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A 5-year-old boy with cancer. He’s given 6 months left to live. He has a dream car. What do you do?
Do you mock him? Do you ridicule him? Do you tell him he’s unreasonable?
No, you tell him you believe in his dream. You do whatever you can to get him a ride in that car. His time on this planet is limited.
The boy is now 25. He has the same dream. Somehow he is now ridiculous. The boy is now 55. Somehow he is foolish.
When a story involves a 5-year-old boy with cancer, there is suddenly clarity. He is going to die soon.
Yet, none of us know how much time we have left on this planet. Will we live to be 90? Do we have next year?
We don’t even know if we have tomorrow.
Yet, we ridicule one another for dreaming big. Worse, we so often allow the haters of this world to mock and belittle us when we dare to aim for something greater than the status quo.
One of us was told we might have cancer. Suddenly things got a lot clearer. We talk about that in this episode.
Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins:
- Many people are silent admirers.
- You want to resonate deeper with the right kind of people, which means you’re going to turn off other people.
- If you’re trying to be helpful and you’re experiencing haters, it means you’re resonating—you’re that much more effective for the people you are trying to reach.
- Most people are only going to take a part of what you have to say.
- If you only dream within your current reality, that’s as far as you’re going to get.
- If you want to accomplish big things, you have to have big dreams.
- When you dream big, people are going to call you impractical.
- People don’t like talking about money but they want to know how to make money—then when they hear how, they don’t like hearing real numbers.
- Don’t lower your dreams to match the constraints of your reality—dream bigger.
- What if you had a year left to live? We don’t even know if we have tomorrow, are you doing what you want to do?
- Valid critique is often wrapped up in negativity.
- Don’t make assumptions about other peoples’ wealth or physical representations of wealth. Your focus should be on living your own life to the fullest.
- 03:43 Sean: We are positive people, but believe it or not, some people don’t like that. I always heard that haters will show up as you scale up, but I always thought, “No, I’m helping people here. Why would there be haters?” It just happens as you grow and scale up. Look at any YouTube video that has a million views and no matter how nice or positive it is, there’s going to be someone saying something negative.
- 04:32 My talk at Creative South last week went really well. I practiced a lot and felt really good about the delivery, and it went better than I expected. Even the people who had already heard some of what I talked about said they got value from it. I received a lot of nice feedback. I also heard from some haters. I don’t allow comments on my website because it’s often the people with something negative to say who are the most vocal. Many people are silent admirers.
- 06:09 I had some people who didn’t like what I had to say. You know how I am, I just say things. Even though what I say is my opinion, I just say it, and that’s challenging for some people. Often, when someone disagrees, they feel the need to tell me. Cory said, “Even if you disagree with someone, with the right mindset, you can try to get something out of it and learn from it. If you go in with the opposite mindset, you miss out on anything that could have come your way that you didn’t expect.”
You’re Doing Something Right
- 07:33 Matt: Keeping an open mind is what you hope people would do. I’ve learned that no matter what, negative people are going to be negative. When I first started my business I was putting all of my profits back toward my employees and came to find out that it didn’t matter how much I was giving back to them, they just weren’t happy. No one wants to hear negative feedback, but I like to think of it this way: If you’re doing something right, people are going to tell you you’re ridiculous, because they’re jealous.
- 09:21 Sean: It’s hard to take that kind of negative response from people, but I agree with that. If I’m not getting a polarized response, then my message lacks conviction. The negative feedback is evidence that it wasn’t for them. When I talk about curating what you share, people are afraid they won’t reach all the people, but that’s the point. You want to resonate deeper with the right kind of people which means you’re going to turn off other people. When you get that kind of response, it means that you’ve really resonated with the people you are trying to reach.
If you’re trying to be helpful and you’re experiencing haters, it means you’re resonating.
It means you’re that much more effective for the people you are trying to reach.
- 10:38 Matt: It’s hard to think that there are just some people you will not get through to. Some people will get what you’re about. It’s like you said, Sean: You’re sharing your thoughts and opinions, and some people will take some of that and some may take all of it.
- 11:06 Sean: Almost no one swallows whole what you’re feeding them. They’re going to take pieces. I’m okay with being a caricature of this extreme I project because I know that most people are only going to take a part of what you have to say and I want the part they take to be effective for them.
- 11:38 Matt: When we first met, I was astonished by the way you carried yourself and talked about your business. I took some things from that conversation and used them to better my business, but I didn’t change everything about the way I run my business. You and I believe a little differently on certain things, but our businesses are both successful and it’s okay for my approach to be different from your approach. People get bent out of shape when they hear someone talking about how to run businesses and feel like they are being told how they should run things. The best way to approach it is to get the wisdom that you can. Maybe you disagree with everything this person is saying, but there may be one thing that person says that sparks an idea that has nothing to do with their approach. It happens with me all the time when I’m talking to Sean. I’ll hear something and think, “That gives me an idea about how I could run my department more efficiently or be more profitable in this area.”
