Month: September 2016

What You Need to Know About High Performance & the Science of Success

What You Need to Know About High Performance & the Science of Success

Dreams alone never took anyone anywhere. Dreams require massive action in order to become success stories.

I’m counting down to my third Ironman Triathlon. With just a few hours left before the race, what matters most now is the work I’ve put in for the past year to prepare. There are no shortcuts to high performance. There is no cramming for this physical, mental and spiritual test.

Fitness is a science, not an art. Nutrition is a science, not an art. They can be precisely measured, calculated, adjusted and improved. Research, data and strategy can be applied to optimize training and maximize power, performance and results.

The most important measures of athletic performance can easily be tracked—things like VO2 max: the measure of the maximum volume of oxygen an athlete can use, or your lactic threshold: how hard your body can work before it starts producing lactic acid. You can measure your body’s limits and set goals to improve.

Measuring base units of production for the purpose of elevating performance is key not only in sports, but also in business. What gets measured gets managed. What gets reported, improves. Success, too, should be approached as a science – it can be studied and advanced.

Here are some strategies, cool bio-hacks and tech I’ve discovered that have helped me optimize my own performance and Ironman training:

Nutritional Ketosis – Timothy Noakes, M.D., professor in the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town, teaches athletes to train their bodies to burn fat as a primary fuel source, a physiological process known as ketosis. His teaching is gaining traction around the world. The biggest change I’ve made in my training regimen for my 3rd ironman is how I refuel. This time around, I’ve altered my body to burn fat instead of carbs – based on research by Noakes and doctors Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney. Modeling the diet and training of Bevan McKinnon, I’ve increased my intake of coconut oil, fish oils, avocados and olives while reducing carb intake. This has allowed my body to become fat-adapted and access a source of fuel that is exponentially more available and sustainable than the common practice of carb-loading and sugar-burning. An aerobic metabolic assessment can measure your breath to calculate how much fat you’re burning versus how many carbohydrates in order to design an endurance performance plan that burns 50/50 fat and carbs during racing.  Ben Greenfield also touts nutritional ketosis for endurance racing since fat is a much cleaner fuel for the human body to burn and it burns longer, more efficiently and with less waste left over. Nutritional ketosis is the future of all endurance sports.

23andMe & DNAFit  – There has been a significant amount of research done that confirms the influence of genes on human physical performance and athletic ability. Through 23andMe, you can have your saliva tested to learn your genetic makeup. It gives incredible insights into your genetic ancestry as it relates to fitness, diet and sport. The DNAFit test goes one step further to tell you if your genetic makeup is better served by power workouts or endurance workouts. By understanding your genetic predispositions, you can optimize your workout and increase your performance gains exponentially. Based on my DNAFit assessment, I’m 37.5% power, 62.5% endurance—and that has very real implications on how I train.

Tanita RD-901 Body Composition Monitor – This is one of the most advanced tools to measure changes in your body composition—including important metrics like total body water, metabolic age, muscle mass and muscle quality. I love this thing and closely monitor my water intake and the affect it has on body fat and muscle mass.

Garmin Fenix3 HR Watch – This is the coolest and most versatile watch! At home, in the gym or at the office, I can monitor all my important metrics and activities—including triathlon, swimming, cycling, running, climbing, skiing, hiking, rowing, and even golf. I can keep track of all my health stats, including heart rate throughout the day, VO2, LT,  and activity including sleep patterns. It syncs up with the Garmin app which includes even more rich details to totally geek out on!

Wahoo Kickr & Peloton Indoor Bike Trainer – After factoring in traffic and road conditions, I found I could get a significantly stronger workout cycling indoors as opposed to outdoors. Wahoo Kickr was one of the most amazing tools for indoor cycling – that was until my wife got the Peloton indoor bike. This is a game-changer. Peloton not only tracks your performance with advanced metrics like cadence, resistance and output for each ride; it also allows you to compete against yourself, set new PR’s, follow other riders, and send and check social media status updates and data from other riders. It allows you to push yourself by ‘competing’ with other riders on Peloton. Having a social network of high performance athletes is a great support system. It keeps you sharp, accountable and striving for greater performance.

