Ash Avildsen is the Founder/CEO of Sumerian Records and was the Founder/CEO of The Pantheon Agency. For the past eight years, Ash has been a key player in the new wave of hard rock music as both an agent and a label owner. Discovering and developing acts like Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides, Animals As Leaders and many others from before the bands had ever toured or put out albums. Ash is also the director of his debut film “What Now.”
“Success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be happy” ~ The Buddha
1. Success Does Not Equal Happiness
One of the common misconceptions of the modern world is that success automatically equals happiness. While it is true that many successful people experience tremendous levels of happiness, this is not due to their success, it is a product of their character and mindset.
Do what makes you happy, do what makes you fulfilled, do things that no one would have to pay you for because you are so passionate about it.
At the end of the day, you can’t take a single dollar you earn with you, all the material accomplishments and “things” will fade away and all you will be left with is your experiences and the impact you had on the world. So do what you love and don’t worry about the money; your happiness is contingent on your experiences and your attitude, not your bank account.
2. Don’t Let Haters Get to You
“You have made enemies? Good, that means you’ve stood up for something at some time in your life.” ~Winston Churchill.
If you set out to accomplish anything big in your life, regardless of what it is, there will be haters. There will be people who tell you that you can’t do it, that you aren’t good enough, that you’ll never succeed. Ignore every single one of them.
No one great every accomplished anything by listening to the doubters, people who feel the need to try and bring you down are often suffering from their own insecurities and fear that you will succeed and they will not. Learn to accept criticism and ignore “trolling” your life, business, and relationships will all be better for it.
3. You Have to Have Faith That You Can Do It
“Whether you believe you can or can’t, you’re certainly right” ~Henry Ford
Everything starts with faith. The faith in yourself, your abilities, and your perseverance. You must have faith that if you put in the time, money and effort, you will inevitably succeed. How could you not? When you are educating yourself, learning from the best, taking massive action and learning from that action; success is inevitable.
Have faith in yourself and faith in the process, and at the end of the day, you will achieve the things that you desire.
4. Try to Improve Your Batting Average
No one is perfect, no one “bats 1,000,” but most of us have significant room for improvement in our lives. Take time to examine each area of your life, examine the results that you have achieved. What are you batting in health? In wealth? In love? In personal growth?
Be honest and brutal with yourself. Figure out what you need to improve on and then take action. Life is nothing except for a never ending cycle of challenges and growth, if you aren’t growing you are dying. Stay in the land of the living; improve everything.
6. Do it Yourself
We live in an age of men who lack self reliance. Society and technology have made us soft. Small occurrences that used to be minor bumps in the road are now considered catastrophic set backs.
One flat tire, one broken bulb, one business project where you don’t know exactly what to do, one fitness program that doesn’t map out every second of your workout, and we are screwed. Learn to be independent, do things yourself.
Do not rely on others for help or affirmation, just do it! If you don’t know, than follow Tai Lopez’s advice and “Just damn google it.” Do not allow yourself to become dependent on anything or anyone, do it yourself and make your own destiny.
Dr. Joe Martin is an award-winning speaker, author, professor, and retention expert. He’s authored or co-authored seven books, including the top-selling Good Teachers Never Quit and Tricks of the Grade.
In spite of being reared in one of the toughest inner-city ghettos in Miami, Florida, Joe started his first business at the age of 22 and his second at the age of 26. Professor Martin became the youngest, tenured-earning faculty member ever hired to teach at a state University in Florida at the age of 24.
He’s now regarded as “The Educator’s Educator” and the country’s leading expert on new teacher retention and student motivation issues. Joe is a visiting professor and educational consultant and he lectures on more than 60 college campuses a year.
“Watch what most people would do in a given situation and do the total opposite” ~ Dr. Joe Martin
1. Do Not Follow the Crowd
If you want to achieve a life that is different from the crowd, if you want to break away from the flock, and live life on your terms, then you cannot take the same action that the flock takes. You must ensure that every decision you make is as far removed from what the average and mediocre would do as possible. Seek out mentors, find role models living the life that you desire, and model your actions after them.
Do not follow what uninspired and small minds are doing. Ignore their criticism and focus on becoming great.
2. External Trappings Do Not Make You a Man
You can achieve every goal you have set in life. The beautiful wife, the big house, sports car and million dollar business, but none of it makes you a man. The measure of a man is not in the size of his wallet, or number of women he’s slept with; the measure of a man is his character and his impact. It does not matter how much money you are making if you are not making it in an honorable manner.
