This episode is loosely based on a eulogy I wrote for my father in the year 2000, where I wrote down 10 leadership tips I learned from him since I was a little boy. I'll be throwing in some other ones and some spin offs as we go along. What I plan on doing is popping back and forth from that eulogy to my commentary. I want to make sure you get some learning points on things that you can do to really be much more successful in your life and in business.
NOTE: Complete transcript available at the bottom of the page.
Screw The Commute Podcast Show Notes Episode 100
Internet Marketing Training Center – https://imtcva.org/
Higher Education Webinar – https://screwthecommute.com/webinars[04:30] Tom's introduction to Success & Leadership [08:35] Busting myths [12:03] Tom's eulogy for his father [14:22] Leadership Skill #1: Build it strong [23:33] Leadership Skill #2: Don't take shortcuts [30:01] Leadership Skill #3: Don't waste things or people [33:04] Leadership Skill #4: Be self-reliant [39:52] Leadership Skill #5: Study [48:35] Sponsor message [50:05] Leadership Skill #6: You can have whatever you want if you're willing to work for it [01:00:17] Leadership Skill #7: Give before you get [01:05:51] Leadership Skill #8: You can overcome obstacles [01:10:27] Leadership Skill #10: Risk everything for something truly worthwhile [01:12:40] Balance [01:16:37] Being on time [01:20:38] Extra Success Principles
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Episode 100 Success and Leadership I hope I can make it through with out getting emotional. The last time I did this someone else had to finish it for me as I ran out of the room crying. And some of this is going to be a little in your face and with tens of thousands of people eventually hearing this episode I’m pretty sure some of them will be mad at me and unsubscribe. That’s OK. I’ve made a career out of telling things truthfully as I see them. So, I have to say to those unsubscribers the line from that movie “A Few Good Men.” You can’t handle the truth! LOL
You might be wondering why I might get emotional. This is loosely based on the eulogy I did for my dad in the year 2000. I’ll give you a little more detail on that later.
Last Episode. 099 Lou Bortone he’s an expert that helps people with the strategy of skyrocketing their business using video. He’s a lot of fun too.
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All right. Let's get to today’s topic success and leadership principles you need to be able to tell the boss to take this job and shove it. If you already have your own business, I'll tell you how to take it to a much higher level. Also, these principles will help you in any aspect of your life not just business.
Now I don’t want any of you that have heard me do this topic years ago to worry. I’m not going to get as hard core because I don’t want iTunes requiring me to make this episode “E” for explicit. For those of you that didn’t hear my original recording we had to give it an “R” rating for language. I’m going to keep this at a “G” rating, but that doesn’t mean I won’t say some harsh, in your face things. I know there are lots of people out there that will say anything to keep you happy just so they can take your money regardless of whether what they tell you helps you or not. Well I’m not that person. I tell it like it is and because I do so, I can sleep at night knowing I gave you the best information I could.
You probably will hear me get a little a little excited on some of these points that I want to tell you. This episode is loosely based on a eulogy I wrote for my father in the year 2000 where I wrote down 10 leadership tips I learned from him since I was a little boy and I'll be throwing in some other ones and some spin offs as we go along.
What I plan on doing is popping back and forth from that eulogy to my commentary. I want to make sure you get some learning points on things that you can do to really be much more successful in your life and in business.
Also, coming up this year is the premiere of the American Entrepreneur Documentary created by Hollywood Producer Terri Marie based on my Dad coming here from Syria in the early 1900’s and making himself an entrepreneur and he turned me into an entrepreneur and I’ve helped thousands of entrepreneurs. So, watch for the premiere. Please sign up to get notifications at https://www.ScrewTheCommute.com/ so you don’t miss it.
Anyway, Dad passed away at the ripe old age of 94. From the physical world but I can assure you he's here with us on this episode and all the other episodes. Now let's see. I can tell you right now that some of you are going to say, “Well Tom, you're a little old fashioned aren't you when you tell us some of these simple principles from the old days?”
Well maybe I am but most of the people that have money in the world are a little older and they appreciate what I'm going to tell you. It's going to be a long time and a pretty sad day when this stuff that I tell you in this episode goes out of style. So, you can be assured that the people that have money will appreciate these things. I'm going to try to also attempt to burst some myths tonight that I'll get to in a second. What I'm going to tell you is not some government funded study. It's not some big scientific thing.
So, it's not any kind of study backed by special interest groups. It's going to be a report on some of the things that I've seen in the world and that I've experienced. I'm going to rag a little bit on parents even though I'm not one. I'm going to act as a reporter to tell you some of the things I've seen from the children out there nowadays and that I don't like. I'm hoping that the things we talk about today can help fix it a little bit.
But some of the myths I attempt to bust tonight is that positive reinforcement is good. I don't think it is. The next one is that you should only do what you're good at and you should delegate things you are not good at. That's the biggest bunch of B.S. I've heard in a long time. Another one is that we are a hard-working society. Another myth is that you must have balance in your life. That's another one that's kind of a crock. Here’s one that will throw you for a loop. You shouldn’t support your kids. Now that sounds a little outrageous that I don't think you should support your kids. But bear with me and I'll explain what I mean by that later.
You're going to learn tonight how you may be sabotaging yourself by believing any of the above. And most people see are average by definition. See if you use the word “most” that by definition means that's the average. That's what most everybody is doing. If you want to be extraordinary you must be willing to do what average people aren't willing to do. If you can pass that on to your kids, hey you're going to have a nice ripe old age. You also learn the pursuit of excellence will make you feel and look like a superstar. You're going to learn how to make your own breaks and you're going to learn ….and this is another harsh thing …..I'll keep it “G” rated but you may just be creating the next generation of human losers.
Let me do a little flashback here. When I did this the first time my propeller head Ilya was here covering the phones. I think we had six or seven hundred people on the line. During the call after I got in to some of the in your face stuff, I could hear the phone ringing off the hook in the other office and Ilya could hardly keep up with the calls.
What I was thinking, was, “Oh Boy people are mad at me now for calling their kids human losers plus all the other harsh things I was talking about.” I finished the call and Ilya ran into my office. Before he could say anything, I said, “People are mad, aren’t they?” He said it was totally opposite and that parents and grandparents were calling to get a copy of the recording. Both the parents and the grandparents wanted a copy to give to their kids hahaha. Think about that for a minute. The parents were buying a copy to make their kids listen and the grandparents were buying copies to make their kids listen who were the parents that were buying for their kids LOL Both generations knew something was really screwed up and getting worse.
And just in case you think this is just life success principles I’ll be expanding on some of these principles and teaching you a little later how to build credibility and how to turn that credibility into big bucks in your business. All right.
OK. Let’s get to the Eulogy
The title of my eulogy for my dad was, “Leadership skills from a man who came to America in a dung filled cattle boat”. Now, I would like you to project a little bit into the future before I go through this. I want you to ask yourself the following question, “What will my children say about me when they are in their 50s and 60s? What will my children say about me when they're in their 50s and 60s?” I want you to ponder that and for those of you out there that didn't have good parents and some of you may even hate your parents I hope you get something out of this too. See I was fortunate, but maybe you weren't.
