David Laroche: Okay. So hello, achiever. I’m very glad to do this new video. I’m in Los Angeles, and I met just yesterday in the restaurant an amazing guy. He’s a kind of genius because he’s doing many things. He’s an athlete, also an entrepreneur, a creative guy, and I’m very glad to speak about the imagination, finance. And I don’t know what or who we speak about, but you have to follow this interview. It will be amazing. Hello.
Martellus Bennett: Hello, brother.
David Laroche: How are you?
Martellus Bennett: I’m doing well.
David Laroche: And I would love to let you introduce yourself because you are doing many things, and I would love to know who you are.
Martellus Bennett: Well, Martellus Bennett is my name. Je suis [French] Martellus Bennett.
David Laroche: Yes.
Martellus Bennett: Right? So Martellus Bennett, play for Chicago Bears, which is American football. I’m also a writer, imaginator. I just make stuff, so I’m a visionary architect, which is a real cool way of saying I make stuff.
David Laroche: And I would love to know how do you find the time between, because you are a professional athlete, how do you find the time between your job as an athlete and also the time to be creative and working in the fields.
Martellus Bennett: For me, I feel like time is really just schedule, so time management, which is a gift. You have to learn how to manage time and when to do things and when not to work on things and how much time you have in each subject that you want to do or each disciplines. So for me, it’s just really good time management. If I train, I’ll write earlier in the morning before I train. To hang out with my family, then I may train again. Then I write and hang out with my family again. So I eliminate things that are not essential, so I’m a, what you would call, essentialist. They only do things that are essential to my life and my happiness.
David Laroche: Cool. How did you became one of the top player in your field?
Martellus Bennett: Well, lots and lots of hard work. I wasn’t always one of the best, so I had to work my way up from middle school to high school to college to the NFL, now. When I first started NFL, I was actually a back up. Someone was playing in front of me for four years. And then I left that team, and I became a starter. And ever since then, I’ve just been ascending. So just constantly staying in the course and believing in myself.
David Laroche: Yes. And how do you do because some people are struggling to believe in themselves and believe they can succeed. So how do you do to believe in yourself?
Martellus Bennett: Well, really, I just envision where I want to be, so the job I want, where I want to go, how many hours I’m going to work, how I’m going to get there. So I envision that, and I see myself there already while I’m in process of getting there.
David Laroche: Is that from the beginning?
Martellus Bennett: Yes.
David Laroche: Okay. And how did you learn to do that?
Martellus Bennett: I don’t know. It just felt like the right thing to do. I just felt like anywhere you want to go, if you travel in the world, there’s usually a map. But when it comes to things that you try to do in life, there’s not a map. So you have to create your own map to where you want to go. So I just figure I’d create a map because everywhere else I go, I have GPS that tells me to make a right, make a left, or how far something is away from the other place, point A to point B. So I just created my own road map of what I thought the steps I would need to take, how do I get there, and then I work myself backwards. So I start with one out where I want to be, and then from there I imagine all the things that I’d do to get there from where I am now. Then I work my way up.
David Laroche: And what was your dream at the beginning, when you were, let’s say, 15 years old? What was your dream at 15 years old?
Martellus Bennett: Well, 15, I had a lot of dreams. I still have a lot of dreams. A lot of people think you only get one dream, but I think you have as many dreams as you want. It’s just how many can you catch. I’m what you call a dream catcher, and I do what you call dreamscaping. So it’s like how you do landscaping, make everything pretty for how you want it to look. And that’s how I do with each dream. Do you ever watch Pokemon?
David Laroche: Yes.
Martellus Bennett: You got to catch them all. So I felt like I had to catch them all. For me at 15, it was NBA. Out of high school, I was in the NBA Draft, but my mom wanted me to go to college. And when I went to college, it was NFL. But the number one dream has always been the creative side, to do movies and films and tell stories. And that’s what I’m still chasing. That’s why I’m here in Los Angeles, now.
David Laroche: And did you knew that becoming one of top athletes could be the first step to be able to achieve all the goals?
Martellus Bennett: No. I don’t think so. I think football is just a part of the journey, and it was just part of how I end up getting to where I am right now. But I think there is another avenue that I could be just as successful if I went down that road. I think I just ended up traveling down this road, where professional sports just happen to be the way that I went this way. Like I said, football is not my purpose, it’s my platform. Basically build up the things I want to do because you have so many eyes on you when you play professional sports. There’s so many people, they follow you, kids look up to you, so you have a chance to use that platform for some good to teach kids that there’s other things that they could do. So I use football as a platform to get my message out across the world.
David Laroche: What do you think… ? Especially in Los Angeles, there are many celebrities in sports, movie industries, but some of them has a big community. But they don’t choose that to share positive message. What do you think about that?
