A decision without action is fantasy. Happy New Year.
It was a very difficult decision to set the podcast down (for now.) My life had gotten very busy.
I started at 6am and went to midnight every day, usually seven days a week. All of my relationships were suffering and so was my work. Here is just a snapshot of the creative and personal things I was involved in 2016:
Stand Up two to five times a week
Writing and producing a one hour drama (wrote one and a half episodes.)
Developed two other shows
Finished a book
Recorded an episode of The Mick Betancourt Show every week
One “Anonymous keep the booze out of my mouth meeting” a day
Sponsoring 8-10 men in that same program
Being a husband
Raising two kids
None of that included any time to relax, reflect or grow.
A lot of good things were going on but good is the enemy of great.
I want to experience great.
So I got quiet and asked myself why I was doing what I was going?
I questioned – Every. Single. Action.
If something consistently gave me anxiety or worry, I didn’t ask myself why, I asked myself WHY I was even involved in the action.
The podcast was the hardest thing to set down. I dedicated over three years of my life, for fun and for free, to preaching the gospel of hustle, love and passion. But I was having a hard time getting the caliber of guests I wanted so I set it down. I know it will be back some day, sooner than later.
After Shots Fired wrapped (premiering March 2017) I knew there was only one thing I wanted to do and do not just well but great – finish the book.
Which I did and I am happy with the first draft. It is in my agent’s hands and I am currently awaiting notes which I will get on Friday. I am committed to making it GREAT!
My whole life was having a zillion plates spinning and now I am trying something different. One thing at a time, with my full attention and focus, and most important – my full faith.
I have faith in myself and what I am doing, one thing at a time, one day at a time, one moment at a time.
I have said it before and I will say it again, I never take your time for granted and now you know that everything I will be offering from here on out will be my personal best. Not to say that the podcast, my live shows or TV shows before were not, I am just trying to raise my personal game up and am truly excited for what’s coming next. I hope you are too.
See ya soon,
First off, I want to thank everybody that came along for the ride these last three years. I had no idea what I was in for when I started The Mick Betancourt Show podcast. Pretty soon, people from all over the world were reaching out, responding to the hustle theme of the show. It was a tough decision to let it go but I wanted to explain why I did.
1) It was getting harder and harder to book guests, partially because of my demanding work and family schedule and also because of the same for the guests. A podcast has to have a schedule or people move on. I didn’t want to lose you because the distribution was sketchy. I could have booked other guests, but I also wanted to keep the level of quality high and most importantly as well as the message.
2) It had run its course. It felt like the show had, like all great stories, a beginning, a middle and an end.
So I am letting go…
Letting go of this podcast, stand up comedy and a few other things that I hope will prove to be building blocks to bigger and better things. Not financially, but creatively and emotionally.
I am letting stand up go after a twenty year battle with it. To be honest, the only thing I really loved about it was being on stage and making people laugh, which tragically is only an hour of the entire stand up experience. I only like a handful of comedians, the business side of it is abysmal which motivated me to get quiet and make a pros and cons list. By doing do, I realized what I love to do was never really stand up to begin with. To be even more honest, I don’t know if I have ever given myself enough time to truly understand what I love and what I want to do or most importantly – what I can drive to my own personal best.
In any given year I was performing stand up one to four times a week, working full time in a dramatic writers room 50-60 hours a week, developing 1-4 shows, working on a book, recording a podcast, booking my own stand up room as well as being married with two kids and managing my own sobriety as well as sponsoring 6-8 men.
None of those things have the potential to be my personal best with that kind of schedule.
So now you know why I am letting go…
I am letting go to find my personal best.
What does it look like, what does it feel like?
I got quiet and had to look at the things that both challenged me and brought me consistent joy. If something continued to bring me anxiety or depression, I made the decision to let it go. If there was something that I could not improve on, could not drive to my personal best, I had to let it go.
It is not gone forever, it has been let go of so that I can excel, achieve and experience my personal best.
My schedule became an unconscious excuse for mediocrity hidden in the shadows of my success.
But I knew the truth.
I could do better.
What will challenge me? What terrifies me to really try and fail at? What can I be the most service to?
And most importantly – why am I doing it?
To look cool? For the money? For the power?
None of those work. They are all dead ends.
So now I get quiet….
As well as make you a promise…
I am going to give you my best.
I am close to figuring out at what, but I remain steadfastly patient, hustling and grinding toward the answer, refusing to cower when it arrives, but rather open my heart, mind and hustle muscle and get to work.
I am letting go…
taking that giant leap once again
and hoping you will walk beside me once again when I return
for I promise it will all be worth it.
Much Love, Mick
The following is an excerpt from my upcoming memoir – Moments of Grace.