So, I'm hoping that from this episode you can help break the chain in your family and do whatever it takes so that your children will feel as strongly about you as I still do about my dad. So, I'm going to read a little bit from the eulogy and then I'm going to throw in some commentary. I want you to meet my dad Sam Antion. Let me take you back to July 3rd 2000 when I wrote the following words for my great speaking ezine. Here we go: I've been bragging about my dad ever since 1973 when I did my valedictorian speech. I've even done professional speeches about one of the techniques he used to make me tough when I was just a baby. Until I was preparing his eulogy this past week. I have never actually written down all the leadership skills he taught me. As I was working on them, I thought that they would be a good example that anyone could use in their life and from the platform. And please bear with me a little bit because most of my people are speakers who are on my ezine list so I'll be referring to speakers a little bit as we go.
I only saw Dad speak in public once and that was at his fiftieth wedding anniversary but I witnessed the leadership skills listed below my entire life. Let's go to number one of this top ten list. Leadership skill number one. BUILD IT STRONG. Dad would always build things sturdier than they needed to be so that he would never have to worry when an extraordinary force was applied. He knew that whatever he built would stand up to the test. This applied to both character traits and real hammer and nail construction. In fact, without his insistence on this leadership trait I would not be here today. When I was 16 years old a drunk driver doing nearly a hundred miles per hour. ….That's 161 kilometers per hour for those of you outside the U.S. ……ran his car off the road smashing it into the corner of our living room. I was the only one in the room when my whole living room exploded around me. Had this been a normally built house, the car would have burst through the wall and killed me.
My dad at the time put extra heavy-duty reinforcements in the corners of the House and planted big heavy shrubs so that if a car ran off the road because we were near the road it wouldn't hurt his family.
Now commentary on BUILD IT STRONG
The modern-day cliché for this would be give 110 percent. Hey I have a good joke you can use in your speeches. I was at a company one day and I saw a big sign up that said, “We give 110 percent 5 percent on Monday 15 percent on Tuesday 25 percent on Wednesday. LOL
Hahahaha So, that's not what I'm talking about here, but I do want to take a little sidebar and tell you about when a car my house. I mean I'm 16 years old. I’m on the floor in front of the TV watching I think “What’s My Line” an old famous TV show. I hear what sounds like an airplane crashing outside my house. A few seconds later my living room explodes. The front picture window gets blown out. The front door gets blown out. Lamps are flying past me. I’m covered with plaster. I turn on the outside lights and I run out the opening of what used to be the front door and I could see a guy laying in our front yard with his foot turned around the wrong way. He’s screaming at me and pointing, “Get my friend! Get my friend!” I looked around and a car is sticking in the corner of my house. The passenger is slumped over, there’s blood everywhere, his scalp is rolled back on his head….I might note this is before they invented aids so I wasn’t worried about that.
I’m just a kid. I had just gone through a first aid course in high school and I'm flipping out trying to think what to do. So, I’m thinking about the drills they put us through and the order you have do to things. Breathing, Bleeding, Broken Bones. Ok the guy’s breathing. Ok Bleeding. Yes. He’s definitely bleeding. OK. How to stop bleeding. Direct pressure …. indirect pressure. Somehow in my youthful and infinite wisdom I got the idea that indirect pressure would be the right thing so I grabbed him around the neck and I started squeezing. LOL you might notice that this may have some adverse side effects too. And my brother runs out the houses says, “Don't kill him! He didn't mean to hit the house.” …. Well there was more blood than anything else and the guy lived…..no thanks to me LOL And I lived because my dad BUILT IT STRONG.
COMMENTARY ON BUILD IT STRONG
I think what I've been in business nearly 42 years and one of my biggest complaints that I have is that people half ass things and then they wonder why they didn't work. In fact, I figured it out. You know I have a lot of students in my Internet program and I get calls sometimes like this, “Hey Tom I've been working really hard for a couple days on this Internet and I'm not rich yet. So, I sat down and figured out I've put in sixty thousand two hundred hours in the past 25 years if you just did a conservative figure of how hard I work on this. So, trust me you're not working that hard. And if you wonder why you're not successful think about that. In fact, let me know when you hit your first 5000 hours in any field that you're at. And then we'll talk.
All right. So, whose fault is it? If you're not successful, is that your fault or your parent’s fault. Tough question isn’t it? Were you patted on the back for poor performance when you were a kid? And no
I'm not saying you shouldn’t encourage people to do better. I'm saying you should try explain the consequences of their actions to them. Explain to your child or was it explained to you that there's no guarantees of success. Explain to them that if they choose to watch a worthless reality program instead of studying their math, that's why they got a poor grade. Explain to them that that's why they aren't allowed to watch reality programs or anything else until they've done their homework and their scores improve. Explain to them why this is important to them and how those dumb shows are not.
And what about you? Did you choose to go out to dinner or out with the guys or girls instead of working on your business. Or your weight loss or whatever goals you've set for yourself. Well there's consequences to what choices you make.
I mean every time you make a blatantly wrong choice you are hurting yourself and those around you. No, I'm not talking about trying at something and failing. I mean that's really great because you at least tried and you can learn from your mistakes. I'm talking about not trying that hard in the first place. So, here's a success tip that I've been using my entire life. Announce your plans and then you will be too embarrassed to fail.
I have done this over and over my whole life. I bought a hotel before I graduated from college and I announced it to everybody that I was doing this. People laughed at me told me I was crazy and darned if I didn't do it. I started a practical joke entertainment company long before Punk’d was around and long before it was cool to do so people told me I was crazy. I opened a nightclub in a place where you shouldn't be able to open a nightclub and was very successful at it for a long time. People told me I was crazy. See if they tell you you're crazy. That's when you know you're doing the right thing because if you just do average things, that's what you're going to be….. an average person. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. I’m just saying you can do more than you think you can if you put your mind to it.
The place that I'm sitting in right now I told people I was going to get a no money down loan on this million-dollar house which is now worth two million. People said, “You're crazy. You can't do it. The best mortgage brokers in town told me I couldn't do it. We'll see. Do you think I did it? Yes, I did. Did I take it. No, I didn’t. 5% down got me way better terms so that’s what I did.
Here's the way I look at things folks. If somebody tells you you can't do something here's what that means. That means they can't do it. That has nothing to do with you. If they're worthless slugs and they don't do the things that it takes to be successful. That's not you. That's them. And so listening to these people was one of the worst things you can do. I did a podcast interview recently, I think it was with Dov Baron. He said, “Take advice from people whose past is your future.” I thought that was a great way of saying don’t listen to people who haven’t done what you want to do. OK. For this section. BUILD IT STRONG and that's your first leadership tip.
Leadership skill two. Don't take shortcuts.
Now we’re back to the eulogy.
Dad was an electrician by trade. When doing his wiring he would always route the flat wires he worked with in a nice symmetrical and evenly spaced pattern. He would never just cut across the shortest distance to save wire and make his costs a little cheaper.
