Ted was 52.
We worked together in a steel fabrication shop in Oklahoma.
I was known as “Schoolboy.”
Standing near the heat of the coffee pot waiting for the horn to signal the end of our break, Ted would tell stories about World War II. Those stories might as well have been about cave men and dinosaurs because Pearl Harbor had happened 35 years earlier and I was only 16.
The story I’m about to tell you happened 42 years ago.
It seems like yesterday.
Do you remember Bluto from the old Popeye cartoons? In 1974 his name was Harold and he was 32 years old. Muscular and angry, Harold got what he wanted through intimidation.
One day I called his bluff. I told Harold “no.”
But Harold wasn’t bluffing.
I regained consciousness at the base of the storage racks where we kept the 6-foot aluminum fan blades. Ted told me Harold’s lightning blow lifted me off my feet and landed me 2 yards from where I had been standing. When I went home at the end of my shift my neck was so stiff I couldn’t turn my head.
My mother knew immediately what had happened.
When I got out of school the next day, Ted was waiting for me in the parking lot at work. He told me not to go inside. Two policemen had led Harold out in handcuffs earlier and his buddies were planning revenge.
NOTE: Never hit a minor when he’s being raised by a single mother. Angry moms fight differently than men do.
I worked in that steel shop for 2 more years.
One day Ted said, “Schoolboy, every person you meet has something they can teach you. Your job is to figure out what their skill is and then get them to share it with you.”
Ted, as usual, was right. When you assume that everyone you meet has a valuable skill, you begin to look at them differently.
Harold was a different person when he came back to work. Crushing legal bills and the humiliation of jail gave him a beating far worse than he had given me. With Ted’s advice fresh in my mind, I asked Harold the secret of knocking a man off his feet.
Harold’s answer surprised me because his technique had little to do with physical strength.
A few years later I learned that success in business has little to do with intelligence and success in selling has little to do with being talkative and success in advertising has little to do with the product.
Business isn’t about knowing, it’s about doing.
Selling isn’t about talking, it’s about listening.
Advertising isn’t about the product, it’s about the customer.
And knocking a man down isn’t about your fists, it’s about your feet.
The next time you’re at Wizard Academy I’ll show you.
But only if you want to know.
Do you live near Austin, Texas? This Fri-Sat-Sun, Dec. 16-17-18, from 6pm to 9pm continually, Wizard Academy is going to let you Journey with the Wise Men as they follow the Christmas star to Bethlehem. It’s a walk in the woods in the nighttime with professional actors in period costumes with extremely-very-cool special effects and it’s all FREE. Bring the kids, bring your neighbors, it’s awesome. Just click that link for details.
David Hoffeld says sales professionals cling to common misconceptions because sales gurus offer bad advice. In his book, The Science of Selling, Hoffeld challenges and attempts to correct the traditional sales wisdom. Just as certainly as two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen will produce water, Hoffeld says the practitioner who follows his scientific formula of selling will produce a cloudburst of record sales. Rotbart is reporting clouds and hearing thunder at MondayMorningRadio.com and requests that you and I drop by and tell him if we think it will rain. I’m on my way there now. Are you coming?
– Indy Beagle