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Do you have to work 18-hour days to be successful?


But you’re not getting enough done. You’re wasting time every day and you’re not auditing yourself.

I’m not talking about working longer, I’m talking about working harder.

I’m talking about more focus. I’m talking a greater emphasis on the things that will really move the needle and make a difference in the bottom line of your business.

We talk about why motivation doesn’t matter in this episode. We also call out every age group individually. No one gets away free! No excuses!

If you’re looking for the episode to light a fire under your butt, this is the one.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • If you do something more than once, you need to automate it.
  • If you want results, you have to start optimizing your life.
  • When you align what you love to do with your vocation, it doesn’t feel like work.
  • You’t don’t need to be working more, you need to be working harder.
  • If you plan the next day’s accomplishments, you’re planning for success.
  • Focus is scheduled.
  • None of the work you’re doing matters if you don’t have unity with your spouse.
  • Stop thinking that the 20 year olds are beating you.
  • If the people around you are not helping you get closer to your goal, they are taking you further away from it.
  • Ten years from now, what are you going to say about how you spent your time now?
  • If you’re in your 50s, your best work is just starting.
Show Notes
  • 07:12 Sean: Matt’s got all this work coming in. Is this because you’re slacking off, Matt, or is because you’re working hard?
  • 07:21 Matt: It’s definitely not slacking. I know that some of my guys are listening to this right now, and props to them, because everybody is hurting. We have first, second, and third shifts, because my guys are ridiculous. They are so dedicated. We’re doing Lambo Goal. They’re trying to get the Lambo next year, but I don’t know about that. I enjoy the hustle.
  • 07:55 Sean: Where is all this work coming from?
  • 07:58 Matt: Mainly I have these investors that invest their money into these different homes. They know other investors who have other homes and don’t like their property management company, or something happens last minute, so they ask me to take care of these homes. 80% of these investors aren’t in San Antonio, so they don’t know contractors here. Contractors have a really bad name, which is how I’ve been able to stand out from a city of contractors.
  • 08:39 Contractors don’t keep their word or they aren’t professional. We do contracts for everything. I have a really good reputation, and people know that. We’ve got a couple of jobs that we’re behind on, because I’m not pleased with the quality. I say, “I know this sucks, guys, and it sucks for me because I have to pay more, but we’re going to break all this and redo it.” They say, “Matt, you’re killing me!” But this is what gets us people breaking down the gate to be on the waiting list for us. That’s one way we’re getting work, and another way is through realtors, other contractors who don’t like their customers. We trade a lot of the times. Right now, I’m sending work to a ton of different contractors because I just can’t keep up with it.

It Pays to Network

  • 09:32 Sean: I’ve observed that Matt is getting a lot in right now, but it’s not magic. It’s the return on the hustle he put in months ago, a year ago, or more.
  • 09:44 Matt: We don’t know where this work is coming from. We haven’t advertised since summer, and we won’t be able to advertise, because we’re booked for at least the next six months.
  • 09:55 Sean: That’s everyone’s dream with client work. Keep the work coming in!
  • 10:01 Matt: I have to say, the reason we’ve gotten this is because I’ve put in the time to network. After this, I’ll go to a meeting. I do non-stop networking. I know other contractors and I have a lot of great mentors that are contractors that bring me into these circles where there are people who need our services. We own so many businesses, and this was my thing. I know I’m involved in all these businesses, and I’m not a specialist in them. I hire people that are, and I oversee their work to make sure it’s up to my standards, even though they’re the specialist. We have guys who are experienced, but I go in there as quality control, even though I might not know about concrete.
  • 10:53 I don’t know anything about concrete, but I’m about to open a concrete business. The point is, so many people have these services they need, but they don’t trust different contractors or they’ve had a bad experience. I’ll go to these meetings with a bunch of contractors or homeowners. I went to a finance thing with USAA here, and they asked me the question I hate, “What do you do for a living?” I said, “I could give you like 20 cards of different business I own, but I’ll give you this one Monopoly card. Anything you need, we do.”
  • 11:45 Sean: Matt, you need to have a business card that looks like a Monopoly property. You really have one?
  • 11:49 Matt: It does. My best one is Broadway, and then it’s got my name and stuff. I do a ton of networking. The reason I got into this was through my mentors, and that’s why we have so much work without advertising. I’m putting in the work to network with people outside of who I would have thought of. I used to be involved with the Chamber of Commerce, but I stopped that because I can’t go meet any more people.
  • 12:30 Sean: This is a good problem to have. The topic for today is You’re Not Working Hard Enough, and I don’t mean you, Matt. You’re working pretty hard.
  • 12:39 Matt: I love this because it fits perfectly with what’s happening in my life right now. I wouldn’t be able to have this work without networking, but I wouldn’t be able to network without certain things we’re going to talk about in this episode.