It does not matter how beautiful your wife is if you are not treating her with respect and dignity. It does not what you have achieved if you are not living your life for a purpose bigger than yourself! To be a true man, you must have unwavering values, you must focus on helping others more than yourself, and you must make sure that your existence means something to this world.
3. A Real Man Has Integrity
One of the most essential traits of a real man is integrity. Doing what you say you will do and doing what you know and believe is right…PERIOD. If you set a standard for yourself or commit an action to someone else, it does not matter how you feel in the moment, it does not matter that you are tired or weak or busy.
Do what is right, and do what you say you will do. NO trait is more important than this.
4. Your Purpose is Above Everything
Your purpose in this life is unique. In a world of 7 billion people, no one else has your exact calling, no one has your exact talents, mindset and goals. You must put this calling, this purpose above everything else. You must put it above your relationships, above your bank account and above your momentary desires.
Your purpose is what guides you through everything so you must not forgo it for anything.
5. A Real Man Teaches Others to Be Real Men
An essential transition in every man’s journey is when he realizes that he has the obligation to teach and mentor others. Regardless of your status in life or your development as a man, you still have something valuable to offer the world and other men. Do not do yourself or the world the disservice of letting that gift go un-given.
Teach others what you know, help those struggling in trials through which you have already passed and be generous with your time and gifts. Because at the end of the day, the money, cars, and one night stands will amount to nothing and all that will remain is the legacy you leave and the lives you impact
6. You Must Have a Mentor
As men, we are often hesitant to admit our need for help to ourselves, let alone others. However, we must realize that a true man knows his weaknesses and brings other men into his life to help him work through the challenges. Life is confusing, it’s scary and it’s uncertain, but it doesn’t need to be lonely. Open up, be vulnerable, be authentic; find a man that you can trust and ask him to help you, to hold you accountable, to mentor you. Your life will never be the same once you do.
Dr. Andrew Hill received his PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from UCLA in 2012, studying how attention operates in the brain. He is currently lecturing for the Undergraduate Education Initiatives program at UCLA, teaching a course sequence gerontology, and the neuroscience of healthy brain aging.
Dr. Hill has published chapters on measuring and modulating human attention, and continues to research self regulation.
“Do what you love and the money will follow” ~Marsha Sinetar
1. If you do not do what you love, you may achieve success but it will not be your success
Many men exemplify the qualities of successful individuals. They have drive, they have ambition and they have an innovative mind. But if you are not actively putting your skills and traits into building the life and business of your dreams, the successes you achieve will not fulfill you.
As the old saying goes “You may climb all the way to the top of the ladder only to find it is leaning on the wrong wall.” Don’t lean your ladder on the wrong wall. Life is short, make the most of it. Do what you love, do it with a passion, do it will more heart and soul than anyone else, and all the fame, recognition, and money that you have sought after will come.
2. Practice Meditation
One of the only free methods of cognitive training, mindful meditation has been proven to aid in several neurological functions. From improving your attention control, to memory to, to reducing stress and inflammation, meditation is one of the most beneficial and accessible forms neuro training available.
Studies have also shown that the amount of time you spend meditating actually matters less than the consistency with which you practice, so 3 minutes a day immediately after waking up is more beneficial than an hour once a week.
3. Basic Healthy Habits Increase Brain Health
The best way to increase overall brain health is to improve the quality of your overall health. Eat a diet that is low in starch and sugar and high in fats, exercise in some way every day, and ensure that you are getting at least 6 hours of quality sleep every night.
Without a basic foundation, no amount of nootropics or electrode stimulation will turn you into the high achieving machine you want to be.
4. Exercise Caution when Using Nootropics
A relatively new form of supplement, nootropics are cognitive enhancers that aid in: memory, mental agility, alertness, and overall brain function. However, because of how new the industry is, and the lack of FDA regulation, a large number of supplements on the market are complete bs. Before you purchase or more importantly ingest any nootropic, make sure that it is backed by research, testing, and lots of scientific evidence.
For a simple starter with nootropics, purchase L-Theanine oil and add it to your morning coffee. L-Theanine is a naturally occurring cognitive enhancer found in many teas and other similar drinks. It is inexpensive, completely safe to use, and overall, one of the best introductions to the world of neuro supplements.
