“Courage Beats Competence” 5 Startup Tips with Josh Mastel, CEO of UpRoar Partners
“One of the strongest emotions when you start something of your own is that my business is my BABY. That means everything has to be perfect — every move and decision had to be expertly calculated. It’s not sustainable and certainly doesn’t lead to growth. I learned quickly that I had to attack my business with confidence if I wanted to see real results. The more courageous you are in putting yourself out there the faster you will make the small mistakes (or big ones) that you can quickly learn from. Now, I’m a lot bolder in my decision making and attack plan, which has paid off big time. People call me crazy all the time — I embrace it.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Josh Mastel, Founder and CEO of UpRoar Partners
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I grew up in a unique environment that I’m actually very thankful for. I witnessed a lot as a child and teenager… I was exposed to a heavy amount of turmoil and loss. Yet, for some reason, I came out of that environment with an extremely high level of optimism, energy, and drive to build a life for myself. I truly believe that the toughness I developed mixed with my tenacious optimism, drove a lot of my early success as I entered corporate America. Starting off in sales before developing a real love for managing and leading sales teams, I was fortunate to gain tremendous experience in building and running large, successful sales organizations. Then, one day I woke up and decided that even with all the success I was experiencing at the time, I still wasn’t that happy. I wanted to do more than be a piece of the puzzle — I wanted to build my own puzzle. I think deep down I crave some of the turmoil, challenges and unknowns that I grew so accustom to as a young man. There’s no better way to encounter challenges than starting your own business So, I put all my chips on the table and bet on myself by starting UpRoar Partners, which I’m running full time today.
Can you tell me about the most interesting projects you are working on now?
I’ve always been extremely interested in human behavior, motivation, and why people do the things that they do. The truth, about 90% of the day-to-day actions that individuals and businesses take are habitual, “auto-pilot” responses to what the world throws their way. We built each and every one of our service packages at UpRoar to help organizations generate drastic change and growth by providing remedy to the pain that they are feeling because of that “natural” human behavior. Because of that, our approach and projects always tend to be interesting. For example, we have a deep-rooted belief that organizations are stuck in the 1970s in terms of the way they train and prepare their sales people to be successful. We are developing and launching a digital platform that is set to change that and I’d say it’s the most interesting project yet for me.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
Without a doubt. I referenced earlier that I experienced some loss as a young person. Well, the biggest of those was my older brother, Jesse. I was 18 and he was 22 when we got the call that we lost him in a car accident. He was the most influential person in my life at that time, and he taught me so much about how to treat people, how to enjoy life, and how to work hard for what you want. In a strange way, I really don’t think I would be where I am today without the loss of my brother. Because his time got cut short, he’s the reason I live every day like it is my last and make sure to keep a smile on my face. I think those two strategies alone can take anyone pretty far in life and business.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’m really passionate about young people. I’m involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and UpRoar is actively building a presence at universities around the country, providing career and sales coaching to young people who want to pursue a career in sales after they graduate. We’re really big on helping teach young people how to develop the discipline and personal character that it takes to be successful before we coach and teach them anything about the fundamentals of selling. As funny as it may sound, it’s not uncommon to hear us ask a college student who is getting mentorship from us if they made their bed that morning.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why.
1 –“Enjoy the Ride!” — The myth is that as an entrepreneur, you’re supposed to sacrifice everything and not enjoy any of it. It seems like everywhere you look some business owner is talking about how they work 20 hour days and never see their family. I figured that’s the way it had to be, so in the beginning I wasted a lot of nights just logging hours. The truth is, I still work incredibly hard now but I’ve learned that entrepreneur life is just as much fun as it is stressful. In my opinion, consistently being stressed out and run down while running your business is a choice. I choose the opposite. You can do good, hard work and still sprint through your day with a big ol’ smile on your face!
2 — Courage Beats Competence — One of the strongest emotions when you start something of your own is that my business is my BABY. That means everything has to be perfect — every move and decision had to be expertly calculated. It’s not sustainable and certainly doesn’t lead to growth. I learned quickly that I had to attack my business with confidence if I wanted to see real results. The more courageous you are in putting yourself out there the faster you will make the small mistakes (or big ones) that you can quickly learn from. Now, I’m a lot bolder in my decision making and attack plan, which has paid off big time. People call me crazy all the time — I embrace it.
3 — People Love to Help — One of the first things I teach young sales people in the coaching process is how to leverage relationships and effectively use their network. It is an invaluable skill for a successful sales person. For some reason, when I started my business I forgot my own curriculum. I wish someone would have opened my eyes earlier to the incredibly giving and helpful entrepreneur community. There are countless groups and organizations whose sole purpose is to connect start-ups and business owners to make the island feel a bit less lonely. Once I started meeting and building relationships with other business owners I began to form a network of people I could reach out to for help when I was faced with roadblocks. Not only have I learned a ton, I’ve landed a lot of business from the referrals of that network. People really do love to help.
4 — Focus On Your Strengths- In the beginning days, I was the one man band that was trying to do EVERYTHING. I’d sit at my kitchen table for hours and hours trying to build a slick marketing one-pager for my service offerings and I honestly was never good at it. I learned a very valuable lesson in terms of prioritizing my time and working with people to do things that were outside of my strengths. It changed my whole business by allowing me to focus on my strengths and surrounding myself with the right people to fortify my weaknesses.
5 — “Be Patient” Isn’t a Cliché’ — This is one of those times where a simple quote changed my whole perspective It goes something like, “Many people gravely overestimate what they can accomplish in a year, and drastically underestimate what they can do in ten.” That quote would have been helpful from day one. Building a business is exciting but you often end up focused on the tasks and opportunities right in front of your face and get lost in the weeds. To truly achieve your goals, you have to step back and thinking about the big picture. It takes patience. This game is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m still taking my daily medicine on this one.
I have been blessed with the opportunity to interview and be in touch with some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, or I might be able to introduce you.
Gary Vaynerchuck is someone who I’ve been following a lot lately. He tells the hard truth and has a very simple way of communicating to people about what’s holding them back. When I have days where I feel like I’m being a bit weak, I turn him on to get a little bit of a beating and get myself focused again.