I remember as a child watching him and asking him why he did this when it would be a lot shorter to just run the wires directly between two points. I’ll never forget him glaring at me. He said, “When someone looks at this job years from now, they will know that a professional did it.” And also, if they ever have trouble, they'll be able to track down the problem easier because I did a nice neat job. He said, “DON’T YOU EVER CUT CORNERS TO SAVE YOURSELF A LITTLE TROUBLE OR EXPENSE. YOU BE EXCELLENT IN EVERYTHING YOU DO. I remember that like it happened yesterday and you can be sure I see him looking over my shoulder in everything I do. I can't remember Dad ever being out of work one day in my whole life when everyone else was laid off. He was always in demand.
All right let’s go to commentary. See great people take pride in their work. Not like a bunch of scab laborers. For those of you young folks out there a scab laborer is somebody that doesn't care what they do when they build something and they just slop it together. I had four sets of these scabs coming to fix a house of mine and I had to throw out every one of them. Nobody cared if they did it right. And finally, after I threw the last guy out, I gave up and I couldn't get any anybody to do it right. So, I just gave up. That's scab labor so I don't want you to be like that. Now I'm not talking about being a perfectionist because you do have to balance functionality, cost and time, but I have found that taking the time to do things correctly can be a great reputation and credibility builder.
So, if you're known for the fact that people can give you a task and it will be done on time and right the first time, you will become a very valuable person in a very short order. If you have a company, it will thrive because if the customer has had trouble with everybody else they've hired, and they don’t have trouble with you, they will come back to you over and over.
To customers and potential customers your reputation will be, “Hey, this person gets the job done on time and on budget.” That's how I stayed in business all these years without getting a job. I've built my reputation up where a lot of people on this earth trust me and I'm never going to let them down. So that's the kind of attitude you want. You have to be proud of your work.
I've used this idea of not cutting corners my entire life. I use it now all the time. When someone tells me or a student tells me that something is good enough I say, “It's not good enough. Let's make it better.” And after all the whining they can see that I was right and now they have something they can be proud of. I use this concept with all my products. I take the time to make them better in the beginning. I take the time to add value to the product so that I know they are much better value than what the customer bargained for. And these things are reputation builders.
Another pet peeve of mine is people think they work hard. Now here’s the success step. Will you please learn . . . and this is going to be hard now in today's society …. Will you please learn what the heck hard work is? Most people who don't have a clue what hard work is.
They perform at about 10 percent capacity and they think they're working too hard. Well I got to tell you. I grew up in high level sports and I went to college on a football scholarship and the one good thing about sports is that you learn how to work. One bad thing is you're surrounded by a bunch of morons because there's a lot of them out there in the high levels of sports.
Anyway, sports are good for the character building of learning how to work and if you don't think so, try to run a mile uphill with full football gear on in 90-degree weather and workout on the field all morning. And then do it again all afternoon when it’s really hot.
Then the next day get your brains beat out by people six feet nine, weigh 310 pounds that can run a 4.9 40-yard dash. And I've been against those guys and then do it again regularly for 5 years (I squeezed 4 years of college into 5 LOL) Let’s see if you can handle it. And that's a little bit of work folks. So, don't tell me that you're working too hard. I don't want to hear it.
Then I get people that are broke calling me telling me they’re not having much success with my program. When I talk to them, they tell me they’re spending a couple hours a week working their business and this is the one that really gets me when they tell me, “Tom, when I get back from my two-week vacation, I’m really going to buckle down and work your program.” VACATION! Are you crazy? You’re telling me you’re broke, you’re putting out virtually zero effort and you’re not having success in your business and you are taking a vacation? What’s wrong with you? Don’t get me started. Learn how to work! Yikes!
Leadership skill 3 back to the eulogy don't waste things or people think a nail isn't worth much.
At the age of 73 dad was purchasing some used lumber that someone had advertised in the paper. When he went to pick it up, he saw a large number of boulders in the front yard of the place where he bought the lumber. He asked what they were going to do with the boulders. The man said I just want to get him out of here. Dad spent two weeks hauling them back to our house and another two months cutting them up with a chisel and a hammer. He then built a beautiful stone fireplace and chimney for one of our rental properties. Also, I can't tell you the number of nails I removed from used lumber that dad made me straighten out and use over again. I still do it to this day. A bent nail with a little help can be a very useful again. Sometimes people also need a little help to do the job they were meant to do.
I see people today with no respect for anything. They waste time. They waste resources like water for instance. Now how many of you out there let the water run when you're brushing your teeth. I see you out there. Go ahead and hold your hands up and admit to it.
My dad would roll over in his grave if he ever saw me doing this. I simply cannot do it to this day. I don't care if I'm in the Ritz, The Four Seasons or any of the hotels I've been in around the world. I cannot let the water run. I cannot waste resources. Now I'm no tree hugger. But I just can't stand waste for waste sake. And yes, I believe there's a balance between waste and quality of life. I certainly don't live in a tent.
I just don't want you to squander your resources. And what do you think is your most important resource? Well I would say its time. So, here's your success tip. Use your throwaway time to improve your business and improve your life. See in the past I spent a lot of time at airports. I used to fly around speaking all over the place. My entire 1042-page e-book “Click the Ultimate Guide to Electronic Marketing” was written while waiting around at airports.
I teach my public speaking students to practice small chunks of their speeches whether in the shower or when washing the car. Use your throwaway time to study when you’re on the go. Your cell phone will hold 100 of hours of training, educational podcasts like this one and success materials. Make your car a travelling university and you'll be much further ahead. You'll be able to learn and improve your business and your life.
Okay. Leadership skill number four back to the eulogy. Be self-reliant.
Working as a team is great but when the team isn't there you just don't sit down and wait for help. Dad built pretty much every building and rental property we own. I remember being so busy with football and other activities that I didn't get to help him too much and I probably would have slowed him down anyway. One day while he was working on remodeling one of our buildings, he asked me to go to the automotive parts store to get him about 20 feet of clear gas line tubing and several bottles of Coca-Cola and I wondered what he was up to because he never drank Coke and our car was working fine. I came back with the tubing and the coke and stood back and watched as he did his thing. He plugged one end of the tubing and started pouring coke in the other end. I was certain he had lost his mind after spending those three months building that chimney. I asked him what he was doing. He said, “When you boys aren't around it's hard for me to make things level because I can't be at both ends of these long two by fours.” And of course, this is long before laser levels and all that stuff. He went on to say, “I'm going to nail one end of this tubing on one end of where I'm working and take the other end of the tubing with me to the other end of the board.” He knew from his self-taught physics studies that liquids seek their own level. He could see through the clear tubing to the Coca-Cola inside the level of the coke on one end of the tubing would be exactly the same level at the other end of the tubing and that's where he would nail his board. And it was always perfectly level.
Commentary on being self-reliant.
