A Billionaire’s Advice to a Tech Company Founder | How to be Multi-Passionate as an Entrepreneur

A Billionaire’s Advice to a Tech Company Founder | How to be Multi-Passionate as an Entrepreneur

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Jeff Hoffman, Serial Entrepreneur and Billionaire Founder of Priceline.com, joins the pod to chat with me about life as an early stage tech company founder and how to balance being multi-passionate.

Today’s Sponsor: 99Designs

Resources:

Essentialism

 

 

 

 

To learn more about Jeff, visit JeffHoffman.com

A Billionaire’s Advice to a Tech Company Founder | How to be Multi-Passionate as an Entrepreneur

How Reading Transformed My Life | Reading Isn’t a Time Sacrifice, It’s an Investment

How Reading Transformed My Life | Reading Isn’t a Time Sacrifice, It’s an Investment

Click Here to Subscribe to the Show: iTunes | CastBox | SpotifyGoogle Play | YouTube

In the latest episode of Entrepreneur Hour, we talk about how reading transformed my life as an entrepreneur and how you can unlock the same potential from investing in your learning.

Today’s Sponsor: The VIP Room (Early Bird Registration)

 

 

 

 

To learn more about The VIP Room, visit Chrismichaelharris.com/VIP

 

How Reading Transformed My Life | Reading Isn’t a Time Sacrifice, It’s an Investment

My 3 Top Books to Read for Business in 2018 and Beyond | Reading is an Investment in Your Future

My 3 Top Books to Read for Business in 2018 and Beyond | Reading is an Investment in Your Future

 

Did You Know 26% of American Adults Say They HAVE NOT Read Part of a Book in the Last Year?!?

That statistic startled me…and for good reason.

You see, reading changed my life.

For a long time, I viewed myself as a “Pioneer” (Whatever that meant).

But basically someone that wanted to just go LIVE the experience and figure it out along the way.

I’d save the reading time at Starbucks to those that weren’t actually DOING things…just talking about it.

And it largely worked…

My company scaled to multiple seven figures from my college apartment, completely bootstrapped.

Now I’m guessing this is the part where you wonder why I’m now telling you that you should be reading.

And that’s good…because things weren’t what they appeared to be.

Entrepreneurs often make this mistake of mistaking revenue growth for business growth.

When you look at the list of Fortune 100 companies, what are the measured by?

Revenue, net profit…all financial measurements.

And so the goal is to focus on the money.

Well, as you can imagine, top of funnel trickles down and it’s greatly impactful in terms of the metric we use to qualify success.

The money-centric focus is only further exacerbated by the whole “funding game” and it promulgates this notion to generate revenue by any means necessary.

But let’s be clear here…just because you’re growing revenue it doesn’t mean you’re actually growing your business…

You’re just a damn good salesmen of sales team.

And that’s where I found myself.

I can largely sell ice to an Eskimo…

And I did.

But I also buried myself and my team in the process trying to keep up with everything I sold.

Truth be told, after passing the million dollar threshold, we had to take a few steps back to $500k just to ensure we would again be ready to grow.

I’ve talked about what that entailed in a previous installment.

*It’s a good one, one of my favorites.

 

DON'T FORGET TO CLICK & LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VIP ROOM

The VIP Room is a Digital Book Club Community for entrepreneurs.

 

And Then I Began Actually Investing in Myself

I had no choice.

My company had grown too fast and the learning curve was getting painful, costing us money & opportunities…not to mention time.

But it wasn’t as if I hadn’t TRIED to read in the past.

It just felt like such a waste of time when you read four bloody pages and you’re not able to recite a word of it.

Like the information hit a brick wall at the back on my eyeballs and never made it to my brain.

An ADD mind, to say the least.

And this is why it matters for entrepreneurs.

MOST of us are this way…

It’s both our greatest strength and biggest weakness all at the same time.

We have two choices:

  1. Keep banging our heads against the wall or grow to a point we can hire help.
  2. Figure out a structure that works so we have a macro-level understanding of what we need.

I opted for the first…obviously.

I just figured I could sell my way to hiring the person I could just hand things off to.

I’m not saying it ISN’T possible…but it’s definitely a riskier play.

Plus, this is a growing game for you, the person, and not just the business.

There’s structures, rituals, habits and life lessons to be learned.

And what’s more is most of these reads are from the greatest minds in history.

Like your own personal mentor that left a trail of clues for you to follow.

But just to wrap my story up before we get into our three books, not only did this shift work for me but it wasn’t the sacrifice I thought it would be.

I read 15-20 minutes per day.

That usually means I knock one book out about every 2 weeks.

What happened was our growth stayed the same but the time it took to achieve the results lessened astronomically.

We now make small tweaks that double our revenue in a matter of months.

Those tweaks all come from…?

You guessed it…learning and reading material.

We don’t make 12 mistakes before we figure out what works.

We learn, implement, test and repeat.

Calculated moves…not just throwing things at the wall.

We’re building sustainable companies, not flashes in the pan.

So, if you’re NOT reading, I suggest you do ASAP.

And here are the three books I recommend you get started with for 2018 & BEYOND.

 

Essentialism: By Greg Mckeown

Man, this book is powerful.

As entrepreneurs, so often we find ourselves trying to do ALL the things instead of the ONE thing.

But our default is to just say “YES” to every new opportunity.

