‘Cause unlike that University diploma that you’re going to end up buying, paying full retail for, is going to get you your gig necessarily.
We’re taught in the system that failure is something that you should be ashamed of. Failure is for the dumb kids.
The minute you feel like you’ve arrived is the minute ya know, you soften up.
Marc Ecko’s Top 10 Rule For Success
Evan: Hello Believe Nation!
I’m Evan Carmichael. My One Word is Believe and I believe that entrepreneurs are going to solve all of the major problems of the world.
So to help you on your journey, today we’re going to learn from fashion designer Mark Ecko and my take on his top ten rules for success.
Rule number one is my personal favorite and I’d love to know which one you guys like the best. And as always guys, as you’re watching, if you hear something that really resonates with you, please leave it down in the comments below.
Put quotes around it so other people can be inspired and when you write it down, it’s much more likely to stick for yourself as well, enjoy.
Marc Ecko’s Rules
- Rule #1: #Believe
- Rule #2: Be Industrious
- Rule #3: Do What You Love
- Rule #4: Be Motivated By Failure
- Rule #5: Stay Present
- Rule #6: Keep Learning
- Rule #7: There Is No Overnight Success
- Rule #8: Create Wealth That Matters
- Rule #9: Inspiration Is A Journey
- Rule #10: Craft Your Own Unique Voice
- You Are Your Own Personal Brand
- Pursue Excellence
- Embrace The Mess
Rule #1: #Believe
How many you guys, hands, show of hands, how many of you folks here have a goal? Alright, you sure, you sure you have a goal: Keep your hands up, hands stay up. Are you sure you have a goal? Now keep your hands up if you could believe you could realize that goal no matter what twists and turns come in your life?
Any little trepidation, I see some hands comin’ down. For those that have kept their hands up, you are all entrepreneurs, alright? Give yourself a hand, ’cause that’s what it’s going to take. And don’t be like entrepreneur, get your mouth around that word entrepreneur, what does that mean? Don’t be a regular entrepreneur. Be a beast, okay, get it done.
Rule #2: Be Industrious
Just know, you got to like the opportunity now to kind of be industrious and what’s gating us. There are no limitations as to what’s gating us, right?
There’s so many efficiencies built into media, technology and broadcasting, publishing, portraying yourself, visualizing yourself as a brand, yourself, independently, right, that shame on you for not trying and making something out of it, like that’s the window we live in right now.
It’s not like the schools are going to figure it out, right? ‘Cause unlike that University diploma that you’re going to end up buying, paying full retail for is going to get you your gig necessarily, right. So the window to kind of like capture the hustle and to do something with it on your terms, it is a really exciting time right now.
Rule #3: Do What You Love
Needless to say, in ’93, I dropped out of college. I started my business and it occurred to me that I was going to be very average at pharmacology and I was going to be something above average when I was working on what I loved which was painting and creating.
And that finding that pearl, that passion point to build your business around, there’s, it’s so cliche, people talk about passion but with all the ups and downs of running a business and creating a business and the uncertainties of markets and you arrive at the gates of success and I remember thinkin’ I’ll be rich young, when you arrive at a place where you would think that that would suffice, like a true entrepreneur, someone who is, someone who wants to discover what’s next, someone who has to be working on what they love will not be satiated or satisfied with just the money, it’s not enough.
It’s the learning that comes through doing what you love. And for me, that’s been the blessing and the good fortune of what I’ve had.
Rule #4: Be Motivated By Failure
I think the best advice that I could give you on success is to know that success if merely the hangover of failure. And that failure is an essential ingredient in creating a learning atmosphere for you so that you can accrue those learnings, those small incremental steps of failure and collect enough learning so that you can arrive at success, right.
I think we’re taught in the system that failure is something that you should be ashamed of. Failure is for the dumb kids ’cause you get an F. You get a D, right, you’re not competent. You didn’t comply, you didn’t create the evidence of your worthiness and I could tell you as someone who’s successful, right, both financially and from a wealth creation point of view but more importantly, a wealth that matter that success doesn’t look like an A plus. It doesn’t look like 110 in extra credit and failure isn’t as simple as an F.
And it’s not always, like failure could be very gray and being able to discern what you might arrive at an event or in your life where you think that wow, I’ve succeeded and you’re getting the affirmation from all these outside forces but if it’s not aligned authentically with to whom which you are, it could very much feel like failure. You’re going to fail, it’s okay, okay?
