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!

MJ

The 1 Risk You NEVER Want To Take

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Freshman year in college I had a crush on this girl Suzanne. HUGE crush. She was in a class I took and my stomach was literally in knots the entire semester. I was so afraid to talk to her it was ridiculous.

I would sit across the room and it appeared that we would catch eyes and she would give me a big smile. My response, naturally, was to immediately turn my head and look away. She must’ve been smiling at someone else. Or maybe she was trying to be polite. Then she would do it again… maybe she was just trying to be polite again… I couldn’t risk it. Yeah, it wasn’t worth the risk.

Senior year I ran into her at a party and needless to say, we hooked up. I couldn’t believe it! We were hanging out in my room that night and she told me she had dreamed about this moment since freshman year. What the f**k??

I remember the moment she said that I was elated, and pissed at the same time… pissed at myself of course as I had been dreaming about it too!! What a moron I had been! She could’ve been my girlfriend all this time! Needless to say, I wasted four years because I had absolutely no idea how to face fear. Strike one…

Strike Two

When I had my first fashion company, there was a female buyer who would come to our booth in Vegas at the semi annual tradeshow to buy our line… I had the biggest crush on her it was insane… story sound familiar? Anyway, blah, blah, blah, I was scared out of my mind and just couldn’t take the risk. Yeah, it wasn’t worth the risk.

14 years later (yes four-teen) I ran into her… and we hooked up. Guess what? She said the same thing! Holy sh*t! What a moron I was! … and this one was marriage material!! This time, however, I was married to my business so the timing wasn’t right. I wasted fourteen years because I wasn’t willing to take a risk and didn’t know how to overcome rejection.

This happened over and over again in my personal life and in business… until it didn’t.

A Call To Action For Anyone with A Dream

 You want to know the only risk in life? The 1 risk you never want to take? Please listen…

 The only risk in life is… to never take one.

I read a post the other day from a guy that shares a lot of our content at Hustle Branding on a regular basis. His name is Timothy Van Sype. He has been very loyal to us over the past few years. I stumbled across a post he wrote today and it turns out he… well I’m not gonna spoil the story, read the post here.

I have seen people who haven’t followed their dreams and have chosen to take the safe route and it is a very ugly picture. There is a tremendous amount of regret and a ton of resentment for those who convinced them not to go after what they want.

The truth is that there should be no resentment as it’s your choice, not theirs. Do not let anyone ever stand in the way of pursuing your dream. If you have a dream, find a way to make it happen or at the very least find a way to try. At least then, you will never have any regrets.  A few weeks ago I did a post about a speech that Jim Carrey made that summed it up perfectly. It’s called The Courage To Fail at What You Want

Single and 44

At the time of this writing I am single. I am single, largely in part because I refuse to let anyone stand in the way of going after what I want. That’s the selfish part. Here’s the selfless part… I used to not be single. I used to not be single a lot. Every woman I have ever had has had to settle for second place and that is not fair to them. To be more clear, I was not fair to them.

I am quite certain there will be a time in my life that I will be ready to take the risks and not put anyone in second place while I’m doing it. Now just happens NOT to be that time.

No Time But The Present

I have made a ton of mistakes in my life both in business and personally but as my man, The Shark, Daymond John says, if you are not making mistakes you are not making moves. I shot a video with him about how to learn from failure a few months back.

I encourage you to take the risk to go after your dreams. I encourage you to take those dreams and put a plan together and set some goals to turn those dreams into reality. In my last post, I talked about something Denzel Washington said to a bunch of kids at an acting class on the 2 ingredients you need that will teach you how to achieve your goals. It is also something that Think and Grow Rich and some of the greatest business books and business minds have repeatedly said.

I write this post with extra passion today because I hate to see people living someone else’s dream. Some people very close to me are and it kills me as, like I said, meeting people who failed to go after their dreams is an ugly picture. They are like the walking dead. Every person has a dream or at least had one a long time ago that maybe they have since forgotten on his or her journey. If you are one of those people, remember, it’s never too late. The right time to live your life the way you want to live it is always right now.

Live your dreams, hustle your ass off and know that failure is just part of the journey. And also know… one never truly fails until they give up.

Have a great day and Hustle hard,

MJ

 

 

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

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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!

MJ

The Courage To Fail At What You Want

John-Wayne-courage-quotes

I recently watched a speech that the  great actor/comedian Jim Carrey gave at The Maharishi University of Management. In his speech, there is a section where he discusses his own personal experience with both the pain of taking the safe route versus following your passion and going after what you want & love.

In this post I wanted to re-enforce what he said in hopes to motivate you to keep up your passion, never give up on what you believe and go after what you want (& love).

I have included a link to the entire Jim Carrey video here. Go to the 11:18 minute mark and see what he had to say and judge for yourself and give me your thoughts.

Have a great day!

MJ

 

The Insane Power Of Singular Focus

RBOVo

Staying focused on a single goal is one of the hardest parts of being an entrepreneur. It is also without question, one of the most important ingredients necessary in order to achieve any level of success in business and in life.

In today’s post, I talk about a video Tyler Perry posted a number of years ago which not only explains the insane power of singular focus but also how he was able to use that focus to achieve his tremendous level of success.

If you have watched the video above, I strongly recommend watching Tyler Perry’s video, here.

 

Have a great day!

 

MJ

5 Powerful Ways To Bag The Elephant

Hustle-Branding--Bag-The-Elephant

In the movie Wall Street, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen) through a lot of perseverance and hard work managed to bag the elephant, Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas).

Things have changed quite a bit since Wall Street as the hustle days of cold calling have been replaced by digital cold calling, namely emails, newsletters and social media which, not only are not nearly as effective because of its impersonal nature, but because it is much easier to disregard them as spam with the push of a button than it is to try to hang up the phone on someone while they are talking.

Though there are several ways to bag the elephant, there are 5 big ones, in my opinion, which produce the most favorable results.

1)   Know The Elephant

Knowing the elephant is one big way to bag the elephant. The problem however is, believe it or not, knowing the elephant can often hurt you more than it can help you if you don’t approach things the right way… (we will discuss this topic in my next post on how not to lose your elephant after he is in the bag}

Knowing the elephant is always the easiest way to bag the elephant so long as you know what to do as there is a big difference between knowing the elephant and bagging the elephant.

