Would you like to know how to get a Mentor who’s bad ass? Andrea is a seriel entrepreneur who makes millions. She was on the Apprentice with Donald Trump, and she has mentors from all around the world teaching her top secret strategies. Her mentors are so big they can’t even be named. Wanna know how she got them? Listen now.
Andrea’s Recommended Books:
Andrea’s Mentor’s Books:
Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast Guest Name Interview – Andrea Lake Introduction: Welcome to Starting from Nothing – The Foundation Podcast, the place where incredible entrepreneur show you how they built their businesses entirely from scratch before they knew what the heck they were doing. Dane: This may be one of my favorite episodes of all time. In this episode, you’re going to be hearing from a rock star female entrepreneur, Andrea Lake. Andrea has been featured on – she was on The Apprentice and she currently owns the rights to sell merchandise for World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Minecraft and all these amazing video game companies. She’s a mega success. She’s mentored by some of the world’s richest billionaires. In this interview, if you’ve ever struggled with trying to find a mentor to mentor you, this interview will completely solve that issue. I can’t wait for you to hear everything that’s in store for you in this episode of Starting from Nothing. Thank you. Welcome everyone to another edition of Starting from Nothing. I’m your hopeful host, Dane Maxwell. Today, we have the beautiful Andrea Lake joining us. Andrea, welcome. Andrea: Thank you. Dane: Andrea is a total badass in my opinion. She’s got to be one of the coolest chicks on the planet for reasons I’m about to mention. Andrea Lake is a serial entrepreneur and has launched 14 companies since she was 18 years old including stickerjunkie.com, YogaJunkie, Delinquent Distribution which owns the sales and rights on the merchandise to chain stores for – get this – Minecraft, World of Warcraft, League of Legends, Walking Dead, The Hobbit, etc. No big deal. Her newest project is MentorMojo, giving entrepreneurs very specific actionable content across several verticals, fashion, tech, fitness, restaurants, etc., which I believe … I think I’m a mentor in there, am I Andrea? Andrea: You are. You are indeed. Dane: Awesome. I’m an official mentor at MentorMojo, go check it out. Her partners in that company are serial tech entrepreneurs Travis Steffen, who is a total stud, Dan Caldwell, also a stud and the founder of TapouT clothing which is a guy you probably don’t want to screw with. He’s pretty scary looking. But I imagine he’s a softie under all that. Andrea: It’s true. Don’t tell him I said that. They both used to be professional level fighters but they’re just teddy bears. Dane: Well, Andrea, welcome to the podcast. Andrea: Thank you. Dane: What would you like to tell us about yourself that I haven’t mentioned in the bio? Andrea: Oh, I just got to teach at Harvard. That was awesome. Big, huge life goal. [Unclear 00:02:41] and they asked me to come back to teach entrepreneurship just as a guest lecturer. It’s very exciting. I did not go to college. I started my first company when I was 18 so it’s an extra big deal. Dane: Yeah. You also failed to mention that – in this bio – nowhere in this bio did it say that you were in The Apprentice. Andrea: Oh, that’s right. It was a long time ago. Yeah, but I was. Yeah. Dane: What’s it like to hang out with Donald Trump? Andrea: He’s a really a nice guy, if he likes you. I’m used to dealing with very high-end, exceedingly successful business people. When I went on the show, I just treated him like a normal regular guy whose, obviously, eccentric and brilliant in his own way. He and I got along really great. He is heavily edited. He has the same sense of humor that I do that is perhaps sometimes a little bit naughty. We got along famously well. We made each other laugh a lot. He’s really shockingly funny and witty. They cut a lot of that out to make him look a little bit more stern but if he likes you he’s a very nice guy. But if he doesn’t like you, just get out of the room. He has no filter at all. Dane: What do you mean if he doesn’t like you? Andrea: There were some people that he just didn’t like their personality types. He’s not lovely, he doesn’t have a filter, he will tell people exactly what he thinks of them in possibly not most lovely way. But he is a good guy. I really, really like him. Dane: What’s an example of one thing that you heard him say when you were in that dreaded room? Andrea: In that dreaded room. It’s mostly just sharp like, “Why would you think that I want to hear what you have to say right now?” But to somebody that idolizes him, that would be very hard to hear I’m sure. Dane: Wow! That’s a fascinating leadership style. Andrea: Yeah. Well, he surrounds himself with people that he likes so they don’t feel that side of him, I’m sure. Dane: What did you learn from Donald Trump for yourself? Andrea: Well, actually, the thing that I learned was how exceedingly lucky I was. Because on that show – which, again, was years ago – everyone has a very big personality type whether or not they have the skill set to back it up. I just felt exceedingly lucky that I have put myself in a position where I choose every client that I have, every employee that I have, every vendor that I work with. I don’t know if I’m allowed to swear on here. Dane: You are. Andrea: Okay. Well, I have a strict “No Asshole” policy across the board of any vendors, any clients, and any employees. It’s a very verified experience which I didn’t appreciate because I’ve had that almost my whole life. But when I was on there, having to deal with all sorts of different personality types on the show and in the corporations I was dealing with, I realized – for the first time in my life I realized that not everybody has such a verified experience and the type of freedom that I do. It’s made me exceedingly appreciative and thankful for the sort of environment I had created around myself. Dane: Because you didn’t get that freedom on the show? Andrea: Well, no. I’m pretty malleable but I had to deal with a lot of personalities that people that I would never do business with ever, ever in a million years. To remain composed under that circumstance, which I did, was more difficult than any work environment should have to be. Dane: Why do you laugh at the end of saying that? Andrea: Because I think it’s a reality that most people live in and they just accept it. I feel so badly that people don’t realize that they really can choose the people who are around them, because in a lot of people’s cases, they haven’t found that freedom. I think that’s what the entrepreneurs – a lot of them – it’s a lot of what they’re reaching for in creating their own culture, their own business, their own company, their own environment. It’s a lovely experience and I wish everyone could have it. I really do. Dane: What do you mean it’s a lovely experience? Andrea: Well, I think that there are some very not lovely things about being in a cubicle all day and having to deal with people that have their whole own set of stuff going on. It’s a lovely experience to be able to have the freedom to create the work around you that you want and to create the team around you that you just really like interacting with, and hopefully really likes interacting with each other. Dane: How does it feel to share this right now? Andrea: It feels really good. I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t expecting it to be sort of a more deeper connected question. That’s nice. Dane: What’s it like to feel that freedom that is lovely for you? What’s that