If you want something, you need to go and get it.
I don't care where you came from, the size of your bank account or whether you sit or stand when you use the restroom.
All that matters is your passion and hustle. That's it.
A couple of months ago, I got a really encouraging LinkedIn message from a good friend of mine who said he had become a part-time secret shopper and was making a few extra thousand dollars per month doing so.
The message seemed legit, but I was still skeptical. I sent him a reply just to be sure.
Within an hour, he replied and confirmed that it was indeed legitimate and that I should really consider reaching out the company.
Being someone who (to a fault) doesn't want to pass up opportunities, I took his advice and reached out to the company.
As you'd imagine, the company was quick to respond. But the response wasn't what I expected. They weren't trying to convince me to join, they were actually discouraging me from proceeding.
They were explaining the exhausting amount of effort needed to perform the job. They said that, of those who apply, only a few were selected. It sounded impressive.
Of course, I was curious. To be honest, I was still skeptical and already calling bullshit, but I wanted to see where this went--just in case.
Surprise. I made the cut. I was honored, but not really. I knew what this was at this point.
I let them know that I wanted to get going and they told me the following: "Your first assignment is with MoneyGram. We'll send you a check, which we'd like you to cash. Please take the cash to a nearby MoneyGram and send us all but 90% of the money, this is yours to keep."
Needless to say, I knew this was a scam, but I was amazed at the effort they went through to pull it off.
They started with credibility. This wasn't a spam email they sent. It was a LinkedIn message from a trusted source. They even went so far as to respond to the replies from my friend's account, just to be sure it was believable.
The next thing they did was to make sure it felt exclusive. They gave me the impression that there was a chance I wasn't "qualified."
Lastly, the check they sent seemed legitimate. They used "trust" as a way to make it seem that I had crossed some important barrier with them as an organization. I felt important.
At the end of this ordeal, I couldn't help but wonder why these obviously ambitious individuals didn't use their sales skills to sell a legitimate product? They had the knowledge and they clearly had the hustle.
About two months ago, I found myself down one project and a significant amount of monthly income. A company I had been previously working with had run out of money.
Ultimately, everyone on the team had to go off salary in order to reduce the monthly burn. I was essentially out.
About the same time, one of my advisers sent me an email he had received from a company that had recently launched in San Francisco. Turns out, it was quite similar to a company I had previously started, and he thought I'd be interested. I was.
That company was Angelmob. A company that helps startups succeed by bringing together all of the people who care about its success. Very intriguing, and very similar to a vision I had previously for a company called Wahooly.
After a bit of research, I had sent an email to the founder, Gil Penchina. I told him I wanted in and gave him the reasons he should want me. That was it.
They weren't hiring and I wasn't necessarily looking for a job. I just knew that the future included a service like Angelmob, and I wanted to be a part of it.
Gil didn't respond, so I followed up. Gil didn't respond again, so I followed up--again. This time he responded, and connected me with his co-founder.
As of today, I'm now one of the three guys bringing Angelmob to market. Again, not because they had a job opening, or even because I wanted a job. Simply because it was something I wanted to do.
Turns out that Gil and Tim (the co-founder) were open to someone who expressed passion about what they were doing. And you wanna know a secret? Most people are. You just need to go after it.
This past week, I was fortunate enough to see Mark Cuban on stage at the iCONIC Conference in Chicago. Something he said really struck a chord with me.
Mark stated that one of the things he hears most often from entrepreneurs is that they can't get something done without his help. They need a connection of his, advice on how to do something, or some magical words of wisdom.
His paraphrased response: "Just get off your ass and figure it out." Essentially, he was saying that these entrepreneurs are just making excuses for not wanting to do what needs to get done, looking for a short cut, so to speak.
Bottom line: If have ambition and passion, the only thing between you and success is...you.