Work More Efficiently

  • 12:57 Sean: It’s twofold. The point here isn’t to say that you need to be a workaholic, but it’s to light a fire under people’s butts. The slackers need to get on it. We’ve got a lot of people working really hard in the Community and it’s not that they aren’t working hard enough, but I’m hoping that in this episode we can give them some things to think about as far as maximizing their output goes. I want to get a conversation going here about getting the most out of your day and being efficient with that, being productive. On my end, I mentioned that we did seven episodes of seanwes tv today. It took three or four hours. Between two our team calls and new seanwes Conference details we can’t share yet, there’s so much stuff going on, and so much work. We’re working hard.
  • 15:13 Matt: I was talking to a customer today, and her son is doing some business, and I told her, “In the beginning, when you’re starting a business, you’re hustling, hustling, hustling. You’re getting all this infrastructure in place, all this beginning stuff, the stuff that’s not really fun and that you don’t get much of a profit from. But you have to do those things in the beginning and get those things in place. Even though you may not see any return or results in the beginning, you have to look forward, because eventually those things will help you in the long run.” When I first started my businesses, that’s why I stayed at the day job for so long.
  • 15:53 I was so concerned, “How are we going to get jobs doing all these different businesses? How am I going to keep all my guys?” My payroll is ridiculous, so I was afraid. I had to put in work in the beginning with networking and setting up the systems that we have in place now, things I didn’t make money off of. I had to stay at the day job to provide for these things and to pay my own bills.

When you’re starting a business, you have to put in the time to build efficient systems even though you don’t see any result or profit in the beginning.

  • 16:42 Sean: Brian asks, “What is the trade off between putting in time to setting up tools to work more efficiently? Is there a point when you are pouring too much time into a workaround or time-saving action that you could just be using to finish the task at hand?”
  • 17:00 Matt: In the beginning, me and my team set up all the systems we needed to make sure we ran as efficiently as possible, to the point where everybody wakes up in the morning and has their to do list. This thing is updated daily, throughout the day, but I never would have had these things in place had I not interviewed different virtual assistants, my beast of an assistant that sends all these things to their different assistants. I have my main assistant and then 20 other assistants who send all their work orders out to all the guys. We’ve got our finance people, and all these things cost me a lot of money and took me a lot of time.
  • 17:45 I had a trailer break the other day, and it messed up our whole schedule and pushed us behind. Of course, it would happen this month. We have systems in place for that. I wrote a script. “If this happens, contact this person. If you need tools or supplies, call this person and they’ll take care of it. Use this money.” It was to the T, but it took forever to get to this point.
  • 18:11 Sean: Do you think it’s worth investing in systems, or is there a point where you should just do it and not systematize?
  • 18:22 Matt: You have to get to the point where you believe in the system to where it will take care of things to a certain point, because if you keep pouring and pouring into the system, you’re going to be spending all your time on the system as opposed to your customers or services or whatever is bringing in the money. Build it up to 99.9% as best as possible, but once the wheel starts turning, you can’t be trying to fix the system. You’ve got the ball rolling. Right now, there’s a lot of flaws in things that we’re doing, because we’re changing it up and we’ve got so many businesses, so we’re having to make it up as we go. This month, I was supposed to be in Australia, not to just go to the beach but because one of my assistants lives there, to work on the systems and their flaws.
  • 20:00 Sean: Back to the systems thing—I’m hearing two things. One is, the time invested in making systems in the first place, and the other is once you have systems, finding the time to optimize vs. actually doing the work.
  • 20:33 Matt: In the beginning, you do all the planning, projecting, and whiteboard time. This is the most important part of your business.

If you fail to plan in the beginning, your business is going to fail.

  • 20:44 Obviously, as you go, nothing is going to go according to plan. I always joke with my employees, “If something’s going to plan, something’s wrong.” With all my businesses, I try to plan them out to the best of my ability and set up the systems. As we go, things break or don’t go how they’re supposed to, so we revise it. We don’t put 100% of our time into it. We might put 20% to 30% into it, just to make it work, because we’ve got to get it done. When we have some more time, we’ll fix it and get it right.
  • 21:45 Sean: My mantra is that if you do something more than once, you need to automate it (Related: e193 Automating When You Can’t Afford to Hire Yet). Say you do something twice and never again, okay, there’s a little bit of lost effort and some sunk time. In most cases, though, if you do something twice, you’re probably going to do it 200 times in the next weeks.
  • 22:33 It’s worth it to me, that investment in systemizing and automating, coming up with some kind of replicable system for doing something, even if it takes that time investment. That’s been huge for me. You can’t systematize everything at once or automate everything at once. You can only do one at a time, but always have a buffer. At any given time, you should have margin in your schedule to implement a system at a time as you come across it.
  • 23:07 Matt: That’s exactly what we do. We need to break it up a little more, but we’re growing way too fast. It’s ridiculous. In the beginning, when I was doing it, I had the systems in place. I recognized that I was going to have to do some things 200 times, so I would stop right there, work on the system a little bit, wake up early or stay up late to get it done. When the system’s in place, we’re good now until the next time we need to do a revision or an add-on.