Martellus Bennett: Just America as a whole is more about I than we. So everybody is trying to do what they could do to make themselves better. It’s kind of what the culture has transformed into. There’s people who are around that try to build up other people, not just themselves. With technology and everything else, all the kids, they grow up and they want to be the people they want to see on TV, but the only thing they see is the end result. They don’t see all the work that it took to get there. So there’s a way you can show kids the process of working. You don’t just wake up and be Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise had to take acting classes, learned how to act better, whether it’s get himself in great shape, and always know his lines. But he wasn’t just always Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise, at one point, no one knew him, but he worked his way up. Same thing for everybody else. So I think a lot of people, they work so hard that…and it took them so long to get where they are…that it’s hard for them to try to give somebody else what they feel would be the easy way in. They feel they should work their way up too.
David Laroche: And according to you, what could be the three keys of success?
Martellus Bennett: Visualization, so visualizing everything. You got to have imagination to visualize, so they’re kind of close and the same thing. So I put imagination and visualization in the same thing. You have to be passionate about what it is that you want to do, and you have to find balance.
David Laroche: And how do you find balance?
Martellus: For me, I find balance in saying no because a lot of times you can say yes to, like there’s something I don’t want to do 100%. Somebody’s like, “Hey, let’s go get a drink. ” I kind of want to go out and have a drink, but I’m not 100% to it. So I just say no.
David Laroche: Okay. Just to be sure I understand. If you’re not 100%, it’s no.
Martellus Bennett: Yes. So if somebody be like, “Oh, let’s go get some ice cream. ” I love ice cream, so I’m like, “Yes. Let’s go get ice cream. ” If there’s any gray area, I usually say no because if there’s gray area that means that it wasn’t really something I want to do. It’s not essential to my life. We eliminate the non-essential things and only focus on the things that are essential to our days in our life then we’re more productive.
David Laroche: What looks like a day for you?
Martellus Bennett: Each day varies. But most days, I start 5:30. This is usually when I wake up, and I brush my teeth first. So I brush my teeth, and then–
David Laroche: I’m very glad that you specified that because sometimes they forget.
Martellus Bennett: Yeah. They forget to brush their teeth, and then by the time they get out, they’re like, “Man, your breath smell like you didn’t brush your teeth. ” But from like 5:30 to 10:00 a.m. , I write. So basically I wake up and I just write whatever it is I’m working on. And then from there, I have breakfast and I hang out with my wife and my daughter.
David Laroche: What do you eat? Do you have a special way to eat?
Martellus Bennett: Well, right now, I try to eliminate decision-making in what I’m going to eat. So usually I eat oatmeal, fresh fruit, and a couple of scrambled eggs, and turkey sausage. So I usually eat that almost every single morning. After breakfast I hang out, play with my daughter and my wife. And then after that, I go to the gym. Then I work out for a couple of hours. And then when I finish at the gym, I come back for a shower, and then I hang out with my wife and my daughter all day until they go to sleep. And when they go to sleep, I go back and write again.
David Laroche: When you do the gym, I would love to know because I have to improve myself in this field. What do you think about when you’re at the gym? What is the purpose behind doing gym for you?
Martellus Bennett: One is fitness and being in shape. I think about not dying. So I want to keep myself in great shape so I don’t die. The ultimate goal is I like to look good in my clothes. So it’s like a personal thing, as well. I like to look a certain way. But the ultimate goal is so I could perform at a high level on a football field. So I think about what I need to do to continue to be the best in my profession.
David Laroche: When you work out, do you think about the golden NFL?
Martellus Bennett: Yes.
David Laroche: Yes.
Martellus Bennett: Yes.
David Laroche: Cool. And because I was thinking about Muhammad Ali, and he was telling that a journalist started to ask him how many… How do you say?
Martellus Bennett: Bench press.
David Laroche: Yes. You do. And he answered, “I don’t know because I start to count when it’s hard. ” How do you know when you have to stop?
Martellus Bennett: Well, that’s a tough question because–
David Laroche: Because sometimes you do something it starts to become hard, but you can continue. How do you find the balance between pushing yourself and respecting yourself?
Martellus Bennett: Well, I always push myself until I feel like I went as far as I could go, and then the next day, if I do that thing again, I push myself to go further than I did and then further than that. So each time, I don’t overdo it. I push myself and beat what I did last time, and then the next time I do the same drill. I push myself to beat that and I push… So that way, there’s always room to improve, and I always try to improve. And then there’s a difference between being brave and courageous and being an idiot. You don’t want to kill yourself, but I always say like raise your hand as high as you can, and then raise it a little bit higher. See? You got a little bit extra that you can raise your hand. So everybody you tell them raise their hand as high as they can, but then you say raise it a little bit higher, everybody goes a little bit further. So I just think that there’s a little bit more that you could do each time.
