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Author Michael G. Dash: “When you have tribes in your life, you can overcome any negative belief patterns or behavior cycles”

The lesson I want readers to take away is that by building a solid foundation of habits in your life and surrounding yourself with like minded individuals who share similar passions, connections are built, and communities are forged. These communities, or tribes, are the foundation of support and growth in your life. When you have tribes in your life, you can overcome any negative belief patterns or behavior cycles you are trying to break.

As part of my interview series on the five things you need to know to become a great author, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michael G. Dash. Michael is an entrepreneur, best-selling author of Chasing the High, recovering addict, and philanthropist. He founded the F.A.T.E. series (From Addict to Entrepreneur) published on Thrive Global & Medium as well as a 10 week FATE mentoring program that helps leaders dealing with compulsive and addictive behaviors and can be found at He also Co-Founded the Activated movement found at, a social movement focused on inspiring a culture of positivity, authenticity, passion, empathy, and resilience. Michael is an avid volunteer, fundraiser, and mentor, and is dedicated to bringing positive change to leaders of all kind.

Thank you so much for joining us Michael! Can you share a story about what brought you to this particular career path?

After years of handling the stresses of entrepreneurship by escaping with drugs and gambling I knew there had to be a better way. Through years of anonymous programs, masterminds, retreats, therapists and more I was able to recover and find better ways to manage the rigors of running a business. After being part of several entrepreneur organizations and seeing more and more of my peers turning to addictive and compulsive behaviors, I knew I wanted to tell my story so others know there are other options to turn to.

Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

The most interesting story was how I started resenting all of my competition when I first got into business. However, over the years the resentment turned into respect which then ultimately turned into cooperation and partnership. This lead to friendship. IT really is interesting when you start with a certain perception like you must crush your competition when in reality there is enough business to go around and if you treat your competition with respect it can lead to greater success and eventual collaboration

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

It’s most likely not the funniest but one I learned a lot from. When I owned my recruiting company I was working with Zappos. My team and I felt as though we were not being given a fair advantage competing with Zappos other staffing vendors that they were partnering with. One of their corporate employees was taking the work and effort our team was putting in for granted and as an afterthought. In my disgust, I meant to send an internal email to our team lead venting how we were being treated unfairly by the main point of contact. In my haste however I accidentally sent this email to our contact at Zappos! Let’s just say she did not appreciate the criticism and it ended the relationship over time. This was a huge lesson learned and I never sent an email like that again — to anyone!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I have built a platform called FATE (From Addict To Entrepreneur) and developed a 10 week mentoring program to work with any leaders dealing with addictive and compulsive behaviors that are negatively affecting them as owners, executives, family members and friends. This program takes them through a four-step process that will dramatically transform their behaviors and allow them to step into the leader they were born to be.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a great writer? (i.e. perseverance, discipline, play, craft study) Can you share a story or example?

Perseverance for sure. I started writing Chasing The High and after working on it for six months decided to sell my recruiting/staffing company of 11 years. At that point I put the book on hold to fulfill a 6-month transition contract I had signed after selling my business. After the sale I went to Bali on a retreat with the intention to stay after and finish the book. A few days after the retreat I was in a bad motorcycle accident and broke my foot and separated my shoulder. In pain, I persevered and continued with my original plan staying in Bali for seven more weeks on crutches and finished writing the book.

Can you share the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

The most interesting story was when I was in college in my first foray as an entrepreneur. I had gotten in with a bad crowd and became a drug dealer and a bookie. I seized on an opportunity I identified and borrowed my fathers Lincoln Continental over one spring break. I travelled from the University of Maryland to University of New Mexico to purchase and transport 22 pounds of marijuana across the country. One pound a marijuana cost $300 in New Mexico but I could resell it for $800 in Maryland and at the time I had no thoughts about any consequences of my actions. I was fortunate that I was not caught but looking back, it was one of the most foolish things I have ever done.

What is the main empowering lesson you want your readers to take away after finishing your book?

The lesson I want readers to take away is that by building a solid foundation of habits in your life and surrounding yourself with like minded individuals who share similar passions, connections are built, and communities are forged. These communities, or tribes, are the foundation of support and growth in your life. When you have tribes in your life, you can overcome any negative belief patterns or behavior cycles you are trying to break.

What was the biggest challenge you faced in your journey to becoming a bestselling author? How did you overcome it? Can you share a story about that that other aspiring writers can learn from?

When I launched the book, the email list that my publisher was working from was incorrectly incorporated into the software they were using for our email campaign. The majority of my list were sent emails addressed to a different person. The day of the launch I received a crazy amount of people letting me know I was incorrectly calling them by a different name. I was extremely embarrassed but understood it was all part of the process and did my best to not overreact but to overcome.

Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?

I was inspired by others who shared their stories and pain of overcoming personal challenges in their business journey and having the courage to talk about it. There wasn’t any one in particular, but the collective whole.

How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?

I believe that through my story of addiction, entrepreneurship, mistakes made and lessons learned that others in a similar situation can incorporate the things that worked well for me and have an easier path to transformation. That other entrepreneurs know there are better ways to manage the stress and challenges of running a business than turning to addictive and compulsive behaviors and I can help them.

What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author like you?

My advice would be to tell their story. People relate to others through stories and shared experiences. We are doing a disservice to ourselves by not speaking our truth and sharing the lessons we have learned with the world.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. Timelines shift — many times throughout the process the time from the illustrator, the editor, the distributor, the layout, etc moved — be prepared for this.

2. Help from friends — when promoting my book there were certain friends, I believed would definitely help me promote it, but I learned when it came down to it they weren’t there. Others however I didn’t count on actually did come through for me so keep this in mind.

3. As a self-publisher I had no idea how difficult it would be to sell books so be creative and relentless. So many people committed to purchasing the book but many still have not bought a copy. Everyone gets so busy and they may have the best intentions but at the end of the day you have to be on the verge of annoying to get them to buy it.

4. Media appearances do not sell books. I had the impression that certain media appearances would sell books for me however they did not. I was on some major networks that were great exposure but did not end up in sales. I am grateful for those opportunities however advise on managing expectations.

5. There never is a “best time” to write a book. Just get out there and do it.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I actually have started a movement to help entrepreneurs dealing with addiction under my platform called FATE (From Addict To Entrepreneur). It is a 10 week mentoring program to provide entrepreneurs and leaders who are dealing with these types of compulsive/addictive behaviors a better way to live. No longer will they need to hide and feel alone because they fear losing business or credibility with their teams, clients and colleagues. So often we feel alone in building our businesses and not knowing where to turn to manage the stress. The FATE program provides a supportive community of like-minded entrepreneurs to support each other. For anyone interested they can listen to the free webinar at and schedule a call with me.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

FB —

Instagram —

LinkedIn —

Chasing The High Book —

FATE free webinar program —

Website —

Thank you so much for this. This was very inspiring!

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About the author:

Chaya Weiner is the Director of branding and photography at Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator. TLI is a thought leadership program that helps leaders establish a brand as a trusted authority in their field. Please click HERE to learn more about Thought Leader Incubator.



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