Fill in the Gaps of Your Life

  • 23:57 Sean: The people who are slacking off right now may not know that they’re slacking off. Maybe they think they’re working hard, but they don’t know what hard work is because they haven’t worked for Matt yet. They think they’re hustling and working hard, but they’re opening up Twitter and Facebook, taking breaks in the middle of the day, and they’re not getting anything done. They’re watching way too much Netflix. What is your advice to this person?
  • 24:19 Matt: Here’s my thing. I make all my employees do this, and they hate me for it. I hired a lady to bring caffeinated drinks to get their brains going a little bit, because I want them to focus on their work, whatever they’re working on. I need them to be listening to knowledge on whatever it is they’re doing or want to be doing in their life. In my life, I listen to podcasts, audio books, all day every day. I fall asleep to audio books. I make my employees all listen to so many podcasts, depending on the person and what they’re doing, something where they’re going to gain knowledge on whatever it is. I have some employees that wanted to branch off and do their own thing, and that’s fine. I encourage that. I’m not going to keep them here.

Hustling in Your 20s

  • 25:47 Sean: I like this, filling in the gaps. This is something a lot of people can take away. Next, I’m going to talk about the 20 year olds, but we’re not going to exclude anyone else. I want to make sure no one gets away here, because everyone needs some fire from this episode today. I like what you’re saying, Matt, and people can learn from this.

You think you’re working hard, but what are you doing when you’re not working?

  • 26:25 What are you doing when you’re doing things with your hands but you don’t have to think about it? Are you filling that with podcasts? Are those podcasts making you a better person? Are they teaching you? Are you gaining knowledge? Are the videos you’re watching on YouTube just silly stuff, or are you getting value from it?
  • 26:52 Matt: When I’m in the shower, I’ve got my waterproof case on my iPad and I’m watching a video on how a guy’s marketing something. Something always pops up where I don’t know something, and I hate that. I want to know everything I possibly can. I was going into a meeting the other day, and I needed to know about a certain contract, so I just YouTubed it while I was getting ready in the shower. That’s five minutes where I could be gaining knowledge. The whole point of this is that people aren’t hustling hard enough, because instead of listening to music or singing in the shower, I have a whiteboard in my shower right now. I have to be marking up stuff. Take advantage of every second. In the car, I can’t watch videos, but I can hear them.
  • 29:10 Sean: Are you hearing this? You need to step it up. Do you have a bluetooth speaker or waterproof notes? I’m serious.

If you want results, you have to start optimizing your life.

  • 29:23 You have to get out of your funk. You have to wake up in the morning at 6am—that is opportunity! Every hour I wake up earlier is an hour that I’m ahead. If you shift your schedule back, stop going to bed at 1am and start going to bed at 11pm, 10pm, 9pm. What do you do at night? You might tell me that you work, but you’re sitting at your desk doodling and you’ve got YouTube videos that aren’t enriching your life going on—that’s not working.
  • 30:01 You’re not getting productive work done. If you shift that schedule and start going to bed at 9:30pm and waking up at 4:30am, you’re going to get that good work done in the morning. That’s hustle time. Now it’s time to call out people in their 20s. If you are in your 20s and you’re not killing it right now, you’re doing it wrong. This is your time where you’ve got the energy and you’re enthused. I’m not saying that life is over when you’re 30. It’s not, but it doesn’t get easier. You don’t get younger. You don’t get more energy or have fewer kids, right?
  • 30:44 Matt: It’s so true. I was just complaining to my wife a couple of days ago, saying, “This is getting harder, waking up early and going to sleep late, coming up with stuff on the fly because I can stay up all night and keep going the next day.” My body can’t physically do it like I could when I was 20, 21, 22, or 23. I’m pissed at my old young self. What the heck are you thinking, being on Facebook and watching YouTube videos? This is that time, right now. I’m not trying to cut at anybody’s age, but when you’re in your 20s, come on.
  • 31:30 We live right now in a society where, because all these 20 year olds have built crazy things and made all this money, people are starting to respect 20 year olds. I can now go to meetings with 40 and 50 year old billionaires, and they’re going to actually listen to what I have to say. There are 20 year olds that somehow have a knowledge where they’re making a bunch of money, and these guys are curious. They either inherited something or made something, but they’re in their 60s, so they want to know how you’re making what they’re making.