David Laroche: And do you think that success is in the zone?
Martellus Bennett: Yes. Because there’s a lot of people that get to that zone, and they give up. But people who could break through that threshold and keep pushing and keep pushing are the ones that find the most improvement and go places that others will not work to get there.
David Laroche: For example, a lot of people will see this interview, they will understand the principle. They would say, “Oh, it’s a great idea. I have to push myself. ” But they will not do it, according to you. Why?
Martellus Bennett: Discipline. I think a lot of time people say they want something, but it’s not really what they want. They think that’s what they want. Until you find out what it is you really want in life, you won’t work as hard as you can to get there. So if I want to climb a mountain, if I want to go out and go walk up a mountain, which is what I really don’t want to do, when it gets hard and getting closer to the top, I’m going to turn around and go down because going to the top is not my passion. It’s not what I really want to do. So everyone has to figure out what their mountain is and what’s at the top that they really try and get to because once you figure it out, when things get hard, you look up, you look down. What’s up there is more important than what you left behind, so you keep going. So I think it’s figuring out where you actually want to go. And is that really what you want, or is that what everybody else wants for you?
David Laroche: So you think that the more I know where I want to go, the more I would have motivation to face to every challenges. That’s right?
Martellus Bennett: Yes.
David Laroche: Okay. We talked a little bit about that yesterday, about the money and finance. As an athlete, the way that an athlete that can earn money is binary, so it’s like nothing or everything. First of all, I would love to know what did you feel when you started to earn money because as an entrepreneur, it was not the same way. It was more step by step, so it’s different because you see the money coming slowly.
Martellus Bennett: I think for athletes, it’s like an entrepreneur because our body is our business. So you start training your body from high school all through college, and you don’t really get paid for that journey until you get to the NFL. So it’s like you get rewarded for 10 years of work at one time. So I think that’s the thing that people don’t really realize about athletes is that to get where they want to go is constantly training and constantly making sacrifices just to become a professional athlete. So you put in time then no one really notices before you’re a professional. Then all the time that you put in to get there is what you get paid for. But to get paid, it feels great. In early stages, you think about buying material things because those are the things that you always saw. You think those things make you more of who you really are, but it really doesn’t. So you want to buy the best cars, the best shoes, the best everything, but at the end of the day, I’m still Martellus, just in a BMW. The BMW doesn’t make me more Martellus.
David Laroche: How did you feel when you understood that your happiness is not about the money?
Martellus Bennett: Oh, I felt great because I felt free, liberating. Money is a tool. You use money. Don’t let money use you. So for me, understanding that happiness wasn’t found in money but is found in my relationships, my family, my friends, or accomplishing goals and dreams. That’s where the true happiness comes from. If money is brought into that, it’s cool, if you make money doing the things you love. I love to do the things I love because it’s not because of the money. I just love to do those things. Money is just a tool–
David Laroche: To achieve it.
Martellus Bennett: –to achieve it.
David Laroche: Yesterday, you told me that between who you were at the age of 20 and now, you’re 28, what is the difference in the way you manage money? If we have lessons for young people to earn money and they have to invest and how they can manage it, what can be your advice?
Martellus Bennett: When it comes to money, I would say save it. I think you have to enjoy it, so it’s okay to buy yourself nice things. But just because you could buy something doesn’t mean that you can afford it, which is two different things. A lot of times, people will go buy a Ferrari, but the maintenance, the upkeep, the gas, just taking care of it, you can’t really afford to upkeep that car. Where if you went and got you a Toyota Camry, you can afford that car. You can do everything in it. You can always keep it up, you can always get it checked up, you can always get new tires, whatever you may need. So for them, it’s figuring out what you can afford and what you’re just buying. So save your money.
David Laroche: How many percentage… Do you say that?
Martellus Bennett: Percentage?
David Laroche: Yeah, percentage…do you save?
Martellus Bennett: I try to save as much as possible.
David Laroche: What do you advise? How many percent?
Martellus: I don’t have a percentage of it because everybody’s a little different, and my percentage is a lot lower than the guys that I work with. So I would say that you supposed to live below your means, which means just because you go buy a $5 million house doesn’t mean that you have to. You could go get your $700,000 house and be just as happy. So I’ll just kind of do… I’ll just try to live below my means.
David Laroche: And do you increase the percentage of what you save each year?
Martellus Bennett: Yes.
David Laroche: Yes. How much do you increase in the percentage?
Martellus: It depends on how much I make. Honestly, you would like to save at least 60% to 70% of your money and live off 30% of it if you can. But that’s making sacrifices. My monthly budget, it’s a little bit over $1,000 a month for me, but that’s extremely low, regarding on how money that I make.
