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!

MJ

 

Why Successful Entrepreneurs Consider Adversity The Breakfast Of Champions

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Failure and setbacks continue to ‘appear’ as giant hurdles that seem impossible to overcome. If only we realized that setbacks are opportunities for us to grow! I recently looked at my own progress in this area, and started to link my success to my ability to find silver linings in otherwise tough situations.

Once you build this skill-set you will be able to overcome the different challenges that present themselves throughout both your personal and business life. So TREAT SETBACKS AS SETUPS, so you can reach your potential and realize your dreams!

Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Hungry!

Gary

The 1 Critical Question That Entrepreneurs Must Answer To Be Successful

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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!

 

Gary

 

How To Lose The Fight & Win The War

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jack-johnson-bYou may be aware that Jack Johnson was the first African-American Heavyweight Boxing champion of the world. What you may not be aware of is how he managed to achieve such a seemingly unattainable goal. The reason why I say “seemingly unattainable” is because he was poor and had no money to pay for anyone to spar with him or train him.

How could a person who couldn’t afford any coach, teacher, trainer or sparring partner become the world champion?

Turns out it seems to have everything to do with being willing to lose some of the battles in order to eventually to win the war…

The Misconception Of Success

In my opinion, there seems to be a preoccupation that many people have with focusing on winning every battle they come across. I believe that this line of thinking not only hurts more than it helps but can be devastating in an entrepreneur’s path to success.

Every experienced entrepreneur I know has come to terms with failure being part of the process of being successful. People who don’t accept failure as a stepping stone to success are either part of a very rare and exclusive club who have not only won the lottery, but won the lottery the first time they ever played it (which is quite a small club if a club at all) … OR… they are not successful and just like to hear themselves talk.

A Quick Digression…

Someone recently tweeted me saying (I’m paraphrasing) “Aren’t you tired of talking about your failures? Do you only attract losers who fail?”

I didn’t take offense to the comment as I come across this quite a bit in some way shape or form being that I wrote a book about failure (and what we learn from it). I was actually about to respond to the woman but figured I would check out her twitter stream to see if she really wanted an honest answer.  I have no problem with genuine questions however, If I am going to take the time to answer someone I want to make sure that person really wants an answer and is willing to actually listen to my response.

As I looked at her stream I saw she didn’t want an answer as she was simply just lashing out to everyone and everything in her entire Twitter stream. I truly wonder why people do this. It is one thing to challenge people in their thinking but a different thing altogether to take the whole day to tell people you don’t agree with them without saying what it is in fact that you DO agree with! To me, it is a huge time suck with zero payoff. That being said, I move on…

Back To The Story

 So Jack Johnson was poor and could not afford a trainer. Because of this, the chips were stacked against him. The only way he could get any practice was to actually book live fights, despite the fact that he was completely unprepared to fight in them. As you can imagine, he had to fight quite a bit more fights than any other fighter in his time, as he needed to get in all of his training inside the ring. But he didn’t stop there…

Losing To Win

Not only did he take more fights than anyone, but when he got into the ring he would specifically stay in the ring far longer than he had to in order to learn as much as possible.

Back then, fights were 20+ rounds and he would make sure not to make the mistake of knocking anyone out since that would end the fight prematurely and he never wanted the lesson to end short. To him, getting hit by punches were lessons on how to avoid getting hit in the future… so he took a lot more hits than he had to. So much so, he was known to hold his opponents up when he would hit them too hard so they wouldn’t fall.

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

The Lesson

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest business examples a person can get as it has everything to do with getting experience any way you can… even if you have to lose a bit or prolong your pain in order to get it.

In my opinion, the smartest entrepreneurs are quite often the most prepared and preparation comes only from experience, as you obviously cannot prepare for something you have no experience with.

Nobody wakes up with experience and no one comes into the entrepreneurial world being a skillful entrepreneur. All experience starts with complete inability. Babies finally walk only after they fall a million times. We only hit a ball after a ton of strikeouts. No one I know of dunked their first time, except maybe Manute Bol whose wingspan was taller than the rim.  Bottom line, in order to win the war you have to accept losing a ton of battles along the way.

