September 2016: Badass Interviews from LA to NYC
The majority of my September was spent planning, prepping and conducting interviews with some simply amazing and inspiring individuals. (More on this in section 2 under Projects I moved forward…)
Other than my interview series, I was able to publish several new videos and blogs, and also wrapped up an awesome web design project with some 16 year old hustlers.
- Work I got done
- Projects I’ve moved forward
- Personal learning I’ve been working on
- Other big life events (some of them unexpected)
- Things I’ve learned and want to remember
If you’re new to the blog, I publish these monthly reviews each month for the following reasons:
- to focus myself
- to evaluate my progress
- to learn from failures
- to repeat successes
- to improve and grow
I highly recommend you do the same, as these personal reviews are done by top performers from all different industries. Further, studies have shown that consistently documenting your progress leads to improved levels of satisfaction, well-being and happiness.
1. Work I got done Back To Top
1.1 Published Fuck Your Goals
In this post (my Mom really loved the title of by the way) I challenged the conventional approach to success and our near obsession with the outcome of our efforts. As shared in this article, we need to stop judging our success based on the outcome, and start focusing on the process.
By reverse engineering your goals and determining the daily actions needed to achieve them, you will be able to create unstoppable momentum while focusing on what really matters: the process of improving yourself, daily.
Click here to read the article. And if you feel compelled to do so, please do tell my Mom the article was pretty damn good, despite the title 🙂
1.2 Completed Lace Up website design
One of the most exciting parts of my job is having the ability to work with awesome, ambitious clients behind exciting businesses and projects.
A few weeks back Rohan Bhatia and his team at Lace-Up hired me to create a custom website design for their new startup. I was pumped to work with these guys…
Not because their business idea is great, but because these guys are young, hustling 16 year old high schoolers who have already become co-founders and CEOs at an age where most of us hadn’t even seen our very first chest hair.
16 years old and already committed to making moves to ensure their future success. Love it. What’s your excuse?
They recently won an award for their business idea and it’s really rewarding to be a part of their success.
Keep an eye out for these guys, and of course, be on the lookout for their sexy new website. You can view a preview of their site here.
2. Projects I’ve moved forward
2.1 Interview series featuring top performers
In September I began hosting interviews for my upcoming interview series. This past month I hosted 9 interviews with some simply incredible individuals:
- Coss Marte: former drug kingpin making $2million+ per year in the streets of NYC turned entrepreneur upon his release from prison
- Kevin Kruse: built and sold several, multimillion dollar technology companies, winning Inc 500 and Best Place to Work awards along the way. He is now a sought-after keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management.
- Colin Andrews: co-founder of Idea Buyer which was recently named the 197th fastest growing company in the US by Inc. magazine
- Brian D. Evans: Inc. 500 serial entrepreneur and founder of BDE Ventures, the 172nd fastest growing private company in the US, and Influencive, a business and personal development publication reaching more nearly 1 million monthly readers.
- Billionaire PA: formerly homeless, two-time felon turned entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker and TEDx speaker
- Maca Masse: former creative director at unicorn company, Quest Nutrition. He now owns his own creative studio where he has worked with the likes of Nike and other amazing brands
- Jason D. Bay: host of The GenY Success Show where he has interviewed some of the most successful online entrepreneurs in the world such as Jordan Harbinger (The Art of Charm), John Lee Dumas (Entrepreneur on Fire), Matt Wilson (Under30Experiences, Under30CEO) and many more.
- David de las Morenas: author and blogger at HowtoBeast.com where he helps guys get confident and jacked. His writing has been featured on Bodybuilding.com, AskMen, Lifehack, Muscle & Strength, Elite Daily and more.
- Mike Clum: 23 year old CEO of corporate video production company, Clum Creative, which is on its way to becoming a multi-million dollar company
- Mike Vardy: author, speaker and owner of Productivityist, a resource that helps people get the right things done. He has served as the Managing Editor at Lifehack, and contributed articles on productivity to 99u, Lifehacker, The Next Web, SUCCESS Magazine, and The Huffington Post.
Here was a quick Facebook live video I shared after two amazing interviews with Brian D. Evans and Kevin Kruse.
What I learned from them? Focus on helping others and creating something that people want to be a part of. Let that be the motivator, not the money-making aspect.
I can’t wait to share the interviews with you.