David Laroche: Yes. And do you spend without thinking and you see what you did, or you ask someone and you manage everyday what is coming and what is going outside?
Martellus Bennett: I do not just spend without thinking. I always think it through because there’s sometimes I do the 100% thing. Sometimes I see something and I look at it and then I kind of want it, but I don’t want it 100%, so I don’t buy it.
David Laroche: Okay. So it’s the same thing.
Martellus Bennett: Yes. It’s the same thing I apply to everything in life.
David Laroche: What is your purpose? What do you want in this life?
Martellus Bennett: My purpose, I feel, is to communicate with the world through creativity. So basically whether it’s a book, whether it’s a film, movie, cartoon, whatever it is, there’s a message that needs to be communicated that I’m trying to tell someone else.
David Laroche: And what is this message? Let’s imagine that I can help you to inspire 1 billion of people. What is this message?
Martellus Bennett: Each message varies, depending on where I am in life at that time. But right now, it’s just that dreams come true. So the message that I’m trying to give to people is that if you could dream it, then you could do it. If you could imagine it, then you are already on your way of getting there. And if you want to go do it, just go do it. Everything starts with one step. No matter where we want to go, if you go backwards or you want to go forward, it starts with one step. So just getting people to understand that it takes one step closer. Every time you take a step, you’re one step closer to your dream.
David Laroche: Do you do everyday steps to be closer to your dreams?
Martellus Bennett: That’s the only direction I go. So I never go back this way, I always go. Sometimes I have to step back to see everything. Like, “Oh, hold on a second. What did I do right there? What can I do to make that better?” But I’m always walking in the same direction as always. I’m always focused on going towards where my dreams are.
David Laroche: When you think about your dreams? Do you have kind of a date? For example, do you say, “I want to do cartoons in one year?” Do you do that but with a date?
Martellus Bennett: I do. I call it life planning. So like 10 years I want to be here, 20 years I want to be there. I usually stick to like the eight- to ten-year range because there’s so much that could change, but I usually have goals within. But sometimes I think connecting and networking with people is very important because they can speed up your dreams.
David Laroche: Yes. And it’s a very important question because sometimes I’m wondering we have to manage our time. And according to you, how much time do you have to invest on meeting people and producing cartoons and everything? Because you can take all your time to meet people, and you just have connections. But you don’t have to give.
Martellus Bennett: Yes. So I think product is more important than the connections because you can make the connections but if your product isn’t ready, then the connection is not worth anything. So the connection is worthless. I tell people to focus on going places that will be with like-minded people. So if I want to go to something, I’d rather go to an event that has movie producers and actors than to go to one with a bunch of entrepreneurs who do restaurants because that connection for me is not the best connection.
David Laroche: But you don’t know.
Martellus Bennett: I mean, you don’t know, but I know that in this one, this connection in this area, meeting these type of people are the ones that are trying to do the same that I’m doing or doing what I’m doing. So those connections are a little bit more powerful than the ones of a guy who runs the car wash, who might know a lot of people who wash a lot of cars, who may have encountered tons of people washing their cars. But I put myself in areas of like-minded people.
David Laroche: And it’s amazing. Just a question. Do you choose your hotel in this way? Because there are many luxury hotel in Los Angeles. How do you select your hotel?
Martellus Bennett: Which one has the nicest room?
David Laroche: Do you believe that’s not the same? It’s not audience but kind of people. For example, do you think movie makers or film makers prefer type of hotels?
Martellus Bennett: Yeah. I think everyone has… I mean, it’s kind of what we call classism, like levels of class or what people go to. If you go stay at a Motel 6, there’s not going to be that many movie producers or things like that. Personally I choose places because I don’t spend a lot of time in the hotel when I’m there. But when I am, I just want a place that’s nice and the people are nice. So if I go to a hotel, it’s usually because I know people there are nice, the service is nice, and it’s a nice quality hotel.
David Laroche: And how do you know when you have to speak to someone? Because you can go in a luxury bar, many film makers, for example. How do you know where you have to go and with who you have to speak with?
Martellus Bennett: Me? I personally don’t think you seek people out. I think it’s just kind of happens. It’s just fate. If you go somewhere or you’re with someone, if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. You cross paths with them. Sometimes you cross paths with them 150 times, but you never have spoken to him before. But then in 151st time, you guys talked. But the time that went passed between not talking, you are developing and growing as a person. So that 151st time, it was right on because it was right where your mind was. Because sometimes you can meet people too early, and you don’t really know what to do with that connection. Or you can meet people too late, where you already passed up because you’ve done so much growth in people, and you grow every single day. We’re growing tremendously. So you just want to continue to grow, and you just hope that growth that you’re on meets people at the right time.
