Hustle and Hype, Thinking Outside The Box To Achieve Your Goals

Launching a business can be hard when you're just starting out. But after you've found success, maintaining that momentum can prove to be even more challenging than that first step.

How much of an initial investment do you need to launch an ecommerce store? How credible are some of these ecommerce gurus that have sprung up? And how does your level of risk aversion affect the way you approach entrepreneurship?

To answer these questions and more, Mario Nawfal joins us on this episode of Start Yours. A serial entrepreneur whose first successful company made $1 million in its first year in business, Mario has made and lost millions many times over. He tells us all about his bootstrap approach and shares some of the free tools available for entrepreneurs to take advantage of.

If you enjoy this podcast, we hope you'll consider subscribing. We also have plenty of helpful and informative articles over on our blog so don't forget to check those out.

Short on time? Here's a seven-point TL;DR version of our chat with Mario:

  1. Selling door-to-door sales gets you outside your comfort zone and helps with progressing in life.
  2. When you find something that works, double down on it.
  3. Luck plays a role in everything. It's a fact of life.
  4. Mario's two pillars of success: Focus on what works and do things differently.
  5. If a trend is falling, don't put too much effort into it.
  6. Entrepreneurship is about risk mitigation.
  7. With $4,000 to $5,000 courses, you're wasting your money unless you're making six, seven figures.

Start Yours is a podcast about what it's like to start a business.

Join us as we meet entrepreneurs who have gone through the triumphs and headaches of running an online store, and learn how they managed to survive and thrive.

Transcript

Getting Into Entrepreneurship Through Door-To-Door Sales

David: I'm always interested in people's backgrounds before they started launching their own thing and you were studying finance at the time when you made your first foray into business for yourself. Did that have anything to do with wanting to start your own business? Was that a useful background to have when you got started?

Mario: No, man. It did not. It barely helped, to be honest. I'm not telling people to drop out of university. I think there's value there, not as much for an entrepreneur than a doctor. You can learn everything online, that's ten times more valuable than university for the same period of time so that's in terms of university or college as you call it in the States. 

But what I was doing, yeah, banking and finance, I didn't know what entrepreneurship was and I was 20, 21, almost finished university. I was in my second year of college, doing really well and then I saw one young boy who made his first million at age 14, his name was Farrah Gray on YouTube and that shocked me. 

I'm like, "Holy shit! Not only am I young enough to start making money, old enough to start making money but I'm actually almost going to get too old at 20, 21," which is not true. But that's the mentality I had when someone did it at 14. So I immediately dropped out of university in that same week and just wanted to get a job anywhere to start getting experience and that's how I landed selling door-to-door.

David: Yeah, selling blenders door-to-door, I wanted to dig into that and this whole idea of selling door-to-door, it's a world that I do not know at all but I'm fascinated by it probably because I'm not familiar with it. What was your sales pitch when it came to selling blenders? What was your approach? And what did you learn during this process?

Mario: I'll give you the context and I think that will encourage anyone who's listening to this to go out and start door-knocking 'cause it will get you outside your comfort zone and progress you so much in life. 

If you're not doing it right now and you're starting out in business, you're missing out.

I was a person who was very obsessed with self-development, very proud as a person, and to myself, not introverted, I wouldn't use that term yet but, just, I was very private, no Instagram, no Facebook. I didn't even have friends 'cause I was too obsessed with building and developing myself. 

I wanted to get a job. I went for the first interview and there was a guy in a car. I went to the address, he was just sitting in his car. I said, "You're Bill?" He's like "Yeah, yeah." 

So he was just seeing a client. We talk in the car. He tells me what they do, a five-minute pitch about what the business is. It turned out to be a door-to-door sales commission-only offer and I was excited, I just got a job and he... It was water filters, that's before blenders. So he gave me a few brochures, he said, "Go out there and start knocking." I actually went out, started knocking on doors. 

That same day, I made hundreds of dollars, I think I might have hit $1,000 possibly, and I hit six figures run rate from the beginning. Luckily, I landed on a really lucrative product but it was very uncomfortable. The first few doors, I was nervous as hell and I lost my pride, people just saying, "No, no, thank you. Get out." It was really, really tough but I learned one important skill and that's copywriting.