CryotherapyThis is serious stuff. And it has the serious benefit of instantaneously removing most or all of the aches, pains and soreness that come from overdoing it with your training program. Crossfit, interval training or powerlifting can create lactic acid build up that needs to be worked through. If your tolerance for being sore is low, cryotherapy can accelerate recovery. During Ironman training, I do this once a week. Cryotherapy has been used by top athletes to boost recovery, promote weight-loss and improve overall wellness. It has even been shown to boost collagen production to keep you looking healthy and youthful.

Hypoxico Altitude Training “Exposure to reduced oxygen levels (altitude or hypoxia) is a challenge to the human body because oxygen is the primary source of energy for our cells. Under a state of hypoxia the body strives to produce required amounts of energy with less oxygen available. To do so, a protein called Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF-1) sets off a host of reactions geared toward improving the body’s ability to utilize oxygen.” If you ask my friend Matt Eckert ([email protected]) for “The Dave Special” he’ll set you up with a sweet discount.

This is the greatest time to be alive. It has never been easier to understand, track and improve human performance in sport, business and life. Achieving victory, it turns out, can be accomplished in precise, measured units of progress!

The Stunning Hope and Promise of Global Entrepreneurship

The Stunning Hope and Promise of Global Entrepreneurship

I was invited to speak at the United Nations as a part of the Global Entrepreneurship Initiative and the Entrepreneurs International Fund.  

During my experience at the UN, I met Seattle Mariners catcher Dave Valle. I was moved by his powerful message of hope. He talked about the promise and power of micro-lending to pull entire communities out of poverty, empower women with economic control and uplift the common humanity that binds us all.

When Dave Valle came to the Dominican Republic to play winter ball in 1985, he was only expecting to improve his baseball. Instead, he found a lifetime commitment. Motivated by the poverty he and his wife witnessed during his visits to the region, Valle and his wife founded Esperanza, an organization that empowers mothers to become entrepreneurs with businesses that have lifted both their incomes and their spirits.

When we broaden our sights above our own political theatre to the greater global perspective, we’re able to experience a greater humanity. Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” And, as Jeff Hoffman stated in our meeting, entrepreneurship truly is the shovel you use to dig a path to a brighter future.

The work we are doing at the Global Entrepreneurship Initiative is so emotionally moving for me because the truth is that I came from humble beginnings. During my talk at the United Nations and in my new book, Masters of Success, I share my entrepreneurial journey from my family’s humble roots in Ecuador and my childhood in Brooklyn to my experience power-building businesses from the bottom up.

In Masters of Success, leading entrepreneurs share their secrets for mastering success in health, wealth and lifestyle. Royalties from copies sold will fund charities around the world, including the Esperanza.

Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come and the promise of micro-lending to lift entire communities in developing nations — is here now. In business and in life, leadership and love are the highest calling for the life that is inside of us.

How to Build the Power You Need to Achieve

How to Build the Power You Need to Achieve

All personal power comes from within. Power is a function of truth, force is a function of emotion. And the truth is that we are much greater and much more capable than we even believe ourselves to be. Reconciling the gap between our inner truth and our self image creates an enormous level of fortitude and personal strength. We must own the person we are and the greater version of ourselves that we want to become. Realizing this, we can achieve our driving purpose in business and in life.

To build this inner power, we must first recognize that we have all the right stuff to achieve the success we have the courage to desire. Train the mind. Nurture the soul. And weaponize the body.

Our bodies are machines. Like all living things, the right fuel will make it flourish. Learn to recognize which fuel your body needs and which has the cleanest burn. I’m training for my third Ironman triathlon. My diet is as disciplined as my training regiment. This time around, I’ve trained my body to burn fat instead of carbs – based on research by doctors Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney. Increasing your intake of coconut oil, fish oils, avocados and olives while reducing carb intake can allow you to become fat-adapted and access a source of fuel that is exponentially more available and sustainable than the common practice of carb-loading and sugar-burning. Fat is a much cleaner fuel for the human body to burn and it burns longer, more efficiently and with less waste left over. The full optimization and maximization of your body requires you to familiarize with the most advanced thinking on human physiology and sport.

