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October 31, 2023 38 mins

With my Black Entrepreneurs Day 4th annual event streaming this week, I want to shed some light on a fellow Black entertainer who cultivated his own unique online experiences. No matter what industry you’re in, an online presence is vital to building your customer base, and Emmy Award winning talk show host and digital lifestyle expert Mario Armstrong outlined exactly how he developed his personal and business brand online. This discussion is so key for breaking down his own success case study while providing actionable strategies for all listeners. 

 

Mario broke down:

  • How to balance your day job with your entrepreneurial passions

  • The methods to scaling across social media

  • What it really means to invest in yourself

  • The process of creating an experience, not just a brand

  • How to monetize your ideas

  • And more!

 

So let’s get into this exclusive, never-before-released interview - and don’t be afraid to take some notes!

 

Host: Daymond John

 

Producers: Beau Dozier & Shanelle Collins; Ted Kingsbery, Chauncey Bell, & Taryn Loftus

 

For more info on how to take your life and business to the next level, check out DaymondJohn.com 

 

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:00):
It goes back to do you know what your purpose is?
You have to uncover this. You have to really uncover
and question it. Too many people are at it at
the surface level. You have to get below and really
dig deep to understand what am I great at? Write
this stuff down? What do I like to do? Write
that stuff down? What can be monetized out of these

(00:22):
things that I'm great at and like to do? How
do I see where those things can be monetized? Those
are the things you should be doing. When you have
the vision and when you have clarity of purpose in
your life, it is so much easier to remind yourself
what the goal is. Goal is? What if I told
you there was more to the story behind game changing events?

(00:45):
Get ready for my new podcast, That Moment with Damon
John will jump into the personal stories of some of
the most influential people on the planet, from business mobiles
and celebrities to athletes and parties. With my Black Entrepreneur's Day,
fourth annually Bent Streaming. This week, I wanted to shed
some light on a fellow black entertainer who cultivated his

(01:09):
own unique online experience and no matter what industry you're in,
an online presence is vital to building your customer base
and Emmy Award winning talk show hosts and digital lifestyle
expert Mario Armstrong outlined exactly how he developed his personal
and business brand online. This discussion is so key for

(01:32):
breaking down his own success case studies while providing actionable
strategies for all of the listeners. So let's get into
it with this exclusive, never before released interview, and don't
be afraid to take some notes. Take some notes, Take
some notes. Mario. Thanks for being a man. It's a pleasure, Shamon.
Now you know we've known each other quite some time,

(01:54):
and you know I was. I was honored for you
to you know, interview me and have me on Never
Settle shown Season one. You brought You brought the house down,
You closed it out. I didn't bring the house down. Man.
You have great questions and really informative to people, whether
it's a corporation, whether it's an everyday individual who want
to understand how to be a digital any anybody whatever,

(02:16):
you know, sell themselves the company. What are the cases
in this new world and genre where people are are,
you know, absorbing things in so many different ways. And
you know, listen, as I said to you, personally, it
took us four or five years to get an Emmy
on Shark, and we knew it season one of your
own show. Congratulations to that either because you gotta emmy

(02:40):
personally as a as a as a television personality, a
host contador. Right, So I want to just jump into
it for all the people out there. Even though I
was a fan of your work from Afar, you you started,
you know, allowing us to help rep you speaking, and
then we would start to hear about like how you
rock the house at Penn State. How you know, all

(03:04):
these corporations started to just come back to us to say, Wow,
this guy is the real deal and he knows where
the world is going. Yeah. So I became even a
bigger fan of you. But but tell me a little
bit about your past and how you saw it in
the industry. Yeah, I think yeah, And I think you know.
So I'm a boy from Baltimore, that's hometown, born and raised,

(03:26):
and I think, you know, my story is a little
bit different in that, but I think it appeals to
many people because it was a non traditional path. I
didn't really I was able to do a lot of
things and do some things very well and be able
to be mediocre and a lot of stuff, and so
being able to understand how to focus that energy and
then really have direction and have more clarity at an
early age was being taught to me by my dad,

(03:46):
like too many ideas, start to really try to focus
in on something you can be great at. And what
I realized early on was that I was really interested
in technology and the things that would blink and would
make things work, but not enough to be an engineer.
It's just curious enough to like take apart from my parents'
receiver and maybe get it back together. I was more
interested in how to communicate to people about the thing.