Now, I know copywriting is not knocking door-to-door but copywriting is knowing what to say, when to say it, and how to say it and it's an important business skill, whether doing the copy for an ad, a copy for a website, for a pitch, for a script and how to create my copy for knocking door-to-door to know what works.

And yeah, I killed it, man. I did six figures and I built a team on commission-only but that was my first step into the business world in Australia.

Mario Nawfal on copywriting as a skill

David: And so what's the big copy hack then?

Mario: The word "hack" is such a valuable term because the term "hack" is undervalued and you can capitalize on it. What do I mean by this? You could do anything like everyone else or you can find a different way of doing it. Knocking door-to-door, I could go in and offer a water filter. 

Now the strategy was you give them a trial and I get paid for every business that accepted a trial. So then I had to be creative on how to give them a trial without caring if they're gonna close or not 'cause that was my incentive. 

Sales 101: What drives the salesperson is the incentive.

My incentive was trials and then I would come up with ideas like what to say, like, "Hey, would you want a... " At one stage, I started saying "Hey, do you wanna try this in your business?" I'm remembering now for the first time in years. I said, "Do you wanna try this water filter in your business? No, you don't have to keep it. You don't have to pay us anything, we'll pick it up after a week." But it's just promotion for us, we just want people to see it.

It's pretty sneaky. But that was the objective I had from the company. Later, they gave me other incentives for getting a higher commission if the deal closes, etcetera. They got smart. But that was me finding a hack and then you'd go, now, in these days, an ethical hack is someone finding a way around the Facebook algorithm and advertising in a unique way.

But yeah, that mentality I've had throughout my business career, as you go through the story, you'll hear everything I did, I tried to do it differently to this day.

Find What Works and Double Down

David: And you went on after the door-to-door gig to start an online store and what propelled you to take that leap into the digital world and how did you market that store? Maybe utilizing some of what you've learned from the previous gig?

Mario: And it goes to another cliche: Follow the money. It's a very valuable thing to do in business. 

When something works, you double down on it. 

It's really, really hard in business to make money. It's really hard, really tough. That's the reality of it. When they say money is abundant, etcetera, that's a bit vague of a statement but it's not abundant, there's a certain amount, otherwise, there aren't gonna be poor people. 

So why am I saying this? Well, what I did when I was knocking door-to-door, David, I would sell the product and I'd try to move to sell other products like coffee machines and then I launched a business, the idea of selling the produce to make smoothies for cafes. That led me to blenders 'cause cafes couldn't afford expensive blenders that cost AUD$2,000 or AUD$3,000, so about $2,000... $1,000 to $2,000.

And then I eventually landed on a blender that cost $300, $400 by an Australian seller that was doing a good job and I offered it to one cafe and they bought the blender. That was $300, $400 in my pocket. When something works, you double down. 

I forgot about everything. I went all-in on blenders and I started offering it to the cafes I was speaking to and it worked. I doubled down on that. I went on eBay. I didn't know what eBay was, I think I bought things from them, that's it. I sold it on eBay and I started getting that “cha-ching” sound and I doubled down on that. 

Then I did a website, no check-out, nothing, that was back in 2013, 2014. I knew nothing about developing websites, I got someone out of uni to do it, it's a horrible website on a platform called Go Cart. I've never met anyone that knows the platform or that's ever known the platform, probably doesn't exist.

But it was a really bad website and I still got sales without a check-out option so people would contact me to buy the blender and I doubled down on that. So it was a mix of doubling down on what works 'cause it's so hard to make something work and I've learned this over the years 'cause I've got a whole bunch of companies now and trying to find unique ways of doing things. And I can tell you some of the stories when we get to them.

Making money is hard in business, says Mario

David: What are some of the other companies that you've got going if doubling down on what's working is your MO? What are some of the things that were working that you said, "I need to get into this"?

Mario: Yeah, that's just really interesting, man because when someone launches a business and it works and they make a million, 10 million, 100 million or a billion or 10 billion, it's hard to determine how big of a factor luck played because luck plays a role in everything. There are a lot of studies behind it and something... 

It's important to understand that that's a fact of life.

Now, obviously, you could do things to reduce the impact luck has on the results and have more control of things such as working hard, working smart, research, meeting the right people, etcetera, changing your environment.

There's a whole bunch of things you could do but what I did… My story is: I've launched Froothie, which is my first company that got to a million dollars in year one, $10 million in year two, back in 2013, or whatever.

