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!

 

Don’t pressure yourself out

Are you carrying the world around on your shoulders? Are you starting to tire? Are you ready to throw in the towel and say f*** it? Before you do, let me share a little wisdom with you.

I to was once this person that carried the world around on my shoulders. I was stressed out, or pressured out – whatever the case, I was doing this to myself.

Pressure will weigh you down, it will break you down, it will wipe you out – you don’t want to get to this point – I’ve been there and it sucks ass.

Pressure – the stuff we put on ourselves to perform or deliver can actually be a bad thing…a really bad thing. I’m not saying some pressure isn’t good, but what I am saying is that too much pressure is not good at all. It can make you angry, sad, or push you to the breaking point of depression – this is where it lead me.

What I’ve personally learned over the years is to relax a little, have some fun, and don’t put so much damn pressure on myself. Just be yourself, laugh, screw up once in a while, and do not take yourself to seriously.

Life is too short to put all this pressure on yourself.

When I reflect back on my different careers – racing motorcycles and startups, I found that I always performed better when I was just out doing something I love.

Today, I am happy to say that I wake up without an alarm clock, I work out, I take some time for me (Everyone needs me time), and I enjoy the rest of my day working on startups – all this I do with a smile.

I promise you, you will perform better without putting too much pressure on yourself. Its easier to focus and not second guess yourself when you feel less pressure. Just have fun, enjoy doing something you love, and focus on the experience, not just the results.

Like most problems in life this is another one we create ourselves. Get rid of some of this pressure and start enjoying the ride.

——-

What about you? 

Are you putting too much pressure on yourself? Are you about to crack?

 

Look For People Not Opportunities

Look for people not opportunities. Why? Because every opportunity is attached to a person. When you think about opportunities where do they come from? People.

Opportunities start with people. They don’t just come floating out of the sky and slap you in the face – you have to go searching for them.

The next time you start searching for an opportunity – one that gives you a nice return, start by searching for a person.

How do I approach opportunities? I look for talented people. For the last 5-6 years, I’ve made it my personal goal to connect and meet with at least 3-5 new people per month. I’m intentional about this and build it into my calendar. I also set aside the time, energy, and money to pre-commit myself to actually making this happen.

Yes, it does require a bunch of my resources,  but the return has always been greater than the actual investment – not short-term, but long.

For me, my long-term strategy and goal is to invest, partner, and build incredible startups. What do I need to do this? People and relationships. I need a network of very talented folks that I can bring in to help me do these things.

Again, if you want to build anything great and of scale, you need people.

And, when push comes to shove, don’t give up on connecting with new people – take the long view and do it right. Relationships — whether it be romantic, friendship, or professional – take a lot of time time to develop. And if you rush them, you end up hurting something that could have had great potential.

Don’t take it from me, go ask around. Anyone successful will tell you that they took time to connect with new people and without them, they would not be where they are today.

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How about you? 

Are you making time to connect with new people?

 

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.

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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

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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.

 

Where are you in your priorities?

After God, who comes second in your life? Is it you? I sure hope so.

I know, this sounds selfish, but it’s the best advice and change I’ve ever put forth in my life.

The reality is, if you can’t take care of yourself, how can you tend to anyone else: your wife, children, company, team, startup, etc.

For me, if I take care of myself first it allows me to be mentally, emotionally, and physically available for others. It allows me to better serve and lead those around me.

Here are a few things to think about:

  • If you don’t take care of yourself mentally and participate in either prayer, meditation, or something of this nature, how can you have a clear mind to share with others.
  • If you don’t exercise and eat right, what would happen if you became very sick? You wouldn’t be much help to anyone around you now would you?
  • If you don’t get your rest, you won’t have the energy you need to get through your day.
  • If you don’t take the time to read and write, then you can’t have the intellect to contribute to others.
  • If you don’t take time to reflect and heal from your emotional wounds, you end up reacting and looking like a fool. It’s easy to make these mistakes. Instead, you should be in a position to teach, inspire and add value. How do you do this? I think counseling and therapy can be highly beneficial.

When you start taking care of yourself “first” then you can start taking care of those around you. I am know expert, nonetheless I am strive everyday to be better.

———–

What about you? 

Are you putting yourself first (after God)?

 

Becoming a better entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs are insane, they take huge risks, put everything on the line – all for the sake of doing what they love – starting and building companies. To be an entrepreneur you have to be confident and know what it takes to make it happen – I love saying that! You can’t let anything stand in your way of getting things done…nothing.

And, these same traits that are necessary to be a great entrepreneur might also be holding you back from becoming even more than you thought you could be.

Let’s take a look at what might be holding you back and see what we can do to push you to be better.

You

You need to wake up each morning and look seriously in the mirror. The one who is going to hold you back is you. The first person you need to learn to lead is yourself. And, if you can’t lead yourself, how do you expect to cast vision and lead a team. You can’t. Look in the mirror every morning and get yourself in check.

A level entrepreneurs attract an A level team

If you think you are the shining star and you don’t need anyone else, then you suck. You deserve to have you ass beat and thrown out into the streets. Great entrepreneurs know that they need to surround themselves with the best and brightest team. The better the team the better the outcome.

Over the years I’ve built both A level teams and B and C level teams. Let’s just say the B and C level teams taught me a very valuable lesson: take the time to hire the best and don’t settle for anything less.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

A mentor use to tell me to always keep a high level of communication. He use to ream my ass everyday about communication to the point I finally learned. He beat it into me and I am so thankful he did.

If you want to piss people off, fail to communicate with them. This is no different at home with your wife or your kids. You need to communicate. Let your people know what’s going on, both good and bad – I’ve learned this lesson too.

Invest in creating a culture that communicates well and rewards for it too.

Built a family not just a team

Stop looking at your team as people who just make you money. Look at your team as if they were family. Care for them, love on them – not physically, and do what you can to always be there for them – that is what family does.

Always be understanding, put yourself in their shoes, and do what you can to help them pursue their goals and dreams. It’s not just a team that you should be building, you should be building a family.

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How about you? 

What can you do to be a better entrepreneur?