You see this is what molded me into believing my entire life that delegation is a bunch of crap. Let me ask you. What great person wants to always wait for somebody else to do things for them. See all great people have a sense of urgency about them. They are not willing to wait and I don't know who said that originally. If somebody knows please let me know. But all great people have a sense of urgency about them. Yes. Delegation makes sense after you are highly successful, but many people overplay their importance to mask their laziness. Let me repeat that. They overplay their importance to mask their laziness. They don't have two nickels to rub together and they're getting their nails done and their hair blown and throwing parties and buying fancy cars and blowing all their money delegating making everybody else do the work for them so they can play the big shot. Then how do you supervise this stuff being delegated if you haven't done it yourself.
You're just getting taken for a ride most of the time because you don't know any better. People could tell you anything and you wouldn't know the difference. I'm not saying to go do your own brain surgery or work on your own teeth but I'm talking about many of the things that your business needs you could do yourself quickly and inexpensively. Your business would thrive if it got done really fast and on a low budget. But if you blow all your money delegating, God help you.
Yes, I believe there's things that are too complicated and would take too long to learn and you'd never get the skill to do it right. But most of the things aren't like that. Most of the time the delegate word comes up when it's something you don't LIKE doing. This is just another instance of lack of discipline probably stemming from your parents and I know many of you love your parents and I'm just trying to tell it like it is as a reporter.
Did your parents tell you to pick up your room and then do it for you if you didn't? Were there consequences if you didn't do it? Did your mom or dad say it 20 times and it didn't matter if you ignored them? Do you have to tell your children more than once to do something?
Let me give you a scenario here. It was something from my life.
It was a Friday afternoon and I had to get a postcard mailing out the first thing on Monday. And because of a sick employee and another one with a family emergency I got stuck with the mailing with no help. The cards already had postage on them, but I had two thousand labels to attach over a weekend so the mailing could go out Monday or all the postage and printing would be wasted. I called my girlfriend at the time to help me and I want to note here that I had done numerous things for her whenever she needed them. So, it wasn't like coming out of the clear blue and asking for help. I called her Friday at work and told her my problem. I ask her for help and told her that we could probably knock the entire thing out in about six hours on Saturday or Sunday. She said no with nothing but, “I feel like relaxing this weekend” as her reason.
Well the mailing went out and so did she. I never spoke to her again after that moment. I put on all two thousand labels and I was happy that I did it because I didn't fold under pressure and cry because I didn't have any help. My training took over and I buckled down and slammed all the labels on while listening to success tapes. Here's a quote from me. I hope you put it up on your wall or something. “You're not too good to do the work that will make you great. If you think you are, the chances of you becoming great are slim.” Let me repeat that. “You're not too great to do the work that will make you great. If you think you are, the chances of you becoming great are slim.”
Buckle down and get some of these skills so that you don't feel you have to delegate everything until it makes sense to do so. Excuse me. Do them until you're making so much money where it doesn't make sense for you to do them anymore. That's when you start delegating. The reason I have money in the bank today is that I didn't blow it all delegating things as I was coming up when times were tough. I mean I can do things that would cost 100 times what it costs me to do them by doing it myself. So, you need those kinds of skills in your business and in your life.
OK let's go to the leadership skill number five from the eulogy – Study
Dad only went to the fifth grade and that was after skipping two grades. So, he really only had three years of formal education. At ten years old; the oldest boy with Father deceased he was head of his household and shining shoes to support the family. He saved part of his tips and ordered an electrical engineering course from the American school. At 13 he had his own electrical contracting company and installed the first electric light in Carnegie Pennsylvania. He also bought his younger sister the first electric washing tub in Bridgeville Pennsylvania. Every time he wanted to learn how to do something he would read, read, read, and read some more. When he retired around the age of 73, he sat down and read the entire world book encyclopedia. That's a lot of reading. See this is where I’m coming from and the influence I had. At 94 and being legally blind he listened to hours and hours of biographies and books on tapes and newspapers on tape provided by the Library Congress for blind people. He knew more about current events than anyone. So, if you want to learn how to do something, study and try it out until you get it right.
Here's the commentary.
The concept of studying is one of the biggest concepts in my entire life and caused major shifts in my emphasis in my business life. When I was coming out of the entertainment field into the speaking arena, I didn't really know how to be a professional speaker. I was good entertaining at parties, but I didn't really know about microphones and hotel rooms and professional presentations. So, what did I do? I fell back on the skills that I'd seen my dad do over and over again. I started studying. I bought every book I could on presentation skills. I remember riding my bike to a used bookstore and I almost couldn't get home it was full of books on public speaking and public speakers that were famous. I studied them and still have them here in my library. If you ever come and visit my house, you'll see hundreds and hundreds of books that helped mold my speaking career and after I started studying and practicing these things, I started getting pretty good at it. Well guess what. When you start getting good at something . . .
. . . In other words, when you start pursuing excellence people start asking you to help them and teach them what you know. So, I was helping them so much I couldn't get my own work done. That's when I wrote the “Wake Em Up! Business Presentations” book. I created “The Wake ‘em Up! Video speaking System” that are still selling today and that's where I made my fortune on the Internet. So, I became a presentation skills expert.
Along came the Internet and around 1994. In those days it was hard enough to sell your products across the street let alone around the world from your desktop. I tried every possible thing you could find on Internet marketing. I studied, I studied, and I studied for two years. Folks in fact, in two years the web guy told me that only 400 people visited my Web site in two years. That's how pitiful I was when I started. But I kept at it though because there's no way I was going to quit.
So, I kept at it and I started getting good at it and I I met Corey Rudl who was my first really good teacher and I started making money and I kept after and kept after it and guess what happened again. In my pursuit of excellence in selling on the Internet, people started begging me to teach them. I never planned on being any kind of Internet guru. People begged me and they said please teach us what you learned and that's where Buttcamp started where you learn how to make money sitting on your rear end. You know I come from a comic background so I'm not going to call it boot camp like all the other boring people so I called it Buttcamp and I've done them all over the world. It’s probably one of the top three longest running Internet seminars ever.
So, it came from the pursuit of excellence and studying. That’s how it all happened. And then one time I remember this. This really freaked me out. This is where I'm starting to get a little excited is that I came home from the post office late one day and I came home and the school bus was letting kids off at two o'clock and I asked the neighbor if it was a holiday or something because I don't have kids and rarely am I out fighting traffic. He said, “What do you mean a holiday?” I said, “Well the school buses let the kids off at two o'clock.” He said, “They let them off at two o’clock every day.” I couldn’t believe it. It’s no wonder they’re such morons and it’s no wonder they can't spell and it’s no wonder they can't fill out a job application. Do you know folks I had a graduate student here for 90 days? I tried to find something that she could do right. She could not spell or put a paragraph together as a graduate student.
And also, I'll tell you what. If there's anybody out there and this is all anonymous so nobody is getting called out here, but If you've ever gone to your school and complained about too much homework for your kids, quit listening to me and get lost because I think you're an idiot. All right. You're a total idiot What do you mean too much homework?
Why do you think everybody around the world is beating our pants off in education? Why do you think that is?