(04:09):
I was passionate about how to teach people how to
use technology. And when I realized, wait, I don't have
to do one track. I could actually merge. I could
create my own lane by doing a hybrid of being
in media but talking about technology. Let's bring these two
together and see if it can create something different. And
that's really what started the trajectory. All along. While doing that,
I was working full time jobs while building my personal brand,

(04:32):
so I would work for free and go into TV
stations in my local market in Baltimore, go onto radio stations.
I would pitch hosting my own shows and try to
get my own sponsor to fund it so that the
station would say wouldn't have a reason to say no
to it because I'm coming with money. So I would
try to do all these pilots and all these programs
while I was working the day job to really go
after the dream, which was to get our own talk

(04:53):
show and build our own company and go to a
big level. What was your first break though? You know,
because you know they say every overnight success it takes
fifteen years, right, and you're a kid who just you're
fascinated with technology. That's that's great, right, That's that's something tangible.
But you know you want to go out and educate
people and become your whatever, a contributor or your own show. Right.

(05:16):
But why would somebody give you that opportunity? Yeah, just
because I think it comes down to three things. Pure hustle.
Number one, like absolutely always being pushing forward on your
dream making something happen, so that but not quitting your
day job, but not quitting the day job. So I
call it, you know, it's from free from free to
fee is what I call. It's like a philosophy of
like find those things that you want to be able

(05:38):
to do, because so many people are hampered. They got
their responsibilities, they have their jobs, they have their kids,
they have their elderly parents, and they feel stuck, so
they don't And I could have been in that same situation.
I had a son, and I'm married to my wife,
and so we could have been stuck and just kind
of like followed the regular path. But I knew if
I kept doing that too long, it would make it
harder later. So what I decided was, how can I
keep the day job and work for free elsewhere gaining

(05:59):
this skills that I didn't fully have, so that later
it would seem like an overnight success. But it's all
the small stuff that you do behind the scenes that
people don't see in the aggregate. So when you show
up consistently doing small things well over time, you get
the big break. There was no one moment. There was
a series of so many small moments. I mean every

(06:20):
time I thought I was on TV, I thought that
was the big moment. Right every time I thought I
was doing something with someone like you, I thought that
was like the big moment. It's like, it's all of
these things are big moments. We just don't regard them
as such because we're looking for that lightning bolt to happen. Well,
what about the people who out there who would say,
you know what, I do have a child, I do
have a wife, I have to pay the bills. I
worked so hard to get to this place in my life.

(06:41):
I'm not gonna do anything for free. I did the
pre stuff when I went to school, I did the
free stuff back then. I'm not going to do other
things for I'm too good for that. Well, what happens
there to that? If it's in your wheelhouse of expertise,
if you required skill over time working that day job,
and that's the same thing you're going out to deliver
to the market place. I get that sensibility because you're

(07:02):
at a consultancy level where you want to get some
money for that if you have not done it yet.
You being an expert and you being able to actually
get your product in the marketplace are two completely different things.
The ability to get your thing out there and get
hired and to do it and do it well is
completely different than showing up at your day job and
doing it. So there's a bit of an s curve
even though you have a level of expertise, you're starting

(07:24):
your expert your S curve a little bit higher than
other people because you already have a level of expertise.
It's like a chef. Chef told me, I want to
now open my own restaurant. Okay, have you ever done
that before? Answers no. Okay, well, where you sitting in
the meetings when management was talking about P and L
statements and marketing and how to change the menu, pricing
and all that. You weren't in those meetings. So, okay,
you're a great chef, but now you're on a different

(07:46):
S curve if you want to now be a restaurant
tour So you have to understand that you may need
to do some things for free so that you can
get that other bit of experience so that you get
the trajectory that you're looking for. I also think maybe
ego and pride gets in the way. I think sometimes
I think that's an important lesson for people to learn.
Let's think about, you know, all the people that are

(08:06):
being affected by the change in technology, and they are saying,
well they can't say it's a fad, but they're not
saying the power of it, and they've been working a
very you know, a job that may end up being
altered through the technology. However, they're not trying to learn
anything new. They're going, you know what, I've had this
for it. The cheese has moved right, They've had this

(08:28):
career for thirty forty years, and they just say, I
don't know what the thing's going to happen. Right, They're going,
you know what do you think? I don't know. They
go somehow, I'm going to be okay, But yet they're
not going and investing that time. No, you just posted
about this on Instagram. I mean your posts have always