Some look for power and validation from external success – money, titles, influence. True leaders who have achieved great success know it works the other way around. Learn to cultivate the strength you hold within yourself first, and the rest will follow.

The Ultimate Truth About Big Bad Search Firms

The Ultimate Truth About Big Bad Search Firms

There was a saying, “No one ever got fired for buying IBM,” that you might have applied to choosing a big brand search firm. You now realize that these search firms have no clue what you need. Worse, they don’t care.

Too many leaders choose a big brand search firm because of the false sense of security that this brings. The most important thing in choosing an executive search partner is the person who’s actually doing the work, not the brand of the company.

Is your business in high growth mode? Do you want to meet the best candidates? Do you want to meet them fast? Do you want the expert advice of someone who can close the deal? If you work with a big search firm, you’ll be disappointed. Big firms are used to working with companies growing at a slower rate than yours. Their sense of urgency is much more relaxed. Since they’re used to working with big companies, the importance of your search may not be as high as if you were a Fortune 500 company. They might take 9 months to conduct a search. An elite, special forces boutique firm can do it in a fraction of that time.

Remember, the best tech is not at IBM or any of the big tech firms. It’s usually at the smaller, ankle-biter firms that are completely disrupting and re-inventing the category. This is true of boutique executive search firms as well.

To achieve the greatest potential you have as a leader and to realize your entrepreneurial dreams, you’ll need to have the courage to step outside the box of big brand thinking. Rather than rely on flashy names and referrals from other people who have no idea what you need, apply your best critical thinking and executive decision making to choose the search partner that’s right for you.


CEO Spotlight: How to Damage Control A Bad Hire Disaster

CEO Spotlight: How to Damage Control A Bad Hire Disaster

Powering through an executive search can feel even more daunting the second time around when you need to replace a bad hire. The stakes are much higher and there’s no more room for error. Ironically, this pressure can increase your chance of making a bad situation worse.

The more severe an accident, the more attention it attracts. Rubbernecking is a leading cause of car accidents. When there’s already a pileup on the road, the chance of another accident taking place increases as drivers become distracted with the initial crash. Likewise, working through a failed executive search is visible both internally and externally and attracts gawkers. This adds distractions and complications to your new search.

Studies show that work-related stress releases adrenaline and cortisol, kicking us into fight, flight or freeze mode. If you feel as if you’ve been backed into a corner because of a bad hire, it’s best to have professional first responders come to your rescue and save the day. These are the responses you might have:


It’s the insane thing to do, but many of us continue to do the same thing over while expecting different results. There was already a failure in the process, partnership and/or decision. You might choose to stick with the same hiring process and hiring partner that got you stuck with a bad hire in the first place – especially if it’s a big name firm, the kind that cares the least about your results. Failure can make us want to cling to the familiar. Unfortunately, choosing this route keeps you in a cycle of poor results.


You might decide to take action fast. Something, anything has to be done right away. While the courage to take action is laudable, it can also be risky. Everyone is pressuring you to make the problem go away. Your search partner might be sending you recycled candidates from other searches – candidates who don’t pass the airport test or don’t have the culture fit necessary to succeed at your organization. Maybe your board members are sending over referrals from their networks. Be wary of settling for these candidates just for the sake of making a new hire fast. Remember that there is an A+ player for every role in every company and every CEO should know this. Settling for anything less will only rob you of your entrepreneurial dreams.


If you’ve already made one bad hire, the thing that is required in order for you to make a better decision is to take a strategic risk and secure the win. You’ll need to choose a different plan than what you’ve already been doing. Step out of your comfort zone. Choose courage over security. Execute a different process to achieve a greater result.