You’re going to fail, and I’m not talkin’ about the tests. That’s one thing, I’m talkin’ about to your knees, your skin, bloody, fail and that’s okay ’cause you know what, you know down deep inside of all of you that’s how you learn. You need to be motivated by failure. How’d you learn how to walk? You crawled, then you fell down, busted your tooth, got some blood in your mouth, get up and you walk, right, self directed.
Rule #5: Stay Present
Interviewer: I always wondered why it was a rhino as a logo.
Why the rhino, it’s one of those manna from the heaven things, three years into the business I was at a trade show and all my competitors had kind of the same logo, everyone was using like a graffiti word mark and I just felt like how am I going to differentiate myself from the rest of the pack and I went back to my home in Lakewood, New Jersey where I grew up and that was the spot I used to airbrush t shirts out of my garage and right off of the room where I would air brush, my dad had a collection of little wood sand drift rhinos.
They’re probably like two dollars a piece or whatever. And I just started a riff on it and I brought it to the market one piece at a time and I remember the buyers were like, we don’t know about that dinosaur. We don’t know about that hippopotamus and they were like give me more graffiti t shirts.
I’m like alright but I want to establish a logo like Polo or Nike or Timberland. And they weren’t really tryin’ to feel that. And just staying persistent and it kind of started to stick so one t shirt became three became five became ya know, the logo but like logos are like guns without ammo so it was really what we did with it I think, that made it more meaningful.
Rule #6: Keep Learning
Sometimes when it’s all about you, like I said, like never get high on your own supply, right. When it’s all about you, you know or like Biggie says actually, right, or actually Scarface if we go back all the way to the original reference but you know that, you can’t think that like you’re the only game in town.
That’s a really dangerous thought process, man. Collaboration is good and it’s healthy and working with young cats that are coming up and they have their own revenge fantasies, we cold learn from that. I’m not too old to learn, man, I’ve been going to school since, I might now have been in the classroom but school’s come to me, like when you want to learn, school comes to you. So I am content being a student.
Rule #7: There Is No Overnight Success
Interviewer: Well, you’ve had a lot a success with Complex in a very short period of time, when did you start it?
Well, it’s not really that short. That’s what’s interesting, it’s like 15, almost 15 years.
So it took you 15 years to become an overnight success.
There is no such thing as an overnight success.
Yeah, it’s one of the great falisies.
I say this all the time, it’s the biggest American lie told, overnight success.
Yeah, it’s a falisy man, I’m always auditioning. Always on some new, like it’s always new. It’s and the minute you feel like you’ve arrived is the minute you soften up and you can’t, listen, I’ve had enough experiences in my career, ups, downs, sideways, right, stay on that track and I think that’s where I’m at now in my profession, I think both of us are like, we’re just like let’s just go get it.
Full steam ahead.
Rule #8: Create Wealth That Matters
The first decade of my career, I think I got more value out of that, that kind of affirmation of being above average with my hands and with my creativity than ya know, than the actual cash I collected. I reflect back on it, I probably.
Interviewer: That’s not corny to feel that way.
Well, no, I made good money but it’s funny, even at 41 today, there’s that line that’s this mania, it’s like a line of madness that is just, it sits you in a way that just the transactional side of collecting stuff, right, filling your house up with more stuff, more, ya know. It fills you in a way that just pursuing the money can’t.
When you create wealth, there’s like, you could just create wealth or you could create wealth that matters. And I made a distinction in my life that that’s very important to me and when I take an inventory of the things that I’ve done, they all, I can’t necessarily measure them in finite numbers of success, of like dollars, right, like you can’t.
Some of the most impactful things you can’t necessarily measure with a dollar amount, it’s more qualitative, right. It’s more like it’s in your stomach, right. It’s like a feeling thing and there, there’s certainly things that I’ve done that I’m really proud of that probably excite me more than any material stuff.
Rule #9: Inspiration Is A Journey
For me, inspiration is a journey, it is not a destination. Okay, it is a self motivated internally motivated process. It’s not this glamorous thing, it is mundane. It is not something that just because you arrive at the gates of success, that somehow as a new experience, it’s different than when you were not successful.
It is exactly the same, I find inspiration on blank pages. I find inspiration in my habits, okay, in moments of quiet, the intimacy on a heavy bag alone, sweating, if it’s me and a kettlebell or me taking a walk and just breathing in, okay, literally breathing in, I’m able to harvest inspiration.