Make the Most of Your Work Time

  • 32:04 Sean: I’ve talked about work-life balance, and you can go listen to that stuff. This episode is not about work-life balance. This is about you needing to step it up. You need to work harder. I’m not necessarily saying that you need to work 18 hour or 20 hour days, but you’re not making the most of the 8, 10, or 12 hours that you’re putting in. There’s the whole four hour work week mentality. The concept is that there’s concentrated focus work time, and that’s awesome. I get it. Maximize your output, the 80/20 Rule kind of thing. You can either do that and focus, work really hard for those four focused hours, and then slack off for the rest of the week, or you can keep going and be that much further ahead of people.
  • 32:59 There’s a lot of people who say that you shouldn’t work more than 8 hours, and anyone who tells you to hustle doesn’t have the balance down. They’re a bad family person, they’re unhealthy. I’m not here to tell you that you need to work more than 8 hours a day, that you need to put in 12 hour days.

When you align what you love to do with your vocation, it doesn’t feel like work.

  • 33:28 It feels like that good feeling when you’re working out or on a run. You feel the burn, but it’s a good burn. You feel like it’s fulfilling work. I balance that with whole weeks off. The reason I can say that I don’t have a problem working 16 hour days, although that is hard, is because I also rest hard. It is this balance, and you have to know that’s going on behind the scenes. When I talk about working hard, I also rest hard, and you need to know that. Some people need to hear that it is okay to work more than 8 hours, and you might need to if you really want to win.
  • 34:14 There’s a lot of people who don’t like this message, Matt. They say that we’re bad, we’re promoting improper balance and workaholism. I’m not saying that. You need to know for yourself what your balance is, and you need to take care of yourself, your health, your sleep, and spending quality time with your family. The reality is that you can do all of those things and get more done in a day. You can do a 10 or 12 hour day, and that is not wrong, and you can still spend time with your family.
  • 34:51 Matt: You don’t have to do this crazy hustle forever. Look at me, I have a meeting right now, but I’m here chatting with you guys. Six years ago, I would have walked in here with plenty of time, maybe early, but I put in the time and the hustle and now I’m jam-packed with work. I can’t even keep up with everything, but it’s because I put in that crazy, workaholic, unstable life in the beginning. Now, if I wanted to, I could step back and slow down, because I can afford to. We have enough things rolling and going. In the beginning, people get so fearful and burnt out.
  • 35:51 Come on! You’ve put in four months, and you think you’re going to get something out of that? I’m sorry, but if you put in four months of crazy crazy hours, you might get something, but if you’re just putting in four 8 hour months, you’re not going to get anything worth looking at. There are other people out there who are putting in crazy hustle hours, focus hours, for four months. You’re going to get beat by somebody else, it doesn’t matter their age, but they’re going to beat you.
  • 36:20 Sean: I think a lot of people are tracking with us, and this is helping them focus and get fired up and work harder, but I don’t want to lose everyone here. Let me lower the bar a little bit. If they think we’re too far off the deep end, then we lose them and they won’t apply any of this.

You need to be getting more out of the hours you’re putting in.

You’t don’t need to be working more, you need to be working harder.

  • 36:59 By working hard, I mean focused, not doing the fun distractions that you indulge in every single day. Focus! This morning we shot seven episodes of seanwes tv, I needed to write three emails for my Supercharge Your Writing workshop coming up on November 9th, 2015, and I’ve got to work on a page for my Value-Based Pricing course on top of preparing for this show. It’s insane.

Don’t Start With Motivation

  • 37:50 Cory, our video guy, who was here earlier, was setting up for the seanwes tv shooting. I asked him, “How long is it going to be until you’re ready?” He said, “Don’t base it off me. If I’m ready in five minutes or two hours, we’ll do it around you.” I said, “It matters when you’re ready. I need to know if I have enough for a focused block of time, if I’m going to be able to write before we shoot.” He said, “I can be ready in 15 minutes, but I don’t want to stop you if you’re in the mood.” And I said, “I’m never in the mood to write 5,000 words a day.”
  • 38:27 He was just staring at me by that point. Matt, I’m never in the mood. Being in the mood for something means you want to do it, and wanting to do something comes from having a clear direction, and direction comes from focus. Focus is scheduled. You schedule your writing time, schedule your focus, and plan direction. It’s not about mood or motivation. I don’t get up at 6am because I’m motivated or I’m in the mood. I don’t write because I have something to say.
  • 39:07 It’s scheduled. It’s this thing that I do. Don’t start with motivation. Say, “Do I want this?” Start with a commitment. What am I going to do tomorrow? Am I planning what I’m going to do tomorrow? So many people come into a day with no plan, no definition of what a successful version of that day looks like. If you go into a day without a goal, you’re planning for failure. Don’t be surprised when you’ve accomplished nothing that day.