We can’t decipher what’s valuable versus what’s a waste of time and we feel lazy or some obligatory sense that we’re not fully engaged when we say “NO” to things.

There’s some deep rooted psychological working at play but ESSENTIALLY (See what I did there?) it’s vastly more effective for you to be hyper-focused.

If you’re even less than 80% sure on ONE ASPECT of the opportunity, whatever that may be, you should immediately rule it out.

We can also use this work to discern the reasons we feel obligated to say “yes.”

Things like relational pressures, past experiences, etc.

The problem is, when our efforts are too scattered, we don’t have a momentous push in any one direction.

But when we do and we’re very clear on what that is, LOOK OUT WORLD!

I recently had Jeff Hoffman, the billionaire founder of Priceline, on my podcast.

Jeff has seemingly done everything this life has to offer and then some.

Truth be told, it’s pretty overwhelming to look at his bio/portfolio.

But what was interesting in our discussion was that Jeff told me he has NEVER done any of those thigns at the same time.

He works obsessively on ONE thing until he can sell it or completely delegate and then moves on to the next passion project.

And I’ve found that same approach over and over with the highest performers and most successful people in the world.

Essentialism is a Top 5 to Top 10 read for me…of all time.

 

High Performance Habits: By Brendon Burchard

Let me start by saying I absolutely LOVE Brendon’s work.

I jokingly say Brendon is who I want to be like “when I grow up.”

I just appreciate his approach to life and business and find myself living a similar journey.

High Performance Habits, to me, demystifies this idea that some people are born to be high achievers.

We have this perception that these folks just wake up, eat bullets, and sneeze out money.

We also hold this narrative that they’ve sacrificed happiness for success and this makes us feel better about our life decisions.

But Brendon’s team has spent thousands of hours and likely hundreds of thousands of dollars studying high performers all over the world.

What’s interesting is they have found six core habits that propel their success.

The good thing for you and me is these habits are applicable for ANYONE.

They’ve been learned over time by the folks we admire but it wasn’t by some chance or roll of the dice they are who they are.

Brendon unearths these six habits at length in this book…

So if high performance is your goal, as it should be as an entrepreneur, look no further than this book.

 

Rework: By Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson

An oldie but SUCH a goodie.

I put this on my list because, despite it being a New York Times Best Seller, I just found many people weren’t familiar with it.

And as a startup founder, this book contains everything you need to succeed…and then some.

Plus, the way they decided to write this book makes it easier for the reader to go back and refer to it at any point.

There “less is more” approach to scaling a startup is very in tune with my own methodology.

To be candid, I wish I had read this book prior to my first startup.

We would have avoided many heartaches and setbacks.

The guys that wrote it are the same folks from Basecamp.

It’s a no-nonsense, straight to the point, guide to running a startup.

And it’s my belief these core, foundation pieces they discuss can be applied to any business of any industry…

Not just tech.

 

DON'T FORGET TO CLICK & LEARN MORE ABOUT THE VIP ROOM

The VIP Room is a Digital Book Club Community for entrepreneurs.

 

Want to Learn More?

I have no doubt these books will ignite your life and business.

But we all need a “Gym Buddy.”

Right?

It sounds great on paper that we’re going to get up at 5:30 AM to workout and get in shape until the alarm goes off.

Your bed has this amazing allure of never feeling more comfortable at any other time in your life than at that moment.

And the same goes for reading.

Life happens, things come up…

I get it.

And that’s why we recently launched an entire community around giving people the support, accountability and framework they need.

Introducing The VIP Room…

This is a Digital Book Club Community where we pick one book per month and then I present a Web Class at the end of the month to teach not only what I learned but how you can implement it into your life and business to create REAL change!

We did the math…

And we can get you reading one book per month for a commitment of ~11 pages per day!

ELEVEN PAGES…

We’ve been strategically selective of who we let in the community.

I’m picky with who I want to work with…not sorry.

We want REAL entrepreneurs that are out building REAL companies.

And we’re not interested in your typical #Hustle and #Grind “entrepreneur” on Instagram…

If that’s you, I promise we can still be friends…

But this community is probably not the place for you.

My clients pay me anywhere between $5,000-$10,000/month.

So I’m sure you’re now probably wondering what all of this would cost you.

At the time I’m writing this, how about a whopping 19 bucks per month?

That’s less than most people’s weekly Starbucks budget…

Sound fair?

And maybe I am just some schmuck selling stuff on the internet and everything I’ve told you is a lie…

Good news for you is you’re backed by a 14-day guarantee so you have a built-in exit.

But I get it…people are selling stuff all over the internet.

It can get excessive.

Every other post on Facebook now is a sponsored ad.

It’s CRAZY!

I don’t want your money, I really don’t.

But I also want to see you succeed.

I’ve experienced everything you can imagine as an entrepreneur.

I’ve gotten my ass handed to me only to have to get back up.

Had to beat a chronic ailment that was likely going to take my life…putting all of my career aspirations on hold.

And trust me when I tell you I’ve failed way more than I’ve succeeded.

So, when you read about me and my wild success with my first startup having scaled to multi-millions from my college apartment in less than 36 months or how we’ve had three of the Sharks from Shark Tank on my podcast as well as 40+ New York Times Best Selling Authors, just know that’s my elevator pitch but there’s way more beneath the surface.

