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9 Apr

Ep. 99 – Matt Gottesman – Founder of hdfmagazine.com – Creativity & Starting

“Hustle was and still is about taking ownership of your life, not having excuses, putting in the time and the work, and being responsible for yourself. Being brutally honest across all avenues. It’s your work, it’s your passion, it’s your relationships, it’s your health, it’s your body, it’s your fitness. Whatever it is that you are tied to in all the aspects that come with your life you have to hustle for your life.”

Matt Gottesman – Founder of HDFMAGAZINE.com & Co-Founder of Trep Media Group; Creativity is the Foundation; Just start; Serving people; Collaboration is key.

Segment 1: (Length :04:00) – General Updates; Introduction to Matt Gottesman and his journey as an entrepreneur; Being different; Burning out; Launching the next phase of his life.

Matt’s finer points:

“In short … HDF really happened as a culmination of hitting a massive wall in my life.”

“A lot of the things that I had going on in my life, personally and professionally, were all just kind of at one time, or maybe a little over a year, just taken away from me. Now, looking back, what a blessing.”

“Prior to then I had a startup in my 20’s that didn’t make it. It failed miserably, but it actually taught me everything about back end infrastructure, like technology, front-end marketing, all things digital. Initially I wanted to change the face of the music industry and the internet. This is just coming out of Napster days. That was a long time ago.”

So I failed miserably. It taught me a lot though about how to take a hit early on.

“Then as I started progressing in digital, I started hitting up all these consulting type of gigs. How’d you do that? How’d you do this? Pretty soon I was doing it for real estate and finance. Then I started doing it for bigger brands.”

“I went back to Thunderbird to get my MBA for several different reasons at that time. I just wanted a larger network of people. And while I was there, a woman who became a good close friend of mine, had a great friend who worked for Belvedere Vodka. She was like, ‘hey you should talk to them. You’re digital.'”

“So I was the only digital geek at my MBA school. I mean really really digital. There were a few other people who were into it, but I think I was one of the only one that was really all in on it.”

“So I went to go speak to them and I developed a great relationship with the EVP. Then he put me in touch with some other brands there as well. I started consulting with them. That led to another thing, and that taught me a lot about branding, and how to keep your voice and authenticity, because that was most important to their brands.”

Here I'm a digital guy, so it was like a perfect marriage. How do you keep authenticity and doing what's right your end customer? Only focusing on them, not industry, not competition, not any of that. Just focus on doing what's right by the person you're doing it for.

“Then I did some work with the World Trade Center Association in New York on some things. I didn’t realize there were over 300 of them around the world. They were a whole network and organization. I had to bring technology platforms to them, and front end social and digital. I got a lot of difference resources put together, and we made some impossible things happen in a very short time, but I also burnt out pretty bad.”

“At the end of the day, when you look back, everything happens for a reason. I burnt out really really bad – professionally and personally – at that time. And then, pretty much in one swoop, this was back in like 2013-2014, things just started getting stripped away from me.”

“I remember I was coming home from Europe with my parents. We were sitting in an airport and I remember them looking at me and saying, “All right, you’re 35. We’re an entrepreneurial family. We’re independent. We’ve never told each other what to do or how to behave. What ever you do with your life is your life.” And then they said, “If you were to ever start running your race, like if you were ever really serious about doing you for you and start running your race, now would be the time.”

And it hit me like a huge gut check, really really hard because when you look at your parents right in the eyes, and they're telling you like, hey, this next run is for you, you better start running, like immediately.

“So I came home and I was already working on the concept for HDF. I hit the ground running and I haven’t actually slowed down since. So when you see like the 4000 pieces of content, that’s been over the last two and a half years .”

Segment 2: (Length :08:00) – Talking with Matt Gottesman; Creating for others versus for yourself; the meaning of hustle.

Matt’s finer points:

The gap that was not filling my life was the absence of creativity and just creating. When you're creating for someone else, there's boundaries to that creativity. When you're creating for yourself, there are no boundaries, period. Like, you can push them as far as you want, and you can come really far outside of those (boundaries)

“It’s very difficult consulting for other people because it’s their baby, and I totally get it.”

“I think that it (consulting) was great as a skill set and tools to help all these companies be more digitally savvy with digital marketing, websites, apps, and everything, but it wasn’t the same as me doing a brand for me that was backed by my purpose and a vision and a journey, and then using the skill sets for myself.”

“My parents said if you’re ever gonna run your race, run it for you. Do it yourself and just start creating, and then go from there. So I needed to fulfill this passion that I had inside for documenting the real aspects of entrepreneurship and help others not feel as lonely in the process of them creating.”

“Look, nothing is an overnight success. Everybody in media is portraying like it is, but it’s anything but that. It’s a lonely journey at times. You get stripped of friends. You get stripped of relationships. You get stripped of your sanity sometimes. You know, I want to bring the realness and the rawness of that to the world, but I want to use my tools and skill sets to create that.”

“So the word hustle – well with the exception of a few admirable, amazing entrepreneurs out there, like the Gary Vaynerchuks who embody hustle and demonstrate it and pitch it and have been for a long time, a lot of other people just started saturating the market with the word hustle.”

“We started doing the concept for Hustle and Deal Flow three years ago, so think about where that was compared to now where hustle is today. It’s everywhere you see it.”

“I don’t believe in hustle as being that’s all you do is hustle for the job, and the millions, and the car — that’s not what hustle is about at all.”

