Mistakes are meant to be made

People and companies will go to great lengths to avoid mistakes. Why? This is not possible. And only if they would stop wasting their time.

Mistakes are made and they just happen…to everyone. Whether you like it or not, people are going to make mistakes. The more you try to avoid them, the more they just seem to happen. Instead of living in fear of making mistakes – or trying to create an environment where they don’t happen, live where you embrace them seeking new insights and opportunities.

The next time you make a mistake, don’t quick move on acting like no one noticed, put it out there in the open for everyone to see, talk about it, explore it, ask tough questions  – why, what, how?

Mistakes are meant to be made and not hidden.

I’ve always found that the mistakes in my life have taken me to new places where I never thought possible.

People who have achieved great things in their life were able to take what some might have called mistakes, accidents, or obstacles and turn them into golden opportunities.

Successful people take what they have and they figure it out, they overcome, and they roll with it. For them, it is not about wasting time trying to avoid, but about achieving their goal and not letting anything stand in the way of that.

Now go make mistakes and be ok with it….it happens.

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What mistakes have you made?

 

Balancing fear and confidence to pursue big ass ideas

Do you have a big ass idea that scares the livin’ shit our of you? Good. That’s a start. If your idea doesn’t scare the shit out of you then it probably sucks or it’s not worth pursuing. The fear is normal.

Any entrepreneur that says he’s not afraid is a liar.

Now, if you have a passion for a big idea, it scares the shit out of you, and you’ve been impregnated with it, you should give yourself the permission to pursue it. That is, if you are ok with failure. If you’re not, then you should let someone else who’s ok with failure go after it. You, you should sit on the sideline and watch.

Pursuing big ideas is scary business. It’s terrifying. And it should be. That’s what makes it fun. Anything not terrifying is just a walk in the park. Anyone can walk in the park.

One of the keys to pursuing big ass ideas is balancing complete fear of jumping of a cliff with complete confidence that you will land safely. The fear allows you to be in touch with it, and the confidence allows you to take it on. You need both to succeed.

This was a big turning point for me as an entrepreneur. Once I found that balance – and I was able to admit my fear, it became much easier to go after big ideas over and over again.

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How about you? 

How are you doing with balancing fear and confidence?

 

Do work you love

The last few months of working on several startup projects with passionate entrepreneurs has caused me to think about this idea of work. And, how do you find work that you love to do so much that you would do it even if you didn’t get paid? Entrepreneurs, you know exactly what I’m talking about here.

This whole process began when I started working on an old project that I quickly became super passionate about again. I was able to answer the question why am I doing this? The why that sometimes gets clouded with the what and how was clearer than ever before – I love building stuff and things: products, teams, companies, and anything that inspires me to take action.

Are you trying to figure out what kind of work you love to do? Does it feel like a struggle? If so, it should. However, don’t lose hope because what you love to do just might be right around the corner.

Finding work that you love is a struggle for…everyone. I’ve struggled with this, my friends have struggled with this, and pretty much everyone I know struggles with this at some point in their life. In fact, most people fail miserably at this.

Nevertheless, if you at least have a destination in sight, you’re more likely to arrive at a place in which work feels more like something you love than work.

Work has to start with a mindset of knowing that you can love work. If you’re able to do this, you are in the homestretch. And, if you can figure out what work you love, you’re more or less there.

 

Be a pig not a chicken

Every startup, project, party, meeting, they all involve pigs and chickens – people fully committed and willing to do whatever it takes, and people who just want to be involved.

Here’s a great fable that I read this week: 

A pig and a chicken are walking down the road. The chicken turns to the pig and says, “We should open a restaurant.”

“Good idea. What should we call it?” the pig replies.

“Ham and Eggs!” says the chicken.

The pig thinks for a second and replies, “In that case, never mind. It sounds like I’d be committed, but you’d only be involved!”

Here’s the deal, if you’re having a hard time distinguishing the pigs from the chickens, then you have no pigs. And, without any pigs, you’re done for.

Never get involved in anything without at least one pig. For me, I go for all pigs and until everyone is fully committed and on board, we don’t move forward.

A project needs everyone to be all in or it’s just not worth pursing.

When the going gets tough, the pigs keep on going. And, the chickens, they turn around like “chickens” and run the other way.

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What are you? A pig or a chicken?

 

 

What’s up with all the LA Incubators and Accelerators?

Are they legit? Why so many? How much money are they putting up? What kind of deals are they looking to invest in? Do they do follow on capital? How are they going to scale with talent?

These were some of my questions going into last nights Lean LA event titled “Learn About LA Incubators/accelerators” – really glad they put this event on.

If your curious about what Lean LA is, it’s a non-profit organization that is all about helping entrepreneurs build successful companies. The organization is run by Pete Mauro, Patrick Vlaskovits, and Joe Zulli. I haven’t had the chance to officially meet Patrick or Joe, but my coffee meetup with Pete was very positive.

