Game Changer 02 [26:47]
Alright, let’s do this. We’re going live in 5, 4, 3. There’s the status quo and then there are the game changers. They write books and make films about game changers. People who put a dent in the universe. Are you one of them? This series explains everything you need to know to be a game changer. And how to win at the game of business and life. Today’s episode is made possible by Think Next, Act Now, a movement that trains and mentors tomorrow’s entrepreneur today. And now, here are your hosts, Bill Wooditch and Todd Schnick.
Todd: Alright, welcome back to the show about how to become a game changer. Understanding that business and life is a game and we’re here to play it well and play to win. So welcome to episode 2. What we’re going to talk about, what does actually winning mean? What is your destination? And what actually has to happen to call yourself a game changer? I’m joined today by my friend and colleague, Bill Wooditch. Good morning my friend, great to be with you, off and running.
Bill: Here we go.
Todd: Let’s get to it. Before we get into today’s conversation, though, what does is it mean to Bill Wooditch to actually be a game changer? And why do we even need a series like this?
Bill: Well, to me, to be a game changer is the excitement in life because I’ve always thought of life as a game. And I know that it offends some and some can’t think that way; they think their life is this big, daunting exercise that must be undertaken with gravity and always must be undertaken with a serious note and there’s this –
Todd: It’s a game.
Bill: It’s a game, yeah. And I want to get there and play. I understand that by playing, it’s always been fun to be so my mother used to always scold me, “So all you want to do is play, play, play.” I kept doing it all the way thru life and I think that’s the joy of things for me. So to be a game changer you think about life as a game. I want to be relevant. I want to be remarkable. And to be relevant, be remarkable or to be remembered in some way, to contribute to others in some way is changing the game. So to me, to get in that game means we have to be accountable, we have to be accountable to ourselves, we have to be accountable and be respectful of others, we have to keep our self-respect, we have to build our own value, we have to know our value and we can never give up that value or put it out to society to measure. We have to be the ones. So to change the game, we have to start inside because the game begins within, it’s a mindset.
Todd: When did it become bad to ‘play’? When were you happiest? We were happiest as kids when were out playtime, right. Recess was a great thing. Why did we let that get drummed out of our life and our process? I mean this should be playtime, life is fun. But in that same event, it’s a game and not be entertaining journey thru life, right?
Bill: Because people took the term work and worth as a mantle that was very heavy, very serious. It was just very grungy, very grimy and it was just something that had to be done that was separate from life. And to me, Todd, business and life are the same. Life is the big group. Business is simply a subset of life so there’s no two separate disciplines out there. And I do my best when I’m playing because I’m losing, I’m having fun and I’m not taking it that serious. And when you do, when you start taking yourself that serious, others see that sometimes and I maybe a clown but it lightens everything up. Because people know what you’re there for in the context of work. In business, they know why we’re knocking on the door, why we’re picking up the phone. But if you can meet people and really start to learn about people where you can, you’ll learn that you might not be for all people. But the ones that you can before, the ones that you can interact with, it becomes more fun, it becomes more a game. Because no one wants to wear the mantle of work on their shoulders.
Todd: Yeah, no, absolutely. You know what, I think it’s important to also talk about this idea. When you and I talk about eight, it’s a game and you got to play it well and play to win and winning’s important, I think it’s important to say this does not mean there has to be a loser. There’s going to be winners and losers in games, that’s just the way it goes. But the point that we’re making with winning is that we all can win, right?
Bill: Well, I’ve gone to great lengths to eradicate the thinking of zero sum. So I don’t want this to be a zero sum game. I want this to be a process and life is a process of wins and losses, if we associate such. But it’s, just for me, terminology. And everything is found in terminology, it’s very important so to me, and I think to every listener has to have their very own definition in life of what winning is. To me, it’s freedom. So, to me, winning the game of life is to be able to have more freedom, though I have to do the work to have the freedom.
