Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can speak about XXX at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.


Full Video Transcript:

Hey, this is Patrick with Keynote Mastery, and I just spoke today at the National Entrepreneur Center here in Orlando, Florida. I did an event for about 180 people here and I was one of seven speakers, and the other speakers each had about 20 minutes and then I had the keynote position, which was 45 minutes to 50 minutes. And then afterwards we all went out for lunch, just the speakers, went out for lunch after the event, and I actually just came back from that right now. So I thought I’d shoot just a quick video, because when we were at lunch people were asking how did I get to where I am right now and what are the processes to go through, what do the processes look like. And people always want this story of how like I was nobody, and then something happened and just everything changed overnight and now I’m doing the way I’m doing today.

And it just isn’t like that. This is a cultural, societal thing that people want to always hear about the overnight success story. And look, it does happen in some cases. There are stories that you hear about where people achieve something incredible and all of a sudden their entire life changed, like Captain, what was that guy’s name, the guy who landed the plane on the Hudson River in New York? Sulley, Sullenberger, whatever it is. All of a sudden—he did one thing—he’s in the news nationwide, even around the world. He’s a hero. His entire life changed in one day.

But for 99% of the people out there who are doing well, one way or another, it didn’t happen all in one day. It’s an accumulation of 10,000 little tiny victories that all add up little by little and 100,000 little failures in between those victories. There are countless things that I’ve done that didn’t go as well as I would have liked. There are things I might have screwed or I didn’t do as effectively I should have. But the bottom line is you keep chugging away at it. And after a long time—I’ve been doing this now for about five years and you probably know my story already.

In 2008, I did 72 events. That’s a lot of events. In 2009, I did 127 events that year, and I only got paid for six of them. Six I got paid, and I traveled for five. So that gives you an idea. That means 122 of them I did for free. And then in 2010 I did 64 events and I got paid for 21 of those, and in 2011 I did 57 events and got paid for 31. So it’s a process. You go through this over a period of time, and every time you do an event like that it adds one more notch into what you’ve done.

And I have a little map that I have on my website that has the world and it has these little blue upside down teardrops that show all the different places where I’ve spoken. And I love those little teardrops. I do all kinds of things. I’ve spoken for free in different places just to get that teardrop somewhere in Europe or in Dubai or in India or wherever it might be. I’m working on something right now to speak in Moscow in October. God, I hope I get that. That’ll be spectacular.

But the point is, these are little tiny victories that add up. And then the cumulative effect of the whole thing over a period of time, that’s when you start looking like you’ve really done a lot. And then people want to know the story of the one thing that changed everything. It’s not like that.

Now, that’s good news for you, because a lot of times or at least certainly for me, five, six years ago when I was thinking about doing this, trying to become a keynote speaker, I was thinking, “Gosh, I have to achieve something incredible, something unbelievable that’s going to give me that justification to be a speaker.” That’s not true. It’s not true. You don’t need to do something absolutely incredible.

And if you do, if you manage to do something like that, it’s great. Obviously, that’s going to be a best-case scenario. You saved some kid from a burning building or climbed Mount Everest or had some unbelievable experience like landing a plane in the Hudson in New York, and all of a sudden you’re done. You’ve got that and you spend the rest of your life talking about that one event or that one achievement. That would be convenient. It would be outstanding. It would be simple.

But it’s not like that for most people, which means it doesn’t have to be like that for you. What you need to work on is getting one gig after another, working on different cities, different clients, different experiences. Getting video content like I’m doing a video right now, but ideally it should be a video of you speaking, and actually [00:04:34] getting that video content and having photographs. And you just keep on building it and building it, meeting more people, doing a good job. You have to do a good job every single time. You can’t get away from it. So every single time you have to do a good job, and if you do a good job, then each event should lead to two more or three more, and after a while you really start to build your business.

So my message today is just don’t worry about that overnight success story. Don’t worry about that incredible, unbelievable victory that no one else could ever compete with. You’ve got whatever you need already to build this. What you need to do is just to start building it.

