Justin Breen: A Successful Entrepreneur’s Principles for Living an Epic Life

Justin Breen is an entrepreneur and journalist who has been running his own business for five years. He recently published a book called “Epic Life,” based on his personal experiences and the principles he has developed over the years. 

The book focuses on important topics such as mindset, time management, gratitude, and building strong relationships. Breen emphasizes the importance of prioritizing family and meaningful things in life. He also shares his personal story and the challenges he has faced on his journey to success.

Breen’s principles have helped him become a top player in the PR industry, even though it is a commodity-like industry. He emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with the right people and building an exclusive network centered around investment.

Choosing a Word of the Year

What is Justin’s word for 2023?

Justin is an individual who chooses a word every year as a theme. His previous themes include Global Growth in 2020 and No Limits in 2021. For 2023, his word is “Net,” as his new company is called Networks. 

Justin believes that life is a giant network of geniuses introducing each other for mutual gains. His top three strengths are to activate, maximize, and achieve, and he is grateful for ideators like true visionaries. 

What Would Justin Have Done if He Wasn’t a Journalist?

Justin believes that his purpose in life is to be a connecting superhero for every visionary, abundance, investment mindset, and entrepreneur by sharing their stories with the world. He even feels that he may have been doing this before he was born.

Justin’s dad was a World War II hero, and his diary is Justin’s most cherished possession. He writes exactly like his dad, using different types of words. Justin’s dad was also involved in a car accident in which he broke every bone in his body, but he managed to survive.

Justin’s mom, who nursed his dad back to health, is the ultimate survivor and hustler without any excuses. Justin strongly believes he was meant to be who he is today because he is the product of his mom’s story.

Justin’s collaborations with top people function as a network of geniuses, and he values his time and puts his family first. He has also formulated some simple yet powerful principles based on his experiences and insights. 

Justin’s book, “Epic Life,” is an inspiring and practical guide for anyone looking to live a more fulfilling and purposeful life.

The Role of Stable Partnerships in Entrepreneurship

As visionary entrepreneurs, we typically partner with stabilizing individuals, although it’s not always the case. 

In Justin’s case, his wife Sarah possesses the opposite personality traits to him. She has love, warmth, empathy, and a focus on calendar items, lists, and patients as a pediatrician. Justin starts his day with a grateful journal entry dedicated to her.

Justin stated, “When I have great ideas for entrepreneurship, which happens about once a year, her encouragement is all I need to proceed.”

Justin’s dad’s combat experiences and his mom’s strength in dealing with loss serve as litmus tests for challenging situations. Justin believes that if they can handle their difficulties, he can take on starting a business with no prior business background.

Justin Breen
Justin Breen and over a Zoom call.

Balancing the Pursuit of Excellence With Empathy and Inclusivity

As an innovative entrepreneur who values excellence and does not tolerate mediocrity, Justin struggles with balancing his low empathy and inclusivity scores, as ranked by the Gallup Clifton Strength Finders. 

However, he has boundless empathy for individuals who do not make excuses, thanks to his upbringing by successful parents who never made excuses.

Justin mentioned, “My wife, who has high empathy and inclusivity, has taught me the importance of saying thank you and being kind to everyone, which I endeavor to implement in my interactions with others. Although it can be challenging for people like us to fit in with our community, I strive to be a decent, regular human being when the situation demands it.”

Understanding the Tension Between High Achievers and Mediocre Performers

Typically, high achievers are enthusiastic about their peers who progress in their careers and lives. Conversely, mediocre performers may experience feelings of jealousy, anger, or regret that they lack the bravery to achieve at the same level. This difference in mindset and approach can lead to challenging conversations between high achievers and mediocre performers.

Therefore, Justin chooses to spend most of his day conversing with individuals similar to him or spending time with his family as he believes it is a more productive use of everyone’s time.

Justin’s Strategy for Building a High-Performing Team with Like-Minded Individuals.

Justin maintains a high-performing team by surrounding himself with like-minded individuals who share his standard for excellence. He has a clear screening process for new team members and is vigilant about maintaining a high talent level. 

Justin believes that A-level players attract other A-level players, but allowing a B-level person into the team can lead to a decline in the team’s culture as they may bring in lower-performing individuals.

To identify individuals who are a good fit for the team, Justin believes in the four-step process: 

  1. Get to get, 
  2. Get to give, 
  3. Give to get, and
  4. Give to give. 

He aims to reach the stage of giving to give, but only to the people who share his mindset. This mindset serves as a filter for identifying individuals who are a good fit for the team.

