Rob Dyrdek (@robdyrdek) is an entrepreneur, actor, producer, reality TV personality, and former professional skateboarder. He’s the founder of venture creation studio Dyrdek Machine and host of the Build with Rob podcast.
What We Discuss with Rob Dyrdek:
- How Rob negotiated with his parents to let him drop out of high school and become a professional skateboarder at age 16.
- The lesson veteran skateboarder Neil Blender taught young Rob about knowing his range when taking a shot at doing something extraordinary.
- How Rob hones the clarity to operate in what he calls “kill mode” by eliminating the stressors that keep him from living optimally.
- What venture creation studio Dyrdek Machine is and how it’s been built to efficiently launch meaningful businesses that stand the test of time and have an impact on the world.
- How Rob has the uncanny ability to, as his friend Shane Nickerson says, put himself in a position where luck hits him.
- And much more…
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If you turn on MTV right now, chances are pretty good you’ll catch a glimpse of today’s guest, Rob Dyrdek, in a syndicated rerun of one of his numerous reality shows (e.g., Rob & Big, Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory, or Ridiculousness). But even the 2,000+ hours he’s been in front of a television camera are just a tiny part of his story. He negotiated with his parents to drop out of high school to become a professional skateboarder at age 16. He’s broken 27 world records. He’s designed dozens of shoes for millions of dollars. He’s been a beauty pageant judge. And when he’s not hosting his own podcast (Build with Rob), he’s a regular listener of The Jordan Harbinger Show (his favorite episode is our two-parter with Ray Dalio, in case you were wondering, though we’ve also interviewed Rob’s cousin Chris Pfaff).
Now, Rob is helping other entrepreneurs realize their potential with venture creation studio Dyrdek Machine, which aims to “systematically fuse art, science, and magic to create meaningful businesses that stand the test of time and impact the world.” On this episode, we talk about knowing our range when we take a shot at something extraordinary, honing clarity to operate optimally, positioning ourselves for maximum luck, and much more. Listen, learn, and enjoy!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Microsoft Teams lets you bring everyone together in one space, collaborate, draw live, share, and build ideas with everyone on the same page and makes sure more of your team is seen and heard with up to 49 people on screen at once. Check out microsoft.com/teams for more info!
Miss the show we did with Frank Abagnale — the former con artist who was played by Leonardo DiCaprio in the movie Catch Me If You Can? Catch up here with episode 1: Frank Abagnale | Scam Me If You Can!
Thanks, Rob Dyrdek!
If you enjoyed this session with Rob Dyrdek, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Resources from This Episode:
- Build With Rob Podcast
- Manufacturing Amazing | Dyrdek Machine
- Rob Dyrdek | Website
- Rob Dyrdek | Instagram
- Rob Dyrdek | Facebook
- Rob Dyrdek | Twitter
- Rob Dyrdek | LinkedIn
- Chris Pfaff | The Drama Behind the Young and Reckless | Jordan Harbinger
- Rob Dyrdek: My First Pro Skate Was Also My Best | In Depth with Graham Bensinger
- Neil Blender | Instagram
- Alien Workshop | The Sovereign Sect
- 2015 Miss Universe – Red Carpet | DeSean Jackson Foundation
- DC Shoes Cuts Ties with Rob Dyrdek | Hypebeast
- Doctor George Pratt | San Diego Psychologist
- Shane Nickerson | Twitter
- How to Increase Your Luck Surface Area | Codus Operandi
- Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory | Prime Video
- Mindright | Dyrdek Machine
- Lusso Cloud | Dyrdek Machine
- DoOrDier Gold Action Figures | Rob Dyrdek, Twitter
Rob Dyrdek | Manufacturing Amazing with the Dyrdek Machine (Episode 498)
Jordan Harbinger: Microsoft Teams is helping Priority Bicycles transform the way they work. After closing their New York City showroom, they started doing virtual visits on Teams. Now, people from all over the world can come into their showroom. Learn more at microsoft.com/teams.
[00:00:15] Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:18] Rob Dyrdek: It's the golden rule of, are you providing value, and it's easier said than done, right? I think I approached that in all aspects of negotiating business, anything that I do that I'm, how can I provide more layers of value in a more dynamic way when I go to ask for something unusually large or different, or out of pocket, if you will. I learned the range to make sure that I do it in a very strategic way with the hopes of it actually happening. And I do it to this day and we'll do it forever.
[00:00:52] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with people at the top of their game, astronauts, entrepreneurs, spies, psychologists, even the occasional Russian spy or war correspondence, former Jihadi. Each episode turns our guests' wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better critical thinker. If you're new to the show or looking for a handy way to tell your friends about it, we've got those episodes starter packs. Those were at jordanharbinger.com/start to get started or to help somebody else get started. Of course, we always appreciate that.
[00:01:33] Now, today, man, today we've got a guest who's been on my list for over a decade now. Professional skater or former professional skater and absolutely do-or-die, go-getter, serial entrepreneur, Rob Dyrdek. The guy has 27 world records and counting. He's made over 2000 hours of television. I took a look at MTV the other day for the first time in two decades. it is a hundred percent Rob Dyrdek. 85 percent of the time, it's him a hundred percent of the time. He should just buy the channel already. He's designed dozens of shoes netting millions in royalties, along the way. He's created and scaled loads of businesses. And it's just one of the most motivated and driven people that I know. He's also one of the coolest guys in media. And one of the sharpest minds I've dealt with in quite a while in the business world, especially. He just doesn't seem to have that part of your brain that says I can't do that. Now, a lot of people know him for the television shows Rob & Big, Ridiculousness, but I think the real element of genius is the business mind behind it all. And that is what we are going to explore today here on the show.
[00:02:32] And by the way, if you're wondering how I managed to book all these fantastic folks, these great thinkers, these creators, it's the network. I'm telling you the network. Dig the well before you get thirsty. I'm teaching you how to do it for free. Go to jordanharbinger.com/course. The guests you hear on the show, they subscribe to the course. They contribute to the course. Come join us, you'll be in smart company where you belong. Now, here we go with Rob Dyrdek
[00:02:56] Look, man, I know you dropped out of high school at age 16. Were you in a position where you were like, "I don't need this, I'm bound for greatness"? Or were you like, "I just hate high school"? And I want to know what your parents thought of you at that point, because they might have been like, "This is a disaster."
[00:03:10] Rob Dyrdek: Well, you know, I think it's one of my very greatest negotiations because I just wouldn't have taken no for an answer. I made my mom come in and meet with the counselor and the principal and just basically sold them on this idea that I'm going to be a pro-skateboarder now. And that what I'm going to get out of this final year of high school is nothing compared to where I'm headed in the future. And they just agreed. I ultimately put on the sales pitch. My mom cried. She didn't want this, but I had to take night class to get additional credits so that I could get a regular diploma. My last year was my junior year, when I was 16 years old. And then I went to the Münster, Germany world championships two months later for my first pro-contest.
[00:03:55] To me, there was no doubt in my mind. I said, when I was 12, I'm going to be a pro-skateboarder and move to California. I was a pro-skateboarder at 16. It was like, you continued to sort of set these visions, then accomplish them. There was no doubt in my mind that I would go on to have this extraordinary pro-skateboarding career, but never would I imagine what my life would evolve into.
[00:04:18] Jordan Harbinger: Of course, yeah, But the other thing is like, you've got kids, they're younger now, but if your kid — not your kid, but someone's kid comes up to them in Akron, Ohio, or a suburb, or whatever of anywhere where we're from and goes, "Look, I'm going to be a YouTuber. I'm really good at it. Or a skateboarder. I'm really good at it." And it's like, "Calm down. You skate in the driveway. You skate at someone's pool that has no water in it. What do you mean? This is not a job that exists. Even if it were a job that exists, what are the odds that you twelve-year-old Dyrdek are going to be the face of these brands? Like it doesn't make any sense. Go to high school and work at the Ford motor plant because that's how people make $45,000 a year and raise kids and don't end up homeless."
[00:04:59] Your mom must have been — of course, she cried. She must have been terrified because even though you were good and people said you had potential, it's kind of like, saying he's really good at drawing with crayons. Like this, he is the best we've ever seen. And it's like, "Oh, that's a novelty, but he's never going to make a living doing that," right?
[00:05:15] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah. That was the fear, right? So of course, how did I mitigate that fear?
[00:05:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:20] Rob Dyrdek: "Hey, I'll do this. If it doesn't work out, I'll go to college."
[00:05:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:24] Rob Dyrdek: That settled everything. I made it real clear because, of course, as you can imagine, a path for a mother in the Midwest is like your only path to survival is getting a college degree.
[00:05:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:05:34] Rob Dyrdek: So as long as you keep sending that out there, so much so that I joke about how it wasn't even that many years ago that she asked me if I had enough money saved for college and this idea that like, I'm still going to somehow go to college and get an education. That's going to change my life beyond this life and legacy that I have already built. It was also like you kind of started out, like, how would I say it to like somebody else or somebody else attempting to do it. I'm always for like, take the shot. Take the shot but understand sort of the pathway you actually have to begin to achieve to see if it's actually working.
