How To Lead & Live A Disappointing Life (Told No, At Every Turn)

Rejection in BusinessDuck, duck, oops. By now, the Ducky Dynasty controversy sparked by patriarch Phil’s raggedly voiced, Biblical based anti-gay answer to a GQ MAGAZINE interviewer’s question is old news. I wrote this when it was dominating media. A&E pretended they were shocked, despite a record on Phil’s beliefs dating back at least ten years. That same week, a PR person (of all things) 146-charactered a tweet taken as racist by many and stupid by many more when waiting to board a flight, and she was publicly, “loudly” fired before the flight landed. Anybody with any business, brand, career, money or reputation to protect who tweets at all is dumber than a pile of manure.

But these days, people like ‘ol Phil have to be “on guard” at all times or know they put their empires at risk by voicing their opinions. My speaking colleague of 9 years, Zig Ziglar, had exactly the same position on this item as Phil, but never, to my knowledge, pushed it as in-artfully. Nor would he have agreed to be interviewed by GQ. (Reminds of President Jimmy Carter’s asinine agreement to being interviewed in Playboy, where he made a remark that created a firestorm at the time.)

Whatever you think about Phil’s statements, you should know that your opinions or beliefs are every bit as offensive to a whole lot of folks. A society where opinion is dangerous is a dangerous society indeed. Of course, Phil and his family are rich, they have militantly loyal and enthusiastic fans, and this may wind up making them richer, not poorer. He handled it perfectly.

Several people sent me Phil’s book, HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY,  as a gift, and in it I found a story, that is absolutely typical and representative of two truths behind most Renegade Millionaires. One, what my friend Glenn W. Turner called “being intelligently ignorant” – too dumb to know something can’t be done, and doing it, often to the shock, dismay, and occasionally, rage of “smarter” folks. Second, living undeterred by being told “No”.  So, here’s how Phil “cracked” Wal-Mart for his duck calls…

“So, one day I pulled my old truck in front of the first Walmart I saw, walked in, and said, ‘Hey, how many of these duck calls do you want here?’ The clerk laughed and told me, ‘We don’t buy duck calls. Son, you need to go to Bentonville.’ (Wal-Mart corporate headquarters). I drove down the road and tried the next few Walmart stores.…finally, one of the store managers said, ‘You got an order form?’  ‘Nah, I just figured you could pay me out of petty cash.’ ‘Well, I’ve got a 3-part form I need to fill out,’ he said. ‘I’ll try six of them.’

When that store manager filled out his 3-part form with WALMART at the top and wrote down ‘six duck calls’, I walked out looking at my copy and thought – I’ve got me something here. When I got to the next Walmart, I showed the store manager the form and told him, ‘Walmart’s stocking duck calls. This last store ordered six.’ He said, ‘Give me what you’ve got.’

Eventually, Phil had sold $25,000.00 worth into Wal-Mart stores. Finally, the chief buyer at corporate called and wanted to know how this had happened, and Phil told him. The buyer said, “Let me get this right. You mean to tell me you’ve been driving around in your pick-up truck and convincing our sporting goods departments to buy your duck calls without even conferring with me, who’s supposed to be doing the buying for the whole Wal-Mart chain?”

To his credit, the buyer gave Phil a letter officially authorizing him to keep doing what he’d been doing and okaying store managers’ purchasing. About a year later, Phil finally went to Bentonville. Storewide sales averaged $500,000 a year for 20 years, and opened doors at Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, etc., and went a long way to making Phil and his family rich. How many Phil’s do you think accept the first no?

This mirrors the story of Kenneth Cole, and the way he launched his shoe company – which I’ve told often. Everything else swirling around Phil now is irrelevant. Just focus on this specific aspect of his thinking and behavior: that normal and customary ways of doing things are for other people. This  is how big things get done and big money gets made.

Most environments – Wal-Mart included – have a bureaucratic rule book in place, bureaucrat keepers of the rules; a stultifying process that preserves their power and deliberately renders all others supplicants. Most everybody accepts this, most are confounded by it, some fight their way through it like the lone cat of the six stuffed into the same burlap sack tied shut and dumped into the water trough, who claws and bites and fights his way out. (This has long been a common form of population control of cats on farms.)

A few people refuse to accept this. A few ignore it, out of intelligent ignorance, renegade nature, and an instinctive or conscious recognition that being in a tied-shut sack with competitors, submerged in water, and fighting to be the only one to survive is an undesirable game, even for the victor. A whole lot of what I’ve done, do and teach about marketing, selling, entrepreneurship is all about never getting into or being put into the sack with the other cats, submerged in water.

