Patrick Bet-David is an Iranian immigrant who went into the military right after high school. After his time in the 101st Airborne, he was drawn to the financial services industry. He worked his way up in the industry and was then inspired to start his own agency, PHP Agency Inc. PHP is one of the fastest-growing companies in the financial marketplace, focusing on insurance sales, marketing and distribution. Bet-David’s media popularity grew when his video, “The Life of an Entrepreneur in 90 Seconds,” accumulated over 30 million views on social media. That video and hundreds of other educational and inspirational videos are available at Valuetainment, the YouTube channel and media brand he conceived and founded.
Before his multimillion dollar success story, Bet-David hit a low point in his life when he realized he was going nowhere fast, and had to make some serious changes.
If you feel like you need to “do a 180” in your business or your life, here are seven shifts for success I gathered from my conversation with him.
Shift your energy onto what you can control.
When Bet-David hit a low point in his life, he realized he needed to make changes, and fast. He shifted his focus from things he couldn’t control to things he could, and immediately saw results. If you want to do a 180 in life, or simply find more joy in the day-to- day grind, he recommends letting go.
“I don’t want to spend a single second even thinking about the stuff I have no control over,” he said. “What I do have control over is my activity, what I do have control over is my hustle, my work ethic, the speed of learning and the speed of improvement and the speed of relationships, that is in my hands. I control that.”
But, for all of my fellow control freaks, Bet-David encourages us to accept that being out of control is a huge part of entrepreneurship. “You’re in the gray 95 percent of the time. So, if you don’t know how to pivot and adjust to the gray side of business, you’re gonna have a hard time adjusting . . . . The best part of entrepreneurship is the [thrill of the unknown].”
Make a list of the things that you cannot control and stop giving energy to them. Instead, give your energy to your improving your strengths and habits.
Shift your carrot(s).
Find yourself losing momentum? Showing up later, leaving earlier, making fewer calls, etc.? Bet-David recalled seeing this time after time: a promising hustler who lost the previous fire in his eyes. He explained it’s usually because the person achieved his goals.
The reason? “Because they don’t have another carrot, that fire is gone. They push a little bit less because [they are already]warm, fuzzy, some money in the bank . . . . You’ve got to have a carrot, after a carrot, after a carrot.”
Look at your goals and extend them, add new ones or expand past what you’ve already achieved to challenge yourself in new ways.
Shift your mindset into the present.
A few years ago, Bet-David began having panic attacks. Being an avid reader, he dove into information about what causes the body to react in that way. He explained his simple, powerful discovery to me.
“Anytime you’re depressed, you’re living in the past. Anytime you’re too anxious or you’re having panic attacks, you’re living in the future. The happiest moment is for us to be in this moment.”
Doesn’t that sort of contradict the keep-moving-the-carrot advice? I hear you asking. He answered that yes, in some ways, it does. For driven people who need pressure to stay motivated, Bet-David believes staying present will probably always be a struggle. Don’t beat yourself up about this; instead, just keep working at it.
“I think it’s a constant battle til the day we die especially for driven people . . . it’s [just part of our]DNA.”
Shift your circle of influence.
As entrepreneurs, we should constantly be solving problems and facing brand new ones. Bet-David recalled that when he launched his business, he had zero knowledge about the immediate issues he faced such as lawsuits, accounting, payroll, etc. How did he gain the knowledge to overcome them all? He didn’t.
“I like knowing people who know the things I don’t know. So, I put myself around a good legal team. I put myself around a good accounting team. I put myself around a good advisory board. And I have to credit them for the right counsel they gave me . . . . That was the saving grace for us making it.”
Surround yourself with advisors, accountability partners and friends who are going to set you up for success.
Shift your expectations.
Bet-David is one of the few high-profile entrepreneur media personalities with very young children. When I asked how his wife deals with his long hours and frequent travel, he explained that he explained his goals and set the expectation up front — way up front. On their second date, they went through the book 101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged.
“I asked her, ’You sure you wanna do this? You sure you wanna do this? You sure . . . ” maybe 60, 70 times. And she said, ‘I do.’ And I said, ‘Great,’” he shared. “So now, once that’s been addressed, once we get married, it can’t be brought up, ’cause we talked about it . . . . But we’re committed to the same goals [so that helps.]”
Bet-David also set the expectations up front when he asked his employees to join the new company he was starting. He told them the bleak odds right off the bat, knowing that they’d face lawsuits due to their non-compete agreements.
“I told them, If you do come with us, here’s what you get with me. I have no other source of income. One hundred percent of all the money I ever saved is going into the business. I’m not buying a house, I’m not buying nothing, for five years I’m not buying a house.” His wife asked why he would tell them there was a 90 percent chance of failure right from the start. “Because it’s 100 percent true.”
Make sure you have realistic expectations and set realistic expecations with your staff, your significant other, your family, your customers, etc.
Shift your schedule.
In order to work at being present, and to focus on his priorities, Bet-David blocks family time on the calendar. “It’s scheduled, Sundays are my family days. Whatever they wanna do, it’s their day.” He also explained that his wife runs his calendar and they discuss scheduling well in advance. “It allows us to do the things that we want to do with the flexibility.”
As many of my past guests on The Pursuit have said, “If it’s not physically on my calendar, it doesn’t get done.”
Related: How to Never Let Fear Hold You Back
Shift your overall perspective.
This is such a simple solution to designing your life for success and happiness, using Bet-David’s favorite subject, math.
Decide what you want your life to look like, in detail. This is X. X should be your overall goal and destination. Shift your perspective away from competitors and past failures and simply solve for X. What can you do to make X your reality?
You will probably need momentum to finally go solo, to start outsourcing, to grow your team, etc. Bet-David recommends math for that problem as well. “Mass times velocity equals momentum. So, in your business, whatever business you’re running, what is mass, what is velocity?”
Mass, for example, could be podcast episodes published, YouTube videos uploaded or products added to your Etsy store. Velocity would be your production schedule. If you can’t handle putting out one quality episode per day, a la past guest John Lee Dumas, realize that your growth will be slower. Can you make shorter episodes with less production in order to increase your output while maintaining the quality? Bet-David says to keep asking yourself, “How can I increase mass and how I can increase velocity?”
Another great tip he gave on staying content and crushing it as an entrepreneur is one I use personally to stay motivated: Zoom out and look at your life through the eyes of a bystander.
“If you kinda looked at your own life like a movie, you would actually enjoy it more.” he said. “[You’re watching, thinking] You know what? This is the good part of movie. I know you don’t like it right now, but I’m telling you, if this were a movie, this is the part that sells. So, hang in there, buddy. It’s gonna be fun.“
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