I’ve got some figures here. It said this was from Daniel Goleman Emotional intelligence test. He said that high achievers study an average of 27 hours a week compared to lower achievers that are only 15 hours a week. Here's another thing. American mothers want their kids to be happy. Oh, isn't that nice. We want our baby to be happy. We don't care if he's on welfare and drugs and getting going to the therapist every week. But Asian mothers want their kids to be successful. And that's why they make them study and go to class and do the things you're supposed to do. I told you I was gonna get all excited here folks. Let's see what else. Well this one study showed the international test scores said in the U.S. by the fourth grade and by the way I'm not up on the current stuff on this. This is the last research I did on this. By the fourth grade we're in the middle of the world on how much we know. By the eighth grade we're near the bottom and by graduation we're dead last in the world on education. You know this is pitiful fact this guy's name is John Leo and this was from the U.S. News and World Report. I don’t know how old this info is, but I doubt it’s much better today.
Here’s another little study. Now it's not a scientific study but it was good enough for the U.S. News and World Report to report it. Some guy did a little study where he asked a bunch of college graduates to figure out the following problem. How much change should you get back after putting down three dollars to pay for a 60-cent cup of coffee or soup and a dollar ninety-five sandwich? Fifty-six-point three percent of American college graduates were unable to figure this out. Now is that pitiful or is that pitiful? What do you expect? Do you expect big success when you can't even do simple math?
I want you to make your kids see the value of studying. I mean it's opened up my life to such riches and greatness and meeting wonderful people I can't tell you and all because I study. Make them see the value of studying as soon as possible. And you dig in and study yourself to improve your business and your life.
I turned the Internet marketing training world on its head around the year 2000.
People like me were charging 50-100K upfront to teach what we knew to clueless businesspeople who refused to learn. I'm a small business advocate and I knew many small businesses could never afford that kind of upfront money. So, I made all those gurus mad by charging a relatively small entry fee to my program that also got a percentage of profits that was capped so you're not stuck with me forever. So, for me to get my big money you have to make way bigger money. Plus, you know I'm not going to disappear on you because I won't get any more money.
I went one step further that has never been done before. I have a big estate home and TV studio where my students as part of their yearlong training come and actually stay in my house for an immersion weekend and that's just one of the unique
features of the program which is the longest running most successful and most unique program in the Internet marketing field and one thing I didn't tell you. It also includes a scholarship to my licensed Internet marketing school that you can either use yourself or gift to someone else.
Check out the full details at http://www.GreatInternetMarketingTraining.com and I'll have it in the show notes.
Ok. Leadership skill number six. You can have whatever you want if you're willing to work for it.
Back to the eulogy. Well this was a 19 10 version of “Just Do It.” I don't want you to think I wasn't given tons of things by my parents because I was, but the most valuable thing that I was conditioned from a very young age is that the world did not owe me a living. I had to earn it. I got a serious work ethic that I will always carry with me. See if I want something I go after it. Now I won't step on people. The last time I did this folks I was really all fired up and I blurted out “No I won't sleep with people” LOL and I'm thinking well I probably wouldn't get too far if I went that route anyway, but I won't step on people to get whatever it is I want and I won't cheat or steal but I will work until I get it or I don't want it anymore. This would be foreign language to most of today's youth.
Commentary this is where I'm talking about the next generation of human losers. I know that sounds harsh. I just wanted to smack you in the face with it because I’m so worried about today’s youth. I see so many people that they can't cope with just the normal pressures of daily life. These are the people that turn to drugs and alcohol and therapy because nothing means anything to them.
These people never experience the joy of accomplishment. Everything has been given to them. And I remember vividly. This is probably folks about 39 years ago when I had a nightclub in outside of Morgantown West Virginia. It was also a family restaurant and pizza shop during the week. I remember hearing two kids that had come down to the lake from Mount Lebanon area of Pittsburgh, which is the fancy area of Pittsburgh, talking. The one kid was complaining to the other kid that his mother only gave him sixty dollars for a pair of jeans.
I'm thinking sixty dollars a pair of jeans 39 years ago. I'd like to slap you right now kid. I mean this is unheard of. That kid probably never even earned sixty dollars is his entire life. All right. So, where's the discipline. Where's the parents teaching that kid about value?
If it was up to me, every kid on Earth no matter how rich would be working at a fast food restaurant or some service business to respect people and to learn how to treat people right and the value of what they have. Most of them don't. Most of them think the world owes them a living. And this doesn't get them too far with guys like me because I can hire you if I want to. But if you act like that, trust me I don't want to because I don't want to sit here 10 12 hours a day and hear you whine all day. I've had people come in here that accepted the job months in advance and didn't show up. I had them accept the job weeks in advance and they didn't show up. I had this one girl showed up for work and these aren't all girls by the way. Those are just three examples that come to mind. And she was here for four hours. She was the biggest dunce I had ever seen in my life. Actually, I'm the biggest one for hiring here. After only four hours she wanted to know where her bonus was. I wasted time on her because she couldn't understand anything and she went to lunch and never came back which was a blessing. So, these are the kinds of people that I run into. They can't spell. They can't fill out an application.
One lady. This lady I would really have some choice words for her. She never disciplined her child. Always positive. Always defending him ….all that kind of crap and he cost her a fortune. She joined my mentor program and he told her that he knew everything that that I knew and that she wasted her money and so she went to get her money back. I pointed out to her 50 different things wrong on the website he put up for her. That means that this kid was clueless.
She said well he went to Microsoft certification. Well so did a billion other people that never made a nickel selling things on the Internet and she wouldn't hear to it. She just defended her good boy. And then the dumb lady goes to some other guru who just pats her on the back and tells her everything is fine praises her boy. She spends a fortune with this guy and got nothing for it. She got taken for the ride of her life because of her dumb butt sticking up for her kid. I’m all for support your children, but you are doing them no favor by making them think they are better than they are. Yes, I’m all for encouragement to get better, but this method of building hyper self-esteem is a losing proposition.
Another great example of this is a little bit old but there was this show on TV I think it was called “The Filthy Rich Trail Ride” where they had this reality TV show where they had a bunch of rich kids trying to drive cattle. OK. And it was very comical because every one of these rich kids was a total loser by any decent standard on earth other than they had a lot of money but they were just clueless. They couldn't hardly cross the street without somebody pointing the direction to them. The only kid that was any good was Anthony Quinn’s son. Anthony Quinn was a very famous and very rich actor ….probably at the time one of the richest ones in the world. They interviewed the son and asked him how come he could do all this stuff so easily. He said because my dad even though he was so rich gave us a good work ethic. He told us the world does not owe us the living and we had to work and be competent and good people. And that was the only kid that was worth a crap on that whole show.
And then of course don't get me on Paris Hilton here. You know what a role model that is right folks. Don't you want your girls to follow in her footsteps. Her claim to fame is she's got a Hilton name. She's got a smokin hot body which she's perfectly happy to give to anybody with a video camera and she can get one hundred thousand dollars to walk in and out of a nightclub and for 20 minutes. The money seems good….I doubt she can get that anymore, and I hear she’s cleaned up her act somewhat, but do you want your kids acting like her?