3. Personal learning I’ve been working on Back To Top
3.1 Self awareness and procrastination
My office today: Sugarburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The barista somehow managed to make a face with a mustache in the foam of my latte — MADSKILLZ, YO. To the left of my Mac I have 2 sheets from my notepad. 1) includes my MIT’s (most important tasks) for the day 2) an obstacle that I identified that has been hurting my productivity…. 15 years ago a psychologist named Howard Gardner published a book called “Extraordinary Minds”. He analyzed the lives and work of Ghandi, Sigmund Freud, Virginia Woolf and Mozart. He concluded that these world-changing individuals all had a ‘special talent for identifying their own weaknesses’. In my course that I recently launched on Different Hunger, one of weekly action items was to write down the primary obstacle that has been holding you back, then write down 1-2 strategies as to how you can overcome that obstacle. To create a habit out of this, I advised my readers taking the course to document this on a notecard and make sure it is clearly visible throughout the day while working… For me, I recognized that whenever I had a large, daunting task that I needed to get done, I would procrastinate. I would get up from my computer, go to the fridge for no reason, scroll aimlessly on social media or vacuum the floor, organize my desk, read through my emails, etc… All to avoid the task at hand. To overcome this in the future, I determined two different strategies to avoid procrastination when confronted with a big task: 1) See if task can be broken down into smaller parts 2) Set a 1 minute timer for ‘distraction’ time, then get back to work So far so good. Would love to hear your feedback and hear if any other tactics have worked for you. To wrap this up – self awareness and the ability to analyze your skills/weaknesses is essential. Lose the ego and get real with your BS. I’ll leave you with a Gary Vee quote that perfectly summarizes this concept: “One of the most important things for serious growth is the ability to recognize the difference between understanding who you are, versus who you wish you were.” HAPPY TUESDAY
One of the first modules in the course I launched last month is all about self awareness. The reason for this is simple. If you are not aware of what you are doing wrong or what your weaknesses are, then you cannot improve.
The action item for this course was to identify the biggest obstacle that has been holding you back, determine your strategy for overcoming it, document both of these things on a card / sticky note / etc. and place the note near your workspace so you see it throughout the day.
Sure, I created the course, but I’m still learning like everyone else taking it, so I am taking the course alongside my readers.
It took some introspection and thought for me to determine my obstacle. However, after a while of random room-cleaning vacuum sessions, impulsive strolls to Walgreen’s and frenzied scrolls through social media feeds I determined what my biggest obstacle was: procrastinating on large, uncomfortable tasks.
When I was confronted with a big ugly, but important task (like writing these monthly reviews!), I would procrastinate doing one of the above things.
To overcome this, I decided to first of all, be aware that the procrastination was occurring. Second, I would set a one minute timer on my watch or phone of “distraction time”. I would get the social media browsing or whatever out of the way, then I would have to get back to the task at hand.
For anyone struggling with procrastination, try this strategy out. It has been working pretty well.
4. Other big life events (some of them unexpected)Back To Top
4.1 Attended my very first seminar: Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Academy
A few months ago, one of our readers, Ana, posted in our Different Hunger Facebook group that she had an extra ticket to Brendon’s High Performance Academy…
I was interested, as I had been following Brendon’s work for quite some time now. So, I checked my calendar, hit up my friend Kelly who lives in San Diego to see if I could crash, and booked my flight with points after getting the green light!
This was my very first time attending a seminar and overall, it was a phenomenal experience. The content of the seminar was centered around how to master the four key pillars of high performance: psychology, physiology, productivity, persuasion.
I learned a ton, and walked away from the seminar with more than 10 pages of notes scribbled in my journal.
If you want to view my recap of the key takeaways from Brendon’s High Performance Academy, click here!
Again, I learned a ton at this seminar. I shot this vlog recapping my most important key takeaway:
5. Things I’ve learned and want to rememberBack To Top
5.1 Move $5 tasks to $5 earners
In one of the Facebook groups that I was a part of, one of the members, Shawn Manaher, offered one hour, completely free consultations to help others accelerate their business growth. I jumped at this opportunity given Shawn’s credentials and we ended up having a great discussion about both my web design business and Different Hunger, and Shawn shared with me multiple different strategies to scale each.
While he shared a lot of valuable insights, one of the things that was most valuable was this piece of advice:
You need to move $5 tasks to $5 earners.
Since this conversation with Shawn, I have asked myself before I undergo any task: Can this be outsourced?
This had led to me working with and contracting work out to 5-10 people at a given time between my design business and Different Hunger. The results? My design business has more than 10x’d (from $500/month in May to ~$5,000+/monthly) and Different Hunger continues to grow as well.