The best utilization of venture capital is to acquire the right human capital. Exercise your abundance mindset and the bold confidence you need to achieve your mission. Choose a search partner with proven experience in Level 3 Recruiting™ who can run a proper Core Fit Process™ and shares your courage and mindset. A good recruiter has a keen interest in recruiting and knows all the rules. A great recruiter knows how to go beyond the rules and is just as invested in your success as you are.

Your Most Powerful Muscle is Your Mind

Your Most Powerful Muscle is Your Mind

In business and in life, we fight many battles. Before we face any external challenge, we must first face ourselves. The greatest battle in life is the one to proclaim your inner truth. Though we often underestimate the significance of our internal dialogue, the conversations we have with ourselves will prepare us to meet any obstacle. Your own mind can be the engine driving you to success, or it can be your biggest saboteur.

Whether your goal is to run an ironman or build a billion-dollar business, the first and most important muscle you must train and strengthen is your mind.

Here are some critical drivers for optimizing your brain power and achieving the greatest version of yourself:

  1. Build Clarity of Purpose

Influential leaders lead with purpose. Define and build clarity around what the greater purpose is behind everything you do. If purpose breeds influence, clarity breeds power. When I was four years old, my parents finally had enough money to bring my family from Ecuador to NYC. We had so little growing up. At night before bed, my Mom would teach us to kneel down beside her and pray. She taught me to believe that anything was possible and that we could rise up from our humble beginnings and become anything we set our minds to. She was programming me with clarity of purpose.

2. Commit First

Make a commitment to yourself and write it down. Once it’s written down it transmutes from an ethereal idea to a concrete plan. Then treat yourself as you would any good friend and be impeccable with your word. Once you’ve committed with words, commit with action. You can take small steps at first, but take them now. As you begin to develop competence, you’ll build confidence and the courage to continue stretching outside your comfort zone.

3. Believe and Achieve

In 1922, psychologist Émile Coué introduced a new method of self-empowerment based on ‘optimistic autosuggestion.’ Continually tell yourself, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better,” he contended, and what you say will come true. Coué believed this positive internal discourse could greatly add to the benefits of modern medicine. He taught his patients to replace the “thought of illness” with the “thought of cure.” His research showed that being optimistic could vastly amplify the results of a patient’s treatment.

If you’re facing adversity, embrace the struggle. Don’t let your brain allow you to give up. Let your purpose be your driving force. You can use your mind to override the fail switch. Learn to cultivate positive self-talk and believe in your own triumph. Visualize it. Achieve it.

4. Consistency Builds Ability

Most people have a desire to win on game day. What about the desire to prepare everyday? Do the daily work, burn deep with the discipline of preparation so that you can show up in the strongest version of yourself, with more than just the gusto of game day and hubris of pretended preparation.

  1. Love and Respect Yourself to Success

When we’re filled with ambition and racing for success at full-speed, we often sacrifice the time and effort it takes to care for ourselves and optimize for maximum high performance. The greatest investment you can ever make is an investment in your own learning, growth, health and wellness. Then you can maximize the contribution you make to others.

Remember the words of Jim Rohn, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”

How to Seize the Most Market Share in the Midst of an Executive Search

How to Seize the Most Market Share in the Midst of an Executive Search

Seizing market share is about speed to execution and quality. Achieving this requires a combination of team alignment and strong leadership. A bad executive leader can interfere with both of those things.

The skull-crushing pain, suffering and brain damage that results from hiring the wrong leader is usually followed by a whole host of problems that reach beyond the realm of just lost market share.

A failing functional leader can continue to hemorrhage cash burn while damaging organizational effectiveness. And not only is the bad hire costing you cash, it’s also interfering with your ability to grow the business. You aren’t seizing market share the way that you would like and it’s creating uncertainty. The market opportunity is slipping through your fingers.

So what can you do to seize the most market share in the midst of an important executive search?

1. Step into the Role

No matter the drama, the show must go on. And that means that someone has to step into the functional role that your executive search seeks to fill and provide leadership to the team. You as the CEO now have to act as the marketing lead or product lead – whatever needs to be done.