[00:06:12] Like create a milestone. Like what's the first milestone? Okay, like if I'm a pro skateboarder and most pro-skateboarders are making no money. It's like the first milestone is can you make enough money to not get a job? And so when I did that, I got guaranteed a thousand dollars a month to move to California.
[00:06:31] Jordan Harbinger: How old were you?
[00:06:32] Rob Dyrdek: I was 16.
[00:06:33] Jordan Harbinger: So that was ridiculous money. Like you'd never seen a thousand dollars in one place at any time probably a bit at that age.
[00:06:39] Rob Dyrdek: I mean, look, I felt like I won the lottery and then as soon as I got to California, people were all over me wanted to steal me from the company that I was on. They eventually raised my salary to $2,500 a month. And I was like Dr. Money.
[00:06:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:06:54] Rob Dyrdek: I went out and bought a brand-new Honda Civic, and it was just like, just off the lot in this Honda Civic. I don't think I've ever felt more rich in my entire life when I reflect on it.
[00:07:05] Jordan Harbinger: Like now, you're in like this 20,000-square-foot house probably has helipad, but you're like, "That Honda Civic though, when I went to go get one of those noisy mufflers, hell, yeah."
[00:07:13] Rob Dyrdek: Oh yeah, a hundred percent, a hundred percent, rims, stereo, everything at that point.
[00:07:19] Jordan Harbinger: At 16, I read this or I heard this somewhere. You wrote business plans for Nike and the Gap, and you were like, skating's a thing. And this is probably what the early '90s or something like that. You're like skating is going to be a thing. Take it to the top, right? You realize that's not normal 16-year-old sh*t. You probably realized that's not even normal 26-year-old sh*t. You probably knew that at that time.
[00:07:39] Rob Dyrdek: I don't fully understand the gravity of taking shots like that. In hindsight, it's the story of my life. I do it nonstop and have evolved in this extraordinary existence because of it. But it seems so logical to me at the time. Like here are these big brands. Look at skateboarding, is this evolving culture? Even being able to think like that is because I looked at myself as a business when I was young. And I was raised around entrepreneurs and serial entrepreneurs that constantly were building and creating businesses. So I looked at it nothing more than like take the shot, you know, use some of your magazine photos and get them photocopied and a couple of your covers on the newspapers and add it to your resume and send it out to them because maybe they will recognize that there's this evolving emerging sport as you see it because you're so close to it. But of course, neither business considered it. And I still have the Gap letter, but I threw away the Nike letter.
[00:08:41] Jordan Harbinger: Like a rejection letter?
[00:08:42] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah. And it sucks because Nike now has a billion-dollar skate footwear business. You know what I mean? And it's like, that letter would be just absolute gold of them saying they don't see an opportunity in the skateboarding as footwear play, right? Like, that would just be gold.
[00:08:58] Jordan Harbinger: I'm sure they have a copy somewhere and the CEO is like, "Burn it. Don't let them see it."
[00:09:02] Rob Dyrdek: NFT that.
[00:09:03] Jordan Harbinger: NFT it, for sure. Speaking of like memorable milestones, tell me how you got your first skateboard because, or maybe this wasn't your first board, but one of your first boards, because this is such a great illustration of strategic boldness in action, right? You basically just like saw this opportunity to get the board you want. And you're like, "Hey. Why don't you hand me that." It wasn't quite like that, but it was kind of like that.
[00:09:25] Rob Dyrdek: But it is another piece of that "take your shot". And I went to my very first skate contest, 30 days after skating, after picking up a skateboard, I entered my first contest and there was a pro-skateboarder named Neil Blender that came to the contest to do a demo. A demonstration is what they refer to as when pros will come to local contest and he was leaving, packed in the car, putting girls in the car, everybody every, I mean, trying to get like nine people into this car. And I could see him. He had nowhere to put his board and it was like, "Hey. I don't think there's enough room for you and that board in the car." And he's like, "Hey, you're right," and threw it to me. Now, what was it? It was, "Aah!" This is extraordinary every moment.
[00:10:11] Now, of course being the ambitious young fellow that I was, I then wrote him a letter saying, "Hey, thank you so much for that board. I had a dream that you gave me 10 more."
[00:10:24] Jordan Harbinger: You did not.
[00:10:25] Rob Dyrdek: And so he sent me a letter back that said, "I wouldn't call you. I gave myself some curse word name," but he's like, "I would describe you as a padger. Maybe you should look that up." And I looked it up and a padger is a beggar.
[00:10:40] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man.
[00:10:41] Rob Dyrdek: It was this like take your shot, know your range. Take your shot, know your range. Be grateful that you got it. You should have just said, "Hey, thank you." Now, of course, the irony in this is when I started the Alien Workshop in Dayton, Ohio, and turned pro for the company when I was 16 years old, Neil Blender was the first pro for that company. And he hand-drew my first graphic from my very first skateboard.
[00:11:09] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow.
[00:11:10] Rob Dyrdek: Just to give you the connection, as it relates to the magic side of my life of that individual, getting into that car who threw me that board, sent me a letter and called me a padger. We created a company and he drew my first graphic and we were pros together, not even five years later.
[00:11:27] Jordan Harbinger: Did he remember that? Or you're just like, "Hey, I'm the kid—" he's like, "Yeah, I guess I gave you a board. I don't remember. I was with girls. They were the only thing on my mind. I didn't care about the board."
[00:11:35] Rob Dyrdek: I believe, you know, it's a little great now in our discussions about it, but I think he remembered it a hundred percent. But specifically, for the letter, you never forget calling somebody a padger.
[00:11:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I don't even, I mean, I consider myself, I have a decent vocabulary and I'm like, I've never heard that word in my entire life. P-A-D-G-E-R, maybe. I don't know. I'm going to have to Google it.
[00:11:55] Rob Dyrdek: That's correct. I believe that's it.
[00:11:57] Jordan Harbinger: You said, "Take your shot, know your range." How do you know if you're ready to just walk up to somebody and start treating them like an equal? I heard that you went to — was it Miss America where you just started—? This is years ago, you walked up to Trump and you're just like, "Hey man, cool pageant you got here or whatever." I don't know exactly what you said. I don't think you even remember, but you're lucky with the board, right? And that experience that taught you, you can get away with it, but not only can you not always get away with it, but sometimes you shouldn't necessarily try to do that because it could damage a potential relationship in the future. Like sometimes you actually need to be prepared for that meeting or for that interaction. Would you agree with that?
[00:12:32] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah. Look, I am big homie Trump and keep in mind, my wife's a pageant girl. And she asked if I could get tickets to the Miss Universe Pageant and you know, the Trumpster, he owned it at that time. And I said, "Of course." She said, "The only thing I want to do next year is go to the Miss Universe." I said, "Absolutely." So I reached out to an agent to get tickets. Then they came back and said, "Do you want to judge?" And I'm like, "No, I don't want to judge. I'm not like," and then I'm like, "Well, well, really I watched more pageants than probably any of these judges." And then I ask her like, "Maybe I should judge this thing." So we get the super experience.
[00:13:06] And so I went ahead and judge that, and it gave me this extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the Trumpster. But at that time they were asking him, "Are you going to run for president?" And he's like, "Maybe you just never know." Again, I wouldn't equate this particular life philosophy to the Trumpster. I just loved the idea that I got to have a photo with me, Manny Pacquiao, DeSean Jackson, and Trump before the Trump legacy really began.
[00:13:36] But for me, it's the golden sort of rule of, are you providing value? And it's easier said than done, right? It's like when you're going for a big ask, it should be strategic. When I asked for the board the first time, it was strategic. He really had nowhere to place it. I can take that for you. When I asked the second time, there was no strategy, I was overstepping the line being greedy, if you will. I think I approached that in all aspects of negotiating business, anything that I do that I'm, how can I provide more layers of value in a more dynamic way when I go to ask for something unusually large or different, or out of pocket, if you will? I learned the range to make sure that I do it in a very strategic way with the hopes of it actually happening. And I do it to this day and we'll do it forever.
[00:14:32] Jordan Harbinger: It's wise. I mean, it's wise whenever you try to structure a deal and this is — I can't remember if I heard this from you or somebody else, but it's like, "You go in there thinking this is such a good deal. That if they say no, it's either, because there's something I don't see. Or they're straight up not thinking straight." Like this has got to be a really good deal for them and structuring, I hate cliches win-win but it really is that. But it's like, you have to bring such a good value to them that they go, "Of course, we're going to do this. Like say no more, "Where do we sign?"