experience like in your body? Andrea: Do you know what? I think that when people ask a question like that, I think that they’re reaching for what the feeling would feel like from being very far away from it. But when you just have this experience all the time, it just feels really normalized. It’s not something that – I just generally feel like I’m in a pretty good feeling aligned place. It doesn’t feel – Like if I had this experience from when I was 16 years old it would be like this quantum leap into an energy that I wasn’t used to. But now it just feels good, which is how it feels most of the time. Dane: Well, I feel so curious about this. When I ask you how this lovely freedom feeling feels, you say that it feels normal and that normal for you is sort of this aligned feeling of feeling good. Andrea: Right. Dane: If you were 16, feeling what you felt now, you would – that would be a quantum leap. Andrea: That’s correct. Dane: You might not be able to – you might self-destruct or is it that much goodness feeling or what are you talking about? Andrea: No. No. I mean that most of us in this country, or at least myself, I grew up really with this pattern of just worrying about stuff and trying to control everything and being very frightened that I wouldn’t be able to accomplish the things that I want to accomplish and to just sort of terrified of making my way in the world; to feel the type of ease that I feel now generally speaking. I mean I’m not a robot, I have emotions just like everyone else, but on a really regular basis, on a daily basis at least, I just live a really good feeling life. That wouldn’t – I wouldn’t even have been able to conceive of that far when I didn’t live this way. Dane: What do you think about like vision boards and setting goals? Andrea: I obviously have done all of that. I think most entrepreneurs do and now … Dane: But did you envision that you would be here, on The Apprentice, selling World of Warcraft, selling League of Legends. Did you envision this kind of stuff? Andrea: No, I really didn’t. When I got those contracts – I think it was 2005 – it was not a big deal. Those games were not – it was nothing. I actually originally got the contract I think in 2000 I started working with a company that’s the biggest video game distributor of merchandise in the world. They were like this tinny tiny company and so was I. It sort of phased into it. Dane: But you seem to kind of walk yourself into badass stuff everywhere you go. Andrea: Thank God. Dane: Thank God. We’re going to figure out this half hazard science that is your own conscious competence or that I imagine is your unconscious competence. One thing you mentioned earlier was that people seem to accept the reality when I asked why you laughed. I’m curious if you could say a little more about your perspective on accepting reality. Andrea: Well, this is going to go into my whole core life philosophy and so it will not work for somebody that doesn’t have the same philosophy that I do. But I believe that we attract around us all the time. Like the vibrational level of thought that we’re at, period. For a really happy go lucky person, we attract happy go lucky people. If we are really complaining, or really worried, or really complicated, then we complicate our own lives and we don’t realize that were doing it. But if we’re like sort of a bitter, angry, complaining person, that’s who’s going to show up around us. The more happy, and easy, and go lucky that we are about our lives, and whatever we’re in alignment with it, that sort of which shows up around us. That is my core life philosophy. For any of your listeners, I am very, very, very into Esther Hicks. She’s a friend of mine, she’s amazing, and I adore her. One of my companies years ago was doing subscription-based websites for best-selling spiritual authors. I was Gary Zukav’s board. I worked with Don Miguel Ruiz. We managed their technology portion of their companies years and years ago. I’ve read like every spiritual book on the planet. But Esther Hicks is my favorite. She would explain the philosophy certainly better than I would but I’ve incorporated a lot of it into my life. Dane: How many women have you met that you feel play at your frequency? Andrea: Well, I actually started this group called the Power Chick Mafia. It’s a bunch of amazing women. The criteria is you have to have a company that’s valued at at least five million dollars or be a C level position in a Fortune 1000. Also, most of the women are also Burning Man chicks, and super rad, and amazing on every conceivable level. There are quite a few of us. It is a verified experience but I’m – It’s a good one. Dane: Is this a group of single women as well? Andrea: Some of them are still single and some of us are not. Dane: Hmm Andrea: Oh. Yes, I’ll invite you to one of our events, Dane. Dane: I don’t actually naturally find myself drawn towards highly successful women – at least in the business world. I tend to find myself drawn towards – well, whatever. Not that they’re not successful on that way but it’s just been interesting that I don’t actually care. Andrea: Are you trying to say that you’re not attracted to me? Dane: Well, it’s hard to not be attracted to you, Andrea. But I would – what I’m getting at is – what I’ve noticed is I’m surprised I thought that I would be attracted to the very high-powered entrepreneur woman, and there are some out there that I do feel myself drawn to, but it’s not something that I actually look for or care about. Something about the energetic thing of that room, and when you mentioned all the women go to Burning Man, I imagined them having wide-opened hearts. Andrea: Yes. Dane: That’s when I became – that’s what my [unclear 00:13:52]. “Oh, [unclear 00:13:53] a single group of girls that you have?” Andrea: Well, it’s interesting to me, and I’ve been noticing this lately in my communication with my very good male friends, is that they sort of have this belief that they just never question that if a woman is super powerful in business, then she’s not soft and sexy and feminine and that is completely untrue of the women in my group. I deliberately – when we have the Power Chick Mafia events, they are never exclusively for women because we really like men, like a lot. We think they’re great. I love men. I adore them. I think they’re sexy, and awesome, and incredible. Dane: Yeah, I love how much you feel like an open channel there. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of limited expression in that appreciation which I appreciate hearing and I imagine people listening to as well. Accepting reality starts. I asked you about accepting reality, and you mentioned this goes into your core of life philosophy of attracting what you’re in vibration with. In order to attract what you’re in vibration with, ideally you want to be happy so you attract happy circumstances. My next question is how does one become happy under Andrea’s core life philosophy? Andrea: Well, it’s a deliberate choice just to continually reach for better feeling thoughts. I think the biggest mistake that people make in that, and certainly that I was making in that, is like I would be really, really, really frustrated, almost to the point of revenge, about some stupid situation that my mind was spinning on. Then I would try and jump from revenge to bliss and you can’t make it. It’s too far of a leap. Once I heard about this thing called the emotional scale, where like if you’re in revenge, anger feels better, and if you’re in anger, frustration feels better, and if you’re in frustration, boredom feels better, contentment feels better than that, and then you can start reaching for the higher feeling thoughts