Will your achieve your goals in 2014? Maybe these can help.

Use some of these to help you achieve your goals in 2014.

  1. The first person you need to change is your self.
  2. Make family first – they are the only thing you really have at the end of the day.
  3. You have to be the one to find a way to win.
  4. Own your crap and fix it. No one else is going to.
  5. Don’t try and be awesome, just be you and work hard daily.
  6. Stop talking about other people. You are just as messed up.
  7. You have nothing to prove to anyone, but you.
  8. Stop holding  yourself back
  9. Stress is real. Deal with it in a way that makes more sense in your mind.
  10. Your always going to have worries they will just be different.
  11. Stop talking about the shitty place you are and start talking more about the place you want to be.
  12. Get out on the field and play the game. You don’t win from inside the building or on the bench.
  13. Stop trying to be a leader and just do your work. Leaders always rise to the top by their actions.
  14. Only have meetings if they have meaning. Meetings suck the life out of you.
  15. Don’t make decisions out of emotions. If you’re emotional walk away and come back later.
  16. Give money away if you have it.
  17. Go volunteer. Do something for someone other than yourself.
  18. Realty check. This isn’t the [ insert name here ] show.
  19. Be nice to people and say thank you.
  20. Be understanding. We all f*** up. We are human, right?
  21. Get yourself some zen mediation. It will change your life.
  22. Ask for serious feedback and think before you respond.
  23. Be a man or woman. They have left the world and now we have a bunch of douchebags.
  24. Be confident
  25. Focus on growth in everything.
  26. Get lots of sleep.
  27. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Why do it? You have enough pressure on yourself.
  28. Exercise. It makes you feel awesome!
  29. Get shit done.
  30. love people.

A Startup Leaders Greatest Challenge

Lets be real honest here for a second. Startups are fucking tough and the emotions that they cause often times seem unbearable. They make you want to give up. They drive you to the point of wanting to rip your hair out.

The truth is, you are not alone (I’m there with you).

These emotions are completely natural and part of the process of developing you into the leader that you need to be for yourself, your family, and your startup.

Question: Think back at the last time you were being screamed at by your customers, employees, or your wife, you worked until you dropped, you ran out of capital, made a stupid decision, or you just pushed yourself to that point of breaking? How did you respond? Are you proud of how you responded? Or do you feel like an idiot?

Emotions are normal…especially for a startup.

The key to being a great startup leader is knowing when to display emotions, when to delay them, and when to put your head down and fight them.

Emotions will do two things to you: 1. Make you better 2. Wreck you. It’s up to you to choose how to deal with your emotions.

Make a decision that the next time you have to deal with emotions (You will) that you will put others first and you will handle them, process them, and allow them to shape you into the leader that you need to be.

 

 

Monday morning motivation: Put in the work and make something out of yourself

No, I didn’t grow up in new York or silicon valley, I don’t have an MBA from Stanford or Harvard, and I didn’t come from any money.

My Mom and Dad had my sister when they were 17, my mom cleaned houses, and my dad poured concrete. We lived a simple life and my parents worked for every dollar they had.

What my parents have taught me over the years and I still carry with me today is that if I want something bad enough, I better get my ass out there and find a way to make it happen.

Oh, and don’t be a pussy (This is from Dad). Be tough, take risks, don’t let people push you around, and speak your mind.

Honestly, what my parents taught me at an early age is the foundation for anyone who wants to be happy and successful.

There is something to be said about hard work and some serious hustle.

Are my parents happy and successful today? Yes, but it didn’t come easy. It was the consistent get up work your ass off and hustle that has allowed my parents to be where they are today.

You are no different. If you want something bad enough, then you get out there, work for it, and find a way to make it happen. I don’t care if you have to live in van down by the river, eat ramen noodles for a year, or do the most random crap, there is a way, you just have to find it.

And, if you think you still need a degree from Harvard or come from money, you are full of shit. The truth is, you are lazy and you’re not willing to do what it takes.

Put in the work and make something out of yourself.

Happy Monday!

 

Start focusing on your strengths

Do you know what your strengths are? Most people don’t so you shouldn’t feel bad.

I was one of those people just a few years ago. You know, one of those people working in areas that I really sucked at only to frustrate the hell out of the people around me.

Yup, that was me, until I decided to become obsessed with knowing and understanding my strengths. I was sick of working in areas that I flat-out wasn’t good at. And for that matter, now looking back, I hated anyways.

