Unlocking Your Potential Leaving No Stone Unturned (on Real Talk with Zuby) Pt.2 June ‘23 Ep 601



In this candid conversation, Alex Hormosi shares his entrepreneurial journey, emphasizing the importance of surrounding oneself with people who believe in your dreams, perhaps more than you do. He recounts the struggles of balancing personal relationships and mental health while scaling businesses, revealing a period of heavy drinking to cope with pressure. Alex's turning point came after a near-fatal car accident prompted him to streamline his focus, exiting several businesses to prioritize what truly mattered. He stresses the value of aligning with a partner who can weather life's storms, as illustrated by his relationship with his wife, Layla. Together, they navigated financial ups and downs, with Layla playing a crucial role in their shared business successes. Alex also touches on the significance of aligned values, mission, and lifestyle in relationships, and offers advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: commit fully to your venture or career, understand the sacrifices involved, and ensure your side hustle can sustain you before making it your main focus.

Summary Notes

Belief in Dreams

  • Having people who believe in your dreams more than you do is essential.
  • Only take advice from those who have bigger dreams for your life than you do.
  • Most people do not have bigger dreams for you, making their advice less valuable.

"You want somebody, in my opinion, who believes in your dreams even more than you do, because I'm a big believer that you should only listen to somebody or take advice from people who have bigger dreams for your life than you do."

This quote emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with people who not only support your aspirations but also push you to achieve more than you might envision for yourself. The speaker suggests that advice from these individuals is more valid and potentially more beneficial.

Managing Relationships and Mental Pressure

  • Professional and personal relationships, along with mental health, are challenging to manage simultaneously.
  • The speaker experienced significant pressure, leading to coping mechanisms like drinking.
  • The speaker's coach highlighted the detrimental impact of stress and the importance of addressing unspoken issues.

"I mean, it was tough enough that I was drinking, like, a half a bottle of Johnny Walker black every night during most of that early gym."

This quote describes the speaker's method of coping with pressure through alcohol consumption, which he perceived as a way to quiet his mind amidst the stress of managing various aspects of his life.

Confronting Stress and Business Responsibilities

  • The speaker was involved in numerous businesses, which contributed to mental overload.
  • A serious incident led to a reevaluation of priorities and the decision to exit several business ventures.
  • The speaker's partner, Layla, successfully launched a gym during this period.

"And at this time, I had nine businesses, okay? Because I was the classic, like, shiny object entrepreneur."

The speaker acknowledges the complexity of managing multiple businesses and the lack of focus that comes from chasing various opportunities without a clear strategy.

Reevaluating Life After a Near-Death Experience

  • A near-death experience can serve as a catalyst for profound personal change.
  • The speaker began to use the inevitability of death as a framework for decision-making.
  • Disengaging from the perceived expectations of others was a key part of the speaker's transformation.

"The perspectives that have shaped my life have since then been all framed around death, and that's been kind of my single point of absolute truth, is that I am going to die."

This quote reflects the speaker's philosophical shift after a life-threatening event, using the certainty of death as a lens through which to prioritize and make life choices.

Legacy and Education

  • The speaker aims to fully actualize his potential and contribute to others through education.
  • The belief is that ignorance is the root of many problems, and education can counteract this.
  • The speaker's mission is to make real business education accessible to everyone.

"So it's very much like Newton's. I can see so far because I stand on shoulders of giants."

This quote connects the speaker's desire to educate with the broader historical context of building upon the knowledge of those who came before us, emphasizing the importance of education as a legacy.

The Permanence of Digital Content

  • Modern technology allows for the creation of content that can potentially last forever.
  • The speaker and the host discuss the implications of having one's actions and creations accessible for generations.
  • The discussion touches on the continuity of human nature despite technological advancements.

"We actually, due to technology, we now live in the first ever time in human history, where the things that you create and put out there beyond, say, a written manuscript, can exist forever and be accessed by everybody all over the world."

This quote highlights the unprecedented nature of our era, where digital content can outlive its creators and have a lasting impact on future generations.

Reflections on Happiness and Satisfaction

  • The speaker reflects on the pursuit of happiness and the realization that achievements do not guarantee it.
  • A mentor's advice about finding joy in daily experiences resonates with the speaker.
  • The discussion suggests that happiness is not found in the accumulation of things, but in the quality of one's experiences.

