Welcome To The Join Up Dots Podcast With Sam Silverstein
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Introducing Sam Silverstein
Sam Silverstein is today’s guest is a man who is driven to spread the premise of accountability across the world.
He believes that we are all looking around for someone else to take control.
Or someone else to show us the way to the life that we want.
It’s actually ourselves that are setting our own schedules, and finding the excuses why we don’t do something.
Its us who look around for someone to blame when things go wrong.
Its us that tell us how tired we are, or need a night off.
No one else.
How The Dots Joined Up For Sam
And in his pursuit to get this message out to the widest audience he has authored 10 books.
He is the creator of The Accountability Academy®, and has been a contributing author to countless publications throughout his career.
But what makes his message so powerful is that the principles that he preaches are as valid to an individual as a huge organisation.
He can help turn round failing businesses, poor performing teams, or simply find the spark to make us all start saying “No Excuses” anymore.
So where did he start getting going in his career, or did he always have the belief that it was excuses that hold us back?
And does he believe that the path he is treading is aligned to his authentic self, or has he become successful by finding something that he is great at, even if it wasn’t part of the master plan?
Well let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Sam Silverstein.
During the show we discussed such weighty topics such as:
How he often believes that the thing that he teaches is actually the thing that he needs to learn most.
How the best things that have happened to him, have often been the things that have gone totally against the master plan of his life.
Why he feels that humility is knowing the right amount of space to take up at anyone time.
How he came to realise that if he could impact so many people when not trying then what could he do if he did just that…try!
How you should take the time every once in awhile to stop and smell the roses to see what we actually have in life.
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Interview Transcription Of Sam Silverstein Interview
When we’re young, we have an amazing positive outlook about how great life is going to be. But somewhere along the line we forget to dream and end up settling. Join Up Dots features amazing people who refuse to give up and chose to go after their dreams. This is your blueprint for greatness. So here’s your host live from the back of his garden in the UK, David Ralph.
David Ralph [0:26]
Yes, hello world how are we all hope you’re rocking and rolling Episode 248 of a Join Up Dots. I’m loving doing the show. I don’t say this very often. Hopefully it comes across in the content. But the more that I do, the more I want to do and that’s what we’re trying to get out to you guys to find the things out there. You just can’t get enough up and you want to jump out of bed every morning to do it. Even on a Saturday and Sunday where in past you might have laid bare to 11 o’clock thinking I just need a break from the norm. Well, today’s guest is a man Who is driven to spread the premise of accountability across the world, he believes that we’re all looking around for someone else to take control, or someone else to show us the way to the life that we want, is actually ourselves by setting our own schedules and finding the excuses why we don’t do something. It’s us who look around to someone to blame when things go wrong. It’s us that tells us how tired we are or need a night off, no one else. And then he speaks you to get his message out to the widest audience. He’s authored 10 books, is the creator of the accountability Academy, and has been a contributing author to countless publications throughout his career. But what makes his message so powerful is that the principles that he preaches are as valid to an individual as a huge organisation. He can help turn around failing businesses, poor performing teams, or simply find the spark to make us all start saying no excuses anymore. So where did he start going in his career, to really sort of get it going? Or did he always had the belief that it was the excuses but hold us back? So just work from there. And does he believe that the party is trading is aligned to his authentic self? Or has he become successful by finding something that is greater, even if it wasn’t part of the master plan at the beginning? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots, the one and only Sam Silverstein. How are you Sam? I’m wonderful. David, it’s great to be with you. It’s lovely to have another American on the show we we have a lot of Americans is a is a I’ve started saying some weird things, Sam, which I never would have said before.
Sam Silverstein [2:32]
What’s the number one thing that you’re saying? That’s new?
David Ralph [2:35]
I’m crushing it. That’s that’s the number one I would never have said crushing it three months ago.