I was tired of begging for money on corners or in front of the Tastee Freez at the end of my block. I will never forget the looks people gave me when I asked them if they could spare any change. Pity or disgust, never anything in between. I switched from begging to making up various lies about having to catch a bus or buy my Mom a present for her birthday. Whatever heartfelt shit I could come up with. After awhile, I couldn’t take the looks from the lies either so I stole a few paint by numbers from the arts and craft store, painted them and sold them to old ladies at the park and ice cream shop for a buck a piece. A real bargain for a budding Rembrandt. I even had a hustle where I offered to clean the parking lot of the Tastee Freez for a burger and a shake. The guy who owned it was always cool but sometimes I’d show up and his parking lot was spotless. So I’d toss trash everywhere then offer to clean it up.
Create the problem. Sell the solution.
One time he caught me throwing napkins everywhere and that was the end of the burger and shake train. So now what? As I stalked the hood for a new hustle, I spotted the carnival setting up. I loved going to the carnival. The neon lights. The sounds of the rides going, people screaming with laughter and most importantly the girls. We would follow them around, throw them “looks” when they turned around and try to spit as much game as we could. Always on the hunt for the prettiest girls to hit on, get numbers and hopefully more. Most of the girls in Berwyn would let you stick your hand down their skin tight black stretch pants or up their shirts, the older ones at least, which I was always good at getting. I was 14 and it was the summer before my freshman year at high school. I was already “seeing” two seniors who were on their way to college, falling for one pretty hard even though I lived alone, had no parents and was hustling to eat.
While they were setting up the rides and booths, I approached a guy that looked like he just finished tuning up Gregg Allman’s guitar and asked if they were hiring. He pointed to a long haired skinny biker working the booth where you pay a buck to throw a few softballs at three lead bottles.
If you knock them down you get a prize. His name was Daryl. He said he’d pay me 20 bucks to work the rest of the night and 60 bucks to work tomorrow and Sunday 10am to midnight, but only after I convinced him I wasn’t a narc. He gave me his dirty apron and showed me how to set the bottles up. He was going to leave me alone to run the booth and “call out” to get as many folks to try as I could. He had to focus his time on more important tasks like smoking shitty brick weed and trying to fuck high school girls behind the big rig that pulled The Super Slide.
This particular carnival was for Italian Fest so everybody was rocking sweat pant cut offs shorts during the day, with greased back feathered mullets (some permed or heavily curled) then at night the Z Cavaricci pants came out, rolled up at the bottom with Zodiac shoes and white socks. The men wore satin jackets with the Italian flag blazoned across the back with their names in cursive across the top with “wife beaters” underneath. The woman wore the same jackets, usually their boyfriends, with tank tops themselves and black stretch pants that clung to every thick inch of their pasta filled bodies. Their bangs were sprayed straight up. We called them Statues of Liberty because the bangs jutted up so high. The men slathered themselves in Draqoir Noir cologne with little gold horn or crosses clasped to gold chains dangling around their necks. The car of choice was IROQ Zs, Monte Carlos or Delta 98s with the handheld swivel lights mounted by the drivers side door mirror. Fuzzy Dice dangling from the rearview.
Daryl came back to the booth at midnight. His face turned white.
“What the fuck happened to all the stuffed elephants?” He hissed.
“People been knocking down these bottles left and right man. I don’t know what to tell ya.”
“The fuck they are, man. It’s impossible. You set ‘em like I showed you?”
“I dunno, I just set them up.”
“Fuck man, you gotta pay attention in this life, man. We’re not here fucking around. I gotta pay for them elephants. That comes outta my pay. A normal motherfucker woulda’ beat your ass but I ain’t cruel. I’ma take 20 off your pay tomorrow and that’s being cool. Now look here…”
Then he showed me how to set the bottles up the right way so nobody wins. You can knock down two but never all three. The real point of the game is to make you think and feel like you’re almost winning every time so you keep trying and most importantly, spending more money.
A sucker and his money are soon parted. The game is rigged for you to lose so be on the right side of the game.
I showed up the next day and Daryl gave me a warm Budweiser that I drank out of a plastic cup. Girls I knew from school passed by, giggled nervously and waved. I felt like a king, a bartender or the bouncer at a great club. What more could a 14 year old ask for than run the bottle booth at a carnival! Well, I was actually about to find out.
Sunday night rolled around and they started breaking down rides and booths.
“You ready?” Daryl said.
“For what?” I asked.
“To head to the next town. Chesterton, Indiana, then we’ll move through the south until we hit Florida and can’t south no more. Then do it all over again.”
“You want me to go with you guys?”
“Hell fucking yeah. You proved yourself these last two days man. Chicks don’t wanna stare at my fucking old ass anymore. They wanna get that pussy juice going for your young ass. I seen a few moms get wet for you too. You can be the future of this carnival.”
The future of the carnival? Didn’t expect to hear that when I woke up that day. Everything about that made sense. I wanted to travel. Uncle Matt had given me Kerouac’s “On The Road”and it grabbed me by the throat.
“I think I gotta go to high school,” I blurted out from a place of reason I didn’t know existed.