Now I would take the hundred grand I admit, but not in that way. So, teach your kids and yourself how to work for it. So, here's your success tip. Put pressure on yourself. Push yourself a little. It's just like weight lifting. In weight lifting you don't go lifting 400 pounds all at once. You lift a little bit more than you could do last week and then you start adapting and then next week you start a little bit more and maybe the week after that you fall back a little bit but you keep trying and eventually you become a very strong person physically. The same thing would happen to you mentally if you put a little pressure on yourself. One of the things my dad did for me that was really unique for someone with no education and came over on a boat from Syria was when he was a young boy is when I was a baby. And this kind of reminds me of that song “A Boy Named Sue” by Johnny Cash where an old drunk cowboy named the boy Sue because he wanted to make him tough. He knew he wouldn't be around to raise the boy and that was the premise of that song.
Well here's a website for you to go to. https://www.ScrewTheCommute.com/baby This is a representation I used to use in my speeches a long time ago. My dad was about 50 when he had me and he thought he wouldn’t be around to raise me. He wasn’t an old drunk, but it was the same idea as the song. So, when I was a baby . . . before I could even walk . . . my dad would put pillows in front of me and put my toys on the other side of them to teach me how to overcome obstacles. Now this is a guy like I said had only a couple years of formal education. He thought, “Hey, I brought this kid into the world I'm going to make him strong.” So, I was a baby when he did that, but that was demonstrated to me my entire life. It was always you can have it if you're willing to work for it.
Another thing that comes to mind and I can’t help but tell this one. I’m I don’t know maybe 50 years old and people would hang around the local tennis courts to find people to play with. So, I was playing this 14-year-old kid who played on the high school tennis team. So, we’re playing and I was tearing him up. I was hitting all the shots old guys use that he wasn’t used to. I was using the geometry of the court to run him to death while I’m standing relatively still. I’m using all these tricks that old geezers use to play again young people. He got so mad he slammed his racket down and walked off the court. His mother was there chasing him and saying, “That’s OK Johnny. You’ll be alright.” If I had done that when I was a kid, my coach would have me running laps until I was 40 years old LOL
No, it wasn’t alright! This kid should have been thinking, “This is an old fat guy beating me. What can I learn from this?” No. he couldn’t take the pressure and left.
So put challenges on yourself and challenges on your children.
All right leadership skill number seven - give before you get
During the Depression work was more than scarce . . . more like nonexistent. Even my dad was out of work. He told me that he said to himself, “I'm a really valuable worker and I'm not going to sit around here and do nothing when there's work out there to be done.”
He knew there was a fruit shipping warehouse not too far from where he lived. So, he went down to the loading docks dressed for work and just started helping the men load apples. Eventually the foreman noticed him and asked the other guys who he was and they said well they didn't know but he just was just loading the apples. In fact, he was doing the work of three men. The foreman was so impressed he hired him on the spot and he hired several of my dad's cousins who were willing to prove themselves first. Now not realizing I was being influenced by my dad. I used to do the same thing when my landlord in college would work on our house.
I would go out and help him just to learn how to fix things. He told me that in the 25 years he had been renting to college students that not one student ever had offered to help him. This is the same landlord that gave me the biggest financial break of my young career when he guaranteed the financing and sold me his largest rental property ….. a hotel in Fairmont, WV when he retired to Florida and I hadn't even graduated from college yet. I made over $400,000.00 in the mid-seventies on this property and it’s always a reminder to me to give before you get.
Another example comes to mind in that when I got out of college, I didn't have any job of course because I had this rental income. I had a five apartment buildings and that hotel before I graduated and I might add all of it was from using the techniques in this episode.
I was bored and I wanted to get my pilot's license. So, I got my private pilot's license but I wanted to fly bigger planes …..not airliners or anything like that, but you know really fancy twin engine corporate planes and all that. So, I hung around the airport and I would take every crappy flight that that no one else wanted. They sold planes at our airport and they would fly me to Wichita Kansas to pick up new planes and bring them back to Pittsburgh. And I’d fly a small plane to California and I'd fly all night and do every rotten job they had to build my experience level. In fact, one time I flew back from Wichita and in those days they didn't put any navigation radios in the plane till you got them home. So, I flew back from Wichita reading the road signs going down Route 70 all the way back to Pittsburgh. I’d go along when other pilots were taking planes places and they would teach me during the trip. I traded work at the hangar for advanced lessons in bigger planes. Yes, I could have paid for them, but it would have cost a fortune and my education was much deeper being around airplanes all day, every day. So, after I qualified as part 135 charter pilot (part 135 is a little more advanced than a regular commercial pilot) I was the one that got hired for thirty dollars an hour 40 years ago to fly the big planes because they were so impressed with me and my skills and how I was willing to go the extra mile.
Who are you going to impress by refusing to put in any extra effort? I mean you can't even impress yourself. No wonder there's so much depression in the world. How can you be happy with yourself knowing you were operating at a really low level?
And let's say you had a company, “Who would impress you more….. The clock watcher who can’t wait to run out the door at quitting time or earlier, or the person you can’t get to leave work, who couldn't get enough and who took stuff home to work on. How about the person who came in early because they couldn't wait to get back to their project from yesterday? Well of course that person would impress you. You see that's the person who gets the raises and the responsibility and the great recommendation when they eventually move on.
If you have or want to start a company and if you want to tell your boss to take this job and shove it, the people that hire people to do contract work ……do you think they want the losers that that they have to watch over every two seconds? No. They want the person that makes their life easier and they can trust. That's the person that gets the breaks. That’s the person that gets the business. So, I'm not saying be used and taken advantage of by your employers. I'm saying you use others by helping them. That's another quote You can put my name on. “Use others by helping them.” You know why? Because you'll help yourself even more. Give Before You Get.
All right. Leadership skill number eight you can overcome obstacles.
Well this is one of my favorites. I have a visual I just told you about when I was a baby. My dad was making me crawl over pillows and anybody that knows me, knows that I am unstoppable. Long before Cynthia Kersey came out with her book I was being and teaching people how to be unstoppable. You know right out of the chute pretty unstoppable because of what my dad had done. Knowing that you can't be held back no matter what happens to you is a very powerful feeling to have inside. It gives you an unbridled confidence. Both my parents aligned to make me feel this way and most of you don't know this about me but 33 years ago I lost everything and was totally broke.
The drinking age went from 18 to 21 in that nightclub I had and I lost four hundred thousand dollars. I was supposed to be a millionaire before I turned 30.
I lost everything. And then I tore my Achilles tendon with no health insurance. So, 33 years ago I was actually sleeping on a mattress in a vacant house, injured and unable to walk. I was living off what little credit I had left. My girlfriend left me and my dog got run over….so I wrote a country song LOL Anyway, the whole time I was in that lonely vacant house a powerful feeling burned inside of me to overcome this obstacle which I did by coming up with an idea for a unique entertainment company that in turn helped launch my speaking career. And I did that by keeping humor . . .. and this sounds like cliché a little bit ….. but I kept humor books around me. I watched “Candid Camera” on TV which was the stimulus for my Prankmasters entertainment company that really got me worldwide publicity and kicked off my speaking career. So, staying upbeat in the face of adversity I know is tough, but you must do that because it's downhill if you don't.