You see this all the time….especially with younger people – they are trying to figure out what they are good at. Or, what they want to do with their life. So, what do they do, they try this, try that, they move around, but the question becomes, do they ever take the time to really understand what their strengths are and how to apply them? No.

Try this sometime. Ask your friends if they know what there strengths are. It’s fun to hear their responses – most of the time it’s made up on the spot and complete crap.

After a couple of failures in my life, I became obsessed with understanding my strengths and weaknesses.You screw up a couple of times so bad that it hurts a bunch of people, you will reflect and ask yourself some tough questions.

This lead me to take it upon myself to take every test and assessment I could find. I even hired some professionals that do this for a living. I wanted to better understand myself. What were my strengths? What was I good at? Where should I be focusing my time?

When you find your strengths and embrace and focus on them daily, it will change your life….forever.

Beyond taking the tests and assessments, I went out and spoke to other people about how they found their strengths and how they were applying them – it was inspiring to hear.

If you are interested in learning your strengths, here are three really great assessments that you can take. You can either take them online or you can reach out to the companies for other options.

  1. Strengths based leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie. If you buy the book there is an access code in the back to take the test online. The test consists of about 170 questions.
  2. Myers Briggs tests which are always interesting. The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment.
  3. Predictive Index was really great because of the teacher I had. He was very patient and went through everything step by step with me.

John Maxwell, a very well know leader calls this filling in your Gaps, you can read his blog here. Once you understand your strengths you can start filling in your Gaps and start winning.

You can’t win unless you fill in your gaps.

Too often we try and be everything or we focus on things we suck at. Be honest with yourself and let someone fill in the gap.

Today, I focus on my strengths: competition, activator, futuristic, input, and achiever. Outside of these, I fill in the gaps.

Here is why I believe that it is so important to find your strengths and start applying them today:

1. It helps you to focus on what you are good at and stop trying to be something that you’re not.

2. If you suck at Golf, just do it for fun, not as a career or a position.

3. You can’t play every position on the team – you need other players to fill in where you are weak.

4. If you want to win the game, you need to know where you stand.

Keeping in mind the above four points, and applying what you learn should allow you to experience similar results. If you find that you are still struggling, it might be a good idea to reach out to other leaders and discuss how they are applying what they have learned.

I will tell you this as well, this is not an overnight fix.

Once you find your strengths, it will take time to start applying them. You might even find that you are leading in an area in the company that doesn’t fit with you. Maybe your down the wrong career path. You might even be chasing the wrong things. Whatever it is, just remember that anything good takes time.

———

How about you? 

Do you know what your strengths are?  Are you focusing on them?

 

Get out there and scuff up your shield

As you know, or as you are learning, failure is a very important part of your journey. Yes, I know I’ve blogged a lot about failure lately, but it’s only because of how important failure really is.

All successful entrepreneurs fall at times and then climb their ass right back out of a heap of crap only to be better, stronger, and more ready for the next challenge – I know that this is true for me. How about you?

The key to failing is getting right back up. You can’t stay down long and cry like a little bitch. You have to jump right back up and flaunt it – show off your scars and wounds so that other people can learn from them as well.

What matters in the end is that your shield is scuffed and beaten up because it shows that you were willing to fight. If you come back with a clean and shinny shield that just shows that you’re a pussy.

If you want to help and transform others, don’t talk about your arrival, talk about your journey, your battles, your wounds, and your redemption.

You hear about people with setbacks – I’ve had mine. Setback are awesome! Why? Because they are opportunities for clarity, humility, growth, and wisdom. You learn your strengths and you learn your weaknesses. You learn to ask for help. And you learn who you need to win the fight.

 

Family Is First

Over a year ago my wife and I packed up our shit and moved to California from the mitten state – this is Michigan for those of you who don’t know it as the mitten. I was over MI. I couldn’t get out of the state fast enough. I was sick of the weather, the startup ecosystem, the capital, it just wasn’t what I was looking for – I learned this the hard way. Not that there aren’t great people doing awesome things in MI, it just didn’t fit and jive with me personally.

While in California, I traveled, I networked, and got super plugged into all the startup communities there. I spent time in San Diego, LA, San Francisco, the Valley, and a few other smaller communities like Santa Barbara, Carlsbad, Orange County, and a few others.

I was looking for more high growth startup stuff and an environment that was conducive to this. I wanted to plug into a system of badass entrepreneurs with vision, character, and a passion to make shit happen. Oh, and they value failure as a key driver to their community.