Know you are going to take hits today and look forward to it. It’s the only way you will learn how to hit back.

 Have a great day!

MJ

3 Fearless Ways To Stop Double-Crossing Your Core Purpose

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I consider myself a life long student of those who came before me, both personally and professionally. Success is often hard to teach, quite simply because circumstances and timing are hard to replicate – but they do, however, give us a chance to take away core values and principles, two things that rarely change in the formula for success.

Many entrepreneurs make decisions based on a mix of gut and rationale. Entrepreneurs must keep their creative intent and core purpose intact at all times, even when presented with opportunities that may sound unattainable or even too good to be true. Keeping your core purpose will enable you to not only enjoy the ride from start to finish, but also align what you do with how you do it!

 Chase Jarvis- Marc Ecko

I recently watched a video that Chase Jarvis did with famous clothing designer and media mogul, Marc Ecko, who has created a billion dollar empire. As I listened to the video, one part of the interview jumped out at me, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. He discussed how he made some big mistakes when his brand reached the gates of success. Because he was riding a tidal wave of success, he started to lose focus on what was important to him, and he started to make decisions that nearly crippled his company.

He explained that he ‘double crossed’ his creative intent – which was why he started the business in the 1st place. Basically, he got away from the values and energy that made the company successful in the beginning. Once he got back to that place, his passion and ultimately his success was back in play.

Here are the 3 Be’s that will ensure you don’t double-cross your own creative intentions, and help you lead a life and business worth getting up for.

 1- Be The Gate Keeper

The only person that can insure your dreams and goals are met is YOU. Your vision is very specific and vivid as to how you see it become reality. Obviously I’m not saying you will not have to make adjustments and some compromises, but the essence must stay intact.

As entrepreneurs we’re always faced with decisions and opportunities that may ‘double cross’ our true intent, but we must remember that we are the gatekeepers and we determine what goes out and what comes in. If we abandon the gates, then we become what everyone else wants us to be – not what we want to be.

 2- Be More Selfish

I know the word ‘selfish’ has a bad meaning to it, but it shouldn’t. As the saying goes, you simply can’t please everyone, and if you do, you wont mean anything to anybody

So How do you differentiate yourself, if you do? … and If you’re not doing it for yourself, then whom are you doing it for?

It’s your dream and you will be living it everyday, so don’t get caught up trying to please everyone and finding out one day that you are living other peoples dreams. As Simon Sinek says, ‘Connect with people that believe what you believe,’ and you will be happier, and those that you work with will be to.

3- Be Intellectually Honest

Deciding to be more ‘selfish’ doesn’t mean to stop being smart – especially regarding how you assess yourself. It’s easy to evaluate others but ourselves – extremely difficult. As hard as you may try, you can’t lie to yourself and believe it.  True success comes when you are able to pursue the truth and not let your personal beliefs interfere. We can all be accused of being so head strong that we would rather be right than entertain something that conflicts with our beliefs. There’s no learning from that rigid and ‘Mr. I know I’m right” position, and even worse, there’s no growth from it either.

There’s nothing wrong with being stubborn, but be open and smart enough to hear and observe things that can make you better. Being the gatekeeper allows us to filter the noise (the bad stuff) from the things that add value and strengthen (the good stuff) us.

Don’t be afraid or fearful of being more selfish – it can be good as long as it’s not toxic, so don’t get carried away. Use it to stay focused and on the path.

Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Hungry

 

Gary

Daymond John’s Creative Hustle- When Forty Bucks Makes You A Millionaire

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Yesterday I had a great time meeting up with my man Daymond John from Shark Tank for a new series I am doing at Forbes with Cheryl Snapp Connor, Mary Michelle Scott, and David Williams.

I want to share a quick story about one of the things I admire most about Daymond. It is what I call extreme creative hustle. Truth is, Daymond has always had extreme hustle. If you don’t want to take my word for it read his book which tells his story.