At every turn, the person of accomplishment and wealth was and continues to be told “No”, “You Can’t” and “That’s Not How It’s Done Around Here”.  Metaphysical-leaning thought leaders teach that this is how “the Universe” tests the truth and depth of each individual’s desire:  a long line ahead of them, in front of a thick, wood door with no bell, through which timid knocking is never heard, and to which a few react: why bother with the damn door at all?   Test of character and will or simple fact of life, you can decide. But life is most profoundly and consistently disappointing for those who honor bureaucracy, who accept No.

– By Dan S. Kennedy, serial entrepreneur, from-scratch multi-millionaire, speaker, consultant, coach, author of 13 books including the No B.S. series, and editor of The No B.S. Marketing Letter. FOR A SPECIAL FREE GIFT FROM DAN FOR YOU including newsletters, audio CD’s and more: visit: www.FreeDanKennedyNewsletter.com

What You Accept, You Get

Only Accept SuccessHere’s a secret I’ve discovered about millionaire and multi-millionaire entrepreneurs: they want what they do and their companies do to be right. Not 80% right. Not 90% right. Right, period. They are, therefore, very much disliked by a lot of people, and if they are “big” enough, by the media. Jobs. Bezos. Trump. Working for them, many ex-employees say, was hell. But maybe it was being incompetent in their employ that was hell.

Winning isn’t just a statistic on a spreadsheet or a bank account balance. It is the customer, Mrs. Matilda Smith, in Rockford, Illinois, getting what she asked for on her pizza or the right product in the delivered package or a human answering her call in fewer than four rings.

Customer appreciation is not a once a year sale or an automated thank you e-mail. It is an authentic attitude, top-down, permeated throughout an organization, actually occurring – and measured, policed and enforced – every day. I don’t care how big your company, if you don’t actually care about the people, the individuals, giving you money, they will drift off in search of a place where they feel valued and appreciated.

Another secret about rich entrepreneurs: they don’t just seek success. They HATE failure.

They often react to it violently. Martha Stewart was known to drop into a K-Mart store, find her branded goods sloppily stocked and throw the entire inventory from shelves onto the floor. Eisner instantly fired a group of Disney Park employees caught not smiling. Walt had a fit over one’s lousy delivery of The Jungle Cruise script. I saw Trump tear an empty towel dispenser from a restroom wall in a Trump hotel and throw it 20 yards down a hall.

These people are said to terrorize their employees, their associates, their vendors. But how calmly should you accept failure?  Should you “stay calm and carry on”? Only if you want more of the failure you calmly accept. If your blood doesn’t boil and offenders see fire shoot from your eyeballs, your lesser response will be taken as permission. If there is failure and new training, new controls, new supervision is not installed as remedy, the “let’s TRY and do better” will be taken as permission.

There are places where incompetence as failure has dire and instant consequences. The jailer who forgets to lock the inmate’s cell or misses the razor blade in the body search may wind up quickly dead. It’s a fine object lesson for other jailers. The cruise ship captain who is busy texting  and gets into too-shallow water and capsizes and sinks the whole thing, and injures and drowns passengers, goes to prison. As it should be.

Creating dire and instant consequences for incompetence and failure is a good thing in any and every business. I’ve told of Chuck Sekeres’ “3 strikes and you’re out” for his in-bound telemarketers: three calls in a row without a set appointment, you’re out. Next batter up. No quarterly performance evaluations. Don’t even wait to be told. After 3, get up and slink out. Minute by minute. Drop three passes in a game, butt on bench. If possible, traded.

Fail at managing the V.A., the IRS and Benghazi, shouldn’t three strikes be enough?  They tried to impeach Clinton over one intern. I used the word RUTHLESS in my book title “No BS Management of People and Profits” because, damn it, we desperately need a lot more ruthlessness in a lot more places. In homes, in neighborhoods, in small businesses, in big companies, in government. You can start with you.

– By Dan S. Kennedy, serial entrepreneur, from-scratch multi-millionaire, speaker, consultant, coach, author of 13 books including the No B.S. series, and editor of The No B.S. Marketing Letter. FOR A SPECIAL FREE GIFT FROM DAN FOR YOU including newsletters, audio CD’s and more: visit: www.FreeDanKennedyNewsletter.com

How to go from $0 to $100k/month online [free pdf]

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Talk to you soon,

Chris :)

P.S. – As I promised a year ago, I was going to start selling on Amazon, too. Want to know what happened? Stay tuned and I’ll share those details tomorrow (along with a LIVE free opportunity to ask me any question you want about this Amazon world).

Until then, watch this video and grab the pdf tonight: http://lifetimemarketingsuccess.com/-howtocrush.html

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