Spartan Boss Joe De Sena: Most concern is fiction

Erica Schultz / M+F Magazine

Joe De Sena is a bestselling author, host of CNBC's primetime series Retreat: Business Bootcamp, and most importantly, Founder and CEO of Spartan, the world's largest steeplechasing and adventure racing company.

De Sena, 53, has made it his life's work over the past few decades to "tear 100 million people off their couches" through his events. A native of Queens, New York, he is energetic and willingly gave up a lucrative career on Wall Street to pursue a quieter life in rural Vermont to build what would become Spartan.

Since the late 1990's, De Sena has attempted to compete in and produce extreme endurance events to find unique ways to test both mental and physical prowess. He founded the Death Race - a sleepless, multi-day drudgery that combines everyday tasks with obstacles in endurance racing and brain teasers. At one point he decided to run from New York to Vermont to raise money for charity. And he completed the 1,000-mile Iditarod... on foot and told

“Most enter with a team of 12 to 16 dogs, but I chose no dogs – two feet. Temperatures would reach 30 below zero. It was cold and miserable. I don't have good memories and it's not a place I would ever go back to. But the grueling weather, freezing conditions and unforgiving course taught me a thing or two about being tough.”

Joe DeSena on the farmCourtesy of Divisions

In his interview with M&F Reps late last year, De Sena spoke candidly about the obstacles Spartan faces as the brand continues to climb out of the COVID shutdown, why fear is usually fiction, as well as his thoughts on the negative impact of working from from home and motivational tips for those currently facing motivational issues - as our Chief Content Officer and host of M&F Reps, Zack Zeigler, admitted to De Sena during the interview.

Whether through his books, social media updates, on network television, or his Spartan Up! Podcast, De Sena says it straight, dishing out inconvenient truths and words of wisdom.

Here are some of our favorite quotes from Joe:

"The easiest way to convince your body that sitting in traffic isn't worthy of a stress-related freak out is to show your body what real stress feels like, in the controlled environment of your daily exercise."

Joe DeSena Sparta GreeceErica Schultz / M+F Magazine

"Put one foot in front of the other, focus on the small goal right in front of you, and almost anything is possible."

“Discipline is not about being abusive; It’s about setting firm rules and boundaries and then enforcing them.”

“Adversity is around every corner. You can't escape him. How you deal with those adversities is how you build your legacy.”

“Don't let your devotion wane either. Get rid of distractions. Focus on what matters most and learn to say “no” to anything that throws you off the path of your commitments.”

Joe DeSena Sparta GreeceErica Schultz / M+F Magazine

"Bite off more than you can chew and then keep chewing."

"Death is the price we pay for life, so make it worth it."

"With a determined sense of responsibility, I pledge these statements: I will follow my true north, I will devote myself to what matters, I will be ambitious and motivated in everything I do, I will value my time, I will do everything do my decisions by examining the pros and cons, I will delay gratification, I will stamp it out, I will shift my frame of reference, I will live each day and honor my journey to live the spartan way.

"Remember that there is no place for ego in the work ethic."

The main difference between an amateur and a professional is their commitment. The amateur's commitment is superficial. That of the professional is deep.”

“Commitment requires absolute honesty. It means you will do what you said, even if you don't feel like it. Everything else is pointless. There is no “maybe” in the commitment.”

“You can either go to bed satisfied with your efforts today or stressed out with what you gave up tomorrow. You can either work hard to conquer the hill or never know what the people at the top are looking at.”

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