If you plan the next day’s accomplishments, you’re planning for success.

  • 39:51 Matt: I’m astonished at how many people wake up and think, “I’m going to go to work and work on things.” Specify! Break it down for yourself. Give yourself a list. That’s something I do every day. I have a list of things I have to get done, and we have times, and lots of times those times don’t happen, but I get every single thing on my list done, because if I don’t, then I don’t reach my small goals. If I don’t reach my small goals, I’m never going to make it to the Lambo Goal.
  • 40:27 Sean: I care about the people. I care so deeply about the people, and I never get fiery on anything that isn’t talking to my past self. I’m speaking to the younger Sean. Matt’s talking about the younger Matt slacking off. That’s when I get fiery, so know that’s when I have the right, because I’m talking to myself. I was in that place. It’s out of a deep caring for wanting the best for you and wanting the best output, maximizing the efficiency of your day, and enabling your dream, enabling you to reach your big goals. You’re not going to get to a Lambo Goal unless you have focus. I want people to know that this fire comes from a place of deep caring. I really care about the people in the Community who have taken the time to listen and tune in live.

Getting Your Spouse On Board

  • 41:30 Scotty asks, “I work a full time job and I work my own personal business three hours before work and then two or three hours after I get home. I need to get to bed by 9pm, but my wife makes it difficult, as she doesn’t have the same vision I do.”
  • 41:57 Scotty, your number one goal is getting on the same page with your wife. You cannot do this alone. You cannot do this if you have two opposing goals or opposing visions. You need her on board 100%. That’s your full time job now. Your new job, three hours before work, is taking your wife on a coffee date, wherever she wants to go, and you spend 100% of your time with her, talking with her, communicating with her, getting her on board with your vision.

None of the work you’re doing matters if you don’t have unity with your spouse.

  • 42:36 Matt: That’s exactly true. My wife was like that. She didn’t understand, and even now, she still doesn’t understand sometimes. She’ll say, “Don’t you think it’s enough?” and I say, “No, it’s never enough until I get to my goal.” Explain to your spouse why you’re doing what you’re doing, and it has to be more than, “I want to make more.” You could always make more at your job, most likely, or work somewhere else and get paid more by learning more and getting better at what you do. If you can’t get that down, business isn’t going to work, because you need that support there. It’s hard, it really is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone home ready to quit, like it’s too much.
  • 43:28 It’s hard. This week I was supposed to go on a family trip, but I can’t go because I have work. I went to my wife and I said, “I feel so bad. I feel like I should just take off this week and go,” but she’s on the same page, so she said, “No. You made a commitment. You have a larger goal.” A lot of the times, when anybody in my family needs help, they come to me, because I’ve put in that time and dedication to something, and I have the fruit of it.
  • 44:03 In the beginning, it’s hard to explain to your spouse, “I’m doing this because of this, this, and this, and eventually, we’ll have some fruit from it.” You have to explain to them why, and it’s not something that happens overnight. You have that fire, and if you come from a family that isn’t entrepreneurial, it’s going to take a little more time. Like Sean said, schedule some focus time to communicate with your spouse. Put some time into them. Sean and I have this joke from this one time when we were writing my crazy life out on the whiteboard.
  • 44:40 Sean: We were looking at time management, making grids, and looking at each day in the calendar. We were breaking down how important it is to make sure people in your life are on board, and we started using these little icons to represent things, and for wife and family time, I drew little hearts. We came to call it “heart time.”
  • 45:01 Matt: It’s really important to have that. I don’t know if you want to call that work/life balance, but that is crucial, especially if your wife doesn’t share the same vision. She’s going to get mixed signals if you’re putting 100% of your time in something that isn’t her.
  • 45:22 Sean: Think of a bucket filled with water as your dream. Getting to your goal is filling up the bucket. What fills the bucket is hard work. You’ve got clients, you’re hustling, you’re working late, you’re working early, before and after the day job, and you’re pouring more water into this bucket. You could keep working harder and harder, pouring water in the bucket, but for some reason it’s not filling up. Why is it not filling up? There are holes in the bottom, and the holes in the bottom are the people close to you who are not on board, who don’t get what you’re about, who are draining. You can kid yourself and say, “I’ll just keep pouring more water. Eventually, I’ll get past it.” No, you’re number one job is patching the bucket. It’s about the people.

If the people around you are not helping you get closer to your goal, they are taking you further away from it.