[00:15:00] And you've, you've mentioned this on a few deals where you walk in and do anything from grabbing this penthouse — and I'll ask you that in a second to some of your business deals with Dyrdek Machine. But I want to start back at age 24 here again or go back to age 24, your sponsor at that time, I think it was DC Shoes, right? They told you at age 24, "Look, we're dropping you. Your best years are behind you." That's got a sting, even now I would imagine to hear something like that, a little bit, or at least the memory of it stings a little bit.
[00:15:27] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah, look, it was also the reality. When you kind of lost your drive, your passion, your focus, and now, you had earned all this money through having signature footwear and the explosion of sort of skateboarding and you're starting all these different companies and now you're not skating that much. You're always getting injured. I think it was really his nature to be harsh, but it was also the truth of the situation. So less pain and reflection and more of — now, I look at it more proud.
[00:15:59] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:15:59] Rob Dyrdek: Because I took that statement and turned my entire life trajectory in a completely different direction.
[00:16:07] Jordan Harbinger: What was the first thing you did to get back on track? Because I think if someone who knew me well and was paying me like millions of dollars for my shoe designs and royalties — it's different if some schmoe comes out and goes, "Eeh, you're a 24-year-old washed up. No skaters are old, buddy. You're screwed." But if it's somebody who knows you well, and they're like, "Look, man, it hurts to tell you this. You're not going up. You're going down. Just take a regular ass job." Like that hurts even worse than somebody who just doesn't know you being kind of a hater, right?
[00:16:33] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah, look, it does. But again, it's like, there's so much truth in it. I was just being lazy. And my first true action was like rededicate yourself to skateboarding physically, and that, you know, getting disciplined and now focusing on your health and your body and skating every single day and building that momentum. You know, as I've spoken about many times is then I tried to find a sports psychologist to help me to be able to be more focused in contests, but he was actually a hypnotherapist psychologist that then did these tests on my subconscious that said my subconscious did not believe I was meant for true success. And then he just literally reprogrammed my subconscious and then that was it. My life truly was never the same from the moment I got hypnotized by the great Dr. George Pratt strictly to be successful in your true subconscious.
[00:17:35] Jordan Harbinger: I wonder, does that sort of, maybe not that specific piece of feedback, or maybe even that specific piece of feedback from the CEO of DC, does that still motivate you? Because you know, when I hit hard times, whatever, I try to use negative feedback instead of beating myself up, I try to turn it into something actionable because otherwise it's toxic instead of fuel. But like also when you're through it, there's times where I go, I'm getting lazy. Like, let me think about this thing that somebody said to me a decade ago that doesn't necessarily even apply to me right now. Just to get back into kill mode, get fired up again.
[00:18:08] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah, look, no, I don't not even a little bit. Like I don't think that fuel is real. I think that fuel is a little bit, all of my fuel comes from clarity. Where you actually become a perpetual motion machine, where you are just constantly evolving, growing, and expanding is when you have deep clarity in all aspects of your life, and then have deeply clear goals that you're making progress towards. When you have these deeply clear things that you know are leading towards you living an incredible life and you're making progression towards them, that to me is where all energy comes from and sustainable energy.
[00:18:50] For me, the negative things, like they kind of hit me, but they don't stick with me. And they've never really been a driving force for me. And I'm lucky because my energy and engine is fueled by progression towards creating big ideas. And I would say it's just a little bit different because Jordan, I live in kill mode. Kill mode is my lifestyle. You know what I mean? Like I am so optimized and operate at such a high level. That alone gives me energy. That's the actual evolution that I have done as a human being over the last 10 years, especially.
[00:19:30] Jordan Harbinger: You live in kill mode. I'd remember in an interview, I think this might've been with drama. You talk about when you wanted to be a pro-soccer player, right? And you go, I just stared at a blank TV and ate oranges for 45 minutes before a game or before practice." So you don't have any rituals like that anymore before you do something big because you're already there.
[00:19:48] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah. And I mean, look, you're talking about my existence is so deeply optimized. You know what I mean? I track every hour of every single day and have it tagged and it all pumps into a living dashboard of how perfectly balanced my time is. I track qualitatively each day. How is the quality of my sleep? How motivated I am? How I feel about my life, work, and health zero to 10, right? There's qualitative data that then pumps out these kinds of reoccurring quantitative things that I can change that I've optimized over the years.
[00:20:22] And then I have my core five health things that I do: get up before five, meditate, brain train, getting the gym, eat a healthy diet. Don't drink that I track every single day. So I've gained, modified living at this deeply, highly optimized existence. That's also a hundred percent balanced by design, right? So to me, that was years and years of using that qualitative data to get rid of almost any aspect of energy drainers that are around me. I only take stress from incoming items. I have no institutional stress or nothing stuck to me that I have to worry about. I live as light as a feather.
[00:21:07] Jordan Harbinger: That's interesting. You don't wake up and go, "Oh man, I don't feel good because I ate a half a pizza last night and I had three beers. Crap. I got to film all day. Let me get a bunch of caffeine in me." Like you don't have that. Your stress comes from, "So it turns out the truck's not going to be here. So we have to make, do filming everything backwards and upside down." And you're like, "We'll deal with it because I feel good and we'll figure it out. And we've got smart people here," like that kind of thing.
[00:21:32] Rob Dyrdek: Right. It's just that income. Because it's like, I discovered that life was the super simple formula. You looked at it half empty or half full. And that's when I got into like the zero to 10 qualitative data. Because I realized like I would just wake up some days and look at it. I'd give my day a three or four and I'm half empty. And when I'm half empty, I hate every decision I ever made. I'm like, why did I even buy this house? Like, why do I have so many cars? Like you end up picking apart so much. Versus when you're half full, a six and above, you can get hit by anything. And you're cooking. You're like, "Oh, whatever," like whatever it may be. And by beginning to track it through that simple lens, the same things kept popping up that would pull me down into half empty. And I slowly over time eliminated all of those.
[00:22:25] That's using qualitative data for sort of quantitative results. Something that you can now point to that's clear if you fix it will bring back this basically how you feel type of feeling. And now you do that for years. I've done it for five years. I'm so clear, so optimized. You know, there's the straw that breaks the camel's back. I don't have that because I don't have like this house of cards where one, one more thing comes in and it collapses. There's so much clarity on all aspects of my existence. All of it, multidimensionally now. That anytime something comes in, I can evaluate it as it came in as a stressor. And I can see it from 30,000 feet rather than it coming in and imploding my whole universe, bringing everything down, and then making me question every decision and in my whole life. That's how it used to be for me my entire life up until I began to use this process to gain clarity, like clear everything out and get to this level of optimization.
[00:23:33] Jordan Harbinger: So you're tracking food or tracking sleep. You're making sure you eat right. Go to the gym. No booze. I wonder where any of the things that you cut out — yeah, you cut out booze. You probably cut out some of the junk food. Where any of those things, people?
[00:23:46] Rob Dyrdek: Oh, big time. So many of them were people. One of the more significant ones that I had to do is I had a partner that was building my company with me and all the data it kept being that person. And it was a major one. Because I couldn't just part ways, I had to basically blow the entire company up. But it was so obvious to me, that you've cleared up so much of your aspect and this one individual is killing the quality of your work and the quality of your life. But the painful part of it was when I had finally decided that we had to part ways, I also had to part ways with basically the entire company, because part of my strategy early on was I let this individual hire everybody.
[00:24:35] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah.
[00:24:36] Rob Dyrdek: So that they could be in total control. And then eventually like, then it was just, they built the entire team. So I had to basically start the entire company from scratch by disconnecting from that individual. But it was what I'd consider probably one of the bigger milestones of my evolution into the person that I am today. It was the last big, crucial step where now everything beyond that is much more micro decisions that aren't nearly as significant because I literally don't have anybody in my life that takes energy from me. And I almost spend no time in anything. I evaluate where I spend all my time based of what gives and takes energy. And I almost avoid it. Like completely don't spend any time in a day with anything that pulls energy from my life.
[00:25:25] Jordan Harbinger: It seems like that doesn't happen overnight. Right? Yeah, you get rid of a negative person who's in your business, but like without isolating yourself completely, it's got to be hard to be like, "All right, this person kind of dragging me down, but not just because there's a real problem, but because of the way that they are. I want to distance myself from this company." You know, sometimes you got to take a good look at something like, "Hey, this line of shoes or whatever, 90 percent of my problems come from this one place. I got to hire somebody who deals with all of this and then just like exit." But you got to be managing that actively or one day you probably wake up again and you go, "Why do I have five things that I just f*cking hate doing or that are just driving me down?"
[00:26:05] Rob Dyrdek: But let me go back to it. In that kill mode lifestyle, I decided like I'm going to live this optimized free, amazing life. Then I began living, designing life inside that framework, and now optimizing and automating in that framework. All I do is get lighter and lighter. I don't even allow somebody inside the world to take energy. And I have an employee that works for me, that is super talented and that I love to death, but we would get into some energy issues where it would just push against me. And I just said, "Hey, I think you're talented. Love you to death, but you were the only person inside my entire inner circle in life that I allowed to take energy. And if we can, you can't clear it up. It's not that like, I don't love you to death and you're a great and super talented. It's just you're one-on-one and if it happens and again, like, I just want you to know, like, we just have to part ways because I wouldn't sacrifice my own personal energy ever again. I don't need to." And so it just adds a nice framework to our relationship and a guideline for him to manage better. You know what I'm saying?