We talked last night and we talked about being an essentialist, being a minimalist. You know there’s so much clutter in our heads when we could start getting rid of some of that clutter, we can actually start to enjoy a life. There’s so many competing voices out there, they are saying this is winning, this is losing, this is if you’ve been playing the game. Get rid of those voices. Define what’s important to you, define what winning means to you and why you’re doing that. Stay with that definition of success because to me it’s a progressive realization of a worthy endeavor and it’s always been that way since I was a kid. This is what I want to do, let me do it well. That’s my expectation. So it’s fulfilling your personal expectation. You either are doing that every day or you’re not. That to me is success. It’s not society saying here’s how we measure and it’s XYZ. That’s a game we can never win, it’s just a game of frustration.
Todd: But a game changer has to have a destination, right? You cannot be a game changer and never go anywhere and achieve something even if it’s a minor goal. You have to know this, right? This is essential to being a game changer so you have to know what you’re aiming for.
Bill: Oh, now we’re going to go deep. I like that, I never go on deep. So I think destination happens and I think that the overall destination would be just to keep the journey in terms of happiness. And I think happiness is something, there’s a powerful word, there’s a scary word. I think’s it’s something that we don’t search for. I think the more we search for, the more it eludes our grasp. So to me it’s a continual process, not so much a destination, for happiness. And I think happiness is a way of life, happiness is maybe getting rid of debt or having the financial security at some point. You know, all things in life, there’s no such thing as true security. But really, to have the financial wherewithal to have some sense of security because getting rid of a lot of debt load or getting rid of a lot of that clutter can help us to express more and we have that bounce of happiness that we all, I think, search for. Now some people just like to be unhappy, they find their perverse form of pleasure by being unhappy. But for those who seek happiness, I think, I would caution and mentor; stop searching so much. Stop searching so much and get in the game and immerse in people and it will ensue.
The difference between joy, which is a birthday party, surprise is great or the great bottle of wine or the new car, that’s a bounce of joy. But overall happiness is a state, is a mindset, it’s a way and I think, that to me, makes for every destination because I’m happy along the way.
Todd: Well, there’s this, a favorite story of mine about Chris Evert, the tennis champion. She told a story once that when she won Wimbledon, that brought her happiness and joy for a couple of hours. What she quickly realized was that the process it took to get there and when that championship was what really mattered to her and then that made her say, “Alright, it’s time to go to work and prepare for the next one.” I mean it’s important, right? There has to be a goal, there has to be a destination, there has to be an end point to the journey. But I think when you’re on your death bed, you’re going to recognize that the journey as really what was rewarding and fun and memorable, right?
Bill: Well, I think those destinations are markers that show us where we are in terms of our achievement. And I think we have, as individuals, we need to achieve something and that’s part of the always word mindset is well, we need to achieve, we need to move forward.
Todd: But I would submit to and I was just talking to someone about this yesterday that on our death bed, whether it’s Warren Buffet or whomever, would we trade all of our financial wherewithal, all the material trappings and holdings for another two hours or three hours or another day?
Bill: Oh, I think we would. Absolutely think we would.
Todd: So I look at the opus of life as the big picture in life and I think there are achievements and there are ways of destination and I know that in business, every time that there’s a huge opportunity that we brought to fruition, it was almost anti-climactic. Because the chase was all the foreplay, it was all the fun and the whole process, whether it was a year or a month or two years, that was the heightened sense of awareness and the heightened sense of expectation where you were putting everything you had in that field of play and that was the fun. And then you got the yes or you got the no. But if you had the yes, sometimes, it was anti-climactic.
Well, a game changer when they hit a goal or achieve a destination, they’re beginning to move on to the next one, right? I don’t want to butcher the quote but it’s, “The mountain of success keeps rising as you’re climbing.”
Bill: Keep raising the bar.
Todd: that’s what we’re talking about last episode so. We didn’t talk about the costs of all these. We mentioned that last episode, I mean, you have to know what the cost are, you have to know what the cost of a successful engagement is [08:42] big question. Are you willing to pay that cost? Talk about that.
