Wednesday, December 28, 2011

50 Cent interview with the Wall Street Journal... (10 Min Video)

A cornrow-less Curtis Jackson sits down to talk business with The Wall Street Journal. 50 Cent talks about SMS Audio, Street King, and the evolution of the music business.

Lao Tzu on control...

“Intelligent control appears as uncontrol or freedom.
      And for that reason it is generally intelligent control.
           Unintelligent control appears as external domination
                 And it is for that reason it is really unintelligent control
                     Intelligent control exerts influence without appearing to do so.
                           Unintelligent control tries to influence by making a show of force.”

You must play to win....

An excerpt from Entrepreneur turned VC, Mark Susters blog: Both Sides of the Table...

One attribute that I believe most VCs look for in entrepreneurs is competitiveness.  I know I do.  I like to work with people who hate to lose.  Anyone who has ever been around me when I’ve lost at anything I care about will tell you I’m not pleasant.  I’m not a poor loser at all.  It’s just that I stew on it.  I don’t recover easily.  I lose sleep.  If I have any angle of changing the outcome I will.  I replay things in my mind about why I lost and I try to correct my mistakes.  

I look for people who share this obsession about winning.  If you stumble on to a really good idea believe me it will get competitive really quickly.  It amazes me how quickly a modest success story gets replicated and any initial product / market advantages get narrowed.  You can’t accept simply ceding part of the market to someone else because it’s big.  You need to fight for every inch.  Every win.

The trait spills over from personal life to business and back again.  My wife finds it curious.  Family scrabble games are fun – but I still want to win.  We played against her parents and I was focused.  I wanted to take them down!  Poker night is social, but if I’m playing, it’s to take your money.   GuitarHero is seriously chilled out way to hang out with friends.  But even more so if my score is higher than yours.  I ran a marathon with my colleague in 2003 – I’m still bummed that he beat me even though he was clearly more athletic.  For me winning IS the fun.

I know that people who aren’t competitive always find competitive people slightly distasteful.  They feel that there’s something egalitarian about everybody getting a trophy.  They complain that trying to win at everything is in being over zealous and is unnecessary.  Maybe.  Anyway, I’m sure this will play out in the comments section – it won’t be the first time I’ve heard it.

It is what it is. But I want to work with people who thrive on winning.  I look for that fighting spirit in those that present to me. Entrepreneurs play to win and they take losing seriously.  Think Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t have some sleepless nights about Twitter despite having more than 350 million users himself?  Think Yelp doesn’t wake up daily thinking about how to crush FourSquare?  Think Marc Benioff is content with being a billionaire?  I’m sure he seethes at any losses to Larry Ellison.

Steve Jobs is famously known for being obsessive about people not leaking Apple information prior to announcements (unless it’s intentional.)  It is rumored (and much debated) that Jobs dropped McGraw Hill (the book publisher) from any iPad announcements because their CEO went on CNBC the day before and talked about the iPad.  Certainly sounds plausible to me.  You don’t like leaks? Send a message and people will think twice next time.

leo the lipDon’t take it from me.  Take it from Leo “The Lip” – “nice guys finish last.”  Steve Jobs isn’t a “nice guy.”  Nor are Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer, Marc Benioff, Larry Ellison, Tom Siebel, Rupert Murdoch, Barry Diller or any number of people you’ll find who built empires.

I’m not looking for people to be mean and certainly not unethical.  Just people who play to win – every time.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tough times are a reason to get serious...

An excerpt from The Trophy Generation by retail marketing leader Jordan Zimmerman ...

...These are extremely tough times, not only in the United States, but also in the rest of the world. Be assured that nobody asked for this, and that you are not the only ones who have been dealt some bad cards. Thank God that you are just beginning your careers, and that you have your youth and your energy as resources. If you make a point of feeling more than grateful, every single day, that you live in the Land of Opportunity (and you do!), you will have a fighting chance of making something of yourself.

Let me give you some perspective here. People who are bone-tired, who had the best intentions and who worked really hard for a very long time, have woken up to learn that everything, and I mean absolutely everything, that they had built up in terms of financial security was gone. People have lost homes. People have lost their jobs. They have lost their marriages. And they’ve lost their children. That’s the world you’re walking into. That’s reality. And yes, you’re right, that’s not fair.

Now, for some people, tough times are a reason to give up and just scream for help. These people are waiting for their uncle to arrange a job interview, or for the government to write a check, or for Mom and Dad to swoop in and fix everything, or for the winning lottery number to come up, or for their big break in reality TV. I hope and pray you’re not in that group.

For other people, tough times are a reason to get serious, to pay closer attention, to bring your game up a notch or three, to finally feel restless and dissatisfied enough with your surroundings to take MASSIVE ACTION and change your own world, because no one else is going to change it for you. I do hope you choose to be in that group.

And by the way, if you really do admire people like Mark Zuckerberg, or Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates, you should know that none of them were wait-to-see-what-happens kind of guys. During tough times, they all took their spot in that second group. They all got kicked in the balls. They all responded to adversity by taking action. So the word to write down in big letters here, and look at every day, is: PERSEVERE. You have dream again. You have to try again. You have to have a never-quit attitude.

One thing is certain. At some point, you are going to get sucker-punched, and it is going to hurt. It doesn’t matter whether or not the hit you took was “fair” – no one promised that it would be – but whether you get up off the floor. Even if you get knocked down 10 times, make damn sure you get up 11 times. Take action!

Once you learn to do that, once you start dusting yourself off and decide to start creating newer and better ways to win the next time around, do me a favor … don’t make the mistake of focusing only on the money. Focus on the relationships. Focus on who you can help. Focus on delivering value, and you will be on the right track. Remember that your self-worth should never, ever be tied to your net worth. They are two very different things … although if you want to survive and thrive in this world, you will need to build both...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Strategy 101 - The indirect over the direct approach...

“When, in the course of studying a long series of military campaigns, I first came to perceive the superiority of the indirect over the direct approach, I was looking  merely for light upon strategy.  With deepened reflection, however, I began to realize that the indirect approach had a much wider application- that it was a low of life in all spheres: a truth of philosophy.  Its fulfillment was seen to be the key to practical achievement in dealing with any problem where the human factor dominates and a conflict of will tends to spring from an underlying concern for all interests.  In all such cases, the direct assault of new ideas provokes a stubborn resistance, thus intensifying the difficulty of producing  a change of outlook.  Conversation is achieved more easily and rapidly by unsuspected infiltration of a different idea or by an argument that turns the flank of instinctive opposition.  The indirect approach is as fundamental to the realm of politics as to the realm of sex.  In commerce, the suggestion that there is a bargain to be secured is far more important than any direct appeal to buy.  And in any sphere, it is proverbial that the surest way of gaining a superior’s acceptance of a new idea is to weaken resistance before attempting to overcome it; and the effect is best attained by drawing the other party out of his defenses.” – B. H. Liddell Hart  (Strategy)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pulling the trigger....

Eminem posed the question – “If you had one shot, one opportunity, to seize everything that you have always wanted, one moment, would you capture it or just let it slip?"

An excerpt from Mind of a Hustler (Source) 

...Now this post isn't about rap or rappers. It just goes to show that everyone recognizes that there are times in life where you make a decision to move and make moves or stay where you are and let the moment slip.