Then I launched Real Food Revolution, which is a health and wellness business six figures in the first year. And then I launched an aromatherapy business. I know nothing about aromatherapy. I launched an investment business, I'm a partner at a law firm so I've launched all these businesses but all of it is around two core pillars: Focusing on what works.

So when something makes me money, I'd go all in. But I test different things until I know what works. And doing things differently, trying to think outside the box, trying to be creative. 

So those two together, I would say play the key role in getting me to where I am but it was all progressive so I didn't launch all the businesses, it was over the last six, seven, eight years.

Pillars of Mario's entrepreneurial success

Knowing When to Move On

David: You mentioned that you had maybe a few duds sprinkled in there among the successes and I know you're perfectly willing to talk about when stuff doesn't get six or seven or eight figures, it's all part of the journey. 

And when you talk about identifying things that don't work and then ejecting on them, how can you tell that something's not gonna work? What are you looking for? Does it have to do with a timeline, if you haven't made X amount of money by X date? Or what're the criteria that you're using to figure out "Okay, this isn't gonna be my next blender, let's try something else"?

Mario: Yeah, that's a really good question and I've been asked this a few times. It's such a hard question to answer because in most cases, it's easy for me to tell you, "Hey, Mario, should I do this or should I do door knocking now or should I learn how to do affiliate marketing?" The answer's now affiliate marketing. 

“Should I sell this product or that product?” Well, go on Google Trends, look at the competitors, make a decision. But when someone says, "When should I give up on a product?" It depends. There are some stories of people that didn't give up on a product for years and years until they hit it big and there are other stories of people that something works, they move on to the next and they don't put effort into it until it works. 

Which one you are will depend on your risk tolerance.

So if you're a person who's okay with risk and okay with accepting that you might fail and have nothing at the end, then you can continue with an idea for a long time. For example, if you go with Amazon, Amazon took a long time before it got to where it is today. So if you're building something like YouTube, you could hit it really big, you could hit a billion dollars. 

I could never hit a billion dollars 'cause I'm not taking that path and I don't want to take that path, the risk is too high. But you could also go to zero because for every YouTube, there are thousands of them that did not work. 

For every Facebook, thousands didn't work. 

So if that's your risk tolerance and you're willing to accept that... And there are some entrepreneurs that are... Entrepreneurs that raise money and go all in and try to build something and they know that it could go to zero, as soon as you have VC money, you have a 90 percent chance of going to zero 'cause that's how VCs work.

So if you're going down that path, well, you can continue on an idea for as long as it makes logical sense. Again, that's a vague statement but it's hard to give you a formula. It's about what makes sense. If everyone around you is saying "Hey, you should give up."

People that are smart, if you have people that are self-aware, smart, objective, and experienced telling you, "Hey, this, you should give up on it. It's not a good idea." You should probably take their feedback and act on it. 

If it's your mum or your brother or your sister, it doesn't really matter as much. But if it's people that understand what you're doing and have taken that path before, then take their feedback to heart. Now that's if you have high risk tolerance. If you're like me and you have low risk tolerance and you're happy being a millionaire, which most people would be.

Mario talks about risk tolerance

David: Yeah. That works.

Mario: I've met people. There's a guy called JC. I knew him since he was young and I helped him out in the early days. Now he's building a company, he could be a billionaire. He's planning to be the next Elon Musk, like most people and usually, young people have that mentality. When you get older, you lose that drive, you kinda get into reality.

David: You get comfortable with your millions.

Tools and Platforms to Help Determine Product Viability

Mario: Exactly. He doesn't want millions, he wants to be a billionaire, he wants to change the world. That's his mission. I'm like, "Perfect. As long as you accept that you could have nothing." He's like, "I accept that as long as I've lived my dream," which is perfect and I wish I could do the same. But if you're happy being a millionaire…

But if you're happy not being a billionaire, that's a better way to put it, then you should be trying different things, throwing a lot of pebbles, and when a pebble hits, then you double down. And it worked? Then I'm launching the product.

Now, how do you know when the test fails? Well, if you're selling a product for $100 and you spend $200, $300 and you don't make any sales and you do the ads properly and you have a nice website, tick all the boxes and you still get no sales, it's probably time to move on. 

But there are things you could do to give you more clarity. If you're launching a product or even a service, well, use Google Trends. Is it trending now? Research. Look at Reddit, look at various forums, look at what others are doing, look at what your competitors are doing. Are they growing?

