This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Akshay Nanavati. Akshay is a former Marine Corps veteran, adventurer, speaker, and author of the best-selling book Fearvana: The Revolutionary Science of How to Turn Fear into Health, Wealth, and Happiness.
The Dalai Lama said, “Fearvana inspires us to look beyond our own agonizing experiences and find the positive side of our lives..”
Through his work, Akshay has been featured on CNN, Fast Company, INC, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and almost all of the major news outlets.
Simply put, Akshay has faced and stood down fear and learned how to bend it to his will. Fear is something everyone faces and struggles with in some form or fashion, and for some time I have wanted to do a show where we dive deeply into facing our fears and overcoming them. When I met Akshay, I knew he was the guy to do it!
Akshay and the Fearvana movement really started in high school. He wasted a year of his life with drugs and lost two friends. It was the movie “Black Hawk Down” that triggered to get out of his selfish, meaningless life he was in. He went to join the Marines, but it too a year and half to get in because of blood disorder he has. He had to fight his way in and once in he started to learn how to push himself and started to explore other ways to do it. Outdoor extreme sports became his playground.
He was then sent to Iraq where his job was to clear IEDs. When he returned, he had trouble and was diagnosed with PTSD. He started drinking and go to the brink of suicide.
When he hit that low, he knew he had to change and learn to heal himself and learn to lead a meaningful life. He began to study it and learned how to manage and control his fear and harness it to his advantage. Fearvana and the business he has built around it came from this journey.
What is the one thing people should know about fear and how to use it to their advantage? T
he single most important thing is that it is not a negative emotion. The reality is that we just have emotions – it is us who choose whether to view them as negative or not. You must build a positive relationship to suffering. If you can, you can do anything in life.
At the 7 min mark, Akshay answers the question, “What is it about fear that paralyzes people and makes us react the way we do to fear? What do we actually have to overcome?”
You do not want to miss his answer…
How does somebody recondition themselves to use fear to their advantage?
At the 10 min mark, Akshay gives a great example of this with his PTSD and how he used this process to overcome it.
“There is no such thing as irrational fear…”
Does fear masquerade itself as other things in our lives?
“The biggest thing that separates peak performers is that they don’t stress over stress”
Take us through the Fearvana process?
5 steps: The Unstoppable Warrior Formula
At the 18 min mark, we discuss how to get people to the action step quickly. Why is there a disconnect from when we recognize things to actually acting on them? Akshay gives a number of examples and what to do.
One key is to work your way up the ladder of fear. Put yourself in incremental levels fear as you progress. What has surprised you to most in all of your work with fear?
How much everyone is suffering In their own way. We tend to think we are the exception and the “odd one out,” when in reality we all are suffering in some way. People should take comfort in that. Even the people you look up to have their own levels of suffering, but there is a gift in that when we learn to find it and embrace it.
At the 25 min mark, Akshay talks about the post fear process.
What is the most important habit and how do you break any habit at will?
At the 31 minute mark, Akshay talks about his routines and how he sets them up.
There has to be something you are truly afraid of??
What have you learned in becoming an entrepreneur that is important to share?
Other resources you used to develop the Fearvana Philosophy?
Best Quote: “The balance of action and awareness is ultimately how all growth happens…”
Akshay's Misfit 3:
Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!" In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
"Lessons for Hannah" are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
I want to speak to you about something that I am extremely passionate about. It is one of the biggest habits of the highest achievers throughout history. And thankfully, I found it at an early age. I hope you will do the same.
I’m talking about self-education and lifelong learning. I’m not talking about school. You are going to school, or maybe even by the time you listen to this will have gone to school and maybe even college.
Here is what I want you to know about traditional school…and it’s somewhat controversial. First, it’s not enough. Going to school will give you a great base of subjects and concepts for you to build on the rest of your life, but it is only the beginning. Your real education will begin when you decide to self-educate or get into the real world. And that brings me to my second point which is that going to school and college doesn’t adequately prepare you for the real world you are going to step into. In fact, they teach you a lot of things and condition you to the opposite of what works in the real world.
Let me give you an example. In traditional school, if you are taking a test and you lean over to your friend next to you asking them for help or thoughts on one of the questions on the test – the school will tell you that is cheating and punish you for it. That is not how to real world works. In the real world, it is the opposite – you get the best and brightest you can find in a room together and have them figure out the best solution and answer to things….and when they do and it generates the desired results – you reward them.
Don’t get me wrong, going to school will teach you a tremendous number of things, one of the most important learning to read. Once you learn to read, it not only opens a whole new world but a whole new world of possibility to you. Sadly, most take this for granted and never grow beyond their traditional schooling.
And that is the difference between the majority of the highly successful and everyone else. They realize the importance of self-educating and continuous learning and growing. One of my favorite quotes is from an old personal growth expert (well, old to you) named Jim Rohn where he said, “Successful people have libraries. The rest have big screen TVs.” Such a major distinction.