(08:48):
been inspiring. You're always bringing the truth and transparency, which
is the only way to scale on social by the way,
for those that are thinking you can be fake and scale,
you can't run out. But you just posted just about
this topic about in yourself and why that's so important.
And I think what happens maybe to certain people we
either get at a certain age or a certain moment
where we don't feel like we have to do those

(09:10):
things that we once had to do before. But to
me really is you're losing your curiosity. The bottom line is,
if you haven't decided that you need to reinvest in yourself.
Then I think your curiosity is off, and it may
be off because you haven't reassessed what your why is.
If you take a reassessment, because at the end of
the road is complacency is what breeds regret. So are

(09:30):
you going to look at the end of this thing
and say, Wow, I should have made some more decisions,
I should have took some more risk. I kind of
got complacent. I kind of got comfortable. And I think
when we lose curiosity, we lose that energy that makes
us a kid again to go and seek and find.
I had someone that was fifty some years old follow
me on Instagram saying, but I feel like I'm out
of my lead with the younger people. I said, no,

(09:52):
you bring experience to the table that they don't have yet.
So stop telling the inner critic that you can't survive
and right, you got to get your curiosity out. What
are they reading, what are they learning about, who are
they following, who are they learning from? Switch it up
and get your curiosity up. That'll get your comprehension of comprehension.

(10:28):
That'll get your comprehension. That's a brilliant way to play
to put it because you know, look, you'll you'll have
you'll have certain people who were saying, you know, I'm
in trouble and I need to switch up now, right right.
I find the people that are successful, they don't wait
till they're in trouble. They were just always curious, you know,
they were like they were just they just found it

(10:50):
fascinating to figure things out. Before they know it, you know,
ten years past and they have a whole nother life,
a whole nother life cycle of a whole nother career
because they started with curiosity. So stay curious, stay thirsty. Right, Yes,
it's serious, it really is. At the end of the
day what drives you. And I think what happens is
the reason your curiosity may fall off is because either

(11:11):
you've gotten too comfortable or you just don't know how
to seek it. You may have lost like it's I
tell people often, relevancy creates urgency. I don't care if
you're pitching something or if you're trying to create something
or get a new job. If you can show why
I'm relevant to this company, that can make the company
see you as more of a priority or more urgent.
And I think the same is true with our life

(11:32):
and what we want to do next. If you can
identify what is relevant to you, what excites you, what's
your passion? Oh well, I never thought I can monetize that. Well,
that's the problem, Like get curious about how can I
monetize this thing that I don't think can be monetized
that I love to do. Well, okay, but let's let's
let's look at the other side of it. When does
curiosity kill the cat? Right? That means that. When does

(11:54):
the damon John who sold a couple of hats in
eighty nine on a corner when he takes out a
mortgage on his house and he turns around and has
only five hundred dollars left in the bank, is about
to lose the house when and he goes, wait a minute,
maybe I went too far. I don't know what the
hell I'm doing. When does Mario Armstrong who now has

(12:14):
a successful career as a contributor and a host, and
he decides to open up to never settle, you know,
or the He decides to try to push his brand
up to becoming a really popular Emmy awarding, Emmy Award
winning live stream company. But he almost goes bankrupting it.
So when does curiosity kill the cat? You know, here's

(12:35):
what I often say to that if you are getting
and I'm sure you probably felt this as why you
kept going. If you're getting any small bits of progress,
you keep going. Oftentimes we're looking for the big leaps.
So if you sold ten hats today, but you sell
twelve tomorrow, you keep going. If you sell ten today,
you sell eight tomorrow, you sell five the next day,

(12:57):
something's either wrong with you. Yeah, right, you got to
change something up. You can't do what you've just been
doing because you're going to get the same types of
results or worse. So that's number one. Number one is
if you're getting small progress, keep going. We do a
reflection practice in our family where every Sunday we go
around the table reflecting on the small wins that we
had that week. The reason why is because that helps
to build up resiliency to really because you know, you know,

(13:20):
focus on what you what you have accomplished. You always
focus on what you haven't gotten. So when we were
down and out and when we were flat broken, when
my mother in law was paying for our groceries and
my mom was watching our kid and keep in mind,
my wife and I, Nicole and I are in the
business together. There's no other income coming into this household
except for what we can generate for this business, trying

(13:41):
to raise our kids. Yes, she is a CEO, she
runs a company. Yeah, that's a whole nother challenge, right,
think about you know, I mean I don't need to
tell you, but you know, you know, financial strain on
you know, in a marriage and a relationship when your
mother in law is paying for the groceries, right and
your wife is the CEO, and you guys cannot escape

