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Darren Hardy is the visionary force behind SUCCESS magazine as its Publisher and Founding Editor
The chair once occupied by Orson Swett Marden, W. Clement Stone, Napoleon Hill, and Og Mandino is where SUCCESS publisher and founding editor Darren Hardy now sits. Darren has been a leader in the personal development industry for two decades, having led two personal development based television networks--The People’s Network (TPN), and The Success Training Network (TSTN)—producing and launching more than 1,000 TV shows, live events, and products and programs with many of the world’s top experts.
As publisher and founding editor of SUCCESS, Darren is in the unique position of sitting down with the leading experts on human performance and achievement, as well as many of today’s top CEOs, revolutionary entrepreneurs, superstar athletes, entertainers and Olympic champions, to uncover and share the success secrets behind their extraordinary success.
Just a few of the achievers interviewed by Darren Hardy and SUCCESS magazine include: Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Donald Trump, Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Charles Schwab, Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and many more.View Photo Gallery
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The Haves and Have-nots
The gap is widening. Which will you be?
I’d like to officially welcome you to 2012, one of the greatest periods of opportunity ever in human history. While there has always been opportunity, and there will always be opportunity, the sea changes we’ve experienced over the past few years have unearthed possibilities unlike anything ever seen before—particularly for the budding entrepreneur.
As Industrial Age corporate structures and monolithic systems begin to crumble, those who once maintained unquestioned power have been dethroned, and everything—I mean, everything—is up for grabs. This, combined with recent technological innovations, has changed the game forever. Today, we are all wired directly to each other. No one has exclusive access to markets or distribution channels.
Your local community is no longer your only marketplace—the entire world is, instantly, 24/7. The world has been made flat, and so has the playing field of opportunity. Fifty years from now your children and your children’s children will look back with envy—wishing they were you, right here, right now, in 2012, when this new frontier was still unclaimed.
But be forewarned. This newly leveled playing field also brings unrivaled competition—not just from the business down the street or members of your local chamber of commerce. Your new competition is in every neighborhood, every chamber of commerce, every main street in the world… and every basement or bedroom occupied by a teenager with a laptop.
As we experience this duality of unparalleled opportunity and voracious competition, the gap will continue to widen between the haves and have-nots. This gap will not be caused by disparities in education, entitlements, wealth or class. It will be a skills gap. Your ability to stay competitive in the 21st century will be directly related to your ability to adapt, grow and continually improve your skills. Now more than ever, a ceaseless commitment to your personal development will be your greatest asset in staying relevant and distinguishing you from the competition.
These are the times of enormous opportunity, but only for those who prepare themselves to seize those opportunities. Our commitment at SUCCESS is to deliver you the ideas, resources and inspiration that will help you continually advance your skills, elevate your mindset and expand your creative potential.
We have a sensational editorial calendar planned for you in 2012. We are excited to take you with us on what is sure to be a fun, prosperous and life-enriching experience.
The starter’s gun has been fired. Carpe diem!
What matters most in making your business successful—it might not be what you expect.
If a genie popped out of a bottle and granted you instant “best-in-your-industry” status in just one of four categories, which would you choose: best management, best margins, best marketing or best product? While all these contribute to your business success, only one factor matters most.
It’s often assumed that the highest-quality and best product wins. Not true. What’s the No. 1 restaurant in the world? McDonald’s. What’s the No. 1 wine? Franzia (the stuff that comes in a box). The next assumption is that management makes the competitive difference. Countless “dream teams” have failed miserably (think Enron, the movie Oceans 12 and the 2004 Olympic basketball team, comprising nothing but NBA stars, ending up third, losing to Lithuania). Certainly your accountant and CFO would wish for the highest margins. Margins don’t matter at all if the product never sells. Ultimately, like it or not, the one thing that matters most for whether your business succeeds or fails miserably is marketing.
This issue of SUCCESS focuses on marketing (if you haven’t figured that out already), and it’s jam-packed with insights and strategies from today’s leading experts. We’ve even set out to challenge your viewpoint (it’s challenged mine!) by giving you a look at, like it or not (and I don’t), the influence reality TV has had on our culture and the business of marketing. Those who have transitioned from “15 minutes of fame” to billion-dollar brands (hence, our cover) have done it through conventional hard work, marketing best practices and creativity in their use of modern marketing tools—which provides lessons to help all of us toward becoming brighter stars in the reality of our own marketplace.
Also in this issue, I want to pay tribute to the late Steve Jobs, arguably the greatest marketer of our time. The CD enclosed with this issue includes conclusions I’ve drawn from several months of study, trying to decode the marketing magic of Steve Jobs and Apple. I found six strategies they mastered, which resulted in Apple becoming the most valuable brand in the world. I attempt to explain how you, too, can master these six strategies in growing the value of your business. I also interview Seth Godin, Tory Johnson and John Maxwell, who share some incredible insights.
So make the right choice—and study this issue as if your business depends on it. It just might.