[00:27:22] But I don't have to be emotional in it. I know that like, "Hey, this is how well I know my energy. It's not being stacked on. This is what you're doing to me. If it continues, it's just not the right fit." You know what I mean? And that's with everything. Even when I go to how I built the Machine, right? The machine is the system to curate ideas, individuals and build companies, right? And then it's been automated and optimized to make creating companies more consistent, higher quality, better entrepreneurs, better market timing, all of these things, because that is when it's more fun and more exciting and more energy and more successful. It's everything in my life is just, how do you systematize and automate it to where it takes less effort and has a higher quality output. Now, you'd apply that to everything. You just have an amazing life. And you're just happy.
[00:28:18] Jordan Harbinger: That's Dyrdek Machine. We'll link to it in the show notes. Would you call it as an incubator? Is it a venture capital fund? It's kind of both. What would you consider it?
[00:28:27] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah, well, look, an incubator is more like where you have all different types of talent in one place. You're testing ideas and trying to figure out one that works. A venture capital fund would be, you have limited partners that put up the money and you're the general partner and you go and invest in ideas for two percent management fee and a 2 percent% of the profits. The carry is they call it.
[00:28:52] What I am is a venture creation studio. So I want to co-found and create the ideas with individuals and then I fund it myself. Then we c- find it, shape it, build it. I fund the development dollars. Then I help take it out and raise the capital to bring it to market and bring it along. It's a bit of a hybrid between the both, because I still judge myself off of the return on my capital invested. It's still venture in the sense that I look at every dollar in as what is my return on those dollars. The difference is that I have a staff that I pay for that supports these builds, that I account for and sort of my returns.
[00:29:33] But it serves both things for me, because just investing in somebody is no fun for me. I have to be there. And like, "Let's create this idea. Let's talk." Like when it's just two people talking and then all of a sudden it's a name, then it's a logo. Then it's, here's the product. Then it's like, people are buying it. God forbid, then you follow that all the way to profitability, then an acquisition. It is this extraordinary life cycle. That I want to master and get better at doing over and over and over again, because it's truly what I love to do the most.
[00:30:11] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Rob Dyrdek. We'll be right back.
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[00:30:41] Now, back to Rob Dyrdek on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:30:46] You can see the passion and hear the passion and you're talking about it now, but also whenever you talk about Dyrdek Machine, the energy from that, a lot of people go, "Man, that sounds exhausting. I don't know how you do that." What are your in your early 40s by now? So a lot of people who are that age, our age, I should say are like, they're trying to figure out how to kind of land the plane a little bit, or at least get into a holding pattern. And you're like, "Nah, man, I'm done with my ramp up. Now, I'm throwing gasoline on the fire. I'm trying to get as many fires going as I can." You can't do that if you have drama queens in your life, negative energy. When you say by the way that people who are taking energy from you, do you mean personal drama? Do you mean the drop-in problems on you without solutions? Like what kind of negativity are you talking about when you say you eliminate that?
[00:31:30] Rob Dyrdek: It's probably light negativity in the grand scheme of things. And you know what it is, right? In the workplace, especially when you're sort of a driver and visionary, if someone keeps pulling you back and is questioning your ideas or your decision making or trying to push back. It's like, I'm open to have a conversation about it. I still am quick to make the decision and want to move on. So when someone would be pulling on my decision-making, that would like to where now I have to spend energy to argue my idea again, like it'll pull a little bit from me. Then there are certain aspects of operating a business that sometimes — for an example, most creative people, don't like financials.
[00:32:18] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:32:18] Rob Dyrdek: And if you go into a financial meeting and someone's explaining the financial stuff, you're just sitting there. You're not creating energy. It's just being pulled out of you. And you're just trying to see the numbers and put it together and all that. Like, that would be another example of when you're doing something that you don't like, that pulls energy from you, that you have to stop doing or learn. In my case, I decided that I couldn't be the business person that I wanted to be, unless I mastered financials.
[00:32:52] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:32:52] Rob Dyrdek: And then when I finally put in the energy to learn all aspects, I began to love them. Now, it's like nothing. I love more than going with my CFO consultants and creating financial models. And now, I have these extraordinary, sophisticated, personal financial models and how I manage all of my assets and my money as a whole, in my existence. I love it. Where before it sucked the life out of me. And I just had money managers and people handle it all for me. And then I would glance over it. When I bought a company for five million dollars and glanced over the financials and lost five million dollars. You know what I mean? And when I look back in hindsight, I can go back and look at that model now and be like, "This is — how could? You're crazy."
[00:33:37] Jordan Harbinger: Don't ever invest in this? Oh, wait, that was me who invested in it. All right.
[00:33:41] Rob Dyrdek: Hey, I didn't invest in it. I bought it.
[00:33:43] Jordan Harbinger: You bought it, right? Yeah. You purchased it.
[00:33:45] Rob Dyrdek: I paid millions of dollars for it. You know what I mean? And again, you know, where the things that give you energy. Like when me and you are just talking and getting going, I love sharing my philosophies and experiences with people. It fills me up and gives me energy. And that's why I can get up at four in the morning and go from meeting to meeting, to meeting, to meeting, to meeting, to meeting, and then work all into the night on my work night days. Because I'm going from energy to energy, to energy, to energy. At no point along that trip, am I being occasionally — I land in one, that'll be bothersome, right? If it's something that I have to handle, but it's pretty rare.
[00:34:25] And it's just that sort of approach to optimization now, you have to understand yourself at a really high level, then have total control of your universe, then be able to design. Your world around your energy and then put in people to handle other aspects of the things that you don't want to, that may take energy from it. It is something that you have to grow into. And there's a certain level of success that you need to achieve, I think, to also validate your systems, your plans, and your ability to continue to grow and evolve and turn those visions into reality. That again, give you more energy to optimize your systems that much further.
[00:35:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Look, well said, man. I think all of that makes a hell of a lot of sense. And I think people at a certain level of success start to think about that, but then maybe go, "I'd love to optimize my energy, but I got way too much shit to deal with right now. And I can't even think about it." And that's exactly the problem, right? You get in this like swirling the drain cycle where there's so many problems. You're like, "Optimize my energy — I'm just trying to make sure the house doesn't f*cking burn down. Like I can't even think about it.
[00:35:35] Rob Dyrdek: And to me, you know, when I think about the way my life constructed, it's these series of interconnected systems that basically are perpetual motion that are constantly expanding together. So like the field of depth that I'm growing into, I'm mastering myself, my life, my time, my energy, my work, my body, my mind, all of these different aspects. But since there's total balance in the system, it's growing together rather than you will. You know, you won't be able to put time into your physical energy because your work takes up too much of your energy, because really all you care about is spending time with your friends and family and doing your hobby.
[00:36:18] So it's like, you're just constantly being pulled by these things that are pulling apart. And that you're sacrificing. Then I got to go back and get into my job. Like, Oh no, I got to be healthy. I'm going to try for a week. Like, Oh, I can't. Oh, that's too hard. You know what I mean? It's like when that system is out of balance, it's impossible to grow into your full potential. And then if you haven't defined what your full potential is and what the life that you want to live and what all aspects of that look like, then you're never going to find it.
[00:36:48] Most people just think they'll keep working, keep doing something, and that'll be solved when they can finally go and live the life that they wanted, which is what I did when I was younger. It was like, I'm just going to keep going so hard. I got multiple television shows, pro-skateboarding leads, cartoon on Nickelodeon. I'm doing movies. I got all these different lines and products. I thought one of those was just going to be so big that then I would have time to figure out what my life is. And I realized like, no, I stopped in 2013, it was like, you have to decide what type of life that you want to create one to ultimately live, and then go and build a plan around that life.
[00:37:32] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That makes sense. "Look, why am I in a meeting with a toy line and another thing, and another thing, another thing? I need to figure out what thing I want to make big and do that. And not just like—" Because you're basically just rolling the dice on 20 different enterprises. And like you said, hoping one makes it big and then you just want to focus on that. But that's not really how successful people work, right? They plan with the end in mind, they start with the end in mind and they work backwards, maybe.
[00:37:57] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah. And look, I think it goes both ways. We've heard plenty of stories of like you just go and go and then all of a sudden, boom. One of them worked and it became that defining thing. I prescribed to that. I think a lot of entrepreneurs live like that. I think there's a lot of stories that support that. I'm saying it's the most painful way to do it.
