Episode 109: How do we become great?, with Stephen Woessner.
Stephen is the CEO of Predictive ROI and host of the Onward Nation podcast. He is the author of two bestselling books, speaker, trainer, and his digital marketing insights have been featured in SUCCESS, Entrepreneur, The Washington Post, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, and other media.
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Good Morning Onward Nation. This is Stephen Woessner.
I am grateful you decided to be here this morning — to be here right now –– to share your most precious resource with me and Onward Nation –– your resource of time. We all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day and I consider it a sacred exchange of time and value — so I am delighted you and I can have this time together today.
Let’s start off by considering some difficult questions — and then as I always try to do — I’ll leave you with some action steps that you can apply into your business to move onward to that next level.
How do we become great?
How do we achieve greatness in all we do?
How do we realize our full potential — your dream for success?
Les Brown said, “I don’t believe that any of us are giving dreams that we cannot accomplish. It is possible. You can have your dream as you run toward it.”
So why can’t you be the best in your industry? Why? Why not you?
You may have heard these words from Sylvester Stallone…
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world is not all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place. And I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, if you know what you’re worth — then go out and get what you’re worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers and saying you ain’t where you want to be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that, and that ain’t you. You’re better than that.”
Onward Nation…even some of the people who are closest to you — want you to fail. It isn’t because they are bad people. It’s because they love you and don’t want to lose you. But you can’t let their fears stop you. You have to decide that no matter what — no matter what you have to sacrifice in order to achieve greatness — you simply have to decide and finally agree with yourself that you are worthy to pursue your dream. That your dream — that deeply personal dream you are scared and afraid to be bold enough to chase with all of your gusto — that you are worthy to achieve that dream. That you will SHOW the world how great you are.
Playing small does not serve your purpose — does not serve your WHY — and certainly does not serve God with all of the abundance of talents you were blessed with so you could build an extraordinary life for you, your family, and leave your impact on this world.
If you are not making someone else’s life better — then you are wasting your time.
Onward Nation…pain is temporary — it may last for a hour, day, a week, or even a year. But it will subside and be replaced by something else. But if you quit…your pain of regret will last forever.
Instead, I encourage you to dig deep and pursue greatness like Bryan Arzani did. Bryan was my guest on episode 75 of Onward Nation.
Bryan was broken…he was beat down by circumstances…by the fear of failure. He nearly went bankrupt twice. But he had the guts to keep moving forward. He said no to the fear and said “I WIN” and now he has. Because he decided greatness and success would be his fate.
Or maybe you a listening to my voice right now and thinking to yourself…easy for you to say, Stephen…I just got served with this lawsuit from someone I trusted…a family member…or a business partner. How can I possibly go on?
And if that is you…then do what Tim Fargo, my guest for episode 64, did. Tim shared the story of when he was at a Christmas party with friends and business associates and was served papers for a $10 million lawsuit — while he was at the party. Who was suing him? His former business partner — who also happened at the party! Did he quit? No. Why? Because Tim wanted to succeed as bad as he wanted to breathe. He dug deep — he fought — he won — and went on to great success when he sold his company.
Oftentimes, one of the keys to success is being all-in on what you working so hard to accomplish. Eliminating any path of retreat. So Onward Nation, are you financially all-in with your business like Cody Foster? Cody was my guest during episode 80. Cody and his two co-founders at Advisors Excel invested everything they had 10 years ago to create the company. And it was not millions of dollars. It is was a modest amount while sitting at Cody’s kitchen table. Cody, Derrick, and David were all in ten years ago — and now they have built a company that will achieve over $5 billion this year.
Or how about Carl Wright, my guest on episode 45 of Onward Nation. After the real estate market crashed…Carl was $14 million in debt. $14 million! He didn’t quit — instead — he took a few days to sit, think, and let the plan come to him. And then he decided he would make it happen. He would do it. And then he did it. He pursued it with all the energy he had — to make his vision a reality.
You, Onward Nation, need to be the only person who you give permission to tell you what is so. And that is what Carl did, and now his company has built a real estate portfolio worth $100 million. All because Carl had the desire to be great and the will to win that pushed him forward. Carl was willing to pay the price and a little bit more.
You have to do whatever it takes to get the job done. In the words of Art Williams… “Just do it, and do it, and do it, and do it, until the job gets done,” Onward Nation.
The real challenge of greatness comes when you get knocked down and how you respond. Do you remember the story of Larry Winget, my guest in episode 98? He went to work, rich — and then by the time he left to go home that same day, he was poor and had lost everything. Not because of anything he did but because of circumstances outside his control in his industry.
What did Larry do? Did he feel sorry for himself? Did he gather around a support group to listen to all of his misfortune and tell him it would be better someday? No. He developed a training program that contained four modules and then he started at the “A’s” in the phonebook selling the modules. Was it a glamorous way to make money? No. Was it effective? Yes. Why? Because no one else is willing to make that sacrifice — that same level of commitment. But that is what Larry did, and he won.