I’m okay with that!

Because it takes REAL people willing to be open and honest to give you the full picture of what this life entails.

So you’re not going to see me pulling a Tai Lopez and doing video sessions in front of my (probably rented) high end sports cars, you’re not going to see a bunch of scantily glad females (again, probably rented) hanging out with me while I give you advice…

But you might see me just being real with you about my real life and how REAL hard this pursuit of entrepreneurship is.

A rising tide lifts all boats, right?

I’m inviting you to join my tide.

Can’t wait to see you there…

Click here to learn more.

 

Don’t forget to also listen to the pod!

 

Click Here to Subscribe to the Show: iTunes | CastBox | SpotifyGoogle Play | YouTube

In the latest episode of Entrepreneur Hour, we cover my 3 top books to read in 2018, what you can expect to learn and how you can start implementing to make a real change in your life and business.

Today’s Sponsor: The VIP Room (Early Bird Registration)

Resources:

Essentialism: By Greg McKeown

High Performance Habits: By Brendon Burchard

Rework: Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

 

 

 

 

To learn more about The VIP Room, visit Chrismichaelharris.com/VIP

 

My 3 Top Books to Read for Business in 2018 and Beyond | Reading is an Investment in Your Future

How to Take Care of Your Health as an Entrepreneur | Ancient Wisdom and Natural Remedies

How to Take Care of Your Health as an Entrepreneur | Ancient Wisdom and Natural Remedies

 

Our Healthcare System is Imploding…

One of the things that frustrates me most about this ongoing health crisis we have in the US is our misconception that Health Insurance = Health Care.

Now, is it important to have coverage in the event of a crisis?

You bet your butt it is.

My brother had a compound leg fracture a few years back while enjoying the slopes with his friends.

The total bill from the hospital was well into the six figure range.

So, yes, he was very glad to have a great insurance plan through his employer.

But what about us self-employed folks?

As you may have found, Major Medical plans through ACA can cost $500/mo or MORE!

What’s more is most of these entry-level plans require you to get hit by a freight train for your policy to even kick in.

My wife and I both opted to go with a supplemental plan through eHealthInsurance.com.

It lowers the cost (~$150/month) and we have a catastrophic plan in place for ~$24/mo.

That said, we’ve got a $7500 deductible and the policy term is usually six months.

In other words, you better go to the Doctor every single day to even reap the benefits of that policy.

That, or the aforementioned freight train.

So when my major health crisis took us by surprise in 2016, we were at quite the crossroads.

The prognosis was bleak and the lab results showed a condition that would potentially turn cancerous.

Me not being here by the age of 40 wasn’t something I aspired to do, for obvious reasons…

And Western Medicine proved (through the labs) to have only further exacerbated the condition.

I had lost hope in the system…

Lost hope in the remedies…

And found myself in a very lonely place, feeling terrible and clueless as to where to turn.

 

 

A New Way of Thinking.

Around this time as I laid in bed and literally had to use laxatives just to have a bowel movement at all (sorry, I know it’s gross), my wife and I discovered some guy named Dr. Josh Axe.

What he was saying was a far removal from everything I heard about health and wellness…but not really.

Things like dietary changes, essential oils and lifestyle choices.

Right?

All of those things we learned as a kid but opted for the box of sugary cereals and pre-packaged Lunchables because that’s what our friends did.

He began dropping statistics about how effective these treatments were in relation to that of pharmaceutical remedies.

He also explained why the pharmaceutical remedies were destroying the body rather than doing the very thing is was created to accomplish.

And soon, what I realized is my condition had been lurking around in silence for the better part of several decades.

Heavy antibiotic use as a kid and into my teenage years had depleted my healthy gut bacteria.

Heavy drinking in college only further fueled that fire.

And then the stress of a startup business was the final cherry on top.

In so doing, leading to total system shut down which had a ripple effect across my entire body.

And that’s not just describing how I felt about it, that’s precisely what the lab work showed.

Low vitamins and minerals, low testosterone, an entire endocrine system that was at gridlock and an intestinal lining that was so low in mucus production even the slightest inflammatory food could cause constipation for days or even weeks.

And as I researched these lab results and aligned it with what both Western Medicine told me as well as what I heard from Dr. Axe, the proof was very clear.

Western Medicine was putting a band-aid on my condition, not solving the real problem.

And that’s largely how I’d been treated my entire life.

Feeling sad or depressed?

Here’s two anti-depressants and some ADHD medication.

No labs were run…

It was a quick 15 minute appointment and an educated guess as to what the problem could comprise of.

But never once did we take the time to analyze lab results, or even take them for that matter, to get to the root of the issue.

All of my years of struggles and all Western Medicine could provide me with was plugging my mouth full of more drugs, all of which had side effects a mile long.

 

The Turning Point

Fortunately, this story has a positive ending.

I did have to put my entrepreneurial aspirations slightly on hold for a few years…

But investing in my future was totally worth it.

Being truly healthy for the first time since grade school was also totally worth it.

Soon after I discovered Dr. Axe, I was also introduced to the work of his now business partner, Jordan Rubin.

You see, both Josh and Jordan had gone down a similar path to that of my own.

Dr. Axe nearly lost his mother to cancer, resorting to his studies and natural remedies to completely reverse her condition.

She’s now in her 70’s and running half-marathons, citing she’s healthier now than she was in her 40’s.

