Dustin Mathews transforms business and brands. Right out of school, Dustin helped take ForeclosuresDaily from $1M to $14M and #35 on Inc. Magazine Fastest Growing Private Companies.
Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like?
I was born in Okinawa, Japan on a military base. My father was in the military, but we settled in the US, though still bounced around a little bit. He went to the Air Force Academy, and my mother is actually from the United States, but we do have a Japanese heritage. I’m actually ¼ Japanese. I was an only child, introverted and kind of an out-cast. I was also a ‘fat kid’. I know a lot of people can relate, as we all have our ways of relating to the world. It was tough growing up. Maybe not as tough as some of the entrepreneurs whom I met along the way, but it was rather a weird start for me, which I think propelled my
I was also a ‘fat kid’. I know a lot of people can relate, as we all have our ways of relating to the world. It was tough growing up. Maybe not as tough as some of the entrepreneurs whom I met along the way, but it was rather a weird start for me, which I think propelled my success.
What is one thing that has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
Stepping out of my comfort zone. My big thing was speaking, as being in the spotlight wasn’t really easy for me, being an only child. Getting up in front of the others, whether you are a performer, a comedian, or a speaker – it isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it helps you grow. You need to face a lot of daemons and mind shatter and rejections sometimes, and I think that coming out of my comfort zone has been one of the big keys to success as an entrepreneur.
What advice would you give to others struggling with this fear of getting out of the comfort zone?
Without pain and that hardship, people don’t change. If you look at entrepreneurs today, we’ve got SnapChat, we’ve got Periscope, if there ever were a time when we were forced to be in the spotlight, now is the time. I can also point at Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, Jeff Bezos, Oprah, or any other celebrity CEO.
Now you see CEOs and entrepreneurs that are out speaking and pitching people for their companies and products. If you want to grow as a person, if you want to understand how to really grow your business, speaking could be very powerful. At the end of the day, no matter what you do, you’ve got to understand how to communicate in order to get people in action, you team, your prospects, your siblings, your parents.
Besides stepping out of your comfort zone, what do you think separates world- class and top performers like yourself, from everybody else?
Not being afraid to fail. I’m afraid to fail, as I don’t want to fail, but I understand that if I don’t go out and do so, I’m not going to get data and feedback. I’ve got a little bit of a perfectionism in me, and I’m a little slower than most when releasing something, but I think it’s both a good and a bad thing. I could sit in my office or in my room and try to come up with the best ideas, but I’m not going to make it awesome until I take it out there to an audience, or until I sell something and get feedback. One needs to get out from behind the cave and take it out there. I think that the performers are willing to do that a lot more than non-performers.
I could sit in my office or in my room and try to come up with the best ideas, but I’m not going to make it awesome until I take it out there to an audience, or until I sell something and get feedback. One needs to get out from behind the cave and take it out there. I think that the performers are willing to do that a lot more than non-performers.
What would you say are some of the strategies for being productive and using your time most effectively?
I think that you need to have a vision of where would you like to go. Some of us know that crystal clear. Knowing where you want to go can really help you stay focused. If you keep in mind your destination, even though you might not know the exact path to get there, but if you get too far off course, you will know that intuitively, or your family, friends or colleagues will let you know. Having that is a good North star to help you stay focused. I’m not saying that I’m 100% focused, but this does keep me in mind of where I’m going.
How do you schedule your working hours?
At the beginning, I was getting up at 4 o’clock, reading and doing some things. As for now, since I’ve recently had a baby boy, and he’s only 10 months old, that whole idea of getting up at 4 and doing that routine is out of the window. So, I’m going with the flow and I’m not feeling bad about it. I used to feel
I used to feel bad, and beat myself up about it. Now, I try to go with the flow, that’s what life is. I’ve got kids and it’s going to take a little different strategy to win and be successful there and support them and myself. Typically, though, I tend to do my best productive stuff in the morning, and then tackle all the admin and dealing with the team in the afternoon.
What is your morning routine now, with a newborn?
I wake up and I prepare coffee – almond milk latte, because that’s the thing that gets me going, and cutting sugar in the morning to have sustained energy throughout the day. I usually make food for myself or the kids, I get them out of the door. Then I get to work and tackle my most productive activities, although every morning something seems to pop up, so it’s a real struggle.
That sort of a morning routine is really just supporting the family, getting them up and going and then getting to work so I could open my space to be productive and creative and support the team later in the afternoon.
What is one personal habit that could contribute to success?
Be a student! I know that’s easier for some than others. Even if you are successful, there is always something to learn. For me personally, I find that ego gets in the way, and that really prevents us from growing and getting to the next step. Coming with that mindset of ‘what am I supposed to learn’, will serve you big time.
How can we combat ego?
There is no end as in ”I’m going to check the box and be done”. What I do, is slow down a little bit. I remember what I’m grateful for, I remember my clients.
When I slow down, naturally, I get the question of what am I supposed to learn, in my mind. Slowing down is generally good, whether you meditate or write a journal. Showing gratitude is also a big part of it. Graditude for breathing, for your family, your business. The gift is the lesson.
What is something you wish you realized a bit sooner in your life?
I wish I’ve learned marketing and direct response earlier, but I did learn it pretty young. I believe that’s finances for me. I love to do speaking, podcast, to write and create things. I wish I’ve done this at the University, but I wish I had taken some financial hardcore, PNL, NBA level such as accounting. That’s a weakness for me. I feel like I could be making better financial decisions. I think that having a better financial picture would help me and empower me.
What is the best or the most worthwhile investment you’ve made?
By far, it’s the investment in myself. Going to seminars, reading books, investing in yourself is, by far, the biggest thing. People file bankruptcy, loose businesses, they go through difficult times in life, but one thing that people could never take away is your experiences and what you’ve learned.
What’s the book that you love or read over and over again?
It’s a classic for me, Napoleon Hill “Think and Grow Rich”. I’ve read that a lot more earlier on. I love “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. It thought me about the power of relationships and networking with influencers. Also, “Rich Dad Poor Dad”, that’s the book that started it all and I wouldn’t even be here if I didn’t read that book.
Do you have any quotes that you live by or think of often?
Whatever your goal is, take one small action a day. When you do this action every day towards your goal, over the course of a year, you took 365 actions. But the secret is, it doesn’t take you a whole year, because you are building momentum.