Sam Silverstein [2:42]
Interesting. Well, you know, I My life has been influenced the same way. So the word mate is is is embedded into my vocabulary. And when things get messed up, your most frequently hear me say no worries, and there’s very few people in the US talk like that. But my friends from around the world have had a, I would say a very positive and influence on my vocabulary
David Ralph [3:08]
is strange, isn’t it? How we are so connected but in many ways we’re so isolated by language, and the things that we say is just normal. I do a lot of times when I’m talking to Americans, I’m thinking what is the word they use? What is the word they use? It’s It’s strange that we can somehow find a closer synergy to make it easier.
Sam Silverstein [3:32]
Well, I, I think you hit the nail on the head. It’s a matter of making an effort. And you know, sometimes we just get it we get stuck in our lives and we think the world revolves around us and it doesn’t. The world The world is always revolving around someone else. And it’s, I feel like it’s our responsibility to make sure it works for them. It’s not about working for us. And so, you know, I speak and work with organisations and I’m so lucky I get to travel around the world and doing this. But one of my, my basic course started actually with a programme that I delivered in Birmingham in the fall of, Oh, I don’t know, I guess it was 2008 and the host of the client, I, I must have called him a half a dozen times and had him actually review my speech over and over and over again, because I wanted to make sure that every word I used made sense to the people in the room because it’s about them. It’s not about us. And when you start thinking that way, I think it changes how you serve people.
David Ralph [4:39]
Have you always been like that? Even as a small child? Were you aware that in many sense, it’s the value you provide more than what you take, but it’s the important thing.
Sam Silverstein [4:50]
I can’t honestly say that that’s the way that I thought you know, a lot of things. I think all too often in my life I’ve either They’re more concerned about what I get them what I give, and in truth, it’s the you know, it’s the exact opposite. It’s a, it’s about what you give, not what you get. And so I, I feel that there have been tendencies in my life to, to look to give, but it certainly could be, it could have been stronger. And so that’s something I work really hard on now,
David Ralph [5:21]
as a kind of as a mindset shift, isn’t it, but that the real successful Uber folk, they, they do give a lot. And before I started doing this show, I really thought the successful people got it and kept it and I wrap my head around it, and they weren’t gonna let it go. But I see time and time again. But it suppose it’s like Ziegler said, If you help enough people get their dreams, ultimately, you will find yours as well.
Sam Silverstein [5:47]
Well, exactly. And you know, I loved zig and he, he was a great guy, and he talked about helping others and others helping you and of course, you don’t help others. So that they’ll help you But it’s just sort of a natural law of reciprocity, if you will. But I think sometimes it’s not that by helping them, they’re going to help you. I think you nailed it. I think it’s, it’s in the process of helping others, that you discover things and you discover what you need. And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s like when you teach, I’ve always said that, when I teach I learn. And if I’m if I’m sharing ideas, just because I think I can impress somebody, that’s not going to go very far. But what I’m really teaching what I believe in, and what I believe can make a difference in that process in that conversation in that discussion, whether it’s one person, you know, or 1000 people, there is something that happens that comes back to me that I learned I learned about myself or where I’m trying to go, or that idea that I’ve been looking for finally bubbles up. And so yeah, the more you help, the more you teach, the more you give. You’re going to discover Everything’s in that process, it’s just gonna make a huge impact on your life.
David Ralph [7:04]
It is strange when that happens, isn’t it when you’re having a conversation and you’re talking, the almost fell off the top of your head. But then as it’s coming out, you almost go, Oh, my God, that’s good. I don’t think I’ve ever thought about that before. But it is it is like a key that suddenly occurred to you. And it might have been rattling around in your brain for weeks or months or whatever. And it’s your subconscious throwing it out there. And if you are ready for it to come out, wow, it’s a powerful thing. You can open doors.
Sam Silverstein [7:35]
Exactly. And I think that that, that’s
it’s getting out of the normal. It’s getting out of saying the same things that you always say, or the things that you expect to be heard or the things that you think you’re supposed to say, based on where you are who you’re talking to. But really just being your natural self and allowing allowing, allowing yourself giving yourself permission to just say what you believe really what’s in your heart and and when you have the confidence to do that and just talk about something that you really believe about, then the truth is going to come out and when the truth comes out, not only the people that you’re speaking with going to be impacted in an incredibly powerful way, but you’re going to be impacted it in incredibly powerful way. This show
David Ralph [8:28]
it’s obviously tailored for the audience. I know guys out there listening in their cubicles on the bus or on a train or whatever. One of the things that you said that really hit home to me just a moment ago was doing things differently. Is that a great way to start gaining momentum in your life? doing things differently, even if it’s as simple as going a different way to work, having a different conversation with different people just changing the routine?