Hustle was and still is about taking ownership of your life, not having excuses, putting in the time and the work, and being responsible for yourself. Being brutally honest across all avenues. It's your work, it's your passion, it's your relationships, it's your health, it's your body, it's your fitness. Whatever it is that you are tied to in all the aspects that come with your life you have to hustle for your life.

“There’s never a finish line. The finish line is when you’re dead. To put it bluntly. Hustle is something … It’s the journey. That’s why we feature everything on the journey. What’s going on with people when they’re transforming themselves. They’re transforming their businesses and their bodies and their life and other people around them. The effects on they have from other people. They’re leading by taking that ownership. Putting in that work behind them.”

Segment 3: (Length :10:00) – Stop thinking; Serving people; Knowing your “why”; Collaboration is key.

Matt’s finer points:

“You know, it’s hard for people to start. You’re always waiting for the right time to be ready. ‘When I get this, when I do that, next week, next Monday, I’ll go to the gym tomorrow.’ Everybody’s always waiting for something. You’d be surprised at what you can do when you’re backed against the wall and you have no choice.”

I had everything stripped away from me so I either start yesterday, or the money that I had saved and was working off of would be gone. I had a run rate with the cash I had at the time so I had to get moving.

“It was like, all right I’m clearly not gonna go backwards. I can’t do that. I’m not gonna do the same things again because that really hurt. So I looked at it as I gotta get moving. I just gotta start creating and the details will be revealed to me.”

“As for advice, this is really really key right here. Stop thinking. Just start putting things to paper. Start putting things to websites. Start putting things to social media. Start just putting your thoughts out there and let them mold.”

I say creativity is the foundation of all starting points because the moment you just kind of put your head down just for a minute, and start to serve the world with your writing, your drawing, your artwork, your visual, your photography, your videography, whatever it is, it will lead you to other things. That's exactly what happened.

“Creativity was about serving people and that is what got me successful. I saw an interesting story in somebody and I was like I want to tell their story. They’re an entrepreneur and they need help whether that be exposure, marketing, whatever.”

“Brandon Boetto with SlabHaus was my first interview. I was like, ‘Hey I love what you’re doing. Can I interview you? I got this concept where it’s like CEO talks to CEO about the journey.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah. Boom. Let’s do it.’ I’m helping him because he’s doing some amazing work. Let me put that out there to other people and then they can see it. I’m helping other people see what other people on their journey are doing.”

“When you see somebody who’s on their journey, whether that’s eight months in, a year in, or two years in, it’s relatable because you’re like, ‘Oh they just started, and look, they’re all right.’ They’re operating from their why, their heart, their passion.”

“You have to know why you’re doing what you’re doing and what it’s trying to fulfill. Because regardless then of what you experience along the way, you’re gonna pivot in your creativity and the way you bring whatever it is that you’re trying to bring to market in order to be able to get to that goal of why you’re doing what you’re doing. I think that’s really key for anybody that’s trying.”

I think that collaboration is also key. You're not gonna do anything alone. You have to find people who's values you can align with, generally like and get what they're trying to do because it's coming through their character, their content, their brand or whatever it is they're creating.

“When you approach anyone to collaborate, I think it should be something like this, ‘We should try to see how we can work together and add value.’ That’s very reciprocity driven. That’s what collaboration’s all about. I’ve got something and you’ve got something. How can we help each other with each other’s mission?”

Segment 4: (Length :03:00) – Hustler Thought of the Day:

I want to represent an idea. I want to represent possibilities. I want to represent the idea that you really can make what you really want. . .I believe that I can create whatever I want to create. . .The first step before anybody else in the world believes it, is that you have to believe it. . .BEING REALISTIC IS THE... MOST COMMONLY TRAVELED ROAD TO MEDIOCRITY. - Will Smith


Matt Gottesman – Founder & Editor-in-Chief of HDFMAGAZINE.com & Co-Founder of Trep Media Group

  • Matt is the founder and editor-in-chief of hdfmagazine.com, an online publication that features the stories (journeys) of talented people, “creative”, entrepreneurs and inspiring/rising growth brands. In short, pretty much anyone who truly demonstrates the hustle.
  • He started HDF almost 3 years ago after he was reminded of the importance the journey plays on the destination for my own life. Since it’s inception he’s conducted more than 30 interviews with entrepreneurs and creators worldwide ranging in locations such as Sydney, New York, Argentina, Croatia, Los Angeles, Miami, Toronto, Scottsdale, Estonia, Paris, London and more.
  • Since then, he’s been featured in Inc., Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fabulous Arizona, Phoenix Startup Week, Mashable’s Social Media Day Phoenix, Infusionsoft, Stage One Startup and several other media outlets.
  • He comes from 18 years in all things digital, technology and entrepreneurship.
  • Prior to creating HDF, he worked and consulted with big brands such as Louis Vuitton, Moet Hennessy, KRUG Champagne, Ruinart Champagne, World Trade Centers Association and several other industries in Luxury, Automotive, Real Estate and more.
  • He has an International MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA from University of Arizona.
  • He’s an author, writer, speaker and has created more than 4,000 pieces of content in a little over 2 years. Fun fact, he can type 125 words per min.


Matt Gottesman

Matt Gottesman is a global digital strategist and technology advisor, creator and editor-in-chief of Hustle & Deal Flow™ - an online magazine dedicated to the world's entrepreneurs, creators and makers, a Social Media Influencer and a consultant on New Media and go-to-market strategies for investments in digital marketing, technology, websites, mobile applications, eCommerce, social media and content.

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