Moving away from MI was one of the best decisions I ever made. It brought me closer to my wife and my family, I became the one of the leaders of Startup California, which is a region of Startup America, It lead me to all the startups I’m involved with, I met some incredible people, and we found out that we were having Danny Beckett the third. What more could I ask for? Honestly, nothing. I am very, very thankful.

However, after we found out that we were having little guy there was something missing. Something just didn’t feel right. Something was keeping us up all night. What was it? It was family. Family has always been and always will be first in my life – if it’s not I hope someone steps up and slaps me. I say it in my bio, family is first, and after that, I’m all startups and business.

Because family is first, my wife moved back to MI about 3-4 months ago to be with our families during and after the pregnancy. I remained in Mountain View for just a little while longer until I couldn’t handle it any longer and I wanted to be with Sarah and my family too.

Today I spend 2-3 weeks in MI with my family and 2-3 weeks traveling back and forth to Mountain View, LA, SD, CA, New York, CO, and wherever else I need to be. It’s a little crazy at times, but it works for us and we are happier than we’ve ever been.

Here is what I’ve learned. Home is the place where your family is. You will journey out, you will try new things, and you will meet kickass people from around the world, but what will never change is that place you call home.

I leave you with this; move away, try new things, take risks, meet new people, discover the undiscovered, and don’t settle for anything less than awesome. But, while you’re out and about, just remember where home and family is.

——–

How about you? 

What’s your story?

 

What Entrepreneurs Learn From Failure: “F-UP, Get UP, Keep GOING”

Hey everyone. I’m fired up to share this new project with you. I recruited a stellar team and were about to kick things off.

What do you think the project is all about? You guessed it. Failure – something that I’ve done a lot of as an entrepreneur and I’m sure you have too. And let me tell you, you learn a hell of a lot more from your failures than you do your successes.

It started back when I raced motocross and I would get all busted up from crashing – if you weren’t crashing you weren’t going fast. And after you crashed, you got right back up and kept going. My dad always said, “Son, you can’t stay down long or people are going to rip past you.” The key is getting right back up and jumping back in to the race.

Sometimes it got to the point of breaking bones – about 15 for me. Then I had to stand on the sidelines, but It gave me a chance to think about what I did wrong and how far and fast I could really go. The point is I never would have learned if I didn’t push things to the point of crashing and breaking bones.

The same thing happened when I jumped into startups and entrepreneurship – I got my ass kicked, fell down, and learned the hard way.

One failure in particular happened a few years ago when I one day woke up drowning in debt and stupid decisions. I had built a company and positioned myself inside the company managing the day to day – what a mistake. I quickly learned that entrepreneurs make sucky managers.

What was supposed to be one thing quickly morphed into a battle that ended up pretty badly. I wanted to build tech products, but instead ended building a damn agency that grew too big, too fast and then the economy fell apart; that ended the battle.

What I should have done early on was hire a manager or CEO and I could have moved onto my next startups. I didn’t. Instead, I tried managing it and the thing blew up in my face.

This failure (It was kind of a big one) destroyed relationships; destroyed my finances and left me pretty beat up for awhile. It also forced me to file for personal and business bankruptcy, costing me some three-quarters of a million dollars. A hard lesson, but a good lesson that has made me stronger and defined me as an entrepreneur.

I learned several pretty hard lessons. I learned what I was good at, I learned what I was bad at, and I learned who and what I needed to win the game.  Most of all, I learned that you better be one tough bastard if you want to play this game.

Right now I have five start-ups that I am a part of – you can read more about all them by going here.

And this project, “F-Up, Get Up, Keep Going.” We don’t know exactly what this project will become, but we do know that if we start by sharing great stories it will turn into something pretty awesome. But we can’t do anything without your help. We need you to share your stories of failure. What you learned from the path of fucking up, getting up, and continuing to push forward – we know you have great stories. Send those to us in video, audio or text at danny at dannybeckettjr dot com.

Together we’ll share stories and teach other entrepreneurs how to build and run great start-ups.

Let’s do this thing.

 

Find a mentor that kicks your ass

Finding a mentor is hard, but finding a mentor that tells you what the fu** is up is even harder. You want someone who is going to tell you when an idea sucks, a team member needs to be kicked to the curb, or you’re just making stupid decisions based on emotion. A sissy mentor doesn’t do you any good, right? No. You need a mentor that scares you.