But, here is my best advice for you on your learning journey. Don’t take what you read or learn for granted, on your own or in school. Question it with boldness, seek the truth, challenge yourself and assumptions you make. And I will caution you that this will get you into trouble at times. No one likes it when the status quo is questioned, especially in traditional school. But, if we didn’t have people that challenged the conventional norms and ways of thinking, we would have 90% of the things we take for granted in this world. Most of the major innovation comes from directly challenging what society tell us is how things should be. Just know that mommy and I will always have your back – so question away!
There are a lot of books out there, especially when it comes to history, that don’t tell the truth or leave out very important details and this is why reading multiple sources on a topic is so important. You will start to notice patterns and things that are consistent that you can test and prove out. And I think that is probably one of greatest parts of lifelong learning – you can always surprise yourself and have breakthroughs in all areas of your life.
In the show notes of this episode, I have put some of my favorite books for you to check out, when you are ready. Never stop learning, growing, questioning, challenging, and searching….
I love you, Daddy.
Selected Book Recommendations (Hannah, just ask me for others as there are too many to put here!):
The Holy Bible - The greatest story ever told and a book that sets the basis for almost every lesson you can learn for life and success. Whether, you believe in God (which I do) or not, the wisdom in the Bible is timeless...and endless.
The Richest Man in Babylon - A parable that teaches the bedrock of sound wealth. Ironically, you will find much of the same lessons in the Bible
How to Win Friends and Influence People - Timeless book on how to engage, motivate, and work with others
The 5000 Year Leap - I consider this the beginners guide to understanding the principles that founded the United States of America and that created the Constitution, a document that after many years of study, I have come to believe is one of the greatest creations of mankind.
Think and Grow Rich - Great book. Compiles much of the wisdom from history and the Bible for how to create wealth and achieve your dreams. Another easier one to read that covers a lot of the same things is Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (this book gave me a lot of epiphanies when I read it at 21)
Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Hannah, I will have taught you the concepts this book shares by the time you are old enough to read it, but it is a must read at some point. Talk about questioning the status quo and introducing you to entrepreneurship - this is a good one
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership - Timeless lessons on leading yourself and others
The Ten Year Career - Ok, I know it is a little self-serving to put my book in here....but honey, it is pretty good and will give you a good idea of many of the things I've learned and used to build the life we have. :)
There are so many amazing books out there. My best advice is to read a broad range from the classics, to history to personal growth. In fact, here is a list of the classics that I found that is really good...
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Nischal Shetty. Nischal is the founder of one of my favorite social media management tools, Crowdfire. Crowdfire is a social media manager that helps your manage across all social accounts, grow your impact, audience, and message, and helps you to engage more fully with your tribe.
Millions of people and companies use Crowdfire for their social media growth and engagement.
Nischal not only founded Crowdfire, but physically built it, boostrapped it to its first million in revenue, and took the service from 0 to over 15 million users without spending any money on marketing or advertising. In fact, he developed a unique marketing strategy called ETC to achieve this, which is just one of the things I want him to share with you today. For his efforts, not only does he have a great company to show for it, but has also won a number of awards, including being chosen as a Forbes 30 under 30. I am really excited for you to learn from him.
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Nischal says he is an “accidental entrepreneur.” He was an engineer that wanted to create some extra money, so he created a blog because he had heard you could make money doing it. After blogging every day for a month, he realized that “just blogging” doesn’t guarantee success. So he started researching and spending time learning how to market his blog and get his message out. That lead to him building the first version of Crowdfire. He used that to grow his blog and eventually put it out there for others to use and was amazed at how many people used it.
He then bootstrapped it for the next year and then quit his job to go full time. That was 6 years ago and Crowdfire had about 500,000 users. Now it has over 15 million users and employs 45 people.
Nischal credits his entrepreneurial streak to his father – a restauranteur, but it was never forefront until much later. The building blocks were always there, but it took him some time to realize it.
What is the most important thing you’ve learned about yourself in your journey?
At the 7:20 mark, Nischal and I discuss his way of thinking like a contrarian and turning whole business models upside down.
Lessons learned from bootstrapping Crowdfire to its first million?
Thoughts on creating community?
What does it take to build a successful company?
Thoughts on building a company culture?
At the 21 min mark, Nischal discusses the ETC strategy and how Crowdfire used it to go from 0 to 15 million users with no marketing money spent.
ETC stands for Ego, Temptation, and Curiosity
What trends are changing in social media? What’s working?
Best quote: “Everything good or bad in a company starts with the founders...”
Nischal's Misfit 3:
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Michelle Parisa Wazek – also known as Michele PW. Michele is the copywriter to the stars. She has worked with everyone from Brian Tracy to Lisa Sasevich and over the last 8 years, her “love based” copy and marketing philosophy has sold nearly $50 million dollars in products and services.