of bliss, or good feeling, or knowing, or believing, or things that feel really, really good. For years – especially when I started reading some of the earlier books that I was reading – I was really hard on myself for not just feeling good. I think that just being super easy about it, and just knowing that you can have arguments in your head all day long with somebody that you would like to convince that you’re right. It simply will not serve you, it will only make you feel bad. It will never help the situation. Slowly – it was a very long process but slowly, deliberately shifting my thoughts to come to the way that I wanted to feel. Not changing every single thought but like I just wanted to feel good, just be a good- feeling person living a good-feeling life. Dane: I’ve just got kind of lost in that share. Andrea: I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Was I confusing? Dane: No. Andrea: Okay. Dane: You are crystal clear. From your perspective, you can’t really jump from revenge to bliss so you want a stair-step? Andrea: Right. That’s right. Dane: In order to step — Andrea: Revenge is okay. Revenge feels better than powerlessness. It really does, every time. All of the emotions are okay, anyway. I didn’t mean to interrupt you. Dane: No, please do. This is your interview. Let’s say I’m at a job, I’m nine-to-five, and I’m absolutely miserable. I do want revenge on my boss because he just promoted someone else and I didn’t. What would you do in that situation? Andrea: Just try and soften it any way that I could and say – I probably wouldn’t believe in that moment that that was working out for me, but I would say something softer that was like, “I really hope that I can see one day how this is working out for me because I’m sure that it is.” or anything. Dane: Wow! Andrea: And if you want to stay in your revenge fantasy for a little while, that’s okay too. But then go as swiftly as you can to anger and frustration. Say, “Maybe this is working, it’s way up for me. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Maybe this is just a catalyst for me to go home and work on my own business at night.” Just soften it any way that you can, and not making yourself wrong in the process. Dane: I’m just writing a note down. I sure hope I can see how one day this is working out for me. Andrea: Yeah. That’s a softer way to say it. Because if you stay in that moment, “I’m sure this is working out for me,” you don’t really believe that. You don’t think it’s working out for you. You have a very different desired outcome. But if you say something softer like, “I hope one day I can see.” I actually remember I was on litigation a couple of years ago and I was talking to a good friend – my life coach – Kristin Meyer, who’s one of the best life coaches on the planet. She said, “I’m sure this is working out for you,” and it was a litigation. I lost a little mini battle. And I said, “There’s no possible way that it’s working out for me. I hope one day I can see it, but I’m sure it’s not.” Then of course, a year later, when I ended up winning that lawsuit, actually that was the key that was working out for me. That was like that one turning point where it ended up growing my life. In the moment, I couldn’t see it but I kept saying, “I hope that I see it one day even though I’m certain that it’s not. I’m certain that it’s not” but it was, of course. Dane: “I sure hope I can see that one day this is working out for me.” Andrea: Mm-hmm. Dane: I think that gives a really good insight into how you’re actually able to capture the realm of staying in the more positive and happy. It actually doesn’t feel like woo-woo, BS affirmations to me. It actually does feel like a sincerely authentic transition with that statement and I want more of that. What do you say to the entrepreneur who has failed over and over again and they’re about ready to give up, and they’re feeling probably hopeless and frustration? Andrea: Well, there are a couple of things. My mentor, who is very private and doesn’t like to be mentioned by name, gave me the best advice ever when I was facing something like that which was everyone pays tuition. This is just your tuition. It could be out of really big failure or something came up, no big deal. No big deal, everyone pays tuition. Also, look at the entrepreneurs that you see. I lost everything twice, which was devastating, and it wasn’t – I didn’t give all my money. [It barely made up 00:20:38]. These were very solid business decisions. One of my companies was on Oprah, I personally financed the development of it, it didn’t work. The technology was too early. The way that I — Dane: Did you say you were on Oprah? Andrea: My company was on Oprah. Yeah, she personally endorsed our product actually. Dane: What happened? Andrea: That was for the subscription-based websites. It was 2005 and so the technology … When people bought it, the technology was like … it would take two hours to download a five-minute video on a tin can and wire internet connection. We were testing on two one lines. There were multiple things that happened in that company that made it not work but it just was too early. I really beat myself up for it for a while. It was devastating. Then I saw a video that Simon Cowell had that was on my Facebook stream, about how he had to move back in with his parents when he was 33 or something and had lost everything, and was at the lowest low that you can be at. Then I started realizing that every entrepreneur has been in that place. I personally have been in that place and it feels devastating. And what separates out people that make it in life. I think the biggest thing is that they just keep going and they just keep trying and they just do. The only way that you can fail is to not get back up, that’s it. Other than that, it’s just no big deal. It did work out well for me because – I think that if I hadn’t had those stumbling points in my journey, I would be totally unapproachable. I would be completely – I would just be so – I just don’t think I would be a good person because then I realized the first time that it happened was I was creating these companies and doing businesses to impress people that I wouldn’t want to have into my home for dinner. It really made me come up with like the “No Asshole” rule and restructure the way that I lived my life and did business because I realized that … When you’re building a company, or when you’re working for a company or whatever, but when you’re building a company you are trading hours of your life for a pay-out that may or may not come so you better really like what you’re doing. If that big pay day doesn’t come, if you don’t accept the company, or if you don’t make the company profitable, then you really better have liked what you were doing along the way to it because it is not guaranteed. Dane: The only way you can fail is to not get back up. Andrea: Right. Dane: You firmly believe that? Andrea: I do. I do. I actually do see how these – I’m remiss even to call them failures but I do see how these stumbling points in my evolution as an entrepreneur really molded who I am today. Dane: Everyone pays tuition. Andrea: They do. Dane: So you’re coming to your mentor, you’re like, “Woe is me, mentor. Woe is me.” and he’s like, “Well, Andrea, everybody pays tuition.” Andrea: That’s pretty much exactly how he sounds when he says it. He has more humor in his voice. “No big deal, everyone pays tuition.” Dane: How did you feel in that moment when he said that? Andrea: I laughed really hard. I felt tremendous relief. Dane: Sounds like an important mentor. Andrea: Very, very much so. Possibly the biggest influence on my life; one of them certainly. Dane: How did