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Missed Last Week's Live Q&A? Find Out What the Emmy Award Winning Host of the 'Never Settle Show' Has to Say About Pursuing Your Dreams The Emmy-winning Host of EntrepreneurTV's show 'Never Settle' shares his advice on pursuing your dreams.

By Entrepreneur Staff

entrepreneur daily

Brad Gage:  If you are an entrepreneur looking for a healthy mix of inspiration and practical advice to propel your personal and professional goals forward. Well, Mario Armstrong's Never Settle Show needs to be on your must watch list on every episode. The Emmy award-winning show combines how-to tactics and insightful interviews that entertain and inform, and it's one of my favorite shows we have here on E T V.

Hi everybody. I'm Brad Gage. The studio ahead at Entrepreneur tv, and I'm so excited for you all to be here for our live q and a with the host and producer of Never Settle, Mario Armstrong, the consummate host, one of my favorite people. Here he is, Mario.

Mario Armstrong: Yo, how are you? What's up, Brad? Good to see you, man.

Brad Gage:  Yeah, always great to hang out. Absolutely. To see you. Yeah. And so, you know, this is, this is all about celebrating. the show and you, and kind of our partnership. I mean, we've worked on several things. I think a lot of our audience might have seen, you know, Mario likes it, a show we introduced Yep. The last year.

Uh, and you've been affiliated with the, the brand for a long time. I, I would love to hear a little bit about. , you know, where this show came from. And then after, after you talk about that, I wanna show a, uh, a little clip before we we move into more of the interview.

Mario Armstrong: That, that's great because I'm actually, uh, I'm actually going live right now, I'm trying to Oh, okay. You're live too. Okay. I'm live too, uh, on all of our channels as well. And I'm also live on IG. Just push us, everybody, to go to YouTube, go to Entrepreneur Magazine, go to Entrepreneur on YouTube, and you can join the live discussion. That's going down right now. Um, yeah, Brad. So it's been really a great, uh, opportunity to work with the entrepreneur team, to be really a part of the family and to, you know, take our show, which is all about entrepreneurship and creators and solopreneurs, and giving you practical tools and tactics, but doing it in a really fun way and also giving you access to people in a different light.

Like maybe you've heard from some people before, but you're hearing. Differently. Maybe you've seen Spike Lee talk before, but you're hearing him talk more entrepreneurially and so it's that lens of being an entrepreneur myself and really being a journalist for all my life and being on The Today Show and being on C C N N and all these networks where we've had tons of, uh, contractual deals with now actually creating our own show really gives us the chance to say, what do entrepreneurs really need to?

Not what do we think is hot? What do we think is gonna be good? Click bait. None of that enters into it. It's very intentional with what we decide we're going to put out there. And that intention is driven by what we're hearing or what we're asking of entrepreneurs and creators themselves. So many of them get a voice in the production of the program, which is also made the show really different.

And so it's an honor to be on the network with you guys. I'm super excited about what you've been working. For so for so long, kind of like getting to this point. And now you have some really stellar programs that are showing the, the potential of where entrepreneur, uh, TV and this whole new network is going.

And we're just part, uh, glad to be a part of it. And look, never Settle is the first show. We got other show ideas that we're cooking UPS, . So, you know, I'm looking forward to like, seeing other, other, other opportunities, uh, evolve as well. But it's been a great relationship and we really, we really.

Brad Gage:   I want to hear about those hopes and dreams, but b, before we, we keep going here, I do wanna show our, a little trailer we cooked up so that people get a sense of the show, so, oh, that's great.

Let's, uh, let's do that here. Let's take a little look at, never settle with Mary Armstrong.

Clip: Mario Armstrong, in case you didn't know, you have just entered the zone of never settle. Let's get it family. Come on.

You're not watching this show to wish people you are watching this show to do. You are incredible. You have a gift, you have a purpose, and your job is to deliver your greatness. People dreams have. Inspiration date. If you say your vision and people aren't scared by your vision, your vision isn't big enough, it's your vision.