Jordan Rubin was on his death bed…literally.

A sufferer of Crohn’s Disease…the same disease that has afflicted my father for 30+ years.

And the same disease I was potentially staring at in the near future.

Jordan entered into college with big hopes and dreams but soon found himself not being able to retain anything he ate.

Spending most of his days passing bowel movements, he shrunk considerably in size to barely above skin and bone.

Having traveled the globe trying to find a solution to his problem and having spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the process, he finally discovered a program on the West Coast that went back to the basics of eating from the earth and shifting lifestyles.

Within months, Jordan went from the picture you see on the left to the one on the right…

Jordan prayed for death in his darkest hours…

And at times, he almost received his wish.

He highlights this in his best selling novel, The Maker’s Diet…which I highly recommend.

My spirits had been lifted.

No longer did I feel alone.

I had Health Heroes…

I had new found hope and a chance to not just stop the problem from getting worse but to completely reverse it altogether.

We soon found a practitioner named Dr. Eric Bakker that preached along the same lines as both Dr Axe and Jordan.

He has actually been on my show before in a previous installment…

And get this…after YEARS of struggling…

DECADES of pumping myself full of drugs just to get through the day.

Within months of working with Dr. Bakker and applying everything I’ve learned from both Dr. Axe and Jordan Rubin, I was pharmaceutical drug free and quickly recovering like I had never seen before.

I was also going to the bathroom with ease and without laxatives.

Within a year and I’m now the healthiest I’ve ever been in my life.

Where I was at one point down to only five foods I could eat that wouldn’t cause me issues, I can now sit down and eat anything without a second glance.

We healed my body…

From the inside out.

And, more importantly, we did what I’ve found to be the most important aspect of health and wellness.

We gave my body a chance to do what it was unbelievably and miraculously designed to do…

HEAL itself by giving it the right platform to do so.

Things like not staying up until 3:00 AM and getting necessary rest.

Not consuming ridiculous amounts of alcohol…for me, no alcohol or caffeine at ALL!

Giving my body super-foods that were going to fuel my body, not overly processed garbage that comes in a wrapper.

And certainly not driving by Taco Bell because it’s way more convenient than taking 10 minutes to cook a healthy meal.

Now, I’d be lying if I said that’s all we did.

It’s a large portion of it but certainly not the full picture.

I did take incredibly high dosages of one of the most potent Probiotics on the planet.

At one point, I was actually consuming nearly 3 TRILLION CFU’s of Probiotics, daily.

In fact, we were spending about $110 every ten days to do this form of treatment because my insurance provider claimed this was a pre-existing condition.

Simultaneously, I was also taking a designer grade supplement that costs right around $200/month.

But it worked…

And when people ask me about how much money we’ve spent, my response is and will continue to always be the same…

What can you invest in that’s more important than yourself?

As an entrepreneur, how far do you think you’ll go if you can’t go to the bathroom and become bedridden?

You think you’ll still care about those new initiatives and revenue opportunities?

And if you think you’ll have the energy and mental discipline to just push through it, you’re right!

I did…

For years.

And I prided myself on being so mentally tough.

But the body eventually wins.

And what’s more is you’ll look back and realize just how much MORE recovery lies ahead as a direct result of all that toughness you thought you were demonstrating.

 

 

What YOU Can Do About It

Look, the reality of the situation is you may not be as bad off as myself, Jordan Rubin or Dr. Axe’s mom were.

And for that, I pray you never will be.

But why risk it?

Why flirt with even the slightest possibility of that becoming a reality?

I thought it couldn’t and wouldn’t happen to me…

And that was fool’s gold.

My dad, as mentioned, is a Crohn’s sufferer.

That’s a completely debilitating autoimmune disease.

So, how on earth would I think it couldn’t happen to me?

And it’s likely you’ve got some lineage of some severe illness in your family.

Don’t play games with genetics, my friend…

PLEASE.

So, here’s where to start:

  • Find your own health heroes. I have Dr. Axe, Jordan Rubin, Dr. Eric Berg, Dr. Lam, Dr. Eric Bakker, etc., etc., etc. The list goes on and I’m constantly learning new things from each of them to add to what I already do. This is an ongoing process, not a one-off investment.

 

  • Focus on SMALL changes. When you listen to a Dr. Axe or a Jordan Rubin, you’re going to initially feel overwhelmed. They unload years of study and knowledge into their content. It’s a LOT to take in…so just start with baby steps that work for you.

 

  • Hire a professional. We tried to self-medicate for a year. Truth be told, we wasted thousands of dollars. You might convince yourself it’s just a $5 supplement here and there but it all adds up. What’s more is the time you lose, which is invaluable. There are affordable options out there. You need lab results that show you the real picture…not guess work. Trust me, this is my biggest regret. I first recommend setting up a consultation with someone like my Doctor, Dr. Eric Bakker, and then he can tell you which lab results you’ll need among the thousands of options to get on the right track.

 

  • Pushing through it is not courageous, it’s stupid. I know you’re tough, I am too. It’s not a badge of honor. Give yourself permission to be sick. When I made that shift, it changed everything. I started listening to my body. When everything aligns…mind, body and spirit, you’re an unstoppable force. Don’t try to race with a flat tire.