Keep an Open Mind
- 13:26 Sean: I love podcasts because, even apart from the information, it provides a safe space to think. We’re talking about a certain topic and that causes the listener to think about a certain topic. Sometimes what we’re saying is something to concentrate against and you get an idea. Maybe you disagree 100% with something a speaker is saying, and it causes you to grow in your conviction of your own views. This is also a positive thing.
- 14:07 Matt: I heard a talk recently by Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers, and he was talking about some of the decisions he made when he was first starting his business. I was listening and took some of those ideas and applied them to my own business. You’ve got to keep an open mind, otherwise you could miss some valuable information. If you listen with an open mind, you might even avoid some of the common mistakes or at least not make as many.
- 15:04 Sean: When we started this show I shared it on Twitter. There were some people who had some less than pleasant things to say about it. One of my friends saw the comments and almost replied, but then he realized that these are not the people we are trying to reach. Instead of engaging in the negativity, he chose to do something positive and ended up subscribing to this show and joining the Community.
- 16:41 Matt: If you can’t take the criticism in the beginning, what’s going to happen when you reach your big goals?
If you only dream within your current reality, that’s as far as you’re going to get.
- 17:10 Sean: People tend to limit their own dreams and constrain them to their reality. When someone reaches their dreams, they stick out. I always say “When you dream big, people are going to call you impractical.” If you’re going to dream, you may as well dream big and shoot for something. If you want to accomplish big things, you have to have big dreams. That’s what we’re doing now. These people don’t like that because it threatens them. Most people ignore weird things and they move on, but when something threatens them or makes them feel uncomfortable, they feel like they need to say something.
- 18:49 Matt: I’ve been learning a lot about different personalities with my employees. Some people really excel and they do a good job. Others are more headstrong and stubborn and when they can’t keep an open mind, it sometimes gets them into trouble.
Sharing Real Numbers
- 19:46 If we told people what we pay for taxes, do you think they’d want to do this?
- 19:55 Sean: Are we doing real numbers? Mine are five figures. It’s not pretty.
- 20:14 Matt: I had this conversation with my mom because she’s afraid that if she makes more money, she’ll have to pay more taxes. Don’t think of it that way. We can drive on paved roads, we have police officers, we have order. Just pay your dues and keep on rolling.
- 21:32 Sean: One of the best things you’re going to pay for is a CPA. I paid $800 for a CPA and it hurt, because Turbo Tax was $50. But I ended up paying back about $10,000 less than I originally expected to pay. Look at what that investment did.
- 22:22 Matt: We pay our CPA $300 per hour to sit down with us and look at our specific situation to provide the best solution for our taxes. The CPA knows certain strategies that you just can’t get with Turbo Tax. It really is one of the best investments you can make.
- 23:20 Sean: We’re planning ahead too. I’ve doubled my annual income each year and when we are doing our projections for quarterly tax payments, one of the questions my CPA asks is “How much do you expect to make next year?” I take that as a challenge. This is Lambo Goal stuff. Where is your mindset? I tell them I’m going to double again. They’d probably think that was strange, except they’ve seen it happen.
People don’t like talking about money but they want to know how to make money.
Then when they hear how, they don’t like hearing real numbers.
- 24:31 Matt: You’re doing something right when people see your success and start criticizing you. I always chuckle a little when I encounter haters, because they just don’t realize what their potential could be if they’d just open their eyes and try to learn something. Don’t take in 100% of everything you hear, but open up a little bit. Podcasts saved my butt, because I listened, and I took some of the valuable advice I was hearing and implemented it into my business plan. This is crucial. Stay open minded and always be listening. That’s what I love about Gary Vaynerchuk. He loves the hustle and he always listens to people. He’s observing and listening to what the market needs and wants. You don’t make your money by doing what you want or what you think is best, you have to pay attention to what the market wants, and you can’t do that if you’re just hating on everything you disagree with.
- 26:34 Sean: It’s really easy to tear things down. Matt, you had brothers growing up. It takes such a long time to build something up, and then a brother comes along with one swift kick and knocks it all down. It’s hard to be open minded and listen to someone you don’t agree with. We’re about dreaming bigger here. The Lambo Goal for me is buying a Lamborghini Aventador in cash, only when it represents 10% of my money. It’s about dreaming bigger. When I was seventeen I lowered that dream to a red Mustang. I limited my dreams to the constraints of my reality. Out in the parking lot, there’s a red Mustang. I reached that goal.
Don’t lower your dreams to match the constraints of your reality—dream bigger.