Justin suggests being in the right rooms with the right people, such as entrepreneur groups, to find like-minded individuals. 

He also recommends paying attention to early signs that someone may not be a good fit, such as asking about cost within the first few minutes of a conversation. Additionally, he looks for people who are not solely focused on material things like revenue and employee count and will only give endlessly to those who share his mindset.

The Key to Building and Maintaining a High-Performing Team

Justin believes that while having a strong network can give you a competitive advantage, it’s crucial to maintain a high-performing team by setting high standards for excellence and thoroughly screening potential team members. To accomplish this, Justin has raised his minimum rate to $10,000 or even more, as he has observed that clients who pay less tend to be more demanding and cause more issues.

Successful entrepreneurs are those who have faced and overcome various challenges, such as bankruptcy, depression, anxiety, and traumatic experiences. While some people consider these obstacles as excuses, successful entrepreneurs view them as opportunities to learn and grow. 

Justin, as an entrepreneur, has learned to embrace challenges and approach them with a positive attitude, which sets him apart from others.

Justin also shared his views on entrepreneurs, who are often individuals with difficult pasts but possess great coping skills. While these coping skills can lead to success, they can also lead to missing out on important things in life, such as family. 

As a journalist, Justin has learned that he is a dad who happens to be an entrepreneur, not the other way around. That’s why he starts each day with a gratitude journal to his wife, so he never forgets what is truly important in life.

The Importance of Enduring Suffering to Achieve Success

Justin’s discussion highlights the importance of enduring suffering in some capacity in order to achieve success at the highest level. He admires the interpretation of how an entrepreneur’s misfortune can be turned into an advantage and the resulting opportunities for identification with others. 

He mentions that his father had endured a great deal of suffering throughout his life but still managed to go to law school with the help of an Irish Mafia member who recognized his intelligence. 

Justin also learned from Dan Sullivan, the co-founder of Strategic Coach, who experienced bankruptcy and divorce on the same day in his mid-thirties but became a successful coach for over 40 years and leads one of the best entrepreneurial groups in the world. Justin believes we can learn lessons from successful performers who have faced and overcome significant misfortunes, like Nick Saban, who is 74 years old and still coaching.

What advice would Justin give to a young adult who hasn’t faced adversity but worries that it’s necessary for success?

Most successful entrepreneurs have faced some form of adversity in their lives, such as bankruptcy, depression, anxiety, or traumatic experiences. It’s rare to find an entrepreneur who hasn’t overcome at least one of these challenges and achieved success. Even if they grew up in a wealthy environment and never faced a significant challenge, they may lack the skills needed to handle adversity if it does come their way. Therefore, learning how to face and overcome challenges is essential to succeed.

However, it’s not necessary to actively seek out adversity, and it’s okay to hope that you won’t have to face certain challenges. Finding people who understand what you’re going through and can offer support and guidance is also critical. 

Justin advises focusing on developing your skills, learning how to handle challenges, and finding a supportive network of people who can help you succeed.

When in a room with successful people in mastermind groups that cost up to $50,000, what questions does Justin ask?

Justin doesn’t ask a lot of questions because he likes to be the dumbest person in the room and prefers to listen. However, he does ask about personal life and family when someone talks about material things or what they’re up to. 

He also asks for their Kolbe score, which is a measure of their brain strengths and how they take action. He uses this score as an ultimate simplifier in knowing who he’s talking to. He does intros using these numbers, so people can know who they are talking to.

About Book “Epic Life”

The book “Epic Life” is for people who have prioritized their entrepreneurial endeavors over their family life or those who want to prioritize their loved ones but don’t know how to do so. It teaches how to build successful global companies while putting loved ones first. 

It is written for people who want to achieve meaning and purpose in their lives beyond just working long hours without fulfillment. 

Justin believes that if more people focused on meaningful things, other great things would naturally follow. The book provides a simple set of principles and emphasizes the importance of having the right mindset and being the right person to attract the right people.

Final Words

Justin’s approach to life is based on simple formulas and patterns. He aims to invest in smaller rooms by writing bigger checks where the people in those rooms are making bigger impacts. 

This approach allows him to make the biggest investment in the smallest room, which is his family, where he can make the most significant impact. 

In essence, his philosophy is to prioritize bigger checks for smaller rooms to create bigger impacts, with the ultimate investment being in his family for the most significant impact.

Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu
Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best-selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads.  He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations.You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel.You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.