(14:02):
the business. You're facing it every day together collectively, That's right.
You know that could be very straining withus to a family, right,
How do you How did you manage that through those times? Damn?
It was tough, man, I mean, you know, pure transparency, dude.
There were times when I would just leave the house
and I told her I was going to Starbucks, and
I'd sit in the parking lot. She knew I didn't
have money to go to Starbucks. I don't know what

(14:23):
she thought I was going to go do because we
didn't have the money. You didn't have money to go
to star wars. I mean you didn't have five dollars.
I didn't have five dollars. I mean I was literally
grabbing coin. I took a picture of selfie of me
at the coinstar machine because I was literally taking change
and putting it into the coinstar machine at the grocery
store to get any money out to put in gas
into the car, because I was just trying to make
it to another meeting, to another pitch to another possibly

(14:43):
give me five hundred, give me a thousand, give me
two fifty, give me you know anything, right, And so
I was just like really begging and hand in this
desperate mode. And I remember going to the parking lot
and just crying, just sitting in the car, just just
straight like I get shaky now thinking about it, because
it was that I couldn't let her see that, you know.

(15:04):
But at the same time, I couldn't be mister macho man.
We're going to save the day. So we had these
meetings where we came together and we said, look, this
thing is trying our marriage, This thing is trying us
as a marriage. Do we let this thing go? Do
we continue to go after this? Are we really entrepreneurs
or not? And what we came up with was a
game plan that when one was down, the other had

(15:26):
to be up. No matter if both of you were down,
somebody's got to pick to be the one that's going
to be up. So you got to either get over
your problems or yours are heavier than mine, or what
have you. So I think that really helped us too.
We decided no more technology in the bedroom. There's the
boardroom and then there's the bedroom. No more tech, no
more stuff goes on, meetings, discussions, none of that. You

(15:47):
spending quality family time. You know, that's the place zen
you transition when you go into the bedroom. I think
having a clear vision, both of us being on the
same page with what the ultimate goal was and what
we were sacrificing to get there was very important. So
having that vision board and having clarity on what you're
going after helps you understand the sacrifices that you're making,

(16:09):
and I think those principles probably really helped to and
the support system. I mean we had, you know, the
mother in law was buying our groceries. I was calling
myself my brother to try to get some money from
him to help us out. With your goal setting or
your vision board was there? Uh? Defined date and time
to say, if it doesn't work by this, then we

(16:30):
are going to do something else. This is a classic
principle of yours that I wish I would have implemented
back then. I did not. We did not. We continue
to just say, as long as we can stay above water,
even if we dip down, if we can get back
up and get some are we just keep going? So
our litmus test was are we making progress even in

(16:51):
the in the smallest sense, then just keep going. That's
that's that end of the week. That's right. Give thanks
to the small way accomplishment. You forget them when you
actually sit there and do that. You're like, oh my gosh,
I did have a great phone call. I don't know
where that phone call is gonna go, but I had
a great call. I had a great interview, I had
a great pitch. You forget all of that stuff because

(17:11):
it's like, it's not happening. I don't have enough for
dying for Robin Peter to pay Paul. The creditors are
coming at us left and right and can be used
in so many ways. You know, in my book where
I I you know, I was talking to Kyle Maynard,
who you know, climb out killiman Jarro with no arms
and no legs, And he said he never looked at
the peak. He just turned around and looked at how
far he Wow. That's it. I mean, goosebumps on that.

(17:33):
That's it. That's powerful. We don't we don't. We don't
take in consideration a lot of us the small accomplishments
that end up killing through something big. We're amazing. Human
beings are absolutely amazing. We have so much potential. It's
what we're gonna do with that gift is becomes the question.
And I do think reflection of the small things that

(17:55):
you've done well help you look. I even reflected when
I was down and out. I'll reflect to a little
recreation basketball game where my last shot ended up winning
the game. I will channel that when I'm at my lowest.
I mean, I was like fourteen, dude, like I'm reaching.
I'm reaching for great moments in my life, right, but
I'm reaching to that moment because I'm trying to channel like, dude,

(18:17):
you are you can get this. You're a go getter.
You've done things before, you can do it again, you know.
Just remember those moments, channel that energy and then try
to pick yourself back up. People don't build their resiliency
enough because in life, we teach people to win, we
don't teach them to fail. I want more kids to lose,
because they'll learn if you have more kids losing. Failure
is the best way to learn, but people are afraid

