Believing in the ridiculous

Some time ago I did a post about Will Smith’s video and the common traits of success- one of them being that successful people are delusional.

I just read this, and I had to post it here. Not only is it inspiring, but it gives us the chance to get a glimpse inside the mind of a very accomplished person.

Believe In “Ridiculous” Dreams…By Heavy D

Some years back there was a young, ambitious, tenacious young man who wanted to rule the world. This young man and I grew up in the same town. I was slightly older by a couple of years but I had already begun to realize my dreams. This young man reminded me a lot of myself.

1. He believed in himself when no one else would.

2. He often felt like an outcast and alone because there was nobody around that he could share his “RIDICULOUS” dreams with and because most people couldn’t see that far.

3. No one wanted to hang around this person because they found him either annoying or NUTZZZ!

4. He never quit, he never gave in to anyone’s opinion of him. He’d rather be alone than give up on his dream.

Damn, “That was me,” I said, that’s how I felt when I was coming into my own and striving to realize my dreams. I did sound crazy. I did feel alone. Hell, I was crazy and still am. I know what this brother is going through.

“From now on…” I said to him, “You can roll with me … tours, videos, studios, meetings. Just come hang out.” We became fast and close friends actually more like brothers than anything else. He called my mom “MOM” and I called his mom “MOM.” Till this day it remains so.

I helped this young brother without any expectations for myself. It was just so reminiscent of my endeavor and of my lonely dreams that I felt like I had to help him. Now, I didn’t know it at the time but I was mentoring this young brother. Again, for me it was just helping another brother out who wanted to do something bigger than anyone where we were from could realize.

We would sit for hours in my mom’s basement and talk so much sh** about what we would do with our first million dollars and the types of cars and houses we would buy. Today, I still laugh at the nerve we had. But that’s what it took. NERVE!!

Funny thing about “passion,” it will lead you directly to your dreams. So yes, I mentored this young man, albeit indirectly.

Today, this young man is one of the most powerful, hard working, famous people on the planet. He’s done things that I have never imagined doing myself. He is smart, shrewd, and still tenacious.

He has accomplished more than he and I ever discussed. He has gone on to create and even re-create some of the most recognizable brands and artists in the entertainment business.

He continues to break down barriers and change the game. Time and time again, he has faced adversity, criticism, hate, jealousy, ridicule and pain but he has always maintained his drive and his dream.

Today, he is now a mentor to many. And the irony is that he is even a mentor to me without him ever knowing it.

I am constantly inspired by this brother. I reflect sometimes on our many conversations as “dream chasers” and “outliers.”

I will never lay claim to the heights that he has brought himself to but I will say that if you or anyone you know has a “ridiculous” dream remember, it doesn’t take much to encourage someone to go for that dream and this brother is living proof.

I have another friend who told me a great quote. Allow me to share it with you.


So, here I stand today proudly in the shadows of a true dreamer.

I salute you Mr. Sean “Diddy” Combs. And may you continue to dream, the “RIDICULOUS” dream…




The importance of failure

The story goes that “Thomas Edison failed more than 1,000 times when trying to create the light bulb”. When asked about these failures,Edison allegedly said, “I have not failed 1,000 times.  I havesuccessfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”

Here’s a more modern quote:
The very first company I started failed with a great bang. The second one failed a little bit less, but still failed. The third one, you know, proper failed, but it was kind of okay. I recovered quickly. Number four almost didn’t fail. It still didn’t really feel great, but it did okay. Number five was PayPal.”–Max Levchin

I once remember reading a book about someone interviewing a room pack of millionaires. He asked them how many times these people have failed before their first million. The average was fifteen, FIFTEEN major failures. Some succeeded with less failures and some with more, but on average fifteen.

I think for every entrepreneur that wants to succeed he or she must be willing to fail a couple times. In my mind, the biggest failure of all is giving up entirely after all that invaluable knowledge was gained through painful failure. This is why many entrepreneurs say persistence is key, because with every succession of failure you increase your odds of succeeding.

Below is a link of Vinod Khosla talking about the importance of failure and the Sillicon Valley culture of failure:

Rapper's hard work ethic

I just saw a video about a young rapper, Bow Wow, talking about his work ethic. I haven’t been much of a bow wow fan but I do share the same philosophy about sleep . “The sun never beats me up, I always beat the sun up. I never let the sun beat me up” . I know that sounds intense but it just goes to show that there is NO SHORTCUT to success. Whether you aspire to be a rapper, athlete, entrepreneur, success does not come easy.

Will Smith's secrets

This video is not only truly inspirational, but also covers so many key concepts of how successful people think. Before I had my startup, I was big on studying the way successful people think and in this video Will Smith has probably summarized 70% of the key concepts. Having read and studied all the classics from Napoleon Hill to Maxwell Maltz about the mentality of success below are some key concepts I think are most common amongst successful people that Will Smith and so many other successful people have said.

1. Belief in self. Before you go out try to accomplish something it is of utmost importance that you yourself believe that you can do it. It’s almost impossible for you to go out there and think that you can change the world if at the core you yourself won’t believe it. When the hard times come, and it 100% will, you will confirm your own suspicion that “yeah I knew this was going to be impossible” and just give up. But, if you truly believe at the core that you can do something great then you tend to stick it out more.

2. Successful people are delusional. When I was reading biographies of successful people, I noticed that these wildly successful business people weren’t really realistic.  A 25 year old Bill Gates was definitely not realistic when he thought he could convince the biggest computer company at the time (IBM) to use Microsoft as their next operating system over larger companies that had hundreds of employees and more money.

3.One day at a time. In the video above Will mentioned that you don’t go out to build a wall. This simple metaphor is a lesson packed message. I think what he meant was that true success doesn’t happen overnight or even a couple months. This metaphor also implied that all you have now is the present so do all you can in your day and soon enough you will have a “wall”.