You can use tools like SEMrush or SimilarWeb... SEMrush, S-E-M-rush and you could put their website and you see if their traffic is going up. If that's the case, then yeah, you probably should keep pushing to make this work. 

But if the trend, in general, is dropping, there's not much hype behind it, there isn't much momentum, then you shouldn't put too much effort into it. So that's something else you could do beyond just testing the idea and these are steps you should do before testing the ideas. 

Look at the trend. Is there potential there? Is it going up?

If it's trending up like crypto in 2017 when I started my agency, then you're likely to make a lot of money. If you're launching a crypto agency now, you're likely gonna lose a lot of money. How? How do you know that? Go on Google Trends, write crypto or write ICO or any other buzzwords, there's your answer there.

David: Yeah, there's a lot of information available by using tools like you're talking about. Google Trends is a great one and then any search engine data aggregator can tell you, “This is literally what the world is looking up,” and so you can get a good sense of what's top talk.

Mario: There are a million tools. Exactly, man. There are a million tools. There are even services that offer trending ideas, etcetera. There are a few of them. Many tools. The tools that I've used the most is Google Trends since I started my business to this day. 

It's Google telling you, live, what people are searching for. 

What more do you want? And the amount of people not using it is mind-boggling.

Mario talks about trends

Dealing With Risk as an Entrepreneur

David: Yeah. Trends.google.com. We are not affiliated with them so we have nothing to gain by this but yeah, check it out for sure. One thing I wanted to circle back to is this idea of risk tolerance and that's something that's come up on the podcast before and I think that it's a great point to stress that there is this inherent risk that comes with being an entrepreneur. 

If you really wanna do this lifestyle, you might have to at some point quit your job, you're gonna have to invest money on some level, whether it's a small-time dropshipping thing where you're only investing a few hundred or you wanna go a bit bigger. You really quickly get to five or six figures that you're having to invest to get something off the ground. 

Is there any way to, in your experience, for somebody to adapt their risk tolerance, to increase it, to maybe exercise their risk tolerance to have more of it? I think you alluded to the idea that you were a lower risk tolerance person so maybe it's… You have what you're born with and you have to work within those restrictions.

Mario: I'm very risk-averse. I cannot stomach risk. I hate it and I've been through a lot where I'm even worse now than I was before in terms of risk tolerance. As I said, I've been scared a couple of times, I've been screwed a lot, that's my personality. And entrepreneurship in general is usually risk mitigation

If you look at one of the riskiest entrepreneurs, many people mentioned Richard Branson. Well, all right, Richard Branson, when he launched Virgin Airlines, which is considered his riskiest venture, it wasn't that risky. He made a deal with the company, with Boeing or whoever he bought his airplane from, one airplane. He made a deal that if it doesn't work, he can return it and cover most of his costs. So he mitigated his risk. 

Whether he would have launched Virgin Airlines if he couldn't mitigate his risk? I would guess not. Most people don't do what Elon did where he almost went bankrupt in 2008 and now he's one of the ten richest people in the world.

Most people don't do that 'cause for every Elon Musk, there are thousands of people that are not in that position. So there are a lot of things for any entrepreneur to do to mitigate your risk. If you're gonna be putting $5,000 on one of those guru courses, like “How To Launch Your Business”, that's not mitigating your risk, that's jumping right into risk 'cause you're giving your money to someone giving you false promises. 

If you're gonna put in a lot of money to develop a product, that's not a bad strategy, just a high risk strategy 'cause when you develop a product, how do you know it's going to work? 

Two of my biggest flops… There are only two big products that I launched not following my strategy of testing the market, making sure there's potential then launching them. Two. Only two, man. And really, really cool products. I freaking loved them.

David: Well, they weren't that cool if nobody wanted them.

Fear of Being Poor

Mario: Nobody wanted them. It's crazy. One of them cost me about four, five... Almost a million dollars, both of them, with the marketing. Yeah, I've paid about a million dollars testing two products, including development, etcetera, that did not go through the proof of concept because I did not go through my risk mitigation strategy. 

Now if they worked, I could've made a lot of money. Patent and everything was there. So if they worked, I could've been doing really well now. If they worked. That's a big “if.” You hear all the success stories online. When you're watching those videos, those interviews, reading those stories, just understand that all the people that fail, their stories are not online, no one tells their stories. 