(18:39):
of it. Failure for me makes me focused, and I
think the biggest problem that people have that can't get
back up is that they haven't trained how to get
back up. So if you fail more early, fail fast,
fail forward, if you try things quicker and learn they
don't work, you start to get back up. So if
you get knocked down six, you get up seven. Every
time you're doing that, you're building them so of resiliency

(19:01):
that will sustain you over time. And I think that's
been a thing that's been really powerful for Nicole and
I is that when we get knocked down, we take
the minute to acknowledge that we've been knocked down, but
then we also summons that energy to get back up.
And I think over time our resiliency has gotten so
much stronger. So well, obviously the proof is in the putting,
because then all of a sudden you become a contribute

(19:22):
on today's show, HLN, CNN Inside Edition, Doctor Oz, Steve
Harvey and Rachel Ray and many more, and you decide
to come out with a Never Settle Show, right, So
for those who don't know, and I love the fact
that you control your you know, you don't depend on
any other carrier anybody else. You come out and you
use your content, which is extremely empowering to corporations and

(19:45):
everyday individuals. Would tell tell me more about the Never
Settle Show for those who don't know about it. Yeah,
I mean, in a nutshell, the Never Settle Show is
an opportunity. We just clarified our vision and mission statement.
So our vision is to motivate people around the world
to never settle, big, ambitious, scary idea. How are you
going to do that? And so our vision on how
we are the mission rather and how we try to

(20:06):
accomplish that is by inspiring the human spirit, teaching lessons
that matter, and helping people uncover new perspectives. So what
we're trying to do with this show is really uncover
the process the recipes. People want to know, how did
dam and John make it? Like, we know you did food,
but we know you did this. We know you're here
but what is the What are the things that we
didn't see, that we didn't hear about the process in

(20:27):
those moments, the formulas that you used or even didn't
know that you created because you just did it out
of necessity, But peeling back those layers so that people
can understand what success really looks like. We live in
this instagram highly highlight real culture, and it's painting hope
for a lot of people, and it's not giving people
what the ethics are and what the work has to

(20:49):
be and how resilient and the roadmap and the recipe,
and so the better we can have access to great
people like you that are transparent and are willing to share.
We get secrets that most people don't get hold of.
And so we're very focused and deliberate about having you
on the show and talking about success tips. What are they?
Why how do we get them to people? So I

(21:11):
think that's the differentiator in our show is a motivational
show that's a talk show that has a live studio
audience that is live streams. The other thing is it's
interactive in real time, so we take social media in
real time questions. We even do live voting polls, We
even did it in season two where people could say
what they wanted to see next on the show, and

(21:31):
in real time, we would switch our show to that
particular topic, which is different and difficult to kind of do,
but we've been doing that. Obviously it's powerful enough to
be acknowledged and win an Emmy, and then you would
go out and what I find even more fascinating is
you would use that knowledge because you combine that with
understanding technology and where things are going to speak to

(21:53):
corporations because you know, this is the vide now I see,
I see that. The people a lot of people like
my fellow Garmentos and a lot of people see here.
And the ones that are in power manufacturers financing a
lot of those, A lot of those individuals their experience,
but they're forty year older, right, Corporate exacts a lot
of people A yeah, the ones changing the world and

(22:13):
communicating on different levels are fifteen to twenty five, right,
So now you have the people who are changing the
world and absorbing information and doing things a whole different
different way, they're fifteen to twenty five. And the people
who have the resources and or the history are forty
and over. So you're one of those rare people that

(22:34):
can combine both of them. What are the questions you
find that are keeping the corporations up at night? Agility
being able to pivot quickly, not having enough opportunity for

(22:55):
smaller projects to be tested to see if they can
become new products or new revenue streams, that they get
a little too stuck. And the ones that hurt the
most are the ones that know they're kind of stuck
and they know they need to shift, and now they're
trying to grasp and do they get stuck by analysis
paralysis or it's the fact that they all, you know,

(23:15):
they all say they're going to do something and then
they just don't. Is it top management who just refuses
to change? You know, they had that, They have that
Tommy Mottolay, you know they you know he said, oh
Texas coming is going to change music. And he's like,
do you see a computer on my desk? You know
it's not gonna happen. What is it? Yeah? It's uh,

(23:36):
you know, uh. I think of like when I think
of Denzel and he's like King Kong, ain't guys not
knowing me? And it's like, you know, that's how you
start feeling like I built this, I did this, we
got it to this level. We know what we're talking about. Yeah,
we know we need to change, but we're we're doing
that and it's like, no, it's it's not actually happening.
So the biggest area that I've seen, the most that's