Sam Silverstein [8:56]
I think so I know you do. I know that you know, your background is Have you always felt like you were just a little bit different? I know you’ve been impacted by Steve Jobs, who, you know, obviously, they were always trying to think different. I think we get into ruts. And it’s interesting, I just I’ve been I’ve been working each month to focus on a new aspect of my mindfulness. And one of those things that I was was focused on last month was really, you know, my habits and the way that I did things even like brushing my teeth. And I noticed that when I floss, now, this is gonna sound crazy. And I’m, I don’t know, you probably haven’t had a guest talk about flossing we
David Ralph [9:38]
have actually, we have and I’ll tell you the story afterwards.
Sam Silverstein [9:42]
Okay, but I noticed that when I floss, I didn’t start at the same place every time that sometimes I’d start on the bottom and sometimes I’d start on the top and sometimes I’d start on the right and sometimes I start on the left and I realised that I did that and others in my life as well. But sometimes when I was driving, I wouldn’t just take the same route. I would I would look to maybe change things up. And I think I do that purposefully. It’s like, Why get bored? Why? Why does it have to be the same? And I think that we it’s easy to see somebody say, Oh, well look, George he’s so successful or married man, she’s got it together. And so you know, I want to be like her, I want to be like him or, you know, you look at your fashions and your styles and clothing and, and it’s all about emulating and I think that’s exactly opposite of where we should be. It’s it’s about charting your own path. writing your own manual deciding what’s what you believe what’s right for you, where you want to go, and then unashamedly going there putting your stake in the ground and saying, This is mine. This is what I’m going to do. This is why I’m going to go and go do it. That to me is exciting. I mean, oh my gosh, that’s where your passion is going to be. That’s where your energy is going to be. Not just trying to copy someone Ellis because if you copy someone else, you might be able to be a decent copy. But you’ll never, you’ll never stake your own claim and you’ll certainly never achieve at a higher level. And he
David Ralph [11:13]
said you love being slightly uncomfortable Sam because what you’re talking, you know, you’re finding your authentic self, but you’re going into uncharted territory, which a lot of people I would say the majority people are quite fearful of. They like the comfort they like the routine. So do you like being uncomfortable?
Sam Silverstein [11:32]
I do, but it does sometimes have to take a little bit of a push and, and in my organisation, I have someone that’s been here for three years, it’s really had a huge impact on me. Our director operations, Sharon minor, and she insists on being uncomfortable. And so what that it serves as a reminder, you know what I think, David that as time goes on, we tend to look for more comfort, and I think maybe I got a little bit Out of the habit of being uncomfortable, but man, that’s where the fun is. That’s where the excitement is when you don’t know what’s coming around the corner. And you have to figure it out. That’s, that’s good stuff. I mean, that’s where I want to be. And so I try real hard to be willing to put myself in that position, be a little bit uncomfortable. But then the excitement of what’s yet to come is what keeps me going every day.
David Ralph [12:28]
I was funny, fascinating. If you put a piece of paper down in front of a group of people and said, you know, write the most positive words you can think of, a lot of them would be writing, happiness, adventure, motivation, inspiration, but not many people will just write comfort. But that is literally what they cling to. That is their word, isn’t it that they live by on a daily basis?
Sam Silverstein [12:52]
Well, it’s our security blanket. Exactly. And so we want to hold on to what we know what we’re familiar with. We want to hold on to what safe And, and I don’t know there are times you know, you have a family and children and, and this and that and you need to, hey, we all need to eat and we need the electricity we want to be able to pop the lights on. But that can also be a cage. And so sometimes you just have to be willing to step out there and and really what it comes down to is having faith and believing believing in yourself believing and others around you believing that that what what you need you have and will present itself at the right time. And you know what, when you when you have that type of approach?
