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Are you between a rock and a hard place? Then Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has a story for you

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Dwayane Johnson

In Dwayne Johnson’s early years, his dad, Rocky Johnson attempted to make it as a wrestler, which pushed their family towards bankruptcy. Dwayne remembers, at 14, seeing his mother’s car being repossessed and then, a week later, being evicted from their house:

“We come home, and there’s a padlock on the door and an eviction notice. My mom is bawling. She just started crying and breaking down. ‘Where are we going to live? What are we going to do?”

“It broke my heart. I remember saying to myself, ‘I will do anything and everything I possibly can to make sure we never get evicted again.’”

Over the next 5 years, Dwayne decided to focus his athletic talent and work ethic towards his dream of being a professional footballer.

Getting a full scholarship with the University of Miami to play defensive tackle, he made it on to the Miami Hurricane National Championship team. Then, at 19 years old, disaster struck, with a back injury putting him out of contention.

Dejected, he returned to Canada to play for the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders, but only made it to the practice team. He lived in a two-bed apartment with three of his football teammates.

“Four of us were in a truck, and we needed mattresses to sleep on… back in this dumpster, behind this hourly-rates motel, I found the mattress that had the least amount of semen and blood on it and took that one. I bought a sheet set and a lot of Lysol. It was something.”

Then, he was cut from that team too. As he remembers, “There was no injury. It’s just, ‘That’s it. You’re not good enough.”

Then, his girlfriend dumped him. Dwayne said, “The dreams I had, they were dashed. There is no more football. My relationship was crushed. That was my absolute worst time.”

“I had $7 in my pocket and knew two things: I’m broke as hell and one day I won’t be.”

That absolute low point is when he decided to take full responsibility for his future success, saying to himself: “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

Dwayne decided to start his own business. As a reminder of his starting point, he named his company ‘Seven Bucks Productions’.

He began to promote himself as a wrestler with small-time matches in flea markets, earning $40 a night, until he made it into the WWE where he took on the name “The Rock”. From there, over the next five years, he grew into the biggest superstar in professional wrestling.

Then, in 2000, he was invited to host Saturday Night Live. His reaction? “Bring it on! I get to wear a dress and do comedy? Sure, easy.”

That led to his first movie role in 2001, as the Scorpion King in “The Mummy Returns”. He only had one two-word line “Haku Machente!” in the entire film, but he practiced them again and again, despite being sick through the entire shoot in Morocco. As he remembers, “I get a call from my agent, and he says, ‘Hey, they’re watching the dailies of what they’re shooting, and they want to make a movie just off your character.’ And I said ‘Great’, as I leaned over to vomit more.”

That first film led to a decade of rising roles, leading to him being the highest grossing actor in Hollywood in 2013 with his films grossing $1.3 billion worldwide.

Throughout this time, Dwayne has continued to build Seven Bucks Productions.

What has driven all of Dwayne’s successes has been his ongoing commitment to being the “hardest working person in the room”? Today, , he still gets up at 4am to stay in shape. His motivation? “I like to use the hard times of the past to motivate me today.”

What is driving you? If you’re between a rock and a hard place, look at them not as the cause of your present challenges, but the drivers to your future success.

And don’t expect a door or window to open. If you don’t see a door, make your own.

As Dwayne says, “I grew up where, when a door closed, a window didn’t open. The only thing I had was cracks. I’d do everything to get through those cracks — scratch, claw, bite, push, bleed. Now the opportunity is here. The door is wide open and it’s as big as a garage.”

It’s your turn now. So get out there. Rock the world.

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Inspiration

20 Motivational Books & Essays Startup Leaders Should Read in 2020

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top 20 Motivational Books for startups

If you read about start-ups and their success rate, you’ll find that the failure rate is higher than 90%. Some research suggests how these rates are even higher than 95%.

For this very reason, it’s really important to have strong willpower to endure even the biggest obstacles in your journey.

Below we list out the best motivational books and essays available for you online.

1. The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris

While this book might even be considered outdated in our fast-paced online world, the principles shared in it will never go away.

The most important thing you’re going to learn is how to manage your schedule and how to delegate your tasks.

2. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Even though this book was published back in 1937, its core values and principles will never go away. This book is focused on the power of your mind and explores how you can better use your desires, ideas, and plans.

When you steer all these factors into a focused direction and add a massive amount of action to it, your success will be inevitable.

3. Rework by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried

This is another modern age book that shares a similar type of content and ideas as The 4-Hour Workweek.

The new-age work culture is not only focused on money, but on life quality and time management.

4. Be Obsessed Or Be Average by Grant Cardone

You might question the authenticity or even the legitimacy of many things and claims shared by Grant Cardone. One thing is for sure – he will get you fired up, especially if you’re reading his content for the first time.

5. Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence – and How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary is another author and businessman who is highly focused on taking massive action in order to reach success.

He’s also highly active on social media, and if you’re in the same boat, you might learn a lot. On top of that, he’ll give you a huge boost of energy and motivation.

6. The Dip by Seth Godin

When you start your start-up journey, there will be so many moments where you just want to quit.

Well, this book is highly focused on quitting. To be precise, it will teach you when to quit and when to stick!

7. 10 Success-Boosting Motivation Tips From Millionaire Entrepreneurs by John Rampton

In this great essay, the author analyses great ideas and business guidelines shared by the richest people in the world.

It’s great content to expand your views and gain more of the business-oriented wisdom.

