An Open Letter to Everyone Who Wants to be Great

Work Like Your Life Depends On it

Today, I want you to work hard. Harder than you’ve ever worked. I want you to work with all of your heart and will all of the passion you can muster so that you can create a new reality for yourself. Do what you can, wherever you are, but never be satisfied. You can fuel great things. It comes from your heart and your effort.

Ignore the executives that are dusty and have dusty ideas. Be respectful and tell them they’re wrong. They hate their jobs. They’re mediocre. They’re not changing the way business is done. They’re not pushing themselves to be great. People will never remember their names. They will never publish content on Linkedin. They will never engage with their peers, or share ideas, or support their community.

I see you here. But I need more. Whether you think we are or not, we’re all in this together. We can’t half ass things. We all have to fire on all cylinders. We need to hold each other accountable. We need to help each other grow. We need to be respectful. We need to love each other. We need to lift each other up.

Today it’s a reality. I started Silverback Social in my home office, leveraged free tools, and platforms to launch my dream. If you’re thinking about starting a business – start it now. I want you to think about your dream right now. I don’t care how far out of reach it may feel for you at this moment. It’s possible. I promise you. This is a step, not a plateau. I don’t want my life to be safe. I want to feel exhilarated. I choose to work with brilliant colleagues and we’re blessed to work for killer clients who value and respect our work. I want to laugh, and play and work, and laugh more and grow, and have new experiences together. You are more powerful than you can ever begin to imagine. I need you to know that. If you’re reading this, you’re working on yourself. You’re seeking knowledge outside of your four walls. The future is unlimited for you right now. We have the power to change the trajectory of our lives.

I want you to go after it like your life depends on it, because it does. If you choose to work 9-5pm you will get 9-5pm clock-punching clients. Work harder.

Fail Forward, Fail Fast, & Fail Often

We will all fail. But failure isn’t a step backward. It’s a step forward in the right direction. If you get fired, you’re making progress because you’re learning. But don’t leave a thing on the field. Push yourself to ensure that you can walk in with your head held high, and leave with your head held high. Bosses will come and go, but push yourself to have the character to always perform at a high level for every boss.

Acknowledge Negativity

We’ve all done and said negative things when the struggle gets hard. Today thatends. It’s painful to do the right thing. Muscles get sore when you push them into a zone where they’re uncomfortable. That means they’re growing. Get back up tomorrow and try to do better. Keep at it. Demand more of yourself. I find more inside myself every day. I push myself every day. Don’t let your focus get diluted. If you want to sell, then focus on selling. If you want to be a thought leader, than generate content. Don’t talk…DO.

Have a Vision with a Plan

Do you want to make a ton of money? Do you want to get a huge piece of equity in a company and make a ridiculous amount of money when you get acquired or go public? Do you want to win awards, and create amazing work? Do you want to step up on a stage and speak? Do you want to be a thought leader, an innovator and be heard? Everything you want is at your feet waiting there for you to take. There are no roadblocks. There are no limitations to what you can contribute. None. Linkedin has provided this platform for you to share, and step into the light. It is up to you to grab what you want and take it. Whatever new skill you think you need to do your job – push yourself to learn more, ask questions, watch webinars, seek sales books, public speaking books, management books, whatever it is that you need to grow and thrive. Send in-mails to businesses you think you should be working with. Collaborate with each other. Come in earlier, and stay later. Don’t be satisfied with just being good. Ever. You may not have infinite outside resources, but Linkedin has changed that for you. You have infinite resources inside of you. You have to dig deep and do it. I have a vision that my agency will have over 100 employees by the end of 2015. I have it locked in my head, and I won’t let go of it. I’m exploring every avenue I can possibly conceive of to make that a reality. We’re going to do it. We’re attracting the people and resources to make it a reality. I have decided that we can do it, and we will. But you need a plan. You can’t just make a wish. You need to work on yourself. You need to improve your business. You need to break out of the confines of your fearful mind. Allow yourself to daydream. Allow yourself to visualize a reality that is greater than you. Now map a plan. Start small – like wake up a 1/2 hour earlier every day for a month. Begin to meditate. Take notes, make lists, and execute. Follow up, and do it.

Skill is Greater than Talent

I’m talentless. Really, I am. I have no discernable talent whatsoever. I can’t play the violin, shoot a basketball, or drive a racecar, but I am a champion. I accept that my team expects me to work harder, shoulder more than my share of the task whatever it is. I accept it with pride and love in my heart. I will never give in. I will be responsible for the energy I bring to my office every day. I will respect each of my employees and clients and give them everything I can give. I will pour out my heart and soul to offer everyone I touch opportunities that I never had, that I had to fight for, and that I have suffered for. I have incredible skills. That’s because I’m not the most talented guy, and I got sick of being mediocre. I honed my skills over years and years of really hard work. I closed the gap by pushing myself. I dug deep, pushed myself more and passed the leaders. I work on my skills daily. I learn daily. I have an insane work ethic. While other people sleep I work hard. I dedicate myself to being better every day. I need you to do this too because I need you to be great too.

There is Greatness in All of You

But I hear too many excuses. I see too many mistakes. When your boss assigns you task A.B.C., I need you to execute the hell out of that and then push yourself to execute D.E.F. – without her having to ask you. I need you to get good at getting that far. Than you’ll do A.B.C. with your eyes closed, D.E.F. will be second nature, and so on. You get what you focus on. You’re doing good – but we need to find a way to get to great. Together.

If you overcome your fear you will grow, and you can destroy that fear. I nearly died when I did my first TV appearance, now I can do it in my sleep. I was horrendous when I spoke publicly for the first time, but I got better. Much better. Than I went back to the drawing board, tour it down and got better still. I cried when I published my book because I was so fearful what people would think when they read the crazy stuff coursing through my brain. I was terrified they would ridicule me and mock me. I believed and had faith in myself. I have faith in you. Write that book. Step out of your comfort zone. Because here’s the rub – the time will never be perfect. You will never have your product just right to take to market.

But I need you meet me. Meet me on the road to greatness. I wouldn’t ask you to if I didn’t see greatness in each of you. I wouldn’t ask you to work so hard if I wasn’t willing to do it myself. Meet me and be great. Meet me here and we will do it together. Meet me.


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