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Joe De Sena

Life Lessons That A Mafia Boss Taught Him About Business


In this episode

Welcome to another episode of In Search of Excellence! My guest today is Joe de Sena, a serial entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, endurance athlete, motivational speaker, and self-described maniac. For the past 17 years, Joe has been the CEO of the global fitness and wellness brand Spartan, which has a community of more than 10 million athletes around the world.

He is a host of the CNBC primetime show, No Retreat business boot camp, and a New York Times bestselling author of four books, Spartan Up, Spartan Fit, The Spartan Way, and his latest, 10 Rules for Resilience.

Time stamps:

01:46 Joe De Sena’s background and childhood

  • He grew up in Howard Beach, the organized crime capital of the world
  • Mom was a long-distance runner, vegan, and yoga practitioner
  • Dad was a workaholic entrepreneur
  • The story about his dad and the missing package in the warehouse
  • The story about moving bricks all night
  • An unbelievable BMX ride to Greene, New York

11:33 Working for Joe Bananno as a kid

  • Lessons from the head of the organized crime family
  • Became a trusting kid and gained a lot of customers
  • The attractiveness of the mafia lifestyle and his dad’s advice
  • Joe Bananno as Joe’s friend and mentor
  • The best thing we can do in life is help people

18:15 What’s wrong with the mentality of today’s interns

  • Human beings are naturally lazy and wired for comfort
  • The story about Shaun and moving artworks
  • Make yourself invaluable and irreplaceable

26:48 Never ask for money

  • A story about a car dealer from Vermont
  • A risk worth getting numerous customers
  • Get your foot in the door first and provide value

29:23 How rejections can fuel you

  • Applied to Cornell and was rejected
  • Learned hard to prove worthy of Cornell but kept being rejected
  • Finally, enrolled in The Textile Department of Human Ecology
  • If you just keep doing it, you eventually break through

35:05 The ability to hang in there and finish is changing your biology

  • If the obstacle you face is not fatal, it’s just a lesson
  • Failure can be our greatest asset if we use it right
  • Finishing hard things creates tracks in the brain
  • Quitting creates gaps and more quitting

Sandee | Bliss: Beaches

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