Jamie Gruber Blog/Newsletter/I Went to Seth McFarlane’s Birthday Party (and it pissed some people off)

Thursday, March 02, 2023

I Went to Seth McFarlane’s Birthday Party (and it pissed some people off)

November 1, 2022 Newsletter.

Too Long? Won’t Read? Skip to the Key Takeways and ‘Six Bullet Summary’ at the bottom.

CALL TO ACTION: Screenshot the key takeaway that landed for you and tag me in a story on Instagram so I can see what’s working for you.


I place a lot of value on my connections and network. It gives me a sense of significance to be around celebrities, athletes, professional team owners and influencers. So when faced with an opportunity to go to Seth McFarlane’s birthday party in Los Angeles, it was a no-brainer that I’d make it. But when you lean into your own values, it doesn’t always mean it’s well received by those around you. This newsletter shares the challenge of ‘balance’ as an entrepreneur and what I’ve learned.


My business partner with Quantum Capital is the founder Mark Hentemann. Mark is a long-term experienced multifamily investor and syndicator, but by day is a writer for Family Guy. He has been with the show since the beginning, is an executive producer and even ran the show for a few years. This sort of event is an annual occurrence for him and this year, his wife had to cancel at the last minute. So on Tuesday, I’m in the Dominican Republic and got a voicemail from Mark asking if there’s any chance I’d like to be his ‘plus 1’ to Seth McFarlane’s birthday party Saturday in Los Angeles. I was looking at plane tickets before the voicemail finished playing!

I found a first class round trip to Los Angeles leaving Friday at 12pm and arriving in LA at 7pm with a stop in Charlotte. The return is Sunday night at 9pm on a red-eye to Miami, getting me back to the Dominican at 11am Monday. The ticket was $1800 while the main cabin was $900. For that much flying, totally worth the extra $900.


My wife had planned a family party for Saturday complete with two cooks coming in to prepare food for 30 aunts, uncles and cousins to check out our new place and enjoy time together. I was truly looking forward to this too and knew it was coming, but certainly assumed my wife and I would be aligned on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity trumping the first of likely many family parties.

I was wrong.

My wife places a ton of value on quality time and family. She has been immensely supportive of my decisions. Whether it’s buying real estate, paying to join masterminds, creating a business on the side, quitting my job, leaving the country for a year or two - always supportive. Along the way, I’ve had many ‘too good to miss’ trips and experiences I just had to attend.

But this time, for her, attending a party for someone that we have no connection to over her first family party was just not acceptable. Loving my wife as much as I do, I understood her position.

Then I bought the ticket and went to the event.

Some say ‘you’re so lucky to have a wife that’s so supportive’ - and I am. Based on what I shared above, she’s been so supportive of everything before, that it would have been right to honor her wishes and not go to LA.

Tough decision right?


As I do when I travel (or do anything for that matter), I share my experience. I document the journey and bring people along with me. It feels very natural for me to do so.

While doing so, I neglected to take care of something I committed to. Someone else ended up taking care of the task and was rightfully annoyed. The worst part is, they see me on social media bouncing through the airport talking about first class flights and going to a celebrity birthday party.

They expressed their frustration for what happened as well as past concerns they felt with our relationship. It was good to air it out, but I’ll admit that I was starting to wonder if this was the right move.


I got in late Friday night and passed out at my partner Mark’s house. The next day he was gracious enough to take me to the Family Guy office and give me a personal tour which was amazing! You wouldn’t believe some of the original drawings of characters that are literally on a torn out piece of notebook paper and thumbtacked to a random wall (ebay anyone??). Went to the party and got to meet Seth briefly as well as Adam Carolla and a bunch of really interesting people. It was fun! Some photos below.

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Immersion is a key component of growth. Being around people that are literally the best in the world at what they do and have been rewarded with fame, fortune and significant lives always drives something in me. Whether it’s the celebrity class in Hollywood or fellow Gobundance members or All Star professional athletes, I get an interactive effect from being around people that went for it. So my time in LA was absolutely worth the 14 hours of travel each way within a 48 hour window.

I posted about this on social media and had someone say ‘it’s awesome that you have a spouse that supports you taking big action like this’. But she didn’t. Which presents some entrepreneurial lessons.


#1: You’re Going To Isolate People

As mid-life entrepreneurs, we’ve spent a lifetime conforming to what others think is best for us and dug a large hole to dig out of. We have a complicated life with kids, spouses and mortgages. We have expectations of experiences like private school and vacations for our family. We make 200, 300, 400,000 annually which provides comfort and ‘security’ for our loved ones. And now you want to pivot. You want to start the monumental task of climbing out of this crater you’ve created. The actions required to reverse course are like throwing your car in reverse on the highway. Sounds crazy but you can probably do it without crashing too badly - but all those people around you that expect something different will have reactions that range from shocked to angry. But you’ve committed to something significant. How foolish and silly would it be to stop and put the car back in drive again.