you meet? Andrea: He’s an exceedingly successful guy. My ex-boyfriend had wanted him to mentor him and kept emailing him and was not getting a response back. I just felt inspired one day to email him and say, “Hey, my …” We actually already were broken up at that time, we just were good friends. I said, “Hey, my ex-boyfriend Steve is trying to get a hold of you. I realized that you are crazy busy but if you just want to feel like a superhero for the day, he looks at you the way the other people look at rock stars, and professional surfers, and professional athletes. If you called him, literally, it would change his life. Thirty seconds of your time. I’m guessing you have 30 seconds, you seem like a good guy.” Or something like that. I had my signature. I had my phone number and my signature. This is like 2000 something, 2002 maybe, or something like that. It was not 30 seconds later my phone rang and I knew it was him, and it was him, and he said, “I got Steve’s multiple emails and I’m not interested in mentoring him but I will talk to him for 30 seconds because you were kind, and nice, and you asked me to this on behalf of my friend. But you are special, you are extraordinary, and I want to mentor you.” He gave me 14 books to read in the next six weeks, and I did. Then I got back to him and we just developed an awesome friendship. He just taught me a lot about life and about business. He was the first one actually to impart upon me that the way that you win as a woman in business is by being a woman instead of trying to compete with men in the way that – like especially years ago, women used to try and like mimic men and go and do the same business style. There’s such an advantage to being a woman in business. I’m actually tired of hearing women say that it’s anything else. You’re dealing with men, men love women, and women love men. It’s like a million times easier. Then there’s no competition, there’s no sort of pissing contest when you go into it with a man. More like when two men are doing business, one of them has to win but when you’re a woman, you can just mediate, and be lovely, and bring them cookies, it just come really, really well. Dane: For those of you listening, the 14 books you mentioned, you can relax your mind because I will ask about that later so continue to — Andrea: I’ll give you the list. Dane: Yeah. Andrea: They’re possibly not relevant because he’s had multiple different exits on multiple verticals. Many of them, many billion-dollar companies across multiple verticals, and at that time he was running a hedge fund, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund. A lot of them are about trading and investing. I actually have a better list of books that I can give you that would be more relevant. Dane: Sure. I’d like to know – Andrea: Sure. Dane: I’d like to know whatever you can share at the end. Guys, keep focused if you’re down the trail of that rabbit hole. Talk about how you got that mentor. You also talked about being a woman in business which I’d love to explore a little as well. We also have all the stories of companies that you built but I’m more inclined to stay on this realm of conversation because I think this is more instructive of how you even got the companies built in the first place. Does that resonate as true with you? Andrea: Well, actually I didn’t understand all of this when I started my first company when I was 18. Not even remotely. At first, it was just hitting the grind. I worked from seven in the morning until one at night. I am not exaggerating. Seven days a week. I didn’t take a day off for seven years. I didn’t realize that it didn’t have to be that hard and so I made it a lot harder than it actually needed to be. But I just like through the share force of exertion and wealth made my company successful in the beginning. Dane: You worked at seven in the morning till one the next day for seven years? Andrea: Yes, almost every day. I’m sure that there were days where I worked slightly less, but if I was awake I was working. I built my office into my home. Dane: What was that business? Andrea: The first one was Rhythm Styx but where I really hit those sticks that you hold one in each hand and you throw a center stick around with them. Dane: Yeah. Andrea: Yeah, that was my first company. A lot of people made those. It was pre-internet for commerce in the way that it is structured today. It did fine. I was like a baller for an 18-year old but that meant I was clearing maybe 40 grand a year. Then I discovered apparel and I started my first clothing company. I think I was 22 when I started my first clothing company and that ended up going well. Then I started Delinquent Distribution which ended up owning the sales rights for all the Minecraft, World of Warcraft, Dota and all the video games. Before that, we did original t-shirts and that went exceedingly well. Exceeding well. Like millions of dollars well when I was really young. I think that company hit when I was 23 and we did – in three months we did a million dollars in profit. Dane: I want to talk about that. Before we do, I’m just going to make a note here on the t-shirts. Before we do, I want to talk about what that was like with Oprah recommending that business and watching these sales come in and then watching upset customer, after upset customer, after upset customer. I’d like to – tell me what that felt like? Andrea: It was exactly as awesome as you would expect. It felt horrendously bad. But the interesting thing is I truly don’t believe that there is a happy end to an unhappy journey, and with the particular author, we were not getting along which is not normal for me, and it’s not normal for him. We’re both really good people and we’re both very well-intended but we just didn’t like working with each other. Which was interesting but we didn’t and it was with really different expectations. When he went on the show, the sales just simply were not there anyway. There weren’t a ton of sales. We were told to expect this avalanche of sales that didn’t really come. But the sales – which actually was good because the technology was more faulty than we realized – then the sales that did come, just to have those customer calls. It was like, “Just kill me now. Why did I even built this product?” and simultaneously I had lost a ton of money on it. So I’m having to do all of this triage with the customer service while simultaneously losing my shirts. It was devastating. It was bad in every conceivable way of bad. I did remember sitting in my beautiful architectural digest home on a mountain that I owned in New Mexico just crawled up in a ball on the floor, crying my eyes out and just saying, “None of this is worth this feeling that I’m feeling right now.” It was a huge turning point in my life. Huge. It’s what made me decide I’m just not going to do projects that aren’t fun, period. I’m either going to make them fun or I’m going to abandon them, period. I disengaged from that company. I didn’t ever intertwine my spiritual beliefs with business again. I disengaged from a lot of businesses that I owned. Then I just shut down every project that I didn’t love doing. Dane: How long were you crawled up in a ball crying for? Andrea: Too long. Longer than I should have been, that’s for sure. At least six months, possibly longer. I had good days in there but not many of them. I was so – I felt like a failure. I just felt like I was failing at life. Dane: Sitting in your architectural home — Andrea: That I had to sell, yeah. Dane: You had to sell? Andrea: Oh, yeah. Oh, I lost everything. There was a bunch of other business stuff that I am not to go into that happened at the same time, but stuff that completely