The challenge to this scenario, in grabbing this opportunity when it presents itself is that we don't usually see the opportunity until it has passed.

How many times have you been driving and look back just in time to see you have missed your freeway exit? Happens to me all the time (usually because I am on the phone or singing). I have my mind on other shit and I end up wasting time heading to the next exit to flip around to head back to the right exit. Once this happened to me driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I missed the 99/I-5 split. I had to double back. That minor mistake cost me an hour of lost time or 1/6th of the total trip time.

Instead of being on the freeway you are bumping through life. You are sweating the husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, parents or whoever. You have your head up your bosses ass to get a raise or your own trying to figure out how you are going to spend your weekend. You have your eyes crossed while trying to take a U-turn – whatever. You have so much going on that you forget where you are going. Sometimes you are so focused on where you are going that you miss the detour signs telling you that you are heading for a dead-end.

You have to be focused, but not too focused. You have to concentrate, but not so much that you block everything else out. You have to move quickly, but not so fast that you can’t make a turn if a dog runs out in front of you.

Your brain is powerful enough to take in a lot of information if you teach it to filter out the bullshit.

There are people around you who want you to fail. I have touched on this before. These are people who have their own motives. Sometimes their motives are even hidden from them. They don’t know they are sabotaging you. They tell you things like:

    * Hey, slow down and smell the roses.
    * All work and no play…
    * You are going to work yourself to death!

Are they right? Only you know for sure. You have made the decision to get on that road, put the keys in the ignition, and start the car and go. It is your foot on the accelerator. You determine how fast you want to go. The question is – how soon do you want to get there?

I like driving at night. People are out of my way. Roads are clear. I can go faster. But then I hear

    * But that’s when the drunk drivers are out!
    * But no one is on the road; you are more likely to get pulled over.
    * What if you fall asleep, crash or have an accident? No one will see you!

But for me, those are minor risks that I can prepare for. I can drive without speeding (too much). I can keep an eye on traffic – fewer people on the road allow me to be more maneuverable in avoiding accidents. I can take a nap before I drive away. I can have all my fluids and tires checked for safety. All those things that they say to stop me from going are relatively preventable. The gain is that I get to my destination 2 to 4 hours faster (depending on L.A. traffic).

The benefit outweighs the manageable risks.

So, I’m going to keep this one short. Here is my point. If you have something you want to do or somewhere you want to go then pull the trigger. Make sure you have extra gas in the tank. Make sure you check the tire pressure and fluids. Make sure you are rested and ready. Make sure you have your course plotted and planned and an alternate route in case there is trouble along the way. When you have done all that – smash on the accelerator.

It is the only way you are going to get where you want to go before everyone else, with time to spare....

Keep Hustling

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The four letters: JFDI... (Just F#%*^* Do It)...

An excerpt from Entrepreneur turned VC, Mark Susters blog: Both Sides of the Table...

...I had a picture in the office of my first company with the logo above and the capital letters JFDI.  (In case it’s not obvious it’s a play on the Nike slogan, “Just Do It.”)  I believe that being successful as an entrepreneur requires you to get lots of things done.  You are constantly faced with decisions and there is always incomplete information.  This paralyzes most people.  Not you.

Entrepreneurs make fast decisions and move forward knowing that at best 70% of their decisions are going to be right.  They move the ball forward every day.  They are quick to spot their mistakes and correct.  Good entrepreneurs can admit when their course of action was wrong and learn from it.  Good entrepreneurs are wrong often.  If you’re not then you’re not trying hard enough.  Good entrepreneurs have a penchant for doing vs. over-analyzing.  (obviously don’t read this as zero analysis)...

...Sometimes you need to break some eggs to get things done so if that’s what it takes I wanted my team to go for it and I wanted to symbolize that it was OK with me.  I would far rather have some messes to clean up than to never have them cross the line trying.

So I took on the motto JFDI to symbolize this.  And I think my team did a great job and rose to the occasion.  Maybe it helps that I love controversy and pushing the boundaries so people felt it was OK for them to do it as well.

Another side of JFDI is finding ways to get stuff done that seem impossible.  Entrepreneurs have a way of doing that. Getting suppliers to accept terms that they said they never normally agree, getting accepted to speak on a panel when the conference organizer initially said “no,” getting people to moonlight for you until you have the cash to bring them on board..

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Venture Capital for Dummies...

An excerpt from (Source)

When an investor buys a part of a company this is known as venture capital. Someone who invests money into a company that has high risk and a high growth rate is known as a venture capitalist. The investment time period usually ranges from 5 to 7 years. In order for the venture capitalists to receive a cash profit from the company he or she will publicly sell shares of the company or will receive a return on his or money when the company is sold.

Some venture capitalists ask to be seated on the director’s board rf may ask to be given a certain percentage of the equity that the company has. All venture capitalists expect to make a hefty return on any money he or she invests. A venture capitalist can demand a payment of owed money by demanding the company be sold, or by asking that his or her venture be returned, or by changing the terms of the original deal.


A type of capital venture investment that includes seed financing, start up financing and first stage financing is known as early stage financing. An inventor who wants to start up a new business is given a minute quantity of venture capital, which is known as seed financing. A venture capitalist will use this financing to develop a business plan, to construct a management team, and/or to implement market research strategies.

When a business is operated for less than a year and receives venture capital they are known to be receiving start up financing. This usually entails that their product has not been sold commercially, but with this type of venture capital they will become prepared to do so. When a business wants to carry on and enter into the public business area they receive first stage financing; they also receive this type of financing when they are wishing to increase their capital.

Expansion financing is also another type of venture capital investment. Within this type of venture capital investment are second and third stage financing. When a company is already up and going they receive the investment called second stage financing. Third stage financing is used when a business is planning to break even or become profitable in the near future. Bridge financing is also included in expansion financing. This type of financing is short term and an interest only investment.

Michael Jordan's Wisdom... (7 Min Compiled Video)

"Limits, like fears, are often an illusion." - Michael Jordan

Monday, December 12, 2011

The honest truth, 5 Questions with young self-made mogul Andrew Fashion...

Andrew Thompson (aka. Andrew Fashion) speaks with Hugo D. Aviles, in depth, on what it takes to be a young entrepreneur.

                                                         5 Question Interview

Would you ever settle for a nine to five?  or is the hustle of being self made the way to go?

As bad as it sounds, I would probably do illegal shit before I would do a nine to five.  I would rather become homeless than to go to a nine to five.  I have never had a nine to five or a regular job. Actually, I once worked at a computer shop when I was sixteen years old for about six months, that’s when I realized that it just wasn’t for me.  

Ambition and stubbornness are two traits that go hand and hand, as a innovator yourself, what mindset do you feel you need to have in this day of age to get past all the bullshit, and make it to the top?

I would say it’s definitely my persistence and stubbornness. I am not much of an astrological person but you know some of the girls that I have dated always pull up the astrological signs and bring up mine.  Sometimes I feel that shit is right on point, it’s crazy because it says that I’m stubborn and persistent and those are two traits that I see I have over everyone in my house, my friends, and mostly everyone I have ever met.   When I want to do something, no matter how long it takes, I will get it done, always.  If I want to get a company done, if I want to build a website, if I want to launch a new product, I am very very annoyingly persistent.  I will always get it done, and I will always get it done my way.