"And so none of this is new stuff, that more stuff isn't going to satisfy us. And I think that when we die, or at least for me, I'll probably be equally satisfied and dissatisfied as I am today."

This quote conveys the speaker's understanding that material success does not equate to happiness and that true satisfaction may come from a consistent series of joyful days.

Operationalized Joy

  • Alex discusses the concept of "operationalized joy" as a way to make abstract happiness tangible and practical.
  • He emphasizes the importance of spending time with people he enjoys and doing activities he likes.
  • Alex uses a decision-making lens provided by a teammate to assess whether to invest time in new relationships based on the 80-hour friend-making concept.

"I've never heard someone say operationalized joy." "Well, it's just because a lot of it's like these amorphous words, and we're like, what do they mean? It's like, well, how do I make that real?"

The quote highlights the unique term "operationalized joy" and Alex's approach to making abstract concepts like joy and happiness into actionable and realistic goals.

Relationship Building

  • Alex values his time and uses the "80-hour friend-making" concept to decide whether to engage in new social commitments.
  • He prioritizes existing friendships and is selective about new meetings, using the 80-hour rule as a filter for his decisions.

"One of our teammates, our director of people, made a presentation on how it takes about 80 hours to make a friend, a true friend."

This quote explains the concept that it takes approximately 80 hours to develop a true friendship, which Alex uses to guide his social interactions and time management.

Meeting a Partner on Bumble

  • Alex met his future wife on the dating app Bumble.
  • He preferred to quickly move communication off the app by getting a phone number and setting up a low-commitment first date.
  • Their first date involved talking about business, which was a shared interest, leading to a connection over common passions.

"So we met on Bumble, which is the dating app."

This quote indicates the modern context of dating and how Alex met his wife through an online platform, which is a common practice in contemporary relationships.

Business and Relationship Overlap

  • Alex and his wife immediately connected over their mutual interest in business.
  • He offered her a job during their first date and later involved her in his business ventures, illustrating the overlap between their personal and professional lives.
  • Their relationship quickly progressed to working and traveling together, showcasing a rapid deepening of their partnership.

"And at the end of the date, I said, hey, I don't know if this is going to work out, but you should totally work for me."

The quote reflects Alex's entrepreneurial mindset and the quick integration of his personal and business life by offering his date a job, demonstrating the blend of his relationship and professional goals.

A Whirlwind of Personal and Business Challenges

  • Alex recounts the tumultuous first year of his relationship, which included business successes and failures, a DUI, and financial struggles.
  • Despite the challenges, they experienced a significant increase in personal income, which provided a sense of security and accomplishment.
  • The emotional moment of achieving a long-term financial goal is described as one of the richest experiences of Alex's life.

"And then rocking and rolling since."

This quote summarizes the resilience and determination Alex and his wife had in facing personal and business challenges head-on, leading to eventual success and stability.

Unconventional Marriage Proposal and Wedding

  • Alex proposed to his wife in an unconventional manner, emphasizing practicality over romance.
  • They got engaged and married within six days, without the presence of family or friends, to address concerns from their employees about their relationship's impact on the business.
  • The quick and pragmatic approach to marriage reflects Alex's entrepreneurial spirit and focus on solutions.

"I think it would make sense if we got married."

This quote captures the non-traditional and straightforward nature of Alex's marriage proposal, which was more a decision of practicality than a romantic gesture.

Family Reactions and Acceptance

  • Initially, both sets of parents were not thrilled about the quick marriage.
  • Alex's father hosted a surprise reception with his own friends, while Layla's parents were shocked but eventually came to accept the marriage.
  • The couple's success and ability to build a stable life together helped win over their parents, particularly Layla's father, with whom Alex developed a close relationship.

"Just showed up from the Internet and snatched my daughter."

This quote humorously reflects the initial skepticism of Layla's father regarding the unconventional way Alex entered his daughter's life, highlighting the generational differences in perceptions of relationships formed online.

Layla's Contribution to Success

  • Alex credits Layla with a significant role in his business success.
  • Layla's strengths in judging people and building a strong team complemented Alex's skills in sales and marketing.
  • Their partnership in business and life is portrayed as a powerful combination that led to their mutual success.