Let me ask you this question. This is the commentary. Are you forcing your children to learn to overcome obstacles, or are you making yourself look good by buying obstacles out of their way? That's a hard thing to hit a parent with. I tell you because a lot of them say well I want to give the child things that I didn't have. Well are you doing them a favor by doing that?
I mean did you have to work for spending money as a child or was it given to you? Did you have to work your way through college or was it paid for you? I mean if you had everything handed to you maybe you don't have these skills?
Maybe you need to get them. I can tell you you are not doing a child a favor by giving them everything because that's the child that can't handle the normal pressures of life that I mentioned earlier. They are in drugs and therapy, drinking and eating disorders and cutting themselves and all of this stuff that didn't exist or very little back when I was a kid. We had to work for what we got.
We appreciated things. We appreciate accomplishment. See yet again I think that every child should have to work outside the home. Here's an idea for you.
I think your kids should have to do your neighbors chores and vice versa. How about that as a unique idea? That will make you so darn embarrassed if they screw up that you'll start teaching them what to do. All right. So, your success tip is pick something that's an obstacle in your personal life or for your business life. And put a laser focus on the problem. Make it your waking thought and think about it during the day. Think about it when you get home. Think about it several hours before you go to bed and then take action to keep trying options until something works.
You can overcome obstacles and if you have kids find out what they perceive as an obstacle in their life and help them brainstorm ways to overcome it. Then encourage them to take action. You can overcome obstacles!
OK. Leadership skill number 10 risk everything for something really worthwhile.
Did you ever wonder why many people don't achieve their goals? Well could it be because they were never really willing to commit fully to them? We're back to the eulogy again here folks. They always gave themselves easy outs so that when the going got tough they could bailout easily. Well around 1946 with a houseful of kids and more on the way. My dad took every nickel he had went 50 miles out of the city and bought one hundred and fifty-six acres of land, a bulldozer, and enough fuel to run it. He did not want his kids being raised in the filthy air and tough streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He built a truck stop and motel and eventually warehouses, rental cottages and our house on national route forty-one mile east of Claysville, Pennsylvania. His work can still be seen there today along with that chimney I mentioned earlier that's on one of our rental properties. All the kids grew up healthy and strong and not one ever got into any trouble except the time I ran away from home and ate grass soup and hot dogs for two hours before I gave up and returned home.
Commentary now I'm not telling you to be irresponsible but when there is no turning back. Fear is a really great motivator.
Here’s another thing. For years I’ve heard people say getting fired was the best thing that happened to them…. ever in their entire life. Now they don't say that at the time. But when they look back that's what forced them to make significant changes that helped put them where they are today. There was no turning back. They had to excel.
When you’re in that situation where there is no turning back, you really have to accomplish things. And many times folks they are things you never dreamed that you could accomplish. So, when it's appropriate, risk everything and you'll do all right
I'm going to throw in some other sidebars here before I do the end of the eulogy. One has to do with balance and I believe that you know you hear everybody saying well you have to be balanced. Oh, isn't that nice. You've got to be balanced. Well most of those people are seriously broke. And I tell you what I want you to think of anybody that you know and admire as a super high achiever. It could be an Olympic athlete, or it could be a sports figure, or an entertainer, a super successful businessperson, or something like that. Do you think that they're balanced? If you want to achieve really great things you can't be balanced. That just can't happen. You have to do extraordinary things and put out extraordinary efforts toward those achievements. This is the opposite of balance. Now I'm not saying to ruin one area of your life to make another area great. That’s all too common. I'm just saying that if you have laser focus and you have a successful environment around you and you work hard and I mean work hard that's what it takes to be a superstar in whatever you want to do.
If you're happy with mediocrity. OK I can't blame or shame you for it. if that's what you're shooting for no problem. Just don’t cry the blues and complain about not reaching large goals. I don’t want to hear it and nobody else does either. But if you want to be excellent and achieve great things, and this is according to Dr. Sidney Lecter he's a psych professor at Yale about the eight qualities of high achievers. He talks about laser focus, successful environment, clear vision and so forth. But one thing that that he said that I really resonated with is that you know people would call me a workaholic because I'm very interested in my business and doing a good job and taking care of customers and I play tennis and I play with dogs so if you tell me I'm a workaholic I just tell you to shut up and mind your own business LOL . I call it what Dr. Lecter calls it is “A winning pace.” This is my pace. This is where I excel. Now you got to find your pace and maybe it's not as tough as mine. I'm kind of an oddball I admit because I went to the doctors and yes, I'm overweight, but the doctor actually said and I quote, “You should have been a Clydesdale” because he said he’s got people half my age falling apart. He said, “You're doing twice as much as them and accomplish and more and you know you don't even feel bad or you're not even tired.” So, you just have to find a winning pace that suits you, but I’m saying push yourself harder than you have in the past. Don’t go having a heart attack on me, but most people can do way more than they ever dreamed they could.
Here’s one other tough part I may as well throw in right here. If you have a spouse or significant other, you need to have one that's on the same page as you. If you don’t, everything becomes tougher and instead of the synergy realized from a team, you have a boat anchor tied around everything you do. I certainly don’t pretend to be any relationship expert so you’ll have to look for another podcast to help you with that. I just thought it would be good to mention it. Anyway, back to balance. I don't think it’s the greatest idea if you want to really excel and be highly successful.
Here's another success pet peeve of mine how about being on time?
It seems that with the new generations that has gone by the way the wayside. I mean is it because we don't have watches anymore….. because our cell phones keep time for us? Is that what it is? On a couple episodes of this podcast I recently interviewed a GenZ expert and a Millennial expert. Both of them were somewhat at odds with me on this issue of being on time. They said these generations don’t see time the way us oldsters do. They told me time is “flexible” with these young people. Flexible???
I said does that mean I put a sign on my store window that says, “Open at 9…..or maybe 10. It all depends on whether the employees slept in or not.” I mean that’s crazy. One of them had no answer for me and the other admitted that there are times when time is important, but I wasn’t optimistic with either one of them. To me it’s just a continual erosion of basic common courtesies and ways to operate your life that make sense.
I contend nobody respects you if you're late. If you want to be a high achiever in your business and in life don't be late all the time. It's not cool. It might be cool for Madonna to show up late at a party. But if you're in business, people have to depend on you. Heck in life people depend on you and it costs you in both business and life. Heck I’ve even heard of day care centers who charge $20.00 a minute if you’re late picking up your kids. Folks, it costs you if you’re late all the time.
If you’re in business and trying to do business with older and more wealthy people, you better darn well show up on time or early or you will lose more business than you’ll ever realize. Sure, I’m bringing this to lite here, but I can’t tell you how many deals I have passed on and how many investments I didn’t make in people that weren’t even disciplined enough to show up on time either in person or by phone.