David Laroche: Cool.
Martellus Bennett: It’s like you and I. Say you weren’t doing films, yet, and we met, then this would have never happened. If we had met a couple of years ago, it would have just been like a good conversation. Since we’ve met where I’m doing film, you’re doing film and we’re both at the same mindset of motivating and inspiring others, then the connection worked.
David Laroche: Exactly. And maybe we’ll be able to create something together to have an impact in the world. We don’t know.
Martellus Bennett: Yes.
David Laroche: This is bigger, I would love to know because it’s a question sometimes for all people. Do you want to walk only with people who have the same mindset than you?
Martellus Bennett: No. Me personally, I like to take people from different disciplines. So I kind of work with all designers. Basically design is in everything, so the way you design your day in a calendar, that’s by design. Your lifestyle is by design, not just when you make a table that’s designed, but it’s created through design. But you create your day through design. When you lay out your clothes, the clothes you put on, you do that by design. Or the way you write or the way you put your stuff in your backpacks and the way you neatly place everything, that’s by design. So we live by design, but people don’t really know that design is living. I like like-minded people. I do work with like-minded people. I like winners. I like people who are ambitious and people who are in a go. If they’re not focused-driven, then I usually don’t hang out with them because–
David Laroche: It’s a waste of time.
Martellus Bennett: I won’t say it’s a waste of time, but you want people around you that are better than you. I want to surround myself with smarter people because if I’m the smartest person in the room, then we have a problem. I want people who are smarter than me, people who are more creative than me, people who know a little bit more around me, so that way, they bring me up to a high level, as well. And I pick them up, as well because you can’t be the greatest at every single thing that you do.
David Laroche: So you believe that you can be the greatest in one field, but the people around you has to be the greatest in all the fields. And you build together.
Martellus Bennett: Yes. That way you can focus on what you do great. Then you take all those slices of genius. It’s like a pizza, so you may have two slices of genius in one thing. Alvin may have a couple of slices of genius in everything. So we take all those slices of genius, and we make a good pizza because some days, I may only have one slice, but one slice of pizza can help us all.
David Laroche: Yes, exactly. And there are many people maybe who are watching us, now. If someone can help you to achieve one of your main important dream, what do you need to achieve what you want?
Martellus Bennett: For me, right now, it’s just about opportunity, sometimes just the opportunity to showcase your work. And once you get the opportunity, then I feel like I could take it from there. I think I got a great opportunity coming up that I came out here looking for the opportunity on my own and then was able to get it. Then I get another opportunity to come back and take it from there, so I’m super excited about that. But I think just me being prepared for the opportunity was the biggest thing.
David Laroche: Okay. And the first project is cartoon now. It’s the main project you want to put to the next level?
Martellus Bennett: Well, no. It’s not just, I mean it’s–
David Laroche: It’s a system.
Martellus Bennett: Yes. So it’s not one-dimensional. It’s like a spider web. There’s a lot of things connected to many things that ultimately connected to one thing, which is the spider, and I’m the spider and I have all the webs. I think that’s a good description. But overall, the goal is to create several facets because other people that communicate with everyone. Everybody communicates differently. Some people like art. Some people understand cartoons. Some people is books, and some people is–
David Laroche: You want to explore everything to reach people in different ways.
Martellus Bennett: Yes.
David Laroche: Okay. It was the same idea with my comedy show. The idea was to be able to reach people who are not open to go to conferences because sometimes it’s too serious, and I love that. We are inspired by finding the ways to use technologies and everything to reach people. It’s through our application. It’s amazing. I want to work with people like George Lucas to think and how we can use movies to inspire the world because I believe that film makers create the world of tomorrow.
Martellus Bennett: Yes.
David Laroche: Because they give a lot of ideas in the head of children, and then they become scientists and everything and engineers. And they create what they saw when they were a child.
Martellus Bennett: Yeah. You are influenced by the things that you see. Like for me, reading Dr. Seuss, the things that he created influenced me or Tim Burton.
David Laroche: What are your mentors?
Martellus Bennett: So it will be Dr. Seuss. I love Dr. Seuss in the way he rhymed and the way he did everything. Shel Silverstein was also an author that I love. Tim Burton, all his films are kind of what inspired me, in his story, where he came up, because he used to be at Disney. But then he left Disney, and he started doing his own thing. There’s Eddie Catmull and John Lasseter, who’s at Pixar. Jim Carey, I love Jim Carey. I always thought he’s extremely funny. Richard Pryor. There’s this long list of people that I looked up to.
David Laroche: And when you are inspired by someone, do you do something to… I believe that if you are inspired by someone, it’s because you are the same thing inside. Do you do something to deal with what they have inside you? Do you understand my question?