- 28:12 Matt: Now you can go to Jamaica and sip on coconuts. Life is good.
- 28:17 Sean: That’s how you get haters, Matt. I reached my dream, so I can be done now, right? That’s what a lot of people do. They lower their dream to match the constraints of their reality and when they reach their dream, they wonder why they still feel unhappy. And when other people reach their big dreams, they hate on them and degrade them. So I decided I wanted to reset everything. This is me dreaming big. There are going to be people who don’t get what this is about, but this show is about rolling back the clock and showing people the mindset that goes into achieving these big dreams. When we get there, there are probably going to be even more haters.
What If You Had a Year Left to Live?
- 29:51 Matt, what if you knew that you were going to die within a year?
- 29:58 Matt: Reality would have to change. You’d have to think differently.
- 30:07 Sean: Suddenly you’d get this clarity. You’d realize this really is it and that you’ve accomplished what you accomplished to this point. You would have to ask the question, “Was I going after the things I wanted to go after?” Who’s going to tell a kid with a year left to live that his dreams are dumb? You’ll do everything you can to make their dream come true, and yet when you’re an adult, people say “How dare you dream bigger. How dare you try and climb out of this bucket.” Yet, we don’t know if we have a year. We don’t know if we have tomorrow. Matt was telling me a few weeks ago that he really didn’t know.
- 31:28 Matt: A few weeks ago Sean and I went to lunch and I told him about a scare I had. I had been having a pain in my lower back, and when it didn’t go away after several months I decided to see my doctor about it. The doctor used an ultrasound and found a mass in the spot where I was experiencing pain. He came to me and said “I just want you to know that it looks like you may have cancer. You’re looking at an 80% chance that it’s not and a 20% chance that it is.” I ignored it at first and started asking the doctor what I needed to do to go ahead and get it taken care of, because I had stuff to do. The doctor said, “Matt, you can’t run from this one. You can’t pay any amount to get rid of this.” When he said that, it shocked me and I didn’t really know what to do. I just went back to work and didn’t really tell anyone until I met Sean for lunch.
- 34:18 It was frustrating to me more than it was sad because I’ve accomplished a lot in life. I was sad about leaving my son and wife behind, but I was at peace with it. The doctor told me that if it was the kind of cancer they thought it might be, I would have about a year to live. After a couple of days I called up the lawyers and the accountants and went over everything. We talked about what we would do with the businesses and what I would leave to my son. When we got to the Lambo Goal I decided I would leave the Lambo to seanwes so the story could still be told. I wasn’t going to tell my family about it until I had my conversation with Sean because I was afraid of them being unsure of what to do without me. It was hard to have had this Lambo Goal in mind and then to all of a sudden not be able to do that. I was really looking forward to excelling with the seanwes network. I had a vision, and with this news it really went south. Why don’t we all live every day like it’s our last? Why do we just scrape by and do the bare minimum? So it made me think, “Holy cow, my life could be over. I need to step it up.” So I started telling everyone I know to step it up and work harder. I finally told my family and then, a couple of weeks later, I went to the doctor and got good news. I don’t have cancer. When you’re working, get your stuff done.
Don’t let distractions get in the way of what you want to accomplish.
- 39:25 Cancer runs in my family, so I have cancerous cells, but they’re not deadly. They’re going to keep monitoring me every six months. The possibility of only having one year left really made me think. Even though I’m in the clear now, this experience stays with me. I need to hustle, but I need to do it smarter and more efficiently. It was hard and was shocking. I would advise people not to take any day lightly. It really made me think back on the times that I was just wasting time, so now I’m trying to be better with my time and better about balancing my life. I want to make sure that, even if I live to be 100, I don’t have any regrets and I do all of the things I want to do, and also spend plenty of time with the people I care about.
- 42:24 Sean: Thanks for being willing to share that. It definitely gave me a reality check hearing about this.
- 42:42 Matt: We’re not trying to tell people “You can have success tomorrow and be sipping on coconuts the next day.” It’s all about working hard for a long period of time. You either love the hustle or you don’t. If you don’t love the hustle, just go work for somebody.
- 43:11 Sean: It gave me clarity. Who cares about the haters? They’re not thinking you have cancer. They don’t care about you. They’re getting defensive because of their own insecurities. That’s hard to realize when you’re hearing negative feedback, but that just means you’re resonating more with the people you want to reach.
Make Criticism Work For You
- 43:40 Matt: I always find it funny when people look at me a certain way when I’m driving around in a nice car. And I think to myself, “If you only knew what I had to do to get to this point, you wouldn’t want to do it.” You think being in a cool car is nice, but is it? It’s a lot of work. If you’re willing to do the work, it’s worth it, but it all depends on you, and you’ve got to deal with the criticism. Sometimes it’s good to hear criticism and sometimes they’re right. Even you have pointed out some things that I’m doing wrong and I think “Oh Sean, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” I could think like that, or I could listen and possibly make my life easier or more profitable.