 

  • Lifestyle change is everything. We’ve been trained to believe you just take a pill and you’re good in 20 minutes or less. But actually healing your body takes time and commitment. If you think you’re not stressed, I encourage you to re-examine. I meditate, I exercise, I’m in bed by no later than 10:30 PM and I give myself permission to sleep as much as I need. All of these things are what put me over the top, not just dietary changes and supplementation.

 

The World is Changing…

I can’t tell you how happy I am to see responsibly sourced foods, non-GMO and organic options and a culture that’s moving away from the fast food society we’ve been for so long.

It’s the age of information and people are getting smart.

But here’s the deal…

I get it.

If you’ve read this through and found yourself rolling your eyes, you are just like I was.

I thought this was all hocus pocus.

Quackery…

How can a ginger root help me with my depression?

What do probiotics have to do with anything?

Can’t I just buy those things at Wal-Mart for 10 bucks?

That can’t be legit, right?

Yes…and no.

If this is the beginning of your holistic health journey, you’re going to find good and bad remedies just like anything else.

You’re going to find some thing work while others not so much.

But here’s what I hate about our mindset.

In order for us to even consider a more natural treatment route, it normally requires us to be at a point of desperation.

Right!?

That was me.

The only reason I tried it was because I had explored every other possible path first.

I would try a couple Dr. Axe suggestions and then immediately dismiss it when I didn’t instantly see the effects.

So, again, I get it.

You’re going to have ups-and-downs and you may not even be ready just yet to even try this crazy stuff.

But if you’re absolutely sick and tired of being sick and tired…

If you’re tired of your MD giving you the same old spiel but not moving any closer to health and wellness…

Then maybe…

Just maybe…

You’re open-minded enough and willing to try something that’s been used for thousands of years to help people around the globe.

 

Don’t forget to also listen to the pod!

 

Click Here to Subscribe to the Show: iTunes | CastBox | SpotifyGoogle Play | YouTube

Dr. Josh Axe, Founder of Dr.Axe.com (World’s #1 Health and Wellness Website, and Jordan Rubin, New York Times Best Selling Author & CEO of Ancient Nutrition, drop by to talk how to take care of your health as a busy entrepreneur with a demanding lifestyle + schedule.

Today’s Sponsor: The VIP Room

Resources:

DrAxe.com

 

 

 

 

To learn more about Josh and Jordan, visit DrAxe.com

How to Take Care of Your Health as an Entrepreneur | Ancient Wisdom and Natural Remedies

The Business Advantage of Truly Being YOU | You’re Always Second Best at Being Someone Else

The Business Advantage of Truly Being YOU | You’re Always Second Best at Being Someone Else

 

Sally’s Work Gave Me Permission to Just Be Me…

One of the hardest parts, in my view, in being an entrepreneur is the path to that discovery.

And, believe it or not, there was a point in which it wasn’t as popular as it is today.

When I was just starting out, Facebook had just emerged but very few people were using it in the capacity they are today.

And I could be entirely wrong but internet marketing just wasn’t what it is today.

If you told a parent or a dear friend you were planning to launch a business that involved you selling something called information products and were using YouTube to build an audience and an email list, they probably would have given you a real hard “crazy” eyed look.

And that’s unfortunately still somewhat the case today, truth be told.

Point is, we are still SO new to this beautiful landscape called the internet.

In our digital world, we’ve yet to see a fully grown generation of people that grew up and remember a time where all this technology wasn’t readily available as they are just now entering into their adult lives!

Kinda crazy, right?

But here I was…a college student just dying to figure out what to do in this big and lonely world.

What’s worse is all my friends seemingly knew EXACTLY what they wanted to do.

Work on Wall Street, Lawyers, Doctors, Police Officers, etc, etc, etc.

And here I was…

Struggling mightily with the early onset of the chronic illness I only later fully discovered in my early thirties but also without a clue as to what I actually WANTED to do.

Sure, I could do many things, as is the case with so many entrepreneurial people.

But what I actually wanted to do and saw myself providing to the world…different conversation.

And here’s the Achilles Heel to most people like me, and maybe even you as you read this installment…

We’re too darn clever to just do something for the money.

We recognize life is just a meaningless pursuit if we’re not living it to the fullest and chasing our dreams.

Many can just clock in to their 9 to 5, provide for their families, enjoy the weekend festivities and hardly ever think about the fact that one day the clock will strike midnight on all of us.

That’s not the case for me, never has been.

I can even remember my mother giving me this audacious look when I explained to her the concept of death and the afterlife (as I saw it) as a five year old!

She was taken aback by my grasp of such a complex idea at such a young age.

Now, just to be clear, this isn’t about me patting my own “genius” back and celebrating my immense understanding of life.

But what I’ve come to find is many struggle with the same challenge.

That and what to do with those thoughts.

There’s so much potential energy that lies beneath the surface of these individuals…

And when not addressed or applied in a healthy channel, it can be absolutely destructive.

I reached for things…the next party, the next major milestone in life….

I thought maybe it was money.

Before that I thought it was fulfilling my dream of being a collegiate athlete.

And when all of those boxes had been checked, what I found was I was more miserable than ever.

 

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The Call The Changed it All

In this installment of the podcast, this is largely the part I pick up to tell Sally Hogshead my story.

I remember driving to my Spanish 2100 class in my 2001, White, Honda Accord.