It works. It just does.
David Ralph [13:45]
I use somebody that if I asked you the question, are you in the right place at the right time doing the right thing? Would you say
Unknown Speaker [13:53]
Unknown Speaker [13:56]
Sam Silverstein [13:58]
was I am absolutely I am absolutely in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. And and what’s
David Ralph [14:05]
the plan, Sam? You know, coming on each and stuff.
Sam Silverstein [14:09]
No, it that’s the thing I, you know, you talk about the master plan, David. And that’s really it. Nobody had a master plan like I did. I mean, it was worked out to the detail. I knew exactly how it was going to go. And then guess what I was wrong. That is not how it went. And it was the decisions I made along the way that went against what I thought the master plan was going to be. That created the most excitement in my life, and has put me in the place to do some really incredible things. And so you know, the challenges. If you create a master plan, what are you creating it on? You’re creating it on your perspective of the world, your perspective of life, your perspective of what’s possible, based on your experiences, but the reality is, you don’t No, I don’t know the universal you. You don’t know what’s always possible, what’s around the corner, what can happen. And so you’re building a master plan based on a limited view. I think there’s, I think there’s someone else out there personally that has a bigger view that can create a better master plan. We just need to go about discovering what the heck that
David Ralph [15:19]
is. I remember I used to be in corporate land, and I always used to do these five year projections and 10 years and two years. And I used to kind of annoy them by going well, you’re guessing. And they were going No, no, we’re not guessing we this is our projection. I said, Yeah. But you don’t know you don’t know what’s happening three months down the line. So you’re guessing. And I’ve always been somebody that likes a plan of maybe one or two weeks because I think that’s kind of doable. I don’t like a plan too far down the line. I had dreams that I’m aiming towards, but I don’t know how I’m going to get there. And I think that is more flexible in somehow what would you be?
Sam Silverstein [15:56]
It’s really interesting that you bring this up because this time of the year We look at our business and we look at our strategic plan for the coming year. And it’s really easy to say, well, we want to work with so many companies this year to help them build accountability into their culture, or I want to deliver so many speeches or I want to generate so much revenue. And whatever those numbers are, you know, the question is, are those numbers something that that stretch you? Are those numbers something that limits you? And the reality is, it’s very difficult to know the answer to that, which I think is what you were just talking about. And so issues that we’ve been talking about this week, and that we’re focusing on as we plan for, for this coming year. We talked about what we want to do, where we want to focus, and where we want to spend our time and our energy, and what the results are, we have no idea and they’re going to be what they’re going to be but we know what we want to focus on. We know it’s important. We know where we need to spend time and while there are a few Numbers attached to it. It’s really, very few. And those numbers are not Tet attached to dollar volume, that’s going to take care of itself. Because you know what? I can’t necessarily change that part of it. But what I can control is where I focus and where I spend my time.
David Ralph [17:17]
Well, it’s applying the 8020 principle, isn’t it, you’re looking at your business, and you know what your core strengths are. So if you can focus your time more on the areas that bring the most results when it’s a win win.
Unknown Speaker [17:30]
David Ralph [17:31]
Is this something that you can take from a business perspective and actually to an individual can an individual to look at their life in that same way?
Sam Silverstein [17:41]
Sure. I mean, the question is, you know, what’s really meaningful to you? What do you enjoy doing? You know, we focus here’s the thing. We go, Oh, well, you know, I need I need to earn an income I you know, I mean, I’ve got to earn 100,000 pounds this year. I need so many euros or so many dollars or whatever currency you want to play in. And and you go well, okay, I get that. But now it’s just a monetary thing. What is it that you enjoy doing? What are you good at? What? What makes you passionate about the time that you’re spending? And then how can I? How can I get myself to spend more time doing that? Because when you spend time doing what you love doing, you’re going to find that a lot of that other stuff takes care of itself. And if you’re just focused on generating money, well, I don’t know. I don’t see where necessarily any happiness is going to come from that. Not that we don’t need money. I’m just saying the money should be more of a byproduct.