[00:38:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:38:17] Rob Dyrdek: It's like the most extraordinary way is to begin to turn the idea of deciding what you want. Defining four or five milestones and then doing one after another, until you get to it. And doing that in all aspects of life over and over again, you begin to feel as if you control reality. Because when you get really good at defining clearly what you want, then creating the pathway, and then you start doing that over and over and over again, that is essentially controlling reality because you put something that didn't exist as the mile marker. And then you built a plan to do it. Then you did it.
[00:38:56] For me, when I think about what I teach my kids, it's just that. It's looking at everything you want to achieve and breaking it down to the very first task that you know you can do. Because it's like the one that you know you can do, you have belief now. Now, when you start making progress towards it, now you're getting energy because you know you're making it towards that first milestone. And you know that's the first step to actually achieving the big goal because that progression towards a clear believable goal is what drives self-belief, energy, passion, all of that's ambition. And then when you get it there, then it's the self-fulfillment and I really did. And now the belief that, "Okay, the next one I can get to that one." If you set that first milestone and you can't get there, then you are doing something that you don't have the ability to do. It's as simple as that. You don't have to worry about the big one if you can't get to the very first milestone.
[00:39:55] Jordan Harbinger: That definitely makes sense and it keeps it practical. Shane Nickerson, one of your main comrades over a Dyrdek Machine and Superjacket, which is your production company, right? He said, "You have the uncanny ability to put yourself in a position where luck hits you." What do you think he meant by that?
[00:40:11] Rob Dyrdek: I don't know. That's a great one. I think he's lived firsthand on seeing some of the real depth of how I can create deals, create opportunities, and maximize those opportunities. I think, we were really tying that to when we built and sold Superjacket and how I came to him and said, "Hey, here's the plan. This is how we're going to build and sell this thing." And then along that way, as the plan got tighter and we were getting more successful, all these unusual things kept happening, that kept driving us further towards realizing this goal. And I think for him as someone that's seen so much of the things that I say that I'm going to do become realized.
[00:40:56] You know, we used to refer to it as make your own luck. That's how I used to say it in the Fantasy Factory days of you can position yourself to get lucky. And I think that's really kind of true to the statement of what he says, but today I refer to it as art, science, and magic. You've got to create, be creative in creating whatever you want, whether it be opportunity or whatever it is, then there's the proven systems and science behind actually doing anything. Then there's luck, man. That magic side is the stuff you could never explain that adds this level to push you forward towards that success. That I think has been a huge part of my life. But it's one of those things too, if you believe you're lucky and you always get lucky, you tend to always get lucky.
[00:41:43] Jordan Harbinger: A lot of the people right now, they want to start businesses. They want to become entrepreneurs. But the whole thing seems like it's idea-driven right. And I'm a fan of ideas. But you and I both know that the way you create a brand, the way that you operationalize it, that's really the key to succeeding. And there's this massive gap. People just think like, "No, man, I'm just going to make this idea a reality," but they don't realize there's a lot of spreadsheets behind the shoe design that you want to come out into the world or the board you want to come out or the technology company, right? It's not just like, "Here's what the app is going to look like." You need to do all of this stuff in the background and I'm wondering, when you're looking at new entrepreneurs to work with, how do you evaluate their ability to operationalize versus just having cool ideas?
[00:42:24] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah. I look at business multidimensionally. I look at entrepreneurs multidimensionally. So a business, especially in consumer products, it is made up of seven core capabilities. It is a brand, product, media, marketing, sales, operations, and finance. And when I talk to an entrepreneur, I'm trying to understand what level of skill set do they have in those seven core capabilities. Because even the very best entrepreneurs and CEOs of the companies that I have, they are creative thinkers, problem solvers, that have financial and operational backgrounds. When you lean too heavy into creative — like when I build a company with someone who is a creative genius and a product genius, I don't start that company until I've put in a counterpart from the sales, marketing, operations, and finance side. I balance it out. Where before I'd be like, "This guy's a genius. Let's ride with him." That's what I would call my first vintages of 2016 era of machine builds that I did, where I was looking more for the spirit of the person. I'm like, "Look, give me that do-or-die, that relentless work ethic and unwavering self-belief. That's going to turn their ideas into reality." Because even then I looked at business more simply, I still looked at it as right and left brain. Like, hey, you're a creative brand guy or you're a business guy. But when I really broke it into — well as doing so in the first year, in 2016, I did like 10 companies.
[00:44:09] And so in the following year, I kind of began to see as they all came alive, see these entrepreneurs through that lens, and then really realized that like, no, you can't have a great operational and financial mind because they're not going to make a cool brand. They're not going to come up with an innovative product. They're just looking at it through the economics and the supply chain and how this thing could be a great business, but they don't understand how to connect with the consumer and build something people care about. Then the people that are passionate and have amazing ideas, they only see, they don't even understand the economics of their idea. They don't understand the cost structure, of what it even costs to even market the product, and where the sales channel ultimately can be, and ultimately, what does it even cost to operate the entire business, and then how does that whole business tie into a financial model that's actually sustainable, profitable, or creating enough value to be acquired one day. It's very rare, right?
[00:45:07] So it's also why it's hard for me to not partner with super experienced entrepreneurs. When I build a company, I'm looking for people that have been through a couple of builds before and sort of learned all these aspects of business. Then to a step even further, it's hard for me not to build a company with good founder market fit. Meaning, when I built Mindright, it's with Chris Bernard, who was the CEO of another CPG company. When I built Lusso Cloud with Jon Buscemi and Chris Noyes, comfort footwear brand, they both have 20 years of footwear experience. It's building these ideas with experienced entrepreneurs so that learning curve is then evaluating their overall ability through those seven core capabilities, then filling in their gaps and then supporting them by creating, shaping, and building an extraordinary brand to give them the best shot, to go find product market fit. To where then you can pour money on it and scale it and then have it be acquired or be profitable depending on the type of build it is.
[00:46:19] Jordan Harbinger: You got to make sure those people can dance too, right? Because if you get a creative and then you get the so-called left brain or whatever person you got to make sure the left-brain person isn't killing the creatives mojo and the creative isn't going like draining the sh*t out of the guy who's got the spreadsheets. And maybe just going, "I can't work with this guy every day. It's a new thing. And I got to redo the model." You put them in the ring and see if they can actually do the work.
[00:46:42] Rob Dyrdek: But think about it. You're still an entrepreneur, right?
[00:46:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:46:45] Rob Dyrdek: When it's that creative guy that would push back into no man's land. The same way when I start a company I build, before we ever signed paper, I've in my opportunity package. I put together what I called the unified theory. And it is a financial pathway. That's the model that leads to the amount of capital that's going to be needed to grow the business to a target acquisition price or a target profitability number, and how much ownership that my co-founder partner will have, how much delusion will happen through capital investment and giving away warrants to key employees and how long it will take and what it'll trade for.
[00:47:27] In the case, a footwear brand, it would trade for four to six times revenue. And the goal is to sell it for $150 billion. How much money my co-founder or we'll make it that acquisition if we follow the plan, according to what it is? That is before you start win mentality, right? It is this is how much money if we do this, this brand, this right way, that we will both make in five years, do you want to do this? Because what I don't want is somebody that is so passionate about their idea that it's still not about creating a return or building a financial story. And people that will disrupt, that will put creative over what's best from a financial side are just people I would never build a company with.
[00:48:16] Again, this is evolution and growth and continual expansion and depth of experience and field, because also keep in mind, I sit at the center of all that, as they're sort of super experienced Sherpa co-founder with a team of people around me, where we're constantly guiding and shaping and trying to make sure, like helping with all the micro pivoting and, "Look out for this. And that's not working. We should add this in here." That's our other value that makes us extraordinarily unique compared to say event traditional venture fund, or even an incubator. We say, "Build together, bound forever." The moment me and you decided to do a company and I cut the first check in, we are bound for life. You are now part of like my ecosystem, my ethos, you're part of my soul and my legacy. So it's different for me. And we're going to fight to make this thing win no matter what. And even at that point, when I do that, I turn you into a gold action figure because to me it's like, let's commemorate this moment.
[00:49:19] Jordan Harbinger: Do you literally do that. Like, there's a gold action figure of your co-founder in whatever—?
[00:49:24] Rob Dyrdek: All of them.
[00:49:24] Jordan Harbinger: That's dope.
[00:49:26] Rob Dyrdek: And then when we sell a company, I do a championship trophy. That's a giant gold championship trophy. I keep one and give one to my co-founder and then I make 24 limited edition bottles of wine that I call the liquidity vintage that are designed completely, like Dyrdek Machine, or whatever the brand is. That I sign a number, all of them. Then I give 12 to the founder and give key 12 for myself. And so of the five companies we sold, we have five exit trophies and then all the vintages from the liquidity vintages from those five companies. So when I look out 20 years into the future, it is just like my hall of fame of gold action figures, exit trophies, and liquidity vintages that mark the legacy of all of the brands that I helped create with amazing co-founders.