As entrepreneurs, we know that our time is the most precious resource in the world. This means that every minute we spend on low-value tasks that can be done by someone else is a minute wasted. If you’re spending hours per week on something like creating social media graphics, that is something that can be easily outsourced to a VA.
In the early stages, this is certainly something many struggle with, most often because they don’t have enough cash flow to invest in good people. However, what many people don’t realize is that they can get awesome VA’s for less than $5 an hour overseas, which is an absolute no brainer to scale…
WTF?! $5 per hour?! Is that legal?!
Yes, it’s legal, and yes, it’s ethical. Believe it or not, that hourly rate is substantially higher than these individuals would be making otherwise. Additionally, it’s an amazing experience. My virtual assistant Jess and I speak every day and we have gotten to be close friends over the last few months.
To summarize, as an entrepreneur, whether you are a side-hustler or owner of a business, blog, etc., it’s so important that you analyze where you are currently spending your time. If you are spending anything more than a few hours on low-value tasks that take away from the time you spend on high-value, business development activities then something is broken.
Remember, move $5 tasks to $5 earners.
5.2 Few things are more rewarding then building a community
When I started this website in 2014, I had dreams of my building what I am slowly but surely building right now: an amazing community of likeminded individuals from around the world, working towards a common goal of improving themselves and serving others.
As I shared in last month’s review, I launched my first product (a 6-week course called The Roadmap) and made my first $1,000 through Different Hunger as 5 different readers from Mexico, India, California, Germany and New York invested in the course.
As you can imagine, it hasn’t been super easy scheduling meetings with everyone because of their location but we’ve done our best, and this is what leads me to this point: amazing things happen when you can bring people together to work towards a single purpose.
One of the first modules in my course is about self awareness, which is a topic that my friend Matt Hearnden has owned over the last few years. He has written all over the interwebs at places like The Huffington Post, The Art of Charm, Virgin Media and many more. I reached out to him and requested he host a masterclass on self awareness to help further educate those taking my course. So earlier this month at 6AM EST we had all course members on the call, plus Matt who lives over in London. Again, that’s 6AM EST, which meant that our homegirl May Niu who was in China (I think) at the time had to be up bright and early at 4AM!
It was pretty amazing to be a part of this and again reminded me why I do what I do. I can’t wait to see what is next for this amazing community that we are building here.
5.3 Never name your business after an STD
As mentioned above, earlier this month I interviewed Mike Clum, the CEO of Clum Creative, a corporate video production company in Ohio that has generated nearly a half million dollars in revenue.
Our interview, simply put, was both hilarious and packed with valuable information. One of these useful pieces of advice was based on Mike’s unfortunate business name prior to the switch to Clum Creative…
When Mike first started, his name was Clum Media. Business was going well, things were going smoothly and Mike was getting bigger and bigger clients and projects. However, one day, a client pulled him aside, sat him down and said, “Look Mike. We gotta talk. I want you to say Clum Media ten times fast.”
Clum Media. Clum Media. Clum Media.
Clummedia. Clummedia. Clummedia.
Mike changed his business name the next day and shared with me a very important piece of businesss advice, that unfortuntaely gets skipped over in many business school curriculums…
Never name your business after an STD.
5.4 Being an entrepreneur is about hustling your ass off, yes, but it’s also about getting drunk in Tijuana at noon on a Wednesday…
I arrived to San Diego a few days early so I could spend some chill out time before the four-day seminar. This is something I’ve been working harder to incorporate into my lifestyle: chilled out, down time. It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day, that we as entrepreneurs, or just ambitious individuals in general, forget why we do what we do in the first place: to enjoy our work, ourselves and our life.
My friends and I decided to head south to Tijuana for the day on Wednesday. We popped down over the border and got the day started around eleven. Each of us ended up having 2-3 shots, several mojitos plus full entrees, all for less than $25 a person.
It was pretty epic, and it was in moments like these that I am able to remind myself why I do what I do.
Not to be a degenerate and get drunk before noon on Wednesdays, but to have the freedom to choose to do that if I want to!
I chose this lifestyle because of the freedom it provides, and something I believe we all need to do more often, entrepreneurs or not, is give ourselves a break and be sure that we are celebrating while we are on the road to making ambitions a reality.
Thanks for reading September’s monthly review! I post these badboys monthly so head over to get updates if you don’t already.