Jeff Waller

Yearning to break out of the pit of 1 of the big 6 corporate consulting firms, Jeff felt the entrepreneurial itch and acted on it in a counterintuitive way

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#1 in today’s economy

“Where your passion and the desires of others meet, that’s your vocation.” ~Aristotle


Overcoming Discomfort

“The fact I was putting my name on a product was uncomfortable and the judgment that might come from it. That held me back. It’s also very uncomfortable to be in the dream stage and the vision stage where there’s lots of high energy, fun and big ideas!”


Fast Failure

“There is a term now called ‘fast failure’. Fail fast, fail often and move forward. Then adjust and go. That’s how you build true businesses.”


Revealing Dark Adversity

“It’s in those darkest moments of adversity that you find out who you are and what you’re made of. It’s in those moments you become very creative and make decisions to change yourself.”


Dangerous “Wisdom”

“The conventional wisdom of finding a market need and filling it is a very dangerous strategy today. I think you need to look inside before you look out.”


Path to Fulfillment

“What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Does what you’re doing a line with your value system? What matters to you? If you can find that connection you will be very successful financially and also build a fulfilling life.”


Confidence Builder

“When you’re in those valleys you start to slowly build confidence. This is temporary so let’s not lock up here and instead get creative.”


Wrong Decision?

“There isn’t really a wrong decision you’ve just got to make your decision the right one. Half the battle is having confidence in your decision.”


#1 Reason Businesses Fail

“The #1 reason businesses fail is because people stop trying. The #1 reason they stopped trying is because they lose the juice, they lose the interest.”

In the audio, Jeff Waller shares:

— The 2 top business visionaries he looks up to and the most pivotal trait Jeff admires about each of them

— The biggest danger to be aware of before taking venture capital

— His big “kicking himself” realization that lost their business a year to a year and a half

— The two big factors he had to overcome (one is perfectionism) that you probably face

— How he worked with the school system and kids to market his business

— A unique revelation and hope out of the darkest times of adversity

— The devices he uses to make decisions in a confusing and constantly changing business environment

— Counterintuitive – how getting denied venture capital benefited their business to a much larger extent

— The #1 reason businesses fail, the #1 reason people quit and the solution to both

Jeff Waller is a leading visionary on youth achievement. He has dedicated
the last decade to learning and understanding the critical elements that denote high achievers. He is the co-author and co-creator of 7 Mindsets and the E.M.P.O.W.E.R. methodology, a revolutionary approach to engaging young people in their own self-development process. Jeff is a co-founder of the Magic Wand Foundation, Excent Corporation, and is President of 7 Mindsets.

Jeff was an avid golfer in high school even shooting a hole-in-one. If you don’t know much about golf, hitting the ball in the hole with only one shot off the tee is very difficult.

In their business, after over four years of exhaustive research and six months of presenting the material, they were able to write the 7 Mindsets book in about six weeks. It helps they were under a time crunch because a customer had already purchased the book so Jeff Waller and Scott Shickler were going to have to deliver the book within four months anyway.

Jeff graduated from Georgia Tech University. Soon after he went into the large corporate world with one of the big six consulting firms. He did strategic planning for Fidelity and Chase. After about nine years he got an itch in the pit of his stomach… it would turn out to be the entrepreneurial itch.

He credits the success of his first entrepreneurial venture because he partnered with people of vast entrepreneurial experience. He has the talent of developing strategies, business plans and seeing patterns and trends to take advantage of.

In his early 20s he discovered his insatiable thirst for knowledge and reading books. He estimates he’s read about 1,000 books related to personal development.

A big fact that spurred him during research was finding that depression was 10 times more prevalent now than it was in the 1960s. The average age depression sets in now is 14 years old versus 30 years old just 50 years ago.

They compiled this research into numerous products to help both young people in the education system and adults in the business world. Over four years and millions of dollars went into this research and the products show it.

Some Shareables from Jeff Waller in this episode…

#1 Path to growth

“Going back to my origin, and even to this day, my two business idols were Walt Disney and Steve Jobs. They were the complete package. Obviously, they could sell and market. What I really admire about them is they produced products of the highest quality that transformed industries. As Apple was developing products, throughout the process Steve Jobs would say, ‘Great companies ship.’ Apple has this tremendous creative process which I always thought drove their company. But instead, Jobs drove it forward by deadlines.