2. Rally the Team

Once you’ve stepped into a hands-on role, use this opportunity to bring your team together. Communicate, build clarity around core values, create and share your vision for the better outcome you are all working towards. Franklin D Roosevelt said, “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” A missing leader may have created some tumult – and this represents an opportunity to let your leadership lead the way. A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. This is your chance to reinvigorate and strengthen team alignment.

3. Recruit Like an Expert

Learn from any mistakes you’ve made in your executive search so far and make corrections – immediately. If you’re replacing a bad hire, you’re probably also thinking you chose the wrong search partner. Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. Change the way you recruit so you can get the results you desire. Most search firms operate at Level 2 recruiting, relying on referrals and networking. For top high-growth companies who want the best, this strategy won’t nearly suffice. There’s a better way of recruiting and that’s through Level 3 Recruiting™and a Core Fit Process™. Bring in an elite, special forces recruitment team that is equipped with the expertise and proven methodologies to turn any situation into a silver lining.

We’re all looking to conquer the world with what we are doing. We need good people to help us do it, people who want to achieve success for themselves and who can help us achieve our greater purpose as a team.

How to Secure the Team Win Without its Captain

How to Secure the Team Win Without its Captain

You’re missing a key player on your leadership team and it’s affecting your entire operation. Morale is down. People are kicking the dirt on the ground. It’s been months since anyone on that functional team has felt a tinge of success. The void has created hesitation, doubt and fear. Impending functional doom seems imminent as other staff members contemplate jumping ship and resigning.

The pressure from your team, the company and the board is unrelenting. You can feel the apprehension in the air, and you’re not quite sure what to do about it. It’s easy in this moment to begin to question your own plan and leadership capacity.

So what do you do?

There are only a few things you need to remember:

  1. SNAP OUT OF IT! Remember – you are a total winner! Get your mojo back and activate your power, peace and prosperity muscles.
  2. Your greatest resource is your resourcefulness. Have an honest dialogue with your team. Ask for their support. Paint a picture of the greater vision that you have for the team, the future leader you want to bring in and for the organization as a whole. This is how you can rally the team and uplift morale. You need to protect, nurture and grow those team members in the absence of a chief functional officer until such time when you find the right A+ hire.
  3. There is an A+ player for every role in every company. Have you mapped out what success looks like for the functional leader you want to hire? Have you created a winning profile that includes both technical chops and the right culture fit? As you seek to fill the position, are you going beyond online search and networking? There is a better way of recruiting – an elite, special forces approach – that is Level 3 Recruiting™. Level 3 Recruiting™ is defined by a refined selection process, precision extraction and securing the top 1{f7a32599756963b989bde631f1a44401cc789db6f847c3735c9e8f651be632a4} of A+ executive leaders.
  4. Especially during a low point, it’s crucial to remember that victory is possible! Don’t settle for a mediocre candidate to fill the missing role quickly. Once you’ve hired your A+ player, your team will emerge a hundred times better and stronger than before.

Now go, attack, win!

Dave Carvajal Awarded ‘Team Builder’ Honor at Harvard Business School

Dave Carvajal Awarded ‘Team Builder’ Honor at Harvard Business School

Dave Carvajal, CEO and Founder of executive search firm Dave Partners, was awarded the prestigious ‘Team Builder’ award at the Business Expert Forum at Harvard Business School on Saturday, July 30, 2016.

The Business Expert Forum is held each year by the Entrepreneurship Students Club of Harvard Business School. As a master headhunter and expert in finance and executive leadership, Dave was invited to share his experiences with 120 emerging entrepreneurs and future leaders.

“Dave is purpose-driven and committed to leading by serving others. His passion for building a better workplace and a better future left a powerful impression on everyone at the forum,” said Alex Jeffreys, Founder and CEO of MarketingWithYou, Inc., which was rated one of the fastest growing privately-owned companies in North America by Inc. Magazine.

