“For every dream that you have, your week needs to match that dream.” – Eric Thomas
“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.“ – Leo Tolstoy
“Anxiety and gratitude cant live in the same head” -James Altucher
“The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.” – Jim Rohn
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
“Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.”- Albert Einstein
I was talking with my good friend Jimi Olaghere, who is founder of GeekSupply.co. The topic of the discussion was: Ideas. We were going over product ideas for gamers, since a new generation of consoles were released. The conversation went beyond it’s initial start and we just started wondering where good ideas are born. Here is how I feel about this topic.
There are no bad ideas. In my 7 year journey of being an entrepreneur I discovered bad ideas are temporary, because they turn into good ideas when action is applied. You learn, you grow, and you discover how to improve the idea. If the idea doesn’t work, sometimes you realize a new one from the experience.
If I had to say there was a bad idea it would be sitting around doing nothing at all.
Welcome to the club. That’s what you hear when you tell someone about your bad day at work. They go through the same shit you do. But that’s the magic of being human. We are all the same, we breathe the same, and most of all we bleed the same. So what makes the ordinary extraordinary? What makes the smart, smart? The dumb, dumb? Effort, it’s the only thing we can control. I’m learning about effort in a whole new light these days. Effort is the gas that keeps our entrepreneur engine going. Even taking the topic slightly off of entrepreneurship, effort is what it takes to succeed at virtually anything. I never looked at it that way before. I was blind, but now I see. So why do most people lack effort? Pain.
We hate to be hurt. That girl didn’t return your call? Stings. That failed meeting that cost you money? Ouch. That punch in the face from MMA practice? Get the ice. These are all painful no doubt, but the biggest pain of them all is regret. Nothing is more painful than knowing if you didn’t eat those extra Twinkies, you would be 5 pounds lighter. If you wasn’t scared to take that shot, your team would be champions. Regret hurts so much more than most pains, but it’s the most suffered pain of all. We all feel pain, but how do we all use pain?
Perception is powerful. Pain from failure can make you quit right on the spot, but depending on how you view it, it can be a motivator. Failure is nothing but a opportunity to try again, if you view it that way of course. Another analogy I think is great is the pain you get from working out. You get sore and defeated at the gym repeatedly, but you know once you heal you will feel like Superman. Failure is no different, your getting stronger.
Who are some of these people who failed multiple times before reaching greatness? I wanted to highlight two of my favorites, but this isn’t hardly scratching the surface of the men and women who put in work night and day.
Thomas Edison had so many failures. I just read about his failed cement company not too long ago. He had a cement company? Exactly. Who the hell recognizes and remembers failures when its followed up with success? Here is a man who teachers said was too stupid to learn anything. He overcame that and became one of the worlds most famous inventors. In 1878 Thomas Edison experimenting with incandescent lights, tested 6,000 different iterations before finding the one that worked. A news reporter once asked Edison “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” His answer after that gives us the biggest clue of them all: “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Perception.
Michael Jordan is a story we are all familiar with. He was cut from his varsity high school basketball team, they said he was too short. That didn’t stop him, he played phenomenal basketball on the junior squad, and made an even bigger splash once he got into the varsity the following year. He couldn’t control his growth, he played with the cards he was dealt. Effort. Even in the NBA we ignore the many failures Jordan himself acknowledges. Are you willing to miss a shot 9,000 times? In his own words:
I wrote this post because I was inspired by a recent quote I read. It said “Genius is persistence in disguise.” These men you see above, they are no different from you. The only thing they did was not quit. They kept going, they kept hustling. I used Obama in the main picture because so many of the ideas he feel can move the country forward, die in the hands of congress. The healthcare law however is huge and historical, no matter what your opinion is on it, he will most likely be remembered for “Obamacare.” I say that to say this. We fail 1,000 times, people only see the success. The world will only remember you for your failures, if that’s where you stop. That’s if they even remember you at all.
You want to succeed? Fail 1,000 times.
*This post originally appeared on ThePhatStartup.com
Pardon my French. Not giving a fuck isn’t as crazy as it sounds. It’s actually more about focus and caring only about things that matter. I recently started reading “The Obstacle Is The Way” by Ryan Holiday, and the entire book is a tactical guide to only focusing on the things that matter to get through tough times.
