How do you handle this stress of being a founder and entrepreneur?
⚡️ A QUICK NOTE ABOUT OUR FEATURED SPONSOR ⚡️
Thanks to this week’s featured sponsor: Micromerch
I can’t tell you how inspired and proud of my friend Gary Darna I am! He turned adversity and difficult circumstances into a launchpad for his entrepreneurial journey. A few months ago, he was let go from a hyper-growth startup and he found himself at cross roads. He had to decide between going back to his corporate job to support his family or take a wild chance on his lifelong passion of startup merchandizing logistics (yes, he’s crazy!) He chose the latter and within 10 months, went from 0 to $1m in GMV with this new venture.
He’s the founder of Micromerch, which creates and distributes awesome branded merchandise for your audience without the work (or crazy markups). Trusted by high-growth companies like Braintrust, Lolli and Triple Whale. I’m partnering up with him too for a fun collaboration that’ll be live soon. Check out his service here.
A few of you know that I got to interview Gary Vee recently on Twitter Spaces.
It was for a special episode I did while I was at Day One for a project I created called the “Founder’s Hotline”, a show to help founders talk through tough/vulnerable topics.
Gary naturally crushed it .. we touched on so many themes and I walked away feeling more inspired, energized and motivated like my previous time when I got to talk to Gary on my own podcast. I’m sharing a few hand-picked snippets from that episode here today. Enjoy!
Note: If you want to check out the audio/video version, it’s on Gary’s official channel. Direct link here.
Q to Gary: “Failures seem to be an inevitable thing in entrepreneurship. How are successful entrepreneurs like you able to get past so many failures and somehow keep going?”
Gary’s answer: “Failures are personal, they're not public. Meaning when I fail, I have the enjoyment of leaning into my addiction of humility and I love that I have learned and I don't have to make those same pattern mistakes in the future. So I double win. I get another dose of humility which I strive for and I get a learning that I'm smart enough and capable enough of not repeating. The reason people are scared of failure is because they worry about people's opinions on the outside, their parents, their siblings and the general public, anonymous people on Twitter and Discord and the world. Which is silly because the reality is it's your life. What you really learn is the reason people are scared of failure is because they have egos. They actually think that their life is that important, that people's judgment of their failures is important.
I know even with my significance of awareness and popularity, success, notoriety, that at the end of the day I'm just one little speck in 8 billion people on earth during a little 100 year window on the universe's trajectory of all time. And so I'm humbled by that. Thus when I fail, that's me with myself. That has nothing to do with any of you, let alone the people closest to me. It has nothing to do with them. All of a sudden, once failure becomes an insular game, not an external game - failure does not become scary it actually becomes interesting.”
Q to Gary: “How do you handle this stress of being a founder and entrepreneur?”
Gary’s Answer: “I don't have the stress of being a founder and entrepreneur. I have to remind everybody I'm 46 years old. I'm going to be 47 in three weeks. I was selling lemonade at six as my hobby. I was selling baseball cards at ten as my hobby. It snowed in Edison, New Jersey, and I grabbed a shovel in my garage, didn’t run outside with a sled. I love entrepreneurship and work. I am a very loud advocate that I was a D and F student. That was unheard of. I want everybody to understand this. There's people in their 40s here. That was unheard of in the 80s, especially for an immigrant from Eastern Europe. Unheard of. I'm no different than an actress, an athlete, a musician. I've been this guy from the beginning.
I'm like Beyonce or LeBron. Not that I'm them in entrepreneurship, but they didn't know they were going to do anything else in their whole life. Neither did I. You ask me, do I have stress? I don't have stress. I have gratitude. Every time I'm losing, every time I'm publicly bashed, every time I lose money, I get 39 battle scars a day. I love it because I don't do this shit for the money or for the fame. I've been doing this long before any of you knew me. I wasn't even a public person until I was 30 years old to remind everybody. Now everyone is a public person by the time they're 15 on TikTok. This is not what I thought I was going to do. I was just going to be a businessman, and the world turned in a certain way that worked out for me from a popular culture standpoint, but it is not my addiction.”
Q to Gary: “Recession. What is your take on it from your vantage point? How should entrepreneurs, founders, business people think about recession?”
Gary’s Answer: “Turn fear into common sense and practicality and humility and everything will beyond okay. Let me say that nice and slow so everyone understands. You should be fearful. Things are happening. This is real. This is the time to not waste money as a company or as a human being. Maybe you don't need Starbucks every day. Maybe you shouldn't order from Postmates every day. Maybe you should cook in your little apartment. Maybe you don't need to take an Uber. Maybe you don't need to do these things.
You definitely don't need to be buying shit that you don't need. You don't need to upgrade your car. You may not need a bigger television. You may not need 17 employees. Maybe it's eleven. It's devastating because you don't wish bad for those six people. If you go out of business, then all 17 people are out of business, right? So don't take it as fear. It's just real life. Actually realize the last ten years you should have been grateful for and you should have gratitude for how easy it was. COVID wasn't hard. COVID was easy.
And so what do I think? I think everyone should be very thoughtful about every dollar they have. Now, look, I have lots of savings, so I don't have to change anything. I'm less worried. If I could, if I had to change my lifestyle, I would immediately. I'm going to change my lifestyle because there's going to be opportunities, and I'd rather buy a business during this time than have another extra fancy dinner. People need to get the f*cking smart.”
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And that’s a wrap for now!
Thank you for giving your attention and checking this edition out.
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