I am currently reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book, David & Goliath, which talks about how many people turn their advantages into weakness, while others turn disadvantages into strengths. Daymond used his biggest disadvantage in the very beginning of FUBU (lack of money) and very creatively and strategically moved it into great strength… with the help of his washing machine (will explain in a moment).

Daymond’s Creative Hustle

He started the business in his garage in Queens. He had nothing but a few random pieces in his line. A friend of his (LL Cool J) had achieved mega-stardom as a rap artist, and Daymond used his powers of persuasion to convince him to wear the product.

Daymond knew he could not stop with LL Cool J alone and needed to wardrobe more recording artists and celebrities in order to establish further credibility in the market. The challenge was that there were tons of artists, but Daymond only had a few samples. Implementing his creative hustle, he devised a strategy. He would take the few samples he had, have the celebrities wear them at their events, videos and concerts, then he would take them back, wash them (or dry clean them) and re-circulate them to other entertainers. I remember when I met him back in 1996, he walked into the conference room where I was and he gave me a VHS tape (yes VHS) to play. I put it on and saw every entertainer in our market wearing FUBU. I couldn’t believe my eyes! How in the world could he have done that???

As his product became visible in the media, he closed a deal with one of the largest corporations in the world who became his strategic partner (who happened to be my partner as well). The rest is history.

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

When It’s NOT About Money

Did Daymond go after the money at first? Absolutely not. What he did do was create something that nobody else had and no investor in his or her right mind could ignore. He created the sizzle. So much sizzle, anyone in their right minds should have invested… but all he needed was one company… and he got it.

Why do I know all of this? Because the company that signed the deal with his company simultaneously dropped their deal with me when the demand for FUBU put them in the position where they couldn’t afford to give us both the necessary attention… so I know the situation rather intimately. They actually gave Gary and I the opportunity to jump on board but we stubbornly refused, as we let our emotions and our egos cloud our judgment. If you want to learn about that story, read how my ego destroyed my business. 

So Why Forty Bucks?

If someone were to advertise their brand in a magazine during that time, it may cost thirty thousand dollars. If they wanted to run a thirty-second ad on television, it may cost them several hundred thousand dollars for one single exposure. So, what would it cost to run a ten-minute commercial on prime time television once a month for, say a year? If your math is at all good, it may cost well let’s see…. Ten minutes into thirty seconds is twenty, multiplied times twelve times for the year, multiplied times a few hundred thousand…. Almost fifty million bucks… give or take a few million.

Well, Daymond got the that ten-minute commercial and infinitely more, as his product appeared quite a bit more than twelve times a year…actually, a lot more. FUBU was worn on prime-time television shows, music videos, cable stations, you name it. Hundreds of hours of footage.

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

So what do you think it cost him? Fifty million? Perhaps forty million since they gave him a volume discount? Try about forty bucks. I say forty bucks as that was about the cost he paid to make a sweatshirt for a celebrity to wear on a show or a video. Most of the times it was a t-shirt or a hat so it cost even less. Remember, he was washing (or dry cleaning) the few samples he had and re-circulating them, as he didn’t have the money at first to make tons of samples.

Not a bad price for exposing your product to hundreds of millions of people… and that, in my opinion, was the Tipping Point for him (thanks again Mr. Gladwell).

Flip Your Disadvantages Into Strengths

Think about your disadvantages and think about how you can turn those disdvantages into strengths. If you look hard enough, you will find the answer.

Many people think the advantage is the money. This example should show how that is most often not the case. From my experience, the biggest advantage is hustle, and if ever there was a person with hustle, it would be Daymond.

Have a great day!

MJ

NOTE: 

David Williams owns a super company called Fishbowl Inventory, has a weekly column on Forbes, and wrote an incredible book which you can read about here.

Mary Michelle Scott is President of Fishbowl Inventory and collaborates with David each week in Forbes. You can find out more about Mary and Fishbowl, here .

Cheryl Snapp Connor is Chairman of Snapp Connor PR. You can find out more about her here .

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”