We Are Here For You
Let me acknowledge something: It can be tough out there! Every day, we’re bombarded with scary, ugly, scandalous and tragic news. Being an election year, the political rhetoric is at epic levels, with repeated messages of how broken, corrupt and terrible everything and everyone is. Even your own friends, family and colleagues are parroting these sentiments around water coolers, in hallway conversations and at cocktail parties.
Over time you might even find these attitudes echoed in the voices of your own head. It can become maddening. What do you do? Where do you turn? How do you break this self-perpetuating cycle of fear, worry and negativity?
That’s why we’re here. That’s the purpose of SUCCESS. Through the fog of all the negative, fearful and worrisome messages that continually swirl around us, we are here to be your beacon of light and hope—a resource you can turn to for inspiration, optimism and to find out what’s right with the world. We also show you what’s possible for you; if you take the wheel of your ship and captain your own destiny, we will be the wind in your sails. We will provide you the map needed to chart a course toward your long-held goals, dreams and ambitions, and to finally make them real.
These are times of the greatest opportunities in all human history. Don’t let anyone or anything convince you otherwise. There has never been a better time for the individual—the entrepreneur—to take control of his or her financial future. Unlike any other time in history, you now have the entire globe as your marketplace literally right at your fingertips. And at SUCCESS magazine we are here to support, encourage and help you accomplish your entrepreneurial dreams.
Our empowering message is one thing that sets SUCCESS apart from other publications. Another thing that distinguishes SUCCESS is the CD enclosed in each issue, which represents a compilation of ideas, tips and strategies employed by some of the world’s most extraordinary achievers. Each month, I sit down in one-on-one interviews with these individuals, and there’s nothing like hearing these insights directly from them, in their own voices. As one reader wrote to me, “When you hear the interviews, you connect with them, their emotion and passion.”
Other readers tell me they listen to the CDs over and over, as they drive to their appointments or to work. Some play the CDs when they’re driving their kids. Teachers have told me they play the CDs for students.
“The CDs have helped me be a more focused and audacious person,” one person wrote to me. “To be willing to try new things, new environments, and be more confident in approaching people who have reached greater degrees of success, and who are where I want to go.”
That is exactly why we are here. To help you reach your potential and become the person you desire to be… with the extra little nudge of encouragement and support along the way.
I hope you enjoy this issue of SUCCESS magazine as well as the CD.
Greatness Is in the Comeback
“I must be the greatest.”
That is what 22-year-old Cassius Clay (who would become Muhammad Ali) said after defeating Sonny Liston in 1964 to become the heavyweight champion of the world. But as Ali would prove to us, greatness is not defined in moments of victory; it is defined in the moments after a defeat. Greatness is in the comeback.
Three years after winning the championship, Ali was stripped of his title, had his license suspended and was not allowed to leave the country because of his refusal to be conscripted into the U.S. military. Without a license to earn a living for nearly four years, Ali went broke. His rival, Joe Frazier, who succeeded Ali as champion, had to loan Ali money to fight his court case to get his license reinstated.
That set the stage for “The Fight of the Century” on March 8, 1971, at Madison Square Garden (even Frank Sinatra couldn’t get a ringside seat, although he ended up at the bout as a photographer for Life magazine). In the 15th and final round, Frazier floored Ali with a hard left hook. Ali struggled to his feet, his jaw badly swollen, only to suffer several more stunning blows. The decision was unanimous: Frazier retained the title, dealing Ali his first professional loss.
In 1972 and 1973, Ali lost twice, to Elmo Henderson (who?) and Ken Norton (who broke Ali’s jaw). Where’s the greatness? Later in 1973, Ali defeated Norton in a rematch, and in 1974 he would beat Frazier in the “Ali-Frazier II” bout. But Frazier had already lost his title to Big George Foreman.
Then came “The Rumble in the Jungle” on Oct. 30, 1974, pitting Ali against Foreman. Almost no one gave the former champion a chance of winning. At 32, ancient in boxing years, Ali had previously lost to Norton and Frazier, while the fearsome 25-year-old Foreman had knocked out both men in only the second round. In one of the biggest upsets in boxing history, Ali knocked out Foreman in the eighth round to regain his title against all odds. Ali, once again, was the greatest.
And he kept on fighting, losing his title in February 1978 to 25-year-old Leon Spinks and then defeating Spinks eight months later to become the first three-time heavyweight champion of the world.
While overcoming terrifying boxing opponents, Ali’s greatest foes were outside the ring—the boxing commission, the U.S. government, the media. Standing true to his principles, Ali became a catalyst in opposing the Vietnam War, racism and religious bigotry. Today, as he fights his own battle with Parkinson’s disease, he’s a champion for research and awareness.
Muhammad Ali recently celebrated his 70th birthday and, while he’s lost his share of fights, what makes him the greatest is that he kept on fighting. He inspires me to do the same.