David Ralph [18:49]
And then do you know what you love? If I said to you, what’s your three passions? Your love’s? What would they be?
Sam Silverstein [18:58]
Well, my wife Wife might be listening. So I’ve got to tell you that that’s my first love. My family, you know, my family is a passion for me and I’ve always prioritise my family, which means I’ve been willing to give up things. to, to be with my family and be a part of what’s going on. And so that that’s passionate for me. Making a difference in people’s lives is, is passionate for me. The idea that I can share something that’s going to help an organisation or more importantly, help an individual get to where they want to go. That’s exciting for me.
Unknown Speaker [19:39]
And then just
Sam Silverstein [19:43]
I don’t know just you know, really, I really love I’m passionate about travel and I love meeting people in different cultures and and discovering how it is in different places in the world and, and then pulling back from that and learning from that and sharing You know, it’s really powerful when I can share with someone in the Netherlands something that I learned on a trip I just took to Thailand for instance, and, and maybe closing some of those gaps that, you know that, that you mentioned earlier some of the gaps and communication and language that I think there’s gaps in, in, in society that needs to be closed up and, and maybe some of what I learned enables me or positions me to help close some of those gaps,
David Ralph [20:25]
and what’s your personal skills that allow these things to happen? What the SAM bring to the table that maybe that person sitting next to you in the boardroom isn’t bringing?
Sam Silverstein [20:37]
Wow, I you know, I’ve sat around some board tables and been on boards and been the directors of the boards and I, in every situation I’ve always been in awe of the people that sit around the table. It’s like I I’ve always felt that I learned more from them than they learned from me. I think that maybe mice, my my ability is to synthesise what I’m hearing and information and different perspectives, and maybe cut through to find what makes the most sense. Or maybe it’s a piece of this and a piece of that and weave it together to come up with the best solution and then ultimately articulate that in a way that people can grasp on to it.
David Ralph [21:31]
And have you developed that or have you always had that?
Sam Silverstein [21:38]
I think that’s something that’s
developed over time. And I think back to when I got on the board of the National Speakers Association, and in that first meeting, I walked into that boardroom and I’m like, Oh, my gosh, what am I doing here? You know, you feel like you’re just so out of place and you didn’t even want to open your mouth because, you know, you knew that whatever you said. was they they’d already heard it last year, or it was elementary or whatever. And so, you know, I, I tried to sit back and watch and listen and learn and that set the tone for me and I realised that
Unknown Speaker [22:15]
you know, it’s it’s
Sam Silverstein [22:17]
humility is not about, about being quiet humility is about taking up the right amount of space in any given situation. And sometimes we need to be a little more quiet and take up less space, because that’s what’s appropriate. And sometimes, it’s the exact opposite. We need to take up more space, we need to speak up and share because that’s what’s appropriate. And I didn’t realise this early on, but I think that’s what I was learning and my first steps onto that board is, is really that that humbleness of knowing the right amount of space to take up and as I discovered that unintentionally, it positioned me to know a little bit better when to listen and When it was critical to speak up, and I think that that also applies not only around the boardroom, but it applies in our communities, in, in in society and our families, there’s, there is a time we need to sit back and listen. And there is a time when we have a responsibility that we need to step forward and say, No, this isn’t right. And when I’m not going to continue down this path,
David Ralph [23:21]
I think it was Winston Churchill that said something along the lines. I might be paraphrasing here, but sometimes it takes courage to stand up and speak but other times it takes courage to stay in your seat and listen.
Sam Silverstein [23:35]
And that’s really, that’s really what it’s about. And I think there’s a mindfulness to thinking about that. And so, you know, when I look back a lot of times, maybe I was lucky. Maybe it just happened that way. I don’t know. But I think the key is to is that awareness when when you share that quote it, you know, hopefully it causes everyone that’s listening to step back and say, Okay, so, you know, I’ve got a meeting coming up or, you know, I’m gonna be sitting at the dinner table tonight with my family, whatever, you know, we don’t have to run the conversation. We don’t have to be the centre of attention. But there are times when we do need to. And and so it takes a certain wisdom to maybe know the difference. And, you know, you asked me if I was always that way, I’ll tell you what, something that’s been dry. It just comes to my mind now is we’re talking that word wisdom. I remember as a teenager listening to my grandfather and my grandfather. Basically, he was a survivor of the Holocaust he left. He left Germany in 1938. hE hE it took multiple tries to escape he finally forged his own passport to get out after he had smuggled his family out. A man that I tremendously admired someone that left his country at age 50 didn’t know enough went to a country where he couldn’t speak the language and And I remember as a teenager thinking, it’s not just that this guy is smart, he’s wise.