Nobody can take that away from you. You watch this show because you are serious about making a positive change for yourself. The dream killers won't win this time people till What I want you to do, This year, this time, this season right now is to go out there and deliver your greatest potential. Let's get it family number.

Brad Gage:   So that's, that's you in front of a, a live studio audience. Like where, where was that shot? Where did you do that show?

Mario Armstrong: Yeah, so that show was shot, uh, in New York City in Times Square, um, at nasdaq. So, I mean, like, you couldn't really get any better than that opportunity. It's a multi-million dollar studio.

It's on the ground floor, right in Times Square. It's got big g uh, ginormous windows that look right out into, uh, times Square so people in Times Square can actually look into those windows and see what's going on. And, um, that was done, uh, there, because honestly, it's, it's a really, it's a testament to putting your dream out there.

So our first. Was actually shot in a tech company's lobby. We didn't have the money for a studio. We couldn't afford it, but we had this idea of creating a show. And so my business partner, who is also my wife and c e o of the company, and and I, we got together, we have a small team and we decided we were gonna try and do.

Like be the David to Goliath and we were gonna try to do what can't seem to be done. And that was to have a live talk show, production, multi-camera shoot with a live studio audience of like 50 to 60 or more people. And every, uh, studio that we went to wanted, you know, several hundred thousand dollars in order for us to have the studio for a week so that we could shoot x amount of episodes to kind of cover our season.

We couldn't. So what we ended up doing was bartering, and this is something that every entrepreneur. Should be thinking about doing when you don't have the capital at the time. There's two things that we did. We bartered and then we learned how to do brand sponsorships to help pay for the production. So the bartering was, we went around to tech companies that had large lobbies in New York and we were like, Hey, we wanna shoot this show and we can do it in the evening so it doesn't interrupt your business.

And we will shout out your company's product in every episode. If you could give us your venue for free and help us like get this. , is that something you'd be interested in? Uh, we went around Gary Vaynerchuk's place. He was down, but he was growing so much that we couldn't do it in his place because the spot that he was gonna give us was gonna probably change in two weeks, um, and not be available.

So then we ran around to a bunch of other places, got some nos, and then finally got a yes. And we did it at this, uh, uh, company called Canary. So my point is that was our first season. It was shot with our con, our, the supervising producer, the, uh, director. They were in a janitorial closet. On the same floor that had a window to look into the set, but we were putting this thing together like out of thin air and we ended up producing this show.

We get through doing 10 episodes, we end up submitting that show for the Emmys, not really wondering if it would win or not, but we had a dream and we had a vision, and it ends up winning an Emmy. And from doing that show where things weren't perfect. Is really the storyline for every entrepreneur. You all stop waiting for perfection.

It does not exist. So just go put your stuff out there and the universe will fill in the details. I can say that because I've actually lived it. So what happened was the reason why we were at that studio that you see wasn't because we ended up having the money to pay for it. It's because somebody else that worked there saw what we were developing and saw the.

And they were like, Hey, that show is great. Would you like to come over here and talk about maybe producing it here? And we were like, wait, like a 50 50 deal? Like what are we talking about? And they were like, absolutely. And so it was like you go from your co, your production crew in a janitorial closet with metal tin chairs that are what people are sitting on for an hour long talk show.

In a lobby of a tech company to then a multi-million dollar studio where CN b c shoots, squawk Box and a bunch of other shows shoot out of that, we are able to work a deal with them because they saw the potential. Yeah. So I hope that's a lesson for a lot of people. It's a long-winded answer, but you know me, I'm gonna, I'm gonna try to bring some inspiration for at, at the same time.

Brad Gage:   Well, and the details are what people need to hear, right? Because you watch a show like that and you go, oh, you rent the place and you get a crowd and it. You know, you must have just had money. It's like, no. A lot of this stuff like a startup, you are scrapping it together. It happen, even the thing. And if you are in alignment with mission, your core values and the actual purpose of what you're doing, People like to jump on board.