5. Figure Out What You Would Do if You Knew You Couldn’t Fail
Many of us waste time in careers that don’t inspire us, relationships that don’t excite us, and lifestyles that don’t fulfill us. Of the many excuses and issues surrounding our complacency, one problem surfaces most of all: Fear of failure. What we must understand about failure is that it is rarely final, and almost never as devastating as we make it out to be in our minds.
Whatever you want to do, go after it like you knew you couldn’t fail. Put in the hours, grind it out, do the work, and what you will discover is that the failure you so dreaded likely never come to fruition. Instead you will be left with a fulfilling and exciting life like nothing you could have ever imagined.
6. Don’t Dick Around
You only have a limited amount of time on this planet. Despite the societal idea that “30s are the new 20s” you will not live forever. You need to get your ass into gear now and start hustling to create the life that you want to live. Don’t wait for some day, don’t put off what you love for something you “have” to do, and don’t waste time on partying and intoxicants.
Start building the life you want now, so that you can have the future others will only dream of
Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online, graphics-design service, and an executive fellow at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is the author of The Art of the Start 2.0, The Art of Social Media, Enchantment, and ten other books. Guy has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.
“If you believe it, you will see it” ~ Jesus Christ
1. Things Are Seldom as Good or Bad as You Think
In life, you will be presented with numerous challenges and triumphs. Accompanying these experiences will be a roller coaster of emotions from tear drenched depression and frustration to euphoric highs of achievement. However, despite what you may feel in the present moment, things are rarely as good or bad as they appear.
The failure in your business or relationship is not the end of the world, and generating your first 7 figure company is not as life-alteringly incredible as it once seemed. As the Latin proverb states “En medio stat veritas,” the truth lays in the middle.
Learn to see life’s struggles and accomplishments for what they truly are and always keep perspective on the good and the bad.
2. Life is Short
Don’t waste time waiting for tomorrow. If you want to build the business, build it, if you want to talk to the girl, do it, if you want to pack up and travel the world, now is as good a time as any. Do not wait for all the lights to turn green or for the stars to align, if you want something, make it happen. The only certainty in life is death, act in accordance.
3. Your Customer Cannot Tell You What They Want
Your customers are an excellent source for improving existing products, but they lack the innovation and vision to tell you what they really want. They did not know that they wanted an iPhone or Amazon.com or any of the other industry shattering creations of the past. It is up to you as a producer and entrepreneur to innovate and create something that alters the way the industry works
4. The Goal is To Ship
Your goal as a businessman is not to secure funding or build capital, but to ship. Ship your product or service as soon as humanly possible. Then, after you have shipped; learn, improve and ship again.
5. Tell a Story
If you want to connect with a customer or client, tell a story. Don’t hash out the same, dried up marketing hype surrounding every new product. Tell them a story that they can relate to, tell them a story about what your product can do for their lives, tell them a story about who you are and why you are doing what you are doing.
If you can engage your audience into your story, into your journey, you have a much greater chance of closing the sale and building customer loyalty in the long term.
6. Man Up
Quit whining, grow a pair, and put in the work. Quit bitching about how unfair life is and make something of it. If you want something, than go after it, pursue your goals tirelessly, never quit, and at the end of the day, you will achieve what you want.
7. Take Advantage of Opportunity
The biggest key to being a successful entrepreneur is to have the ability to seek out and take advantage of opportunity. When you see a viable opportunity, don’t be like most people who simply say “That’s a great idea,” or “Someone will make millions off that one day.” See the opportunity and take it. You never know when you may pass up on the next billion dollar enterprise
8. Work Your Ass Off
“Good things come to those who wait, but only things left by those who hustle.” ~Abraham Lincoln
You cannot sit on the sidelines and expect the world to hand you the life of your dreams. You have to be willing to put in the work to make it happen. Wake up before everyone else, stay longer, train harder, invest more, educate yourself more. Do not settle for mediocre work. Strive to be above average, to be extraordinary.
Be willing to put in more work than anybody could reasonably expect of you, and you will achieve the results you want in less time than anyone could reasonably expect of you.
Dean Graziosi is well known as America’s #1 real estate expert, author, speaker and entrepreneur. Based in Scottsdale, AZ, Dean has written Multiple New York Times best-selling books and has touched the lives of Millions of people around the world with his powerful investing education.