Bill: Well, let’s talk about the cost and let’s talk about something that is, I think for most people, they’re unaware until they are actually in it. So when people come to me and say we’re going to burn our boats and cross the [08:55], do all these things you say, we’re ready to do it. Well, they don’t know what the cost is and cost is emotional. See, the emotional fray, the emotional cost, the emotional, I think, deficit at certain points of any other kind of life just to pursue a certain goal. That’s’ the toll that we don’t know that we’re willing to pay until we’re actually in there. Because life’s a trade-off, Todd, you’re not going to get something of value unless you give something up of equal value. We’ve got to be emotionally hardened to a degree, which sounds terrible. We have to be emotionally hardened t a certain point where we can keep moving with a certain finite, looking and moving, progressing achievement and other things are going to suffer. That’s one of the cost of being a game changer.
Todd: But game changers are willing to pay those costs. And most people out there aren’t going to pay those costs and that’s the difference.
Bill: That is the difference. That’s the difference in the 1%. The difference is in the people they’re willing to pay those costs and there is collateral damage in every decision. The other people who are prone to sit on a couch will reap their rewards of couch time and so we can look and see what they are maybe they can probably win a game show or maybe they’re going to be in Jeopardy one day, maybe that’s their holy grail, I don’t know. But the ones that are going to get in the game and change the game, there’s an emotional cost, they’re willing to pay the cost and they know that as they go forward as you talk about getting up the mountain, you’re going to keep raising that bar, it gets tougher and tougher. The more rarefied your achievements, the more rarefied the better the competition. And I think fear comes into this too. And sometimes those costs are scary. And again, that’s just part of this. That’s what a game changer has to do, they have to ram through those fears.
Todd: Let’s talk about what fear is. Fear is that imagination that plays this narrative forward for us and it takes all of our defeats and catastrophes and the catastrophes of others and it plays it as a possible reality. It becomes real. So it’s that future experience that appears to be real. That’s fear. Danger’s different than fear. Danger is that imminent threat from man, insect or reptile that could actually cause us harm. Now fear is a very protective ally for us and it can be an adversary. It’s an ally when we’re in an alley and we have our sensory perception is way up because there could be an actual danger there. But it’s a definite adversary when it starts to play that [11:02] imagination, the worst case scenario and it keep us with our feet affixed to the floor, afraid to open the door. And metaphorically, afraid to even enter the workplace, afraid to engage in life, afraid of what could happen if we risk and nothing can come, nothing can happen without that always-forward intelligent risk express.
Understanding fears is part of the gang, fear’s part of the bargain. We have to deal with that first or we’ll never forego anywhere in life. I mean, it’s fair to say we talked about this idea in the last episode but when you’re in the context of understanding the cost that you have to pay to achieve what you want to achieve and when you feel fear hidden at a sign, “Hey, here’s an opportunity. Here’s what you have to – Now you know exactly what you got to come through to get where you want to go.” And looked upon as a great thing because it’s telling you exactly where the next move has to be.
Bill: Fear is an indicator that you’re close and the bigger the fear, the closer you are.
Todd: So the whole point there is celebrate that because that’s shining the light on the path.
Todd: Alright, Bill and I will return after this short break. We’ll be right back.[12:05-13:02 Advertisement]
Todd: Alright, its Todd Schnitt back with Bill Wooditch episode 2 of be a game changer. So, Bill, I’ve heard you say don’t bargain with success. What do you mean by that?
Bill: Well, you got to have to meet success on its terms. You can’t negotiate or bargain with success. Success is one of those things that takes an all-out effort to go after. You can’t say, “You know, I’m successful. I think I’m going to stay here. Success don’t leave me, now I have my house, I have my car, I’ve got a beautiful family, I just want to maintain.” And there are three phases, I think, in business and in life. There’s the achievement phase, there’s that driving achievement phase where you’re moving forward as a driver, you’re a builder. So you’re a builder. And then there’s that maintenance phase where you have to maintain for a while, maybe a plateau for a little bit, but then you have to shoot to the next phase. So that next phase, the phase of next, is [13:47]. You can’t sit on success. You can’t sit on success, if someone will always move up to that level and take what you have the same way you took what you now have. So I think that’s the key. You can’t bargain with success. It’s always under construction and it’s always moving forward.
Todd: Well, in thinking of your three phases there, I think most people out there achieve something that they would consider as success. Whether it is getting a good job out of school, for instance. Or I think most people fall into a trap as in they’re stuck in that second phase. And you’re not a game changer until you move full throttle ahead in to that third phase, right?
Bill: Let’s talk about emotional capital. The emotional capital that you expand in getting from the achieving, building stage into that maintenance stage is often immense. They are often subject to the intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical pillars, I call them that really provide the platform for growth, learning, they house your values. At a certain point, when you’re always under the chase, when you’re always on the chase, always on the go as a builder, you need to get to a maintenance phase or you can take a little bit of a break; but you damn well better find the fire again because you have to shoot to the next level. You’ll look like a Bell Curve in where you go up to a certain point of achievement and all of a sudden you start coming down into senescence and older age and it goes away. You got to keep finding the spurts and that fire has to come from within, that can’t come from the external.
Todd: Yeah. Absolutely, yeah. You’ve talked about activity ruling success. Let’s get into that a bit.
Bill: You know I wasn’t the sharpest guy on the street so I had to be the hardest working guy. So if I could not work someone, I had to outsmart him. That was rare. But if I had, you know, whatever that proposition was. So to me, I walked into an office when I started my first job. I needed this job, I had a house insurance sales for corporate insurance and I had this tie that my brother used to tie for me. I couldn’t do anything, I had a clip-on, you know. At one quarter, I had a suit, had no car, I said, “Ma, I need a car.” And so she gave me this oxidized brown station wagon and I was trying to sell corporate insurance in the south, in Richmond, Virginia and I was a fast talking Yankee.
Yeah so imagine I had to have a lot of activity to have any success, opened up that bull-pen drawer there was a 6-inch ruler it said ‘Activity rules success.’ Now I was a smart-ass kid out of school, I thought, “Well, is that what it takes? Is that what it is for success? I didn’t know any better?” and you know there’s something to be said about it, if you don’t know any better, you just do it? I just started doing it. I thought if the quota here is to make a hundred calls, I’m going to make three. If the quota here is to make three, I’m going to make nine hundred. I’m just going to keep making it until my ear, in those days it was a phone up against your ear, it was like a cover for lower ear.
The more activity you have in life, the more exposure, the more expansive the people you’re trying to sell or people you want to meet with whether it’s the spouse of your dreams; the more activity you have, the more population; the more, the bigger the base or opportunity that come from there and the more you can move forward. Activity will always be the pre-cursor. Activity will rule success.
Todd: Where do you draw the line between ‘busy work’ and ‘I’m just trying to justify my existence here at this corporate nine-to-five job’, and maybe you’re stuck in that maintenance phase, you’re just doing mindless activities and under the guise of ‘Hey, I’m working and I’m working hard here. What’s the difference between the kind of work and activity that you’re talking about that leads to success versus just getting by and justifying your salary to your boss?
Bill: Great question. I call that directed and measured activity. Directed at an outcome that you must have and it has to be measured. What it the success? How am I moving toward that outcome and ultimately it’s the result? I think there’s a bullshit meter that we have within it wherein we know how much work we’re actually doing. And we’re mailing in the day and we’re making files when we should be on the phone [17:32]. Or we’re on the phone messing around or sending texts when we know in our gut we should be meeting with the person face to face. So there are certain things we can do to distract ourselves in an 8-hour day. And game changers don’t have limits on their hours. The hours could be 20 hours, you know. I used to get up in the morning, 3 o’clock, call London to do deals. It was whatever it takes, that’s the mentality.