I certainly have zero respect for people that chronically show up late. It's a lack of discipline. There's just no reason for it. And it's hurting you. And again, like I said there is no reason for it. If you're chronically late, you just need to chronically back up and add 15 or 30 minutes to do whatever you're doing because if you’re late all the time …..and I emphasize all the time, ….. there something wrong with you. It’s impossible that it’s someone else’s fault all the time. You can blame it on your kids, you can blame it on traffic, you can blame it on your dog and I know sure, once in a while things come up that are out of your control, but if it’s chronic, look in the mirror. It’s you. So, do something about it. . The motto around here is: “If you’re not early, you’re late.”
All right so I'm going to run through a little recap success checklist. Some of it is from my dad some of it's my own thoughts. But to recap build it strong. Don't take shortcuts. Don't waste your time or resources. Be self-reliant. Study. Work for things. Give before you get. Overcome obstacles. and risk everything.
Now here's some extras principles I throw in as some of my success principles. Hang around with better people. I mean there's been plenty of people I’ve heard say that your average income is based on the average of your closest five friends. Well will look around you. All right and see if that's true. Invest in yourself. I've bought so many training programs I mean you could build a skyscraper with the amount of money, but I'm investing in me because I'm self-reliant and I'm willing to invest. You at least invested enough time to listen to this episode and spend some time with me, but are you buying training programs. Are you going to school in one way or the other?
I'm not trying to push my training down your throat but I'm just saying I invest in things. Look where it's gotten me. I took training from Dottie Walters and Corey Rudl and I spent a fortune on it because I wanted to learn from the best-of-the-best. It’s paid off to the tune of millions and millions and millions of dollars. So, invest in yourself.
I learned how to create great value for others and in turn it’s paid off handsomely for me both in money and lifestyle. This is the one thing that's really an important thing in your success. See if you make yourself so important as a source of value and learning, people can't help to deal with you. You'll always be in demand. Right? But so many people are just happy just to get by and get to Friday and so they can go to the movies on the weekend. That’s ok. But if you have not created value for the people that you do business with or interact with in life, that will be your destiny. Waiting for Friday to go to the movies. Do you really want that to be your fate?
OK Here’s another success Idea
Let's see. Do something no one else has done just like this retreat center I’m sitting in. This is the only place in the world you can actually live with a guy like me for an immersion weekend on the topic of Internet marketing for small business. I’ve been doing this for 17 years. Nobody else has done what I'm doing here. When you can claim you’re the only one who did X, or the first, the biggest, the best etc. it helps make you more successful in business when you can claim things like that.
Control your image. I actually just canceled out of a major speaking engagement that would have earned me minimum of fifty thousand and maybe a hundred thousand dollars. How many of you out there would be willing to do that? All right probably not too many right? The rest of the program was is populated with a bunch of loud mouth B.S. ers that are not credible. So, I don't want that to rub off on me and makes me want to take a shower just to be around them so I cancelled. I actually mean I didn't accept the engagement because I've only canceled out of one engagement my whole life. And that's another story.
Get really good at publicity. I built my whole career even before the Internet was around on publicity. I refused to cold call because, as I said just a minute ago, you must control your image. Cold calling to me is begging for business. I want people to call me. The entire power struggle of the call changes when they call me. It’s basically are you available and can we afford you?
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I told you about announcing things so that you're too embarrassed if you don't do them. That makes you really scratch and crawl to get the thing done. Get yourself a laser focus on what you want to achieve. Use your throwaway time. And here's another really big one. Be consistent. See people pretty much know what to expect out of me. They know that if I say something it's going to happen whether a nuclear attack hits or not. And if it doesn't happen, I'm going to tell you why. And I'm going to make up for it. Consistency is credibility. Consistency is trust. So, if you're not consistent, nobody knows what the heck to expect out of you. How do you expect them to do business with you when you're there one minute and gone the next? It’s the same in relationships. Why would someone want to be with you, if they never know what to expect? I’m not saying spontaneity and surprises aren’t fun. I’m saying are you dependable to do what you say you’re going to do? So Be consistent and it will pay off greatly.
Be on time. I’ve harped on that enough. Be tough but fair. Another thing that helps me be successful is I always laugh at failure for two reasons. One because it keeps me open to learning the most I can from the failure and two keeps me loose. When you are able to laugh at your failures, you're able to easily or much more easily, it’s not necessarily ever easy to overcome failures, come up with the solutions to make it better the next time. If you get all tense and crack up and cry and start drinking and taking drugs, what's the chances that it's gonna be better the next time around?
And it's time to take responsibility for yourself and to be a good role model for your kids If you have any. And I hope from this point on nobody listening to this pats somebody on the back for poor performance. You encourage them to do better, but don't reinforce poor performance because that will just make you get more poor performance. OMG This thing with giving out trophies to everybody and all this stuff. Just floors me. These concepts were invented by people I call highly educated idiots. It doesn’t surprise me that many kids are incapable of achievement when they grow up. I mean where is the incentive to work harder. Where is the life learning that you don’t always win? I come from a small town where common sense was our key to survival. You know what small town people would say about this trophy BS? They’d say, “If you told that to a Donkey, he’d kick your brains out.” hahaha
I’m going to do the last little section of the eulogy in a minute. If you like this idea of recapping what you learned from your parents, maybe you want to write one for your parents. How about that? A lot of people e-mailed me after this came out that said they did one of these for their parents. Some were still alive and some had passed long ago. What it did was really make them think of the nice things their parents did for them. Print out the transcript of this podcast episode which is in the show notes and leave it around and you're in your child's bedroom and maybe they'll get the hint to write one for you.
OK. So, here we go. Let’s close it up this episode with the final part of my Dad’s eulogy. Even though Dad was only on stage once that I know of, his leadership principles are influencing tens of thousands of people through me and because of all the people he touched over the years.
I spent the Fourth of July this week at the funeral home viewing. … which to be honest I thought was going to be a pretty barren sight especially being 94 all his friends had died off. I couldn't believe it. People were everywhere. People that I'd never seen before or even heard of were telling me stories. Of when they were down and out 60 or 70 years ago my dad was the one that helped them or gave them a chance or encouraged them. I just about fell on the floor when someone told me that around 1923 My dad took on the responsibility of an entire family of kids who had an old drunk for a father. Dad worked all week for 50 cents to buy a big sack of potatoes to feed six kids and himself for the week. I was told that Dad taught the boys of the family trades so they could go out and find work and that these people thought the sun rose and set on my dad. I had never heard a word about them. Before my dad's viewing on July 4th of the year 2000. So, one more lesson that maybe I didn't learn too well from dad is don't boast, just do good things.
Well Tom, what's this got to do with great speaking? Well. I'm hoping if you read this far that you saw some value in my dad's leadership teachings. I'm hoping that when you take the stage that you walk up there as a good example for the many people you will touch in your career. My dad didn't have the stage in the conventional sense like we do every time we speak. He lived the stage. I never I never made it through this all without breaking up a little bit. In fact, he was the stage that good leadership stands on. You living as a good example both onstage and off will be what ultimately makes you a great speaker. I can teach you the techniques, but you must provide the good example 24 hours a day seven days a week not just when you're on the platform.
You’re little Heapie
I know you’re going to crack up at this dumb nickname of mine. Remind me to tell you on a future episode what it means.
I’ll talk to you on the next episode.
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