I remember exactly what I was wearing…

My favorite orange V-Neck Tee with Cargo Shorts (yes, they were still a thing) and a pair of Birkenstocks (HA! Remember those?).

I spoke with my mother as it were on most days while I drove to class.

But in this particular time frame it was regarding my desperation and depression, of which had worsened after a challenging breakup I experienced.

I was medicated to hell with all sorts of anti-depressants and ADHD medications.

I was drinking heavily about 3-4 times per week, which wasn’t peculiar given the college town I lived in at the time.

But let’s just say that certainly wasn’t helping matters…at all.

And I remember the exact words I said to my mother which changed my life forever.

Like an anvil being lifted square off my shoulders as the words came out of my mouth.

Mom, I’m just tired of being me and wish I could just be like everyone else…

My voice crackled as I fought to hide back the tears.

I never made it to class that day.

In fact, soon thereafter I took an entire semester off from college to re-examine my life.

And over the course of the next six months I began to really think about what to do next.

I researched everything I could find about purpose, passions, spirituality, etc.

It was in that time I became a Christian and soon met the woman that later became my wife!

Resource after resource, I consumed anything I could get my hands on.

And then I found some lady named Sally Hogshead that had created this personality assessment test that focused on unique advantages in the world.

I was told her work really focused on being the best YOU and not just chasing everyone else by the tail.

It may not have seemed like much at the time but that, along with only a handful of other crucial resources, is why I’m sitting here the entrepreneur I am today.

My report told me I was an Avant-Garde…

A forward thinker and innovator.

It also told me that routine, monotonous work was going to be the death of me.

The report went on for some 16 odd pages longer and I even purchased the advanced version that gave me a further breakdown.

And for the first time in my life, I was liberated.

Who I was wasn’t a weakness, it was my SUPERPOWER.

The fact that my brain worked the way it did and saw things that other people didn’t see wasn’t weird, it was where I could EXCEL in the world and WIN.

Truth be told, I began to trace back my steps…

And the clues were scattered all over the place.

I had always been industrious.

Side hustles and little business endeavors.

Lawn care companies in my high school years.

But at the time, I had just viewed those as ways to make money before life got serious…

I never realized that being an entrepreneur could be a real thing I did…like for a living and career.

Most importantly, this report just gave me permission to be myself and to do it to the fullest.

I didn’t need to chase this guy or that guy.

I didn’t need to be more like Tim or act more like Bob (random people I just made up).

There was a uniqueness inside of me that could deliver amazing value to the world and it was just my job to embrace it to the fullest.

 

Quit worrying about what people THINK you should be doing and just DO YOU!

Whatever this is for you…

And I’m not saying that leads to you being an entrepreneur.

In fact, your report may tell you the exact opposite.

That’s okay!

This life is about finding our own path and living in to the fullest.

The things you can do are probably vastly different than what I bring to the table.

That’s the beautiful part of what makes this thing work.

I can assure you if everyone was like me we’d live in one weird world…

And I’m sure most people can reflect and agree with that statement.

I’ve taken my report with me everywhere I go.

I make KEY decisions in life based on what my avatar would do.

Is this something an Avant-Garde should do?

If the answer is “NO,” I don’t do it.

And that even trickles down to things like where I choose to live.

Prestige is my Primary Advantage.

I like and demand excellence.

If it’s not the best in my eyes, it’s not enough.

And while I drive myself crazy with this desire at times, it does serve me well if used in the right capacity.

The co-work space where I mentor gives me a free office.

I’m literally looking out the window at Google’s massive downtown office here in Austin, Texas.

Directly next to Google is a construction site that will soon be Facebook’s new office in town.

My surroundings match my advantage.

Every company in here is trying to be just like the companies I just mentioned next door.

And that’s the bar that is set.

When my wife and I decided to move to another city from Atlanta, we started checking our boxes.

Truth be told, we couldn’t figure out why some cities just didn’t feel right for us.

The boxes DID check out but something was missing.

And what we discovered was they just didn’t have that Prestige feel that resonated with us.

*Side note: My wife’s Secondary Advantage is Prestige so we agree on most things when it comes to that.

I’ve also NEVER made a hire without first making them take Sally’s Assessment test.

I need to know who they are and where they will thrive.

Without this particular assessment, I have no idea.

Sure, I can gouge myself in the eyeballs reading a Myers-Briggs report but I need actionable insights…not an abbreviated mess I’m not even going to remember myself.

 

So, What Are The Next Steps?

I’d love for you to have the experience I had.

But maybe you won’t.

It’s possible you just take the assessment and discover things you already knew about yourself.

To me, that validation is still everything but it’s possible it’s something you don’t value.

If that’s you, maybe you’ve just never reached that critical, fork in the road, moment that changes your life forever.

The one you look back and go “OH NO,” or “YESS” when you reflect upon your decision.

For me, that process was painful.

And I didn’t have a clue where to begin to look for resources to help me out.

So, at the very least, take the assessment and have it in your back pocket.

If there’s anything I’ve learned about how to navigate life it’s that you can never have too much information about yourself.

It’s why so many Executives and High-Performers pay tens of thousands of dollars for counseling and coaching.

Because it’s not about what we know about ourselves.

It’s what we DON’T know that has all the potential in the world to unlock our true path.

And, in my view, that’s where the Power of You can, and most likely will, become your most fascinating strategic advantage in business.