Daryl studied my face then dropped the hammer – “You ain’t lived ’til you got a blow job on the Tilt-A-Whirl…”
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
A blowjob on the Tilt-A-Whirl. That would be like telling a 40 year old “you never have to worry about money again and you’re kids will never die.” That’s the weight a blowjob on the Tilt-A-Whirl carried to a 14 year old in the heat of his 8th grade summer. But again, that voice of reason blurted out…
“Thanks man, but I think I’m gonna check out high school. But if it sucks, I’ll try and find you.”
“Suit yourself, man. But opportunity only knocks once.”
Then he strutted off, oddly enough toward the Tilt-A-Whirl. It was a long walk home back to my lonely apartment. Every time I came inside the building, I’d walk past my mother’s door and wonder where she was. Was she alright? Was Pete beating her? If he was, was somebody getting in there to make sure she’s okay or calls the cops? I finally made it upstairs to my apartment. It was starting to smell. I never did my laundry because I ran out of detergent months ago. I showered at the pool. There were so many mice running around inside of the walls, it sounded like it was raining. I laid down the my bare mattress on the floor. I’d taken the sheets off weeks ago after they started stinking from sweat. But now there was a brownish yellow outline of my body on the mattress from where I had sweated through that. I laid down and stared up at the ceiling hoping I hadn’t just blown the opportunity of a lifetime. I finally fell asleep and morning brought fresh ideas and fresh hustle. And to think… I almost traded in high school for a blow job on the Tilt-A-Whirl.
I was there. I saw it. McGregor Vs Mendes at the MGM Arena this past Saturday July 11th, 2015. Between the cocky yells and drunken hordes of Irish waving flags screaming that they were there to “take over.” I am Irish and Puerto Rican so I was only allowed to partially take over the mostly downtrodden parts of town the sharply suited Irish left behind. I have been an MMA fan before UFC 1 and remain one to this day. It is my sport. I love it. I not only go to UFC events all over America, I also support local “smoker” fights at MMA gyms all over the West Coast. I am not an expert. Nothing more then a tremendous and supportive fan. That being said, here are are few thoughts on the fight:
1) He is the number on draw of all time so now current fighters and almost all those coming up underneath will act like him. Why is this bad? The reason why the UFC is so great is it is the exact opposite of boxing. Because there is a martial arts current running underneath, right next to the wrestling current, there is a mutual respect for your opponent. The UFC has been able to be extremely profitable and still have the fighters respect one another. Sure there were rivalries but 99% of the time there was a genuine respect for the other fighter. I don’t believe Connor McGregor just made his fortune by breaking that mold. Every fighter just learned that if you want to be a draw and make money, all you have to do is act like a drunk douchebag at last call and money will fall from the sky. The UFC just became boxing – over night.
And just like drunk douchbags at last call…
2) Connor McGregor is all talk. But Mick, he just won the belt. He’s the CHAMP! So was Brock Lessnar. Connor McGregor had full camp cardio against a guy who only had two weeks. Sure you can say Mendes shouldn’t have taken the fight on two weeks notice but you take the shot when you can. He gassed out. He didn’t have the cardio. There are rumors Mendes doesn’t keep his cardio up between fights and we saw proof of that Saturday night. We saw proof of something else – McGregor can only fight standing up. ZERO Jiu Jitsu skills. ZERO wrestling. None. Zilch. Mendes picked him up and slammed him down at will. Connor, in full McGregor form, acted like he was being patient and waiting. That’s better then shitting your pants in panic when you realize somehow/someway your camp has let you believe your 1985 Karate Kid fighting stance will work. And the worst thing of all happened – it did. He won. So now… he talks himself deeper into a whole where a full rounded fighter waits to destroy him.
3) All the hype sold tickets. All the other fighters saw that being a dick and disrespecting your opponent broke every record in the history of the UFC. Something else might have been broken Saturday too – the UFC itself. I see nothing but a slide from here on out unless Dana rights the ship, which based on the recent Reebok deal prohibiting fighters from garnering their own sponsors, I doubt will happen anytime soon. And let me go on the record saying I am happy for McGregor. He hyped himself, first he believed it, then he got other people to believe it to. I thought Aldo dropping out and Mendes getting the fight was the worst thing that could have happened to McGregor. But it turned out to be the best because he gets to drink his own Kool Aid until his next fight. I don’t believe McGregor is the same kind of athlete as GSP, who somehow picked up wrestling at an insane elite level and rounded out his game. I saw this because McGregor couldn’t even sprawl against Mendes.
My prediction: McGregor is an accurate powerful puncher with a great chin who will move up to 155 after October. He is an incredibly GREAT and FUN fighter to watch. He knows how to promote a fight (even if I don’t agree with the way in which he does it) But I truly believe the first time he faces a fighter with Mendes’s wrestling and striking power with FULL CARDIO – HE WILL GET DESTROYED. DOMINATED. I cannot believe the hype. I was there. I saw a fighter lying on his back talking shit to the man punching him the face to quell the raging storm inside of him screaming out “Connor, keep talking shit because some day… some day.. they are all going to find out the truth… and until then, keep running your mouth and cashing those checks.” Like Lessnar, there was a crack in the time/space continuam that allowed a one dimensional fighter to become champ. NOT FOR LONG.