When it comes to raising venture capital from investors, friends, or family, to start a dream…What tricks of the trade would you advise today’s young Entrepreneurs coming up?

Raising venture capital is really tough. It took me..hmmmm…from the time I almost declared bankruptcy it took me a good solid, I said early a couple months, but honestly it took about 6 good months.  And that’s not a lot of time considering that I didn’t have a job and I had to hustle and do freelance work on the side in order to get help here and there.  It was really difficult, and I have seen this lot. With friends and partners I have met.  Seeking venture capital, a lot of people think you need a business plan and honestly, you do not need a business plan. You only really need a business plan if it’s some complicated complex project where you need to raise millions and millions of dollars.  I have seen this over and over again with successful entrepreneurs and friends. You need to hustle and go through every connection you have to seek investors.  I hit up my mom, my mother’s ex husband, my friends, my friends friends, I hit up everybody and at the end of the day I only found about five people.  So I decided to hit the Internet and do research.  I kept networking, and to tell you the truth. It was actually facebook that got me my investors.  I had about 1500 friends at the time, and it was through that, that it reached some investors attention.  Then I wrote a business summary, a bio, projections, how much money is needed, where the money is going. When I was going to pay them back, I still have all the documents still. But basically you need to write the guts, start networking, hustle, and you have to believe in the plan, and believe in the company, and most importantly…believe in yourself! You have to sell yourself, I might not seem like I’m a good salesman, but when your pitching your idea to raise money, you have to hustle.  You have to believe in yourself and be a salesman.  That’s all I did, and boom $150,000.00 six months later!

The key to success is simple…one needs Motivation (Hunger) and a Hustle (Plan of Action)..  What next?

I guess that’s the problem I see with a lot of people, is that a significant amount of them would come up with an idea, and they just want to do it. A lot of people come up to me with an idea telling me that they want to do this and they want to do that. But no one does there full due diligence, they never ever do their research. They never educate themselves; they just come up with an idea and try to work it. They don’t know if there is a market, if there is even money to be made in the business, how they’re going to get clients, they just start without any plan at all.  When I come up with an idea, I do all my research to see if its profitable, how I’m going to market it, what I’m going to name it.  You have to do your full due diligence.  I think that’s the problem with young entrepreneurs, is that they just jump in. I don’t think that there is anything wrong with that, it’s just that you have to do your homework. You will save yourself a lot of time if you just do your research.

We once heard of a great quote that stated, “You have to make a million, than you have to lose a million, in order to keep a million.”  Do you believe this parable holds some truth?

Absolutely, not because I have lived it, but because I have seen it time and time again. It happened with my mother’s ex husband, and many famous millionaires.  I think everybody who has made a lot of money, has lost it.  I guess because it comes so fast or they just weren’t expecting it.  I’m not sure if it’s just destiny or that’s just how the whole world works, you know I think it’s just some type of test to see if you are supposed to be a person with that kind of money. To see if you were a person that even deserved it in the first place.  So I think it’s just a test.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The warrior and the statesman...

“The warrior and the statesman, like the skillful gambler, do not make their luck but prepare for it, attract it, and seem almost to determine their luck.  Not only are they unlike the fool and the coward, adept at making use of opportunities when these occur; they know furthermore how to take advantage, by means of precautions and wise measures, of such and such an opportunity of several at once.  If one thing happens, they win; if another, they are still the winners; the same circumstance often makes them win in a variety of ways.  These prudent men may be praised for their good fortune as well as their good management, and rewarded for their luck as well as for their merits. “ –  Jean Del La Bruyere

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners...

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through." - Ira Glass

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bruce Lee Wisdom and Philosophy...... (7Min Video)

Although Bruce Lee is best known as a martial artist, he also studied drama and philosophy. He was well-read and had an extensive library. His own books on martial arts and fighting philosophy are known for their philosophical assertions both inside and outside of martial arts circles. His eclectic philosophy often mirrored his fighting beliefs, though he was quick to claim that his martial arts were solely a metaphor for such teachings. He believed that any knowledge ultimately led to self-knowledge, and said that his chosen method of self-expression was martial arts.  (Source)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Are you a "A" player?...

An excerpt from Anythings Possible: Thoughts on Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital by Eric Paley...

“The large company corporate world is filled with C players.  The term “Peter Principle” was coined to describe this phenomenon in which people in large companies are promoted exactly one pay grade beyond what they can competently do and then stay in that role for the rest of their careers.  Large companies thrive on inertia and the core job description of a large company employee is to keep that inertia going and do nothing to screw it up.  If last year’s top line grew 8%, the job is to grow it 8% again, not to figure out how to make a step function change and grow it 20%. In attempting to achieve that 20% step function change, there is high risk of a misstep that could lead to a decline in sales.  That’s simply unacceptable.

Large companies fire those who get F grades, because they are not at all productive.  They accept C players, because they are somewhat productive with guidance and B players are hard to find. It is very easy for a C player to seem moderately successful when progress is largely based on inertia.   Large corporations celebrate B players who can competently complete their job with minimum coaching and maintain inertia.  These are the heroes of large corporations. Innovation within a function is risky and can threaten inertia.

Large companies have very few A players.  A players don’t want to be at large companies because, more often than not, corporate bureaucracy and process not only fail to reward, but actually punish A players.  By putting the objectives ahead of process and politics, A players step on bureaucratic toes and don’t retreat based on false territorial claims.  Though there are exceptions, few large corporations create cultures that give A players room to win.  It’s not fun trying to innovate at a large company when co-workers feel that you’re threatening the core inertia on which the business is based.  They’ll say things like “that’s just not the way things work around here.”

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A persons flight through life.. inspired by my little brother Johann...

“A Man’s flight through life is sustained by the Power of His Knowledge. I take this to heart because I have realized that money and power can be given and taken in this world and the only thing that identifies who a man truly is is his knowledge.“-  (My little brother) Captain Johann Pambianchi USAF

This is truly an amazing statement, and it is quoted by none other than my little brother Johann, who happens to be a Captain in the United States Air Force. A persons flight through life is definitely sustained by the power of his knowledge. My mother deeply stressed that throughout our childhood, along with the fact that SHE WOULD KILL US IF WE DID NOT GO TO COLLEGE! As I look back and laugh at the many life lessons Mother beat into us during our childhood, I thank God everyday that she did. For it is those light smacks on the butt, that have made my brothers and I the MEN we are today! “Through pain and suffering strives discipline”, and I am reminded of that every time I’m with my mother. For the success that my brothers and I have today is inspired by the strength and courage of our mother.

For all those that know my mother, know that she defies the archetype of how a woman should undeniably take care for and nurture for one’s family. Despite the great pains and infinite sacrifices that she battled with, her will to raise spiritual, courageous, intelligent, HANDSOME, and gracious men has put her on an untouchable pedestal. Our daily conversations may seem as simple, pleasant, and monotonous, yet they give me continual renewed strength to carry on God’s will for me. I could not begin to illustrate the love I have for her, but to show it through my actions and accomplishments.

Now let’s not take any credit from our father. Some may call my father a simple man, supporting and raising an average family, this is everything but the truth. My father is a man of overwhelming knowledge and incredible love which is evident in everything he wraps his mind around. He is extremely selfless and sacrificing, and my brothers and I wish that God could bless us with half of his fatherly skills, so that are children could grow up with the same love he has bestowed on my brothers and especially me.