No matter whether you are standing tall in victory or can still taste the blood of defeat in your mouth, I hope this special comeback issue of SUCCESS inspires you to keep fighting, too.
You are the greatest.
The Franchise Player
I was watching a major sporting event recently and the commentator kept referring to one of the athletes as a “franchise player.” Wanting to know exactly what this description meant, I did what we all do nowadays—I looked it up on Wikipedia. The Great Wiki said a “franchise player” is an athlete who is not simply the best player on the team, but a player that the team can build its “franchise” (team or business) around for the foreseeable future.
The game I was watching was on the line, the outcome dependent on the performance of this franchise player. If he came through, his team would go into the playoffs, resulting in many more games, with additional coliseums filled with excited fans buying tickets, food and merchandise. I started to think about the owner of the team. His or her entire annual return, maybe the entire future value of the enterprise, was riding on the shoulders of this one player. One player determined the difference of hundreds of millions of dollars. I thought, if I were the owner of the team, I would hire and pay a few people six-figure salaries just to manage the well-being of this one player. It would be worth it.
Last year I read Tom Rath’s book Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements. Tom explains that true well-being encompasses your professional life (liking what you do every day), social life (having positive relationships and love), finances, physical fitness and health, and community involvement. Thinking about this franchise player, I started masterminding the different ways the team owner could keep the player’s job fun, challenging and enjoyable. Then ways to ensure he was only hanging out with people who were supportive, loving and positively reinforcing. Certainly I would hire the best and most trusted financial advisers. Every aspect of his physical health, nutrition, training and rehabilitation would be managed and monitored by a team of world-class trainers. Then to complete the well-being management, I would be sure he was actively involved with charitable endeavors to make sure he gained a sense of his higher purpose and felt the fulfillment of contribution.
Then I thought, Hey, I’m the owner of my team, I should take care of my franchise players like this as well. My financial future is in their hands. If I take great care of them they will take me all… the… way… to my goals and dreams. Then I thought one step further: Hey, I AM the franchise player for my team—family, business, life—as well. I should take care of my well-being with this much care, consideration and investment. It’s the shrewd and prudent thing to do.
That’s what I want to encourage you to do as well. You are the franchise player for your family, business and life. Invest the time, money and thoughtfulness to be sure your well-being is well-managed. The future of your team—family, business, life—depends on your performance. That is what this issue of SUCCESS is focused on helping you achieve—greater well-being in all five essential areas of your life.
The game is on the line (every day): Is your well-being in peak-performance condition? I hope so.
The Pursuit of Happiness
Maybe that’s the problem.
Pursuing happiness is like chasing a rainbow. The faster we go, the harder we try, the farther off it becomes. I have learned that happiness is not a pursuit—it’s a choice. Happiness is a state of mind, obtainable at any time, in any moment of your choosing.
Licking a cone of creamy vanilla Haagen-Dazs makes me happy. But if someone knocks the cone out of my hand, I’m no longer happy. Happiness can be fleeting and unstable, like that ice cream cone. It’s really just a temporary sensation of pleasure, like entertainment, shopping, eating or sex.
Our beliefs about what will make us happy are heavily influenced by other people, Hollywood or commercial media. We race along this “hedonic treadmill” perpetually feeling like something is missing, like happiness is one toy, one trinket or one promotion away, but always just beyond our reach. But disappointing career choices, heartbreaking relationships and midlife crises indicate that our assumptions about happiness and the pursuit of it often miss the mark.
And still no rainbow. Disappointing career choices, heartbreaking relationships and mid-life crises indicate that our assumptions about happiness and the pursuit of it often miss the mark.
It’s not the pursuit of happiness we should concern ourselves with, but rather the pursuit of fulfillment, purpose and significance. If I have created a life of meaning in which I have a deep sense of purpose and value, that won’t change because someone knocks my ice cream cone over. Fulfillment is a state of existence, not a fleeting emotion.
What then creates a fulfilling life? That’s the all-important question you have to answer for yourself. In fact, it’s the subject of the classic tome Man’s Search for Meaning (which I recommend!) by psychiatrist and concentration camp survivor Viktor Frankl. Typically, a life of meaning requires deep relationships, a connection to a community, a sense of well-being, contribution to others and continual challenge, growth, learning and progress. Now those are some virtues worth pursuing. And once you start out on this pursuit, you will realize that crossing the finish line is not what’s most rewarding; the journey itself and the anticipation of achieving your goal is what’s so exhilarating and wonderful.
So what about being happy? There are two ways you can choose to be happy at any moment. One: Think about all you have to be grateful for. Some of the happiest people I have ever met are those who have comparatively few accoutrements to be happy about. When you feel gratitude, you cannot feel fear or worry at the same time. Gratitude washes it all away. If you are reading this, you’re breathing and above ground, so you have many blessings to be grateful for—just remind yourself at any moment you want to feel happy. The second way to choose happiness—the best way, in my opinion—is to do something to make someone else happy. The person who bestows happiness always gets much more of it in return.