should not have happened. It all happened at the same time which also simultaneously happened when chain stores stopped repurchasing merchandise because the economy was starting to crash. It hit retail way before it hit the general economy like a year and a half before. It had every single thing that happened in the order that it did. I would have been able to recover from it, but no I went below there. I went $1.2 million in debt. I sold everything that I had and I cashed out my retirement and it was – Except for my G Wagon because I loved that thing. It was a long road back paying everything off. I did not file for bankruptcy. I knew that I had the capacity to make money but I just took a long time off. I went on road trips for two years pretty much. I just went on road trips to sort of recollect with myself and remember that I know how to do this. I just lost confidence in myself and I think if that happens, if something like that happened now, it would not take me that long to recover. But it took a long time to recover, it really did. Dane: What did you learn at that time? Only to do businesses that are fun? Andrea: Yeah. Well, and that whole thing of like … Yeah, just only do businesses that are fun because it might not work out. If I had been having fun, having fun, having fun, and the Oprah thing didn’t work out, it would have been really different than I hated taking this guy’s calls, he hated taking my calls. I thought every bad thing that a person can think about him, he thought every bad thing a person could think about me. We did not enjoy it at all. And then we had to mediate through this situation where also there was no pay-off in the end for it. It would have just been really different if we were having like this really great time and it didn’t work. Kind of like, “Oh, no big deal. It didn’t work. It’s too early, no big deal.” But it was a very big deal. I hated talking about it, it makes me feel terrible. But I do think it might help some of the entrepreneurs that do you get out on the other side. Almost every entrepreneur I know has been to zero. Not all of them but almost are way below zero, almost all of them. It’s not that a big of a deal. It’s really not. Dane: Are you sure about that? Andrea: At the time, it feels like it’s the end of the world. However, it’s not the end of the world. And if in that moment you could just remember that you know how to do this, that you know how to run businesses, that you know how to make money, that you know how to make products that are compelling that people are going to want to buy that help them, it becomes not a big deal. But in the moment, of course, it feels like the biggest deal in the world, and it feels devastating. It feels there’s no worse feeling, but it’s really not. Dane: Yeah. I sure hope that you could see that one day that was working out for you. Andrea: That’s right. It was working out for me. It really was. Dane: You say you hate feeling that feeling? It felt terrible. Was that what I heard? Andrea: It’s just the worst feeling to doubt yourself. It’s the worst feeling and it’s the worst feeling to feel powerless and feel like a failure. It is the worst feeling. I don’t have a worst feeling than that. Dane: Just entertaining this just for a few seconds so people can see the reality and vulnerability of entrepreneurship. Andrea: Sure. Dane: What’s it like for you when you do doubt yourself, feel powerless, and like a failure? Andrea: Usually I literally just curl up on the floor and cry. Also, I will get really overwhelmed and not want to take any action, which probably is good because no action that I take from that place is going to do very much for me but it’s – I don’t have the words for it. It’s this horrible, stinking feeling. Dane: In your chest? Andrea: Yeah. Dane: I noticed that feeling. For me, that resonates more in my gut. Andrea: Mm-hmm. Dane: Like, “Oh, this is a tremendous shame.” Andrea: Yeah. There are runs up on a ladder that you are supposed to climb up and just look back from them is shameful in some way. I was horribly embarrassed. I would never speak of it publicly. I had this mastermind group that I have put together of J Allard who invented the Xbox, and Dan Caldwell from TapouT, and myself, and Cameron Johnson and Tina Wells from Buzz Marketing. I had this whole support system around me. I didn’t even tell them what was going on because I was so ashamed. I thought that they wouldn’t want even to be my friend anymore which was absurd. It is absurd but that’s what I felt. I didn’t reach out. I didn’t feel like I had community and I didn’t reach out to the people that were in my community for help or guidance because I was so ashamed. That’s just the silliest thing ever because I didn’t realize that all of them, of course, had experienced failure like I did. Yeah. I think it’s easier now that the internet exists in the way that it does and podcasts like your podcast and showing people that every person that I know that’s this successful, serial entrepreneur has at some point had a really big road bump for them. Dane: What did you want more than anything in that moment? Andrea: I wish I could say that what I wanted more than anything in that moment was to be happy because that really is, from my perspective now, what I would have wanted but I just wanted the money. I just wanted it so bad. Just to be out of debt and to not have to think about it anymore and to not – I just wanted something to pop. But what I want now more than anything, more than life, is just to be happy because I think everything else comes when you’re happy living a good life. Dane: How are you doing on the happiness thing? Andrea: Pretty good. I mean I have a really good life. I’m doing really well. Dane: My whole body feels really warm as I receive that from you. It’s like I want to give you a hug. Andrea: I wish that you could. Dane: You said you would never combine your spiritual beliefs with business again. Andrea: That’s not true. That’s how I felt at that time. Now it would not be a problem for me. Dane: Okay. Great, that clears that up. Andrea: Yeah. Dane: What’s your work day like now? What time do you wake up? What time – Seven to one for seven years but now … now what? Andrea: It’s not like that. Now, I work when I’m inspired to work. That can be an interesting thing to explain to partners. I don’t usually talk about that very much because I get too much pushed back from it, but that is what I do. I really like my work and when I’m really actively engaged in a project, I will work from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep because I love it. But right now, right this second in my life, I am working quite a bit. But I wake up every morning, I go first thing to the dog park. I have a black lab/hound rescue named Rico. We go to the dog park for an hour every morning, no matter where we are in the world. Then we come home and do some stuff around the house and then I’ll probably work a little bit. Then I go on a hike because I am living right now in my vacation home in Sedona. Then I work, if I feel inspired to, which most days I do. Dane: So you wake up around what time, you said? Andrea: I don’t ever set an alarm so it varies, but I usually am just an early riser by nature, so I don’t know. Anywhere between – It depends on what time of the year it is. I wake up right around the time the sun comes up usually, sometimes before. Dane: You hit the dog park, come back for an hour. You’re pretty clear on that. Andrea: At least. He’s 18 months old. If I’m not there for an hour, it is a problem. He has a lot of energy that’s how he’s a good boy. Dane: You should blame him for all of your fun and exercise. Andrea: I