Furthermore, Money and Power can be given and taken away in the blink of an eye! But no one, I mean NO ONE! Can take your WISDOM! For it is your own knowledge that creates and builds the re-occurring Monetary Empires of life! Trust me, LIFE WILL TEST YOU! Just when you think you are invincible, life will come along and take it all away! It is then, when you have to look deep inside yourself and start over.  It is then when your faith along with your vision will compound with your ambition and in time you will reap the rewards of success.  That is the game we call life my friends.  So get to it....

In conclusion, I definitely take this posting to heart, for I have realized that money and power can be given and taken in this world, and the only thing that identifies who a man truly is, is his knowledge! And in business, “Knowledge gives you Vision, and through vision you gain the ability to spot economic problems, and turn them into economic opportunities!"  Vereour Nasquam

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Bhagavad Gita: Krishna’s Counsel In Time Of War...

"When dark inertia increases, obscurity and inactivity, negligence and delusion, arise.  When lucidity prevails, the self whose body dies enters the untainted worlds of those who know reality.  When he dies in passion, he is born among lovers of action; so when he dies in dark inertia, he is born into wombs of folly.  The fruit of good conduct is pure and untainted they say, but suffering is the fruit of passion, ignorance the fruit of dark inertia.  From lucidity knowledge is born; from passion comes greed; from dark inertia comes negligence, delusion, and ignorance.  Men who are lucid go upward; men of passion stay in between; men of dark inertia, caught in vile ways, sink low."   –The Bhagavad Gita: Krishna’s Counsel In Time Of War. 

The Bhagavad-Gita is a 700 verse Hindu Scripture that was composed in the first century AD. The story focuses on a young soldier, Arjuna, who is attempting to determine the purpose of war and life and death. The God Krishna appears to Arjuna and assists Arjuna in understanding his place in the world. This reading helps reiterate the fact that it is important to have great mentors.  As teachings from a master to apprentice help bring the understanding of “Moksha”…also known as spiritual enlightenment. This reading vastly resembles the Old Testament of the Bible. Beyond the spirituality, it is really an entertaining and beautiful lyrical poem that helps explore the ideology of oneself in combat and in life! You should definitely take the time to pick it up...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When i was 5 years old my mother told me...

Life is about dreaming the amazing and achieving the impossible. We all have dreams, but only a small percentage of us take on the initiative towards achieving them. Most of us see the trophy, but do not have the will power and discipline to play the whole season. Life is about taking as many punches as you can. You will definitely get knocked out... Trust me... I have personally been knocked out several times... But that is why most of my own colleagues like to refer me as, the "Teflon Kid!"

Take it from me; the path you take on achieving your goals (dreams) will miraculously get you to your destination. I know that the road can sometimes be covered in fog and the car you are driving happens to have a flat tire, and you may sometimes run out of gas... but hey that's life... That is life's way of keeping you humble.  But in time, with perseverance, and dedication... the road your on, will lead you towards your destination.

In business and in life, it is either ALL OR NOTHING!  There is no room for error, and all decisions need to be calculated with extreme precision. Time is definitely our most precious commodity and for some of us, the clock is almost done ticking.  That’s why you have to treat every second of every minute like it was your last.  In doing so, you will be able to reap the abundances of life’s CLOCK, if not…it will be time to change the battery..  So, keep on fighting! Vereour Nasquam

Monday, November 21, 2011

10 Quotes and Phrases to live by... by none other than entrepreneur maverick... Mark Cuban...

"Always look for the fool in the deal. If you don't find one, it's you."

"There are no shortcuts. You have to work hard, and try to put yourself in a position where if luck strikes, you can see the opportunity and take advantage of it. I would also say it's hard not to fool yourself. Everyone tells you how they are going to be "special," but few do the work to get there. Do the work."

"Sure, ask about five of my former girlfriends that question… I went seven years without a vacation. I didn't even read a fiction book in that time. I was pretty focused."

"One problem people have is that they lie to themselves. You may think you are more talented then the next guy. Which is exactly what the next guy thinks as well.  Rarely is talent enough. You have to find ways to make yourself stand out. You do so by playing to your strengths and making people aware of those strengths. Always remember that no matter how many times you get shot down, you will get smarter, better and you only have to be right once to be successful."

"In your life, how do you define success? Success is being able to wake up every day with a smile on my face, looking forward to the day. Which is exactly how I described it when I was broke, sleeping on the floor."

"It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because… All that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are."

The thrill of victory in business blows away the thrill of victory in sports. Business is a sport 24/7/365.

"It is called working your ass off. The difference is what you are willing to sacrifice. For every writer who wants balance in their life, there is a guy like me who gives up a lot to make their dreams come true. There is always going to be someone out there that knows they have to compensate for maybe having less talent with harder work and preparation."

"Do your homework and know your business better than anyone. Otherwise, someone who knows more and works harder will kick your ass."

"To retire by the age of 35 was my goal. I wasn't sure how I was going to get there though. I knew I would end up owning my own business someday, so I figured my challenge was to learn as much as anyone about all businesses. I believed that every job I took was really me getting paid to learn about a new industry. I spent as much time as I could, learning and reading everything about business I could get my hands on. I used to go into the library for hours and hours reading business books and magazines.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

You need to see the value in taking risks...

“You need to see the value in taking risks, experimenting and even failing, a hustler is always trying new things. So bring your fearless mindset into the world of corporate America, which is generally governed by cautious and conservative Princes, intellectually tied to the past. What they perceive as chaos, you must see as the normal state of things. Change, turmoil and adversity do not faze you at the least; in fact, they bring out the best in you. This is your strategic advantage.”  - Robert Greene

By now, you have probably come to the conclusion that my mind frame is pretty much composed of 70% Strategy, 20% Tactics, 5% Philosophy, 3% Knowledge, and finally, 2% Business Sense.    Through the years, I have dedicated most of my life towards the study and application of war strategy and tactics.  While in the Marines, I could not help but to notice the fact that life itself, and all its amazing essence, can be mastered.  The key to it all, is understanding the fact that we all know nothing.  Once this little trait can be implemented into your mind, you will then be among the few to walk in its new found path.  

As I transcend from the 2% Philosophical Hugo, I will now base my piece on strategy.  The key to separating yourself from your peers, or your competition, is to train your “MIND” to foresee your actions.   As the famous saying goes, “You reap what you sow”  The same rule applies to strategy.  You must be aware that every choice you make, rational or irrational, has a CONSEQUENCE!   Some good, some bad, but the truth of the matter is, that you must be aware.  With this in mind, I will relate the following sentence to war.   “How would you think....if you knew that if you made the wrong decision, you or your men would die?”  

Therefore, one must have the courage to make calculations, based on strategy, technique, and most importantly faith.  Most of my colleagues will tell you that I’m probably one of the most fearless colleagues that they have ever met.  I guess that’s because I have made the decision early on in my life to accept fear as a way of life.  I only fear one person, and that is “GOD”, and maybe my mother.  But, you can’t count that...  Since both of them are on my side....well I think I might have a chance.

In conclusion, It’s another year, another week, and another day.  As I constantly receive emails and requests from friends and family to forward these little memoirs on to their colleagues. I have decided that I will dedicate the end of this year towards amplifying the material on this blog....   So hustle hard my friends, hustle hard!   Vereour Nasquam

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What mind can penetrate his opponent's mind?...