Michele is a best-selling author many times over, has appeared across countless media, and works with hundreds of clients throughout the world helping them to, as she says, “Build a business your love that loves you back.”
But like many successful entrepreneurs, she does things differently and approaches her craft with a completely different view than the norm. She does it by employing love. When I first met Michele, I was incredibly intrigued with this approach, especially after hearing that it continues to generate millions of dollars annually. So, I asked her to come on the show and share her biggest secrets to help you find more success in your business.
Podcast: Love Based Money
Everything all started for Michele when she was 3 and taught herself to read to because she wanted to write books. Being a writer has been a driving influence throughout her life. When she got to college, she discovered “direct response” copywriting. She helps people sell one to many through her copywriting.
Connecting with people is one of the most critical things for businesses today – What is the most important fundamental thing people need to do to genuinely connect?
How does someone know they are hitting the mark? What are the people that are “doing well”…doing well?
At the 11-min mark, Michele answers the question, “What is Love-Based Copywriting?” and is so important to listen to what she says!
“Don’t build your business on a foundation of fear…”
At the 15:30 mark, Michele gives examples of what she has done with clients.
Copywriting is the same as salesmanship in print – how would you act if you were in front of someone looking in their eyes?
At the 22 min mark, Michele give some great advice on selling. Pay attention where she talks about how clients and not you need to rescue themselves.
Formula for a successful copywriting campaign?
Best ways to get feedback?
Common mistakes made in copywriting?
Tips for generating leads?
Michelle did not use “loved-based” copy in the beginning, she did more fear-based
She would follow what clients wanted even if it made her uncomfortable
Best Quote: “Don’t build your business on a foundation of fear…”
Michele's Misfit 3:
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is JV Crum III. JV probably needs no introduction. He is the best-selling author of the Conscious Millionaire and founder of the #1 rated podcast of the same name that has over 12 million listeners in almost 200 countries. JV became a self-made entrepreneur millionaire in his early 20’s. Aside from being a best-selling author and entrepreneur, he is a keynote speaker, certified business coach, attorney, and CEO of the Conscious Millionaire Institute, a global entrepreneur business coaching, training, and wealth product business.
It didn’t start out like this for JV. Like many kids he grew up with a lot of financial uncertainty, he dreamed of a different life. He decided early on to become a millionaire.
By the age of twenty-five, he had realized that dream and celebrated by purchasing a new luxury home on the water and his first Mercedes. He had the “American Dream”.
Life was great, except for one thing. J V quickly realized that his childhood dream had not included the truly important parts of life, such as feeling a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment. Although he had all the trappings of wealth and success on the outside, he felt empty inside.
This awareness led him to two decades of searching, which included reading extensively in the areas of both human potential and spirituality and it is the lessons from this journey and what has happened since that I have him to share with you in this interview.
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JV grew up poor out in a little country town. He grew up swimming and fishing with a cane pole because he could not afford a real fishing rod. He started his first business at 4 years old selling juice on the corner to help his family out.
One day, he asked the question, “What is the solution to his family not having money?” his answer to himself was that he was going to be a millionaire. His mother told him not to tell anyone. His mother had the mindset that very wealthy people had done something wrong to get it and didn’t want him to grow up doing wrong. Nevertheless, he kept this goal and by his early 20’s had done it. He made his first million at 25 years old. But, soon after he started to realize that something was missing and went on a journey to find it. He had the money, had the things – but wasn’t happy. There was something more. He sold his companies and began a focus on doing something greater and having an impact. He lived in a monastery, went to places to do deep work on himself, and would bare his soul to the groups he worked with.
He was told he had anger and he denied it for a while before finally working through it.
At the 10 min mark, JV talks about how he arrived at doing something that really matters.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about life and yourself? What truly matters?
At the 17 min mark, JV answers the question, “What does it mean to be conscious?”
There are 3 definitions:
Pay special attention at the 23 Minute mark as JV discusses the 7 Habits of the Conscious Millionaire and the process of habits. This may be the most important part of the interview.
The 7 Habits Are:
What is your formula for building wealth?
JV uses a Rapid Growth Formula (he shares the first two that are foundational)
Think of your purpose as a gold coin that has one side that has your purpose and then on the back says the secret The secret to finding your purpose is to find out what the difference is that you really want to be making. Take some time to discover this and be very specific.
Once you have this, then look at the skills that come to you so easily you can do them in your sleep. What are naturally good at? Knowing what you do really, well will help you know where to fill gaps.
Breaking Down Conscious, Focus, Action:
Conscious – 3 questions to ask
Focus – 3 ways that you need to be focused
Best Quote: “Normal people are busy fitting in where we are busy redefining.”
JV's Misfit 3: