It was almost 12 years ago when I wrote my first blog post. The year was 2006.
I was CEO of a technology company and seriously in over my head. I knew how to make money — lots of it — but I had no idea how to be a good leader. How to sell innovation and disruption when few others believed in the radical ideas I had about making money.
To be honest, the only speed I knew was full speed. I wasn’t good at dancing–just lowering my head and blasting through obstacles.
You make progress living life that way. Lots of progress at times.
But you leave behind a lot of collateral damage. Hurt people. Under-supported clients. Confused and uninspired employees. It’s messy. A non-stop roller coaster ride of emotions as you run from opportunity to opportunity.
Realizing that I needed to learn a thing or two, I began to look around for help. But I quickly became disillusioned at much of the content I was reading. It just didn’t seem to fit.
It made sense. It just didn’t seem to fit in with the fast-paced, deeply emotional situation that I was in at the moment. All of it seemed sterile. Cold. As if achieving success was done in a laboratory without the ickiness of being a human.
That’s when I started writing.
Anything that didn’t seem to make sense, I wrote about. Sometimes that was two or three things a day. Most of the time it was a post or two a month.
Over the years my tone and voice developed. My writing style developed. My articles began to connect with more and more people who were going through the exact same thing that I was.
I can remember the first time that one of my blog posts had 1,000 views. I was shocked that there were that many other people who really cared about something that I had written.
To be honest with you, I was a little bit scared.
I realized that my opinion was no longer anonymous.
A few years later, I would go on to sell that company and moved from the Washington, DC area down to South Carolina. Jumped into a brand new industry. Rebooted my family life. And opened a whole new chapter.
But I still kept writing.
Still the same choppy style that you read today. Short sentences. Blunt candor. Not a lot of stories about me. Anecdotes about what it takes to achieve success on a daily basis. The story behind the story of people in the middle of the grind.
Fast forward a few years and my book got published.
A good business book sells 15,000 copies. EDGY Conversations easily outpaced that the first month. It’s gone on to sell more than 300,000 copies and translated into half a dozen languages around the world, including Russian, Korean, and Ukrainian.
Something else happened that was pretty monumental. And accidental. In a moment of frustration, I wrote a blog post entitled “You Have To Do The Hard Things”. To be candid, I was having one of those days where I was completely fed up listening to “experts” prescribe a series of shortcuts in order to achieve wealth.
So I sat down and wrote in about 10 minutes an article laying out the rules for being successful.
In my opinion, it all comes down to doing one thing: hard things.
That post went viral. Over 30 million people read that one article. I was blown away. I wish I could say I planned it all. Far from it. It just happened.
That was when I began to realize how important it was to share radical truth with people looking for it.
My blog was just an outlet to help people looking for answers. A shining light in the middle of the dark tunnel of bullshit, pedaled by get-rich-quick experts. A coach encouraging high performance when everyone else is telling you just to love yourself in spite of your mediocrity and excuses.
I wasn’t charging money for anything.
That’s because I run a consulting company that’s quite successful.
We’ve done work in 14 or 15 different countries, across more than 30 different verticals. I lead a team that solves “how do we make more money” problems in everything from big federal government contracts to importing and exporting technology, specialized medical devices, health insurance, big oil, manufacturing of railroad cars, and professional sports.
I enjoy every minute of it. Solving problems is a huge adrenaline rush. The tougher the challenge, the more exciting it is to achieve breakthrough. Especially if I’m the 3rd or 4th consultant that has been called.
By the way, I’ve learned over time that having edgy ideas and radical strategies pretty much ensures no one calls you with easy problems. It’s always the nasty, over-baked, “we should have fixed this a long time ago” issues.
But that’s okay. Those sort of challenges pay a lot more.
And what they need, in order to be solved, is exactly the sort of medicine that I’m good at delivering.
I also do a lot of speaking. Usually at large companies looking for someone to inspire their team at a sales kickoff meeting or lead a leadership workshop with their senior team. At $25,000 per keynote, I’m not cheap, so I have to say “NO” to a lot of opportunities. But it’s work that I love.
See, when you work with a senior leader, it’s one-on-one. But when I am in front of a room of hundreds or thousands of individuals, I have the ability to impact a tremendous number of lives. All at one time.
In the coming months and year, my team and I are going to be focused on doing more speaking.
My goal is to speak at more than 70 events per year. It’s our focus. You can learn more about it here.
Which brings me to the reason I wrote this article in the first place. I’m changing how we work. I’m changing how I work. I’m changing my focus. Deliberately. My future is about individuals. People. Not necessarily business challenges, but the people behind those challenges. That means I’m going to do less consulting. Be more selective. In fact, I haven’t been taking on any new customers for the past 7 months.
It’s all about radical help for people who want it: programs, events, webinars, community, and lifestyle. Some of it free. Some of it for a fair price. All of it focused on individuals who are looking for radical help.
Individuals who want to make more money the right way. Individuals who are looking for happiness and fulfillment the right way.
Individuals and teams who are obsessed about greatness. Those who are willing to do whatever it takes, for as long as it takes.
Yes, it is scary walking away from millions of dollars worth of revenue from the biggest companies in the world. But this is what I was put on this earth to do. I’m obsessed about greatness. For myself. And for you.
If you feel the same, I want you to jump into our new community on Facebook — a group, not a page — and be a part of this movement.
Instead of me just blogging and pushing it out to you, I’m going to engage more personally. Have deeper conversations with you. Be more intimate. Frankly, I’m excited.
If I can help the biggest companies in the world add billions of dollars to their annual revenue, imagine what we can do together to create wealth and happiness and fulfillment.
I’m not promising you easy. But I am telling you what I do works. The strategies and tactics are unconventional. But the results are glorious. What you would call “worth it”.
Why be satisfied with incremental progress when you can make a gigantic leap forwards in your life?
As we evolve and change and grow, never forget that I’ve got your back. I’m glad you’ve got mine.
Now let’s go kick some ass.