[00:50:19] Jordan Harbinger: I love that. I think that's not only a fun idea, but it also sort of brings everything into perspective. Like this is how serious we are. You are cast in precious metal. It sort of sets the tone, like this is serious. Like, this is real now. We're doing this. It's not just like you made a website and a business card. Like this is a real thing that's got to happen now. I wonder what red flags you look for when people knock on your door with a new thing, because if you're casting somebody in a gold figurine and looking at it like do-or-die, we're seeing this through to the end. There's got to be some stuff people come to you with and you go, "Love it, but this thing that he's doing, we're never going to be able to fix that. I cannot work with this person, negativity, cool. What else?"
[00:51:00] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah. I mean, look, that's why our process has this unusual diligence period. And the Machine Method is basically our process to create businesses. And the first phase is discovery. It's like, Hey, you've got an idea. Let's do a deep market immersion and come up with an opportunity hypothesis to see. Like, is this white space? Is there a real opportunity? Is the market sort of trending? Like, would somebody buy this? You're looking at these fundamentals, right?
[00:51:27] But then when we go into our diligence phase, we basically create a beta version of the entire business. So together now with this individual, we began conceptualizing ideas and building financials and start developing marketing plans and thinking about like, who would be great investors and where would we get it manufactured? You start basically, you spend about six weeks building a beta version of this business on paper. And in that period, you begin to understand everything about that. You begin to see where their skill sets are deeper and thinner, but above all, you just see if you like working with them.
[00:52:07] Because it's like, when you go into building this, it used to have real collaborative thing. And if they're canceling meetings and missing it, and then having deliverables in this process and not doing it, and then you're, you're talking about an idea and they keep pushing back. They're not collaborative. It becomes so extraordinarily clear to me that it's not worth my time. I don't care how good the idea is. I don't care how good the idea is because I know that the game is a long one. And that you are together and you're married. It is a shotgun wedding over those six weeks. And keep in mind, the minimum check I cut is like 250 into that first one. So at the bottom, the least I would ever cut into you is 250 grand and upwards of a few million. So before I cut that check, I want it to be someone that I'm going to enjoy every meeting with.
[00:53:04] Again, back to this controlling your life and your energy. I would never compromise building with somebody that I didn't think would be amazing and fun because it would then compromise my entire system because I would never want to lay into my weekly meetings. Like, "Oh, now I got to meet with this guy."
[00:53:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. F*cking Jordan again, this guy kills me.
[00:53:26] Rob Dyrdek: He's always complaining. And he always shows up two minutes late.
[00:53:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:53:30] Rob Dyrdek: That is again, optimizing it even further. And then your intuition gets deeper. I built 14 companies. I have a 15th one going right now. That's coming out in a couple of weeks and it's like my doing so many, your depth of knowledge and depth becomes so much broader. Your feel for who are really high quality entrepreneurs and people you would actually want to build with, and your process just gets better and better, which makes the probability of success higher and higher. Which then makes the fun and the energy higher and higher, because business is amazing when it works. It is horrible when it doesn't. It is so painful. And then you're trying all these different things. You don't know what. Then it's like you're questioning everything. When it finds that road, that is the darkest of dark roads. And I've been there many times.
[00:54:27] Jordan Harbinger: I think anybody who started a business or two has been there before. I've never been divorced or anything. Knock wood, right? But I would imagine it's got to be kind of on par with that maybe a divorce with no kids or maybe divorced with kids depending on how successful your business was.
[00:54:40] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah.
[00:54:40] Jordan Harbinger: You know, what's interesting about you is that normally when people are this, like intense and systemized, they also have a backlash of some sort, or there's a downfall of some sort. Either they struggle with mental health stuff or depression, or they're intense in everything they do. And they party until their freaking face falls off. Or they got three kids in three different mamas or whatever, but you have intensity. You kept it focused and you didn't fall off the edge. You didn't hit any pitfalls. So you have risk tolerance but you haven't taken a bunch of unnecessary risks other than buying a company for five million dollars, which is like, at least that was the biggest problem. Like that's a good problem if all you did was lose some money, right?
[00:55:17] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah.
[00:55:17] Jordan Harbinger: How did you manage that? How come we're not reading about you in the fucking Inquirer?
[00:55:20] Rob Dyrdek: You know, it's funny because I think there's a sense of your personal limiting beliefs of what's possible. I think a lot of times when a question is proposed like that, there's almost this believability that you can operate at this level without there being some other force behind it. Right?
[00:55:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:55:43] Rob Dyrdek: It tends to come from, you know, I believe more of a personal lens on what you believe would be possible. To me, I'll always refer to it as like passionately compelled. My drive was always like around — I just felt compelled to create another thing. So, okay, cool. That's not fueled by some dark, like high and low, type of aspect, even though I ran in waves my whole life. It wasn't like dark waves. It was just, work really hard, relax, work really hard. It was really like how sustainable was the way that you operate. And again, when I self-evaluated, what was preventing the same sustainability, and then I use those systems to make myself more sustainable, more consistent, eventually turning these ways of being into living. I don't even like question. I get up at five, seven days a week, every day of the week. Really I get up before it half the time. It's like, whenever I need to sleep, it's like I meditate every single day. I don't like even think about, "Oh, like I miss out, let's put it in here and do it." It's just evolved to such a place.
[00:56:54] Now, the drive was ultimately mastered, bring your energy your time, but your happiness. When are you at your most happy? I was fortunate enough that I was also given the structure of the way that sort of television worked for me. And the way that I lived in these businesses, that I was given a lot of extra time, but while still achieving success to find that balance and that perpetual mode. But again, as I began to see the results, as I began to get more clear, as I'm making progress towards this ideal life, I put on paper in 2014, it's like the life that I'm living now — if I finished my life design in 2015, call it about six years ago. And this is like what the life that I wanted to live in my lifetime, I am about 75 percent to that life. And I feel like I've won the lottery like 90 times.
[00:57:56] And I don't practice gratefulness. I will be walking up the stairs and be like, I am so lucky. I'll be overwhelmed with gratitude by just the life that I have been able to generate for myself. So I only say this too, as I'm making progress towards this over these last few years, it's like, "Oh my God, you really got to live this life. You're really going to create this life." And to me that then fuels the energy, the drive keeps you more disciplined. Now, the amount of output that you're doing is increasing, driving you closer to those goals. It's like how you feel about yourself, how your relationships are like your time, your energy, your happiness, all of it's getting better and better and better every single month, every quarter, every year. It drives us even further energy to like you're creating and controlling reality, right?
[00:58:54] And that's where like the actual drive and perpetual ambition, if you will, is fueled from and where it actually comes from. And I hope to create it and deliver it in a way, one day, that's super easy for people to follow and do for themselves. Because I do think that it is the ultimate way to achieve an extraordinary life based off of what an extraordinary life is to you. And the most interesting thing about it is as you get closer, you begin to see farther, wider, deeper. You know what I mean? And I transitioned last year from — I used to like, it was self-preservation. Like what type of life do I want to live? And last year I transitioned to like generational preservation where I no longer have like a five, 10 and 20-year plan. I have a 500-year plan.
[00:59:49] And now all the decisions I'm making now with the way I structure my business, the way I manage my assets, and how I will go on and create a family bank that is creating systems and opportunity for the Dyrdek family for the next 500 years. That is a transition that I would never have thought plausible when I just wanted a life plan and wanted structure and just wanted to be happy and balanced. When I decided I'm going to stop and design my life in 2015, right? Like versus now you're almost of the life you thought was going to be your whole life. And now you see so much further and clearer off of how you can create a larger impact and a bigger, a larger destiny than you had originally seen before.
[01:00:36] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest, Rob Dyrdek. We'll be right back.
[01:00:40] Microsoft Teams is helping Priority Bicycles transform the way they work. After closing their New York City showroom, they started doing virtual visits on Teams. Now, people from all over the world can come into their showroom. Learn more at microsoft.com/teams.
[01:00:55] Thanks so much for listening to the show. I've loved the fact that I can make an impact on you, teach you guys stuff. You know, I can't do it for free. I wish I could. All of the deals, all the links you hear on the show, all those codes, they're all on one page for ease of use. jordanharbinger.com/deals is where that's at. Please do consider supporting those who support us. Grab something from a sponsor if you're thinking about getting a freaking mattress or some underwear, some sweatpants. I recommend everything we advertise here on the show. I try everything. I put it in my body or on my body, depending on what it is.
[01:01:25] Don't forget we've also got worksheets for today's episode. If you want some of the drills and exercises we talk about during the show, all the takeaways in one easy place. The link to the worksheets is in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com/podcast. Now, for the conclusion of our episode with Rob Dyrdek.
[01:01:42] Do you have guard rails in your life? Like, in other words, for me, for example, I can make a big plan, look at my team to execute it, but sometimes I'll make a big plan. I've run it by my wife, especially. And she's like, "So this is going to kill you slowly and kill me quickly, please don't do it." Do you have something in your life that keeps you on track in a healthy way? If so, what is it and how maybe do people build that if they're not married to it, for example?
