Many people fear getting to the end of their life with regrets about things they did. But do you ever worry that at the end of your life you will find yourself regretting the things you DIDN’T do? You can achieve and accomplish a lot of things in life, but at the end of it all, that will not stop you from regretting the RISKS that you didn't take. Even if they are painful and even if you fail, the effort you put into taking those risks is worth it. The lessons you learn from them are INVALUABLE. And by taking those risks and stepping into DISCOMFORT, you will live with less regret than if you didn't try. A man who understands the power of getting uncomfortable and focusing on the RESULTS over the RISK is Dave Sparks. This dear friend of mine has some incredible knowledge bombs for us today about how taking risks, having powerful amounts of SELF-CONFIDENCE, and getting uncomfortable can lead to SUCCESS. From his humble beginnings living in a van to the huge success he enjoys today, Dave has all the tools necessary to achieve greatness. He shares so many of them with us in this interview — all while flying around his backyard in a helicopter! We talk about how we have both used uncertainty as a catalyst to accomplish our greatest feats and how falling in love with serving others and hard work is the key to HAPPINESS. Dave shares his secrets behind being a BEAST on social media and building a multi-million dollar following. He also reveals his newest venture, Nikola Motors! This is an interview you absolutely do not want to miss. I know it will INSPIRE you to take risks and seek the discomfort that it takes to #MAXOUT your life and reach your goals!
You probably know him from his hit show Diesel Brothers on the Discovery Channel. Dave Sparks, aka Heavy D, is an unbelievably successful entrepreneur, TV personality, monster truck driver world record holder, custom vehicle builder, and social media influencer! Since he was little, Dave has been fascinated by anything with an engine or wheels. From his first motorcycle, a 1976 Yamaha YZ80 to his most famous creation, the Mega Ram Runner, he has always pushed the mechanical limits of vehicles. Dave spent the majority of his time in high school studying auto mechanics, welding, and fabrication. After high school, he managed an ATV and motorcycle rental business for his close friend and mentor, Rich Eggett, obtaining countless hours of hands-on experience. After operating heavy equipment for his uncle's construction business, Dave soon started running his own small excavation business building rock walls, waterfalls, and other types of landscaping. In 2008, he hired his first employee, his best friend “Diesel Dave” Kiley, to help him run the equipment. In 2009, Dave met the girl of his dreams at church and married her one year later. Once married, he picked up his dealer’s license, opened a small used car lot, and started working to build his dream company Dieselsellerz. His business has grown, and so has his family, with the addition of two adorable kids. Dave is an incredible dude. He's an innovator, a father, a man of faith, and a great friend. He's also a personal development addict like I am, and he has an AMAZING story that I am so excited to share with you today.
This brother has many great qualities, but I’ve one that I've noticed in particular is his diligent spirit. Dave is an incredibly hard-worker, and he attributes much of his diligent mindset to his father. While he was growing up, Dave's family faced many challenges, including a brain tumor that afflicted Dave’s dad. Although doctors gave him weeks to live, Dave’s father survived 20 years longer than expected, and he was able to pass on his tenacious spirit to his son. As a child, Dave witnessed his father’s perseverance daily:
“Every time [my dad] would get up, he would just get dropped kicked to the ground again by health issues — just one thing after another. This tumor and the strokes and everything that he had affected him his whole life, but he just never would get down. He would bounce back up. … My whole childhood, I watched my dad just get his ass kicked and get right back up. And so some of that's gotta be inside me somewhere, obviously. That's how I've approached everything. My approach to life is that your worst-case scenario really isn't that bad.” - Dave Sparks
I love that approach. Dave’s family had to use it more than a few times throughout his childhood. They were even homeless at one time, living in a van for six weeks after his father was medically discharged from military service due to his brain tumor. But that didn’t stop the family from persevering to make ends meet.
“My mom and dad installed car stereos and delivered Domino’s pizza when dad was sick and couldn’t work anywhere else. And then when he got too sick from chemotherapy, my mom would then go out and deliver his pizzas and install the car stereos for him … and that’s how they did it. Neither of them had formal educations, and they just made it happen.” - Dave Sparks
What a beautiful testament to the power of persistence through tough times. Guys, maybe you are going through one of life’s challenging moments like this right now. Maybe you don’t come from the perfect nuclear family where everything is great all the time. Maybe you are even borderline homeless or struggling to get by financially. Whatever the case, I challenge you to use that struggle as a CATALYST for success. The uncertainty that Dave faced in his childhood caused him to work as hard as he could to have certainty in his future. He told me a story that shifted his perspective when he was young, and I know it will inspire you.
“Me and my brother and sisters wanted a trampoline really bad. It's all we wanted. And mom and dad didn't have the money for it. So we got together and mowed lawns … all these different things ... we were almost there. We were just shy of 200 bucks. And one day I went to go put $5 in there, and the money was gone … I went to my mom and just said, ‘Mom, what happened to trampoline money?’ She said, ‘I needed it for groceries’ … She was just very matter of fact about it. And I remember thinking in that moment ... ‘Nah, I'm not going to play this game when I'm older. I don't want to do this. I don't want to see that. I don't want to have the pain in my eyes that my mom just showed me. And that was when I was seven years old. But from that moment on, I've been successful.” - Dave Sparks
Guys, this is some good stuff. Dave used his tough childhood situation to create a mindset of SUCCESS that has served him his entire life. It also helped him learn to become confident in himself and his own POWER to improve his life. After all, he went from living in a van to flying around his backyard in a helicopter! This self-confidence also helped Dave become an absolute beast on social media, acquiring an impressive three million followers on Instagram. He was kind enough to give us some strategy secrets to how he did this, and you don’t want to miss them!