know. I know, right? Dane: Then you come back and you do some chores, kind of get the house situated, then you sit down and work? Andrea: Most days. Dane: Most days. Did you do it yesterday? Andrea: No. I actually was – I had a little bit of a cold. I’ve been a little sick so I didn’t. Dane: Did you do it today? Andrea: Yes. Dane: You did. What did you do when you sat down for work today? Andrea: I actually had a call with my life coach, Kristin Meyer who’s awesome. Dane: Hold on. I asked you if you worked today. Andrea: I, for sure, count that. Come on. Now, I’m doing a podcast with you. Dane: Yes. Andrea: Go buy stuff from mentormojo.com and stickerjunkie.com. See, I just worked. A lot of my work is strategic development and partnership anyways and just maintaining relationships [unclear 00:41:24]. But I did answer email and do some stuff for MentorMojo this morning. Now, I must get a bunch of accounting in order because I have an appointment with my CPA in two days. Must. Dane: Sounds like a pretty nice life. Andrea: It does sound like a pretty nice life. I’m pretty thankful. Dane: Did you go on a hike today too? Andrea: I will. Usually in the afternoon I go. Dane: What kind of things happen for you while you’re on your hikes? Andrea: I get really good ideas when I’m on my hikes. I’m a huge believer in visualization and pre-paving and stuff. Not to make anything happen as much because it just feels really good. I will fantasize about stuff that couldn’t even possibly ever happen just because it feels really good to do it. It’s embarrassing to admit it but I don’t care, because everyone that I talk to that’s like a high-end business person that I’m friends does this too. It might be helpful for the entrepreneurs who are listening, I’ll imagine being interviewed on Oprah because my company was on Oprah but I was just on the front row, I wasn’t on stage. That sure doesn’t exist anymore but it still feels really good. Or I’ll imagine like name staging at TED or anything that feels good, or hosting like a really big successful party for the exit of one of my companies that – I don’t really care if Google ends up buying that company or not but it feels really good to imagine like this amazing party and Macklemore comes in and sings Can’t Hold Us and I just sold the company for $300 million to Google. That feels awesome. It’s fine if it doesn’t happen that way, my life is quite good anyhow. Dane: Can I kick it? Thank you. That old song. I actually know every word of that song. Andrea: As do I. Dane: We should rap off to it. Andrea: Maybe we should do some krump dancing like we were the other day. Dane: What we’re we doing the other day? Andrea: DMX dancing. Dane: Oh gosh! We just edited that out. Andrea: I figured. Dane: We do not listen to DMX anybody. That music is for 16 year olds in suburbs who think they’re black. You said you do visualization and pre-paving. Andrea: I do. Dane: What does pre-paving mean? Andrea: Just pre-paving a situation vibrationally or like feeling wise for how I want it to feel. If I know that I’m going to have a meeting or a negotiation or something. It’s not so much the exact like this word, this word, this word. It’s like the feeling of the way that I wanted to feel. Especially if I have a difficult situation come up in any one of my companies or something. I’ll just remember how I want the outcome to feel. Dane: Sometimes you’ll mention picturing yourself on Oprah and not because it even exists but just because it feels good, or the exit of a company, or what else will you visualize? Andrea: I actually have never shared with anyone my Google exit party which is super fun to visualize. Just anything. I have one go-to for one of my companies, YogaJunkie, which is not super active right now. We’re just starting to come around to work on that one again. I visualize building it into this huge brand en route to becoming an acquisition target for Lululemon. Then renting out [unclear 00:44:50], hosting this amazing Christmas gathering with all of our employees and people who are associated with the line. I don’t care if I ever turn up but it feels really good to think about it. I think that people, especially when they’re starting out with visualizing, they’re trying to take something into their visualization and fix something that is broken which just enhances the brokenness of it. They’re trying to change somebody’s opinion about something, they’re trying to win at something, or they’re trying to convince someone of something in their visualization and they’re just trying too hard. And all of that that does is holds to them or to me when I do it, the vibration of the lack of that thing. Does that make sense? Dane: Give me – make it specific. Andrea: Specifically if there is – let me think of one. Specifically, if there is company that you have that is not making enough money, let’s say it’s losing $500 a day – or that might be too much. This is a very specific example from earlier in my life. I did have a company that was losing $500 a day. When I first started visualizing, I would try and visualize that company making enough money to be profitable but it was just trying too hard. It made me feel worse because then I would look at the reality of it and it was still losing money every day. I just don’t take anything that has any contrast in it, or anything that it feels broken and try and fix it through visualization. I just think about stuff that feels really good to think about. Dane: More importantly is visualization is that it feel good, keep doing it, and if it doesn’t, don’t. Andrea: That’s correct, yes. If you notice yourself trying to fix the problem in it, it’s probably not going to be feeling good, knock it off. Dane: Got it. So you lost all your money twice. The first time was Oprah. Andrea: No, that was the second time. Dane: What was the first time? Andrea: It was a combination of events. There was a chain store called Mr. Rags that had 150 locations and they went out of business. I had 40% of their t-shirts shelves because I had so many licenses at that time. I own the license on High Times magazine and on Seedless Clothing and a bunch of other companies. Dane: Why did you own the license to that one, Andrea? Andrea: I have no idea – what? Dane: Why did you decide to own a license to that one? Andrea: Just kidding. Because it sold really well. Actually I had — Dane: How did you know it sold really well? Andrea: My first company was Anti-Establishment Clothing and we sold super offensive tshirts. That was my first apparel company. Two head shops and tattoo shops. Nobody was really selling High Times stuff. Not in the cool way, they just had the old Rasta logo and stuff and I was like, “What if you just took the covers and put Snoop Dogg cover and the Bob Marley cover on t-shirts, people would buy that.” I used to advertise on the back cover of High Times for Anti-Establishment Clothing. I knew those guys. We would go to all the same trade shows. I told them that I owned licensing rights on a bunch of companies and that I show them theirs and they agreed. Dane: You make it sound so easy to be friends with all these people doing big things like Dan Caldwell, the founder of TapouT Clothing. It’s like, “Oh, yeah. We’ll just be friends with him.” Andrea: He’s my homie. Dane: Yeah. “We’ll be friends with the guys that are the creators of High Times.” What is it that happens in you that like – You even got this multi-billionaire hedge fund dude to reply and say “You’re special.” Andrea: That was lucky. Dane: Bullshit. Andrea: That was lucky. So – Dane: You call. You being of service to someone, trying to give to someone else… Andrea: [unclear 00:48:29] Dane: You call that luck? No. Andrea: You’re right. Actually, one of Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success is to be of service. Just like if you are always helping people try to make money, you just will make money. You just will. I really like that one. Even though I’m pretty selfishly motivated person – we all are, it’s the correct way to be. It feels really good to help other people. What could be more selfish than that? It does feel really, really, really good to help other people. Yeah. Still, to this day, I just hosted an event up in Eden, Utah, and my mentor came. He was telling the story of how we met and he was like, “It was just because she was just trying to do something nice for her friend. That was so nice of her.” I was like, “Thanks.” Dane: Yeah. I’m so curious of this mentor’s name is, but I know it’s off limits. Andrea: I’ll tell you privately. Dane: Well, people are going to ask. Don’t tell me — Andrea: It’s off limits. He’s a very private person and I respect that. Dane: Yeah, I respect that as well. Andrea: You don’t know him. If I said his name, you do not know him. It is not like Mark Cuban or Donald Trump or somebody that everybody knows. Dane: It’s got to be one of 700 people that are the billionaires of this world. Andrea: That is accurate, but you don’t know him. He’s not on any of the lists. You would not know who he was. Dane: I haven’t forgotten about the books guys, but I want to chat about how you seem to make friends with people that are up to really legendary things. Andrea: Well, this is the lovely part about being an up and coming entrepreneur. I met a lot of these people when we were all on the rise. Dane: I want to interrupt you. Andrea: Yeah. Dane: Travis Steffen. Andrea: Yes. Dane: I’m excited to have that guy on the podcast. He’s a — Andrea: He’s so great. Dane: He’s a stud. Great guy, recent friend, we don’t know each other as well as I would like. He interviewed me for MentorMojo. Frankly, it could have just been me interviewing him with everything that he’s got going on and what he’s doing. Did I lose you? Andrea: It’s back now. Dane: Anyway, I just want to talk about Travis. I want you to tell the story of how you became a mentor to Travis, please. Andrea: I will. Travis Steffen is amazing. After I was on The Apprentice, I also was featured in all of the business magazines that everyone reads or read back then. I was getting lots of requests for mentorship, and lots of requests for my time. All of them have the exact identical cadence which is the wrong way to approach someone that is really busy which was, “I have this business. It’s the best idea ever. It’s failing right now. If you will come partner with me, it would be so successful, and if not I’m going to go out of business.” I would always think to myself. “I’m sure that that is true that if I came into your business I could make it work but I’m really busy.” Travis sent me an email, a cold reach email that was concise, and to the point, and short. It was something to the effect of “I’m a starting entrepreneur. I have no idea what I’m doing. However, I have done this, this and this. And I used to be a Division I football player, career ending injury. I was a MMA professional fighter, career ending injury. Now I’m just doing business. I know I’m going to make it. I’m for sure going to make it. I’m applying that same focus here. However, I know I would get there way faster if you helped me. So I would love it if you had time to get back to me but if not I’ll see you at the top.” I have the goose bumps. That’s exactly what I would respond to. “No pressure, I’m going to make it. You could help me get there.” I called him and began to mentor him for years. I was so impressed over the course of the next two years that we became business partners. He is my business partner in MentorMojo. We also bought thebomb.com together and flipped it. We’ve done a bunch of other business stuff. Then he moved into a tech incubator hub house in LA that I created called the Winston House in Venice that I co-created with my other friend. We became closer and closer and eventually – he’s one of my best friends on the planet. Eventually, we traded 1% of all of our companies to each other, Travis and I. But it all started out with him just having this confidence like, “I’m going to make it. I’m not going to stop until I make it and maybe you can help me, but if not, no worries.” It was awesome. Dane: Why did you guys trade 1% of all your companies? Andrea: We’re really invested and advising in each other’s companies anyway, and we really have a lot of faith in each other, and we have very, very different skill sets. If I bring Travis into advise me on something that, say, going on in StickerJunkie, or if he brings me into advise someone something that he had with UP, which is one of his other companies. We’re going to have really different eyes on it and we are a super valuable resource for each other. It’s just nice. I was going to say it’s a nice hedge but it’s not a hedge because we do quite well. But it’s nice to have a little piece in somebody else’s company and have them as an advisor and vice versa. It just feels good. Dane: And all that started with one email. Andrea: That’s right. Dane: Most of the other emails you’re getting – because I remember you telling me that Donald Trump would be – on The Apprentice to millions of people, Donald Trump would be like, “Andrea, you’re a millionaire. What do you think?” Andrea: That’s right. Dane: People would reach out to you and ask you for money. They’d reach out and ask you to help. All the emails have this needy, clingy, “Please save me” energy. And then Travis comes in and he’s like, “Yo, I feel myself as successful and I’m going to be there. Do you want to join me?” Guys, you never have to struggle for a mentor again. That may be one of the most valuable tips you get in your entire life. You can quantify that by saying you could potentially be owning 1% of all of Andrea’s businesses. You could possibly be partnering with her. You could be living in a house with other people all if you sent that one email. That may be one of the most valuable tips. Please do not overlook that. I just want to say as a thank you for listening to Starting from Nothing, as a sort of karmic repayment to The Foundation and I, and Andrea, for listening to this. If you would please take time out of your day to go on share this podcast on Facebook or with a friend, that would mean the world for us for spending our time here giving this to you. That would mean the world to me. Andrea, I want to talk about … of course our podcast is called Starting from Nothing. I would like to talk for a brief period of time here as we’re nearing the end. How did you start this t-shirt company from nothing? Andrea: I want to say really quickly to our listeners. It’s not hard to get in the right room. It’s really not. If you keep reaching out, you will get in the right rooms and you know what the next right room for you is. That is how I started the t-shirt company, same thing. It’s not that hard to meet the right people. I had heard of somebody, through a friend, who was making $10,000 a month profit selling t-shirts. I thought that is all the money in the world. I am going to go do that. I asked for an introduction to this guy when I was 21 and he said yes, and I started talking to him all about his company. Entrepreneurs that are at a higher level than you usually will share in detail what they’re doing, especially when it’s in sort of a bottom list market which is what I called t-shirts. You can have 50 shirts and if you see another one you like, you’re going to buy it. I just picked the brain of every entrepreneur who had