In order to bag the elephant that you know, you must understand the perspective of the elephant and put yourself inside the mind of the elephant.

Fact: Elephants get pitched every day for investments.

Fact: If you pitch the elephant simply because you think you are in with the elephant you will be dishonorably discharged from the circle of the elephant quicker than you can say, “Oh, no you too?”

The best way to bag the elephant you know is to work backwards. Knowing the elephant is only beneficial when you take into consideration what the elephant actually needs.

The best way to explain this to you is to give you an example:

My friend Fred (rest in peace) knew an elephant at the largest retailer in the world, Wal-Mart. Fred was smart. One day, while having lunch with the elephant, he asked the Wal-Mart elephant (let’s call him Bob) what he was looking for or what items and categories could be improved in his stores.

Bob told him what he was looking for and Fred worked backwards. He went to factories all over the world explaining what he was looking for. Fred knew what his elephant wanted and where his prices needed to be.

By working backwards and understanding the needs and wants of the elephant, and by feeding the ego of the elephant by putting the elephant in a superior position, Fred made a small fortune.

2)   Know the gatekeeper

If you remember, Bud Fox got very friendly with Gordon Gekko’s Gatekeeper, Natalie.

Fact: If you don’t get close with the gatekeeper, your chances are extremely small you will never get through the gate to meet face to face with your elephant.

Fact: Most elephants choose callous, rude and intolerable gatekeepers.

There is a reason for this. Elephants get bombarded with calls from people trying to bag them. This is why the elephants pick gatekeepers who know how to sift through the BS that comes in on a daily basis.

In order to bag the gatekeeper you must find out what he or she likes and work on your relationship with him (or her) with the same passion as if that person was the elephant him or herself.

3)   Bag the Competitor Of Your Elephant

Fact: The elephant always has a nemesis or two (underestimation).

Fact: Elephants are extra-ordinarily competitive

Getting the interest of the elephant’s competitor will get inside of your elephant’s head. Elephants are typically vain and will think, “why didn’t he (or she) approach me?

It doesn’t matter if the elephant’s competitor is not a good match for you or not. Use the elephant’s competitor as bait to make yourself more desirable.

4)   Promote Your Elephant (even if they don’t know you)

One of the biggest benefits of having a digital presence is the accessibility it gives to reach anyone at anytime.  Don’t confuse that between being able to get someone to actually pay attention to you anytime. Here’s a fact that may help you with that part:

Fact: Elephants love their ego’s fed.

Find a way to promote your elephant in a way that is visible to them. Even elephants like to get bigger. If you have developed a strong digital presence whether through social media, a blog or some other platform, mentioning your elephant in your blog or in social media is often the best way to get recognized as that person will like to re-circulate any information that is said about them.

Don’t just try this once. If you want to reach out to an elephant you need to be consistent in your promotion.

If they have a blog, make comments on your elephant’s blog and try to establish a relationship the best you can.

Note: Don’t ask for anything when you start promoting your elephant’s content or they will see right through your intentions. After some time has passed and your elephant has acknowledged your presence and some appreciation, you can try to establish a personal relationship and go from there.

5)   Play the numbers

Don’t wait to establish a relationship with your elephant to move on to the next elephant. Call 500 elephants a day. Be relentless in your pursuit of bagging an elephant. Take every shot possible and hold nothing back.

Some of the most successful people in the world started off cold-calling on Wall-Street. I was not one of them but Gary was and to this day, Gary still doesn’t hesitate picking up the phone to bag any elephant that he has an interest in bagging.

The Wrap-Up

Hopefully this has given you some better insight into the art of bagging an elephant. Figure out who are the elephants in your market you would like to target and then go out and take action!

Please be sure to let me know any of your experience bagging elephants below and if there is anything I missed, add your thoughts and I will be sure to respond!

One last note: I’m not through with the elephant. If you enjoyed this post, I recommend you read Gordon Gekko Was Wrong.

Have a great day!

 

MJ

The 5 Super Skills Of Great Leaders

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leader_goodLast year, I started following the interesting content provided by Fishbowl CEO David Williams and President Mary Michelle Scott.

I quickly became fascinated with their perspective on running a business because it felt real, down to earth, and gusty.  This amazing company dared to try new things and share what they were learning with the world.

The articles were not your typical fare. They did not simply tell you what to do but told stories with passion that captured my interest.  Following their Forbes columns is an adventure in learning.  They write about everything from abolishing meetings, to solving the worlds problems on 3×5 cards.

The Fishbowl team has exceptional thoughts on leadership and how to build a culture within a company that thrives on a willingness to work together and create something incredible.  Easier said than done.

The reason why I was drawn to the articles was because I knew there must be quite a backstory that gave the leaders at Fishbowl the desire to empower their team. People don’t build an exceptional work culture by accident. It is not a talent that you are born with. It needs to be sculpted with a lot of experience and effort.

Dealing With Adversity

One of Forbes columns that captured my heart was, “A Lesson In Courage: The Story Of Cam, a very inspiring story of the courage and determination of David’s son Cam, and his battle with cancer. This past week, they sadly lost another amazing member of their team.  His name is Bryan Byrge, a young man with so much promise who was tragically killed while riding his bicycle to work.  One of their employees, a fellow elite athlete offered an amazing tribute to Bryan.

These Fishbowlers have their share of challenges and trials, what is interesting is how they all pull together during these times.

What It Takes To Be A Great Leader

It is important for people to understand that great leaders are not born; they are made. And all great leaders got a lot of help and inspiration along the way, though few like to admit it.

It is also extremely important to know that being a great leader has absolutely nothing to do with how much someone has in his or her wallet. I know a ton of people running hugely successful companies who are miserable and callous.

Being a great leader has everything to do with how you treat your people and how you trust and empower your team. Nearly every business leader relies on their team as the lifeblood of their business, whether they choose to believe it or not.