- 44:41 Sean: One of the things Ben and I talk about on the seanwes podcast is repurposing negative comments because valid critique is often wrapped up in negativity. If you can, you want to be objective and at least be open to receiving the feedback while rejecting the personal attacks. If it’s a comment that has all of that mixed together, you can take the valid part and repurpose that for your audience. You can even share the comment but leave out the negative part.
- 45:38 Matt: Here on the seanwes Network, we don’t have any ads. I introduced my friend to some podcasts I listen to, and also to the Lambo Goal podcast. He really likes the Lambo Goal podcast and when he was talking to me about the other podcasts I had introduced him to he said, “They have a lot of great information, but I feel so depressed when I hear the ads.” It made me think, “What if that was our show? Would we listen to that criticism?” I totally agree that constructive criticism can be good, but I just laugh off personal attacks. It means I’m doing something right.
Don’t Make Assumptions
- 46:51 Sean: You were telling me earlier that some people say things about your lifestyle.
- 46:58 Matt: When I have friends over to my house, we drive up this long driveway and some people think that’s really cool. Some people are just jealous of the property. They look at the nice things we have and think, “You’re just some punk kid who got an inheritance and is just sitting on all this wealth.” Sometimes I just want to tell them, “Come join me for a day. You’re going to get grass all over you. You’re going to get nails shot at you.” Haters can be a pain, but they’re also good because it shows you you’re doing something right. I want people to look at my life or at my business and think, “This guy went all out.”
- 48:49 Sean: A lot of people hold certain stigmas about wealth or physical representations of wealth. They feel like the 1% is bad or the 1% is evil. They don’t realize the amount of good you can do when you have that kind of wealth. A lot of these wealthy people have given more than you’ll make in your entire life. A lot of these people have given more of their time than you might ever give in your life. When Learn Lettering launched, I talked about how I made six figures, and some people asked me if I was going to give to charity. I said, “I might.” Number one, that’s my own business. Number two, what are you going to give to charity? Don’t look at someone who you think is wealthy and make up stories about how they got their wealth or whether or not they donate it, because you don’t know.
Your focus should be on living your own life to the fullest.
- 50:13 Matt: We shouldn’t have to tell people what we give or what is going on in our life. It’s funny to me how some of the people who are most eager to give advice are the least qualified to give it. I have a guy who wants to work for me, doesn’t even have his own business, and he was trying to give me advice about buying new trucks for my business. I thought to myself, “You don’t even know what our budget is or what our cash flow looks like.” He said, “You have plenty of money in reserves.” And I said, “Have you ever heard of a rainy day fund?” I can laugh that off because I’m confident in my own experience, but it’s funny how often the people who don’t have any business giving advice are the most eager to do so.
- 52:20 Sean: I love what Gary Vaynerchuk says about how for the first decade of his career, he just worked. He didn’t talk about what he was doing, but just worked. Now he shares what he knows but it comes from this place of experience. Ideally you want to not worry about the haters, but it’s easier to say this than to do this. For myself, it was a lot harder to process through haters’ comments and not be upset and bothered internally by it before I had a group of people who share my mindset and who back me up and encourage me. I know if someone demeans me in some way, I have people who believe in me and support me. If I shared this with them, they would say “Don’t listen to them, They don’t know what they’re saying.” They are there to ground me again and remind me that I’m doing the right thing and I’m resonating with the people I’m trying to reach.
- 53:59 Matt: If you can tell yourself that as someone is criticizing you, you’re good. I’ve learned that you have to have a thick skin. People are going to attack you, even if you’re doing everything right. If someone were to leave a criticism on the Lambo Goal video and say “Well, at least these guys are trying,” I’d probably send them money. Most people who criticize only have negative things to say and I pity them because they just don’t get it.
- 54:56 Sean: Before Lambo Goal was a show, you and I just did a video talking about the Lambo Goal. I wanted to get people to go watch the video so I set up a campaign called Paying My Haters where for a week someone could go watch the video and if they weren’t inspired by it, I would pay them five dollars (Related: seanwes podcast e134: Paying My Haters). All they had to do was watch the video and then fill out a form with their paypal information and check a box that says “I don’t believe you’ll reach your goals.” That’s all they had to do to prove they were really a hater. People did this and I paid them, but they also forfeited their ride in the Lambo. I decided that if you spend an ounce of your energy hating on someone else and detracting from their goals, this five dollars is going to be the best thing you ever accomplish in your life. If I can give someone the best thing they’ll ever accomplish in their life, why wouldn’t I do that?