[01:02:07] Rob Dyrdek: Look, you know, when you make that plan, it's going to kill you.
[01:02:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:02:12] Rob Dyrdek: Your wife just spoke it to you in reality.
[01:02:14] Jordan Harbinger: That's so true.
[01:02:14] Rob Dyrdek: You know what I'm saying? You knew when you wrote it, but you couldn't look at it as the plan of you really looked at, "If I did this, if I could get this out of it, then I could go back to being balanced and chill and living the life that I want." That's what I stopped doing completely. Where everything that I create inside my world is part of the entire plant. Even though I consider how I balance my time right now. Because you know, right now I could show you my entire time spent for last year, I slept for seven hours. I worked on my physical body for about two hours. I worked for seven and a half hours, spent seven and a half hours with my family and friends. Pure balanced by design. My entire weeks are fully balanced by design. I take all meetings, podcasts, interviews, everything inside my time structure that keeps me a hundred percent balance. So if it does not fit within that, and then doesn't tie to were there any aspect of that that'll draw energy from me then I just know it's the wrong thing to try to plan and do, but that's very hard to do.
[01:03:22] Jordan Harbinger: It is, yeah.
[01:03:22] Rob Dyrdek: But I have developed the system, I have so much clarity and now it operates so seamlessly and integrated that it becomes so obvious that if you were to do that, do you want to disrupt the quality of your life?
[01:03:35] Jordan Harbinger: Right. So it makes it easier for you to say that doesn't fit. So I'm going to say, no. You don't go like, "Oh, FOMO, what if I did this? And it worked out, it would be so great." You're like, "It doesn’t fit in here. So since you have that clarity, the FOMO was gone because you already know where you're going, so there's not even a space for feeling like you're missing out on something or for something that doesn't fit into the plan.
[01:03:54] Rob Dyrdek: A hundred percent. And then even when I went and built the way that I built, The Build with Rob Podcast, right? It still goes back to serving the core value proposition of — I want people that want to build companies with me to listen to this show and be like, 'I want to build a company with Rob," right? So really, that's the target, who it's for. But then when I went and produced it, I did it in a way that allowed me to do it in a structured way where I could pack them together. I could shoot 10 of them quickly and easily, rather than being beholden to sort of the weekly schedule that podcasts kind of get pinned to and trying to get guests. And then the guests now are just my co-founders. And the lessons that we've learned through the actual building process. So I never got to go spend the energy of booking guests or go through the chaos of what that is. I then can shoot 10 in a week and have them done out. So I can optimize my time in the same efficient way that I shoot television.
[01:04:56] So then its purpose now is to showcase my way of thinking on the right platform, but ultimately to attract people that are like, "I want to build a company with Rob." That's sort of doing it in an efficient way versus like I'm backed out of doing a business television show, right? Because what am I going to get out of doing a business television show other than it taking a lot of time and energy. And ultimately, I've got to create a narrative that's not creating the value of what's going to serve what is my bigger plan, which is ultimately a higher quality entrepreneur to put through my system to create amazing, extraordinary, profitable businesses, acquirable businesses with. That then kicks out the money that supports essentially the lifestyle that I want to live. That gives me the time to balance the people around me to be optimized and live this perpetually happy, balanced life. It all connects together seamlessly.
[01:05:59] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. And you only get that from working backwards and getting in the clarity that comes from that. Otherwise, you just go, "Shark Tank wants me to be on. Oh yeah. Awesome. Clear my next six months, because I got to go do that." And then you're like, "Man, I'm six months behind all of this stuff. This is failing. This is failing. My wife is pissed because she hasn't seen me. My kids are like, 'Where's daddy?'" And then you're just like, "Oh no, it'll be over soon." And then one day you're 60. And you're like, "Man, I screwed all that up pretty bad, but I'm rich." Right?
[01:06:24] Rob Dyrdek: Right.
[01:06:24] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe.
[01:06:25] Rob Dyrdek: And then, yeah, imagine then you're not. For me, it's like even I then have all of my personal assets in cash producing passive income. So I'm investing my high risk, high return ventures, creations. And then all capital that's made kicks then down into a non-correlated group of cash producing assets that then I keep my personal lifestyle within that dividends. So it doesn't matter how much money I make in a year, I pumped that into a system. So essentially, the life that I live has nothing to do with my television has nothing to do with my businesses. Which then for me, gives me this deeper sense of security, deeper sense of clarity on. Even when I make a lot of money, where does it go to, what is the purpose of that? Then it keeps me disciplined on my personal spending and my financial structure, but then just gives me absolute and total freedom because it's the ultimate freedom.
[01:07:27] And so again, I learned that I needed that through my qualitative data. I realized one of the major things was like how I treated money and what I invested in was making me feel empty because I felt lost about how I was handling my own personal finances. And so when I finally stopped, learned all that then began to build a strategy. Now, I optimize that strategy and now learned it at a really high level. I not only eliminated it, but my entire quality of life now is at this extraordinary level because of it. The amount of things like that, that I was able to do over just using qualitative zero to 10, how do I feel each day about life, work, and health? There are thousands of things like that, that I slowly cleared and optimized because the only way they became aware, aware of them specifically is when they kept happening over and over.
[01:08:24] And then as you begin to clear them out, it translates all the way into so many different aspects of your life. But for me, it's also perpetually getting clearer and clearer and clearer, mastering yourself further and further and further and getting more depth that allows your existence now to be effortless, effortless, and balanced with purpose and happy. And you never disrupt that. And when something does disrupt it like an employee, you can have a frank simple conversation of this is how clear. "You're the only thing in here that's disrupting it. If it happens, we're going to have to move on." You set the groundwork, there's your guard rail. Like your existence is so clean, you know it, but again, easier said than done.
[01:09:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course.
[01:09:07] Rob Dyrdek: You know, I've been speaking a lot about it. You know what I mean? I'm a systems thinker, but I think anybody that has push and pull from life. You don't have your systems integrated. If you have that push and pull and they're not all growing towards your ideal life. You're picking things to try to grow to that you think will make you your life. You know what I mean?
[01:09:28] Jordan Harbinger: Right, exactly. Yeah. You're chasing something like shiny objects — instead of creating a system that insulates you from that stuff, so you can focus on the things that matter, which you already have identified because you're working backwards and getting that clarity. You know, this all makes a lot of sense. It absolutely does. In like the remaining sort of five minutes here — look, you've got a lot of kids. You've got a wife. We're not reading tabloids about how that's all messed up or anything. I kind of brought that up earlier and I like that. And I've heard from drama and other mutual friends of ours that you have these meetings with your family and there's like goals and you systemize the family stuff in some way too. And I would love to hear about that. I'm a new father. I got a 20-month-old baby and we do like monthly — he doesn't join yet, but we do like monthly wrap ups. Like what do we do this month? That was good. What were our wins, losses? What do we want to do next month? It's not super intense because it's still family. It's supposed to be fun. It's supposed to keep everybody energized. It's not like, "Oh, you got a 98 out of a hundred. Well, you fail now as a son." You know, I try to keep it cool. But I'm wondering what you do because I feel like you've put some thought into this probably.
[01:10:31] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah. And I mean, look for me, my children are raised in this extraordinary energy. It's like me and my wife don't fight. I was like joking with my son last night. Like, "Have you ever seen me mad at mom?" He's like, "Pfft." He just gave me a face, like, "Come on. No." And I'm like, you know, I don't know what we were joking about, but I treat it as the most precious thing that I have. I relentlessly optimize, both my family, time, energy, and my time energy with my wife. And this is beyond like the weekly meeting. So we have evenings that we just talk. We have evening that — we actually started this week of going to movies. We have morning breakfast dates. We have two evening dates. We have every Friday, a week, we family sync where we have a living document. That's everything to do with our entire lives that we go through with the assistance to make sure we're on the same page. Looking out a month ahead, every single thing to do with all aspects of our lives. Every day I get up and I bring my wife coffee at 6:15 every single morning.
[01:11:47] And I send her an email every day of everything I'm doing in that day and a personal note of what it means to me and with a love quote on it every single day. And that was because she felt lost to me doing so much and would hear me talking about something and would feel bad. Like, "I never heard about that. I didn't know you were doing that." So I said, "Okay, you want to know what?" And then she'd be like, "What are you doing? I didn't know—" And I'm like, it was a pool for her feeling left out. How do I solve it? I'm going to send you an email every day of everything I'm doing that day. So then now that solved it. I'll put the cherry on top of it with a love quote.
[01:12:25] Jordan Harbinger: Razzle-dazzle.
