Dan Waldschmidt

by Dan Waldschmidt

September 20, 2017


The truth about achieving success is that it is a team sport. You aren’t where you are right now all because of yourself. And if you make something more of yourself, it will be because of others coming alongside you.

Don’t get me wrong. Your choices matter. The decisions you make matter. Your attitude and actions matter. That doesn’t take away from the fact that it takes a team around you to realize success.

Think about the thousands of tiny decisions you take for granted each day.

Decisions made easier because someone else is handling it.

You turn on your sink and automagically there is fresh water. Someone at the water plant in your local area is testing for safety. Applying standards. Working to manage volume. You don’t even think about it. You just open the tap and enjoy fresh water.

You couldn’t live 3 days without that water. But you aren’t worried one bit. You are counting on someone else to help you.

How about the roads and bridges that allow you to drive to where you need to be today? Or the vehicle that gets you there. You won’t make any of that. Or have to worry about any of it. You just go.

And that’s awesome.

From quickly prepared food to grocery stores full of supplies, technology that allows you to call just about anyone anywhere in the world, and countless other niceties you take for granted, thousands of people are working to help you get closer to where you want to be.

Which should inspire your gratitude. And engender a bit more humility. What if you had to do it all by yourself? What if it were really just you?

Those questions smacked me right in the face while building out the rebrand of our new company, which I’ve written about for the last few days.

It took a lot of work from a lot of different people.

There were countless workers, consultants, companies, and freelance experts working behind the scenes to turn my vision into an experience that clearly communicates our purpose to provide radical help for people who want it.

My longtime friend Chris Brank, the CEO of Let People See, was the impetus behind the website redesign. Over the last 8 years, he has created every video that you have seen me in. From documentaries where I run 100-mile races to the video on the main page of our website that highlights the keynote speaking that I do, Chris has been the creative genius behind that message.

In talking to him about the need to create a fresh message and direction for company, he offered to put together a team that would work exclusively on this. Steve Palacino, Chief Designer for Page 1 Branding, did all of the design work and managed the complex migration from WordPress to Squarespace.

It was slow and painful at times.

Michael Gibbons shot most of the headshots and photos that you see throughout the site. Sophie Hopkins added a personal touch with her unstaged photos of me engaging with different groups. Matt Williamson, my Chief of Staff, masterminded the entire process — helping to turn my “I don’t like that” feedback into a finished product that we could all be proud of.

The team started with four or five key people, but behind the scenes, it’s swelled into several dozens. More than 50 people have their fingerprints on this new website you are visiting right now.

An engineer to soundstage audio stories along with two others to produce our podcast. A marketing consultant to help us refine our offers. Technical support to help us figure out why things weren’t working. And a software development shop to create all the custom code that goes into building a beautiful minimal website.

It was leading a grand orchestra.

And I learned a tremendous and humbling lesson about the power of teamwork throughout this process.

It takes a team of great people to achieve greatness.

It’s not really about me. It’s about bringing people around you who are massively better at what they do than you could ever be. Letting them shine. 

So when I say that I didn’t do this, it’s not fake humility. It’s awe. And gratitude. And fucking renewed energy to make sure I don’t waste a second doing anything other than raw, unabashed awesomeness.

About the author

Dan Waldschmidt

Dan Waldschmidt doesn’t just talk about leveling up. He’s obsessed with it. He's set records as an ultra-runner and been the personal strategist for the leading business leaders of our time. He wrote a book, called EDGY Conversations that accidentally became a worldwide bestseller and continues to share his insights from the stage as a keynote speaker and on the blogs and podcasts you will find here. Most days, you'll find Dan heads-down, working on breakthrough strategies for his clients at EDGY Inc, a highly-focused, invite-only, business strategy execution company based out of Silicon Valley.