Today we have a very special interview for you guys. One, brother Shaw and I have been DMing for a while now. We bond really well. Pair well, like smoke and scotch.
On top of that, I’m proud to say he’s a member of my Cigar Lounge.
And further more he came up with the genius idea to do a podcast on the interview you see below.
So read up, and then listen to the podcast afterwards. Thank you for tuning in, hooa.
- What is the book, or books you’ve given most as a gift, and why?
Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?
A: I have not given books consistently as gifts, but i like that idea and will do that more in the future.
In terms of books i have read that have influenced my life the most, the first one would be The 4 Hour Workweek for the reason it is the one that inspired me to pursue my entrepreneurial journey. I had a desire to travel and TFHWW explained to me that i could combine travel with means of making money with location independence. That’s where it started.
The second book, rather a set, would be the Lord of The Rings trilogy. As a child i had a wild imagination and i attribute that to reading fantasy with deep lore. It expanded my mind and developed my curiosity for all things whether that be history, business, literature etc. I no longer read fantasy books but that imagination and curiosity has carried over into my adult life and i can use it to create these grand visions for my life, ideas for making money and helps me to constantly be looking to write my own “story of my life” in the most interesting way possible.
The third book would have to be a book called Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. This book introduced to me the concept that everything that controls human behaviour and gives us “meaning” are constructs of our own creation. Money, politics, cultures, religion etc. Once you understand that rules surrounding these things effectively do not exist, except in our minds, and that they are used to control behaviour, you can let go of your worries relating to them and start focusing on yourself and your own pursuit.
You create your own meaning through your own mission, your own work and by creating your own story.
- What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months, or in recent memory?
Specific brands, models, where you found it, etc.
Recently i bought a kindle. My reading habit has been sporadic over the years, mainly due to books being cumbersome and terribly inconvenient. I have found that, like many people, I have a screen addiction, so I figured I should use that addiction to funnel into something beneficial to me. The kindle is also highly convenient. I value convenience over most things in life.
Another great purchase under $100 has been some noise cancelling headphones. I currently have the Sony WH1000XM3 which are over $200 but a previous pair i had was the WH-CH700N which are approx $100. Perfect for deep work and travelling especially on planes when its noisy as hell.
- How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success? Do you have a favorite failure of yours?
My favourite failure was when i was first beginning E-Commerce and i was making a little amount of money. It was late october, just before the huge spike in sales that Q4 brings. E-Com sellers usually make 70% of their annual revenue in Q4.
To my horror, and for a reason i will not go into, my E-Commerce store was shut down. Banned.
Imagine you’re about to lose your virginity to the hottest girl in school and then your mum walks in and totally ruins everything. That’s what it felt like.
I lost out on 6 figures of profit due to that.
I was in a terrible mood for about 2 weeks. But I now realize that that failure was a test to see if i had the guts to continue and not give up on my pursuit. I dusted myself off, identified the cause of the banning and re-started. Next Q4 i came back and needless to say was a profitable Quarter.
Failures are guaranteed. Seemingly devastating failures are also guaranteed. You have to be cerebral enough to recognise this when they happen and push forward. Identify specifically what went wrong and ensure it never happens again.
- If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it – metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions – what would it say and why?
A few words, or a paragraph, IF HELPFUL it can be a someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?
A: Nobody will give you what you want. You have to take it for yourself.
Some people say, “you have to wait until the perfect moment – don’t worry, take your time, good things come to those who wait.”
This is WRONG advice. Good things come to those who kick down the door and take what they want (metaphorically). No one is coming to save you, no one is going to give you the life you want, the girl you want isn’t going to fall into your lap, the body you want isn’t going to be built by doing nothing.
You have to consciously, every day, work towards a goal or it will never happen.
And what you will find when you do this, is you will develop a mission, a purpose, you will give greater meaning to your life.
Sitting and waiting for something to happen to you is a one way trip to depression city.
- What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
Money, time, energy, etc
Best worthwhile investment was spending every spare moment i had when i was between the ages of 5-21 playing team contact sports (Rugby).
It teaches you camaraderie, resolve, grit.
And it teaches you the benefit of a strong and capable body. It ALSO shows you that the regular man is pretty weak and afraid, even if they look huge and intimidating – you see them scared to tackle people or walking on the field or in general give up pretty easily.
You then realize it’s not that difficult to get ahead of these people and be rewarded if you put in just even a little bit of extra effort.
So once you do start putting in that extra work you are going to reap huge rewards. You will stand out from other people significantly and your life will be much more interesting and fulfilling than it otherwise would be.
This counts in absolutely every area of life. Human beings have a natural tendency to not want to stick out, to be singled out or be put into uncomfortable situations – and so they end up like everyone else.