gotten to a level of sales that I wanted to get to, and then when I achieved that level of sales, I reached out to the next level up of entrepreneurs. I just kept getting mentorship and advice from them. That’s exactly how I started it. It did really well. Dane: How did you reach out to the t-shirt guy who’s 21 or the guy — Andrea: I asked my friend for an instruction. He was a friend of a friend and he introduced me, and the guy met with me, and just told me exactly how he was doing it. I was shocked at his candidness and openness in sharing it but he just didn’t feel any competition either. Dane: Yeah. This is the world that I desire for people to discover. This abundant, generous world that is hard to picture when you’re in the nine-to-five. Nine-tofive is kind of an opposite survival based, generally speaking, not in every case but it’s a survival scarcity-based. There’s only so much you got can’t share. But when you get in the entrepreneurial realm, man, it’s just like people want to share. I hang out with entrepreneurs. I’ve hung out with entrepreneurs before who’ve done hundreds of millions. The thing they talk about to me is wanting to be able to give back and contribute to other entrepreneurs. Andrea: 100%. That’s the same that we find with all of our mentor, Mojo mentors. Dario Meli, the founder of HootSuite, one of the founders of HootSuite, is one of our mentors at MentorMojo. His company just got valued at $2 billion. He also started quietly. These guys are so happy to give really detail-oriented advice on how to actually do it because they want the next generation to come up too just as much as you and I do. Actually, on that note, I’m creating another product right now that is not live yet, it’s called lessons.biz. My business partner, Dan Caldwell from TapouT and myself, are going to teach a live six-week course on how to start a t-shirt company. Exactly holding your hand down the line all the stuff that we wish that we had because neither one of us see the competition in it. We’re happy to share all of our experience and I find that to be consistent will all of the MentorMojo mentors. It’s amazing and all of the people that we’re going to work on lessons.biz with. It’s just such a cool sharing economy. Dane: You make it sound easy but there’s – Andrea: It’s not that hard. I didn’t grow up with any advantage. My parents were middle class, working class, and then they both went back to school at night and became upper middle class, but they were not like Donald Trump. They weren’t super stubby entrepreneurs. I grew up just the same way that most of the people here grew up but I reached out a lot to people who had done. This is why I didn’t go to college. I just kept reaching out to people who had already done what I wanted to do. Just in a sincere way ask them to share their knowledge with me. People are so flattered usually by it, 90% of the time. They want to share, they really want to share. Now these platforms exist. It took me 20 years in business to meet all of these mentors and get them in a room and sit them down, have them share their secrets with me. I’m sure that it took a very long time for you guys to create The Foundation. Now, the internet blows my mind because these new entrepreneurs are just being fused with every lesson and piece of knowledge and detail-oriented curriculum information that you and I have learned over the course of a career. It’s amazing. It’s amazing to me. Dane: Yeah. It is a little too good to be true versus when we were starting. Even me in 2006 was quite a different time. Andrea: Yup. Dane: How did you become this way? What kind of person does all this stuff? Andrea: I have no idea. Dane: You have no idea. I’m not sure if I’m left more perplexed by the end of it as to who in the world is Andrea Lake. Andrea: I guess you’ll just have to have me on again. Dane: Tell me, if you wouldn’t mind, close your eyes for me. Take a deep breath in. If you’re listening along, you can take big deep breaths in. I want you to access the part of your body that feels the most wisdom right now, Andrea. Where is that at? Keep breathing deep. Andrea: It’s right in my heart. Dane: Right in your heart. Andrea’s heart, how did you become this way? Andrea: You know I really just kept following the trail of what feels good. I really did. It sounds like it’s a magic pill and it’s good to be true and it doesn’t happen all at once but that really is what I did. That’s what I continue to do. It’s not like a diploma where you get it and then you have it forever. It’s a daily choice. Dane: You follow the daily choice of doing what feels good and feeling good being what is aligned for you. Andrea: Yeah. Dane: Let’s wrap with the 14 books this guy gave you, and then also the updated list that you think. As many as you can remember. Andrea: Oh. Oh my gosh! I can actually – I think I might be able to still pull up his list. My list is Atlas Shrugged, most impactful book I ever read in my life. I know that it’s a controversial one but it was one of the most impactful books ever. Then Ask and It Is Given by Jerry and Esther Hicks is on my list. 4 Hour Workweek, I love Tim Ferriss and I love the 4 Hour Workweek. It’s on my list. Success Principles by Jack Canfield was really empowering and powerful for me, but I don’t know that it would still be a 100% relevant but probably so. The same with Awakening the Giant Within by Tony Robbins, one of my favorites. Then I love the Harry Potter books more than I can even express. His list is not on mine any longer. I can ping him and see if he still has it which … oh, maybe it’s here. Nope. Anyway, his list had guns, germs, and steels, market wizards, a bunch of stuff. Oh geez. Can I get it to you and you can post it [unclear 00:03:13]? Dane: Yeah. We’ll post it below on the page. If you’re listening to this podcast, please come and visit the page. Please share this interview with someone you love. Please use the Mentor Strategy to find a mentor. For those of you that are interested in the path to start from nothing, the community to have support along the way, and the whole structure and framework. Basically, everything you could need to ever start something. We’d love to have you join us at The Foundation. You can apply for our next class at the foundation.com/apply. You can get notes to – and links – to any of Andrea’s businesses from mentormojo.com to stickergiant.com to … Andrea: Oh, that’s one of my competitors. StickerJunkie. Dane: stickerjunkie.com. I actually know the owner of StickerGiant. We’re friends. I went through on his company. Do you know him? Andrea: Oh, nice. I actually have talked to him on the phone once like 15 years ago. He’s such a nice guy, but I’ve never met him. Now that I’m spending more time in Boulder, I’m sure that I will. He seems like so nice. Dane: Oh, yeah. He’s a great guy. Not StickerGiant but stickerjunkie.com. Andrea: That’s right. Dane: Also, we’ll put links to lessons.biz while we wait for the arrival of that. Andrea, is there anything else you’d like to leave us with today? Andrea: Actually, this is a quote from a friend. It’s one of my favorite, favorite, favorite things is that there is just no separation between any of us who are perceived as the entrepreneurs who have made it and you. We all started in just exactly the same place. So let them be an example of what you can do, not an exception of the rule. You really can do it. Closing: Thank you for joining us. We’ve taken this interview and created a custom action guide so you know exactly what action steps to take to grow your business. Just head over to thefoundationpodcast.com to download it for free. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.