8. How to Stay Motivated to Start a Business by Simone Johnson

This essay is focused on explaining why motivation is so important when starting your business. You’ll find out more about different types of motivation and how to sustain it in the long run.

9. Famous Entrepreneurs Who Started Late and Founded Multi-Million Dollar Empires

As an entrepreneur, you might ask yourself: Am I too old for this? Well, in this essay, you’ll learn about 8 famous people who started their start-up journey when they were older.

You have to remember to never quit and that it’s never too late to start!

10.  Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

This is another great book by Tim in which he analyses the habits and beliefs of 101 highly successful people. It’s a great way to expand your views and gain wisdom. 

11. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

If you want to learn more about two different systems running inside of your head, you’ll find great value in this book. This is another great book for NPL enthusiasts.

12. Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Jean Greaves and Travis Bradberry

The overall success of your start-up will not depend on your skills or the amount of capital you pour into it. One extremely important factor is teamwork. This book will teach you how to recognize and better react to your own emotions and the emotions of others.

13. The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill

In this all-time classic work, you’ll learn extremely valuable lessons that are being taught across sixteen lessons.

14. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Every entrepreneur has a list of people influencing their startup, starting with employees all the way to investors. This book will improve your skills when it comes to influencing the behavior of others.

15. Awaken The Giant Within by Tony Robbins

What would be a motivational list without Tony Robbins? All jokes aside, if you need motivation and energy, you’ll find them in his books and videos.

He’s creating this type of content for decades, and he knows every bit of detail when it comes to motivation.

16. Unlimited Power by Tony Robbins

If you want to dive deeper into the journey of finding your purpose in life and to learn how to get rid of fear, this book is a must-read!

You’ll find great tips on not only how to set your goals but how to achieve them as well.

17. Business Adventures by John Brooks

This book is recommended both by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. These two know what they’re talking about when it comes to business.

Bill Gates has not only recommended this book, but he also regards it as his favorite book of all time.

In this book, you’ll find 12 different stories based on which you can learn 12 different key ideas about the business.

18. The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success by William N. Thorndike

In this book, the author is analyzing eight different CEO’s and their approach to management. Each one of them had a quite unique approach, which is extremely useful for a reader to learn more about thinking out of the box.

In the worst case, you’re going to expand your own box.

19. 15 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Write by MasterClass

Being a writer myself, I had to share this extremely useful content with all of my fellow colleagues around the world. Writing is frightening but never give up! Here are some other resources you can use to master the skill of writing, which is essential in any startup: ordering research papers online (when you need a case study or a business report), Grammarly (for checking the grammatical accuracy of your texts), Canva (to add a visual flair to your writing).

20. See You At The Top By Zig Ziglar

We had to add another sales author to our list. Somehow, sales authors have extremely valuable insight when it comes to motivation. This book will teach you not only that but how to live a more balanced and fulfilling life as well.

Conclusion

On the one hand, it’s harder to succeed as a start-up now that there is so much competition. On the other, these and millions of other resources enable you to learn faster and better than ever before! Be it for team leadership, soft skills, or business-running, you can learn anything from these great books and essays.

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Inspiration

Creative Advice from 11 World Famous Architects

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Creative advice from 11 world-famous architects

As a creative entrepreneur, you’re probably no stranger to the ups and downs of inspiration. Motivation can come in waves, and when it’s gone, productivity can take a pretty major hit.

It’s impossible to stay constantly inspired all of the time. However, when we notice our creative spark fade, it’s important to engage in activities that rekindle the fire. Often, this means unplugging, pursuing a hobby, or talking with a friend or mentor.

Another great way to boost motivation is to look to other successful creatives. Architects, in particular, make great creative role models because of their ability to juggle multiple tasks and oversee projects like a pro. Check out the visual below for creative inspiration from 11 world-famous architects.

 

creative-advice

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Inspiration

Is your daily routine mindful or mindless?

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Is your daily routine mindful or mindless?

Do you serve a customer to make money? Or do you serve a customer to serve a customer? Do you wash dishes to get them clean? Or do you wash the dishes to wash the dishes?

Here’s a story from Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, about ‘washing the dishes to wash the dishes’ and the difference between mindful and mindless:

“In the United States, I have a close friend named Jim Forest… Last winter, Jim came to visit. I usually wash the dishes after we’ve finished the evening meal, before sitting down and drinking tea with everyone else.

One night, Jim asked if he might do the dishes. I said, “Go ahead, but
if you wash the dishes you must know the way to wash them.” Jim replied, “Come on, you think I don’t know how to wash the dishes?” I answered, “There are two ways to wash the dishes. The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes
in order to wash the dishes.”

Jim was delighted and said, “I choose the second way-to wash the dishes to wash the dishes.” From then on, Jim knew how to wash the dishes. I transferred the “responsibility” to him for an entire week.

If while washing dishes, we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.”

What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes.
In fact we are completely incapable of realizing the miracle of life while standing at the sink.

If we can’t wash the dishes, the chances are we won’t be able to drink our tea either. While drinking the cup of tea, we will only be thinking of other things, barely aware of the cup in our hands. Thus we are sucked away into the future
– and we are incapable of actually living one minute of life.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Are you focusing more at being successful, or being mindful? It is a conscious choice that shows up in your daily routine – Being present in every moment shows up in the quality of your products, your service, your communication.

Being aware leads to care. It’s the contrast of being careful and being careless. This care becomes quality, and that’s why greater mindfulness leads to greater success.

Your daily routine isn’t a means to an end. It’s an opportunity to experience the miracle of life every day.

“Be here now.”
~ Ram Dass

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