Being a child growing up in a chaotic and stressful environment usually isn’t the greatest formula for future success in today’s society. We have so much stimulating us at any given moment and being a child growing up in this type of environment can take its toll.

I got the opportunity to sit down with one of the top entrepreneurs and angel investors to ever come out of Canada, Dan Martell, and ask him some exclusive questions about his past successes, failures, and something else that sets him apart from other entrepreneurs: his family life.

Dan was someone that grew up in an environment like the one I just described. At the age of 13, he got into drugs and was already in jail by 15. Talk about not getting your life off on the right foot. Dan was someone that had a deck stacked up against him from an early age but he didn’t let that eat away at his entire future and instead decided to change his life.

Believe it or not, it was when he was doing 11 months into his journey at a rehabilitation center that he discovered a book on computer programming that became his new addiction. This was the change he needed and it led him to founding three different software companies while having two of them acquired, being an angel investor in companies like Intercom and Udemy, and now becoming one of the most sought after business coaches for Software/SaaS founders.

Tips for Today’s Modern Day Entrepreneur from Dan Martell

I knew that when I got the opportunity to pick Dan’s brain that I had to get some tips from him to share with everyone reading this, so here we’re a few big ones that I picked up on.

1. Go out and sell something.

This may sound super simple but to a lot of new or aspiring entrepreneurs, it isn’t. Basically, the main premise behind this point is to not worry about the other stuff right away, like the back office type stuff when starting a business. Go out and sell something so you don’t waste time on something that nobody wants.

“I see so many entrepreneurs incorporate their company, hire lawyers, build their website, all before even talking to a possible customer or seeing if someone will actually buy what their building. Stop this right away and go out and sell first.”

2. Work backward from the customer. Find out what they want.

I can totally relate to this as I’ve been in this spot before where I’ve built something before and I was thinking at the beginning first instead of going backward. What Dan is proposing is to talk to the customer or prospect first and find out what type of solution they are looking for. This will help you build the right solution to solve their problem. Such a great tip that reinforces his first point well.

3. Find a Mentor

Don’t think you will be able to navigate every situation by yourself. Seek someone that is in a position you want to be in and ask them for advice. Ask how they got there and how you can learn from them. All great leaders and entrepreneurs have mentors they learn from every day, week, month, or year and you as a new entrepreneur or business owner should be the same.

These were a few of the top takeaways for new entrepreneurs that  I got from my chat with Dan but I did want to ask him some dad advice since I recently became a new dad of twin boys and he gave me some really great insights and tips that I wanted to share.

Tips for Dads That Are Entrepreneurs from Dan Martell

1. Schedule calendar in advance as much as possible

When you have kids everyone knows that you can’t plan absolutely everything but you can prepare yourself as much as possible and one of the ways to do this is to use a calendar. Schedule things in advance as much as possible. Dan suggests if you can to plan your year in December like him and his wife do, this lays out a foundation for your year and lays a clear path of where you will be and what you have to do.

2. CEO of the Family & CEO of the Business

One of the best insights I got from Dan was that you can’t be #1 in charge in every facet of your life or else things are not going to work as smooth as they could. Great marriages and raising good children begins with teamwork and teamwork involves shared responsibilities. Dan suggests that if there is a business within the family that someone needs to be the CEO of the business and in charge of that while the other is the CEO of the family.

This is such great insight! I actually ended up taking Dan’s advice after our chat and my wife and I incorporated a similar structure to this.

Remember that all good marriages involve teamwork as well as the most successful startups. So if you want to set your marriage or business up for success make sure that teamwork and shared responsibilities are a key to your strategy and I’m confident you’ll be on a path to whatever success looks like to you.

If this works for an extremely busy and successful entrepreneur like Dan Martell I’m comfortable it will work for others as well.

Clinton Senkow

Clinton is the Co-founder/Chief Operating Officer of Influencive and a writer at The Huffington Post and Thrive Global. He’s a two-time G20 YEA Entrepreneur representing Canada and advisor to several businesses and entrepreneurs.