Hated your own momentum. You mentioned the Emmys. Um, uh, yeah, you know, I, I think that that's a, that can kind of mysterious, like what, what is that process like, you know, not only submitting but winning and what did you win them exactly for? Oh man. How did that feel? Tell me about the whole experience if you can.

Mario Armstrong: This thing is really, really, you know, thank you for asking. This is an incredible story. Um, because, um, I really get choked up. Um, because, you know, we were, we were bankrupt, like pursuing our dream. And, um, a lot of family and a lot of friends helped to really support us. And, and you know, there were times when I'd be live streaming talking about this situation and trying to make this idea work.

And I'd literally be in tears and my family would be, some family members were a little like, Hey, man, you need to stop crying. Live on, on social. People think you made it already. Why are you doing that? And I'm like, because I haven't made it to what I, because it's not true, because it's not real. Like people need to see the real grind.

And I'm emotional about it because I didn't understand why it was so damn hard. And, and I'm truly fighting for the other underdogs. So I feel like yes, I'm an underdog and I gotta also win for other underdogs. So to, to be able to hold this in my hand and, and, and see this now. It just constantly takes me back to that moment.

So when we first put together the show, we were in the conference room. We had about five people on the team at that time. And I remember going into the conference conference room and I had this massive stack of papers. Like I just dropped the stack of papers on the conference room table and, and everybody's looking like, what is that?

And I go, it's the Emmy's submission. Now granted, this is our first meeting with with the team. We haven't talked about what's the show really about. We knew it was gonna be a talk show. We knew it was gonna be for entrepreneurs, but who are we interviewing? Why are we interviewing them? What are the lessons people are gonna get out of it?

How long are we gonna be interviewing? How are we doing this interactivity with a live audience and people online? How are we doing all of that? None of that got brought up. I said, boom. And they're like, what's that? I'm like, that's submission to the Emmys. And I said, I don't know if we have a chance of winning this or.

I said, it doesn't even really matter if we win. What matters is whatever we do, let's put our best ideas, our best potential forward. We've assembled the best team that we could assemble. Each and every last one of you are gifted. You're talented, you're experienced. Let's go. Don't second guess yourself.

Let's build this idea and let's shoot this thing as if we are getting paid by B, C, or as if we are getting paid by Netflix or as if we are getting paid by Hulu. And so that was the mindset that we went into it. Not necessarily to win an Emmy, but just to create the best content with the best way that we could do it.

And I felt that if we could do that, then we would earn, we would earn our own right to at least. And so that's how it all started, man. It was just like, uh, literally not even knowing what the show was about, looking at the submissions. Then really then working on the show, developing the idea, the format, the structure, the interactivity, all of those things.

The interactivity became very important because that's the reason why we won the Emmy in that category. Um, and then we had to actually execute the. and really deliver great content that was gonna really help people. Otherwise, it didn't matter if we got the, the gold medal or not. So once we were into show mode and we were like, I was like, this is really magical things are coming together that we couldn't have anticipated.

But it's because we decided to start and to go without everything being perfect that the universe was filling in all the details. And I'm like, yeah, we're submitting this. I, I, I think I knew probably after episode. . I was like, we're submitting this for the Emmys. I have no idea if we have a snowballs chance in hell of winning this thing, but we're submitting this thing.

And then you go through a submission process and the submission process is pretty detailed. It's like a 65 page document you gotta go through, you gotta identify which category is the right category or categories for you. We submit it for two, we submit it for host, and we submitted for the, uh, show's production, uh, for live streaming.

Those were the two categories we got nominated in both categories, which was. So, fast forward really quick to Emmy Knight. You're in major like ballroom, uh, hundreds of people you know, that are all around. You got a, a, a, a dining table. You're, you're sitting with like family and friends, a table of 10. And we had another table that was like partners and sponsors and p and people that participated and supported.