  • 46:16 It doesn’t just have to be a wife, husband, or your parents. It can be anyone around you. You need to focus on getting around the right people with the right mindset.

Hustling in Your Teens

  • 46:29 I’ve been talking to the 20 year old, but now I want to go younger than 20. If you’re in your teens and you’re listening to this, first of all, good job. Congratulations! You’re ahead. I’m excited for you. We didn’t have the internet or podcasts when we were your age. This is awesome for you. I suddenly feel paralyzed, Matt. I have the attention of these teenagers, and what do I want them to focus on? I feel this huge responsibility. I don’t want to blow this moment—I could say school or relationships. If you’re a teenager listening to this, focus on figuring out what your priority is and where you want to be ten years from now.

Ten years from now, what are you going to say about how you spent your time now?

  • 47:28 Going out partying, playing video games… You have the opportunity, the tools, the internet, and the information! You have this show! You pay nothing, and we’re helping you grow a business. You’re not going to grow a business if you just listen to this show every week—you have to apply it. You can only apply it if you have the time to apply it, and you’ll only have the time if you say no to things, and there’s a crap-load of things to say yes to when you’re 15, 16, 17, or 18.
  • 48:02 Matt: If I could talk to my younger self, when I was 15 or 16, at that age I didn’t really know where I would end up. What I’m making a living in now is completely different than what I was wanting to do when I was 15 and 16, but the overall goal is the same. I was dabbling in so many different things, but I would have told myself to focus and pick one. If it fails, you have knowledge, and you learned something from that experience, and you can go on to the next thing.
  • 48:36 Sean: The high schooler, the teenager, is paralyzed right now, because there’s so much opportunity. There’s so much they could do. There’s multiple things they’re good at, so that’s excellent advice, Matt. Pick one thing and do that. Don’t worry about whether it’s the right one—it almost certainly isn’t the thing you’re going to do for the rest of your life, but that’s not something to be scared about. That’s something to be excited about, because you can’t pick the wrong thing right now. You will learn from it, get skills from it, and you will be able to apply the things that you’ve gleaned from this experience to the next thing.

As a teenager, the best thing you can do is to focus on one thing and go all out on it.

  • 49:11 Matt: The best thing you can do is just start. You hear all these entrepreneurial podcasters, and they all say the same thing: just start. If you don’t start, you’re not going to learn the basic principals you’ll need in every business. Another thing I see young people struggling with is that they try and go too big. They see Mark Zuckerberg, and they want to make the next Facebook. That’s too big. Start something small.
  • 49:38 Sean: Even Facebook was a smaller concept than it is now. It has grown tremendously.
  • 49:44 Matt: Use Facebook as a resource, use it as a marketing tool, but don’t try to do the next Facebook. I say that because I think my younger self would have wanted to start the next Facebook, but had I just played a little smaller in my sandbox that I was familiar with and used Facebook as an inspiration and looked at how they did things, I could have used those things in planning my own small business now. Even if that business didn’t make anything of it, I would still have the different tools. I would have learned how to communicate with customers and do contracts, the legalities, all these things that I have now learned over the years.

Hustling in Your 30s

  • 50:30 Sean: We’re not going to let the 30 year olds get away. You’re coming next. 40 year olds, don’t tune out. 18 year olds get it. Focus right now, audit your nos, think about ten years from now. What does your ten-years-from-now self think about how you spent your time? 30 years old are thinking, “This Sean guy, he can do it—he doesn’t have kids.” Someone told me that on a call today. They said, “I don’t know how you… Oh, you don’t have kids.” I guess that’s why I can hustle?
  • 51:05 Matt, you have a kid. Can you speak to this person in their 30s? Maybe you have kids, maybe you don’t, but it’s a given that the older you get, the more responsibilities you acquire. This person has more things vying for their time, more responsibilities, and more people. What do you say to them?
  • 51:26 Matt: Obviously, it’s going to be harder than starting in your teens or your 20s, but that doesn’t single you out. It’s not an excuse, I’m sorry. I have a kid, and I love him very much. I wish I could spend every single moment with him. I had to discuss this with my wife, and now she’s on board, and I’m glad she is, because now both of them will reap the benefits. She’s allowing me to do the hustle right now, and now we have a very successful thing going. It’s huge. A lot of people tell me, “I don’t know how you do what you do.”
  • 52:09 I put in the time with him that I can. I definitely schedule it out. I have designated days, and sometimes that gets messed up, so I try and get that time back, but I hustle morning and night. I fill the times that my younger self would be watching YouTube, Netflix, or playing video games. If I had free time, I wouldn’t be filling it with those things. I would be learning.
  • 52:45 Sean: The 30 year old is laughing when you say “free time.”