I think the notion of having a caring and supportive mentor who is always there to hold your hand blows. There is no better time then when you are a rookie to get punched in the face by a good mentor – these times will define you.

Honestly, I wished I had a good mentor that would have said, “Danny, what the fu** are you doing? Who is this worthless person you hired? What are you thinking? Pull it together you idiot.” Even though these things sound harsh, most of the time we need to hear them.

It’s better to face things now, than later when the stakes are a lot higher.

Here’s what you do, you go out and find the most qualified and talented mentor, coach, or manager you can, and ask them to not go easy on you. You tell them to be tougher than they have ever been. And, you don’t run away crying like a little bitch when things get tough – you run straight towards it.

———-

How about you? 

Do you have mentor that kicks your ass into shape?

 

What we can all learn from Jenna Marbles

Jenna Marbles is the most subscribed chic on YouTube after just a couple of years. If you haven’t heard of her, go watch some of her videos. She is hilarious. Jenna has nearly 3 million people following her weekly videos and she’s built a pretty incredible brand from her bedroom.

Photo Courtesy of: akurepki2 on DeviantART

At first this sounds shocking. Then, you watch the interview and you realize why she’s so successful.

I think there are some great takeaways from this that we can all apply to our lives:

  • She say’s the shit other people think about, but their to afraid to say – they don’t want to be judged.
  • She’s as real, authentic, and transparent as it gets.
  • She doesn’t take herself to seriously.
  • She keeps things fun.
  • She makes people feel like they are a part of her journey.
  • She doesn’t care what people think about her
  • She doesn’t try to impress people
  • She makes people feel like it’s okay to be weird or awkward

———

What do you think about Jenna Marbles? Add your comments below.

 

Entrepreneurs Need to be Mentally And Emotionally Tough

Entrepreneurs are a different breed – they sacrifice everything, eat ramen noodles, and live in a van if they have to just to pursue their ideas – I’ve done this. Sounds pretty crazy right? Not if you are purebred entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurs need to be mentally and emotionally tough

In spite of all this, being an entrepreneur and starting companies is very challenging and it requires more than just hardwork, sacrifice, and all the other stuff you read in business/self-help books – it requires serious mental and emotional toughness.

Putting in the time, working your ass off, and sacrificing everything isn’t enough. Sorry for the bad news, but this will help you.

When you’re under pressure dealing with the day-to-day challenges of starting or building a company, you have to be mentally tough. You have to train yourself mentally so that when you need to step up, you have the confidence and total mental toughness to do so.

Back in my racing days (I realize this more now), being mentally tough was far more important than my physical conditioning, my equipment, and my sheer talent – it was having the mental toughness to be able to perform under intense pressures and come out on top.

It took me thinking and processing my thoughts, lots of visualization, and performing routine self talk – talking to myself about where I wanted to be, not where I was today.

You have to see yourself winning in business before you can actually win. You have to tell yourself that you are tough as nails and you will do anything it takes to build your company. The stronger you prepare yourself mentally, the more wins you can start adding to your belt.

90% of what you do as an entrepreneur is emotional toughness. Sounds like a big number, right? No. 

Emotional toughness will be one of the best things you ever learn as an entrepreneur – yes you can learn to be emotionally tough.

It requires you to shift your thinking from, I need an MBA from Harvard, to I need to be emotionally tough. And, until you can get yourself emotionally tough, your performance will always be poor no matter what degree, experience, or work ethic you have.

Emotional toughness comes from being able to conquer any doubt, eliminate hesitation, and see things as just another day in the life of an entrepreneur. You need to be able to take big hits and bounce right back. You need to be able to take a punch right in the face out of nowhere and not react.

I’ve learned to be emotionally tough by putting myself through failure, after failure, and I just keep getting back up for more. Some people think I’m crazy, I just think I’m getting tougher and more educated. Ben Parr said it perfectly, ” Startups are like the worst breakup you ever had relived over and over again.”

This is true, if you can’t wake up everyday with the possibility of reliving the worst breakup of your life, then you need to either work on getting emotionally tougher or get out the kitchen.

No wimps allowed. Entrepreneurship isn’t for sissies. Get mentally and emotionally tough and step up poised, balanced, confident, and ready to kick some ass.

No wimps allowed. Entrepreneurship isn’t for sissies. Get mentally and emotionally tough and step up poised, balanced, confident, and ready to kick some ass.