I hope this issue of SUCCESS not only brings you much happiness but also helps you in your pursuit of finding greater meaning, purpose and fulfillment in life.
Technology is powering the entrepreneurial revolution. Are you in?
It was 15 minutes until a crucial web conference I was hosting. A $10 million deal was on the line. For three weeks, I’d worked to line up financial and political players for a company I advise. Then it happened. My computer monitor went blank, my Polycom phone made that funny little burp sound it makes when you unplug it, and all the lights in my San Diego home office went out.
Panicked, I ran outside to check the breaker. My neighbor yelled that his power was out, too. I went back in to try to log into the Go To Meeting website. No power to the cable modem meant no Internet. I tried my cellphone to alert someone. No cell service—which meant no texting, tweeting or Facebooking! Serious panic. Maybe a pole on our street had been hit, I thought. So I grabbed my laptop, jumped in my car and raced to the local Starbucks. The store was dark. In fact every house and business along the way was completely dark. The meeting time came and went. I was a no-show. I never no-show. My gut wrenched.
I went home to realize that my web radio, TV, refrigerator, oven, stove, garage door, coffee maker, air conditioner, water heater and almost every other form of technology was useless.
This might seem like a story to relate how terribly dependent on technology we have become, but in fact, on that day and that very dark night—Sept. 8, 2011, when an unprecedented power system crash left several million people without electricity from Baja, Mexico, through San Diego County and into Arizona—I really came to appreciate the amazing wonders technology has brought to every facet of my life. Without it, there is no way I could manage several businesses, broker multimillion-dollar deals with people residing all over the world from my home office, and have such a comfortable home with all these great amenities. What a great time to be alive!
Technology has definitely liberated the individual and is greatly responsible for powering the entrepreneurial revolution. Now, because of technology, every ambitious individual has direct and immediate access to a global market of resources and customers. We have become unchained. From any desk, hotel lobby, cab or even while standing in line at a Starbucks, we can book an airline ticket, participate in a worldwide conference call, approve contracts, wire money and stay in touch with old high school friends. We can access the world’s knowledge, the world’s goods and the world’s marketplace from anyplace, at all times and with a device that fits in our pocket. It’s incredible, really!
Which leads me to ask: Are you making the most of these amazing opportunities? Technology has leveled the playing field. Are you in the game? This issue can help you. That is our intention.
Turn your power button to “ON.”
Cassie pointed wildly at a butterfly in the distance. Her big blue eyes lit up and her voice rose with excitement. But before the 5-year-old could finish her sentence, her father, without looking up, held up his hand in a gesture that silenced her immediately. “If you don’t have something important to say, Cassie, don’t say anything at all.”
Throughout most of her childhood, she often heard, “That’s not important, Cassie,” “Nobody cares, Cassie,” “Be quiet, Cassie.” By the time I got to know her a little bit in high school, most people referred to her as “the girl who never speaks.”
Junior year, I had Mr. Wilson for A.P. English. Mr. Wilson seemed odd to me, since he didn’t lecture much, asked a lot of questions, and instead of lining the desks up in rows like the other teachers did, he organized them in a circle.
One day we were discussing Romeo and Juliet. Though this was about the pre-Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes version, the class was still animated. Students were throwing their opinions at each other like a wild game of dodgeball. True to form, Mr. Wilson asked questions and kept the discussion moving forward from student to student.
Then he pointed at Cassie and asked what she thought. The entire class turned to her, collectively drew a breath and waited. Would she speak? Cassie shifted forward then shrank back into her seat.
Mr. Wilson asked again. “Cassie, I can see you have something to add, and I would be honored to hear it—we all would.” And almost in unison, we all nodded. Cassie raised her eyes toward Mr. Wilson. They were bright blue, innocent and scared. And after a long pause she whispered, “It’s not important,” as her voice trailed off.
Mr. Wilson responded, “Cassie, anything you have to share is important, always.” She looked around at a room full of 17-year-old faces assuring her they did want to hear what she had to say. And for the first time since we had known her, Cassie spoke in class.
I don’t remember exactly what she said, but it sounded pretty good to my 17-year-old ears. What I do remember was the real-life metamorphosis that happened before my eyes. This once-inconspicuous caterpillar transformed into a butterfly. For the rest of class, she sat tall and beamed as she spoke—it was awe-inspiring.
Mr. Wilson taught me a great deal about leadership that day. He taught me leaders don’t tell you what to think; they encourage you to think for yourself. They don’t dictate; they facilitate. He taught me how people and ideas thrive in the process of engagement and co-creation. And maybe the greatest lesson Mr. Wilson and Cassie taught me was that many times the greatest contributor is not the loudest or the one who seems most confident and that every voice is important.
As with every issue of SUCCESS, we strive to facilitate the stories, examples and voices that will help you metamorphose into the more powerful and beautiful self within.
The Art of the Redesign
CEOs and business owners often come to me for advice on doing a business makeover—or, as it’s called in the business world, a turnaround. One of the first things I do is show them the work of my wife.