An excerpt on mastering your opponent's mind from Lives of the Master Swordsmen, written by Makoto Sugawara...

...In all the martial arts, in all the performing arts and still more in all the forms of human behavior, a man’s postures or moves are based on the movements of his (invisible) mind… In the Kage Style of swordsmanship a swordsman reads his opponent’s mind through his postures or moves…

What mind can penetrate his opponents mind?  It is a mind that has been trained and cultivated to the point of detachment with perfect freedom.   It is as clear as a mirror that can reflect the motions within his opponent’s mind… When one stands face to face with his opponents, his mind must not be revealed in the form of moves.  Instead his mind should reflect his opponent’s mind like water reflecting the moon.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Through pain and suffering strives discipline….The Marine Corps Mind…

“The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!” - Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

“There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.”        Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

As a MARINE, I try to carry myself with the up most respect and discipline.   Honor, Courage, and Commitment are the three Character Traits that one must emulate in order to earn the title.  These principles need to be applied daily in life, and in business.  These traits are the foundation to my life!  If I could not call myself a Marine, I would just be considered a man with a second hand opinion. 

What makes a Marine a Marine you ask?   Well, if you have to ask, then I have a number for you to call.   That number is to your local Marine Corps recruiter, and he has no problem answering any, and all of your questions. But if I had to summarize what it takes to be a Marine in one word, that word would be, “DISCIPLINE!”    And the only way to achieve this great attribute is through, “Pain and Suffering!”  

As a young entrepreneur , I try to correlate all the principles above into my daily agenda, and in order to be successful at my profession, I have to maintain the following characteristic of "Self-discipline".   The Marines has given me the proper training to accomplish certain tasks and to adopt particular patterns of behavior, even though one would really rather be doing something else.  Thus, self-discipline is the assertion of willpower over more base desires, and is usually understood to be a synonym of 'self control'. Self-discipline is to some extent a substitute for motivation, when one uses reason to determine a best course of action that opposes one's desires. (   

In addition, willpower, motivation, and self control, will assist you on building the foundation to your life’s JINGA Tower. And Lack of it, will force you to pull the wrong block, and therefore watch it come crashing down.   So in essence, stay motivated!   Do you think I enjoy waking up at 5am or earlier everyday to start my day? Of course I don’t... but, I know deep inside, that the early bird definitely CATCHES THE WORM!!!!  And I love WORMS!! Yummy! 

In conclusion, stop procrastinating, and GET THE JOB DONE!   Focus on your goals, and try to formulate a plan that will assist you on achieving them.  Trust me; putting the plan on paper is the easy task.   It’s trying to accomplish it, that’s the hard part.  Therefore, stay motivated and have some SELF CONTROL!   Because when you do, life becomes that much easier!    I will end the following piece with the most motivating and powerful Hymn on the face of this earth......  The Marines Corps Hymn

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job--
The United States Marines.
Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Love is the ignition that fires the soul...

“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.“ -Samuel Ullman
As I dwindle upon another task-full week, and the hand ticks around my 16hr work clock.  I can’t help but to realize that life is a simplicity that needs to be harnessed with the simple element of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm and passion are to congruent factors that need to be implemented if one wants to live a happy and abundant life.  Now when I say abundance, I do NOT mean it in a monetarily fashion, but in a small yet powerful term known as HAPPINESS!  Sometimes in life, we all become blinded by the never ending rat race, that we forget to harness the most important three personal elements, or the three L’s …named after a shot of V6 Vodka that I took at a Gala event several weeks ago;

1.    Love
2.    Laughter
3.    Life

By now, most of you know that in order to be passionate about a “noun” person, place, or thing… or even an idea…..      one must use love as the ignition that fires the soul.  Once the soul has been ignited, all doubts become beliefs, and all obstacles become triumphs!!!!

Laughter on the other hand, is a gift that we must all be humble enough to embrace.  Over the many young years of studying “PEOPLE”, I have come to a theory known as the, “HUGO’ARIAN” Theory.   This theory states, that we all have a inner child inside of us.  For example, My inner child loves to joke around, play futbol or soccer, and chase girls around the playground.   Now through the years, nothing has changed, and till this day, I am still joking around, playing futbol, and chasing one particular woman around the city of Tampa.  Interesting parable…

The final personal element is known as “LIFE”…  Life is a simple element that we must all enjoy. I can guarantee that there will be times when you are down in your knees, it is those times that your faith will be tested.  Here is where the three “L” elements kick in… Look around you…is it really that bad? Is the situation a matter of life or death?  If not, which I can almost assure you that it’s not…stop complaining…and move on with your life!!! 

As Samuel Ullman states, “Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm-wrinkles the soul.”. Therefore, have the inner strength to live enthusiastically.  If you have hard problems maintaining your energy levels, try the following;

1.    Try increasing your heart rate (i.e. Gym, running, outdoor activities, SEX)
2.    Coffee (my personal favorite besides sex)
3.    Try getting more rest (i.e. SLEEP, or even find time to take a 15min powernap) definitely something I need to do..
4.    Eat Healthy (STOP EATING BAD SHIT!!!!!)

In conclusion, by now you should know that I want all of you to live a prosperous, healthy, and abundant life. So be more enthusiastic, laugh and love more, and take the time to enjoy LIFE!!!!  Because if you don’t….time will just pass you bye!! Tick tock…tick tock…  VEREOUR NASQUAM!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Your attempt may fail, but never fail to make an attempt…

An inspirational read inspired by the following poster...

As my friend was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, continued by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a rope tied to their legs.  It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from the ropes they were tied to but for some reason, they did not.  My friend saw a trainer nearby and asked why these beautiful, magnificent animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.

“Well”, he said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and at that age, it’s enough to hold them.  As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away.  They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”  My friend was amazed.   These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.  The powerful and gigantic creature has limited its present abilities by the limitations of its past. 

Like the elephants, how many of us go through life holding onto a belief that we cannot do something simply because we failed at it once before?  How many of us refuse to attempt something new and challenging because of our so called MINDSET?


Your attempt may fail, but never fail to make an attempt…
CHOOSE not to accept the false boundaries and limitations created by the past…

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Four Aryan Truths...

“When we all start to focus on the power of love instead of the love of power, we will all one day live in peace”  - Johnny Pease

Damn,  this happens to be a very powerful quote, inspired by a very loving friend and colleague.  Thanks for the little motivation there Johnny P.  As John states, “If we all decided to focus on the power of love, instead of the love of power, we will then all one day live in peace.”  This statement definitely holds some accountability, and in the chess game of life, love can definitely be considered the “Queen”. 

According to the great Buddha, upon his passing, he left behind only an outline for finding freedom and enlightenment in this world, known as the FOUR ARYAN TRUTHS:  They are as follows;

                The Nature of life is suffering.
                Suffering is caused by desire.
                Desire can be overcome.
                Desire is overcome by following the Eight-Fold Path.

What are Buddha’s Eight Fold Paths?  Well it consists of having Right Views; Right Desires; Right Speech; Right Conduct; Right Livelihood; Right Endeavors: Right Mindfulness; and last but not least; Right Meditation.  Furthermore, these paths will allow you to overcome the ultimate suffering, known as “Desire”, and in doing so, one will become enlightened.