And that was a powerful moment for me because
all of a sudden, my, I had a shift at that point in time, it wasn’t about trying to be smart. Anyone can study and learn facts, but wisdom, the ability to take information and, and sift through it and use it in a positive good way, the ability to come up with answers to to to problems that are unique and different. That’s something that that develops over time and you can’t just read a book and come up with that. And so that position me as such, you know, one day I just want to be as wise as my grandfather is and and that that’s something that’s that has stuck with me. over those years and I, you know, I, sometimes I feel like wow, I gotta keep working at this because I’m nowhere close. And then every now and then you’ll say something you go, Wow. You know, holy cow. That’s something my grandfather could have said. And you feel pretty cool about that.
David Ralph [26:14]
He said one of your key dots on your Join Up Dots timeline, and we’re going to send you back in time in a minute. But is that one of the moments that you look back and go, yes, that actually started Sam, being who Sam is?
Sam Silverstein [26:27]
I think so. I you know, and it’s now that you mentioned it, I
Yes, because it was a shift in the way that I was thinking. And when I here’s the thing. When we work with organisations, our whole goal is, is to help organisations transform their culture, so they prioritise and inspire accountability. You can’t demand accountability. You can’t. You can’t force accountability. The only way you get accountable people in an organisation is to Create a place that actually inspires them to be accountable. And the only way that those changes come about it’s not by changing what people do. It’s by changing what they think. Because when people change what they think then ultimately they change what they do, and they change the results they get. And so our whole focus is on helping people change the way they think that’s the only way you’re going to get from one to the next. And as you bring this up, I would say that that point in time that that realisation that I had when I looked at my grandfather, and I recognised at that moment, there’s a difference between being smart and being wise. That was a change in thinking that impacted what I did.
David Ralph [27:41]
But let’s play some words now from a chap who said it earlier in the year and it really does say a lot about mindset and how once you believe and you take a risk, you can do things that are amazing. This is Jim Carrey.
Jim Carrey [27:53]
My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him. And so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. And when I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job. And our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want. So you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.
David Ralph [28:21]
Now, you are quite open, and you said in your earlier life, where you are now wasn’t part of your master plan. So did you have a moment when you took a risk, and you started changing in the direction, but maybe you didn’t know all the answers like Jim Carrey was talking about?
Sam Silverstein [28:38]
Absolutely. The key line and that whole quote, I mean, there was a lot of great things. But at the very beginning, my father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that was possible. That’s the key for all of us, David, if you don’t believe something’s possible, it’s not you’re not going to try it. You’re not going to take the risk. You if you believe that it’s possible, then you’ll move heaven and earth To make it happen, and so, you know, I was going along my life I went to, I went to college, I went to went to graduate business school, I got my MBA, I went into business, I was in one family business, I went into another family business, you know, I wasn’t smart enough after the first family business, I went into a second one and, and then, and I did all that and all that was fine, and it was good and there was nothing wrong with that. But one day, you know, I realised that I was having an impact on people I realised that when I said something to someone, that it made a difference because people would come back to me and thanked me for the advice advice that many times I didn’t even remember giving in the first place. And so I thought to myself, if I can have an impact without trying what would happen if I tried, and someone one time told me that, you know, they that when they wrote their first book, it really was a big shift in their career in in in helping people and organisations grow and I said, Wow, write a book. Now this is a guy that, that when I went off to the university, my English class, the first English class I walked into, they went through the syllabus of, of what we were going to do. And the last item on the syllabus was a term paper and I got up and walked out and found a different English class. Because I didn’t want to write a paper and now I’m thinking about writing a book. And so that’s what I did. So I, I wrote a book and all of a sudden, people were wanting to hire me to speak to the organisation. And so I I walked away from the business I, I sold, we sold the family business, my share, they’re sharing all that and I just totally stopped everything I was doing totally dropped cash flow that we had and went in a whole different direction. And the only reason I did it is because I believed that I could do it.