Georgia is a very talented interior designer. When the economy got tough and folks weren’t spending as freely for the finer things in life, she reinvented her business by specializing in “redesign,” doing complete home makeovers using the client’s existing furnishings.
I show the CEOs before-and-after pictures of the rooms. They are amazed by the stunning transformations. Then I explain that it’s all the same stuff, just utilized differently. I like to share Georgia’s process, as it provides several makeover lessons applicable to your business or life.
When endeavoring to do a makeover, it’s tempting to look for what’s wrong—what elements need to be changed, removed or even added to fix the problem. But that can complicate matters further. By contrast, Georgia starts by completely removing everything, stripping the room bare. Then with a fresh beginning—a clean slate—she adds pieces, one by one, purposefully choosing and placing each item.
What always astonishes me is that items that once looked like junk can become magnificent showpieces when grouped with color, shape, texture and the overall balance of the room in mind. Of course, not everything makes it back into the room. And Georgia often finds items hidden elsewhere in the house, in closets or even the garage. When placed appropriately, items once disregarded can become the perfect elements needed to create harmony and magic in the space.
To do your own business or life makeover, use the same approach. Start by removing everything—all existing products, processes, positions and people. Start with a blank plan and a clean piece of paper. Redefine the business (or life) you want to have, the value you want to offer and the position you want to own in the marketplace. Now start adding pieces back onto the page, one by one, intentionally and with purpose, placed into the right positions.
You’ll discover that not everything will make it back into the plan. You’ll also notice people, products or processes you might have taken for granted before that, when utilized properly, can actually create the strength and balance you needed. These overlooked items might even end up being the showpieces of your new business strategy.
You’ll also realize you can completely make over your business or life using mostly your existing stuff (but less of it) and you will now be able to see the one or two missing components needed to complete the magic equation.
Are you ready to redesign your life? Employ Georgia’s redesign process and enjoy the many other tips, ideas and suggestions that have been very selectively, purposely and artfully designed into this beautiful issue of SUCCESS.
Crushing the Candy Bar Contest
I recently had lunch with a CEO friend of mine, Mark, who owns a commercial construction management company valued at about a half billion dollars. I negotiated to pay the lunch tab if he’d tell me the secret to his fantastic success. For the price of a spinach salad with salmon, he handed over the sales strategy that’s been key to his success—ever since 10th grade, when he first applied it to impress a girl (of course).
Mark came up with the strategy during the annual Student Council candy bar drive. The winner got a trip to Washington, D.C., but Mark’s interest was Cindy Mason, the reigning champ. Cindy was a senior; the most popular, most beautiful girl in school; with a three-year winning streak and a burning desire to make it four. In 15-year-old-guy logic, Mark thought winning the candy bar drive would capture Cindy’s affection, too.
As soon as he got his first box, he approached his three best friends who, instead of buying candy bars, convinced Mark to give them candy bars for free. He then went to his brother and sister, who went “halfsies” on one bar. His calorie-counting parents turned him down flat, explaining he needed to figure it out on his own (parents, take note). In just one afternoon, Mark had exhausted his entire network and his sales were in the red.
But Mark remained determined. One night, his parents had friends Bob and Nancy over for dinner. Mark suggested candy bars for desert (for the bargain price of only $1 each). With caramel dripping down his chin, Bob said, “You know Mark, these are really good. If you give me a box, I could probably sell them at my office.” The next day, Bob came back with an empty box, an envelope full of cash and a request for more. That was Mark’s eureka moment! Instead of trying to sell candy bars one by one, he would sell them box by box.
He targeted several more of his parents’ friends who had access to offices filled with candy lovers. Daily, these well-connected people emptied boxes of candy for him and returned with envelopes of cash. Mark not only won the candy drive, he crushed the school’s sales record, along with the previously undefeated Cindy Mason.
Cindy was not impressed. In fact, she made sure all her friends weren’t either. But Mark didn’t care (not much, at least). He had gained something much greater in discovering the single most important strategy of his professional career.
Since then, instead of selling accounts one by one, Mark has looked for influencers: people with their own large networks who, if sold on his idea, venture or opportunity, could potentially generate volumes of transactions for him. Time and again, this strategy has worked and Mark has millions in the bank to show for it.
Take that, Cindy Mason.
Inside this issue of SUCCESS you will find many more unique and lethal sales strategies that will help you set new records in your marketplace, no matter how beautiful and popular the competition might be.
The Power of Your Words
Words have incredible power. They can build; they can destroy. But perhaps the most underestimated power words have is when they are left unspoken.
Robert’s story illustrates this point. Robert grew up in a small town out in the country where his dad was known as the town drunk. Robert was a star football player who made the All-American team in high school and went on to play for a prestigious university. Football was Robert’s life, but as far as he knew, his father had never seen him play a single game.
Inside, Robert felt a void. He wasn’t conscious of it back then, but what he wanted and needed most was the approval of his father.