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm” ~ Winston Churchill
1. Failure is an Essential Piece of Success
Many entrepreneurs and other businessmen believe that success is a straight road, you simply get on the path and once you get enough momentum you will succeed.
What they don’t understand is that there is no success without failure, as Ryan Holiday says, “The obstacle is the way.” Even the most illustrious of companies and entrepreneurs have faced tremendous adversity and “unconquerable”situations before they achieved the renown they know today.
When going into any new endeavor, expect failure, expect to be tested beyond your perceived limits, and expect things to which you devoted your whole life to fail.
Do what you can to prevent failures by reading books by those who have gone before and gathering an army of mentors, but realize that even with all the preparation in the world, you will fail. And when you do, have the courage to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and go again.
2. Use Your Pain as a Motivator
The natural state of human-kind is to move towards pleasure and away from pain. This is the driving force behind every action we take. Therefor, learn to use the pain in your life to motivate you towards success.
Make the pain of inaction or ultimate failure (not temporary setbacks) far greater than the pain of getting off your ass and doing what needs to be done. Overweight? Learn to make the pain of dying young, and being unable to live a full life greater than the pain of going to the gym. Broke? Then make the pain of not having the money to live the life of your dreams greater than the pain of forgoing temporary pleasure.
Pain is one of the most powerful tools in your belt if you learn to harness it properly. Leverage pain to create the life you want.
3. Don’t Work on Your Weaknesses
One of the biggest lies of our society is to work on our weaknesses. From grade school we are taught to focus on things we suck at instead of improving things for which we have a natural propensity. If you made an A in math and a C in English, you were told to work harder in English instead of doubling down in the areas which you already excel.
Root out this mentality like a cancer, embrace your strengths and delegate your weaknesses, the only way to build a vibrant business or life is to fill it with people working from areas of excellence and passion. Forget your weaknesses and work on your strengths. You will be healthier, wealthier and wiser for it.
4. Most People Will Not Understand
If you are on this site, you are unique. Most people are not filling their heads with the knowledge and wisdom of the wise and successful and as such, they will try and bring you and your dreams down.They do not understand the world the way you do, they are victims and pessimists.
Do not let small minded underachievers prevent you from achieving the life of your dreams. Go for what you want, go big, build the life of your dreams the business of your dreams, do what you damn well please and don’t let broke unhappy people stop you.
5. Protect Your Confidence
Ensure that you guard your confidence in yourself above all else. If you do not believe in yourself and your abilities, you will never accomplish great things. Realize the importance of confidence in all areas of your life and take daily actions that reaffirm your self belief.
6. Remove Energy Vampires
Plain and simple, if you sigh when someone calls or messages you, they need to be cut out of your life. As harsh as this sounds, you cannot afford to waste time and energy on people who do nothing but drain you.
7. What Your Surround Yourself Shapes Your Destiny
Your environment will, in large part, determine your destiny. Surround yourself with inspiring and high caliber individuals, fill your head with knowledge and ideas from the best minds, listen to audio tapes and CDs. No matter where you are in life, by altering your environment, you will alter who you become, get started today creating an environment conducive to excellence.
8. You Have to Actually Do The Work
No amount of positive thinking or visualization will make the life of your dreams fall into your lap, you have to get up and do the work. Period.
9. Go 7 Levels Deep to Find Your Why
One of the most powerful tools for getting the motivation required to succeed is to go 7 levels deep with your “why.” Ask yourself what you want, then follow up with “why?”, then again and again, 7 times until you are at the very core of what it is that is truly motivating you.
Do this exercise and your eyes will be open to the truth behind every action you take. Do this, and you will be better equipped to crush it in life, love, and business.
10. Trust Your Heart and Not Your Head
Trust your heart above your head. Your heart knows what you truly want and what will truly fulfill you in life, your head only knows what friends, family, and society have told it will fulfill you. Do the hard thing now, condition yourself to trust your heart and you won’t go wrong.
Mark Belden is a personal growth fanatic, having devoted the last 10 years of his life to growing himself into the man he wants to be. He is the founder of the self help and dating blog thenewmanwithin.com and is currently working on turning his blog into his full time career.
“When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful.” ~ Eric Thomas
1. Improve Your Environment, Improve Your Life
One of the quickest ways to improve your life is to improve your environment. Surround yourself with inspiring and ambitious people, spend more time at seminars and live events than bars and clubs, read more books and watch less TV.