"All of the success that I've had has been in part or 100% due to her."

This quote emphasizes the profound impact Layla has had on Alex's success, acknowledging her contributions and the importance of their partnership.

Division of Roles in a Relationship

  • Layla is the CEO of acquisition.com and manages multiple direct reports, while Alex is a founder with one direct report.
  • Alex acknowledges Layla's significant role and entrepreneurship skills, noting her success as a personal trainer and financial independence before they met.
  • They have a non-traditional but effective partnership where both work and live together, which is contrary to many couples who spend limited time with each other daily.

"Her title is CEO@acquisition.com. I'm a founder. I'm just, like, random guy who shows up on stuff. But I have one direct report. She has many." "Layla's a vicious entrepreneur. I mean, she was successful personal trainer. She was making more money before we met."

These quotes highlight the professional dynamics of Layla and Alex's relationship, illustrating Layla's leadership role and entrepreneurial spirit, which contrasts the traditional perception of gender roles in relationships.

Spending Time Together in Marriage

  • Alex and Layla spend almost the entire day together, which is atypical compared to average couples who reportedly spend about 2 hours a day together.
  • The couple's extensive time spent together is humorously equated to being married for 50 years, suggesting a deep and constant connection.

"We both wake up and work all day, and we work out, and we spend all of the day pretty much together." "The average couple spends, I think, 2 hours a day together."

These quotes emphasize the importance of spending quality time together in a relationship, which Alex and Layla prioritize, and they contrast this with the limited interaction that is common among other couples.

Unorthodox Romance

  • Alex's proposal to a previous partner was unconventional, focusing on everyday life rather than grand gestures.
  • He values the authenticity of his relationship with Layla, which may not align with traditional romantic ideals but is deeply meaningful to them.
  • The conversation touches on the societal emphasis on weddings rather than the marriage itself, and the importance of focusing on the partnership beyond just the wedding day.

"This is life. And so if you want to do this with me, I'm game." "It's romantic in an unorthodox way, but if you think about the things that are genuinely important in a marriage...that's kind of what it is."

These quotes convey Alex's perspective on romance and marriage, which strays from societal norms and focuses on the genuine, everyday experiences that define a relationship.

Business and Marriage

  • Alex shares a statistic that couples who run a business together have a 90% chance of staying married.
  • This conversation challenges the common advice against mixing business with personal relationships.

"Run businesses together, if you make $1 together in a business, you have a 90% likelihood of not getting divorced." "Divorce rates among people who have made a dollar together in business together is 10%."

The quotes highlight an interesting correlation between shared business ventures and marital success, suggesting that collaboration in business can strengthen a marital relationship.

Advice for Young Men on Relationships

  • Alex advises men to evaluate their partners based on whether their "stats" improve, indicating that a good partner should have a positive impact on one's life.
  • He believes in choosing a partner who supports and believes in one's dreams, emphasizing the importance of mutual encouragement and belief in each other.
  • Ancient wisdom and preparation for potential marital challenges are discussed, including going through materials designed for crisis marriages to understand and prevent potential issues.
  • The Bible's advice on choosing a partner is mentioned, emphasizing the importance of picking someone who can be relied on during difficult times, akin to a comrade in war.
  • Individuality and acceptance in a relationship are crucial, and Alex stresses that one should not try to change their partner but rather appreciate their natural state.

"Check your stats. And so what I mean by that is, if this person came into your life, what happened to your stats?" "You want somebody, in my opinion, who believes in your dreams even more than you do." "Pick someone you go to war with."

These quotes offer practical advice for evaluating a potential life partner, focusing on personal growth, mutual support, and resilience through life's challenges.

Personal Insights on Marriage

  • Alex shares his personal stance on marriage, emphasizing that he is not pro-marriage in general, but is committed to his own.
  • He discusses the hypothetical scenario of him and Layla separating and agrees that they would continue to work together due to their strong professional relationship.
  • The concept of "loving logically" is introduced, suggesting that love can be pragmatic and should involve open discussions about potential future challenges, including divorce.

"I'm not even, like, pro marriage. I'm just pro my marriage." "We talked about what it would look like for us to split up, what would we do about the business?"

These quotes reveal Alex's personal views on marriage, highlighting a pragmatic approach to love and the importance of planning for all eventualities within a relationship.