After college, Robert struggled a bit as a business owner. He lacked self-assurance and people skills. One day he got a call telling him his father had had a heart attack and might not make it through the night. Robert rushed to the emergency room. When he arrived, his father was so disoriented that he thought Robert was the doctor. What his father said next would forever change Robert’s life.
“Hey Doc, have I ever told you about my son, Robert? I am so proud of him. He was a great football player and now he is a successful businessman. He’s so smart and talented. Doc, I just wish you could meet my son, Robert.”
That day Robert heard the words he had longed to hear for more than 35 years. His father’s assurance and pride were like a healing tonic coursing through his body. Robert’s father survived the heart attack, and they both gained a new outlook, each in his own way.
Today Robert is the CEO of a multimillion-dollar, multinational corporation—and the successful businessman his father described. He ultimately found out his father had attended some of his games but stayed out of sight because he didn’t want his reputation to embarrass his son.
Words don’t have constructive power until they’re spoken. Robert’s father never expressed his sentiments in words. “Robert doesn’t need to hear this from me,” he thought. “He’s successful. He knows how great he is.” Not true.
When we don’t hear what we need from those closest to us, we may feel a void—one that only a parent’s words can fill, or a spouse’s, a boss’s or a friend’s.
You have a responsibility to the people you care about. Your words, your validation, your affirmation can change people’s lives. Tell them today, “Hey, I am proud of you. You are special to me.”
It is our hope that the words on these pages of SUCCESS will resonate with you, helping to fill any void you may feel.
We believe in you. You make us proud. You are special to us.
Are You a Control Freak?
I’m kind of a control freak. I admit it. This is not a good thing. I am learning that this is a constraint—on my business, income, relationships and my personal growth.
The irony is that I am also one of the most trusting people I know, sometimes even to a fault. Every business partnership I have ever engaged in was solidified with a handshake. I have lent or invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to people and in ventures without written agreements. I currently have several multimillion-dollar engagements bound only by oral agreement and mutual trust.
I believe this is why I attract trustworthy people and engagements. Have I been burned? Yes. But I believe, as author Frank Crane said, “You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment if you don’t trust enough.”
Yet when it comes to turning over responsibility or letting go of tasks, I struggle. I want things done a certain way and it seems easier to just do it myself. Of course, this limits the growth of my enterprises to my capacity to do everything. It also suppresses everyone else’s contribution, handicapping their ability to step up and grow. This double whammy acts like a crimp in a garden hose, reducing a business’s capacity, growth and success to a trickle.
One thing that helps me with my “control issues” is discerning what to control and what not to. In reality, I have control over only one thing, and that’s me.
I can’t control what other people do or what happens “out there,” but I can control what I do or how I respond. Once I have taken control of myself, my actions, behavior and contribution, I am trying, as the old adage goes, to “let go and let God”—or, to just trust.
Then I back this all up with a little Reaganism (Ronald, that is); “Trust but verify.” I continue to enter agreements with complete trust, but I check in regularly, if only to refresh our understanding.
In the end I think it all boils down to this: I need to trust in myself by doing my absolute best in every situation, and then I need to trust everyone else will do the same. Trust me, it’s a much more sane way to live.
To make 2013 your best ever year, to reach goals that may look impossible, you must be bold—possibly even to the point of seeming foolish. Let me tell you how one such fool pursued his dream...
This guy was no scholastic achiever. He looked a bit “dorky,” and some of his classmates teased him harshly. Rather than read his assignments for school, the kid spent his time shooting 8 mm movies of wrecks of his Lionel train set. For a small fee that would be donated to charity, he would show the film to friends; concession sales financed future projects.
He dropped out of high school his sophomore year. And when his parents persuaded him to return to school, he says administrators assigned him to a learning-disabled class. He quit again after a month. Only when the family moved to another town did he graduate from high school.
He applied to attend film school but was refused admission, so he enrolled at California State College at Long Beach. His story took a dramatic turn in 1965, when on a visit to Universal Studios he met Chuck Silvers, an executive in the editorial department. Silvers liked the kid who made the oddball 8 mm films. So he invited the teenager to come back and visit sometime.
The kid appeared the next day. Without a job or security clearance (dressed in a dark suit and tie, carrying his father’s briefcase with nothing inside but “a sandwich and candy bars”) he confidently walked up to the guard at Universal’s gate and waved at him casually. The guard waved back. He was in.
All summer he wore that suit and hung out with the directors and writers, including Silvers, who knew the kid wasn’t a studio employee but winked and looked the other way. The wannabe filmmaker found an unused office and became a squatter. He loves to tell how he bought plastic tiles and put this entry in the building directory: “Steven Spielberg, Room 23C.”
Well, his foolish audacity paid off. Ten years later, at age 28, Spielberg directed Jaws, which took in $470 million, setting a record as the highest-grossing film at that point in Hollywood history. Of course, dozens of films and awards have followed, all because Spielberg continually acts foolish and attempts the impossible—and then does it. (Think E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan and War Horse, among his dozens of directing credits.)