There's one person I know that launched a podcast interviewing businesses that failed and I thought that was a really good idea. But when they told me he did it, he got no traction, no one wanted to listen to them.

Well, you should listen to them 'cause you'll learn what things to do so you don't end up like those people. So I'm driven more by fear of not being... I'm just gonna use the word "poor," even though it's a bit insensitive, but it's honest.

The fear of being poor drives me more than the wish to be wealthy.

It used to be the opposite before and I didn't care about being poor, I said I'll never be poor. It was in my head, I'm like, "I'll never be poor." And I took more risks 'cause I'm like, "Yeah, I'm sitting, I'm making millions, I'll always be there." Almost lost everything. 

Now, I'm driven by the fear that even the smartest of us could end up with nothing. So, mitigate your risk by testing the strategy, and then you double down when something works. And I've done this time and time again, that's why I have so many businesses 'cause that's what I love doing.

Entrepreneurship is about risk mitigation, says Mario Nawfal

David: I wanna get into this idea of courses and gurus in a second, but first I gotta ask you if you can tell us what those failed products were? If you can't, that's fine, but...

Mario: Which products? Oh, the failed products. I can give you a rough idea.

David: Give me a genre.

Mario: Yeah, of course. One of them is a kitchen appliance that was really, really innovative, really freaking cool, incredible actually. You know what, I'll say the product 'cause it hasn't failed, we haven't lost our money. The business is called Julavie, J-U-L-A-V-I-E. It's a juicer where you press a button. You probably heard of Juicero in the US, you remember that one or no?

David: Sure. Yeah.

Mario: Yeah. So it's the same thing as Juicero, but you don't buy the packs from them. 'Cause that was the problem with Juicero, you have to buy the packs pre-made and put them into your machine and press it. With our one, we thought we're being innovative, 'cause you can put whole fruits and vegetables and then press a button and it squeezes them.

The concept, it was a really cool concept but it was so expensive to manufacture.

So, we're not making any money on every sale we make. We're still gonna stock the product probably and maybe increase the price soon. Now, we're just selling the stock at a lower price. But when we sell most of the stock, we'll keep the stock and then we'll just sell at a higher price, even if we sell a handful of units, just cause it's a cool product and it's good marketing. 

But it's just, we didn't know that the manufacturing cost will be so much and we just dove right in. 

That's problem number one. The other one is, we know those electric skateboards and stuff? It was one of those, a really cool product. But we couldn't get it off the ground. And again, too expensive to manufacture. These things, it is a product that was brand new, those things you don't know until it's too late.

How Much Should You Spend on a Course

David: Thanks for that. The question mark popped into my head when you said you had these fails, so I had to ask about it. So, let me double back to what you're saying about courses and gurus. I've seen some of your videos on your websites, and you talk a lot about authenticity and transparency and you like to poke fun at people who have pictures and videos in front of Lamborghinis and all that stuff. 

You're in the same space though, you do have online advice and you do tell people how to make money. You do it in a different way, definitely. But you share a certain amount of real estate with these people, so I'm curious what it's like trying to distinguish yourself from the people who are taking the selfies in front of the Lambos?

Mario: Yeah, look, the good thing about me is I almost ended up there, but I decided not to. So, I did a course for free like a lot of people were doing. We did it, everything was good, we didn't do the course, we did the page, we did the funnel, we're about to launch it, and we just said, "Just screw it, we're not gonna go down that path." 

And there's no paid course, there's literally no way to pay me to teach you. None. So I wanted to. But when I actually looked into it, it was so slimy that even if you did something of value, it's just risky. So even I think online courses are good. With $4,000 to $5,000 courses, you're wasting your money unless you're making six, seven figures.

Why is it wasting your money? Well, everything is available for free. I'll say this, I'm a person doing well, making good money, other people are doing well making good money, I don't pay for any courses. Most of the content, 90 percent, actually 100 percent, I can't remember last time I paid for a course. 

100 percent of the value I get to launch new ideas, etcetera, is free.

I pay for tools for my businesses, of course. I pay for, there are platforms like trends.co. There's one, it gives you trending ideas, and one called Glimpse. There are those things that give you ideas and data, that's good, but they cost what? Trends.co cost $149 a year, and it's full of value and is one of the best communities you could meet.