I understand this now. You have to get your product to market. It will build clarity around your pricing. You will get instant feedback on the pain points and what the needs are. You’ll learn a lot about what’s working and not working. You can begin the process of accelerating your business.

Starting over with this knowledge about shipping and deadlines, I would’ve had a much greater urgency during the dreaming and visioning stage to commercialize what we were working on. I’d have gotten us to market one year or one year and a half sooner.”

Biggest mistake

“My biggest mistake is an easy one to point out. Mitch Schlimer, who’s coached entrepreneurs over 35 years, talks about it a lot because he’s seen it with entrepreneurs hundreds of times. He tries so hard to prevent it but with very little success. He believes we are shiny object people and it’s hard to let something pass. You have to make this mistake for yourself. As entrepreneurs we overextend ourselves and get outside of our zone of skills where we can be successful.

We opened a restaurant in 2005 and overextended ourselves. Being the geniuses we are, in 2007 we decided to open a second restaurant. Why open one when you can open two at twice the price? We did okay but we were doing something we didn’t enjoy. Opening a restaurant is really hard. We wanted to build a brand. That takes a lot of sweat equity that we didn’t end up investing.

I believe this five years was among the most important of my business life because I learned so much about myself. We met a ton of people who’ve been instrumental in our success. This is where we learned the marketing strategy. We would go to the local schools to do these workshops on empowerment. We’d give all the kids coupons to bring their parents into our restaurant.”

Favorite part of the journey

“It’s self-discovery. I believe our purpose here on earth is to become all we can be. We can increase the substance of who we are and do the most with what we have. I don’t think there’s any better sharpening stone to do that with than entrepreneurship. It’s in those darkest moments of adversity that you find out who you are and what you’re made of. It’s in those moments you become very creative and make decisions to change yourself. I’m a better person, business person and father even though it hasn’t always been enjoyable.”

Weirdest thing

“If you’ve been around us you’ll see the number 37 pop up all over the place. People always ask, ‘What is 37?’ Well it’s not the classic that we only had $.37 in our bank account when we got started. 37 is the new 24/7 where you living the 7 mindsets three times per day. That sounds great from a marketing perspective but the real reason behind 37 is something we rarely share.

It’s almost this religious, mystical thing. I call it a guidepost. The number 37 seems to appear at really critical points in the process for us. We were at a restaurant discussing a really important decision when the number 37 showed up on a receipt. Then as were going forward we’ll see the number 37 on a road sign or a license plate. That’s the universe telling us what direction to go. Athletes have their superstitions and 37 has become something like that for us.”


“What we found during our 7 mindsets research is that most people are acting in direct opposition to the useful mindsets. The intuitive approach is often the wrong approach because it’s based on these counter mindsets. I fell prey to this.

When we got on this world domination strategy for our 7 mindsets business I figured it would take a large influx of capital. I had worked in businesses and incubators where that was the model. We tried to raise capital but for whatever reason we were never able to bring capital in. I look back on it and it made us scrappy. It gave us a discipline. We’ve been able to benefit to a much larger extent because we didn’t get that big investment from a venture company.

“I like your Segway of associating ignorance with raising capital.”

Bad conventional wisdom

“Six months ago I came upon this… it said don’t do what the world needs. Find out what brings you alive and to do that. Because what the world needs is people who’ve come alive. I believe the model of finding the market need and filling it is dead. There’s a very small group of quintessential entrepreneurs like Richard Branson who just love the process of building businesses. Most people don’t. For the vast majority of people, myself included, we’ve got to find something we love in order to be successful. Or we’ll fail because it’s a different world than 20 to 40 years ago.

There are more people doing this than in the past. There’s more access to information. Best practices are temporary at best. Differentiation is only going to come from desire. No matter what you choose, you’re going to hit a point where it’s really tough. If the vision and the dream is not bigger than this moment, it’s really easy to quit. The number one reason businesses fail is because people stop trying. The number one reason they stopped trying is because they lose the juice, they lose the interest. That’s why the self-discovery process is so important.”

“We look at Napoleon Hill’s research of the 500 most successful people in the history of America. What was the difference? It was really two things…

First off, they expected success. Second they were able to sustain an unbelievable burning desire. The reason there were able to sustain that burning desire is because what they were trying to accomplish in their life was fundamentally connected to who they are.”

Learn more about Jeff Waller:

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