And it's a long night. I mean, this is like three to four hours you're in there. Not everything gets televised, not everything gets put up. Um, not every category is seen. We were towards the end, and they mentioned they did the host category first about midway through, and they brought up the nominations and I was nominated amongst other people, and then they didn't call my name, and I felt the biggest sigh of relief, Brad, because when they didn't call my name, I was like, yes,

I didn't win the Emmy for. Because later was the Emmy for myself and the team, and I was like, I don't want to walk home with an Emmy from the, from a host. If we can't get one for the team. I just, I'm just not that self-centered kind of guy. I was like, the team's gotta win, and then if I get one, great. So I lost, so I actually felt a, a breath of fresh air.

And then when they called the, uh, category for, for live streaming production, and they called the nominations. I literally was looking on the jumbo screen and I could see her lips like form the letter M, because when you say, Hmm, Mario, it's not like Nick or Tom or any of these other things where you, oh, Mario required.

And I, as soon as she did that, dude, I jumped from the seat, premature , I was in the air like we won this damn thing. We got it. And she said, Mario Armstrong's never settle show. And like the tables just unleashed. And we ran up on stage. It was.

Brad Gage: Incredible. And I mean, that's the, that's the, that's the dream I think a lot of people have.

Is it? I'm sure it has. But tell, tell me a little bit about, you know, how you use that to market yourself and the show and, and, and how that, what type of impact it's had on your life.

Mario Armstrong: Yeah, it's been, um, you know, it's really interesting. It's the same thing with Oscars and, and Grammys. A lot of these people will tell you like, it's great to get this recognition.

It truly is because it means peers are judging you and these are peers that you know, you don't know, uh, and judges you don't know, and they're judging the content that's been submitted. And so to get that recognition is definitely powerful because it's hard to. and there's a reason why it's hard because the, the production quality's gotta be high and, and all these other things have to be right and in order for it to really be nominated, let alone win.

And so that really just put more battery in our packs. Um, it helped us deal with the fact that we didn't have crap in the bank account. It really, really did that we put everything on the line to try to make this show and that we're like broke, receiving an. , like we're out of money receiving an Emmy

It's like the craziest life is a bunch of dualities, and that was one of those moments where it's just like, , yeah. We really are like literally trying to figure out like how we're gonna make some income and at the same time, we're riding as high as we could ever be in our lives, . So it was really, uh, awesome.

That's, that's the balance right there. Yeah, it was awesome, man. And I just think that then you have to market it, then it's on you. to then use that, uh, recognition. So is it in your marketing materials? Is it in your press releases? Are you doing podcast episodes about it? Are you not just talking about it from like, I won this Emmy, look at me.

Are you talking about the process? Are you educating people? Are you inspiring them in some way that they can go after their big thing in their world, whatever that may be for them? And can you use those teachable moments to help others and, um, you know, use it in a way that helps brand you. That's been the most powerful use of it, honestly, is to leverage it as lessons learned for other people and then to, uh, remind brands.

And when other people tell us no, we can say, well, wait a minute, , we, we were told no once before and we ended up with this, would, would Roku, like one of these would Hulu, like one of these may, you know, maybe we should be, you know, just talking a little bit further. Cuz you never know . So it's one of those.

Brad Gage: That's, uh, yeah, that's definitely a, a pretty big bargaining chip, I'm sure. Yeah. And, and, uh, I mean, uh, you know, I've done a lot of hosting. I, I watch your show. You're so energetic and dynamic, you know, what is basically some of the keys to making an impact as a host. But, but not only that as a host in the business sector, you know, cuz that is a kind of specific type of,

Mario Armstrong: Yeah, I think, um, part of the key is collaboration.

You know, you can't do anything by yourself. And this is for the entrepreneur that's listening, that's coming up with their own product and their own di ideas. You gotta have a team. And that team consisted of Entrepreneur Magazine. They were one of the first people that I presented this idea to, and they were like, We love this idea.