Or how about David Mylrea, my guest on episode 35. At the beginning of his career, he was selling cars at a small town dealership in the heart of Wisconsin. When the gas crisis of the late 70s hit — and the country seemingly was no longer in the market for large gas guzzling cars, and the foot traffic at the dealership slowed –– did David quit? No. What did he do? He and his wife sat at their kitchen table…and typed letters to people right out of the phonebook…and mailed them. And what happened? People brought the letters into the dealership to see David and bought some cars. Why? Because no one had ever done that before.
Onward Nation…it would have been easy for David, Larry, Carl, Bryan, and Tim to quit. But they didn’t. They allowed their pain to be part of their prize — to be part of their journey. They harnessed their will and challenged themselves to be successful.
Just like Stacey Alcorn, my amazing guest for episode 3. When she had lost it all she could have given up and no one would have blamed her for quitting. But she didn’t. Instead she said yes to her dreams, she said yes to her unfolding future, instead of saying no. Now Stacey is a billionaire in the making and dominating the real estate industry in Massachusetts.
Failure is the an ingredient to the recipe for success and greatness. Just listen to the stories of all the amazing and incredible business owners who have graced this show — the one thing the majority of them have in common is some sort of failure and sometimes a cataclysmic collapse — an epic failure of massive proportion.
The loser is the one who fails and then quits.
The loser and the winner have both failed. The difference is that the winner got back up again — got back into the ring — and pushed forward — learning from the past. While the loser sat there feeling sorry for himself or herself — making excuses why it didn’t work out, looking for a sympathetic ear, looking for a shoulder to cry on…anything to point to so that it didn’t have to be them who had failed.
Fear kills dreams, Onward Nation. Fear kills hope. Fear puts people in the hospital. Fear can age you. Fear can hold you back from doing something that you know within yourself you are capable of doing but it will paralyze you.
You are an incredible child of the most high God. You have every talent and skill already inside you that you need in order to be successful.
It’s not easy. This road — this journey to success. But success leaves clues so let me share with you what I learned from Don Yaeger, one of my closest friends and most trusted mentors. Don created a list that he calls the 16 Characteristics of Greatness that he built after interview the most successful champions of our time. And then Don took the list deeper by creating the “Greatness Action List”.
Step 1: I will not make excuses. Michael Jordan said, “A loss is not a failure until you make an excuse.”
Step 2: I will constantly evaluate my inner circle, surrounding myself with those headed someplace special.
Step 3: I will set aside time each day to re-center myself.
Step 4: I will encourage at least one person each day.
Step 5: I will do the necessary “homework” to make each day — each meeting — as productive as possible.
Step 6: I will seek out a new opportunity for personal or professional growth every day.
Step 7: I will envision success – actually see it in my mind — in all I do.
Step 8: I will be better, not bitter, in moments of adversity.
Step 9: I will not be intimidated by taking thoughtful risks.
Step 10: I will stay open-minded, not allowing old patterns or habits to hold me back.
Step 11: I will point out the contributions of others.
Step 12: I will consider what I can do or sacrifice to help strengthen my team.
Step 13: I will do something today for someone who cannot give me anything in return.
Step 14: I will act all day as if my son or daughter (or my future child) were sitting by my side.
Step 15: I will relish the chance to be a standard for others.
Step 16: I will remember that my life requires balance.
Put those characteristics to work in your business — in your life. And if you want a daily dose of greatness…go to DonYaeger.com and subscribe for his daily dose of greatness email — it is amazing.
So, before I leave you today…there is one last point I want to make. Our time here on this Earth is limited — so please don’t waste it living someone else’s life. We all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day so make sure, Onward Nation, that you are living the life you want to live and building the business you want to build and pursuing the dreams you want to pursue. That your dreams are big enough, bold enough, courageous enough, so you can look back on your life with no regret.
Please don’t settle. Have the courage to follow your heart. You are going to experience a lot of setbacks, a lot of pain…but you are more powerful than you could ever imagine. You are greater than your circumstances.
You can look at that snooze button and go back to bed…or you can get up at 4:00 in the morning and get a 4-hour start on most of your competitors…get a half-day’s work in — 50% more strategy, 50% more content written, 50% more sales calls, 50% more emails to prospects…all of that — 50% more of your vital metrics by just getting up early.
You can lay there in bed and dream about your dreams — fantasize about them — or — you can punch that clock, get up, and go pursue them. There’s a reason why we release all of our daily episodes at 4:00 in the morning, Onward Nation.
One last quote…and I have this hanging on one of my office walls… “Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up and knows that it must run faster than the fastest Lion that day, or it will be killed and eaten. Every morning in Africa, a Lion wakes up and knows that it must run faster than the slowest Gazelle that day, or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter, Onward Nation, if you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
Decide to make a great day. And I look forward to being with you again tomorrow when we share my interview with Mitch Stephen.
Until then…Onward with gusto!