The more I read, the more I started to think of well known entrepreneurs in different worlds who used the same attitude to reach their success. Why is not giving a fuck important? Because the world is filled with distractions. We care about way too many things.
You think going to that party is important, it’s not. You think playing an extra hour of Call Of Duty is important, it’s not. You think tweeting about Scandal every Thursday night is important, it’s not. You may think waiting for everything to be perfect for your software company to launch is important, but it’s not. This list can go on forever.
When it comes to business the art boils down to whether you think you need to follow certain rules to succeed. Are you worried about rubbing people the wrong way with certain marketing tactics? Are you worried about using the word “fuck” in a blog post a number of times? Being politically correct? Stop trying to be perfect and use what you know to adapt. Here are some of the coolest examples I want to show you:
The now famous billion dollar home sharing startup AirBnB started out pretty rough. They had contractors who would personally contact people who listed their homes on Craigslist. Some critics thought this was a dirty tactic, and it even got AirBnB to admit they hired people to do this job. But they also condemned it as well.
“This is not a tactic we condone or endorse, and it is our policy to forbid such actions.”
Many people believe this was a smart growth hack that contributed to the early success of AirBnB. Whether the company claims they had knowledge or not isn’t relevant anymore, it happened. This is a clear case of not really giving a damn about the conventional rules, and thinking outside of the box on how to get users. Its genius, who really wants to deal with Craigslist when AirBnB created a better, and more safer experience?
50 Cent – How To Rob
We at The Phat Startup clearly admire 50 Cent as a businessman. He is mostly successful because he understands this art more than any other rapper today. Hip Hop is a competitive genre of music, and artist beef with each other occasionally. As an upcoming artist 50 Cent decided he didn’t want any friends, and took a risk clowning on every relevant artist at the time. This was a huge gamble for a new artist, but it paid off royally.
The typical route would be to go find a hit record that could break on radio, and feature one of the artist he dissed. 50 knew he didn’t have much commercial appeal at the time, so there was only one way to get his name known. Go knock out the biggest kids in the school yard. The song played on the radio, got placed on tons of mixtapes, and gave him the controversial formula he would use to go sell two diamond albums.
In a recent interview 50 reveals making amends for some of his past rap beefs. But this is all after he profited from them.
If I were to tell you that Reddit, one of the most powerful social networks today started with fake users would you believe me? In its early days Reddit faked discussions with multiple fake accounts they and other early users created. This “fake it til you make it” approach worked, because it convinced real visitors that the site was not dead.
If they revealed their tactics at the time they would have gotten laughed out of the room. Faking users seems so criminal when you want to build a startup, but it makes so much sense as a way to drum up activity. They didn’t give a fuck what people would think, and that gave them the freedom to come up with such a creative growth hack.
I learned from Tim Ferris we should implement first and apologize later. Paul Graham looks for this same art in founders that he invest in:
“Though the most successful founders are usually good people, they tend to have a piratical gleam in their eye. They’re not Goody Two-Shoes type good. Morally, they care about getting the big questions right, but not about observing proprieties. That’s why I’d use the word naughty rather than evil. They delight in breaking rules, but not rules that matter. This quality may be redundant though; it may be implied by imagination.”
How can you use this way of thinking to push your business forward? I’m not telling you do something illegal, but don’t be afraid to bend the rules a bit. Success has no standards. There are way more examples we could list. What are some of your favorites?
Originally posted on ThePhatStartup Blog.
I’m writing this on my way home from finishing out my birthday weekend. What I learned this year is patience is everything. I’m just happy god allowed me room to make mistakes and grow. Also, giving me the ability to help friends going through that as well. I met some amazing people, and had some even more amazing experiences. I’m hoping to do 10 to 20 times better as 28 year old. It’s no secret im looking to surpass a million dollar net worth before I’m 30 and I’m very dead set on that. I’m also looking to create that same worth in value for others. I’m dead set on that as well, maybe even more.
Thank god for helping me make it this far. Peace.