You need to Move your Needle to Break the Label

The final time I saw my first mentor before he passed away, he asked me to promise him to not let what I had learned “die with me.” It wasn’t until 2016 and I found his hand written notes from 1929 is when I started to fulfill that promise.

One of the things I share when I am speaking or being interviewed is that the biggest lesson I learned from my Dad was “your word is your bond.” So, when I found those notes, I resolved I would fulfill that promise with a goal of sharing it with 1,000,000 people within ten years.

Over the past six months, my team has worked on an approach to help me achieve that goal. Many people have told me that my goals are “audacious.” Reaching 1,000,000 people, or my goal of living to 139 years old, is audacious, but so was the goal of going back into the Hudson River and swimming 3.1 miles in 100 days after not swimming for over 40 years.

It is all starts with your mindset.

Last week, I was on a call with the host of an upcoming podcast I would be on. We discussed my approach to sales, how I became a top producer, and how that translates into becoming an entrepreneur with the goal of 10xing my business.

The conversation started with me sharing with him that if you want to reach a major goal or be outstanding at something, you must focus on what you are outstanding at. How you start to become outstanding at something starts with being your authentic self with the mindset of resolving what your “why” is to find that sweet spot.

I shared with him that there were many lessons I learned to become a top producer, but if you want to really boil it down, there are two overriding lessons. It was something I learned from an Oracle executive when I was going for my first large engagement at Oracle and was reminded of last week.

When I went to Oracle, I came from being a top producer at an IT consulting company. I did well but needed a change. I wanted to challenge myself and learn enterprise software sales. The transition was difficult. Not the outbound marketing and sales activities to future clients but the internal sales within Oracle.

When the Miracle on the Hudson happened, I worked with what Oracle calls ” a net new” prospect. A net new prospect is one who had no Oracle technology. After the Miracle on the Hudson, I was going to host this “net new’ client on a corporate visit to Oracle’s headquarters.

Before you engage with executives for a corporate visit, they require a briefing document and phone call to discuss outcomes. It is time-consuming, and managing multiple executives and assistants takes a lot of work and patience.

One of these executives was the SVP of Customer Service at Oracle. I sent her the briefing document, and her assistant set up a briefing call. As the call started, this executive asked me if she could ask me something. During this period, most questions were about my experience on the Miracle on the Hudson. But she went in another direction with her question.

She asked me, “Is Oracle taking care of you?”

I was not ready for that question as you don’t know if that question will set you up.

I asked her the question that General Norman Schwarzkopf asked me when I asked him a question.

” Are you just asking, or do you really want to know?”

She said she really wanted to know. I asked her if there would be any consequences if I really told her what was going on. She said no, so I told her that I didn’t feel that Oracle really understood what I was going through. She asked me for an example. I told her my manager asked me to recreate all the expense receipts from that NYC trip after I lost them all and my PC in the Hudson River. I also shared that it took a week for me to get a replacement PC, and it was a beat-up used model.

She was shocked and had her assistant order all new equipment for me and told me she would take care of my future client and me at HQ.

Not only was I grateful but I learned the two lessons that not only helped me through that time but also become a top producer and how we are going to reach 1,000,000 people and 10x our business.

What I learned was that our clients and associates are looking for three things. Last week, I was reminded of these three things in a call.

Clients and associates are looking to:

  • To be Seen
  • To be Heard
  • To be Understood

That is what the Oracle executive did with me during that call and after. I felt that she saw where I was coming from; she heard directly from me what happened and what was most important, and she understood what I was going through.

The second thing I gleaned out of that experience was to grow; I needed to focus on developing followers, not just admirers.

I have learned that you may have many people who admire you for what you have done, stand for or teach but they will not change.

A follower will admire what you have done and also follow what you stand for or teach. They will go all in and change how they approach their lives and will be there with and for you.

After that call, I not only admired what that Oracle executive did but supported and followed her, learned what she did and taught and used it to help not only that client but just about every future client I have had.

So I shared with my podcast host what I did to be outstanding at sales and employing in my development of being an entrepreneur, starting with the mindset of being my authentic self, giving first, and making sure that my clients and associates are seen, heard, and understood. They will not only become admirers but followers of what I stand for and my business.

And that is the formula our team is committed to help reach 1,000,000 people and 10ing our business, fulfill a promise, and help the next generation learn the strategies to have a fulfilling, happy, and


You never know which moment in your life will be the moment that changes your date with destiny.

A phone call, text, email, interaction, or experience that will are set you on a new path that will

Create Opportunity out of Uncertainty.