Rule #10: Craft Your Own Unique Voice
I created a formula that I want to share with you. I’m not much for math but this is the idea of a unique voice. When you transform, when you shed your skin, the important thing to hold onto is your voice. What have I done, what am I the most proud of in life besides my kids, I’m the most proud of realizing and listening to, despite all the voices, my own voice and trying to craft the unique voice.
I say that it’s what you do, it’s action minus fear, okay, divided by yourself, how selfish or selfless are you? This is the idea of unique voice. Try to break it down for you very simply. If you’re fearful, we know being fearful sucks. I mean, it immobilizing you, it arrests you from expressing yourself, right, now being completely fearless, you could be reckless.
But fear with purpose, right, to yourself to your voice is meaningful and that’s when real unique voices emerge. And it’s not much, it’s not enough to just talk, right? Like someone like Ali, he didn’t just talk. Let me tell you somethin’, doing and talking, two different things, action is the great equalizer, okay? We live at a time there’s so much noise, so much chatter in the system, people just.
A lot of people really fearless ideas but they don’t act on it, right, that’s the dilemma. And when you act on it, you become a unique voice. Those are the voices they make monuments to. Self, well you could either be really selfless like Gandhi who’s like one in a gazillion, right. Like completely selfless or really selfish that even when you got everybody tellin’ you everything that you want to hear, you still won’t listen to anyone but yourself.
That’s the worst type to be but there’s some balance of self, there is a degree of selfishness that you have to kina get to to filter the noise and establish your unique voice. So this is the unique voices of a generation, right? This is how unique voices emerge young boys that sell more records than Elvis, right?
People that change the world, that’s what unique voices are about, man, saying like Kanya and Abe both two great guys from Illinois, right. So I challenge all of you, each and every one of you from the inside out, guts to the skin to the tape to the denture glue, right, figure out your unique voice, nurture it.
Thank you guys so much for watching. I made this video because Ephect asked me to. So if there’s a famous entrepreneur that you would like me to cover next, check with the link in the description and go and cast your vote.
I also want to give a quick shout out to Kelly Quittenton from youandkellyq.com, Kelly, thank you so much for picking up a 10 copies of my book and giving it to your friends.
I really appreciate the support and I’m glad that you enjoyed the read.
So thank you guys again for watching, I believe in you, I hope you continue to believe in yourself and whatever your own word is. Much love, I’ll see you soon.
You Are Your Own Personal Brand
I am a brand, I say you are a brand if you like it or not, if you know it or not. Now some people get uncomfortable with that. Like if you two guys if Envy and Charlamagne are like Angela and Envy, if you guys went to lunches. Let’s talk about our personal brands. You probably would vomit on each other, right, ’cause it’s so like a sappy, goopy.
It seems self serving.
It’s seems so like patronizing to think about it but there is a best practice of being honest and saying, alright well let me take an honest inventory, guts to the skin of what I’m composed of and does everything that I’m working on reflect that because that is your personal brand.
We build like an entrepreneurial eco system there that’s really empowered a lot of independent thought leaders either in video production or in blogging or in fashion and in independent music and for me, looking at that pipe, the pipe that serves a lot of this content and it’s kind of pursuit of excellence ’cause it’s very easy to go the cheap route on it and we didn’t. We took the hard route, I think that’s one of the great achievements.
Embrace The Mess
Somehow we think this notion of artist or creator culturally is an indulgent notion. It’s what self indulgent, self philosophical people that get to dress in all black and lean back and get to be moody and self loathing, right, this is, that we’re sloppy, right, that we don’t necessarily have the, we’re right brained.
Right brain, artist, right brain, don’t give him the spreadsheet or it’s just not for you, right, because as you get older, maybe you lose perhaps some of that swagger or that freedom that when you were in second grade where you just would raise your hand and say yes I am in fact an artist. We also think that this notion of creator and artist is divine, right, there’s some divine thing.
The famous Michelangelo image and then we struggle in commercializing it so we think that there’s a holy war between creative and art and commerce and this inhibits our ability and our relationship with our art, right, so I challenge folks who perhaps don’t necessarily fancy themselves artists that just because you can’t manipulate paint or sculpt or music doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t problem solve like an artist, that you have to learn to embrace the messiness of creation, embrace the mess, problem solve like an artist. Give yourself more than one percent.
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