During his talk, Carvajal, who grew up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the 1970s, recalled his neighborhood’s rough past and how a clear purpose changed his own direction in life. “My mom taught me to believe that we could rise up from our humble beginnings and become anything we set our minds to. She was programming me with clarity of purpose,” said Carvajal at the event. “Today, I’m on a mission to eliminate human suffering in the professional workplace. I serve public company boards, CEOs and startup entrepreneurs who themselves are using technology to make the world better.”

Dave Carvajal is an intrepid builder of billion-dollar businesses and a thought leader in the executive recruitment space. As CEO of Dave Partners, a bespoke executive search firm serving the high-tech sector, Dave leads an elite, special forces recruitment team that extracts and secures the executive leaders that drive high-growth at venture capital and private equity-backed companies.

In 1997, Carvajal co-founded and power-built the fledgling startup to 650 employees, $125 million in revenues, and a $1.2 billion market capitalization after its IPO. Dave then continued his success at

“I’ve seen Dave in action over the span of two decades building HotJobs, TheLadders and multiple high-growth companies that have financial backing from some of the top private equity and venture capital firms. He is an indefatigable force of nature,” said serial entrepreneur Alexandre Douzet, CEO and Co-Founder of TheLadders and the new startup reinventing subscription pet nutrition, Ollie. “There isn’t anyone more qualified to be named ‘Team Builder’ because there isn’t a headhunter out there more qualified than Dave to build the highest-caliber executive leadership teams. He used to be the best-kept secret in the NYC tech ecosystem.” Together, Carvajal and Douzet built TheLadders to 400 employees and $82 million in revenues.

In the midst of the credit crisis of 2009, the headhunting industry was collapsing to a fraction of its size. In this turmoil, Carvajal founded Dave Partners as both a capstone venture and labor of love. Since its launch in 2009, Dave Partners has served as a key architect of the burgeoning New York City technology ecosystem.

Via:; PRWeb

Tech’s Top Executive Recruiter Dave Carvajal Co-Authors Bestselling Book

Tech’s Top Executive Recruiter Dave Carvajal Co-Authors Bestselling Book

New York, NY (PRWEB) September 06, 2016

Tech’s Top Executive Recruiter Dave Carvajal Becomes Bestselling Author with New Book, Masters of Success

Dave Carvajal, NYC’s top tech headhunter and a pioneer in online job search services, joined executive coaching expert Brian Tracy and other leading entrepreneurs to co-author the new book, Masters of Success. Since its release on June 28 this year, the book has topped two bestsellers lists.

In Masters of Success, leading entrepreneurs and professionals reveal their secrets for mastering success in health, wealth and lifestyle. The book ranked #10 in Direct Sales and #56 in Sales & Marketing on Amazon’s bestseller lists.

In his chapter, “Welcome to the Playground of the Fearless – How to Build a Billion-Dollar Business,” Dave shares his journey from a tough neighborhood in Brooklyn to co-founding HotJobs, being an early investor and executive at Ladders, and launching his own executive search firm, Dave Partners.

Since the advent of online job search through HotJobs, Dave has built the businesses and leadership teams that have shaped the tech landscape. In 1997, Carvajal co-founded and power-built the fledgling startup to 650 employees, $125M in revenues, and a $1.2B market cap after its IPO.

“He single-handedly built what was recognized as one of the best sales forces in the tech industry. Today many of the people Dave recruited for HotJobs hold leadership positions in top companies across America,” said Richard Johnson, Founder and former CEO and Chairman of the Board at HotJobs.

Carvajal’s endeavors revolutionized hiring and job search, disrupting tech, media and advertising. By taking classified help-wanted ads from newspapers into the digital world, HotJobs and Ladders created massive efficiency and helped millions of job seekers in the process.

As CEO of Dave Partners, a bespoke executive search firm serving the high-tech sector, Dave leads an elite recruitment team that extracts and secures the executive leaders that drive high-growth at venture capital and private equity-backed companies.

Dave Carvajal and his co-authors will be recognized by The National Academy of Bestselling Authors™, an organization that honors authors from prominent independent bestseller lists. Masters of Success was released by CelebrityPress™, a leading business book publisher, and can be purchased on

Via: International Business Times; PRWeb