Andrew Warner Interview Part Four
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Andrew Warner: I founded a company called Mixergy.com and that’s where I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses, and I do it for an audience of rabid entrepreneurs who are eager to soak up as much information as they can from other entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses. These are people who know about Hulu.com and know that they could be watching The Simpsons, Family Guy and whatever nonsense they could be watching on TV, but they choose to watch a program where entrepreneurs are talking about business instead.
Avil Beckford: How do you define success?
Andrew Warner: Having a vision and making it real.
Avil Beckford: In your opinion what’s the formula for success?
Andrew Warner: I don’t have a formula, but what I’ve learned is showing up every day helps a lot. I used to stink at being on camera, I used to stink at speaking in public and I started doing interviews every day and when I stunk one day I knew I had to do it tomorrow and I couldn’t hide from it and say, “No, I’m bad, I can’t do this right.” I have to find a way to do it tomorrow and I have to find a way to learn so that I wouldn’t be so bad the next day and the next day after that. And so doing it everyday, lets me avoid my personal insecurities, and learn and grow.
Avil Beckford: What are the steps you took to succeed in your field?
Andrew Warner: Showing up every day. Even when I started out as an entrepreneur earlier on, my friends who didn’t have jobs, or happen to have a day off would ask me to go and hang out, and I remember saying, “I’m working, why are you even asking,” and they’d say, “Because you’re not really working, you’re working for yourself, you don’t have a boss. There is no reason for you to show up today, you can show up tomorrow. You can always make up for it the next day. Or do work on the weekends or in the evenings.” And if you start doing that you never really catch up. But if you show up for every single day, and you think about your job as a mission then you do grow every day. And everyone around you starts to respect what you’re doing, as you respect it yourself.
Avil Beckford: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your field?
Andrew Warner: Show up every single day. If you do something every single day you’ll get better and better.
Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people that you’ve always wanted to meet, who would you choose? And what would you say to them?
Andrew Warner: Bill Gates and Warren Buffet put together The Giving Pledge, a list of rich people who are giving away their money. I would take any five people from that list and say to them, “Giving up your money to charity is great after you’re dead, but what’s even more valuable than money is the knowledge in your head, and the ideas.”
I read the list of all those people and by and large most of them didn’t start off with money. They made their money along the way, and credited that to some insight, some understanding of the world, and of progress in the world that others don’t have. And if all they do is share their money and not their vision or insight, not the knowledge that got them there I think they are really robbing themselves and the world of the most valuable thing that they have.
If you die you cannot take your money with you, it might even go to the government, or the wrong place, it will go somewhere if you didn’t give it away. But if you die and don’t teach someone, that disappears for good and we’re never going to get that back.
I would say let’s find any five people on that list and I would try to convince them to openly and honestly without any hesitation to share what they know and without any fear of coming off bad.
Avil Beckford: Which one book had a profound impact on your life? What was it about this book that impacted you so deeply?
Andrew Warner: The biggest one is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. Before I picked up that book, I used to watch movies like Wall Street, where the hero/villain in the movie, the rich guy, says things like, “Greed is good,” treats people like garbage, and pushes them around. And he gets better and more successful because of that, and we see that a lot in movies and TV shows, and we read a lot about people like that in books and newspapers and we get the sense that the bully is the one who would become the most successful. And I was willing to do anything and if that’s what it took, I was willing to do it.
What I discovered in business is that just doesn’t work because people then fight you back instead of working with you because people don’t choose to partner with you or buy from you because they don’t feel inspired by you and they don’t want to be associated with someone who is going to bully them.
So if that doesn’t work, I’m lost. There are no more movies, no more magazines that are going to teach me the right way. I went to the Strand Bookstore, a used bookstore in New York, and I got a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People. The book had such a dorky title that in order to buy it, to take it to the counter, I sandwiched it between two other books that I thought looked cooler, two other novels. I bought the book and one of the premises is everyone has an ego, and you’re not the only one who thinks he’s special, everyone has that and if you’re trying to out ego everyone else, you’re going to get into a battle that’s going to waste your time. If you respect that everyone has a sense of individuality, ego and personal greatness and you help them get that and you treat them like they have that then they are going to want to work with you and get more of that.
Once I read that book, it had such a profound influence on me that everything in my life started to change. I was able to work with people, able to relate with people, I was able to get inspired by them and then I said this is so great I’m going to knock on Dale Carnegie’s door, volunteer to work for the organization for free and learn even more. Sure enough, I did, and my life has been impacted because of that. I wouldn’t be able to talk to people if not for that. I wouldn’t be able to bring them around to my mission.
Avil Beckford: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what are five books that you would like to have with you and why? Summarize the book in two sentences.
- Jessica Livingston’s Founders at Work because it’s full of great stories with deep insights in them and I feel I could spend a lot of time re-reading it.
- I would pick a novel by Jeffrey Archer about business because those books tend to be long and they tend to have people who are trying to achieve stuff. I’d probably take Kane and Abel.
- Psycho-Cybernetics, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life by Maxwell Maltz because I feel like I’d want to find a way to control my mind while I was there.
- The Bible and every bible because if somebody found me, I’d like to say, “Look, I’m a pious person, I have a copy of every Bible,” then they’d want to help me out.
- A blank notebook because I’d want to sit down and just write.
Avil Beckford: What one music CD and movie would you like to have with you (on the deserted island) and why?
Andrew Warner: The music CD would have to be rap because it is inspiring. I don’t know if it’s called Hip-Hop because I’m not cool enough to know this, but there is always something great going on in their lives. And there are so many words being thrown at me so I wouldn’t be able to keep up with them, so that would give me something to do on the deserted island to sit there and try to figure out what all the words are. I feel like I could sing along to it whereby I couldn’t sing along to any other kind of music.
If you cannot view the YouTube Kanye West Video of Stronger click here.
If you cannot view the 50 cent YouTube video of Straight to the Bank click here.
For the movie I would say Doctor Zhivago, I haven’t seen that, it’s very long and I think I could spend forever watching that.
If you cannot view the YouTube video trailer of Doctor Zhivago click here.
Avil Beckford: What excites you about life?
Andrew Warner: The possibilities. I love that we can think of something in the shower one day and try it out and have it work and work and work or fail and fail and fail, but eventually see it in life. And that’s really exciting, something you dream about to happen in your life.
Avil Beckford: How do you nurture your soul?
Andrew Warner: Vacations! Somehow going away to someplace brand new opens me up to think about new ideas and to think about the world in a new way.
Avil Beckford: If you had a personal genie and she gave you one wish, what would you wish for? Or, if I gave you a magic wand, what would you use it for?
Andrew Warner: More wishes.
Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when…..
Andrew Warner: It works out.