(23:57):
been consistent in terms of any trend, has been one
of two. Either the top of the management, the head
person in charge, their their ethos, their personality, their characteristics
have funneled down into the organization, and that person is
not the go getter, is not what they were before,
they're not the new go getter, or they're not instituting
that and they have too much ego and pride, so

(24:18):
they're either afraid to make a big move because of
embarrassment or how it may look in the marketplace and
they or they're just happy with incremental success because why
rock the boat, And they're going to talk a big game,
but you're gonna find out later that it didn't end
up happening. They may hope that some people down in

(24:53):
management or lower management get some things done that may pop,
but it's not strategically done. The other trend that I
have seen is where the the like Google does is great.
The eighty twenty rule where they give twenty percent of
their work time to their employees to work on projects
that could benefit Google. I recently talked to a person
that was trying to He was a graphic design expert

(25:13):
working for another company, and he said, I'm frustrated the
management doesn't do this. They don't do that. I said, well,
have you ever gone to them? How much money do
you have to have everything from that salary? Do you
have to have all that money? He's like, no, I
don't have to have the money. Wife, she's got something
in the household income. I could why why are you asking?
I said, well, what if you told him you would
take a pay cut, you still get your check. But
what if you told him to take a pay cut,

(25:34):
but that you want them to be able to invest
twenty percent of your time to go out and do
other projects. And he was like, I never thought about that.
A week later he called me up and said, Mario,
they bid at it. And I was like, well, they
either bit at it because they needed to save money,
but that doesn't matter if you can handle it financially.
And because he was getting he was getting concerned that
the company wasn't making moves, wasn't shifting, and he wasn't

(25:56):
giving the leeway to have that room. So he said,
let me do a deal for you. I'll break down
my salary a little bit if you allow me to
go after some of these side projects, and I'll give
you first righte a refusal company to go after these
side projects if I build it into something. Small little
things that may turn big. Small little things that could
end up becoming a big thing. You know, I think

(26:16):
you know who does this on a really they do
it really well. Nike gonna do probably about twenty billion
dollars annually. However they will make and you are a sneakerhead, yes,
I know they will make. I got your shoes in
my bag, good because I want you to sign them,
because I bought more than one pair. Absolutely, Oh thank you.

(26:37):
We should have said, I thought we send them to you.
But Nike, you will make one pair of custom a
one custom piece for somebody. Right, you can design your
own one player, right, So you know, I think most
most people corporation and await, we're making We're doing twenty
billion dollars right where you're making one sneaker for one person.

(26:58):
You know, the logistics change that we have to create
to be able to customize all these ones. Right. However,
in a year, if you see these ones that are
made from one person in Australia, ten people here in whatever,
you start to see the same color paletta, You start
to see the same kind of design coming around. You

(27:18):
may start to say at Nike, okay, now we've just
gotten a free or even paid to get our new
line for next year. It's brilliant, right, It's true. But
other corporations will say, no, why would we do that? Right,
But we'll look at the Blackberries, the Blockbusters, Kodaks and
or the Toys r us so we didn't do that.

(27:41):
I think that what you're you're saying it applies to
you personally at home, or applies to running a corporation.
It is stay curious because the corporations you know who
are failing are not curious. That's rightmore they lost it
and appreciate the small wins, the one sneaker, right because
it builds. And personally, what you're also getting at is

(28:02):
a bigger trend personalization. We want that I want to
feel that that car that's picking me up is the
car for me and it's taking me to my destination
that knows who I am. Preferences, specs, they matter, and
as you mentioned, free market research for people that are
buying your product basically telling you. Because you're tracking the clicks,
you're seeing what people are making, you're getting a sensis

(28:24):
to what's hot, what's not. Oh well, people want more
mesh material, then they do leather. Okay, well we're going
to do some more lines with mesh. They want it
in magenta, not really this purple. All right, we can
do that too. So it's very pointed what you're saying,
But it's the long tail. People don't want to ride
that long wave anymore. David. That's the problem, and that's
why I feel like too many people see that success

(28:45):
and they want to get to it too quick. So
either they're exit entrepreneurs and they really don't care about
the impact, really don't care about the impact and the
service that they're delivering. It's more about how can I
flip this business and make some money from it, or
they really are struggling to try to figure it out
and haven't gotten the right set of things to unlock
to help them move forward. Makes a proof sense to me.