In your 30s, there’s no free time, but that’s not an excuse.

You have to make free time.

  • 52:54 Matt: It’s harder, because you have to wake up earlier and stay up later.
  • 53:00 Sean: Here’s what I’ve observed about people in their 30s. The 40 year olds don’t have this problem, because they actually get it. They know they’re 40. The 30 year olds think they’re 20, so they compare themselves to the 20 year olds. They’re mad at us. Matt just had a birthday, so he’s 26. I’m also 26, and I’ll be 27 in a few weeks here. They’re mad at us, because we are ahead of them, and they feel like they’re never going to catch up. Here’s the problem—everyone else is thinking this.
  • 53:35 It’s the, “Why should I vote?” mentality. Everyone thinks that, so nobody votes and change doesn’t happen. If you want to get ahead as a 30 year old, all you have to do is stop thinking like that. Stop thinking that it’s too late, stop thinking that the 20 year olds are beating you. Guess what, Matt? There are teenagers beating us, but we don’t care. We’re not comparing ourselves to them and it doesn’t matter. You aren’t behind. You’re behind if you look at that 6am alarm going off and hit snooze because it doesn’t matter. You’re behind if you get to the end of the day, you have a little free time, and you choose Netflix over building your side business.
  • 54:14 I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with recreation. There’s a time for that. I like to kill two birds with one stone by watching Netflix with my wife while we eat dinner. Start thinking smart, start thinking efficiently. For the people in their 30s, you’ve got to audit your time. You cannot afford to waste time. You’ve got to optimize your schedule. Think about every single thing. Audit your day. That might mean journaling. Where is every minute going? You need those minutes back.
  • 54:57 Stop thinking, “I can’t do six hours like these crazy 20 year olds.” Okay, then build up an extra hour from minutes in your day. They’re not off the hook, they’ve got plenty of homework.

Hustling in Your 40s

  • 55:13 40s feel like they’re over the hill. They had the birthday party, “The world says I’m old now. I’m not going to kid myself and compare myself to 20 year olds.” For these people, it’s easy to think, “I’ve missed the bus. It was different in my day. I’ve worked a job for a long time. The whole landscape was different, and I didn’t have the opportunity that people have now. I’m not going to kid myself. I’m not going to compare with 20 year olds, what’s the point?” Matt has talked about this with his previous day job. He knew people in their 40s who were discouraged.
  • 55:52 Matt: Almost all my friends are in their 30s and 40s. I have very few in their 20s. Sean’s one of the few 20 year old friends that I have, because I just stopped talking to them. I hear a lot of 40 year old friends who are in a funk. Their kids are out of the house, they’ve hit a roof with their job, and they’re ready to relax. They’re in a funk. Gary Vaynerchuck put out a video about that, which I love. It’s perfect for what we’re talking about right now. It’s a pitiful excuse to say, “I’m older, and I don’t feel like putting out all the energy to start something.” He said, “Stop making that excuse! Go start that candle business that you’ve been talking about, that you always wanted to start.”
  • 56:51 Sean: It’s called 6 Minutes for the Next 60 Years of Your Life. He’s specifically talking to people 40, 50, 60, or 70. It’s very good, even if you’re younger than 40. You’ve got decades left of your life. Don’t clock out now!
  • 57:19 Matt: He even kicked me in the butt. We’re not doing things right. The thing that gets me with them is that I wish I was that age because of the knowledge and the experience I would have.
  • 57:33 Sean: I’m glad you brought that up, Matt. We try and encourage and counsel the 20 year olds, because everyone has excuses. The 20 year olds say, “I’m not old enough to be taken seriously.” The 40 year olds say, “I’m not young enough to be taken seriously,” and the 30 year olds think they have it the worst of all. No one’s happy. Play to your strengths. If you’re young, you’ve got the energy and the time. Of course the people who aren’t financially stable and don’t have savings are going to come out of the woodwork and complain, but I’m not talking to them, usually if you’re old, you are more stable. You’ve had decades to come to wherever you are right now, and that means that you have experience. In many cases, you have financial resources, assets, and grey hair.
  • 58:32 Matt: That’s an excellent thing. The other day, I noticed that I had grey hairs, and I was like, “Yes! When I meet with older people who have full grey hair, I can tell them that we match. I’ve got one right there.” My top group of investors are in their 40s, because they have 401Ks and they’re investing in the stock market. Guys, come on. We don’t do that anymore. They say, “Matt, we’re trying to play it safe. We’re getting ready for retirement.” I say, “Screw retirement! You can retire when you’re dead.”
  • 59:17 I’ll give them this long speech. I’ll say, “Why don’t you do this business? You have so much experience. You could consult people with this, because this is what you did for 20 plus years. You went to school for it, you know the theory, and you know the real life experiences. You can help people with this. Young guys will pay for this, because we don’t know.” I will take 40 year olds who do random stuff to my home or to my different meetings, and I’ll ask them on the side, “What do you think about that? What do you have to say about that?” They go on and come up with fantastic ideas. I love my 40 year old buddies. Obviously, they can’t keep up with me running around.