Martellus Bennett: Yeah. You’re trying to say if there’s something that… Say, if I see Tim Burton, there’s something about him that I feel like I have inside of me?
David Laroche: Yes. Martellus: How do I bring it out of myself? David: Yes.
Martellus Bennett: Yes. I do believe that you do that. I think there’s a lot of people that influence you are already part of your DNA. So some of the stuff I create may look like something Tim Burton would do. I grew up watching Tim Burton, and I love him so much that it’s just a part of me. Same thing like Will Smith. I love Will Smith from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, everything. So there’s a lot of times people tell me like, “Hey, you! You’re like Will Smith a little bit. ” I’m like it’s because I grew up watching Will Smith so long that–
David Laroche: I watched an interview with you this morning. It was a short interview in a show. I forget the name. And I was thinking you look like the analogy of Will Smith. It was amazing. The way you speak, maybe the more about energy, I think.
Martellus Bennett: Yeah. Because I love Will Smith. I always grew up watching Will Smith, and I’m like–
David Laroche: I was thinking, I was wondering: do we have to be black to have this kind of energy?
Martellus Bennett: Because it comes from the soul, but I think everybody has it. It’s just a little bit different.
David Laroche: Because just this morning, I asked my girlfriend, “Do you know a white man with this kind of energy?”
Martellus Bennett: Let me think. I mean, Jim Carey’s energy is amazing. There’s a lot of guys that’s amazing. But like Will Smith charisma and energy is totally different, but I think it’s because we’re all kind of influenced by the same, Richard Pryor, all those people that we grew up watching. And I think we all have a little bit of that in us, so we all kind of go and say, “Well, because he’s influenced by them, he changes up a little bit. That makes him Will Smith. ” So I’m influenced by Will Smith. I change it up a little bit, but that’s what makes me Martellus. So I think it’s just… I don’t know how it works.
David Laroche: And because you are inspired by them, do you do some things to meet them personally?
Martellus Bennett: Yeah. Sometimes I do weird stuff. Ed Catmull is the guy at Pixar. He wrote a book called Creativity Inc.. And he was doing a book signing here in California, but I was in Chicago. I had a friend who was at the book signing, so when he got next to Ed, he called me on the phone and he just gave it to Ed and I started talking to him on the phone. So I emailed him. I track them down by email. Sometimes there’s the response and sometimes they don’t. If I’m in the same room with him, I make it–
David Laroche: For example, let’s imagine that we want to meet Will Smith and just talk about all these stuff, inspiration, imagination and how we can inspire on the world. How we can do that? According to you, I have the goal. Let’s meet Will Smith together and do a video with him. And what can be the plan?
Martellus Bennett: Well, first, I will make a call to a lady named Denise, who’s a PR expert. She knows pretty much everybody or who they work for. So then I will have her call Will Smith PR representation, and then they will get a call. Then I will try to get in contact somehow to set up a meeting. And then I will end up trying to set up a lunch with him. So basically reaching out is the first step. I think a lot of people feel like people aren’t reachable or unattainable, but people always love when people reach out to them because you’re interested in them and you want to have a conversation. If they have the time, they will do it.
David Laroche: And yes, it’s a tough question at the time because it depends on that, and I believe in the value you will give, what value you share to people. And when you are a celebrity or famous or top in your field, you have a lot of people who want to be with you just because you are famous. And I imagine that Will Smith has received a lot “fan” messages of people who are infatuate?
Martellus Bennett: Infatuated.
David Laroche: Yes. Infatuated by him. According to you, how do you show to someone that you are not infatuated just because you respect him for his work and just want to talk with him and maybe see how you can contribute to his dream?
Martellus Bennett: I think it’s when you reach out to that person, what you write or what you’re doing to reach out to him. So if I send an email and the email is going to say, “Man, I appreciate everything you do. You influence me a whole lot through my lifetime. I love your work, and there’s some things about you that I’m inspiring to find in myself that I would love to talk to you, to see how… Is there any more information you could tell me about your journey, so I could tell you about my journey and we could break bread together. ” So basically come off in a sincere way. Don’t be too over the top. Like, “Oh, my god. It’s Will Smith. ” Sometimes, a lot of people want to be cool, what they think is cool is, but cool is measured. People decide what’s cool and what’s not cool, so you never really want to be cool because cool is decided by society. And what society had decided something is usually terrible.
David Laroche: I’m laughing because I ask Darren Hardy, the CEO of Success Magazine, “What is the best way to become a loser?” And he answered me, “David, if you want to become a loser, it’s easy. Just look at what people are doing and do the same. ”
Martellus Bennett: Yeah, exactly. If you doing what everyone else is doing, then you’re just like them. Everybody wants to be different or everyone tries to be different, but really being different is just being you. Dr. Seuss said, “No one can be you-er than you.
