What Makes Ordinary People Achieve Extraordinary Success?
I had the pleasure to interview international business expert Dan Waldschmidt about his new book and about the idea of being edgy as opposed to what I was told to be growing up. My dad used to say, "Honey, don't make waves. Just go with the flow." Having people like Dan in my life help counteract that little voice that pops up for me regularly.
It is rare to meet an individual who stands out from the fray doing his own thing with no regard to the opinions of what others think of him. Sure, many of us say we don’t care what others think but we do. Dan Waldschmidt is the author of the new book, Edgy Conversations – How Ordinary People Can Achieve Outrageous Success.
What distinguishes an extraordinary person?
How can you predict who will be successful and who will not?
Dan looked at 1,000 ordinary people and found that those who are willing to do a lot more work stand out ahead of the rest to become high performers. He will tell you stories about many of these people - how they were much like you or I and what they did that caused them to catapult into the next realm of success.
I can relate to Dan's stories - and I loved to read them because the people profiled, like me, would not settle for what we were dealt early on. It is reassuring to read story upon story of people who just kept at it - when others said they should stop. They kept at it, and at it, and at it until they finally saw massive success.
In writing about this blog, as I have many times, I used to wonder who read it, and how could I possibly be a different or better voice to others than what was already out there? I'd go weeks or months without a comment to the blog. I ramped up the posts and started using software to help support the efforts. In just four years, I became recognized for my efforts, and that's why I concur with Dan and love his message.
See more about Edgy here. Did I say I highly recommend it?
In talking about consistency, Dan discusses those who did the same thing day after day – consistently. You have a cumulative effect that builds up, while all of your colleagues are slacking off. He gives an example:
How do they cut marble or stone? They take a chisel or hammer and do the same tapping over and over. Eventually there is a crack because they began tapping – doing more of this, consistently, until it starts working. Then you have a beautiful piece of stone. It hasn't changed over the years, and in this case, shortcuts don't work as well.
I asked Dan if you are doing the same things and they don't seem to work, how do you know when to stop?
Dan said, "I didn’t interview a single person who said they did not stop soon enough.
He said they kept doing the same thing a bunch of times, and I started believing in myself. Two years later, ten years later – it worked.
Dan’s takeaway – successful people just keep on trying.
Ignore temporarily the results or the facts.
Have a plan, and just keep executing.
The giving mindset is one of the four behaviors Dan talks about in the book. It is the 3rd key behavior.
Dan says, “we really stink at giving. We seem to be bad at this universally. Giving not trading. Giving means you are not expecting a return.
Like boxing – I swing, you duck.
If you want to be transformational in business, you need to be giving."
Dan''s example is how Costco does the infamous food sampling at their warehouse stores. Giving away food. Experts said, “You’re nuts – no one will buy food unless they are hungry”
At that time, so many advisers didn't believe it would be a sound idea.
Costco also is an example when it comes to paying their employees better than average retail wages - many doubted that as well, but it has proven to set them apart in the retail pay discussions now, and has given them loyal employees.
The quickest way to accomplish success is through giving.
Human element – we are all a little bit broken.
Dan offers some tips for sellers –
Look people in the eye – be present
If you are in Inside sales – send a follow up email to assure a potential buyer that you have their back, even if they are not going to buy today.
We rely too often on technology to score our leads and follow up, and then we wonder why we don’t have a stronger relationship.
Heal yourself and help people heal – we all need a little help to help ourselves physically fit, mentally fit, and emotionally fit. It’s hard to focus on selling when you are deep in debt or your health is in dire straits.
Find a coach – we all need someone in our corner to help bring out our best.
“Now is the time to start working on the future you want. “
This post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet. I've been compensated to contribute to this program, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.
Lori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.