They weren't a no. So what did that tell me? What that tells me and tells you is that you gotta find your community. You gotta find your people that can see the value that you see, but that there's a, uh, win-win for both parties. And often we get so caught up in what it is that we're trying to do. I could get caught up in being a host so much that I could forget that it's not about.

and I think staying grounded, um, removing. and really trying to be the best human that I can be has made me a better host. But I think that's also because it's made me be able to get other people to be involved in visions that we want to try to fulfill because they feel a part of it, they see it, they're energized by it, and we think about how it can be a win for them.

So yeah, we are clearly understanding that a deal with Entrepreneur TV gets us distribution. Absolut. . That's a big win for us. But then on the flip side of that, what's the win for Entrepreneur tv? They get a show that's high quality, that's one Emmy's and is continuing to produce other shows at that level, if not higher.

And so we often can forget about what we bring to the table because maybe we're so desperate to try to launch our thing or grow our thing that we forget maybe the value that we bring to the thing. But what I do know is as a host, it takes a team. So that's also the research. Writers, people helping me when I'm saying, Hey, what do you think about these questions?

Are these any good? It's also the social community. When we would literally ask people, here are five topics we're looking at doing, which one do you care about? And we would actually do that topic. It wasn't like, you know, ga, we were playing games with people for publicity's sakes. We were showing them that we were actually including that into it.

So I think being a great host at the end of the day, technically is being a great listen. because you're trying to understand how to communicate to the audience. The in between moments, there's like the obvious conversation and then there's like the really deep stuff and then there's like all this stuff in between.

And so it's really, for me, I love to try to find the nuanced thing that could really be the one light bulb that set somebody else. and they're often running with their idea or, or their confidence or they're, you know, defeating self-doubt or whatever it is. And so I think for me, it's being a great listener and then really understanding the audience and then collaborating with people that support it.

Brad Gage: It's a magical thing when that works out and I think it really does work out with the show. And you, uh, you touched on this a little bit and we do need to wrap up in a moment, but I love this Tassy brand says A trusted team is so amazing. Yeah, that's true. I mean, Let's take a look at that, right? Like, that is building, that takes time and authenticity.

That's so completely true. I mean, uh, people are your power when you are a business person or on a production, you can't do it alone. And so I, I love that tsi. That's fantastic. Uh, so I definitely wanna, I wanna wrap this up to just get a, get a view of what's, what's next for you, what's next for Never settle, what's going on, you know, that we can look forward.

Mario Armstrong: uh, that's a great question. I mean, we got a, uh, podcast out called Parents Making Profits, which is really cool, uh, that you all can check out if you're into podcasts. That's an audio podcast right now. Um, we have the Never Settle Show clearly on Entrepreneur tv, so make sure you're going to the website and you're clicking on the menu and dropping down to Entrepreneur TV to see when we're.

Slated on the schedule and then we're working on two pilots. Uh, one is really going to be very different. It's what I call peanut butter and jelly. It's where you take two ideas, mash 'em together, and you create something new. It's gonna be for entrepreneurs. We're gonna be talking about some of the headlines and news and current events that you all are talking about.

but from a different angle. And it's gonna be really entertaining, fast paced, but also educational. And then we have, uh, another show in development that I can't tell, talk too much about, um, but it involves food, uh, food competition with entrepreneurs. I'll leave it at that. And um, so I'm excited about those two projects.

In addition, we're teaching creators how to get their own brand deals. One of the things I mentioned at the top of this was we did bar. , which means we would give something away for free in order to get something for free. And then we did brand deals. That was the other way that we were able. Present our concept, the idea so many people think you can't get a brand deal for your podcast, your YouTube channel or your social media, uh, small following.

And the fact is more and more marketers are looking to spend money with niche audiences because the engagement is higher. The problem is they gotta do a lot more work to find you. So you have to be more proactive in presenting yourself to them. But if you don't know how to package yourself correctly, you're gonna put out the wrong pitch, or you're gonna put the wrong information, or you're gonna send pricing with three tiers, which they don't want.

You're gonna do all these things that can backfire and get you ghosted. So we learned how to get brand deals. Companies to fund our ideas in our business, and we've done that now Sig significantly, like FedEx, capital One, wicks so many Roku, so many brands have sponsored with us over the years Ford. Um, and now we teach other people how to do it.

