What gets me horny

I’m horny about a lot of things these days. Because of this, I thought I would put together a list and share it with you. I don’t know what makes you horny, but maybe this will motivate you to start thinking about it.

  1. Family: Family is first in my book. I’m trying to invest in my family, spend time, appreciate one another, and ultimately have a fun together.
  2. Quality Friendships: I have a few people who I try to pour into and I feel like in return they are pouring right back into me. You can’t pour into everyone, so pick a few good friends and build each other up.
  3. Exploring new things: I don’t care what it is, I want to explore it: canoe trip, hiking, marathons, smoking cigars…bring it on andlet’s try it out.
  4. Motivating people to do shit with their lives, take risks and live a little. I feel like this has always kind of been my thing, but today, more than ever you will hear me talking about this.
  5. Co-founder and entrepreneurial relationships: I can’t be more thankful for all my co-founders, equity partners, and people involved in my deals. For the last few years, I’ve been intentional about seeking out entrepreneurs who can see eye to eye beyond just, let’s make some money. We appreciate family, we take risks, we seek new experiences, and above all else, we are friends and there for one another.
  6. Startup communities: Now being involved with Startup America Partnership for almost a year, I am having the time of my life – It’s so cool to see all the different startup communities evolve and grow.
  7. Venture Capital: I’m talking with a few folks now about putting together a fund. I am no experienced VC, but I can put a team together that knows their shit. This is what I’m looking at right now – putting together a stellar team that can invest in startups and entrepreneurs that want to have fun, disrupt, and make some money along the way.
  8. Game changing startups: If you’re trying to do the same shit as someone else, I don’t care. If you think you got something cool and different, this gets me excited. Why put a ton a time into something that is the same as the next guys stuff?
  9. Accelerators: I think accelerators rock. I’m not involved in one myself, nor have I been involved in one. However, I sit back, watch, listen, and appreciate all the work that accelerators are doing. We need more of them. The best part about accelerators are the mentors and the community that forms.
  10. Crowd funding: I am a co-founder of a startup called Fundmypark. We are the Kickstarter for all things parks and recreation. Were already seeing some good success with this project. Beyond this, I’m just interested in all the crowdfunding activity going down.
  11. Branded entertainment: I’ve watched more and more young people change their content consuming behavior and this gets me horny. Hence the reason I’m a part of a new deal being put together in Hollywood to enter this space. We are still trying to figure stuff out, but we are close.
  12. Digital content and entertainment: The smartest thing people can do with content today is build in the brands. No, not product placement. I’m talking about unique branded integration that tells a story. Look at Nike, Redbull, and others – they get it.
  13. New retail and restaurant plays: I enjoy seeing people disrupt this industry. I see people tying mobile into the experience. I also have seen good uses of social. It’s all interesting to me. Just watch as more and more entrepreneurs come up with unique ways to mod this industry and integrate new forms of tech.
  14. Social Media: All forms, all uses, case studies, you name it, I’m following it and paying attention. It’s also important because if you’re not building social into everything you do today…you are an idiot.
  15. Social Commerce: Lots of people are toying with this (This includes me) and I think it’s awesome. Do I think this space is early still? Yes. Do I see it evolving and eventually becoming a very important part of our lives? Yes.
  16. Mobile: First off, I have two mobile startups I’m in right now. So, this means I’m paying attention to facts, statistics, apps, use cases…..I’m on top of it all.
  17. Fashion/Lifestyle apparel: I’m an advisor to a brand called Citizenshirt. We are gearing up right now to do some pretty grass roots, authentic projects. Watch us build this into a mainstream brand.
  18. Social Responsibility: If you’re not on top of this, don’t plan on being in business long – this is on top of the millennia’s priority list.
  19. Action sports: I’ve always been and always will love action sports – it’s in my blood.
  20. Any good example of strategy: social, analytical, marketing, management, etc.
  21. Furniture: I have a furniture startup that I’m in. The company is called Think Tables. Yes, we are starting out with writable tables, but we have big plans….stay tuned.
  22. Embedded software: Software is being embedded into everything. 5-10 years from now, it will be hard to find anything without tech embedded into it.
  23. Hardware companies: Hardware is something I’m looking at pretty hard. There are lots of startups and entrepreneurs out there today building hardware products. This excites me. I don’t know what I will do about it, but it will be something – I will ride this wave.
  24. Personal branding: With all that I do, it needs to come back and support my personal brand. What is my personal brand? Motivating startups and entrepreneurs to make stuff and things happen. If it doesn’t fit with my personal brand or the projects I’m involved with, I don’t do it.

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How about you? 

What gets you horny today?

 

Will you pursue your vision until you breathe your last breath?

In my book, short-term expectations and plans aren’t as important as long-term possibilities. Honestly, I don’t really care if some of my plans fall apart. Why? Because what matters is that I stay strong and continue to pursue my vision letting nothing get in the way.

