5 Unconventional Ways To Entrepreneurship

Written By on May 31st, 2011 | Category: Startup Life | 11 Comments

Big Omaha 2011 - Dan Martell

This talk from BigOmaha 2011 covers some of my unconventional ideas and approaches to being and becoming an entrepreneur, and why they have proved invaluable to my success.

Don’t listen to your parents

Don't Listen To Your Parents

Most people will have the exact same life – financially – as their parents. Why? Because when faced with BIG life decisions, they turn to them for advice. That advice typically guides them to similar outcomes. It’s flawed from the get-go.

Also, your parents have one role in life. To ensure you don’t get “hurt”. When you’re a baby, they create environments to protect you from falling down stairs or electrocuting yourself. As a teenager or adult, their advice is filtered through this same bias. You need to understand this and seed advice from those who aren’t biased, or even better – have achieved the level of success that you’re trying to attain.

Embrace your laziness

Embrace Your Laziness

Some of my most creative solutions stem from my laziness. Just ask my parents. I’m lazy and proud of it. However, my definition of indolent might be different than yours. What I mean is I don’t like doing anything that someone else can do better so that I can spend time making $$$.

Also, if you’re lazy, then you’ll see opportunities to improve your life or product by feeling the pain in the things that are hard or take a long time to complete. All the companies that I’ve created usually enhance a customer’s productivity or automate something that required work beforehand. That, to me, is the power of embracing your laziness.

Choose your friends carefully

Choose Your Friends Carefully

If you’re an Entrepreneur and you still hang out with your party-going-pot-head friends from highschool, then you’re working against yourself. There’s a saying that goes “you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”. Who are you spending the most time with?

Great entrepreneurs surround themselves with others that push them to think bigger, take more risk and make better decisions. If you feel like your the only one of your friends that is motivated and moving forward in life, then you need to fix this.

This doesn’t mean that you need to call up all your friends and “fire” them. It just means that you should make a conscious decision to find others that inspire you, and keep them in tight orbit.

Hustle to help

Hustle To Help

One of the beliefs I have is the more I give, the more I get. Or another way of saying it, I get to keep what I give away. I’ve been blessed by amazing people who’ve given me their time over the years to help me with tough decisions and I feel it’s my responsibility to pay it forward.

The way I take this step is to proactively reach out to new entrepreneurs and ask them if I can help, or use my wallet to motivate them. I’m blessed with amazing followers on Twitter and readers to this blog so I’m always surrounded with people who are starting or in a tough spot. Giving them 15 minutes to listen, support them, and just say “congrats, you guys are kicking ass and I believe in you” is all it takes.

Failure is part of the process

Failure Is Part Of The Process

You need to expect failure, just make sure you don’t die. There’s a difference. I’m an optimistic guy but what I’ve learned is that more often than not, some aspect of my ideas or execution isn’t going to work and it’s not about it failing, but what I do with that failure.

Coming to terms with that being “normal” is a big part of becoming an Entrepreneur. I can fail on a daily basis, as long as I win twice as much. It’s like two steps forward, one step back. The only difference is I’m taking those steps, not standing on the sidelines watching someone else.

How about you, do you have any unconventional approaches or wisdom from your time in the Entrepreneurial trenches?


  • Anonymous

    I agree. especially choosing your friends.  So many people just make friends without any thought and those people are typically the same as they are.. no challenge and no growth.

    Any tips for making great friendship connections?

    • http://www.flowtown.com Dan Martell

      Some quick tips
      - Organize dinners every other week and invite Entrepreneurs that should meet each other (6 people max)
      - Be sure to keep up to date wit their success and congratulate them. It’s important.
      - Add value where you can. Intro’s to potential new hires or supporting their marketing efforts.

      Hope that helps.

  • Stevewilbur

    I agree with all except the friends part.  ”Your are the average of 5 friends you hang out with” is kind of bs, unless you’re a push-over, aren’t self-driven, and fall victim to peer pressure. I hang out with all types of people, from avid partiers to the most dedicated career-type. I wouldn’t stop calling any of them because i’m only hanging out with relentless driven people. You need balance, and it honestly gets old hanging out with the same profile people all the time. 

    For me, I don’t choose my friends based on which ones are going to impact my business or how I perform, I choose them based on friendship, personality, and trust. 

    • http://www.flowtown.com Dan Martell

      We maybe saying the same things .. or not.  I choose friends based on who will support me and push me to be a better person.  I have balance but I definitely keep those who are positive influences around me more often.  

      I’m not saying you don’t hang out with other people ever .. but who you spend the most time with is an important factor.

      It’s not about being a push-over, it’s access to information and ideas.  People creating big interesting businesses have a lot to teach and I find genuinely more fun and interesting to hang out with. 

  • Pingback: Salmagundi for May 31, 2011 — Global Nerdy

  • http://twitter.com/brianburridge Brian Burridge

    Good words of wisdom Dan. I agree with all but the first point about listening to parents. There should be a footnote, that parents have a lot of life wisdom that should be listened to, but if they themselves are not entrepreneurs then you’ll have to work very hard to break out of the cycle of being an employee as you were raised. It’s a very different thought process. Thankfully myself, I was raised by a father, who was self-employed his last 30 years, and his father ran his own business for 50 years.

    I raise my kids just like Hiten Shah said he was raised, to never be an employee. A good friend of mine is semi-retired at age 25 and never worked for anyone else; again because of how he was raised. We homeschool our children and attend many homeschool conferences and there is a huge movement among homeschoolers to raise their kids to be “Outliers”, and work for themselves their entire life from the beginning. A surprising percentage of homeschoolers run their own businesses and work for themselves (like Cameron Moll). It’s a great thing that so many more parents today are taking this direction with their parenting instead of the traditional, “go to college, create a resume, interview, get a job, do what your told…be miserable.”

    So now all parents should be ignored. ;)

    • http://www.flowtown.com Dan Martell

      I’m assuming you meant “So not all parents should be ignored” and I agree. My rule on advice is to get it from anyone who successfully achieved the level of success you’re trying to achieve. If that’s your parents – then for sure.

      Love the info on homeschooling .. might of convinced me to do the same.

      • http://twitter.com/brianburridge Brian Burridge

        Yes, that would have made more sense wouldn’t it. Corrected. :)

  • Rohan Jain

    Hey Dan,

    Excellent post! I agree with all of it, with a special emphasis on the “Don’t Listen to your Parents.” It was hard for me to understand that concept at first, but I was really inspired to not listen to them after reading a few books (4-hour work week, rich dad poor dad) that really resonated with me.

    I’m a few weeks away from launching my first website, and I’ve been reading your posts to help better prepare myself for the release. I even ordered a set of lectures created by you about social media marketing. Do you think I could e-mail me you about my idea/vision, and maybe you could review it and provide any advice or tips for launch?

    • Rohan Jain

      Do you think I could email you***

    • http://www.flowtown.com Dan Martell

      Rohan, love to review and help but super busy with my own startup and family.  If you have specific questions – ask me on http://sprouter.com/danmartell

      Glad you’ve enjoyed my writing.