Since the realities of life, seem to point out that the world we live in is very horrible and cruel.  One can only take the initiative to enlighten thyself first, before taking on the task of working on others.  Time and time again, just when I thought I have perfected my inner self, I come to the conclusion that I have a very long way to go.  According to Dr. Lung; “The fault of others is easy to see, but our own faults are often difficult to admit.  This is why a man can so easily separate his own faults from his neighbor’s faults the way a dishonest dicer hides his snake-eyes.”

In conclusion, as the great Buddha would state, “Seek not vanity, nor the enjoyment of love, nor lust.  Only a man who meditates on sincerity obtains final joy.”    Therefore, have the sincerity to know yourself first, before taking the time to judge others! ....Vereour Nasquam

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The little kid inside of us...

 “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. “ -Pablo Picasso

One of the keys to becoming a great entrepreneur is having the ability see what others cannot see.  Vision is a key trait that one must have in order to succeed in life and in business.  Most of us tend to lose that vision while growing up, and it is that simple fact that makes some of us pawns in the game that we call life.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have a little kid inside of us.  There are times when I personally have to maintain my bearing (which happens to be most of the time) under duress and business negotiations, and according to the eyes watching me, it seems that my demeanor is as disciplined as a Marine Drill Instructor.

To tell you the truth, it is kind of hilarious and amusing to me, because deep inside.... I’m just a little kid that loves to play futbol…or “soccer ball” as they call it in the states!  I state this because of the fact that I still carry a soccer ball in the trunk of the car, just in case my business partner and I want to start juggling or play a pickup game. One of my close friends and mentors pointed that out yesterday, as he found it kind of amusing that we started juggling a soccer ball in the middle of the parking lot while waiting for someone that was 10 minutes late for a meeting.

Today’s piece of literature happens to be a little sporadic, but it may be because I’m running on about six hours of sleep in two days.   Most of my business associates can relate to this, because of the fact that we have been pretty busy with events and other ventures.  To make a long story short, every child is an artist, and it seems that my partners and I have never had the privilege to grow up.  But don’t estimate our silliness and kindness for weakness, because when the time comes….just like a light switch, we can change that little kid mind frame.

In conclusion, I personally try to discipline myself to write one of these motivational quotes every day.  Throughout the years I have had an amazing amount of feedback, and I want to thank all of you for taking the time to read these quotes.  I know there are times when these pieces make no sense at all, but there are also times when these little memoirs can have a significant impact on your life.  Hopefully, out of the millions of memoirs that this little kid of them has the ability to touch your heart!  The World Is Yours..  Vereour Nasquam!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Self Reliance, The Robert Greene Interview...

Three-time New York Times best-selling author Robert Greene speaks with Hugo D. Aviles, in depth, on the dark side of Self Reliance, and what it takes to be a young entrepreneur.

Robert Greene is the writer of such works as, The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, and The 50th Law, an elaboration of his ideas on power in context of the life of the rapper 50 Cent.  


Can you tell us a little about your personal writing style, what were some of your main influences and motivations while growing up, that made you want to write such classics as the 48 laws Of Power, 33 strategies of War, and Art of Seduction?

I have wanted to be a writer since I was a little kid, I read a lot when I was a boy, and in high school, I had some teachers that encouraged me in that direction. I liked so called, “Hard Core Philosophy.” Things with a little bit of an edge. I was drawn to writers such as, Nicha and Machiavelli. I guess I had several jobs in journalism and later on in Hollywood, but to sort of answer your question. I always liked writers who have a clear and precise and hard edge to their style. I really do not like people who pull a lot of attention to themselves in there writing, who it convexly becomes about their ego, who show off and use fancy words, and images. I like people who get to the point who make it clear, who kind of get you in the gut with what they’re trying to say. You can have inspiration in how you write, I try to do that as much as I can, and I often write with a little bit of anger to me, but it has to be under control and with discipline. If you play basketball and you write music, or with anything, you have to learn to keep things under control, and be effective in anything you do.  People do not understand that the same rules apply to writing. It is a discipline, so I have always set the style that I wanted to create, and when I got the opportunity with the “48 Laws of Power”, about 14 years ago now. I have accumulated all these ideas, the workings in the world, seeing how the world operates and many things that I have read over the years, and it all just sort of burned out of me like a cloud, that I worked very hard in making the style something that I thought was unusual, that kind of reflected my own personal tastes and likes like Machiavelli, and Gracidon, and the Art of War, and things like that.
In your book titled the “50th Law”, your chapter’s headings act as commandments for today’s young Entrepreneur.  In your opinion, what differentiates the “50th Law” from the “48 Laws of Power”?

There related, but I kind of presented it as the ultimate law of power. In my other book, all of the three books, I have looked at some very powerful people in history. I often use the example of Napoleon Bonaparte, and with him, I tried to figure out what makes him so powerful and what makes him so different from any other general. And when I had the opportunity to write this book with the rapper 50 Cent, who wrote it with me, I wanted to do the same thing I did with him as I did with Napoleon. I wanted to figure out why he turned out the way he did when 99.9 percent of the people he grew up with ended up dead or in prison, or wherever.  I decided after spending time with him, and thinking about it deeply, that there was a quality that he had. He can actually reduce it to this one quality, “His Fearlessness.” The more that I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that this is really sort of where everything stems from. You can read the “48 Laws of Power” and learn a lot, but if you’re fearful and you have never dealt with some of these basic anxieties, you won’t be able to apply them. So the more I thought about it, this is sort of the ultimate law of power. It’s not really specific actions that you do, which is sort of what the “48 Laws of Power” is about.  It’s not about specific strategies; it’s more like your mindset, how you should think about life, and how you should think about the game of power. So in that sense, it’s kind of underneath everything in the “48 Laws of Power”, it’s sort of essential in the understanding, so you can apply the laws in life in a more effective way.

Do you believe that society today has created robots, and that young Entrepreneurs need to see, “Things for what they are? “

Yes, I can agree with that….but as far as robots? I will have to think about that a little bit more. I don’t like the appropriate way in some level, but the way I would signify it. By nature human beings are kind of born conformant. I think it is something engraved in us in sort of our primate heritage. Since we are very social creatures and we look at what other people are doing. If you’re not careful, your whole life becomes about always looking what other people think about you. Your standards become something that you have no control over, that is sort of external to you.  So you have to be very much aware of this and completely reverse that dynamic.  To be an Entrepreneur, you depend on your customers obviously as your life line, you depend on the number of people you have working for you, maybe you depend on other Entrepreneurs, ect.  But the more that your inner-directed, you gain your values and your sense of self from yourself, the more powerful and the better Entrepreneur you will become. It’s weird if you look at it, but sometimes.. This might be a little hard to phantom, but if you think about it in the course of the day how many times you’re basing your ideas on what other people are thinking of you. By doing A…B.. & C… How are they going to judge me? Will I be popular? Will people like me? Will they think I am this, or that? You are doing this constantly throughout the day, and the problem with that is… and often times it leads to actions that appear to make people like you or living up to what they think.  But they don’t satisfy you, and they don’t bring you power, and there not effective, and there not aligned with your goals and aspirations. Just on a daily basis you need to be aware of how much of your ideas and your realities are defined by other people’s opinions, and if you can cut yourself free from that, it is quite liberating, and it is quite powerful, and I have a chapter in the “50th Law” that can maybe help you exercise and even practice that in your daily life.  