A Tremendous Book On Leadership

The 7 Non-Negotiables Of Winning, chronicles the personal trials of David, the rise of Fishbowl and the importance of teamwork to make a company grow and flourish. David often comments, “It’s not my book, it’s Fishbowl’s book.  It belongs to all of us.  It is our shared history and it is a great reminder to our team that we will never sell Fishbowl.”

Here are five of the main ingredients that I took away from reading The 7 Non-Negotiables of Winning:

Let’s dive into this a bit:

1) Fail… a lot.

A leader fails a lot because that’s the only way he or she wins a lot. People need to understand that the difference between failing and succeeding is getting up one more time than they fall down.

2) Listen… a lot.

Leaders listen a lot because they need to learn why they failed and get help from people who have failed before them so they can learn from them to avoid making those same mistakes in the future. David and I have started a series on Forbes on this topic called The Lemon-Aide Interviews, which talks about how to learn from failure.

3) Strive… a lot.

Leaders strive a lot because great leaders never give up on what they believe in. It doesn’t mean they don’t analyze, change, and modify along the way. It means they keep trying until they succeed… no matter what.

4) Care… a lot

The_7_Non-Negotiables_of_Winning_book_coverGreat leaders must care a lot because if they don’t love what they do, and who they work with, there is no reason to do it. Life is too short to be self-centered.

5) Get back up… a lot.

Leaders get back up because they have to be in the game to have a chance to win. No one ever scored a goal, made a basket, or hit a home run while sitting on the bench.

Admirable Values Of The 7 Non Negotiables Of Winning

Fishbowl continues to practice these principles every day. The 7 Non-Negotiables are a blueprint on how to run a company with exceptional values and empowerment. My favorite line in the book is “our exit strategy is death.”

Here are a few of the items from the book that I enjoyed:

1)  Most of the people at Fishbowl own a part of the company.

2)  There is not a traditional hierarchy. Leaders work in pairs and they empower employees to manage themselves.

3)  There are as few company meetings as humanly possible. The philosophy is that meetings are productivity killers and there are often better ways to communicate what people need to do.

4)  People decide their own responsibilities and are accountable for one another as a team – not to some boss far removed from them.

5)  Pay structure is contingent on how the company performs, not on what the management thinks people should be paid.

6)  Fishbowl’s philosophy is to grow slow and steady rather than fast and reckless.

7)  Fishbowl believes that the most valuable asset is listening and seeking to understand.

Information By Itself Is Useless

This book is not simply a sit-back-and-learn kind of book. Information is great, but if it is never applied it means absolutely nothing. At the end of each chapter are exercises developed and used within Fishbowl.

This reminded me a lot of the principles of the old Tony Robbins tapes. To me, implementing action steps after teaching a lesson is the only way to get people off their rear-ends and actually get them to practice what they have been taught. Information that is not put to use right away is known to dissipate quite quickly.

A Few Last Thoughts

To be clear, this is not a book review. Nobody asked me to write this. I wrote this because if you are a leader, or some day want to be a leader, you need to read this book.

Too many people have the misconception that leaders lead only through fear and iron fists. This is 100 percent incorrect. Dictators lead with an iron fist. If you are a leader that means you have a team. If you have a team, your job is to create an environment for that team to thrive and flourish.

Have a great day!

MJ

{Final Note}: David’s book is now available on Audible. I am an Audible fiend so I suggest downloading the book via Audible. David’s calm and soothing demeaner coupled with his clear narration makes the experience even better. Don’t take my word for it… listen to a sample of it here

 

8 Powerful Benefits Of Being An Experienced Screw-up

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If you look at my twitter profile, you will see the words, “experienced screw-up.” I think a lot of people try to be very cute and gimmicky when trying to describe themselves. The truth is, I was just trying to be accurate. Truth be told, those are quite simply the two words that pop into my mind when I try to give a two-word answer to such a heavily loaded question.

Being an experienced screw-up in my opinion, is one of my greatest qualities and there are some very specific reasons why.

I do believe however, that the benefits of being an experienced screw-up is not specific to me in particular, but to anyone else who has insight into the powerful benefits of screwing up on a daily basis.

Here’s a list of 8 Powerful Benefits Of Being An Experienced Screw-up

1) Puts you in Constant Learning Mode

I used to think I had all the answers to anything and everything that people threw at me. As it turns out, I didn’t know sh*t. The upside? Well, for one, it taught me how to shut-up and listen.

Additionally, Having the knowledge that I know so little makes me crave knowledge with a passion and soak up as much information as humanly possible. The result? I end up learning infinitely more in the process.

2) Acceptance Of Failure In Advance

I mentioned in the last post that I heard someone at a meeting the other week say, “know that you will fail today.” The truth is, we all fail and screw-up at something every day.

Accepting the fact that you can AND WILL screw-up takes away the fear in advance and to me, that is a game-changer as learning how to overcome fear is one of the powerful conquests an individual can have.

3) Beats The Ego Into A State Of Humility

I love confident people. I love them almost as much as I hate egotistical pr*ks.

Knowing you are in a constant state of screwing up puts you in a state of humility. When you couple confidence with humility you hit the jackpot.

4) Proactive vs. Reactive

If you are screwing up that means you are being proactive as opposed to reactive. Translation: You are in the game.

Lebron James can AND WILL go the entire season with no screw-ups, not a single mistake… if he sits on the bench and watches everyone else play. Or… he can screw-up 18 of his 37 shots and score (at least) 38 points. Which do you think he would prefer?

I did an interview with Daymond john in Forbes a few months ago on how to learn from failure. One of my favorite comments that he made from that interview was, “if you’re not making mistakes you’re not making moves.”

5) It Reminds You To Get Help

Being an experienced screw-up makes you come to terms with the fact that you can’t do everything yourself. You need help. Everyone does.

When I screw-up enough at something I do one a few things. Either I keep trying until I get it right, OR, I delegate the responsibility to someone who has a better skillset in that particular area.

6) It’s How I Know What I Don’t Know

When Gary and I started our first business in college, I took the job as the designer and he ran the business side. As it turns out, I suck at designing and he is great.

What happened? We switched roles and built a great business… until we screwed up of course.