So here’s your takeaway: Be bold, be a bit foolish and just go for it! All of us at SUCCESS are here to help you go for your big goals, your big desires and your big dreams.
Darren has mentored tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and other achievers through private programs and has done one-on-one mentoring with several top CEOs, world-class entrepreneurs and other high-performance individuals.
Due to the duties and demands of being publisher and founding editor of SUCCESS magazine as well as numerous speaking engagements Darren is not able to accept as many new mentor clients as he would like. Darren is also very diligent about his commitment to deliver extraordinary results for those he chooses to work with. Spectacular and life changing results is what he helps his clients achieve—anything short of that is unacceptable to him. He takes this commitment and relationship very seriously. Because of this he will also expect a serious commitment from the client as well—in effort and investment.Testimonials
Learn more about Darren's Mentor programs HERE
Learn more about Darren's private workshop events HERE
“I was going to send you an email telling you what a great job you did as moderator and how much I LOVED the event! You're moderating skills are ridiculously great, best I've ever seen! You make everyone feel important and valued, move the meeting along perfectly and bring things together in an incredible fashion!” Ray Faltinsky, CEO & Co-Founder FreeLife
“You were an impressive discussion leader this past weekend at the SUCCESS CEO Summit and I appreciate the value you created in the discussions. Thank you for making this time well spent.” Brett Blake, Managing Director Beachbody
“I’ve been doing and participating in CEO Roundtables for 20 years and in all that time I have never seen anybody do a better job than Darren Hardy.” John C. Maxwell, International Bestselling Author & Speaker
“Having been in business for 29 years, I found myself in a rut – stale and stuck – non-enthusiastic. Darren gave me the injection needed to re-vitalize, re-engage, re-do my commitment to myself, my employees, and my customer. With the re-engagement, I know I can triple my business to $3M by 2014.” Eloise Gonzalez, President and Founder at Commercial Interior Contractors, Corp.
“I can say without hesitation that the practical, strategic AND innovative content that Darren Hardy delivered in 2.5 days was of greater ROI value than I experienced at the Harvard, Stanford and Pepperdine business schools! The HPF group gave me the ability to leverage in 2.5 days what it would have taken me 5 years to find out on my own. I walked away with the framework, tools and additional ‘high value’ relationships that will multiply my revenue and net profits by a factor of (3x) at minimum.” Landon Taylor, CEO and Founder of Paradigm Shift LLC
“Darren has distilled a lifetime of success principles into a 2 1/2 day workshop that will change your life!” Mark Bettencourt, O.D. Vision Source
“Darren Hardy and HPF have shifted my mind. The value of this impact shall be in $10’s millions over the next 3 years.” Sasha Berson, Founder & CEO Berson Business Development Firm
“The value I received this weekend will change my life and directly impact those around me. You delivered much more than I expected.” Krysta Friesen, Owner Frontpage Properties
“As a person that was very skeptical of all this in the beginning, I never thought I would say this, but thanks, thanks, thanks. You have truly changed my life. I have learned a ton from you in many ways.” John Moore, Owner The Next Legend
Darren Hardy has been engaging and inspiring audiences with his messages of personal achievement for more than two decades.
As publisher and founding editor of SUCCESS magazine, Darren is in the unique position of sitting down with the leading experts on human performance and achievement, as well as many of today's top CEOs, revolutionary entrepreneurs, superstar athletes, entertainers and Olympic champions, to uncover and share the success secrets behind their extraordinary success. Darren shares these coveted insights in his keynotes.
Darren's highly-valued, actionable and results oriented content along with his witty, commanding and engaging style has made him a favored keynote to audiences of 50 to stadiums of over 20,000 people all over the world.View Photo Gallery Testimonials
Inquire about hiring Darren Hardy to keynote your event HERE
“There are few people in the world that are genuinely changing the direction of someone's life in every action they take—you are one of them. On behalf of my company, our independent representatives, and corporate team, thank you for being our keynote speaker at our event. I'm still receiving emails of thanks and praise for your presentation. We would be privileged to engage you in our business time and time again.” Asma Ishaq, President Jusuru International, Inc.
“I love Darren's style and delivery. His straightforward approach to success is refreshing! I left his presentation with new information and re-charged motivation. Thanks Darren.” Jim Black, Broker/Owner, Dominion Lending Centres
“I love your content and delivery. You're the next generation carrying the baton for the old guard.” Denis Waitely, Hall of Fame Speaker & International Bestselling Author
“Without doubt you have gone down in Kleeneze history as the best speaker ever. Our top leaders cite you as the best, many referring to you as the new Jim Rohn (I'm sure you have heard already). The voucher offer on the day for catalogues resulted in us taking orders on the day for 5.5 weeks work of kit sales IN JUST ONE DAY. So your message about hard work certainly inspired people into action.” Jamie Stewart, CEO Kleeneze Ltd
“You’ve set our network on fire, with no doubt you’re the most stimulating guest speaker we’ve ever had. I’m absolutely certain we’ll work together again.” Michael Khatkar, Network Director Kleeneze Ltd
“Wow!! That was powerful and personal. You are an amazing teacher and man. Thank you, immensely, for sharing your important message with our audience of growth company executions. And I hope you felt their receptivity. You made a huge difference to a lot of people.” Verne Harnish, CEO & Founder of Gazelles, Inc.