 

DON'T FORGET TO GRAB YOUR FREE PERSONALITY ASSESSMENT!

Click the link and use code Chris18

 

Don’t forget to also listen to the pod!

 

Click Here to Subscribe to the Show: iTunes | CastBox | SpotifyGoogle Play | YouTube

Sally Hogshead, New York Times Best Selling Author + Hall of Fame Speaker and CEO of How To Fascinate, drops by the pod to talk about the brilliance and business advantage of embracing who you are and not trying to just emulate everyone else.

Today’s Sponsor: How To Fascinate

Resources:

How To Fascinate – Use Code: Chris18

 

 

 

 

To learn more about Sally, visit Howtofascinate.com

The Business Advantage of Truly Being YOU | You’re Always Second Best at Being Someone Else

What to Do When Failure is Not an Option as an Entrepreneur | When the Life You’ve Worked So Hard For Crumbles Around You

What to Do When Failure is Not an Option as an Entrepreneur | When the Life You’ve Worked So Hard For Crumbles Around You

 

When Being an Entrepreneur is Your Only Option

As I listened to my wife on this installment of the podcast, the beautiful Kimberly Ann Jimenez, what struck me was how little we both thought about the alternatives to our immense 2016 struggles.

As in, NOT being entrepreneurs was never an option…

And truly, I mean NEVER.

There was never this moment we sat down at the kitchen table and started ironing out resumes.

It was figure this thing out by any means necessary or….(end of thought process)

And so what I learned in that moment was how serious are we about this thing?

Are we just pretend entrepreneurs that think it looks cool as a bio title on Instagram or are we FOR REAL!?

In this defining moment, is this just going to be some thing we did or is it going to be the beginning of something better and new?

And what transpired in the months thereafter I think not only answered that question to everyone else but, more importantly, proved it to ourselves.

 

 

Watching Your “Baby” Die a Slow Death…

Look, people lose family members all the time.

In fact, one of Kim’s members just lost her 14 year old son and it was absolutely devastating.

So losing a business is nothing in comparison and I would never think to view it in the same light.

But the grieving process happened in much the same way…

So much so that my business coach and mentor, Bill Douglas, had to chime in and tell me it’s very normal for entrepreneurs to feel the way I felt.

I had poured my heart and soul into my business.

And I don’t say that as a cliche.

I literally drove my health into oblivion pursuing my ambitions.

Lab results showed I was dangerously flirting with cancer and would likely not be around to see my 50th birthday…possibly not even 40th.

Years and years of a chronic illness had built to a crescendo and the stress of a startup plus the ridiculous work pace and demands pushed me over the edge.

What’s more is I was literally on the verge of achieving everything we sought out to accomplish.

We had grown to a multi-seven figure firm, completely bootstrapped.

We were doing business with five of the seven major players in our industry and had 300 part-time employees spread out across 32 states.

The minute I got sick the cracks started to show and not a 9 months later the company was dead.

Inside, I felt just as, if not more, dead.

The prognosis…

Two years, minimum, to full recovery.

And that’s all assuming the treatment plan worked.

Given how young I was for this type of ailment, the chances of reversal weren’t impossible but certainly a tall order, nonetheless.

In comes Kim…

My little warrior wife and entrepreneurial sidekick.

You see, one of the MAIN aspects of my treatment protocol was NO WORK.

Truth be told, that was harder than saying goodbye to my company.

Because we now had real pressures and a dwindling savings account.

 

The Pivot that Changed the Game

Just before my illness took a full grip on my life, Kim decided to shift her entire business model from service provider to course creator.

It just made sense for her business and what she envisioned for her life.

But that doesn’t mean you just flip a switch…

We knew there would be a transitional period.

But I had a $1.55MM investment round about to close within 60 days and we were more than okay to support her business for a period of time.

She essentially “fired” off most of her clients and began the implementation process of her first course.

Struggling mightily to make the transition, my investment deal fell through and the aforementioned health situation emerged.

Two months later and we’re back to where I was talking about…a dead business with a husband that can’t work.

Oh, and we had signed a massive lease on a beautiful apartment right in the heart of Atlanta.

You want to see money disappear?

We had a Houdini Act to demonstrate just how fast that can happen.

And so the weight of the world fell on Kim’s shoulders…

And not by choice.

The level of guilt I felt was only matched by the severity of how poorly I felt as a result of my illness.

Weeks would go by and I began to wonder what a “bowel movement” was like.

Not to be gross, just lending light on the situation…

Long nights and early mornings ensued.

And from that point forward for the next year or so I watched my wife transform into a startup BEAST.

 

Six Figures in Six Months

I feel like six figures is always the mark of a successful startup.

Right?

It’s like the metric we use to tell someone we’re making it.

So few of us (2% to be exact) ever reach the seven figure mark so we tend to really celebrate the six figure milestone.

Well, by about February of 2017, Kim had not only swooped in and saved the day but hit that magic, six figure number.

And I think it caught us both way by surprise.

We had literally just launched her flagship membership program, The Business Lounge, in the beginning of October, 2016.

And I remember the day we launched like it was yesterday.

The dust had yet to even settle in my now deceased company.

We had literally brainstormed her launch together in the midst of chaos that surrounds a company closing.

And we launched knowing it was this or we had major problems.