David Ralph [30:56]
But how did you believe because this is a key thing. The starting point. So many people go, yes, I’d love to write a book. But I’m not a writer. Yes, I’d like to do this. Now you just did it. You just said why I can’t go to write a book and bang, there was a book in front of you. How did you overcome those limiting beliefs that hold so many people back at the beginning?
Sam Silverstein [31:20]
Well, that’s a great question. I knew nothing about writing a book when I started writing a book.
So here’s here’s what happened. And and,
you know, I guess, you know, some people do have self confidence, and some people don’t possibly. But the interesting thing is, we’re all the same. We all have similar skill sets. And guess what the same knowledge and information is out there that’s available to me is available to you. I had knew nothing about writing a book. I started in January, and I said by December, I want to be done with the book. And so I started, I started writing the book. I started calling my ideas, bringing my thoughts together. Just working down this path. And then somewhere along April, I think I joined the National Speakers Association. And then somewhere around July I went to a meeting. Now when I went to this meeting, I met this. I met this young lady at the time, I guess she, you know, she was I was a young guy, she was young lady, we’re about the same age. And this was my first time. And you know, we started talking and she literally took me by the hand, and she started introducing me to people. And I, you know, I told her, I want to write this book, and I have this message that I want to share. And she introduced me to someone who was knew all about publishing, and she introduced me to someone who could have a great impact and possibly give me an endorsement. And she introduced me to all these people in this organisation, and I learned everything that I really needed during that convention to be able to finish the book that I started. And I asked her, I said, How do you know all these people and she says, Well, I haven’t missed a meeting in six years. And so I finished the book and the book went to the public went to the printer in December. Now the interesting thing is the next year when I came back to the meeting, this gal was not there. I’ve never seen her again, ever.
David Ralph [33:10]
Did you know what happened to her?
Sam Silverstein [33:13]
Um, I know that she I know that she’s still she’s still alive. She’s living in Colorado. She’s working there. But the point is that I started down this path without having the answers. I didn’t know what was ahead of me. You talk about, you know, I know how you’re inspired with Steve Jobs quote, as far as looking back and connecting the dots. You have to be willing to to if if there’s opportunity, if the doors open, walk through it, if my biggest challenge is when I sit around and I think well, I don’t know what this looks like. I got to know what it looks like before I move forward. That’s that’s not good thinking. You just have to take the next step. And then guess what? The answers are supplied you what you need will be be presented to you. And you have to believe that that is the way it’s going to work. And if you don’t believe it, you’ll never get out of your chair, you’ll never get out of your house, you’ll never get out of that job that you’re doing that you hate to do. You’ve got to just say, this is something that I that I believe I can do, I’m going to go do it, I’m gonna figure it out. And you know what you will, and that, that that individual at that meeting was there because I needed that person to be there. That’s why she was there. And and, you know, I believe she was sent there. I believe that that’s why she was there. She gave me everything that I needed to do what I needed to do, and I was on my way, and I could have never predicted that. And so there at the end of that year, there was I had a book 232 pages, oh my gosh, I walked out of a class and in my first year in college, because there was a, I don’t know a 20 page term paper, double spaced and now you You know, I’ve got this coming year we’re releasing no more excuses in paperback. We’ve got making accountable decisions coming out in January. And something that’s just going to rock people. non negotiable is going to be coming out. In June, I mean, you know, I love writing I might, I wish I was a better writer. I wish I’d stayed in that English class. But things will be presented, you have to take that step. You have to say, you know what, this, I want to do this. So go do it. You know, you have this great podcast. Oh, you’re not the first person to have a podcast. You’re not gonna be the last person to have a podcast and I don’t know what you knew about podcasting when you started. But you had to take a leap of faith and that’s what people have to do. You just have to go out there and take that first step. And that next step will be presented to you I promise you it will be
David Ralph [35:51]
I was described any absolutely right when I started face, I had no idea. It was just exactly it was a feeling of I could do this and that was it. And I had Back on it. And I can’t actually remember how I researched it to find it’s almost like the stuff has just landed in front of me. And I’m doing this doing the do. But I always say that when you start off on anything, you’ve got like a pull around you, but you’re filling up with your own personal belief, and that the level kind of goes up halfway. But then suddenly, other people start believing in you and they start filling up that poll as well. And suddenly you’re swimming around in it. And once you’ve got the belief of other people and your own, Wow, amazing things can happen. Do you? Do you find that in your life that it’s you’re fighting against the tide, but then when other people help you? Magic occurs?