Today’s Entrepreneur knows that to make it in this world, you have to be Self-Reliant.  Explain what this means to you?

Wow, well self reliance is a huge toot to me; I can spend about four hours talking about it. There is an essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson that I encourage everyone to read on self reliance. It will inspire you. But the idea is basically that you are born alone in this world and that you are going to die alone in this world. You have family, you have friends, they are important, but in the end there is no one that is really there that is going to 100% back  you up or support you.  You find out now a days that the company you work for will fire you on the spot, the state is short of shriveling away, there losing money, there not gonna be able to pay for your un-employment checks. You’re not going to be able to depend on them for anything. Your family should be there, but often times, they have their own problems and they can’t pay for everything that you want, ect. And maybe there sometimes not there for you in certain moments. So you have to learn early on in life that you are the last sort of safety net. You have to depend on your own skills, your own attitude. If you’re sitting there waiting for other people to help you, you are a loser! You are going to miss all of the opportunities that are out there. So you develop a mindset that I have to get things for myself. I have to be strong and occasionally if people are going to help me that’s great. If there is that contact out there that promised me to put me in touch with someone important and he comes through, fantastic. But I’m not going to be sitting there waiting for that to happen, and I’m not gonna be upset, depressed, or disappointed if it doesn’t happen. I am going to get things done by myself, and I’m going to learn how to do it at a very early age. I have the metaphor in the book of a guy that was on a desert island, who the story of Robison Cruso is based on. Living alone for nine months, whining to himself and feeling sorry. Then he suddenly decides that he is going to make the best of the situation. So he learns all these skills, he teaches himself how to hunt and build things. He ends up leaving the island, and after he is rescued, he looks back at how this was the greatest period of his life. Because he finally learns the skills that he needed to live, and it was a very exciting adventure. That is kind of the way you should see it for yourself.  You are on an island, and you have to learn how to fish, hunt, and make your own hut. Do it for yourself, and it makes being an Entrepreneur, which can sometimes be a daunting task, be something that is actually a lot of fun.

Based upon your vast knowledge of leadership, what three qualities would you say that todays entrepreneurs need to emulate, in the cut world of business today?

Well, you’re kind of putting me on the spot there…I don’t know if I have enough time to think about this. Hmmm.. I guess I will just start thinking out the top of my head. Number one, you really need this in the world today; you need to be really fluid. So, it helps obviously if you’re young. The old business model, the old ways of doing things are kind of dying. We’re seeing what’s going on in the Middle East right now. A lot of turmoil a lot of change, it is sort of in the air. The old way of doing things in business and in politics, there on the way out. People that are kind of dependent, that went to business school, and depend on the process of A..B..& C.  Are kind of the people that do not know how to operate in a very fluid environment. So successful entrepreneurs now a day’s need to be very fluid and open. That’s definitely quality number one.  Quality number actually something that is in the basis of the “50th Law” which is Fearlessness. And what I mean is, if you are going to be an Entrepreneur you’re going to fail. They have done studies about people who become successful entrepreneurs, and I mean really successful entrepreneurs. They’re the ones that have tried 5 or 6 times, and the 7th time, succeed. Or they have had a significant amount of failure in their life. So in other words, you cannot be afraid of making mistakes. You start a business, you have an idea of something that you have always wanted to do since you were in high school, and most people wait. They wait for, and they golly gag for a check or something. No you need to go out and decide that you are going to do it, and it takes capital and some balls and a little bit of fearlessness.  That if you fail, you have learned an incredible lesson about what works and what doesn’t work and what you can apply the next time. So not being afraid of failure, not being afraid of trying, not being afraid of what people think of you if you fail. Is not being afraid, makes quality number two.  The third quality is persistence. All three of these are kind of related.  I remember talking to 50, and I remember he would say, “I just keep going at the point when all other people are just gonna quit.” So in the book it says that he was shot nine times and he really died. He was dying in bed at home; he became a little bit depressed. He couldn’t do anything. His music career crashed, it looked like he couldn’t hustle in the street, and he was finished. Instead of giving up, he decides to martial every last bit of will power and energy and he actually decided to do what no one thought he can do, and that is to get back to music. That is the mix tape campaign that I described. Then again and again and again in his life, when things got bad, he just persisted. He kept doing it, he kept trying, he kept getting back at his feet, and not let anything bother him and get him down. Thomas Edison says, “That it’s 1% inspiration, and that its 99% perspiration.”  I don’t think it’s quite like those numbers but its definitely persistence and effort that will get you through almost anything in life. So particular, now days in life, I think that those are the three qualities that you really need.  

In the very volatile world of business today, you need to have the vision to quickly adapt and overcome. Do you believe that this mantra is true?  If so, how is momentum important?

I’m not sure how to really answer that, but I have always been interested in the psychology of momentum. So for instance, it is very sinful and obvious when you watch a sport like football or basketball. In basketball you will see this all the time in the course of the game, suddenly the team gains this incredible force of momentum and they either carried it out all the way to the end or it switches back to the other side, and I’m thinking...  “Why does that happen?”  It is so weird that sports run in these cycles. I think about it a lot, and obviously in sports there is a physical component, but there is a very powerful mental component that when you feel, the wind behind your back and everyone is sort of in the same page and the shots are going in. It has this sort of contagious effect, and everybody sort of gets swept up in it, and it creates this little tiny edge. Enough for you to come back from a twenty point deficit, or whatever that is. So, I always thought, why can’t you achieve this in the course of the game? ….just pretend that you have this feeling or act as if they have this feeling..and that answer is that they can’t all because this is a very tiring game, and gaining that momentum, is very hard to keep it going and it is very exhausting.  Business, you know… momentum, what would that mean? It could mean several things, in the beginning when you are starting your business, half of the work that you are doing is exciting the people that are there on your side. Your investors if there are any, the six people that are working for you, and those who you really depend on in the beginning. If it looks like your idea is phizziling or you’re hitting resistance, or maybe it won’t work. The ground will sink and the people will lose faith, and that might mean that the credit line won’t open and the people will not work as hard. It is a delicate moment, and so I guess the answer to your question is that it really depends on the minds of the leaders.  I have been around a lot of business leaders and even some political leaders and even some sports figures, and you have to have this kind of intense self believe that radiates out, and convinces everybody that these minor setbacks don’t matter and that it’s a long season and that were doing fine, and that I have a great plan. Your level of confidence is actually a critical component for keeping whatever momentum you have. Later on, if you are successful and you are in the public of eye. That means something else; it’s keeping that hot thing going. There is a whole other issue with that. I could address that with another answer, but speaking in a entrepreneurial sense. It’s that critical moment when you are keeping the baby alive, so it can turn to a grown adult and walk on its own, and it’s really up to the leader to feel that there is that momentum.  To feel confident and know that you have a plan, and that will carry, and kind of create your own momentum. I think that is how I would answer that question.   

Do you believe that today’s young Entrepreneurs have what it takes to lead from the front?