When you change what you surround yourself with, you will begin to change who you are, you must realize the power of your environment to shape your destiny.
2. Approach Life and Dating From an Abundance Mentality
We often see the opportunities and circumstances presented to us as once in a lifetime. We are approached about a business idea or meet a new girl and think “Oh my God! If I miss out on this, nothing like it will ever come my way again.” But we fail to realize that life is full of abundance.
There are thousands of opportunities everyday for a budding entrepreneur and countless single, high quality women. We must remember that life is full of opportunities if we will seek them out and take them, do not become too attached to one idea, girl or business. There will always be other opportunities.
3. Learn to be Authentic with Others
One of the biggest struggles for the modern man is authenticity. From a young age we have been told to “toughen up” and “get over it,” and even though strength and toughness is necessary to be a thriving man, we often miss another piece of the puzzle. Vulnerability.
Learn to express your thoughts and feelings honestly, do not be caught up in having the perfect thing to say or the manliest pickup line. Be who you are and say what you want without fear of the outcome. “Be you, because everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde.
4. Cultivate Emotional Intelligence
As men, we focus on developing many skills and traits. We focus on physical strength, intellectual prowess business savvy, but we often overlook one of the most essential traits of a complete man: Emotional intelligence. To operate on the highest levels, you must learn to be in touch with your own emotions in every moment.
Learn to accept how you feel in and learn from it, do not hide away, accept it and use it to create the life you want.
You were given two ears and one mouth for a reason, use them in that proportion…you might be surprised where it gets you.
Alistair Overeem is a Dutch mixed martial artist and professional fighter. He is one of the only fighters who holds a belt in different combat sports and the only mixed martial artists to win the K-1 Grad Prix Title. Alistair is currently training for his next fight against Roy Nelson on March 14th in Dallas, Texas.
1. Be Positive
Fighting professionally for nearly two decades, Alistair has experienced his fair share of wins and losses. However, unlike many fighters, he has never allowed defeat to crush his will to continue fighting. He has always stayed positive, knowing that tomorrow was a new day and a new fight.
If you want to succeed in anything in life; physically, financially, or socially, you must develop a positive mindset. Do not allow setbacks or “failure” to cloud your judgement or prevent you from achieving on the level which you desire. Know that if you put in the work and are willing to do what others won’t, chances are, at the end of the day you will achieve what you desire.
2. Improve Every Day
No matter how good you think you are, or how successful you feel, you must always keep improving. If you are not improving you are dying. Do not allow success to go to your head and cause your growth to stagnate. Use your wins as a springboard to succeed on a higher level in the next fight.
3. Keep Going
A quitter never wins. You must realize that no matter what your goals in life, they cannot be achieved through quitting. If you fail at something, no matter how monumental the failure, you still succeeded more than you would have without trying. You will fail on the road to achieving your goals, but you cannot allow these failures to define you, pick yourself up, get back on the horse, and kick ass.
4. Your Environment is Your Foundation
What you surround yourself with is what you become. If you are around uninspired, unmotivated individuals, you will slowly adopt their ways. But, if you surround your self with ambitious, high achieving people who empower you to succeed, every facet of your life will improve 100 fold. Realize that environment is stronger than willpower and work to ensure that your environment is optimized for success.
Freddie Achom is a Nigerian born British business man, entrepreneur, and investor who decided to follow an unconventional route by dropping out of medical school and starting his own business. Freddie founded what would be his first million dollar company, the Rosemont Group, in his early 20’s and is currently serving as Chairman of the company.
Freddie is now focused on giving back to the next generation of entrepreneurs helping young inventors, businessmen, and CEO’s acquire the capital and develop the relationships necessary for personal and professional success.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage continue that counts.” ~Winston Churchill
1. You Cannot Live Your Life for Others
Each of us have a plethora of voices vying for our attention. Our parents, friends, coworkers, and even society all tell us how we should live our lives. Although none of these voices is necessarily bad, almost none of them are looking out for our best interest.
They all want something different for our lives than we do, they want us to have security, they want us to have safety, they want us to stay on the same playing field they’re on, in short they do not want us to live the lives we were designed to live. As men, we want lives of danger, lives of risk, and above all, lives of purpose, but we cannot accomplish our purpose if we are following a plan laid out for us by someone else. We must march to our own drum and create our ideal lives, not the live’s of others.