By the size of the crowd last night (350 people), I wasn’t the only one with questions. The event was packed with people waiting outside the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium hoping someone wouldn’t show and they could score a ticket to come in.

Another good call was the meal ticket that came with the admission price. How awesome is that? You could redeem at any one of the food trucks outside. Well done with this one!

So, let’s get to the meat of this thing. Why in the world would you want to move to Los Angeles for a startup? I wouldn’t, just being honest here. Not that I don’t think that everyone is doing a great job building the infrastructure and figuring it out, I just prefer to be in a place that already has it figured out.

Essentially all the incubators/accelerators said the same thing: they are working their tail off to create the infrastructure that will allow entrepreneurs and innovators to tap into and build great companies. I think this is important and overtime will happen. Do I think it will happen quickly? No. As with any startup infrastructure, you have to work your nuts off, take a ton of risks, put your ass on the line, be willing to lose some serious dough, f some stuff up, and then, after all that, make the decision to keep going. If LA can do this, they will, overtime, have something great!

And, the other thing is talent. I think there is talent as there is talent everywhere, you just have to find it, organize it, and put it to good use. If you can’t get talent involved in the community that is your own fault – this really means you suck at selling.

The panel was fantastic – mainly because it was moderated by Dave McClure who wasn’t afraid to ask tough questions and put people in their place – not in a negative way – I think he was just trying to challenge everyone to really think about what it is going to take to build this kind of community.

After Dave got everyone loosened up – it didn’t work for everybody, the event started with a representative giving a quick intro, history, and what their interest was in supporting the LA startup scene.

Some of the people who were on the panel were:

Start Engine (Howard Marks), Idealab (Allen Morgan), upStart.LA (Dan Dato), K5 Launch (Amir Banifatemi), Originate (Jeff Scheinrock), Amplify (Jeff Solomon), Muckerlab (Jeff Rannala), and Launchpad LA (Sam Teller).
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Here is a list of all the incubators/accelerators and how they are structured as it sits today.

LeanLA.com Los Angeles Area Incubator & Accelerator Cheatsheet.

(Courtesy of Patrick Vlaskovits, more details here.)

Start Engine: 120 Startups @ $20,000 per year
Idealab: 4-6 Startups @ $50k – $500K a year
upStart.LA: 5-10 Startups @ $18,000 each class (1-2 classes per year)
K5 Launch: 10-50 Startups @ 25K-$200k
Originate: 10-15 Startups @ $100K-$1.5 million per investment
Amplify: 20 Startups @ $50,000
MuckerLab: 20 Startups @ $21k a year
Launchpad LA: 20 Startups @ $50k a year
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Here’s the good news – at least from what I could see, people are fired up about entrepreneurship and they’re willing to step up to build the community, shape the culture, and pour cash into companies. And, for me, I don’t care where it is, if this is happening and people are trying, I am excited and fully supportive of it.

Now, go do your part…good things are happening.

 

Winning requires failure

I know that I’ve talked allot about failure lately, but it is just so real and awesome! People who are afraid to fail don’t end up doing much with their lives. God built us to fail. And God built is to fall. We just have to keep getting back up and thriving everyday to win.

If you think failure isn’t part of winning in life then you are more than a failure, you are an idiot.

Wait a minute, who is this guy saying that failure is awesome. How can failure be seen as awesome? If you honestly have to ask that question, you are not fit for what it takes to win. Winning requires failure.

If I offended you, I’m not sorry. You need to keep your job, play it safe, and do what you do best…working for someone else. There is nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is built to push the envelope to the point of literally breaking bones – back in my racing days, if you hadn’t broken a bone you got weird looks like, “You are a racer, no way, shut up!”.

If you’ve decided to keep reading this and you’re not totally pissed off, let’s be honest about something. Failure is brutal and more often than not, it hurts like hell. Some of the worst pain you’ve ever felt. Sometimes it’s even so bad that it takes you to your knees crying and weeping like a little baby – I’ve been there. Not because of physical pain, but more because of mental and emotional pain. It’s cool to man up and cry….I won’t judge you.

In my racing days we used to have a saying, “If you’re not falling down, you’re not going fast”. It’s true. This meant that if you were playing it safe and not pushing the envelope then you probably weren’t winning races. You were losing races. See, the guys and girls who gave it all they had and took changes won the races. And, the races they didn’t win, they went down hard, got back up, and kept riding.

Winning is hard, failing is hard, but it’s just what has to happen if you want to win. You can’t be afraid to push the envelope and get a little nuts. Yeah, you will fail and it will hurt like hell. Just get back up, learn from it, and move on.

In my racing days, I took some bad crashes where I broke bones, messed up organs, and busted up my face. But, it never stopped me from getting right back on the bike and having a good time.

Take some chances, push the envelope, get nuts, and do it now before you end up living some boring ass life.

Have a great week friends!