WHAT DOES YOUR MORNING ROUTINE LOOK LIKE?
It really depends what I am focused on and where I am (we travel a lot). I try to keep some consistency but the routine can change. For example if I have a day to myself to focus on my personal work load, or if I have a day where I will be collaborating with my team; the morning can change. I need to get myself in the right head space for both. A typical morning looks like a 6AM wake up, feed my dogs, meditate in my man cave/office for 15-20 minutes, and then read (anything) for about an hour. This gets my creative side flowing. This is usually accompanied by hot lemon water with some sea salt and some type of caffeinated drink to follow, typically tea or black coffee. After this I head to the gym for about 30-45 minutes followed by breakfast which is usually some type of smoothie or light egg dish at my home desk while answering important emails. Then it’s off to the office or meetings for the rest of the day.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
For me the best part of being an Entrepreneur is being able to set my own agenda. I am a terrible employee. Being an entrepreneur means freedom to do what I want when I want. Let’s not confuse that freedom with success though. There are ups and downs and sacrifices you have to make. I don’t get to clock out and I don’t really get “days off”. I do get to set my own schedule on my terms though, which I wouldn’t give up for anything.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
There are so many challenges! I think in this day and age where being an entrepreneur is sometimes glorified and glamorized, it’s really important for real entrepreneurs to talk about the challenges. There are a ton of ups and downs and a ton of gut punches along the way. I think this needs to be talked about more. In a time where social media or web 2.0 is so prominent in our lives and where people are constantly seeing instant gratification, I think it’s important to point out that this is not how entrepreneurship works. Most of my days are spent putting out fires. When you are the final stop in the decision making process, and when you have a team relying on that decision for their livelihood, you have to be equipped to deal with tremendous amounts of pressure that a lot of people don’t want to deal with.
WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU DO FOR YOURSELF EVERYDAY?
I read and reflect. I will put everything on hold to do this. I will put my business on hold, my relationship on hold, my diet on hold, and my fitness on hold to read and expand my mind. Once I do this I find that all the other stuff I put on hold will improve. People should read more.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO INVEST IN WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS?
Yourself and then your team. First yourself, because without getting yourself in order and in an optimal form both physically and mentally. The rest will suffer. Then your team. Many entrepreneurs want to pull every dollar out of their business when they first start. I would suggest taking less out of the business and investing more in your team. The right team will take your vision to the next level. It’s a mistake when new business operators don’t reward their teams properly. Keep your team happy and motivated and the sky’s the limit.
WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST MOTIVATION?
My wife and the life we are creating together. When I was younger I was probably motivated by the wrong things. Material wealth, status, stuff that doesn’t matter. It took a lot of self reflection and work on myself (still in progress) to drown out that noise and really ask myself what I truly find important and why. I turn a lot of stuff down these days if it doesn't immediately service how I want to live with my wife and our future family (hopefully). For anyone that’s familiar with my wife, she is also someone who continually pushes me. She helps me find my potential.
HOW DO YOU STAY FOCUSED/PRODUCTIVE AND MAKE THE BEST OF THE SAME 24 HOURS THAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS?
One step at a time with a long term vision. Tackling the most important task first (no matter how unpleasant and difficult). Also realizing, and you touched on it in this question; that EVERYONE has the same 24 hours in the day. What makes the most successful people any different than us when it comes to time? If they can do it why can’t we? It’s about maximizing effectiveness by tackling the most important tasks with a very long term vision in place. It’s ok to have short term goals but they should be goals that impact a long term vision.
WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO/FOLLOW ON SOCIAL MEDIA/USE AS A MENTOR?
This is difficult for me. I don’t follow a lot of social accounts for motivation or mentoring. I look to books and successful historical figures. If I had to list some people I admire it would be anyone who is authentically themselves with no apologies. No matter what political or social views they may have. If they are being true to themselves I respect it. I think so many of us try and fit into a box these days to try and fit the status quo. I think this is really boring. Just be yourself and don’t apologize for your ideas. Anyone who doesn’t play it safe is also high on the list. Take some chances, crash and burn, adjust, adapt, and keep moving forward. Those are the winners in my book.
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE THAT YOU’VE EVER GOTTEN?
I spent a lot of time with my dad growing up, and more specifically time with him when he would go to his meetings or projects (he was a real estate developer) He told me that no matter what you keep your word and your honor. Things will happen in life and in business. You will have ups and downs. When you’re riding the ups everything is great. When you are riding the downs it’s important to have your honor and word. People will reach out and help you. They know they can trust you. They will back you in your next venture or idea. If you don’t have your word or honor nobody will help. Don’t take shortcuts at the expense of your reputation, it’s a lifelong mistake.
WHAT IS THE BEST BUSINESS ADVICE THAT YOU’VE EVER GIVEN?
This is a tough question to answer. I hope the advice I give when I give advice is received well. I hope I’ve had an impact on someone's life in a positive way. That’s why we did the podcast to hopefully provide that impact. I would say that advice is one thing but being an example is another. I try to set the example for young kids (and adults!) to live life on their terms. Take chances. Pursue your vision with integrity and ferocity. If that example has kickstarted anyone in a positive direction in any way, then I feel accomplished.
WHAT DOES NO ONE TELL YOU ABOUT BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
They don’t tell you that it can be lonely. It’s isolating. It’s difficult to relate and express your feelings to the majority of people. People look at successful entrepreneurs and think they have it all figured out. They look at the success of a venture and figure that the entrepreneur must have it all figured out. When Lauryn was starting The Skinny Confidential I would always tell her “Wait until this thing blows up” it will get harder and not a lot of people will understand. It’s Never easier. That being said, I wouldn’t change a thing. It comes with the territory and I live for it.