Sean Dowdell is a well-respected entrepreneur, public speaker, and innovator. He is the owner of Club Tattoo, a luxury tattoo and piercing studio. Sean is the author of Tattooed Millionaire, describing his journey in creating and building his multi-million-dollar business: Club Tattoo with less than $8,000.

Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?

I grew up in Phoenix Arizona, in a very low-middle-class family. Had a mom and dad that worked their asses off and tried as hard as they could just to stay above water. My parents’ work ethic and my grandparent’s imagination for the possibilities both came together about what I could accomplish if I was willing to put the work in.

What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?

How important investments are to your future at a young age, and to let go of trying to impress other people.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

Where do I start? I think my biggest pet peeve is the get-rich-quick people that put together the motivational videos on “how to increase sales up to 300%, blah blah, blah” I think those are so overdone and genericized. These blanket concepts that promise Nirvana to young businesspeople irritate me. It comes off as severely impersonal and bothers me.

Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?

I hurt my back playing basketball around 2008 and was borderline suicidal from the pain. I wish I would have understood my wife’s pain earlier on when she went through something similar. 2 things, 1. Pain needs to be managed & addressed and taken care of over anything else in your life. 2. Even if you don’t understand the pain others are going through it is important to try and have compassion for those who are going through it. You don’t have to completely understand it, but simply being there for someone can mean the world to them.

What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?

My partner and wife for sure. I don’t tend to quit on things very easy and I work, a lot, on whatever it is I am passionate about. I think work really is the biggest ingredient.

What is your morning routine?

I wake up around 6:30/7 am, I stretch, answer emails and any computer work for about an hour. Talk to my wife and dogs for a bit and then go for a 5k run or workout (6 days a week). I go to the office around 11-12 pm. Sometimes have lunch but am trying to skip that as of late and work until around 7 pm most days depending on what is on the table. Try to connect with my wife and kids if possible, for dinner daily. Go to sleep around 9:30/10 pm.

What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?

Exercise. I really feel that it relieves stress and helps my focus. I love to play drums as well and be creative in many areas, writing and playing music, writing books, design, etc. Finding different outlets for creativity is important to me.

What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?

I need to hyper-focus on any given project as my mind will tend to wander VERY easily if I let it and am not assertive with it. For me, I have to think about what it is I need to complete and only focus on that. I used to try and multi-task but for myself, that was an illusion. I tended to be doing 3-5 things badly and missing simple things, instead of 1 thing really well.

What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?

The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand shaped my economic philosophy on what works, why, and how. I read/listen to a book a week on average and could recommend hundreds, however, Awaken the Giant Within and Money, Master the Game by Tony Robbins really helped shape me professionally. I am a huge believer in what Robbins has to offer the world.

Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?

Never let people tell you that you can’t do or accomplish something.