[01:12:26] Rob Dyrdek: A little bit of razzle-dazzle. She wants to start getting up early. I said, "I'll start bringing you a coffee at 6:15 every day. So during the day we have a break and just sit and talk for a half hour in the middle of the day, I break for a half hour before my kids go to sleep and when they wake up for their nap. I spend the first half hour after my kids get up every day with them and then FaceTime my family, my parents twice a week on the heels of that, so that we are connected as a family, always once a week, then we do a full family meeting, all four of us where we shoot a photo with each other. And then we lay in like: what we're grateful for? What we learned? What we look forward to? Just getting them used to the sort of rhythm of meeting as a family. Once a week, we write down: what did we win? What are we celebrating this week? And we roll it up and put it in a bottle. And at the end of each year, we dump it all out and read the whole years' worth of what we celebrated.
[01:13:21] It is the system itself and even to this day, every day I have my wife just email me, so we have proof of it. Because you know, she's not fully bought into — reminds me of like Ray Dalio and like his family trying to be bought into like radical transparency.
[01:13:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:13:37] Rob Dyrdek: Can you, like, how far can you go, Ray? You know, is it a meritocracy like with your family? For my wife, I said just, "I'm not telling you to use this qualitative data, but for me, if you can just say zero to 10, how you feel about our relationship, then I have a gauge of your deeper feeling of we're balanced or unbalanced. So it becomes another tool for me that I now have. I can also show to her like, "Look how strong the month was." Like if she's down or feeling like, "I don't know." There's data points, but it also is now this point for me of like, if she's feeling like down about the relationship, you haven't been engaged enough or you've been too focused on other things — because even with that much balance now designed balanced, it's still, it's just baseline. I still have to go off of how I'm feeling, how we're feeling and make changes and shut a day down and just take her out to go get some dinner and go drive around for a couple because her feelings like maybe based off of something going on in her life, but—
[01:14:45] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[01:14:46] Rob Dyrdek: And you know, then I have this incredible adaptivity inside the system, even though we have these date nights, no, I need to take her out right now. She's hangry right now. I should just stop what I'm doing and go get her, get some food. It's that sort of aspect. And so again, if that's at the core of my being and my existence and having this extraordinary relationship and happy life, making sure that that is put front and center and balanced above all is my priority. And then I already really balanced my time to where it's rarely, she really feels like any disrupt in the flow, right? Because then I have this deep cadence and consistency that like, "Then you can rely on me and my energy as sort of the cornerstone and anchor of our family." Which again is because you take it all the way out. You're so clear. You're so optimized. You're so energized. That it's like, you can be that rock and you can be that consistency.
[01:15:51] Now, you take that to that's how your kids are raised. And the only thing that I like, I wake these kids up every day, like welcome to another extraordinary day in your amazing life. And it's like—
[01:16:00] Jordan Harbinger: Do you say that? I hope you say that .
[01:16:02] Rob Dyrdek: I do.
[01:16:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:16:02] Rob Dyrdek: Every single day. And then I'm like, "You can do anything. Why is that?" "Because I believe in me," right? I say, "What are we? We're hard workers." When he's like, "I don't want you to work." I'm like, "Man, I just love working, man. You know how much he loved playing with like the Superman toy. That's how I feel in these calls and stuff. I just love it." Because I want them in an effort to build the generational multi-generations of what it means to be a Dyrdek, it's like hard working, happy, lucky people. You know what I'm saying? And it's like to them, if you ask them what are Dyrdek's? They'll be like, "Hard workers." You know what I mean? And I want that hard work to be learned as a living the life you want to live, work hard to live the life, work hard at the things you love doing that give you energy the right way. Not the, "I hope you have the same drive as me."
[01:16:55] To me, it's like your version. If you have a life where you would, you want to golf most of the time and you want to live in a condo and have a Honda Civic and that's your balance because you'd rather be with your friends golfing. Cool.
[01:17:10] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[01:17:10] Rob Dyrdek: I just want to make sure that you learn how to design that life and live that life. Live a life of energy rather than live a life of constantly battling and highs and lows and struggles. That's really like my main goal when it comes to what I want to teach my children.
[01:17:28] Jordan Harbinger: That is a great place to end it and right on time, man. Dude, I love it. Thanks for going deep. You know, you never know what to expect and interviews because sometimes people just want to deliver talking points. I didn't think you were going to do that for the record, but I've been a huge fan for a while. I've really loved this message. I love the realness and the advice. I'm waiting for the press release like Dyrdek Machine multi-billion dollar, you know, Bruce Wayne style venture just backs the next biggest thing. Like I love seeing that I'm rooting for you, man. I love it. And uh, I hope we get to do this again in a year or two with even bigger news.
[01:18:00] Rob Dyrdek: Yeah, I appreciate it. I appreciate it.
[01:18:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[01:18:02] Rob Dyrdek: You know, I really enjoyed it. Look, and I appreciate your depth and your professionalism and the how hardcore you prepare.
[01:18:07] Jordan Harbinger: Thank you, man.
[01:18:07] Rob Dyrdek: It certainly shows. You know what I mean? It certainly shows, you know.
[01:18:13] Jordan Harbinger: You're going to hear a trailer for our interview with Frank Abagnale. The inspiration for the movie, Catch Me If You Can. Frank used psychology and social engineering to pull off a stint as one of the most successful imposters the world has ever known. If you've seen the movie, you know, Frank posed as an airline pilot, a doctor, and a lawyer. He even passed the bar exam. It's more than I can say for a few of my law school classmates. That's at the end of the show coming right up.
[01:18:37] Frank Abagnale: When I put that pilot uniform on, no one questioned that I look too young to be a pilot. I did walk up to a TWA counter. I was in a uniform. I was getting ready to purchase a ticket. And she said to me, "Are you buying or riding?" I said, "I beg your pardon?" "Do you want to be in the jump seat?" I said, "The jump seat?" "Yeah, I'll give you a pass, just go on the jump seat." Well, I learned everything as I went. I had no idea you could do this. So then I started riding around on planes in the jump seat.
[01:19:07] I walked in a bank in Chicago. So I went in the bank and I opened the account and I handed the girl a hundred dollars and she said, "Well, here's some temporary checks. We'll be mailing you your printed checks." Now, because I was young and inquisitive, I just happened to say to her, "I noticed that I don't have any deposit slips." "Oh no, if you need to make a deposit in the meantime, just go over there to that table in the lobby and help yourself to a blank deposit slip. Then write your account number in and then use these until you get your printed ones."
[01:19:35] Well, I wonder what would happen if I posted my account number on the bottom of all these blanks, and then it went back to the bank, put them on the shelf. So that's exactly what I did. And everybody who came in, put their money in my account.
[01:19:47] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, wow. Frank Abagnale could write a check on a piece of toilet paper drawn on the Confederate States treasury, sign it, U.R. Hooked, and cash it at any bank in town using a Hong Kong driver's license for identification.
[01:20:01] Frank Abagnale: I could, and I believed I could, and I probably would. They only saw that uniform. They paid no attention to the check.
[01:20:09] Jordan Harbinger: If you want to hear more from the mind of one of the most successful imposters the world has ever known check out episode one of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:20:18] I love this one. You know, he must move at a hundred miles an hour, doing all these different projects. But I also know that he enjoys his life a lot because I actually see it on camera. I mean, you see it when you watch him on camera, even off camera, he's like the same guy. He told me that he consciously slows down to enjoy things like getting married and having his first kid and playing with his kids, seeing his family and friends. It's not just an element on the schedule. He really does try to live in the moment, at least at certain points during the day, because he doesn't want to just reflect on his life on tape later on. And I think that he's very smart.
[01:20:50] Also, I was pleasantly surprised that he's a listener of The Jordan Harbinger Show. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it's always flattering. It's always cool. His favorite episode is Ray Dalio, just in case you are wondering, I got to ask him if it was part one or part two now. Big thank you to Rob Dyrdek. Check out dyrdekmachine.com. We'll link to it in the show notes. Links to everything will be in the website in the show notes. Please use our website links if you buy any books from the guests, any guest on the show, it helps support the show. The worksheets for this episode in the show notes. Transcripts in the show notes. Video of this interview going up on our YouTube channel, jordanharbinger.com/youtube. And I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or hit me on LinkedIn. I love connecting with you there as well.
[01:21:28] I'm teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using the same systems, software, and tiny habits that I use every single day to dig the well before I get thirsty. In other words, make relationships before I need to leverage them. That course is free. jordanharbinger.com/course is where it's at. And most of the guests on the show, they subscribe to the course. They contribute to the course. We'd love to see you in there, and you'll be in smart company exactly where you belong.
[01:21:52] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. And I couldn't do it without them. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is that you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's into skating, business, entrepreneurship, or just loves Rob Dyrdek, maybe they watch a little bit too much MTV share this episode with them. I hope you find something great in every episode of the show, please share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:22:31] Microsoft Teams is helping Priority Bicycles reinvent the way they work. When the pandemic hit, the bike shop had to close their New York City showroom. They found a way to reopen by doing virtual visits on Teams. Now, the team can meet with two or three times the number of customers than they could before. And people from all over the world can visit their showroom. Learn more about their story and others at microsoft.com/teams.
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