7) You Are Part Of An Elite Crew

The greatest entrepreneurs in the world have had and continue to have screw-ups. Here are a few experienced screw-ups you may know.

Jeff Bezos

THE SCREWUP -Amazon Auction

Bill Gates

THE SCREWUP- Traf-o-Data

Richard Branson

THE SCREWUP- Virgin Brides & Mates (Condom Company)

8) It’s Not Only Boring But Useless To Talk About How Great You Are

That one is self-explanatory but must be mentioned. I learn nothing from people who talk only about how great they are or how they succeeded without mentioning the screw-ups they made to get them to succeed… and if they say they didn’t have any screw-ups… they are full of sh*t.

If you are a reader of N2ITIV, you know I wrote a book entirely dedicated to my failure, entitled, How To Ruin A Business Without Really Trying. It is a 13 chapter 200+ page book filled with case-studies of all of my screw-ups. Then, AFTER I describe the screw-up, I talk about knowing what I know now, how I would go about things differently.

The goal is for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn from the mistakes of others (like me) so you can concentrate on the screw-ups you can’t avoid.

Final Thoughts

I encourage you to screw-up today, hopefully more than once!

Here’s your assignment (assuming you wish to take it)….

What is 1 thing you screwed up on in the past and how did it help you?

… Please, however, take note of one request… Normally I encourage people to answer me via email and it is getting a bit tough to manage. If you can, please use the comment section below. That way I can guarantee I will respond to all of your comments!

Have a great day!

MJ

 

5 Ways YOU Turn Weakness Into Strength & Challenge Into Opportunity

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9232c15090c5226ff45ec0b557911c23A number of experiences in my life and challenges that I have gone through, from the outside in, seem completely justifiable for plenty of sympathy to be thrown in my direction. After all, I went through a lot and people should feel sorry for me that I had to go through so many ups and downs.

Why me? Why did I have to go through things that others didn’t have to? It’s not fair…

Sadly, this is the way I used to think.  Turns out, it is complete BS. The truth is, it is what I have gone through that has shaped me into the person who I am today (which is, quite simply, much better than I used to be).

How To Cherish Adversity

I have learned to cherish adversity. Every adversity I have ever been through has made me a stronger individual. I heard someone at a conference say they pray for failure each day. Now I know exactly what that person meant. If I am living a proactive life, there is a 99% chance that I will fail at something today. That also means I will succeed at something as well. That’s the trade off.

I wrote a post about this called You Miss Every Shot You Don’t Take.

Many people (myself in the past tense included) like to avoid adversity like the plague. They say yes to their boss, their spouse, their children, their clients and whoever else who come into their path so as not to ripple the tide. There is a huge flaw in that line of thinking. If you spend your life avoiding adversity you have zero chance at growing and you will simply be stuck on stupid.

We Are The Byproduct Of Our Challenges

Adversity, challenges and turning weakness into strength goes back to the beginning of mankind. We simply wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the challenges we have gone through.

Over the past year I have gone through dozens of books and countless case studies throughout history of how to turn weakness into strength and challenges into opportunities. Some of the books were ones I had read before that I needed to tackle again with a new perspective, something I find happens every time you read a good piece of content more than once. In my opinion, the best of all the books was Malcolm Gladwell’s newest, David & Goliath.

David & Goliath is a book entirely dedicated to how people have used their weaknesses and disadvantages turned them into strengths and, conversely, how people have done the opposite and used their apparent strengths and turn them into weaknesses.

Over the next months I will be talking about many of these case studies however, for the purposes of keeping this post from reading like a novel, the post is simply an introduction to stimulate your thinking… and to give you a little assignment to help get you started.

5 Ways YOU Turned Weakness Into Strength

So, to get this series started, let’s put the focus on you for a moment…  In case you haven’t noticed, the title to this post is 5 Ways You Turn Weakness Into Strength & Challenge Into Opportunity. So I have a small, quick assignment for you which will hopefully provide you with some clarity on how you have turned weakness into strength (possibly without even knowing it). It should also give you a little insight into the idea that growth occurs outside the comfort zone.

Make two columns on a sheet and write down the 5 most difficult things you have ever gone through, business or personal on the left hand side. Then, when you are done, on the right side, write down how each experience made you stronger.

When you are finished, read some of my weaknesses and how I have turned them into strengths. You can find 7 of them in a post I wrote called 7 Things I Suck At That Make Me Great.

After you finish reading the post, share one of the items on your list in the comments section below and let me know how it has made you a stronger person.

Have a great day!

MJ

The Single Greatest Tip I Ever Received On How To Be Productive

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320336_377463042308022_703561752_nIf you are familiar with the N2ITIV blog, you know Gary and I cover a wide range of topics on how to succeed in business and in life. You should also know that every bit of advice we give is the direct result of lessons we have learned from our countless mistakes in our (now) 46 combined years in business.

Wow. I suddenly feel really old. Moving on…

I think being productive is one of the most important and highly treasured skills any person can achieve as it combats our single greatest commodity on Earth… time. I believe that time can be our greatest asset when we manage it correctly. Conversely, it can also be our worst enemy when we let it slip away.

{Note: I elaborate quite a bit about this in a post I wrote called,  Gordon Gekko Was Wrong.}

Time Working For Us vs. Time Working Against Us

Getting time to work for us as opposed to working against us is one of the trickiest tasks I have ever been up against… and still struggle with every day.

If every bit of knowledge I currently have in my mind about productivity were going to be stripped away and I was only allowed to remember one thing, there is a hands-down winner that I would pick every time. It’s about as simple as you can get but as profound as they come…

You can’t think your way into good action. You have to act your way into good thinking.

People (myself included) spend 90% of their time trying to think about what the right thing is to say or think about the best thing to do… and end up not doing anything. We do this for one reason… our fear of failure. Overcoming fear of failure is another subject I talk about quite a bit at N2ITIV.

