section is!

Have a great day!




7 Flat-Out Ways Entrepreneurs Can Become Super-Achievers


When I think of comfort-zones, I think of spas. I also think of my humble little man-cave where I take refuge from the fast paced world we live. The word ‘refuge’ is a good word for it – a shelter, a sanctuary.

I believe it’s OK to decompress, but some people build comfort-zones in their minds, and trying to move out of them becomes increasingly hard because of a lack of confidence and fear. Continue reading “7 Flat-Out Ways Entrepreneurs Can Become Super-Achievers”

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


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”