Jeff Howell: LAIRD HAMILTON & TOM BARRACK @ USC!

LAIRD HAMILTON & TOM BARRACK @ USC!

Hey, everybody. How’s it going? This is Jeff coming at you with another mindset Monday. And today I want to go over a few thoughts that I learned from an event that I went to. It was actually a few years ago, but it even stays on my mind to this day. It was a discussion at USC, the University of Southern California, between two icons in their own industries, one of them layered Hamilton, a big wave surfer, and the other one, Tom Barrack, who’s a billionaire investor. Now, the way these two guys came together was, I believe the story goes. Tom saw Laird speaking about being able to handle the risk of big wave surfing and staying in flow and being able to sort of focus and have the mindset that’s going to be able to allow you to confront those types of risks and challenges in real time and to be able to overcome them. So Tom reached out to Laird and they became friends and started Tom started learning from Laird how to sort of manage risk in real time and and from that kind of an entrepreneurial mindset. Tom was also an attorney like I am, and, you know, he went into the entrepreneurial space and that’s why I got tuned into people like that was because I wanted to learn how they think and how they pursue entrepreneurship, you know, based on their backgrounds and kind of the skills that being an attorney brings to you and different things like this.

So I tuned in to them at a pretty different people like that. You know, back in the day when I was sort of reinventing myself as an entrepreneur and it was very helpful to have those role models and just different people with these different perspectives that I could draw from and identify with and whatever way and move forward in my own way. So Tom kind of takes this investor ship approach of contrast, conch con cautious contrarianism is what he calls it, and it’s like taking risks that others won’t. In other words, just going out, assessing risk, taking in all the data, buying when other people are selling, selling when other people are buying. There’s huge uncertainty in that equation, but that’s where there’s huge opportunity. And I find this in my own life too, that generally whatever I’m doing is going against whatever, not necessarily against, but whatever direction everyone else is going. I’m usually going the opposite direction, or I know inherently or intuitively that if everybody else is, the masses are glomming on towards a certain perspective or different way of doing things, then that’s probably by the time I get there, it’s going to be too late.

I’m usually way ahead of the curve and I’m sort of one of the pioneers and take the arrows and in as a front runner. And a lot of times I lose interest in something before it even comes to fruition. There’s many experiences that I’ve had like that in my life, but basically, you know, understanding that taking these risks is the edge that you have. It’s the advantage that you have over others is that others are not going to be able to take those risks. They’re not going to have the mindset for it. So this is what is allowing you to be prepared for the uncertainty, the inevitable uncertainty that’s coming. And just to continuously take the perspective of honing your body, honing your mind, honing your focus and honing your integrity along the way so that when those big opportunities come up, you’re prepared. So, you know, in my own case, this is this is a great example of, you know, fail, learn, fail again. And when then when the big chance comes, you have the preparedness and you have the the mentality, the survival mentality that’s going to allow you to take advantage of those bigger opportunities when they came up and this or when they come up. And this is the same thing with Laird. You know, Laird was saying during this discussion, he’s like, you know, I failed on one foot waves.

I fell on two foot waves, but now I can ride 100 foot waves or whatever it is that he rides. And it’s extreme. But the reason that he can do that consistently and survive and live to tell the tales because he had all those reps of falling along the way and that’s how he built the skills and the tools, the mental tools that he needs to get him through the big waves. So, you know, that’s how you can can kind of build up along the way. So Tom Barrack says that tools are preparation and perseverance, so having these sort of failures and learning along the way is those are the tools, those that is what’s going to prepare you and it’s also going to give you the persistence and the patience that it takes to. Be able to go out and assess the the market or the landscape in any industry that you’re in and identify those opportunities that might be there right in front of you. But again, when you see those big opportunities, most people are not going to have the center grounded awareness number one, or the tools in place to be able to take advantage of that. So that’s going to be your edge, That’s going to be your your competitive advantage.

So this is going to allow you to take advantage of things that other people aren’t. So that’s my mindset Monday for today. Also, another thought on that is that with Tom Barrack reaching out to Laird, Laird had nothing to do. I mean, not to say that he doesn’t have any business interests, but his focus is, is on surfing and he his mindset is focused around that activity where Tom is completely in the business entrepreneurial world, but he wasn’t held back or limited when he saw the mindset that Laird had. He had the openness to be able to say, Hey, I think that I can learn something from Laird, even though he has nothing to do with specifically with what I do in business, I know I have something to learn from him. So he opened the conversation and wasn’t afraid to go out and collaborate with people in other industries. And I’m finding this is true in my own life intuitively that I’ve done over the past many, many years is I’ve really been open to collaborating and learning from artists and musicians and people who don’t really have anything to do with business, because I know that there’s certain things about the way that they think that inform me in my own mindset about the way that I can move forward and create the art out of the business opportunities that that I’m pursuing and putting my focus on.

So I think this is also a really cool idea. So a few of them are that are coming through for me just in real time is just being able to assess risk and use risk and uncertainty as an advantage. The other one is to fail, and we’ve talked about that before and past mindsets Mondays where it’s not necessarily failure or failure. You either win or you learn. But let’s, you know, something that didn’t go your way, you learn from and then just don’t be afraid to continuously take action and don’t be afraid for things not to go your way because you know there’s going to be a lesson there. And then the third main point here is the collaboration and find people who are outside of your immediate sphere that you can learn from and find ways to connect with them, find the crossover, find ways that you can help them, find ways that you can build relationships with them. Because that kind of other perspective can be very, very valuable moving forward. So that’s my mindset Monday for today. I hope you enjoyed it. Leave your comments in the comment section if you have any, and we’ll look forward to seeing you on the next one piece.

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