{Note: If you want to read posts about failure and rejection, click how to learn from failure.}

There is only way to combat this and that is to take action. Please don’t misunderstand me… I am not telling you to aimlessly act or to act without thinking. What I am saying is, once you make a decision of what you need to do, you need to follow that up with action IMMEDIATELY. The moment you give yourself a second to think twice, you kill the chances of acting about 90%. At least in my case that is…

The Doers vs. The Thinkers

In my world, there are doers and there are thinkers. Most of the doers are also great thinkers but very few of the thinkers are great doers. Despite the fact that both thinking and doing are vital in life, life itself is a program of action. You can have all the knowledge in the world, but if you don’t act on that knowledge it is completely useless.

{Note: If you want to read up more on this read You Miss Every Shot You Don’t Take.}

Here are 2 Examples Of How Thinking Screwed Me… 

– I knew the girl I wanted to date in middle school. I f*cking knew it with every fiber of my being. Then I thought maybe I’d wait just a day… then just a week… The result? … One of the guys I hated most asked her first and I had to watch them kissing in the hallways for the next five years until I graduated.

– In the mid 1990’s my first business was in real trouble. I knew there was a possibility my friend would help me try to save my business… all I had to do was ask. I thought to myself, OK, maybe instead of calling him I’ll wait till I see him. Then I saw him and I said to myself, OK, let me wait I’ll wait until the next time when its not so formal…

After my business was over I had to file personal and corporate bankruptcy, move 3000 miles back home with my parents, and take a job mopping floors at a bar. A few years later, after starting another business, I ran into him at a tradeshow. He asked me what had happened as he hadn’t seen me in years. I told him. The long and the short of it was that he turned to me asked… “Why did you never ask me for my help?”

I can give you 300 other examples but I think (and hope) you get the point.

Our lives are too short to spend it questioning ourselves and creating master plans, re-questioning those plans, re-evaluating, only never to take action. Please take a shot. You owe it to yourself.

Your Homework

What is the one action you have been putting off that you know you need to do? Do yourself a favor and just do it…. you can think about it all you want later… and since I am on the topic of of Nike and Just Do It, you may want to check out The “Just Do It” Effect: The Power Of The World’s Most Inspiring Slogan.

Have a great day!

MJ

How To Look Fear In The Face – A Case Study

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polls_HHN072_0649_769174_answer_2_xlargeRecently, I finished Robert Greene’s, The 50th Law, which was a follow-up to his book, 48 Laws Of Power. The book was about rapper (and now business mogul) 50 Cent and how he attributed all of his success to overcoming fear at a very young age.

Last week, I was in yet another conversation about the idea of overcoming fear with Big John, who is my (& Gary’s) business partner in our newest venture.

One of the greatest characteristics I admire most about Big John is that he is fearless. Not fearless in the bravado way you may think, but fearless in a very rational, intellectual, and strategic level that I will talk about in a moment.

Fear’s Strangle Hold 

I am a firm believer that learning how to overcome fear is the key to living a successful life (both professionally and personally). Fear subconsciously kicks our asses in so many ways that we are not aware of. It is the reason why we stay stuck on stupid so to speak…

Fear is is why we procrastinate.

Fear is why we don’t ask for help.

Fear is why we don’t ask the pretty girl out to the prom.

Fear is why when we do ask the girl to the prom and she says no, we don’t ask anyone else

Fear is why we don’t knock on the doors of potential customers to buy what we are selling.

Fear is why we go home after the customer who we  finally do ask says no… as opposed to knocking on the next door and trying again.

Fear is why we don’t go to the gym because we are afraid people will judge us.

Fear is why we stay at jobs we hate.

Fear is why we stay within our comfort zone.

Fear is why we accept complacency over eagerness to be better no matter how far we have gone.

Fear. Fear. Fear.

Big John… And The Man With The Gun

Big John’s route to overcoming fear has a lot to do with his extensive training in martial arts and Eastern discipline. He studied with a grand master who taught him that fear serves no purpose.  Naturally, I challenged him as certainly he would be fearful in extreme circumstances. He said he wouldn’t. He re-assurred me that fear is fear and has no purpose no matter what the circumstance.

“OK, Big John,” I paused…then I asked him, “Would you be in fear if someone held a gun to your head? “ His answer I did not expect.

He replied, “Would I be in fear if someone held a gun to my head or do you mean when someone held a gun to my head?”

As it turns out, Big John was no stranger to a gun being held to his head…

I’m not going to go into all of the details of the story but what you need to know is that he had no fear. To him, if he had been in fear it would not only serve no purpose but may have hindered his judgment.

John gave the man his money and his watch and then told the man, “OK, we’re done”… The man told him “What do you mean you’re done? You’re done when I say you’re done”…

John explained to him, “you have my money and my watch, we’re done.” John then turned around and with his back to the man, walked away and headed toward the entrance of his home.

I asked John if he was afraid that the man would shoot him. His answer was that it was not his decision. Either the man would shoot him or he wouldn’t so it would pointless to worry about it. He had already accepted the decision either way.

As you can probably guess, the man didn’t shoot John but very sadly, the man shot and killed another innocent person a few hours later as John was doing a ride along with the police trying to find him after the incident.

{Here is a pic of Big John and I about a month ago}

Big John MJ

Looking Deeper Into Fear

The principles of why Big John was not afraid gets deeper…

When John competed in martial arts tournaments, his grandmaster used to train him to accept death before he got into competition.

He explained to me that the trick is that you have to already have died before the fight.

He explained that when you have already died your opponent can’t do anything to you that you haven’t been through already. It’s only then when you can fight without fear.

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

Just Scratching The Surface

John and I talk quite a bit about fear and how to overcome it. I have had about a million talks with Gary about fear as well. He was the one who turned me on to the 50th Law.

I will talk about Gary’s take on fear in the next post. I will, however give you a hint…

What is the opposite of fear? If you know the answer you will have an idea of what the post is about.

Have a great day!

MJ

 

3 Words You Never Want To Say On Your Deathbed

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kenny I recently finished the book Unlabel by Marc Ecko, a book that hit very close to home to me as his fashion brand and mine were in the same stores at the same time for a very long time… until I eventually went out of business and he went on to become a billion dollar brand.

The reason why I went out of business was not unlike why I lot of other companies go out of business. I have learned that there is an extremely thin line between success and failure. Sometimes you realize that line is so thin that it is hard to identify until you are on the other side of it.

Destination vs. Process

I eventually managed to start another brand and then another, building one bigger than the next only to find myself on the wrong side of the line once again. I kept struggling until I finally realized that being a successful entrepreneur has nothing to do with the destination but with the process. I also came to the understanding that the successful entrepreneur is not the one who wins but the one who loses and keeps on going.

Note: This is the follow-up to a post I wrote last year entitled, 4 Words That Will Destroy Your Life (& Business)

I not only expect but also know for a fact that I will have a lot more stumbles, failures, bumps, lumps and bruises in my life before I punch my ticket. I have accepted that and so should you.

Marc Ecko said a few things about failure that I very much admire. He said “You will only stop having failures after you take your last breath.”

He also said “anyone that doesn’t talk about failure being part of their path to success… is full of sh*t.”

I am only slightly paraphrasing because I only read (listen) to books on Audible and cannot find the bookmark where he said this but I think you get the point.

My Business Bucket List

I have a lot of things on my business bucket list. I understand some will not happen, however at the end of the day, I will only regret the things that I never took the time to at least try my best to accomplish.

Some of these things I have consciously made a decision to put off in order to focus on what I have in front of me as I try not to dilute my energy and wear myself too wide and thin so to speak. Those are conscious decisions I have made and I am cool with those choices.

That being said, I think that it is important that we be very careful with what we decide to focus on and what we decide to put aside as, if the world ended tomorrow, or if we were on our deathbed, there are 3 words I think you will agree we never want to say…

IF… ONLY…. I

In business as in life, if you are lucky, there will be a lot of goals that you will not achieve. I say if you are lucky, because if you consistently set goals throughout your lifetime, you are being proactive and going after what you want in life, as opposed to being reactive and just letting life happen.

To me, a big part of my life is setting short-term goals, accomplishing them (or not), only to set new goals in order to go out and achieve them as well. Some goals take longer to accomplish then others and, at the end of the day some of those goals will never be met. That is a fact.

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

Setting Goals & Being Proactive

Setting goals and proactively going after what you want is the only way to prevent you from saying if only I on your deathbed, however let me clarify… goals are not etched in stone and should be changed and modified if and when necessary.

A lot of times what we think we want changes and some things become less important and some more important allowing for new goals take their place. Again, that is part of life and the flexibility to change and modify can only happen if we are open to change and modification.

One caveat… changing and modifying goals can be tricky. In my opinion, goals shouldn’t be changed simply because they seem too difficult or impossible to attain. History shows us pretty much everything within reason is possible. I say within reason because if your goal is to be able to fly… that is not within reason.

Your Homework

Not to be morbid, but close your eyes and pretend you are on your deathbed. Pick up the voice recorder on your phone and record what you regret you haven’t accomplished.  You will notice these regrets fall into one of two categories.

In the first category are things you have not accomplished but are currently proactively working on. The other list is what you have given up on or have been putting off.

Write down those items on your list that you have put off, print it out and put it in a place where you will be forced to read it every day. Prioritize them. When one of the goals you are focusing on is achieved, move the most important one from the given up on or put off  list and add it to currently working on list.

Keep up this pattern. You will find the more you accomplish the more new goals get added to the list that you never thought of, simply because you have scratched something off your bucket list so there is room for something new to take its place.

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

The Wrap-Up

Accept the fact this list is never-ending and will never go away… and know that it shouldn’t. The moment we have achieved all of our goals we will have nothing to look forward to. Tony Robbins explains this well when he talks about people who reach their goals and then think to themselves, “Is that all there is?” …

Your ever changing, ever evolving goals in life will enable you to accomplish more than you ever possibly imagined.

Have a great day!

MJ

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

6 Things You Absolutely Must Know About Failure

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38941If you are familiar with Hustle Branding, you know I write quite a bit about the lessons I have learned from my mistakes and the importance of learning though the failure of others. In this post I discuss 6 of the most important things that you absolutely must know about failure and how you can use that information to help you be a better entrepreneur or and/leader.

1- Failure is Inevitable & Guaranteed

First things first, you need to know that failure not only happens, but it is inevitable & guaranteed… and that is a good thing. No person on this planet does not go a single day without failing at something. Once you understand that failing is inevitable and guaranteed, your perception of failure should change. At least mine did. I don’t take failure as a negative word. I take it as a positive word. To look deeper into this, I did a post in Forbes with Shark Tank’s Daymond John.

2- Failure is A Necessity

In order to succeed at anything in life, you need to know that failure is not only inevitable and guaranteed but it is also necessary. Failure is the only way we learn and grow. It is one of the very few seemingly negative things that we must consistently do, accept and actually look forward to. It is simply the way we learn. It is important to look at the lessons and what we learn from failure in order to understand the opportunities that are created when things don’t go exactly according to plan.

3- Failure Negates Complacency

If we are perfect and we are always batting 1000 at the plate, we will get complacent and bored with our own success. I love the fact that there is nothing on this planet that we have learned that we can’t learn more about, and nothing we can become great at that we can’t learn to be even better. If Lebron James couldn’t get any better I guarantee you he would quit.  Trying to be perfect is one of the biggest liabilities an entrepreneur can have.

4- Failure Means You Are Swinging The Bat

In order to succeed at anything in life you have to show up and try your best. As Daymond spoke about in his interview on Forbes, “if you’re not making mistakes, you are not making moves.” As you haven’t guessed there is no way to make a mistake if you don’t take action.

5- Failure Increases The Odds Of Success

The more you fail, the greater your chances are that you will eventually succeed. David Williams, columnist for Forbes, and CEO of Fishbowl Inventory goes very deep into this discussion in his book, The 7 Non- Negotiables Of Winning. It is an incredible book and a must-read for employers and leaders on how to treat your team correctly and create a winning environment.  David discusses the concept of ‘Failing Up’ which is something very similar to the way I think about ways to turn lemons into Lemon-Aide.

6- Failure Gives You Thick Skin

The more you fail, the thicker skin you will have to face your fears and better your chances to succeed. It is called building your rejection muscle. In business, it is a necessity to learn how to grow thick skin and build this rejection muscle as quickly as humanly possible.