So you could go thru life and you can put in your 8 hours, your level of work, if you have 2 hours of work, you can always make it fill an 8-hour day. Key for a game changer is not to measure the hours. Get out there. Directed activity, measure the activity by result and if you’re not getting it, change it, change it, change it.
Todd: Directed and measured activity, it helped someone, it touched up and go deeper to someone listening, this is, “Alright, I get, I get. But I don’t know how to measure it.” Help me really understand how I measure that activity.
Bill: Let’s talk about activity ruling success. How many calls are you’re making and how many opportunities you’re making from the calls or whatever your selling model is? How are you moving toward what’s important in getting that sale? Or in life, what is it that’s next for you? So let’s talk about measuring something. Are you having any kind of forward momentum? Any kind of indicator that you are actually moving forward and succeeding in what you do because, I think, that we can have the greatest intent. We can have the greatest attitude, but if we don’t have the aptitude for a certain industry, if we don’t have the skill set for a certain job, we’re not going to move forward. We’re spinning our wheels. I would be a horrific mechanic. There’s probably 905 of jobs, opportunities or careers that I would fail at. I just have to find that little niche where I’m pretty good at something. So I think we have to be able to be in the right place, we have to have some sort of traction in going forward that’s measurable. We are meeting with certain people, we’re having some success from those meetings, I think that’s what’s important.
Todd: Okay, I think it’s clear that most pf the work people are doing is maintenance and it’s not moving forward. And what you said you have to have an indicator that you are moving the ball forward and you have to know that. A game changer knows what that looks like. And that’s, again, we talked about mentorship last episode that they can help you with that too, right?
Bill: Yes, and take the money off the table because a game changer doesn’t look at the money. The first time we start counting commissions, counting money, counting how much we’re going to make on a sale, we take the people part, the personal part of the equation out of it and that’s everything. Because people smell three things on you. They smell fear, desperation and greed. Fear, desperation and greed. And they don’t want to partner with that. You don’t want to partner with people who are fearful, who are desperate, who are greedy.
And so you see these people coming. So I think the people I’ve seen who’d had the biggest, greatest success are in this whole flow, this whole zone where it becomes them, they become the game; where they’re out there having this great time moving forward and validating themselves through what they’re achieving out there and I think that’s the key. Because for me it was this, it was a personal validation. When people would come on and join my, say, platform or vote with their wallets and come in to my company, I would think, “You know what, the ideas I had when I was younger are coming to fruition and other people are now benefitting from those ideas.” That’s my version of winning. That’s how I knew I was moving forward, that’s how I was directing and measuring the activity and the result.
Todd: Well, we’d all agree that Steve Jobs was a game changer, right? But do you think he spend his days focused on how much profit he was deriving from each product sold?
Bill: I don’t think he even had a clue. But I mean, that’s an obvious example of why, ‘Look, earning a living is important but that about it you got to take care of yourself and the family.’ But profit is another mind of a game changer. You start playing small. When that’s what you look at, you start focusing on the mistakes you don’t want to make instead of just playing loose and happy and having fun. And I think we start to measure ourselves by the money, I think, that’s the first time we start to lose. I would put that in a definite – we talked about what winning is but it actually put that in the L column.
Todd: Look, we’re not saying that that’s not an important thing to think about when you’re running an organization. But that’s not game changer. Game changers’ thinking bigger than that. You just said you think it’s small, and I think that’s a critically important message here on understanding. That’s, again, the whole episode here is what is winning, what is the destination? And it can’t be to receive a certain profit level. That can’t be it.
Bill: Well, a game changer is the CEO of their life. So you know what the number one responsibility for a CEO is to drive profit for shareholders, it’s to create a value for their shareholders. So how are you creating value for yourself as a game changer? I think that’s the most important thing. Our financial indicators are born absolutely, they’re essential. I mean, we play the game so we could have lifestyle options. So within the game of life that we’re playing, lifestyle options are important. Lifestyle options come from succeeding from the financial arena. So it’s absolutely paramount and important. But to measure ourselves and to play the game only for that, no.