Photo Courtesy of: 123freevectors.com

What matters is that you follow your heart and keep choppin’ wood every day. If you’re one of those people that lets short-term plans affect long-term possibilities you have a problem, and unless you change your thinking, you might  not accomplish much in life.

Things are going to happen to you. Plans are going to fall apart. You will lose at times.

The key is staying positive,  keeping an eye on your vision, and charging forward daily.

A good example is Jobs. He never let short-term stuff affect his vision of making cool shit. The thing I loved about Jobs was how he made gutsy decisions time and time again. He stayed hungry and never gave up…even till his last breath – this inspires me

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

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What about you? 

Will you stay strong pursuing your vision until you breathe your last breath?

 

Ship Now, what are you waiting for?

If you’re sitting around thinking about this sweet plan about how you are going to take over the world with your product and you keep adding this and changing that, I say stop now and ship that shit – what are you waiting for….seriously?

Don’t be scared, no one is going to know about it for a while anyways – you will have plenty of time to collect feedback and make changes….trust me.

If you don’t ship now, there may be no hope for you or your product. By the time you “think” it’s right, someone will have already beaten you too it – you don’t want this, right?

It’s important that you get your product to market as quickly as possible. The longer you wait the more life and stuff happens. Put everything aside, figure what you need to make it viable, and start shipping. Do it now before I do.

The key is taking your product to market as quickly as possible. Then, after you’ve taken it to market you can collect customer feedback and use it to adjust the customer and product path. Simple stuff. Don’t complicate it.

I’ve dealt with both situations before; taking time to go to market and just shipping. You can probably guess what one always turned out better for me.

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Are you that person who sits around waiting to ship? What’s holding you back? 

 

VC’s Don’t Care About Your Small Company

For those of you who know me, I am a visionary. I like big risks and I’m not afraid to fail and lose everything – I’ve already been there done that. Yeah…it sucks while you’re in it, but you get right back up and start building again.

My dad always taught me to either go big or go home. We never went half ass – it was either all in or not in at all. Let me tell you, this was a great foundation for my startup life.

The same is true when it comes to VC’s. They are all in. They are taking big risks on your startup and for that, they are looking for a big win. They want deals that present an opportunity for a 10x return – minimum.

VC’s could give two shits about your little startup company that is going to own 30-50% of your small market – have some vision for crying out loud – that is if you are trying to reach VC’s.

I will also tell you from experience that it is just as hard to build a small company as it is a large one – you will never find me building something small again.

If you want a VC’s attention then go all in and build something that has the potential to scale and show a beauty of a return.

I am no VC, but I am speaking for some of my friends that tell me the horror stories. If your deal doesn’t have the potential for a 10x return then don’t waste their time.

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What about you? 

What are you building? Does it have the potential for a 10x return – minimum?

 

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?

 

Grab a pen and paper and go to work

Sometimes you just have to grab a pen and paper and go to work. I think we’ve become so accustomed to using tools that we have forgotten the value and efficiency of a simple pen and paper.

Simple is always better – that’s a fact.

The best approach to building an idea starts with sitting down with a trusty pen and paper or at a Think Table (Like that plug didn’t ya) and sketching out your thoughts and ideas.

A blank canvas or lots of white space provides this place to think different and generate lots of ideas quickly without any restraints. You can also explore other options and variations without any real risks – you can just throw it all out their and start to visualize something amazing.

While complex technology programs are great for putting the finishing touches on something, they’re not the quickest way to start the ideation process.

Here’s the question: Are you making things to difficult by pulling up another program when you could just be sitting down and starting to explore?

There is a simpler way. Try it. Use it. Go.

 

I enjoy building cool shit and it’s not just because of money

A true entrepreneur who loves building stuff is not in it for the money – this is definitely a by product of building cool stuff, but money is not the primary driver. If it is, then you are not a true entrepreneur.

Every great entrepreneur I know wants several things and making money is not number one.

So, why do we as entrepreneurs do what we do; travel the world, spend time away from our families, sacrifice pretty much everything, and take the risks that others are unwilling to take?

It’s simple really. I’ll give you 8 reasons to start:  

1. We love building cool stuff and watching it turn into something – think of a house starting out as an idea and then becoming a place where a family is built.

2. We love working with other entrepreneurs who share our same passions. There is nothing like a couple of entrepreneurs coming together to brainstorm how they can disrupt an industry or take a crappy product and make it better.

3. We enjoy solving a problem that makes the world a better place.

4. We appreciate the freedom to be creative with no restraints. Everything is a go.

5. We hate when people tell us what to do. Our lives are not conventional.

6. We get fired up when we hit key milestones and make progress against an idea.

7. We want to be challenged or we lose interest and want to move onto other things.

8. We want to constantly be learning new things that stretch our minds and make us grow.

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How about you? 

Why do you as an entrepreneur do what you do?

 

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?