I believe there is a huge misconception about failure and people assign the wrong definition to the word. To me the true definition of failure to me is giving up. In my entrepreneurial journey I have lost many battles, battles many would think of as failures. To me, however, what is important is winning the war. Being an entrepreneur is all about winning the war and accepting these battles (which others call failures) as part of the process of growing a business and winning the war.

Have a great day!

MJ

The Startup Entrepreneur’s Obsession To Be Perfect

Hustle Branding - obsession to be perfect

About a month ago, Gary and I were having a conversation with a business partner of ours about a project we have been working on that has progressed a great deal and gained significant momentum that now seems to be circling the runway in a prolonged holding pattern.

Truth is, we have done a tremendous amount of work on the project, however, I began to sense we were starting to over-do it and over-think it to the point that it was reaching a point of diminishing returns.

This is not uncommon when startups try to achieve perfection…

Trying To Be Perfect Before You Begin

There is only so much you can do in the pre-market phase of a new startup. In my opinion, we have taken this new venture about as far as we can possibly go in this pre-market phase and we are starting to try to solve issues that we have no idea will happen until we first bring it to market. I told one of our partners, “we are trying to be perfect. As you know, perfect is the enemy of the good.”  To my surprise, he didn’t know what that meant, despite the fact that he admitted he had heard it a number of times, many of those from me.

To me, perfection is a 4-Letter word because to a perfectionist, everything is a failure. Why? Because we are never perfect. Ever. It just doesn’t happen… and even if it did it would be very sad, as there would be no room for improvement.

Do you remember those video games where you mastered the most advanced level? What happened? … You stopped playing it because once you mastered it there was nowhere to go! In life and business, you never master anything, you are never perfect and there is no such thing as an expert . The best you can be, in my opinion, is great.

Great vs Perfect

People need to understand that there is a huge difference between being perfect at something compared to being great or even the best at something. In my last post, I mentioned that I am re-reading (via Audible) Jim Collin’s, Good to Great. One of the 3 parts of the good to great circle is that a company must be the absolute best at what they do. I am in 100% agreement, however that does not mean they are perfect. There is a big difference. You need to understand that.

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

This project that Gary, myself and our two other partners has taken up a tremendous amount of our time. I am fine with that because I am 100% behind it in both belief and commitment (they go hand in hand) but, like I said, in my opinion, we are trying to be perfect, and perfect just ain’t gonna happen.

If you look at the greatest entrepreneurs and investors, they will tell you that the biggest problem companies have is trying to get their product perfect before launch.

Companies that do succeed are never perfect. They come to market with a good and often great (but imperfect) product or service, and then consistently fine-tune the product or service over time AFTER their product or service goes to market. I am convinced this is the correct mindset.

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

Fine Tune

If you are currently creating a product or service and you are trying to be perfect, my strong suggestion is that you stop what you are doing, take a look at what you have created, and see what needs to be addressed now, and what can be worked on later after you go to market. The truth is, there will always be mistakes and there will always be failures of some type or another.

I have had so many failures I literally wrote a book on it. I even started a series on ‘failing up’ in Forbes with David Williams & Mary Michelle Scott called, The Lemon-aide Interviews which is all about what we learn from our mistakes. In first interview, we had Shark Tank’s Daymond John to provide his feedback on what he has learned from his mistakes. As he said in the interview, “If you’re not making mistakes, you are not making moves!”

You can visit the column, here.

Being a sports guy, I’m going to use basketball as an example…

The 3 Kings

When the Miami Heat drafted Lebron, Wade, and Bosh it sounded perfect. The truth, however was that, although it seemed they had all the talent to win, they had to get on the court and start figuring out how this 3 man mechanism was going to work in the way Pat Riley envisioned.

Truth is, they needed a little bit of time to get on the court and figure it out. In fact, they couldn’t even figure it out in the first full season. They fine-tuned the radio until it finally sounded perfect… but you and I should know at this point… there is no such thing as perfect, just great.

Have a great day! (pun intended)

 

MJ

 

7 Fail-Proof Ways To Avoid The Plague Of The Status Quo

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When I think about life in total, our stay is a short one. I think we would all like to believe time is on our side, and to a certain extent it is. Life is crowded and full of ‘Stuff’ that we do every day. But my question is, “is the stuff that we do changing us, changing others or making a difference? – even if it’s for our own selfish needs?”

What I’ve noticed is a lot us are neither selfish, nor self-less as we seem to fall somewhere in the grayness of the middle. I think we do this because we get too used to our own routine (whether good or bad), and hit the repeat button every day… like robots.

The truth is, it is much easier to stay with the routine than it is to break the tractor beam of the status quo. It’s as though you are in a trance and the mother ship has beckoned you to fall in line and follow others. It reminds me of the movie, The Equilibrium, where everybody was, well, the same… and they were punished for doing anything other than the norm.

Audacious or Crazy?

I was an early bloomer when it came to breaking the status quo as, when I think back, it was a fairly audacious move when I started out running my first business with MJ. Becoming an entrepreneur during my senior year of college was not my plan and neither was leaving school to become one. The timing sucked. Shipping orders and studying for tests just don’t mix well together, and when you throw a lot of money and risk into the equation, studying just doesn’t have the importance that it once had before.

What I came to understand was that it wasn’t an audacious move for me – the people around me thought it was audacious and probably crazy, but if Steve Jobs, The Wright Brothers, and Henry Ford were called crazy, I’ll gladly wear that title as well.

Finding The Lost Tribe

 I’m a believer that journeys lead to other great discoveries. While in college, MJ and I were a unique occurrence among the status quo, which consisted of students trying to get good grades and eventually move on to a career in their field. We started out just like everyone else, but were drawn into a different direction that seemed more worthwhile and expressive of what we wanted to do for a living.

As you could imagine, there weren’t many people who could relate, or have perspective on what we were doing – initially. As we started to spend more time outside of the college environment,  we began to build connections to other entrepreneurs across several types of business. It was like finding our lost tribe because we were able to gain more perspective on what we were doing.