(29:06):
So now I want to get into what are you
excited about what's coming up? Excited about it? Obviously a
third season, yes, third season? What else? What else are
you excited about out there today? You know, I'm excited
about the fact that our team has been out pitching
this show and we were getting some some some questionable responses.

(29:26):
And this is after winning an Emmy for the show
and having success, that some agencies were coming at us
with questions that we thought we were prepared, We thought
we had all the objections covered. So we're doing some
litmus testing in the market, talking to mostly friends before
we risk ourselves to the you know, the larger agencies
that we can't get back in the door with again
because we had that one shot and now we blew

(29:47):
it and we're hearing some things that just weren't kind
of like jiving with what we thought were some of
our unique differentiators. And so what has we pumped is
the fact that after we were just like, are you
kidding me? We've been working this hard, we've been successful,
and now we got to maybe think about reshaping this
pitch all over again. The fact that the team got
together to do that and to recognize, let's be open,

(30:10):
let's be aware, let's be flexible. Let's not be ego
or pride driven or force it. I'm excited on the
opportunity because now it's not just a show. What we've
now created is an event. So it's a whole experience.
So now the show is going to become the Never
Settle experience because when you step into Nasdaq in the lobby,
we have you come there an hour before the show.

(30:31):
There's drinks, there's a reception. There's opportunities to do demo
stations with brands, to do activations, to have product be tested,
tried out, signed up for give discounts for we have
an event that's happening. Then we take that audience and
put them into the show, into the studio audience, and
then we have our guests and all of that come by.
We weren't looking at the event piece as something that

(30:51):
was of extreme value that could also help the show piece.
And so now it's like this is great because we
had events on our vision board, we had product line
for the show, product line for Never Settle Films, Never
Settle Network. That's the big plan, like the OTT Network
of having multiple shows, Never settle merchandise and products. So
we had these things on the vision plan and roadmap

(31:12):
and I'm just glad to see that we were able
to adjust to the market, which what felt negative to
us has now turned into a complete positive. And it's
also putting us into another line of business that we
wanted to start, but we thought we were going to
have to start that later. But where's that fine line
of listening to the market and then following your gut
Because you know, some of the biggest problems about corporations

(31:34):
or sponsors is they come up with the lowest common denominator, right,
so they'll you'll have this groundbreaking thing that got you here, Yeah,
but they want you to by the time they give
you all the comments on this great launch, it ends
up being a kiosk in the mall. We're handing out flyers, right,
because everybody wants to be too safe, And the whole
reason that you got here was not being safe, that's right.

(31:55):
So where is that fine line? Because they knew so
so much, they be doing it themselves. Yeah, where's that
findline where you make the adjustment? However, you stay true
to where you think you should be going and not
being complacent angle compliance to what has been in the past.
It goes back down, I don't care if you're going

(32:15):
after a job, a relationship, marriage, parenting, entrepreneurship, startups. It
goes back to do you know what your purpose is?
Why you have to uncover this? You have to really
uncover and question it. Too many people are at it
at the surface level. You have to get the low
and really dig deep to understand what am I great at?

(32:39):
Write this stuff down? What do I like to do?
Write that stuff down? Where what can be monetized? Out
of these things that I'm great at and like to do,
How do I see where those things can be monetized?
Those are the things you should be doing. When you
have the vision and when you have clarity of purpose
in your life, it is so much easier to remind

(33:01):
yourself what the goal is. When the goal for us
is to motivate people around the world to never settle.
That doesn't say just through the show. That doesn't say
just through the clothing line, That doesn't say just through
a tech app. It says to motivate people around the
world to never settle. Inherently, we need to be open
to all the inputs being thrown at us to all

(33:22):
the criticism or all the positivity. Not drink too much
of our kool aid. Make sure people are throwing it
out and telling us why and really saying to ourselves, Okay,
be willing to shift. Maybe this isn't the best platform
to motivate people around the world to never settle. Maybe
it's a podcast, you know, Maybe it's a cruise, you know.