David Laroche: Yeah. You are the best version of yourself. Nobody can become who you are.
Martellus Bennett: Yes. And Oscar Wilde said, “Be yourself because everyone else is taken. ” So just being yourself, which is cool. But trying to be something that you’re not, that’s not cool.
David Laroche: Yes. And then I love one sentence. It can be imitate, assimilate, innovate. You understand?
Martellus Bennett: Imitate, assimilate, innovate.
David Laroche: Emerson say that imitation is suicide.
Martellus Bennett: It’s suicide. Yes.
David Laroche: How do you find… The frontier between inspiration and imitation is thin. So for example, how do you want to create more on movies and cartoon and you’re inspired by many mentors, how do you find the difference between being them and finding inspiration from them to being you?
Martellus Bennett: Oh, the key is I’ve never really wanted to be them. I enjoy their work, so for me, I think that… Basically it’s just like making a gumbo, making a soup. So basically you’re the base, but you just take a little bit of them, take a little bit of him, take a little bit of her, you sprinkle all of that in there, which makes you you. Because there’s things that influence you that…or changed you…through the culture. So I don’t think that you imitate. I think there’s something that completely knocks somebody off, that rips something off and do it just like them, but there’s another thing to learn from their experiences and do what they did better. So when you try to do something better, it’s evolution, it’s innovation. So it’s like a light bulb. There’s been so many light bulbs made, but they’re steady creating better ones and new ones. So they’re not imitating the first light bulb. They’re just making better light bulbs. They’re like the telephone.
David Laroche: Yes. There is a video that everything is remix, and innovation is just remix.
Martellus Bennett: Yes. That’s because we missed out on the enlightenment period because of the years that we’re born. So there were times when people were creating to find solutions, so they had to create a light bulb because the only thing they had were candle. So they need a better solution. Or they want the best solutions and no one ever thinks about is the window screen, the screen that goes on our side of the window because people were dying from getting bit by insects. For a solution, they had created window screen. Or the wheels, they had to find a better wheel, they make a better wheel, they make another wheel that is better than that. Where we’re in our age, we’re more about quick results, so we create technology. So what we’re trying to do is just make it where you could do something quicker, faster, or eliminate the process of a middle man.
David Laroche: Okay. I have a question for you because you are a creative guy. I would love to hear you answer. Let’s imagine that we are in 200 years, maybe more, 500 years. How do you imagine the world in 500 years?
Martellus Bennett: It depends because right now, they’re taking creativity out of schools, especially in America, like art and band and music and things–
David Laroche: My question is what kind of world do you want in 500 years?
Martellus Bennett: Me personally, I do want to drive a flying car. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to drive a flying car. But in 500 years, I see a world that runs by computer, but it can go two ways. You want the humans to run the computers, not the computers to run the humans. So we’re teetering on the edge, where there’s going to be a computer-driven society, and the computers are more alive than the people. I just want to make sure that people are more alive than the computers because we get so much artificial intelligence to everything, and people are so stuck looking down. It might be a generation where everybody walks around like this because their neck is stuck from texting so much, so everybody will be walking like this. But overall, I feel like… It’s hard. There’s just so many ways that it could go. I think the next 10 years are going to be huge impact on the next 500 years.
David Laroche: Are you afraid with the idea of robot-sapiens? The idea of being able to put a brain in a robot.
Martellus Bennett: Like I-Robot with Will Smith.
David Laroche: Yes. But I saw the documentary, and they are creating more and more robots. And all the idea was to be able to create a powerful robot and then mix each other to be able to–
Martellus Bennett: Make cyborgs basically.
David Laroche: Yes. Are you afraid of this idea?
Martellus Bennett: Me personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea because the way that computers learn are totally different from people, and it’s getting to the point where people stop learning because the computers do so much for them.
David Laroche: But let’s imagine that because we are starting to do nanotechnologies, we are starting to put technologies in very small size. So let’s imagine that tomorrow I offer you this idea of having your computer inside your body, and just with your thoughts, you can control the light, we can speak each other. For example, just because we have this.
Martellus Bennett: That’s creepy.
David Laroche: You don’t like it?
Martellus Bennett: No, I don’t like it.
David Laroche: But it’s innovation.
Martellus Bennett: There’s innovation, but all innovation is not great innovation. So people create things that are bad. They’re always making better weapons, things like that. It’s cool that you innovated a better gun, but do we necessarily need more guns or better fighter jets. But did you need better fighter jets? What are you preparing for? So I think there’s a way to innovate. It’s like the space race, everybody wanted to get to the moon first, so right now, I think it’s a technology race where everybody want to create the next best thing because they make so much money from it. I wouldn’t want to be able to turn off the [inaudible 00:45:33] because think about it. Everybody would be so fat because you just lay down and be like, “Lights off. ” You would never have to get up. You know what I’m saying? Like, “Hey, food come from the refrigerator. Feed me refrigerator. ” Go to the bathroom. I don’t know how that will work.