People in their 40s need to write.

  • 1:00:11 Sean: Why do you not have 10 books written already? You’ve been here for four decades. What did you do? Were you in a coma? You’ve been out in the world acquiring all this knowledge and experience that other people can benefit from. Matt, if we want to sell our experience, we better have the proof, the track record, and the case studies to back it up. You just have to be 40. People will you assume that you know what you’re talking about because you have this experience. You need to be writing. You have had so many experiences right now.
  • 1:00:56 You should be writing, even if it’s not a book. Don’t get overwhelmed here. Start a blog, start teaching what you know. You know so much! You could be helping people, selling this knowledge, and consulting. I talk about how important writing is, how it all starts with writing. Writing turns into podcasts, blogs, newsletters, videos, courses, conference talks, and books.
  • 1:01:23 Matt: It’s the start. Right there, homework—start writing. Start a blog. I just told one of my friends, “Everything you’re coming up with right now that you want to do, I know that you don’t have the time or whatever your excuse is, but take all this knowledge that you have that you could use to start a business and put it on a blog. Help someone else that is wanting to and has the willpower to do that, but they don’t have the knowledge that you have. Share it with them.”
  • 1:01:55 Sean: The other problem is that there’s cobwebs up there in your brain. All this knowledge and all these ideas that you’ve held onto for years, if not decades, ideas you never acted on because it was a perfect idea in your mind that you didn’t want to execute because it would become imperfect, and it’s more fun to keep a perfect idea in your mind, it’s gathering dust and cobwebs. You’re the person who, every Thanksgiving, talks about this business you’re going to start, and we’ve all heard it before. Don’t just write to teach, but do it to do some spring cleaning. Get all of those old ideas that you never acted on before out. Write to clear your mind.
  • 1:02:40 Matt: Even if it’s just a half idea that you’ve been thinking about for 20, 15, or 5 years, throw it on a piece of paper. Show it to your buddies, even if they’re not in favor of it.

Surround yourself with people who are doing great things that you want to do, people you want to be like, or better.

  • 1:03:05 That is one of the most important things I had to do in my life that truly changed my mindset. Everything else kind of fell into place. Write those ideas or that experience on a piece of paper and share it with your friends. Lots of times, I’ll share half-baked ideas with Sean, and he’ll do his magic and come up with something, and boom. I’ve got another $100,000 business or idea. You’ve got to share and get that stuff out there. Stop holding it in your brain.

Hustling in Your 50s & Up

  • 1:03:50 Sean: This grouping is probably disrespectful to people who are 60 or 70. It’s not that we don’t love you, it’s that the advice is going to be applicable and it’s the same thing.
  • 1:03:59 Matt: I wish I would have put in the time to find people in their 60s and 70s who started businesses that we all rely on now. I just can’t think of them.
  • 1:04:14 Sean: 495 out of the 500 most popular symphonies were written after the 10th year of someone’s work. They were well along in their age. The best ones! The five that weren’t were in the 9th year of their work. If you’re in your 50s, your best work is just starting. This is where everything comes together and builds off of everything else you’ve done. It’s an exponential growth. This is where the magic happens, where you’ll do the most incredible work of your life and produce the things that will have the greatest impact on people, the greatest legacy. Your kids are moving out, you’re starting to get some more free time. Maybe you’re getting toward retirement.
  • 1:05:17 What are you going to do with that time? Are you going to take up golf? Are you going to travel? Are you going to watch TV? If you didn’t have the opportunities before, don’t make excuses. Use the time you have now. Maybe you did work all your life, and you built businesses. How can you maximize that? How can you take what you’ve built over the years and replicate that? How could you systematize it. Start thinking on an empire-level scale here.
  • 1:05:53 Matt: Even if you don’t want to keep building your own business, I have plenty of people who say that they’re too old to be starting businesses, but they come to me because they don’t know how they’re going to have income when they retire. What are they so worried about? If I was in their position, I would just be writing all the knowlege that I know, because there’s young bucks coming up that know half of your experiences, and they’re trying.
  • 1:06:21 Sean: Laci, my wife, just said in the chat, “My dad just told me he’s going to start an internship at a real estate company. He’s 59 and has worked in fencing his whole life.” Robert says, “One of my favorite mentors started his first business at 51.”