“Number 1 for me was choosing the right marriage partner.” With Benjamin Dinkins & Parveen Panwar, Mr. Activated

Number 1 for me was choosing the right marriage partner because having someone you can communicate things with at home is very important. As a business owner, everyone expects you to be the Samurai, well… sometimes Samurais need to take their armor off. As part of our series about “Optimal Performance Before High-Pressure Moments”, I […]

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Number 1 for me was choosing the right marriage partner because having someone you can communicate things with at home is very important. As a business owner, everyone expects you to be the Samurai, well… sometimes Samurais need to take their armor off.

As part of our series about “Optimal Performance Before High-Pressure Moments”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Benjamin Dinkins.

Benjamin Dinkins is a serial entrepreneur who has built multiple successful consulting businesses and partnerships. He is the co-owner of Kodion Consulting, a tech company offering reliable partnerships for creating top-class IT solutions, with offices in Kansas City, Des Moines, Nigeria, and China. He is also a private partner of DRE Health, and a Global Partner of Assistagram.

Dinkins achieved massive entrepreneurial success despite still being in his 20’s. In the past six months, he has done over $30M in business, and is currently penning his first book. He grew up in South Miami in a poor neighborhood, which pushed Dinkins both mentally and physically. His experiences taught him to connect with people, actively listen, be in tune, and gain discipline.

He dropped out of Iowa State University after deciding to further his education in other ways. He started with network marketing, which strengthened his entrepreneurial grit, worked for corporate America for less than two years, and then landed his first consulting gig. While consulting, Dinkins worked with startups in fintech, agriculture, private tech and more. Dinkins’ background in network marketing helped shape his approach towards entrepreneurial growth, and he uses his platform to similarly assist others in their growth.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

I grew up In Miami Florida, pretty much poor, but as a child you don’t really notice things like this. My parents were aware and wanted to give us more opportunities, so they put us in performing arts schools outside of our neighborhoods. I was a Cellist for most of my life and an athlete. I played basketball, football, football, and baseball. My competitive nature developed at a young age, which naturally led to an entrepreneurial spirit, and I started three businesses by the time I was 14.

What or who inspired you to pursue your career as an entrepreneur or business leader? We’d love to hear the story.

My grandfather was one of the first entrepreneurs I grew close to, he was a man of principles. He was voted South Florida’s top photographer, and I admired him for his discipline. Through him, I witnessed the impact of networking and the importance of earning people’s respect.

None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?

This is true, doing things alone is a no go. I have based my journey on sitting and learning from people who have become successful in the areas of life I find of value. The term mentorship has been thrown out a lot in this window of time, I personally have a list of people that I spend time with on a weekly/monthly basis to bounce ideas off of, and to get advice from because they have succeeded in these areas.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I wouldn’t call it funny because I missed out on some large business deals that I have set up. One of the most interesting mistakes I made years ago revolved around trusting people openly without getting things on paper. One of the most important lessons I pulled from that is when you have trust with people and start moving tens of millions of dollars in the business community, having it written down makes everyone more comfortable with the relationship and creates less friction and open communication.

The road to success is hard and requires tremendous dedication. This question is obviously a big one, but what advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your success?

I have not taken a day off in my 20s and I won’t apologize for it either, because I have done over 30 million dollars worth of business between some of my company partnerships in the last year. Also, learn how you learn. For me it was books. Through the years, when I was sleeping on the floor visualizing, dreaming, and writing out my devotions, I pulled stories from people who have accumulated knowledge and passed it through their literature. The masses of our generation don’t value this. I think it can be time consuming, but I learned to sharpen the axe and work less hard… but work more efficiently than the rest of the competition.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

“The Third Door” by Alex Banayan.

Reading this helped me take my networking to the next level. It enabled me to get in contact with some of the world’s most successful people because of all of the connections I have made over the last 10 years. For example, there is a list of the top five wealthiest families in the world, and I am one phone call away from one of them. It is not about who we know, it’s about the people who know the people we have healthy relationships with. They can open the door for you when needed.

Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?

“Don’t be afraid to take a chance when the opportunity of a lifetime appears” -The only Fortune Cookie I ever kept, and my wife gave it to me.

Years ago I used to make business decisions based on if it made me feel good or if it didn’t hurt someone’s feelings. In order to level up in life you have to let go of something. For me, in this next chapter of my life, I am giving up putting other people’s happiness above me and my family. We only get a couple of opportunities in our lifetime. Take what is presented to you — our gut usually moves us forward when we say yes.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that

might help people?

It’s a mixed bag. I base my week off of percentages between companies I own and those I have partnerships with, so utilizing my calendar is major for me. My software development company, Kodion Consulting, has some proprietary RFID technology coming out in 2021. We opened an office in China in 2019 as well. Some of our products are direct competitors for Amazon Go stores, but outside of that, I think moving technology forward is going to help people in the future by opening their mindset on what they do with their time on a daily basis. It all comes down to efficiency.

OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As a business leader, you likely often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to cope with the burden of stress?

If you want to build anything of value on a large scale, you are going to deal with stress.

Number 1 for me was choosing the right marriage partner because having someone you can communicate things with at home is very important. As a business owner, everyone expects you to be the Samurai, well… sometimes Samurais need to take their armor off.

Number 2 is prayer time and meditation every day. My faith is important because it is something I found on my own. It is how I deleted fear out of my life, and it is how I learned to love people for who they are.

Number 3 is working out, I don’t believe in balance, so I put my life in four buckets: health, wealth, love, and happiness. If I can keep these full then I am mostly stress free because they all need their investments.

Number 4 is the outdoors. I am in love with fishing and spending time with nature.

Aside from being able to deal with the burden of stress, can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?

I either get a good workout in, go for a walk, spend time alone, or go for a car ride in silence before getting on a call or doing meetings in person because I need to change my energy levels and tone of voice. I always do this before any high pressure or tense situation, because I am high energy and incredibly intense!

Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques, meditations or visualizations to help optimize yourself? If you do, we’d love to hear about it.

My prayer time is my private time — nothing special about it. I think of my prayer time as communicating with my creator in a conversation over a cup of tea, and it always helps center me.

Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?

I DO, it is how I live my life and I learned it from my Mom at a young age: declutter your life, declutter your mind.

I can’t have a lot of things on my desk, I like things to be symmetrical, my vehicles never have a dirty interior, etc. I am the weird guy that takes 4–5 showers a day because it helps clear my mind.

We all know the importance of good habits. How have habits played a role in your success? Can you share some success habits that have helped you in your journey?

Habits and discipline are extremely important to me. As a musician, previous division one athlete, and just disciplined person in general, I have built my life around healthy habits. I do well with structure, so I create structure for myself. Some successful habits I have include many things, but the one I think is most important is affirmations that you read to yourself everyday. You have to visualize what you want before it comes to you. Train your mind… it will follow.

What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?

If you haven’t already, start listening to the “Habits of Success” podcast with Ian Warner. Ian is a friend and entrepreneur, and has taught me to start small then grow to bigger habits as you develop the discipline. It was tough, but I swear by it.

As a business leader, you likely experience times when you are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a state of Flow more often in our lives?

For this to happen more often in our lives, you have to be in a place where you surround yourself with people who understand your creative space. The flow is usually a lonely place because you are locked in by yourself. We give people too much credit, the most important person in your life is “YOU”, then the others. If we can’t find a flow in life on our own, or even a happy place, it is tough to give someone or something your all and deliver a successful product in the end.

Ok, we are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I am passionate about our oceans. I think teaching more about the coral reefs and the oxygen they produce would provide a lot of value. Also, I think reinforcing the importance of succeeding at a high level and earning a platform that will allow you to pour into other people’s lives.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂

Mark Cuban!

How can our readers further follow your work online?

@benjamindinkins on Instagram

Thank you for these really excellent insights, and we greatly appreciate the time you spent with this. We wish you continued success.

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