“Your level of preparation and professionalism is unmatched by any of our guest speakers, and we really appreciate the extra effort it took to give such an impactful training. In fact, letters, phone calls, emails and Facebook comments have continued to flood in from our field. You impacted our IBOs in a big, big way.” Greg Provenzano, CEO & Co-Founder ACN
“Outstanding! Charming! Brilliant! Darren Hardy is the epitome of charisma, grace, and intellect. When he took the stage at our 2012 International Convention, he captivated the entire audience. Our Associates were not only enthralled by his message, but also completely motivated to integrate his wisdom into their lives and business. His personal stories are relatable and endearing and reinforce his powerful presentation. If you want to improve your business and improve your life, then pay close intention to Mr. Hardy. He has the tools for success and he teaches you how to use them in a way that makes even the most challenging goals obtainable. He is a one-of-a-kind speaker, and human being.” Angie Larsen, Senior Manager of Corporate Relations, USANA Health Sciences
We are so thrilled you were with us. Your presence made this event the preeminent forum for women in the nation. Thank you. Maria Shriver, First Lady of California
“Donald Trump asked that I let you know that he was very pleased with the interview you did on stage with him. It was fabulous in everyone's opinions, including the founders--who were perhaps happiest of all.
“You certainly were the man for the job. Better than what I had envisioned! It is not easy to wrangle Donald Trump but you did a wonderful job even on the subtlest levels and the audience loved it!
“I am sure I heard Mr. Trump say, ‘I love that man!’ which I thought was high praise from the Donald! You truly met Trump at his level. He called it a 10 out of 10. And he asked that I personally make sure you get his compliments!
You were very professional, polished and represented everything that SUCCESS
Anne Archer, Owner Dolphin Media Group
“In over 20-years of hosting the Sales Mastery Event and hiring hundreds of speakers, there has never been a more compelling, inspiring, and motivating experience than the one you gave us this year. Well done!” Todd Duncan, CEO and Founder The Duncan Group
“It was an honor for us to hear you share your ideas on the “Belief System of Success”. Your talk was warmly received by our Brand Partners and our Vemma Asia corporate team. They are so fired up to take the necessary steps towards reshaping their beliefs that would make them successful.” Kenneth Koh, CEO Vemma Asia
“No question that you knocked it out of the park. The emails that have been coming in and comments we have been getting are beyond comprehension. Your message resonated deeply with our clients. We can't tell you enough how much we appreciate you. You crushed it out of the park...you changed peoples lives in that room. Your passion for personal development drives us to be the best we can be in life and in business. I've never witnessed anyone own the room like you did.” Jay Kinder, Co-Founder National Association of Expert Advisors LLC
“Darren you were AMAZING. Truly, loved your talk. Everything, the video, slides, stories, content… your being on stage… wow!” David Bach, NY Times Bestselling Author of Finish Rich series
I Was A Strange Child
I think I was born an adult. My parents divorced when I was 18 months old, and my dad raised me as a single father. He wasn’t exactly the soft, nurturing type. He was a former university football coach, and he hard-wired me for achievement.
Thanks to Dad, wake-up calls were at six o’clock every morning. Not by a loving tap on the shoulder or even the sound of a radio alarm. No, I was awakened each morning by the repetitious pile driving sound of iron pounding on the concrete floor of our garage, situated next to my bedroom. It was like waking up 12 feet from a construction zone. He’d painted a huge “No pain, no gain” sign on the wall of the garage, which he stared at while he did countless old-school strongman dead lifts, power cleans, lunges and squats. Rain, sleet or shine, Dad was out there in his shorts and tattered sweatshirt. He never missed a day. You could set your watch by his routine.
I had more chores than a housekeeper and gardener put together. Upon returning from school, there was always a list of instructions to greet me: pulling weeds, raking leaves, sweeping the garage, dusting, vacuuming, dishes, you name it. And getting behind in school wasn’t tolerated. That’s just the way it was.
Dad was the original “no excuses” guy. We weren’t ever allowed to stay home from school sick. Unless we were actively puking, bleeding or “showing bone.” The term “showing bone” came from his coaching days; his players knew they weren’t allowed to come out of the game unless they were seriously injured. One time his quarterback asked to be pulled out of the game. Dad said, “Not unless you’re showing bone.” The quarterback pulled back his shoulder pad, and sure enough, his collarbone was showing. Only then was he allowed to come off the field.View Photo Gallery