2. Relationships Are Key to Business
Many young and aspiring entrepreneurs forget the famous saying “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” We focus on developing our skill sets, on absorbing as much knowledge as possible, we read as many books and listen to as many podcasts as is humanly possible in a single day. But we forget that first and foremost, all business is relationships.
No matter what you are building or creating, you cannot do it without creating and sustaining relationships with your customers, employees and mentors. As you begin building your knowledge and skills, remember to focus on growing your network as much as yourself.
3. Do Not Try and Scale too Quickly
Many otherwise promising businesses have failed because of hasty growth. Do not try and force your business into its next chapter prematurely. Build your companies core values, build your brand and client base, and allow the growth to happen naturally over time.
4. Focus on the Core Values of Your Company
Instead of getting caught up in the valuation of your company or your projected growth over the next quarter, focus on the core values of your company. What are you and your business here on this earth to do? How well are you achieving this mission? Every couple of months, take time to analyze your business and the direction it is headed in, make sure that every action is in alignment with your ultimate vision for your company and your life.
5. Make Sure You Have a Large Market Disruption
Too many companies aim for small or mediocre impact within the marketplace. Set audacious goals, make it your mission to have such a huge effect on the marketplace that your niche will never be the same again after you enter. Think of companies life Google and Microsoft who have revolutionized entire industries, you must strive to have an effect on the same scale.
Regardless of whether you believe you can have an impact on the same level as these companies, companies that have defined a generation, remember the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, “I would rather aim for the stars and hit a stump than aim for a stump and miss.” Don’t aim for a stump in your life, dare mighty things, and at worse, when you fail, you will fail heroically.
6. Failure is Never Final
In the modern world, almost no failure is final. There is always a way to pick your self up by your bootstraps and get back on your feet. Think of people like Donald Trump who went $9 billion dollars in debt when the recession hit…and then paid it all back and became, once again, one of the wealthiest people in the world.
No matter how catastrophic you may feel your failure is, there is always a way to get back to the top if you are committed.
7. The Journey is More Important Than The Destination
As men who are not content with average lives, it is often very difficult to live in the now whenever our whole existences are so far below what we imagine. However, we cannot lose sight of the joy of the journey, we can’t stop enjoying the grind.
In reality the only end destination is death, enjoy the journey, because the journey is life, enjoy improving, enjoy failing, enjoy succeeding. Whatever you do, enjoy it, and enjoy it to the full, don’t wish for tomorrow, because tomorrow will bring its own challenges, live for today.
8. Understanding People is Key to Success in Business
One of the most crucial skills you can develop in your life is the ability to read and understand people. This will put you heads and shoulders above your competition in business, love, and life. Take time to study human psychology, understand what drives people to action, what holds people back.
Learn to understand what people want and to read how they react to situations and you will have yet another force multiplier in your quest for the good life.
9. You Must Balance All Pillars of Your Life
Life is short, you must never allow your desire for material success and fame to outweigh the important things in your life like family and friends. Learn to balance your life. Build your business, hustle like hell, but spend time with people in your life that are important to you, reignite old hobbies, call a friend you haven’t seen in years, in short, live life like you knew you would die tomorrow.
All the material gains in the world aren’t worth a damn when it’s all said and done, all that you will have to take with you into the great beyond are the people you loved and the lives you impacted.
10. Break The Rules
As Mark Twain so famously said “When you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.” No one on this site wants to be average, no one here wants to work an average dead end job for 50 years only to find they can’t retire and then continue that job until they die.
Everyone here wants to be extraordinary. But to be extraordinary sometimes means bending the rules, it means taking the path less traveled or doing the unconventional thing. Do not be a slave to tradition and “supposed to’s” create the life you want, whether it fits society’s mold or not.
Mike Michalowicz is back for his third interview on the Knowledge for Men show! Mike is a serial entrepreneur, who by age 24 had started his first million dollar business. He then proceeded to repeat his success three more times.
Mike is the author of the entrepreneur’s cult classic “The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur” as well as “The Pumpkin Plan” and “Profit First.” Mike is now the CEO of his third million dollar venture, Profit First Professionals.
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the things you did.” ~ Mark Twain
Nearly every man who listens to this show wants to have the freedom and income that comes from being a successful entrepreneur.