I’ll share more on my end of the story at a later date but let’s just say the mess I was in from a business standpoint wasn’t just a close and go-away situation.

That’s rarely ever the case when a multi-seven figure company closes it’s doors and it was no different for me.

But what we learned and what I commend Kim for more than anything else in the world was her laser focus.

There were no excuses, no time for doubts, no room for slacking off or procrastination.

And it’s in those moments you realize what you’re truly made of.

Truth be told, you sometimes have to look in the mirror and wonder where this has been your whole life!

Like one of those “mother lifts a car because her child is trapped underneath,” type of situations.

And as I laid there, fighting my own health battle, I realized we were going to be okay.

Not because I did anything to will it into existence…

And not because we cleverly maneuvered ourselves into position with some fancy business hacks.

But because we both looked failure square in the face and said NOT TODAY!

Being the “sick guy” wasn’t going to be my story and not being a successful course creator and entrepreneur wasn’t going to be hers.

We bonded together like no other time in our life and definitely in our marriage.

We didn’t just take things day by day, we took them minute by minute…

Celebrating every little win along the way like we had just won the bloody Super Bowl.

Something miraculous happened.

Something I now think you only understand when you go through the fire.

But you stop living scared of what COULD happen and you just start living…

Right?

So many of us fear the unknown…

Fear losing our safety nets…

Fear parting with our money for the local charity…

And so we have built-in excuses to not act or to act in a way that doesn’t align with what we truly want out of life.

But man, when you walk with God through the fire and come out the other side…

You realize fear can be controlled and stretched like a muscle.

Fear is all that stands between you and everything you’ve ever wanted.

Fear is what keeps us playing small when we have BIG dreams.

But walk through the fire and you’ll look back and laugh at fear.

You’ll also approach life in a completely new manner from that point forward.

It becomes less about “what-if” and more about WHY NOT!

Why can we NOT take this new six figure business to seven figures and beyond?

Why can we NOT make another radical transition in our businesses if that’s what is necessary?

You don’t realize just how much God is with you until you’re truly out there, alone and fully dependent on His help and intervention.

 

 

Protecting the People You Serve

Let’s play the hypothetical game for a minute.

Because this is not about praising my wife and I for overcoming our struggles.

It’s about letting you know a time may and probably will come along in your own journey where you too will be faced with some tough decisions.

Decisions that probably will change the entire course of your life.

And what strikes me the most in our situation is not about what we’d be doing but more so about the people we serve.

In the midst of my health struggles, I’ve somehow managed to launch a successful online business.

My podcast has trended in the Top 5 Worldwide on iTunes under Business, Health and Education.

We have had three of the Sharks from Shark Tank on the Show as well as 40+ New York Times Best Selling Authors and Prime Time TV hosts.

Kim now serves over 6,000 customers monthly with her course creation business.

Not to mention the tens of thousands she serves daily on YouTube and all of her social platforms.

Both of us receive messages literally DAILY with people thanking us for the work we do and how it has impacted their lives.

Our story of overcoming trials and tribulation is a source of hope for many.

And so I ask myself…what if we HAD given up?

What if we HAD that kitchen table discussion and decided to go get jobs?

Now, I’m probably grossly overstating our value in the world but when I think about the people we serve, I can’t imagine NOT doing what we do.

And so I would IMPLORE you…nay, scratch that…I would BEG you to consider that before you call it quits.

If this entrepreneurial lifestyle (not career) is FOR YOU and you see no other way or no other path for you, I’m hereby holding you accountable.

You can’t quit…you just can’t.

And that doesn’t mean you can’t close your business.

If you’re like me, that decision may be completely out of your hands.

But it doesn’t mean you can’t keep being an entrepreneur.

The sun will rise tomorrow…

A new opportunity will present itself…

Your health WILL recover and you’ll find just how much dead weight you had been carrying around for years.

And you, too, will find just how many people don’t just come to you for advice…

They depend on you for a source of inspiration.

They watch your every move…

Take everything you say and apply it.

Transform their entire lives because of the experiences you have to share.

And through the darkness, through all the moments you doubted yourself or put in the ridiculous hours just to scrape by.

Every last second, every minute, every hour and every sacrifice you made to make that happen wasn’t just worth it…

It was EVERYTHING.

It made you who you are and there’s no turning back.

You’ll look in the mirror and fail to recognize who you see…

A grizzled, wise, certifiably kick ass and take names, successful entrepreneur.

And all your nightmares were just the beginning of an amazing dream.

I know it’s hard…

I know you’re struggling…

And I know no one “gets” what you’re going through.

But there isn’t a single great story in history that didn’t require an even greater challenge.

Keep writing your chapters, my friend.

 

Don’t forget to listen to the pod!

 

Click Here to Subscribe to the Show: iTunes | CastBox | SpotifyGoogle Play | YouTube

Kimberly Ann Jimenez, Digital Marketing Strategist and Founder of The Business Lounge, drops by the pod to talk about how failure is not an option if you’re an entrepreneur, even when your life seems to crumble around you.

Today’s Sponsor: The Business Lounge

Resources:

The Business Lounge

 

 

 

 

To learn more about Kim, visit KimberlyAnnJimenez.com

 

What to Do When Failure is Not an Option as an Entrepreneur | When the Life You’ve Worked So Hard For Crumbles Around You

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