But then you see those gurus. But you got some others that take so much money and the value they give is just laughable. The sales techniques they teach are just crazy stupid, they can get it for free.

But they sell the dream and even though there are laws they can't break, they break them, there's no one enforcing those laws on them. There will be very soon and I could be one of the people doing it with a lawyer 'cause I'm just getting fed up. 

But there are a lot of shady people there and no course is worth more than a couple of hundred bucks, none. Unless, again, you're making a lot of money and you can afford it, then a course to scale from $10 million to $20 million or $1 million to $10 million, then it would make sense.

You don't need to spend thousands on courses, says Mario

Mixing Passion With Business

David: One thing that's interesting about your profile is that you are kind of a sucker for Latin dancing and you've taken this hobby of dancing and turned it into a business. So, I'm curious if you could give me a two-part answer here. First off, about the hobby itself of Latin dance and then second, this sounds like this is a very... It fits your personality, and then secondly, turning it into a business venture.

Mario: Man, you've done your research a lot. That's really impressive, really impressive. Yes, my other hobby is bachata, which is a Latin dance and it was initially started off as an exit away from the business. So it ticks a lot of the boxes that you need for a healthy life, a social life. You meet people. I'm a person who doesn't have friends, I haven't had friends for years just 'cause I don't have an interest in having friends. 

And plus, I like to make the most out of every minute in terms of productivity, etcetera. 

So, I don't have friends. So I had to tick this social life and I'd meet people, I'd chat with people... I met one of my business partners and probably one of the coolest people I've met, who I can call a friend if you like, but I work with him, he's my business partner as well, through Latin dancing. So tick that box, getting friends and tick the box of meeting ladies, then tick the box of exercise and just enjoying the music and exit away from work. 

So, I started that a few years ago, but then I went through the scam where I got scammed at one of my companies, my exit became dancing, so I tripled down on it, and it became... I could make it a career.

So I get invited to festivals where you get paid. I don't care about the money, so a lot of times, I don't ask for money 'cause I don't wanna be... I have certain... You have to do this, this and that, I wanna have freedom. But I get invited to festivals where they want me to dance with people and they film me, etcetera, which is really cool.

And I'm like, "Hold on, that's a really cool content. Why not make a business out of it?" So yeah, I'm building a brand for now. Obviously, COVID makes it hard, it's an essential dance where people are very close, you can't do that during COVID.

David: It does not seem COVID-compliant at all.

Mario: Yeah, exactly, so I probably won't be dancing till next year. But when I'm back to dancing, I'll probably build a business out of it 'cause, why not? I'll probably use it to build dance schools and I'm building a personal brand around it as well. So it's working well, man.

David: Cool, yeah, it's always cool when you see this merger of things that people are passionate about. As you said, it was kind of an escape, so it was really an un-business-related thing, and then it's cool when you can merge your passions like that. And one more... Oh, go ahead.

Mario: If your passion... If your passion, it happens to be something that has the potential to make you money, you're a very lucky person. If your passion is coding, you're a very lucky person. If your passion is sales and marketing, you're a very lucky person. 

If your passion is dancing or playing the violin and you wanna be rich, you're an unlucky person 'cause you really can't be rich doing that. 

So if there’s anyone wanting to follow their passion but you have to be logical, and you have to not follow your passion 100 percent, but not ignore your passion 100 percent. 

Try to mix it, mix your passion into some business strategies and try to change your passion a bit.

If you love singing, what if you can, instead of singing and becoming a singer and you wanna be a millionaire, it's unlikely, so what if you train... You can still do it, but it's again, high likelihood of failing. What if you mix it into creating... 

There's a guy I met, a rapper, who pivoted from being a rapper, he's a pretty damn good rapper, to creating ads for clients, rapping the ads, or creating sales messages that the clients could use for client folk, the agency could use for clients in a rap. So he would rap the song, or rap the sales pitch, or rap the whatever it is and then sell it as content for the agency. So he mixed his passion with a way to make money.

Mario says you can't get rich singing or playing the violin

Routines and the Smaller, Boring Things

David: Brilliant. Cool. One more question for you, Mario, then I'll let you get out of here. And I wanna zoom out, look at the big picture for a minute. When you look at your background, and your profile, your resume, if you will, it kind of screams hustler. 