So I think if there's one thing that I would do is be smart about where you're getting your money raised. You don't have to do loans, you don't have to do friends and family VC investment, uh, or take on that personal credit debt. You could be getting from the fifth and overlooked source brand sponsorships if you learn how to package yourself well.

And that's one thing that we're super excited about teaching creators how to do because it's more potential than ever to monetize your concept, your event, your content, and your ideas.

Brad Gage: I love it. So you. only a few things going on.

Mario Armstrong: only a few things going on. It's a, and then there's, you know, there's meditation and then there's like, uh, Buddhist practices, and then there's prayer, and then there's the dog, and then there's the son, and then there's the wife and

So, you know, and not in that order, but it's just like, you know, you know, it's, it's, it's fun, man. It's life. People have to just, Really, you know, I did a talk earlier today to, um, to a company and it was all about managing your energy, not your time. And I think what the way to manage your energy is to know when you are at your peak and do the hard work when you're at your peak and do the lightweight stuff when you're at your lowest levels.

So, manage your energy, not your time means I'm gonna start understanding where, when in the day am I'm at my strongest, that's when I'm gonna do the hardest. And I just think that that concept not only helped them, but it's a concept that I continue to do today that keeps me kind of connected to my purpose.

When I know when I'm managing my energy and not my time, that means I'm managing it for something purposeful. So the other question that I ask myself, and we can end on this one, is who are you fighting? If you know why you're getting up every day when you're getting beat down or when something's not working in your favor, if you know who you're fighting for, you'll get back up.

The key is who you fight for has gotta be bigger than you. because self-preservation will take care of you. You will take care of yourself, your family, blah, blah, blah. But who else needs you to get up and keep fighting? So whatever that product is that you think is gonna change people's lives, they're the people you're fighting for.

If you're creating content and doing a podcast and doing something, and it's gonna help people with their mental health, they're the people you're fighting for. So that becomes my center to really help guide how am I using my energy? And when I think you have purpose. Purposeful energy with intent. I think the sky is the limit for all of us to be able to do what we wanna do.

So hopefully the never settle show is a next stop on many of your agendas. Hopefully, many of you, if you're new to me, you follow me on Instagram at Mario Armstrong. I get busy in the dms, so hit me up there. Would love to meet you and talk to you and, uh, help you out any way I can. And Brad and the entrepreneur team, it's been a, um, significant.

To really work alongside of you all. You all are always open to ideas. You all are very creative, as preneur as you should be. Um, and it just works. And I really want to thank you all for seeing in us what we thought we saw in ourselves.

Brad Gage: Well, I can't wait to continue. This partnership in whatever that, you know, form that's gonna be, I think we are gonna be working on some bigger and better things in the future, but, uh, you know, all that stuff you said, energy intention, I think we're gonna bottle that up and, and try to sell that cuz that's incredible stuff.

Mario Armstrong: Well, forever, I mean, look man dreams have no expiration date people. They, they just. This is what you get

Brad Gage: if you watch, never settle on E T V and Entrepreneur tv. So, uh, uh, it, it, you know, the schedule is varied. We will, uh, have it next week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. And it will also, uh, it's on video, on demand on free cast, which you can find the link.

To free cast So nice. Thanks again. Thanks to everybody for watching this. And Mario,

Mario Armstrong: uh, yeah, big shout out to everybody too. Look, I know we didn't get to have a lot of time for your comments, but Sarita, Janice, um, Curtis, I've been reading your comments. I've been checking them out, so I appreciate you, Jen.

What's up, uh, deep I see you. So I just wanna let you all know I see y'all. Brittany, I see you. Thank. Sorry, Brittany.

The Dr. Vibe show we love. Oh yeah. Dr. Vibes in the building. That's Canada right there. That's Canada. Alright, we'll see you guys next time. Thanks, Brad. Talk soon. All right.

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