So if you want an exceptional life you have to be willing to do exceptional things, which is the opposite of what everyone else does.
- What is an unusual habit or an absurd thing that you love?
I like eating raw carrots. This is the only thing that came to mind (lol) maybe i’m more boring than i thought.
- In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
The habit of working towards my own goals every day. I’m self employed and that means my success depends on me and me alone. Everyday i workout, read, work on my businesses and in general consciously try to be better than yesterday.
Another thing i have started to believe is that luck is actually real. But not in the random sense that usually is attached to the concept. I believe the more you interact with the world around you in a positive way, the luckier you will be.
When i have positive periods in my life where i’m making progress on my business, hitting great daily workouts, keeping strong healthy habits and actively going to meet new people and get out of my comfort zone in general, the luckier i am – things fall into my lap much easier. I get what i want much more easily.
But this can only happen if the positive habits and behaviours are there.
- What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the real world? What advice should they ignore?
Social skills are invaluable if you want to get ahead or expand your knowledge in any discipline. Hard work and smarts alone won’t get you ahead. Relying on these solely is the long route to success and growth. Leverage the knowledge of other people who are already where you want to be and you will cut literally years off your learning curve.
But don’t be a leech. Give these people value, be a valuable contact to them, overall be a person they actually want to be around. Don’t create “take take take” relationships – people can smell these out easily.
So, ignore the advice that says hard work is always noticed and rewarded. Hardwork does get you ahead, but you must make sure that you couple it with building a solid network of people who you can mastermind with, who share the same goals as you. This is what will accelerate your growth.
If you want an example of this, read Billion Dollar Whale – the concept, without spoiling, is this 27 year old businessman was able to broker deals in the magnitude of billions of $ with literally 0 track record simply because he made good relationships with people.
This guy was actually a criminal, but if you’re smart you can apply the same principles to ethical life.
- What are bad recommendations, you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
“Hustle. Hustle. Hustle.”
Action alone is not going to get you where you want to be. You have to be building a legitimate foundation of your skills in order to have long lasting and replicable success.
Which means learning. Reading. Researching. Experimenting. Writing. Working. Journaling. Reflecting.
Like i said before, most normal humans do none of the above and so they live normal lives. If you want an exceptional life you have to be willing to step out of the norm.
Optimization is absolutely key to success.
- In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to – distractions, invitations, etc? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?
Drinking and Partying. I used to drink somewhat heavily 3-4 times a week. Big mistake if you want to improve yourself. I now often say no to heavy drinking and i reserve that for special occasions or if i travel somewhere and i say “fuck it.”
When you get drunk, you are out of action for anywhere between 1-3 days. Drifting around, hoping nothing bad happens to you in case you throw up. Add all these days together in a year and you’ll see how much time you waste.
Now, imagine how much closer to your goals you would be if you had those days with a clear mind in a great mood and ready to attack your goals?
You’d probably already have achieved them.
By all means, get it out of your system, but keep in your mind that drinking alcohol excessively is holding you back.
Waking up fresh as a fucking daisy with limitless energy is 10X better than waking up past midday with a raging headache and a dehydrated body and brain.
- When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? What questions do you ask yourself?
I take time off and forget work. I visit with friends, i make some trips. I don’t think about what is getting me stressed.
I do that for 1-2 weeks. Then i regroup. This takes the physical feeling of stress away from my mind and body. And as a result i have a clearer mind, which means i can identify roots of stress much more easily.
Sit down with a journal and pen and mind dump every single thing that you think is causing stress, and don’t censor anything, make sure every little detail is on those pages.
Re-assess your lifestyle choices.
Is your diet sub-par?
Are you eating a lot of sugar?
Are you breaking promises to yourself daily?
Are you exercising less than you should?
Are you procrastinating on your work?
Are you not sharpening your sword daily? (Learning)
Are you staying in unhealthy relationships? (romantic or friendly)
Do you feel you are not living up to your full potential? If so, why?
Are you putting off something you are afraid to do or confront?
If you have any sort of will power, you will be able to rectify these root causes somewhat quickly.
If you’re absolutely unable to identify any of these causes and still feel overwhelming stress, maybe it will be useful to get a Trip Sitter and do some LSD. You will likely have a “bad trip” which effectively just exposes to you all of the areas of your life where you come up short and cause you the most stress and problems in life. (*This is not medical advice – don’t do drugs)
This interview is complemented with the first installment of the Fury Podcast SMOKE UP, where Brother Shaw is our first quest.
We go deeper into the answers he provided here, and drill down to the core of who Shaw really is, and what kind of Gold there is to be shared from a cool Solopreneur such as him. Check it out here.