Well, I don’t know…You know it depends on the individual, but leading from the front is the idea of basically.. the idea that there are two kinds of leaders, two types of generals. The person that just sits back in the tent ten miles from where the fighting is going on giving orders trying to control everything, but is sort of a little bit afraid of seeing the action. There’s him, and then you have the other kind of leader, who is out there working harder than anybody else. Who is there with the foot soldiers seeing and having direct contact with customers, with people who are working out in the street, whom sort of lead by example.  People see him or her working hard, being fearless, being resolute, not giving up, and that example keeps everyone else in line.  It is an amazing quality for a leader to have and maybe today’s entrepreneurs are going to develop this more because by nature being an entrepreneur, you do not have that much bureaucracy that is there to protect you. If your little company or your business fails you do not have ten or twelve other people you can point your finger at and say it was really their fault, or the governments fault, or this persons fault, it’s your fault! You’re going to have to take the blame for it, so you have to learn early on if you’re an entrepreneur, to be strong and to be responsible and be accountable. So maybe today, because there are so many young people doing that and they learn through experience and the hard way. Maybe there will be more people who are leading from the front.  There are a lot of people out there who refuse to take responsibility for their actions and that is the opposite of what we are talking about here, who always point fingers and whine and say, “I didn’t have this and I didn’t have that.” There are a lot of people out there who are the strong types that refuse to go down that path, and be tough minded and entrepreneurial. So hopefully I like to be a little bit hopeful like what you are saying.

In your book the 50th law, what do you mean by “Confronting your Mortality?”

It’s kind of a philosophical issue, and you might not think it has a lot of relevance to business or being an entrepreneur, but actually it has a lot. It’s pretty simple; it’s related to an idea in the “33 Strategies of War”, chapter four I believe, “The death grounds strategy.”  The idea behind that...unfortunately life is short; I’m 50 years old now, so I’m up there. When you’re young, you don’t think that. You think you have all the time in the world.  That you can waist time and things will happen and maybe in 5 or 10 years you will get your act together or whatever. You don’t realize that the days fly by and any moment your life could end. You know your mortal and your days are numbered. It’s actually, to think about it deeply, is a very good thing.  It’s a warrior’s mindset; it’s the art of thinking that a bullet can hit you at any time now. What it translates to is that you have to make the most of every moment. You have to have a sense of urgency and dedication to you so that you make the most of these hours and days. So you know that you have… put it simply…if you die tomorrow will you be satisfied? Did you have the life that you wanted?  Did you reach your goals? And probably not, and if you think that way then you will probably start thinking more of today. It can be very energizing to be aware of your mortality, and I think people avoid it. Then to waste a lot of time and they actually secretly get quite depressed because there not confronting something very basic, and in the war book I make it clear in a different way. Armies fight better when their backs are against the wall.  They know if they don’t fight like hell they will all die. So this is how you have to think about yourself in life. If you don’t fight like hell, you’re in trouble.  But you know, I don’t mean to be like this 24/7. No…. that would be very tiring and you need time off and you need entertainment and such. This is sort of a general philosophy that I talk about in that chapter in the 50th Law, and it’s also a beautiful philosophy that will make you appreciate life more.  If you are a little bit more aware of death itself.

While working side by side with 50Cent, describe what it was like, and what would you say is the most important quality that makes 50Cent the Self -Made Entrepreneur that he is today?

It was really a lot of fun. You know he is a big time celebrity, and living here in Los Angeles, I have met several celebrities before, but no one is like him.  I’m not someone that likes famous people, I would prefer hanging around regular people. He is different so that is why I agreed to do the book; he looks you in the eye. He treats you like an individual and he listens, and he is almost like a friend. Somebody you would want to talk to if you were hanging around in a bar or something. I really appreciated that quality. We spent a lot of time together, I hung out with him. I went to his home, he bought the house that Mike Tyson used to own, and it was really a strange place.  I hung out with him in New York and I went to Vegas with him to the video music awards. He is not a partying guy, he is actually a guy who likes to work out, do body building, and make business deals.  He is a little bit shy, but he is powerful.  So from the beginning I felt really comfortable with him, he doesn’t have a big ego, and it’s very nice to see.  Like I said before, the quality that separates him is fearlessness, and it is also his confidence. There were times when I would be hanging out with him and I would be going through my own thing and I would get a little down on myself, then I would be like, “WOW, this guy had to overcome a lot worse things than I ever had to in my life. Why should I be feeling this way?”  …I noticed that in his office, and he has hundreds of people working for him, I noticed that he had this effect on everyone and that everybody feeds off of his energy. His self confidence and his calmness, and I think it comes from nearly dying I believe.  You know he really was a half inch from dying and it kind of made him develop calmness, like death doesn’t matter. Like having 9 bullets in your body doesn’t matter, he developed a calmness, and it was very contagious. You know it affected me personally, and it made me think that maybe I should deal with my own fears and my own insecurities a little bit here.  Those are sort of the main things that I observed.  

What future projects can we expect from the famous Robert Greene?

Well,… I guess immediate projects, would be my next book. Which is definitely titled, “The Master Players”, basically I’m looking at…..I’ve done these four books about power and success in life, and I have noticed that all the people that I have discussed about, from Napoleon to 50 Cent to the Google guys or whatever, they all follow this kind of path, this one pattern, this sort of common denominator read through all their stories, and I’m really deeply going into that in this next book. It’s not necessarily about the political gaming ship that I have described in the other books. It’s more about the thinking process. I have this idea, that this is where we all have to work more for ourselves, in on so many levels. We have to be much more creative in the way that we think, and there is a way to do that. There is a potential in every one of us that were just not tapping into.  So, I’m looking at all these types of geniuses, people very talented who think in a very creative way, and I’m going to show you through examples, how that can be a part of your life through historical examples.  I have about 10 contemporary people that I have chosen to represent, what I call mastery. People that are masters in their field and skill sets, and I’m going to make this real clear.  You know there is that thing called the “Secret” that a lot of people go really into. I’m calling this kind of the “Anti Secret”, in the fact that it’s something that you can really learn, and you will have tremendous power, but it’s not easy. It’s not like…ohh, I just take a pill, and I just accomplish certain things. It’s difficult, you have to be ready to do hard work, and if you take these ideas and you apply them, five or ten years down the line, you’re going to have an empire or something like it. That is sort of what the new book is about.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A generals mind on defeat...

An excerpt from Defeat Into Victory written by one of the greatest military minds on strategy... William Slim

Defeat is bitter.  Bitter to the common soldier, but terribly biter to his general.  The soldier may comfort himself with the thought that, whatever the result, he has done his duty faithfully and steadfastly, but the commander has failed in his duty if he has not won victory for that is his duty.  He has no other comparable to it.  He will go over in his mind the events of his campaign.  “Here,” he will think, “I went wrong; here I took counsel of my fears when I should have been bold; there I should have waited to gather strength, not struck piecemeal; at such a moment I failed to grasp opportunity when it was presented to me. “  He will remember the soldiers whom he sent into the attack that failed and who did not come back.  He will recall the look in the eyes of men who trusted him. “I have failed them, “ he will say to himself, “and failed my country!” He will see himself for what it is- a defeated general.  In a dark hour we will turn in upon himself and question the very foundations of his leadership and manhood.  And then he must stop! For if he is ever to command in battle again, he must shake off these regrets, and stamp on them, as they claw at his will and his self-confidence.  He must beat off these attacks he delivers against himself, and cast out the doubts born of failure.  Forget them, and remember only the lessons to be learned from defeat-they are more than from victory.