Conflict and Decision-Making in Relationships

  • Alex recalls an argument with his partner about a business decision.
  • He acknowledges that his partner was right, and he made the wrong call.
  • Despite being right, his partner never brought up the argument again.

"It was just like, she really didn't want me to do this business thing, and I really wanted to do it, and I steamrolled her and I did it. And it was the wrong call. It was the wrong call. It was the wrong call, and she was right. But you know what? She's never once brought it up."

This quote illustrates the importance of humility and respect in a relationship, as Alex admits his mistake and appreciates his partner's graciousness in not dwelling on the past conflict.

Advice on Agreement and Information Sharing

  • Alex shares advice from a pastor: "if you don't agree, don't move forward."
  • He emphasizes the importance of having the same information to make decisions.
  • Sharing information and understanding each other's perspectives are key to resolving disagreements.

"And he said, something to us that was really helpful. He said, if you don't agree, don't move forward."

The pastor's advice underscores the principle of consensus before proceeding with decisions, which Alex has adopted in his relationship.

Marriage Success Factors

  • Alex suggests that arranged marriages may have a higher success rate due to low expectations and high commitment.
  • He defines a successful marriage as one that does not break, acknowledging it's a low bar but effective.
  • He shares his personal experience with his partner, Leila, and how their relationship began with no long-term expectations.

"And I think arranged marriages have. I think they have higher success rate significantly. And I think it's a combination of two things. One is low expectations. Second is high commitment."

Alex attributes the success of arranged marriages to the combination of low expectations and high commitment, which may contribute to their durability.

The Importance of Shared Presence

  • Enjoying being in someone's presence without needing to entertain each other is powerful.
  • Alex and his partner's "dates" consisted of working alongside each other, indicating a comfort in shared activities.

"Just enjoying being in someone's presence, even if you're not entertaining one another or in date mode or whatever, just liking, hey, I'm working. You know what? Like, you just being there."

This quote highlights the significance of simply being comfortable in the company of a partner, even when engaged in individual tasks.

Key Relationship and Business Principles

  • Alex believes in aligned mission, aligned values, and similar tastes or lifestyle.
  • Aligned mission means wanting to go to the same place in life.
  • Aligned values refer to the desire to navigate life in the same way.
  • Similar tastes or lifestyle involve enjoying the same activities and having shared interests.

"I think three pieces, and they're actually the same as they are with business, is that you want someone with aligned mission, aligned values, and similar tastes or lifestyle."

Alex draws parallels between successful relationships and business, emphasizing the importance of shared goals, values, and interests.

The Role of Fitness and Lifestyle in Relationships

  • Sharing interests in fitness and lifestyle can be crucial for compatibility.
  • Differences in lifestyle can lead to resentment over time if one partner does not share the other's commitment to fitness.

"Like, if I didn't have somebody who was into that, like, that is a pain now for me to be me, it's like a give on the other person I have to ask for."

Alex discusses the potential strain on a relationship when partners do not share important lifestyle habits like fitness, which can become a point of contention.

Growth and Coachability in Partners

  • Personal growth and the ability to take feedback are critical in a relationship.
  • Alex values his partner's coachability and quick adaptation to feedback.
  • Differences in the willingness to grow and change can hinder the alignment between partners.

"So if I had to name one trait about Layla that I value the most, it's that she's coachable."

Alex expresses the high value he places on his partner's ability to accept and act on feedback, which he sees as essential for their relationship's success.

Respect and Communication

  • Men's desires for respect in relationships are not often discussed.
  • Communicating dislikes and respecting each other's preferences are important.
  • Alex shares an example of how his partner respected his feelings about certain language.

"And it's also that thing you said before, like, men do want respect."

This quote touches on the often-overlooked need for respect in relationships, especially from the male perspective.

Entrepreneurial Advice

  • Alex advises on deciding between making a job the main hustle or a side hustle.
  • He suggests working hard in both a job and a side project if entrepreneurship is the goal.
  • There are trade-offs and seasons in life; sacrifices may be necessary to gain momentum.

"So I think you have to decide whether you want to make the work that you do right now, your main hustle, or make your main thing the side hustle."

Alex gives practical advice to those considering entrepreneurship, highlighting the importance of focus and the willingness to make sacrifices for success.

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