We began to understand why we were able to break the ‘tractor beam’ of the status quo. It wasn’t because we were born that way, or that we were brought up to think that way. It wasn’t about being different, for the sake of being different. It was simply seeing and believing in possibilities that others may have thought of as pure fiction. If that’s audacious – then so be it.

Being Audacious and Fearless

We can not grow walking a path that has beaten down and trampled by others as that path becomes hard as a rock. You will come to find out that at the end of that path is an endless line filled with people that look, think and act the same. New paths are forged with fresh new foot-prints – ones where the lines are short or non-existent.

So, how do we become more audacious and fearless?  Here are 7 fail-proof ways you can start working on, right now!

1)  Develop Your Dreams (Big or Small) – The 1st and most important step is having a dream or idea worth pursuing… Something that will get you out of bed everyday excited. Your dream has to spark you enough that you will invest your time in learning all you can about it.

2)  Be Yourself – Like this quote says, “One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.” Fighting the status quo is hard but bringing out your true self will eventually showcase your uniqueness.

3)  Challenge Your Past – Your past doesn’t equal your future. Being tied to your story will keep you thinking and acting like you always have. To break that, you must gradually re-write a different story that supports your new outlook.

4)  Accept A New Future – Part of re-writing your past is simultaneously accepting and believing in a new future. Your ability to make the future as real as possible will inevitably be your guiding light to success.

5)  Live with Integrity – Integrity is not some general rule that all should live by. Integrity is what you have developed, and the standards that you live by. Simply said, “Integrity is what we say, what we do, and what we say we do,” – Don Galer

6)  Own the Successes and Failures – It’s easy to blame others for bad outcomes in our lives, and it’s just as easy to give ourselves credit for the good ones. Own everything! This will enable you to take responsibility for your own outcomes.

7)  Plan and Take Action – Planning is what brings our future into reality. “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.” This quote is one that you should have on re-dial because planning takes consistency and discipline – that’s half the battle!

Today I challenge you to re-assess your career and life plans. Here are some questions to consider…

Have you been just going through the motions, or have you been challenging yourself to uncover who and what you want to be?

Are you making the sacrifices necessary to succeed, or have you decided not to give up the things that will not make your dreams into reality?

Are you confronting fear with courage, or is fear ruling your ability to start, continue and succeed at the goals and aspirations you have set for yourself?

Ask these questions, give yourself some honest answers, and just maybe you will not only survive the status quo plague, but thrive among it!

Work Hard, Work Smart & Stay Hungry!

Gary

 

 

The Ultimate Screw-Up’s Guide To Failing Forward

Fail Forward

I went to college at University of Colorado. The end of my sophomore year, I moved off-campus with a bunch of guys, one who’s name was Tom. I hated Tom (understatement). I think it was probably because he had the one thing that I hated more than arrogance… unjustifiable arrogance. He had ABSOLUTELY no reason to be arrogant. He was about the corniest guy I had ever met in my life, and looked like a chubby grown up version of Richie Rich.

Tom was from a state where guns were legal and he had a permit so he would walk around the house with his gun in a holster like he was a cop, despite the fact that violent crime in Boulder Colorado at the time was about as rare as stumbling upon a mountain lion on 42nd street.

The Numbers Game

If you are not familiar with the school, University Of Colorado is a big school and has a very big campus. Every time I would walk through campus with Tom (we left at the same time from the same house), he would stop nearly every woman that crossed our path and ask them out on a date. It was embarrassing. He’d just smile at a girl, stand in her path, extend his hand and say, “Hi I’m Tom.” So much so, that we eventually nicknamed him, “Hi I’m Tom.” Nine times out of ten times the women would practically run away… Which leaves one woman who didn’t.

The Failure Who Succeeded

After a few weeks passed, I noticed Tom was going on a ton of dates. After a month it became ridiculous as women were coming in and out of our house like we were running a brothel.

As it turned out, he explained to me his process. He would ask women out all day until one woman said yes. Every day. If the first said yes he was good, if he had to ask 100 women, the campus was big enough that he would not run short of women to ask.

OK here’s the math…

1 woman a day

7 women a week

28 women a month.

Like I said, a brothel.

The Business Lesson

In business, much like in life, you play the numbers. The only way to succeed in business is to get rejected a lot. And I mean a lot. If you are interested, I wrote an article on the very subject called, 18 Reasons Why Your Rejection Is My Favorite Aphrodisiac. It may help give you a little idea into the reason why I love to be rejected.

So Tom failed and failed a lot. Or so I thought. My take on failure these days is that the only time you fail is when you quit. The truth is that Tom never quit. He simply failed his way forward into success. What’s more, he failed his way into success not once but EVERY SINGLE DAY. One success after another adds up (which explains the revolving door of women at the house).

I believe that the key to success is to build your rejection muscle and grow super thick skin. In order to do this you need fall on your ass repeatedly. One of my favorite analogies to explain this is the process of a baby learning how to walk. How many times do you think a baby falls before finally learning how to walk?

Conversely, what do you think would happen if the baby gave up after falling a few times and just said, “Oh screw it. I’ll just wait until my legs are strong enough.” What would happen is it would take forever for the baby’s leg muscles to grow, and by the time he or she could walk, the other kids would be running laps.

Be Like Tom

If you are a company looking for an investment, remember, you don’t have to succeed everyday (like Cornball Tom), you only need to succeed once. Like I said, it is all about growing thick skin.  If you knew how many times I have failed (and still fail everyday) you would understand why I dedicate most of my time to help  people learn from the mistakes of others. I wrote a book about it, which contains 55 case-studies of my most infamous screw-ups. If you want to read the first few chapters, click here .

I encourage you to be like Tom today. I want you to tell yourself you are going to fail this week and I want you to be encouraged by the very thought. Why? Because, the more times you come up to the plate the greater your chance of striking out… but that is the only way to give yourself a chance to score.

Here are 3 more articles I suggest you read on the subject of failure, rejection and how to grow thick skin.

7 Actions You Must Take Today To Grow Insanely Thick Skin.

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

You Miss Every Shot You Don’t Take

*NOTE: You will notice Daymond & I 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! :-)

Have a great day & HUSTLE HARD!

MJ