Todd: Now, we’re going to do a whole episode on becoming a CEO of your life down the road a bit. We talked about the importance of message last episode, particularly the clarity and passion of your message. Talk about [22:29] here.
Bill: Well, I think we have to be clear. We have to be clear what we must have and that is a personal proposition. We have to have clarity in what we talk, in what we say to ourselves about what we really want. I think that’s crucial if the message is aligned with the messenger, people are going to buy the messenger before they ever listen to the message. They’re going to buy the sales person before they ever buy what you’re selling as a product. They’re going to buy you if you have what? Self-conviction or self-belief. People feel that belief. They feel your confidence and then they can experience your competence. But will probably never get to the confident stage unless they feel your confidence, unless they feel that confidence that has to come from inside.
Todd: Well, so the message has to be aligned with the messenger, I get it and part of my fear here is that someone listening says, “Alright, well I’m going to try to get my message aligned with who I am and what I’m trying to do. And that is important. That is a critical step here. You cannot be a game changer until you do that. However, do you also have to be recognizing the response and the perception from the audience to – you just touched on that, but I think that’s the step most people missed too.
Bill: Oh, I think, we have to be malleable in our approach, we have to be flexible in our approach. I think that’s one of the biggest parts of being a game changer. And we talked about learning. And we’re talking about learning throughout this talk. I think one of the things we can learn is how to adapt and how to adopt. And if we don’t do that, we’re not sensitive to how others feel, we’re always going to be pushing probably in the wrong direction. That’s important, but when we talk about message and messenger, people are going to buy you and I don’t want to, maybe not use the word buy. But people are going to embrace you because you’re either like them and people want to do business they’re like or they like you or they want to be like you. Those are the three categories and that goes back to the instinct and the first five seconds, first one second, first millisecond. There’s already a bias or an opinion there, it’s already formed in the subconscious. Everything that happens after that in terms of action either validates or invalidates that subconscious decision.
Todd: Well, and I hate to keep using an obvious example here. But think of the outpouring of emotion and support when Steve Jobs did pass away. And that’s the kind of emotion you’re talking about here, right? That’s the kind of embracing this person and his idea and what he stands for. Do you even know the name of the last IBM guy who passed away? We don’t know that because we weren’t embracing that message.
Bill: So that’s what’s so critical, so.
Todd: Yeah, it’s important to align your message to what you’re trying to do but you have to keep in mind that it has to be a positive perception from the audience and the intended audience. And I think a big part of that is as you said this adapt and adopt, I think all people struggle with that too. Any counsel you can provide on how to do that?
Bill: Well, I think when you look into the eyes of another, whether it’s across the table at dinner and it’s your spouse or it’s your date or it’s a potential client, I think that person has to believe you. And they have to believe in you and they believe in you if you believe in yourself. And there’s a lot of beliefs in there but that’s where the confidence comes from. I think that, that’s very, very important in being aligned with the message. So I think that message and that messenger, that’s what I’m talking about. They have to be, they’re one and the same because when people bought from you, they would tell me, “Look, we’re expecting you to get this thing fixed if it breaks.” And that’s the accountability I embrace, that’s the responsibility I embrace, that’s exactly how I enroll people.
Todd: Alright, well that’s a lot to think about here but critical stuff as we build this foundation to become a game changer, but all the time we have for today. Bill, before I let you go, again how do people contact you should they have questions about how to become a game changer.
Bill: That’s billwooditch.com. W-O-O-D-I-T-C-H.com
Todd: Alright, so tune in next week for the next episode where we will discuss the Think and Do effect. And frankly, Bill, that’s something you’ve taken me that if you learn one thing to be successful in life is understanding and applying the Think and Do effect. Alright, so in behalf of my colleague Bill Wooditch, I am Todd Schnick. We’ll see you next week on Be A Game Changer. So until then, remember always forward.