(33:42):
Maybe it's going to Richard Branson's island on Necker with
only twenty people and it's super intimate. Think going back
to the same thing. Take the small little steps, see
how it works, how you feel about us, how it
affects other people, and if you like it well for you,
you don't. You didn't lose a lot. No, And there's
a thing that you made me think of this. There's
a thing that I uncovered. I do an Instagram live
series every day for about thirty minutes free mastermind series

(34:03):
where I'm trying to get people advice and tips, and
you make me think of the particular activating system, the RAS.
The reticular activating system is a part of our brain.
It's about the size of the fingertip of our like
a pencil or eraser, in the back of our brain
has a bunch of neurons there. What its job is
to do is to filter out all the noise for
the stuff that you actually need to know. So imagine

(34:24):
yourself in a noisy environment. You're walking outside, everything honking horns,
a lot of people talking, there's music playing, your birds chirping,
whatever you're hearing, and then all of a sudden, someone
yells out the word damon. First thing you do is
you look around to see who's looking for you. Well,
maybe not you, because you might be trying to like
You're like no, no, no, no more pitches, no more pitches,
right right, So you might just like bolt down. But

(34:44):
the point is, out of all of that noise, your
subconscious heard your name, and that's something that registers to you.
It's the same way that you say, I'm going to
buy a new car. I want that red Toyota camera.
Every time you now look around, you see nothing but
a red Toyota camera. It's your brain and the subconscious
is filtering that. So this raz system, I think to me,
has really helped us figure out how to hack all

(35:06):
of this. You take your purpose, your why you take
that with this subconscious of knowing what your why is.
It's in my phone as alarms, It's on my mirror,
it's in my closet, hanging up on eight and a
half by eleven sheets of paper. It's everywhere reminding me.
So my subconscious is wired to motivate people to never settle,

(35:27):
not wired to one way of doing that. So when
opportunities or challenges arise, my raz comes up and says, wait,
let that filter in. But it sounds like bad news. No,
let that come in. Filter that understand that? Is that
a way for you to pivot? Is that something you
need to filter, use and utilize to help you be better?
So I think really getting to know one's self is really,

(35:50):
ultimately what we might be really saying here, which is
the hardest test to be a true human being is
to look yourself in the mirror and accept your flaws
and try to figure out how you're going to work
on your strengths. And with all that, is that or
maybe there's another way? What do you how do you
find power in your life today? Business and personal? You know,

(36:10):
where do you get that energy and that power to
keep moving forward and never sep Yeah? I think it's
the feedback that I get from customers and clients that
feels us clearly, because it feels good to know that
you're serving the people that you're trying to serve well.
Even negative feedback, negative feedback I love even more because

(36:30):
that pushes me. And I think if we wire ourselves,
it's hard to take. I used to have thin skin,
and my wife really has worked on me, like developing.
She's like, look, if you're going to be in this business,
you got to thicking up your skin. You're trying to
please too many people all the time, and it's just
the nature of who you are, but you got to
thicken it up. And she was absolutely right. So and
that's why she's a CEO, that's why she runs this company.

(36:52):
But it's to that point of being able to get
that feedback positive and negative, that reminds you, this is
why I'm doing it. When someone writes you a let
or it takes a note to say what you did
has impacted them in a new way and has changed
their life for them in their way, that's a big
deal to us. So that helps. When it doesn't work,
I want to know even more why it didn't work.
A lot of people don't realize the negative feedback, it's
still a contribution, right, It is somebody taking time because

(37:16):
that's true. They just never said anything that'd be the worst,
that would be the worst. I need to know. I
need to know, and so I market research our audience often.
We do surveys often. And I think if you program
a survey, if you can afford to do survey Monkey
on the cheap end, or if you can go and
hire like a Left Line who we hired to actually
program a survey, or do Google surveys in between. The

(37:39):
point is find out, get the market research, and be
open to the negative as well as the positive that
you get. Don't create questions that's going to make you
feel good when the answers come back. You're looking for
answers that are going to push you to the next level.
Make you feel uncomfortable. That's the only way you can
get growth. Thanks man, sound good. Appreciate it. Appreciate it, man,
It's been great being on with you and man. Look

(37:59):
to speaking opportunities that have been happening through the Shark
Group and this and the and the Speakers Bureau has
been amazing. We have been lightening up on Hey, get
me to your get me to your campus, get me
to your company. It's happening. It's fire man. We're doing
some good stuff. We're making it work. It's doing really great.
So thanks for having me here. I really appreciate the
time at that moment with Damon John is a production

(38:22):
of the Black Effect Podcast Network. For more podcasts from
the Black Effect Podcast Network, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts,
or wherever you listen to your favorite show and don't
forget to subscribe to and rate the show. And of
course you didn't all connect with me on any of
my social media platforms. At the Shark, Damon spelled like Raymond,

(38:46):
But what a d
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