Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can cover the topic of “thinking bigger” and how it can elevate belief systems at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.
Full Video Transcript:
Hi and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about life hacks – what’s your hack in life? What’s your secret weapon? What’s your secret weapon to move ahead and achieve success in your life? I’m going to tell you a story about how this started for me years ago and there were six words that changed me in a particular situation from being a complete failure to being one of the top producers in the company that I was working for. Let me tell you this story.
This is when I was like 22 years old, 21 years old, like 21 probably, and I took a job with a company that sold products door-to-door, literally direct sales. And by the way, this is something I think we should all do at one time or another in our lives because I learned so much this summer. But I needed a job and I took this job, and we were selling coupon packages for the Ottawa Rough Riders. I lived in Ottawa, and the Rough Riders is a CFL team – Canadian Football League. And we had these coupon packages where you got it for 20 bucks and you got like two free tickets, and you got all sorts of other things like two-for-the-price-of-one meals at restaurants at the stadium and stuff. It was 20 dollars.
And we went out on what’s called a day of observation. When I first got hired, they took me out on a day of observation so I could see how the other guys were doing it. And these guys—they were almost all guys, a couple of girls but mostly guys—we literally went to a strip mall and these guys would like walk up to people getting out of their cars and be like, “Hey, I got this great thing,” and they’d tell them about them, and they’d get into these conversations and people would look at it. And some people would be like, “No, no, no, I’m not interested,” but other people would look at it and every now and again they’d sell one and they made money.
And I was like, “Oh my God, this is the most low, pathetic job in the world,” but meanwhile these guys were making money and I needed money at the time. I was broke. That’s why I took the job in the first place. So I was like, “I got to give it a try.” And I sold one here or there, but I really struggled. It did not go well for me.
And one time in particular I was with this guy and he went into these office towers in downtown Ottawa, and it says “No Soliciting” right on the door and he just walked right in. It’s like he belonged there, and he went right to the top floor and he started just walking into offices and doing his pitch. And he was a funny guy—his name was Scott—and people would listen to him, and they’d look at it and he’d make a sale here and there. I couldn’t believe it. And he was like, “You know what? You take the next floor. You take odd floors, I’ll take the even floors, and we’ll meet at the bottom.”
So I took the odd floors and within like two minutes I got kicked out of the building—someone called security—because I was uncomfortable doing it. I couldn’t do it. I was nervous, I was awkward, I was doing it all wrong. And this actually—believe it or not—happened two buildings in a row. So I was literally waiting at the bottom of this building for the second time—it was like for a half an hour—while Scott was inside making sales. He was making sales. I felt so pathetic and small. It was awful. Truthfully, it was one of the lowest points in my life, and there I was thinking, “This is unbelievable.” So I was like at the bottom of bottom in terms of my psychology.
And this guy was walking down the sidewalk towards me, and he was wearing an Ottawa Rough Riders jacket. His jacket had Ottawa Rough Riders on it. And I must have looked so pathetic, [laughs] but I went up to him and I was like…I didn’t even go up to him. He was just walking past me and I was like—it must have been so pathetic, I can only imagine—but I said, “You look like an Ottawa Rough Rider fan.” And he was like, “Yeah, yeah, I’m a fan.” And I was like, “Well, I have this package,” and I showed it to him. And again, it must have been so pathetic, but he looked at it and he was like, “Yeah, I’ll take one. Sure, absolutely.” I couldn’t believe it. I was like outside of my skin. I’m like, “Are you kidding?”
But he said, “I don’t have any money on me, but there’s an ATM machine just down the road. If you walk with me, I’ll take the money out of my bank and I’ll buy one.” I thought he was like kidding or he was going to pull me down the street and then abandon me there and not give me any money. I was all suspicious. I was so insecure about my position. It was crazy. But he ended up going to the ATM machine – he took money out and he gave some of it to me and he bought one of these packages. I couldn’t believe it. So I was like, “Thank you, thank you.” He walked away.