An analogy I use a lot is I talk about, you know, think about a big, tall, 10-story brick building. Well, that building was built one brick at a time. And you see three bricks on the side of the road, it’s garbage. It doesn’t mean anything. If you see 100 bricks, it’s a half-built wall. There’s no functionality. It doesn’t mean anything. But if you keep stacking them, keep stacking them, keep stacking more and more bricks in a structured, organized way, the wall will start to take shape and the building starts to take shape. Now, all of a sudden, you’ve got functionality. Now, all of a sudden, it’s a home or it’s a building or whatever it might be. But you’re building that one brick at a time.

It’s the same when you’re becoming a keynote speaker or anything else you want to do in life. You just have to keep building it and be persistent and be tenacious and be consistent over weeks, months and years, and keep doing it. And after a while you’re going to get known for all of those bricks. All of those little victories that you had along the way, those are yours to keep.

The best part about self-employment or having your own business or whatever it might be, developing your reputation online, the best thing about it is that the victories are cumulative. They just keep stacking up, right? And so you start off with next to nothing but you keep stacking them, keep stacking them, keep stacking them. You put all this stuff on your website or on your bio or whatever your marketing collateral is, and after a while it just becomes so overwhelming that people can visit your website or look at your marketing collateral and be like, “Wow, this person’s done a lot of stuff!” And they look at that and they think that you must be rich or you must be making 200 or 300 grand a year or something like that.

The truth is very different, because those victories might have been spaced out two weeks or two months apart. Every two months you have another victory or every six months you have another victory. Well, that’s not enough to pay the bills. That’s not enough to make you rich or live in the lap of luxury. But it’s still cumulative. And over five years, if you got, say, four big victories every single year for five years, now you’ve got 20 victories. And so people start to see that you’ve done a lot of things, and then you can finally catch up to the illusion.

The illusion is that you’re already there because all this evidence of all these victories is in one places, so people see that website one time and boom, all that stuff’s right in front of them like, “Holy smokes, this person’s doing everything. They must be doing extraordinarily well.” You know and I know that those victories were built one at a time and you weren’t maybe making a fortune along the way. I know I wasn’t. I struggled like crazy at the beginning.

But then when you start building up a critical mass, people get to your website and they’re really impressed by it. Now all of a sudden you start to catch up because the conversion rate is higher, right? Do you see that? People go to your website, and in my case it’s my website—I get a lot of business from my website—so they go to my website, they see all this stuff, and the conversion rate’s higher. In other words, a higher percentage of the people who get to my website end up saying, “Okay, we want to hire you. We want you to come to our event.”

And so now all of a sudden the conversion rate’s higher, so my business is higher. I’m doing more events, better events, paid events. I’m traveling for more events. And so the whole thing starts to go. A momentum starts to take shape. But it didn’t just happen. It started one brick at a time over the course of years.

Now, again, the good news is you can do it too. There’s no reason why you can’t do the exact same thing yourself. So go out there and start building those bricks, even if they seem small and insignificant. Go out and start accumulating them. And once you’ve got one, set your sights on the next one, and then the next one, and then the next one, and just get more and more and more. And you’re going to find that a momentum takes place, and when that momentum starts to go you’re going to catch up to the illusion, and when you do it’s a great thing. It’s a lot of fun. And I hope you get there soon. Good luck.

Video description on YouTube

Patrick discusses our cultural addiction to “overnight success stories” and how it is, in fact, extremely rare. The vast majority of successful people attain their success one step at a time. Success is the accumulation of 10,000 tiny victories and 100,000 tiny failures. It is achieved one inch at a time, slowly moving forward, until you reach a critical mass of accomplishments. At that point, success seems inevitable and preordained, and everybody assumes all that foundation work took place over a few weeks or months. The reality is that the foundation was commonly laid down over years and decades.

Patrick encourages people to “add permanence” to everything they do. No matter how small the achievement is, find a way to memorialize it on your website. Find a way to incorporate it into your evolving identity. By doing so, you will continually be moving forward, building credibility along the way and contributing to that critical mass that will eventually catapult you into the ranks of the elite. It all happens one moment at a time, one tiny step in front of the other, inching closer to your goals every single day. That’s what breeds the tenacity and pride of successful people, and we can all build that for ourselves too.

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences and in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.