David Laroche: Yeah. But maybe it’s the end that we will not have bodies, so we will have to do–
Martellus Bennett: Yeah. Why would you want to be a head, though? I mean, the physical interaction between people is what’s special. When you connect with somebody like a hug, there’s nothing like a true hug. Or like a kiss, when you lock lips with your girlfriend or your wives, it’s like it’s the ultimate thing. But if you eliminate those things, that’s what makes us human. That’s what makes us people. If you think about animals, the things that separate animals and humans is decision-making. We’re able to make decision, where animals are always on instinct. They mate on instinct. They hunt on instinct. It’s all just bred into them. They don’t make decisions. They just go off of instincts. But as humans, we have the decision-making skills.
David Laroche: I met someone, and I’m sure you would love to meet her. She’s a neuroscientist, and she was telling us that one of the main difference about the brain as a human being is the way the human brain is created is we are not finished. And the fact that we’re not finished created the fact that we’re not limited, and we are the only species that can decide to be different in today in making decision.
Martellus Bennett: And I think the thing is that, like they say, you only use 10% of the brain but because at one point, humans, they dumb down the world for them to only use so much of their brains. There’s so much other room for you can grow and you can use it, but when you think that you can only use 10%, then you’re only going to use 10%. You know what I mean? If you think you can use 100% of your brain, then at some point your brain will start believing that you can use 100% of it. And it will activate all of it, which unlocks the world.
David Laroche: So you are saying that the more you believe in something, the more it comes true.
Martellus Bennett: Yes.
David Laroche: Okay. It’s a great hand. You want to add something to the people who are watching us?
Martellus Bennett: Well, you don’t know me really, but you kind of know me now.
David Laroche: A message directly to the person who is looking…
Martellus Bennett: At the camera?
David Laroche: Yes.
Martellus Bennett: Okay. Hey, guys. How are you doing? I would just say, like I told Alvin last night, the journey now is not to the venture, the venture is in the journey. Because once you get to a destination, you got to figure out where you’re going to go next.
David Laroche: That’s great. We forgot to do something. We didn’t show something.
Martellus Bennett: What’s that?
David Laroche: The next time you will show us experiences.
Martellus Bennett: Oh, yes. I did one. I did with the arm up getting higher. So I did one. There’s always one in there somewhere.
David Laroche: Yes. Only one to teach people, to the things we do.
Martellus Bennett: That’s what it is. They be like, “Raise your hand as high as you can. ” Then everybody raises as high as they can. But you be like, “Raise a little bit higher. ” Everybody could do a little bit more. That’s how I always explain that you can always do a little bit more. When you think you’re at your high, you’re not. Just go a little bit harder.
David Laroche: Great. Do you have a website to be followed or something like that?
Martellus Bennett: I’m around the world. Instagram and Twitter and stuff like that. I’m getting ready to launch my website, the ImaginationAgency.com. But I tell people not to really follow me. I’ll be around. I like to be behind the scenes. I’m like Batman. I’m coming in a smoke bomb, then I appear out of nowhere in the shadows.
David Laroche: It can blur you–
Martellus Bennett: You can blur my face and just listen to my voice. That would be kind of cool. It would be like a secret agent.
David Laroche: Yeah.
Martellus Bennett: You can make it a little bit deeper.
David Laroche: And then next time, you will have a mask.
Martellus Bennett: Yeah, shades on.
David Laroche: I saw a picture of James LeBron.
Martellus Bennett: Of who?
David Laroche: James LeBron.
Martellus Bennett: LeBron James?
David Laroche: Yes. LeBron James with his mask.
Martellus Bennett: Oh, yeah. When he played the game where he broke his nose?
David Laroche: Yes. You should have the same during the interviews.
Martellus Bennett: I should get one of those because a lot of time people focus on what they see and not what they’re hearing. You want to focus on what you hear because people listening is one of the greatest skills. But it’s the skill that a lot of people don’t have because most of time when someone else is talking, people already thinking about what they’re going to say next instead of listening, receiving their message, and then going through the process of how to respond.
David Laroche: Okay. I promise you we will do a video without you. You will have only your voice.
Martellus Bennett: That would be cool. Everybody that’s me. And everybody’s like, “That’s not you. ” I’m like, “This is me. Listen. ”
David Laroche: Thank you very much.
Martellus Bennett: Thank you.
David Laroche: It was amazing.
Martellus Bennett: Yeah. I appreciate you.