However, we often struggle with starting and sustaining a business that will afford us the lifestyle we desire, in this interview, Mike breaks down 10 essential steps and mind sets that are key to creating your first $1,000/month business.
1. Take Advantage of Having a Stable Income
The first step to succeeding in creating a side hustle is to realize the benefits of having a stable 9-5. When you have a source of income separate from the business or product you are trying to create, it removes some of the anxiety and desperation that entrepreneurs who quit their jobs to build a business sometimes feel.
Since you do not rely on your side hustle for your livelihood, you will not be forced to compromise the integrity of your business so that you can put food on the table, you will be able to build and scale your business how you want, when you want, and with whom you want.
Use the job you have now as a springboard to invest in yourself and your company and ensure that the business you create is the business you want to have, not the business you must have to survive.
2. Fix Problems for Yourself (and Look for Opportunities for Entrepreneurial Action in Your 9-5)
One of the keys to finding a profitable idea that you are passionate about is to fix problems for yourself.
Find things that bother you on a regular basis and try and find what new and innovative ways you can fix them. You will not only solve your own annoyances and pet peeves, but you will likely find that there is a large customer base willing to pay you to fix the same issue.
Another potential way to develop a product or service is to find a problem within the company you currently work for.
As a member of a company, you often realize what product or service they may need to operate more efficiently. This gives you the unique opportunity to create and market your business to a customer with whom you have already established trust. Use the leverage and insider knowledge you have already built within your current company to find a solution to a problem that can be scaled and adapted for similar situations.
3. Never Ask for Opinions, Ask for Investment
When you ask friends or family for their input on an idea, their first reaction will almost always be to try and validate you and your product, to make you feel good about yourself. They will rarely give you honest input for fear of hurting your feelings or damaging a relationship.
This can lead to false hope and a misconception of the value of what you plan to provide. Instead of asking people what they think of your idea, ask them to put their money where their mouth is and invest. This will serve two purposes.
First: This will provide you with more accurate feedback as to how feasible and lucrative your business idea may be, and second: It will help you generate the necessary capital to get your business off the runway. If friends, family, and strangers aren’t willing to invest in your idea, then modify and try again.
4. Setup an LLC
Setting up an LLC for your business and product is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to protect yourself from legal or financial liability. Setting up an LLC early on in your business gives you a cushion of protection from disgruntled customers and employees; this prevents a large number of potential legal crisis from occurring and gives you peace of mind as you conduct your affairs.
5. You Have an Obligation to Deliver Quickly
When you receive an investment or pre-sale, you have an obligation to deliver to your investor or customer quickly. Hustle your ass off and get the promised return or product into their hands as quickly as possible. Not only will this make your current customer happy, but it will increase the likelihood of recommendations and referrals.
Regardless of whether you are able to deliver your product on time, it is essential that you maintain good communication with your customers. Whether this is in the form of update emails, quirky thank-you gifts, or follow up surveys, you will build trust and rapport with your existing client base, which, inevitably, will lead to more customers.
7. Use Time Restraints to Your Advantage
As Mike said in the show, “The less available a resource is, the more we will squeeze out of it.” If you are currently under time restraints due to your employment or family obligations, you will be forced to use what available time you have to the full advantage. From eliminating useless tasks, outsourcing, and using the 80/20 law, when your back is against the wall, you will be forced to be more creative and effective with how you spend your precious few hours.
8. Build Your Business not Your Plan
As a beginning entrepreneur, it is so easy to get stuck in the trap of over-planning and under-performing. Determine your vision for your company, then take action. Don’t wait until you have the perfect plan or business model, just take as much action as is humanly possible. After you take loads of imperfect action, review your vision and the direction of your company each quarter and course correct as needed.
9. Get Uncomfortable
Change only comes from discomfort. You must force yourself out of your comfort zone, you must create a reason to change, otherwise, all of your goals and dreams will simply be a nice idea, fantasies relegated to “someday.” You must make the pain of inaction far greater than the fear of failure.
If you are not currently in a situation that is painful enough to elicit the action you want to take, start setting goals, making bets, and programming yourself to take the action necessary to live the life of your dreams.
10. JUST DO IT
No matter how much advice or guidance you are given, it will not amount to anything without massive action. So get out there, start today, don’t look for perfection, just take action and start making things happen, and you will look back on your life later, thankful that you did.