One of my Mentors
It’s not good enough just to invent Dapper Snappers Kids Belts. In order for it to mean something I had to turn it into a business and make it successful so others could benefit from this amazing product. Over the years, there have been many people who have inspired me in business, both by mentoring me and just being someone awesome and I wanted to take an opportunity to introduce all of you to one of those individuals. He was kind enough to take a few minutes out of his schedule to let me ask him a few questions. Here is my interview with Mike Michalowicz, the author of The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I officially consider myself grown up, because I am doing what I love. I am absolutely passionate about being an advocate for and empowerer of entrepreneurs. In regards to the rest of the growing up part, I am still waiting for my voice change to finally be over.
Why did you choose to pursue this career?
Because someone once told me that most people try to make a lot of money so they can be happy one day. But that is wrong. He explained you need to be happy now and always, and that yields financial freedom. It clicked with me… and by golly, it works.
What is the one action you have taken that has accounted for most of your success?
I have always 100% of the time been 100% me. I don’t aspire to be anyone else, I aspire to be 100% true to who I am. That is the key to success.
How do you handle defeat and/or failure?
I hate it, and I think it sucks. But I realize it is the necessary part of life… but I still hate it. If I ever get to the point where i think defeat is ok and become comfortable with it, you can stick a fork in me, because I’m done.
When is breaking the rules okay?
Um… like, always. Beg for forgiveness, don’t ask for permission. Of course, breaking the law is totally different – I suggest you don’t do that.
How do you keep your feelings from clouding your decision-making?
I don’t. Feelings cloud EVERYONE’S vision, and if someone says that they can extract feelings 100% they are lying (or they are a robot). The core part of being a person is feelings. And those feelings are key. Trust your instincts they seem (at least for me) be right way more often then “logic” is.
How would you describe your personal style?
A little bit country, a little bit rock-n-roll.
What do you do to live a balanced life?
I don’t live a balanced life, I live an integrated life. Sometimes work comes home, and sometimes my family comes to work. It is all a big blend. But I ping pong around. I am NOT texting, while playing with my children or watching a soccer game. But, but, sometimes that same little soccer player is here at my office, stuffing envelopes.
Who is your hero?
What qualities do you look for in the people you hang out with?
I just want to hang out with real people. I don’t care if someone has the same interests as me, or agrees with me… I just like people who are “real” and fully themselves. Arrogance and falsity need not apply.
If you wanted to encourage innovative ideas, how would you go about it?
Ask questions. Every day, everything I look at, I ask “How could that be done better?” Just a few days ago, I figured out a better way to run a road-side vegetable stand by asking that question when I drove by one.
What magazines, newspapers and/or informational periodicals do you study?
I read tons and tons of books, and look forward to flying because I get tons of reading done during those times. It is astonishing how much knowledge are in books. I don’t read newspapers (99% of news is sensationalism), but I do read magazines – current favorites are Psychology Today, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, and Inc..
What books have influenced your ideas and thoughts the most?
What are 5 key books you feel I should read, and why?
Here are the must reads: Emyth Revisited by Michael Gerber, Purple Cow by Seth Godin, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How to Win Friends & Influence People by “my boy” Dale Carnegie.
More info on Mike: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Michalowicz
Who inspires you?