You're selling door-to-door, then you were launching ecommerce stores, then you were getting into cryptocurrency, now you're turning your hobby into a business. It fits this profile of a hustler, and I get to talk to a lot of people, a lot of entrepreneurs or side hustlers or whatever you wanna call them for this podcast, and one of the interesting things that I've seen again and again is this tendency that you definitely have yourself to always be doing stuff like this, thinking differently, finding inefficiencies, finding things that other people aren't doing. 

It seems like it's almost a world view, in a way, it's unconventional and scrappy and all that, and I guess... What would you say to people out there who feel like they have this tendency, but maybe haven't acted on it? Is there any magic formula to go from feeling like you're stuck in a conventional job when you should be doing these unconventional things? What's the way that somebody that has this mindset could maybe make the leap and really turn it into their life?

Mario: That's a position that I'm thankful I've never been in. I've never been in a position where I can't get myself up in the morning. 'Cause in my mind… I could be wired this way, I think I developed that over time, but I've taken years to develop that mentality. 

In my mind, when I wake up… One of my managers asked me during one of the toughest periods in my business, he said, "Mario, I gotta ask you, I've never asked you. All of us are feeling down, it's been a miserable two years, and you still get up and every day you're like, ‘Do this, do this, alright we need this. Okay, that's the problem, let's see how we fix that.’ How do you do it?" And my answer was pretty cool, and it just came out, "I can't think of any other... I don't have any other choice." So that was my mentality.

Now, for people that don't have that drive, that mentality, number one, don't think you gotta quit your job immediately, no. You got 24 hours in a day. If you sleep, let's say, six hours, you're left with 18 hours. You work eight hours, you got ten hours. That's ten free hours. Work in the shower, have fewer showers in the week. While driving home, listen to a podcast, like this podcast. While eating, work. So there are ten freaking hours. 

Skip Netflix, skip your friends, if you really wanna achieve something.

So that's to get that out of the way. Warby Parker is a good story of how people, while they have a job, they built a company that's now making billions. I think, making hundreds of millions. 

Now, in terms of how to have that drive, well, I could tell you really sexy things like, wake up and look at yourself in the mirror, and say you could do it, and just understand that people have come from rags to riches all the time. 

It's true, you can read and listen to those inspirational stories. Gary V is a great example of a person everyone listens to for that inspiration. But then doing things that not many people talk about. Eat healthily, sounds boring? It makes a massive difference to your life. Exercise every day, I haven't skipped a day of exercise, I skipped a week for my surgery, then I caught up the next week. In four years, man. 

In four years, I haven't skipped one day of exercise. Every day, 30 minutes. 

Even something small, have a routine, waking up, going to sleep. Routines are really important when you wanna focus and execute. Breaking routines is good for creativity. Breathe properly. Have the right people around you. Push away negative people, push them the hell away, block them if you have to. Have the right people around.

Doing those small things, it's not one thing, it's doing all those small things, listening to someone motivational, changing the way you eat, having a good sleeping pattern, don't drink, don't smoke, that's a tax on your health, that's a tax on your... It's costing you money. Every time you drink or smoke, it's reducing your likelihood you're gonna succeed. 

If you do all those things together, they all come together, then you are more likely to end up in the right state of mind to be able to do something. Once you're in that state of mind, then start researching the next thing to do. Don't fall for those idiots that promise you the riches and pushing people with no logic. 

No, listen to people that have achieved success, learn from them, and then go and just start executing. You just gotta start trying. It takes time, it takes consistency and it takes doing the right thing.

The importance of routine, according to Mario

David: Yeah, well, I love this idea of things adding up 'cause I was wondering if you were gonna say, along with eating and exercising and not smoking, if you were gonna say, stay hydrated, 'cause that is something that all...

Mario: Oh, so I've got a bottle. Can you hear it? I don't know if you can hear it.

David: I heard it, I think we're gonna have to edit it out.

Mario: Yeah, yeah, that's water.

David: Yeah. I've heard multiple, really clever entrepreneurs talk about hydration as though it's... It is literally a key to their success, and so I think it's really... These habits that you're talking about are definitely stuff I've heard other very smart people echo as well. 

Mario, we can leave it there. I really appreciate you taking the time to chat. If you wanna learn more about Mario, what you can learn from him, check out his website, it's marionawfal.com, we'll link to that in the show notes. So, Mario, thank you once again and have yourself a good one.

Mario: David, thanks a lot. Take care, man.

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