#2: Stand Your Ground

My wife didn’t talk to me essentially from the time I decided to go until I left. I mean, she DID say ‘just go - let me know your return flight time’ - but it was far less than a full throated endorsement. She’s not wrong that I should stay. I’m not wrong that I should go. And even though she’s supported everything else and on the scoreboard I could have easily given her one here - this was a full body yes for me. If there’s anything I’ve been committed to since leaving my job is ensuring I listen to that little voice inside of me. It also told me that if this was a kids birthday party or someone was flying in for the weekend, I would not go. I’m not a TOTAL selfish bastard. But since we can throw parties for family any time we want that live locally, I felt compelled to go. I did not love hurting my wife’s feelings and we’ve had a chance to talk through it. However, entrepreneurship can be lonely. I saw this as an opportunity to get closer to the person I want to be. I value proximity highly and I value my family highly. There’s no pro/con list that can make this decision for me. My gut informed me and I went for it and I don’t apologize for that anymore. Believe me, I’ve spent decades saying sorry!

#3: That’s How You Make An Offer!

Let’s say that for most reading this newsletter, you don’t just have $100,000 laying around that you could drop on anything you wanted. Let’s also say I had a Ferrari worth $1m+ that I wanted to sell you. You probably wouldn’t buy it. But if I told you I’ll sell you this $1m+ Ferrari for $100,000 - I’ll bet you suddenly could find $100,000 somehow! Why? Because the value is abundantly clear in your offer. It would be foolish to say no.

If Mark called me Tuesday and said ‘come to LA Saturday it’ll be fun - great new restaurant opening up’ I would have plenty of things I could reference as to why not. Tickets are $1000+, short notice, family party this weekend - the obstacles would be just like if I told you ‘give me $100,000’ or ‘buy my $1m Ferrari’. But when he said ‘come to Seth McFarlane’s birthday party’, the offer was so great that the obstacles were no longer. It was foolish for me not to accept.

As an entrepreneur, you’re going to be selling something. Think about how you can make $1m+ offers for $100,000. How you can increase the value so much that your prospects will do anything they can to buy from you. That’s the key to the most successful companies and entrepreneurs in the world. It’s why we all buy iphones, ipads, laptops for thousands of dollars while scoffing at the idea of paying $19 for a burger instead of $12. It’s only $7, but the value isn’t clear.


(If you’re thinking ‘too long, didn’t read’ - TLDR - read these bullets plus the key takeaways below)

  • I received a last minute invite to fly to LA from the DR to attend Seth McFarlane’s birthday party
  • My wife had a family party planned for the same weekend and was NOT supportive of me going to this event - but I went anyway!
  • While there, I was able to have an incredible experience and imagine a bigger/more accomplished life for myself
  • ​Mid-life entrepreneurs have the unique challenge of having to break the cycle of pleasing others after having done so for their entire lives which will sometimes mean following your authenticity when it’s not popular to do so
  • ​You’ve dug your crater and it will be hard to dig yourself out of it
  • ​Your change of direction will hurt others you love - I hope this newsletter helps you to prepare for that as you make your transition in the near future to full time entrepreneur


Tribe of Millionaires Podcast Episode
✯ Living a life of purpose is a throughline of this week’s newsletter. My episode with Jordan Harbinger speaks exactly to this point. He’s a podcast idol of mine that I’m sure you’ll derive value from. Check his podcast out as well - it’s killer!

A Podcast/Book I Love
✯ Phil Stutz wrote a book called ‘The Tools’. It was recommended to me by Sean Casey who played for the Reds, Tigers and Red Sox for years and it’s killer. He and I exchanged books and are holding each other accountable to reading it. Come to find out, Phil Stutz is being featured in a Netflix documentary with Jonah Hill - so this guy’s about to blow up!!

Lesson from Living Abroad
✯ Apparently traffic circles are backwards in the Caribbean - or at least in the Dominican Republic. When someone is entering a circle here, they just blast into it no problem - and those in the circle actually yield to them. Well not this gringo!! I seek to change this behavior one pissed off Dominican at a time!!

Shit I Find Funny
✯ A favorite past time of mine is to dip into the New England Patriots message board to read the incredibly disconnected reality those fans live in. Even better is after a loss! They absolutely LOSE their minds. This Mac Jones/Zappe whatever controversy, the listless offense they’re running, the inability to find their way and their place in the cellar of the AFC East is hilarious to me. Add in the meltdowns on their message boards and I do a full blown belly laugh like Santa Claus. You want a good time? Go back to the pre-season predictions of their fan base for this years record and count how many called ‘at LEAST 11 wins’ - ho ho ho!!!!!!

If you’re not already in Emerge and Ascend and want to be part of our Emerge Supercharged relaunch in 2023, join the waitlist here!! The objective is to get you unstuck, clear on vision and goals, and provide a concierge level experience to introduce you to your future self!

Until next week
- Jamie

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