And then right there in front of the bank there was a hole in the concrete. They were working on the road and they were working on the pipes and things. And it was Ontario Hydro, which is kind of like the local gas and electric company and there were three guys there. Two of them were in the hole and one guy was by the truck. And so I was like, “You guys look like Rough Rider fans.” [Laughs] And one of the guys was like, “Yeah, I am,” and the other guy was like, “Yeah, sure.” And I was like, “Well, I got these packages here. It’s a great deal for 20 bucks.” I sold two to these guys.
And it happened. Right there I found my hack. I found my hack: “You look like a Rough Rider fan.” You look like a Rough Rider fan – those six words. I spent the next two months in all kinds of places in Ottawa and I said that to everybody. It didn’t matter if they were in high heels or businesses or skateboards or whatever they had – “You look like a Rough Rider fan,” and I showed them the package. It became my hack.
Now, what happened afterwards—this is the important part—once I did that, it was my path to a new belief system. It was my path to doing something that I didn’t think I could do. Like when I first saw it, I didn’t think I was capable of doing this. But then I found my hack. I found this path. I found a little secret weapon that allowed me to do what I didn’t think I could do. And then what happened – I started to get comfortable. I started to build confidence in this new activity. I started to get more and more into it and confident and relaxed.
The biggest thing with a confident person is that they’re relaxed. They’re natural. It’s not forced. When I first did it, it was all forced. It was unnatural. But when I found my hack, I started to get comfortable with it. I started to get more confident. I started to get more relaxed. And people could sense that, so they weren’t as like defensive when I came up to them, because I was just coming up and be like, “Hey, I got this thing.”
And after a while, I didn’t say, “You look like a Rough Rider fan,” anymore. I started just having all kinds of things. It was just random. It depended on the situation or what they wore. See, my mind was more clear because I was confident, and so in any given situation I could say something natural.
So what it allowed me to do – one hack allowed me to build confidence, and then afterwards fan out and do all the things. Like I never would have been able to just to go from A to B. I had to go through that hack first. This is true for anything in life. Like you’ve got things in your life that you want to do, but you don’t know how to do it. You don’t know how to get from where you are to that vision of your future. In order to do that, you have to find a hack. You have to find a little secret way. You have to find some path where you can get in there to experiment and start feeling comfortable. And as you build that comfortable, then the confidence grows, and all of a sudden you will be able to fan out and do the whole thing, to do what Scott did.
Like I ended up being able to do what Scott did. I could go into offices and I could say something and it would work. I could never have done that at the beginning. But because I found my hack, I found a way to secretly get in there and build my comfort zone and build my confidence. And once the confidence was there, I could fan out and do all those things that I couldn’t do before.
This has happened to me in a number of different ways in my life, but it all boils down to finding a hack. We all need a hack. You have one belief system and then there’s another belief system, and we can only have one belief system at a time. So you can either think that this is possible or it’s not possible, and if it’s not possible then you’re still at this lower belief system. So in order for you to get from this belief system to this – see, in other words, if you can only have one belief system at a time, if you get to this one you have to abandon this one. It’s no longer there. It no longer is valid.
So how are you going to do that? How are you going to abandon your current belief system to get to a higher level of consciousness, a higher level of success, a higher belief system? The only way to do it is to find some sort of a hack. It’s a path. It’s a path from one belief system to the next. And once you find it, you’ve got to exploit it. You have to exploit that hack and just dive into it and build your confidence in that tiny space, because afterwards you can fan out and embrace that new belief system and leave the old one behind. And now you’re at a higher level – a higher level of success in business, a higher level of success with relationships in your life. You’re at a higher level of consciousness.
So what’s your hack? Always search for your hack, your secret weapon, the way that you can move from where you are to where you want to be. I wish you luck.
And if you have stories to share, times when you’ve gone through something like this, share it in the comments. I would love to hear those stories. My name is Patrick. Thank you very much for watching this video. I always tell people at the end, I remind them to think bigger about their business, think bigger about your life.
Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.