This brother has got the Instagram game down, and you can do the same! Whether you have 2,000 followers or 20,000, the strategies that Dave uses for social media success are easy and applicable. The first tip he had for us today was RELATABILITY:
“People just want to relate to you. They just want to feel like they could be with you for a day or be somebody like you … the more relatable you are, the more yourself you are, the more people thrive on it. You see some of the crazy blogs and videos and things that go popular, and people just can’t enough of it. And you watch and you’re like, ‘There’s nothing really special to this. It’s just a person who I actually enjoy watching and engage with. And I feel like I’m hanging out with a friend.’” - Dave Sparks
Dave strives to make his followers feel like they are just hanging out with a friend or a family member. Many of his social media followers know his kids’ names. They see him as another person that they can relate to because he posts content that feels intimate. Aside from relatability, another strategy that Dave uses is RECIPROCITY — giving back to his followers.
“Step one: Be yourself, be relatable. Step two: Give people a reason. Don’t just ask them to do something for you. Give them a reason to do something for you … My world revolves around creating experiences for people. It’s not me just asking or selling … we’ve offered people prizes and experiences and things like that. And they feel like, ‘Okay, this is mutually beneficial.’” - Dave Sparks
Guys, this type of engagement seriously works. A lady in my financial company just started doing this by offering a free budget analyzer to people who comment or tag someone on her recent post. It didn’t cost her anything, but it increased her engagement, and she got business for her financial company! So whatever you are doing online, whether it’s fitness or financial, give people a reason to engage with your content. Dave is incredible at this. He is also great at documenting his life online to make people feel like they are a part of it. These two strategies of relatability and reciprocity are perfect keys to social media success. Social media is often about the good stuff, portraying the highlights when things are going well. But what about when things are painful and hard? Dave had some profound advice for us here as well. His strategy: embracing pain as a necessary component of happiness.
It might seem like a foreign concept to some people to embrace our pain. After all, most of us have been taught to avoid pain at all costs. Our natural reaction is to stay in our comfort zone. But guess what happens in our comfort zone? That’s right — absolutely nothing. Avoiding pain and resisting doing hard things is just a way to be complacent. It hinders the growth that can only be achieved through difficulty. Dave said it perfectly:
“I think in this day and age, the hardest thing to do for our generation is hard things. We don't like to do hard things. And in not doing hard things, we're basically evolving backwards. We are telling our bodies, ‘It's okay to be comfortable. You don't have to be uncomfortable.’ [But] being uncomfortable is hands down the most powerful tool that we have.” - Dave Sparks
What does that look like? For Dave, it's getting in a freezing ice bath every morning even though he hates cold water. Starting his day with something miserable makes the rest of the day easier. What does embracing pain look like for you? I once had a neuroscientist on my show named Andrew Huberman who tracked the dopamine levels in the brain. And it turns out that you actually get a greater dopamine hit when you’re doing hard things. It’s the most ironic thing ever, but happiness is found in pain. It’s found when you’re doing a hard workout at the gym or pushing through a difficult problem. As human beings, we often think that happiness is found in the absence and avoidance of pain, but it’s actually the opposite:
“If you think about it, it's so simple. If you don't know what pain is, how do you know what pleasure is? … This is as old as time, but I feel like a lot of times we become so focused on just trying to become happy that we forget to be happy.” - Dave Sparks
What a powerful statement. Guys, I want to challenge you to try and embrace the pain in your life. See what it can teach you, and seek to get OUT of your comfort zone. Don’t become so focused on trying to become happy that you forget to be happy. I’ve been talking to my dad lately, who is in chemotherapy fighting the good fight. He’s at that time in his life where he has been looking back at it all. My dad has achieved and accomplished a lot of things in his life, and he’s very proud of that. But he also told me, “I regret some painful risks that I didn’t take. And even if I had failed at them at this stage of my life, I would look back not regretting the effort of them.” There’s such a lesson there about embracing the pain that a risk may cause. Take that risk. Don’t be afraid of discomfort. Because if you do fail, you’ll live with less regret than if you didn’t attempt it in the first place. Dave lives every day with that mentality, and he encourages everyone else to do the same:
“Stop trying to avoid trouble. Stop trying to avoid the obstacles. Go hit those obstacles and find a way to get over them. I promise you — it's way more satisfying then hiding from him.” - Dave Sparks
This interview with Dave Sparks was even more incredible than I imagined. This brother has so many incredible life lessons for us about how he has found success and embraced the obstacles life has thrown at him. He was able to turn his life into something miraculous, and I truly believe you can too. After all, Dave was just a kid with a goal who believed he could accomplish anything. Listen to the entire episode for so much more of Dave’s inspiring wisdom, and remember to share this episode on Instagram and tag me, @edmylett, and Dave, @heavydsparks! And don’t forget to follow me so you can participate in my two-minute drills! When I make a post on my main feed, everybody who comments for the first two minutes with the hashtag #MAXOUT is automatically entered into a daily drawing. You could win gear, coaching calls, or even a 15-minute call with one of my guests. Don’t miss out! Thank you so much for joining me today. Remember — do the hard things. Make yourself uncomfortable. Embrace the pain in life instead of avoiding it, and face the challenges with CONFIDENCE that you will overcome them. I’ll talk to you later!