Sam Silverstein [36:41]
Oh, absolutely. I haven’t achieved anything in my life that there wasn’t someone else involved. There’s a relationship and everything I’ve ever done. I mean, there that I have never achieved anything of significance by myself. Period, period, everything. It came from an introduction, a helping hand. and encouraging word, someone educating me. I mean, look, you and I are here together today, who knows where this leads for you and for me. And so everything comes from someone else in your life. And, you know, I believe that, that when we recognise the spiritual side of our life, that’s when the door opens for the possibility since when we think that we control everything ourselves, and we do everything ourselves. That’s when it’s not possible. There’s more at play. And that’s why you have to be willing to take that step and not have the answers. That’s why you have to be willing to start on that journey. You know, you don’t have to have the directions. Even sometimes you just have to stop at the corner and as somebody say, How do I get to, to such and such and, and they can give you information that will either get you there or get you closer there, or guess what they might give you information that sends you off in the wrong direction. But the next person that you ask is going to turn you around and get you going back where you You need to be going. But you could not start off on the journey and just sit in your chair and not do anything. And if that’s what you want to do well, that if that’s what’s right for you, then go ahead but that’s not where I want to be.
David Ralph [38:14]
The tagline to the show is connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. And there’s a great synergy that runs all the way through the shows but the core essence of what Sam is about now is highly likely linked to the core essence of what Sam was when he was an eight year old or a 10 year old and somewhere in that middle part. You lose your focus you lose your track you lose your passions and responsibilities take over well elements and naturally you if we looked at the young eight year old and you now what the kind of things that really do play to your your key strengths.
Sam Silverstein [38:53]
Well, I don’t have as I’m not as good at finding strengths as I am weaknesses. Now. I do think that for every strength, you have a weakness and for every weaknesses resulting strength you know, this came up just the other day. When I was like, I don’t like to, I don’t like to get dirty. Yeah. When I was a kid I wanted you know, I had to be clean, my hands had to be clean. I didn’t want to get my clothes dirty, you know, is it was like, you know, just can’t. And I think that I think that unwillingness to to get dirt on my clothes, or my skin or my face or whatever, kept me from doing things. And I think that’s the same way today. I think, you know, I still fight that I’ve got to be willing to make a mess and be messy. And when I look back as a young person, I for whatever reason, that’s how I was and, and I still fight that today, but by fighting through it and being willing to make a mess. I know that I have a lot more fun.
David Ralph [40:00]
So do you believe that kind of that concept, but between the ages of eight and 10 when you do stuff, even though money’s not involved, you just love doing it is something that people should reflect on when, when they hear those phrases, find your passion, which is really annoying, because you can never find your passion until it finds you somehow. But do you think there is a truth to the fact that the stuff you did as a youngster is something that you should look back on?
Sam Silverstein [40:30]
You know, the common thread, David from this time together, which I’m really really loving is, is, is just take the time to stop and, and think a little bit and, you know, look at where you are, look at where you’ve been, and I don’t want to be cliche, but you know, that’s that’s what you’re doing when you’re joining up the dots and maybe it makes sense, you know, I’m doing what I’m doing because of a bit See, and and then just take the time to ask the question is that is that what you want to be doing because, you know, something impacted us at a young age that caused us to be a certain way that caused us to do something that led to something else that led to something that led to something that leads us to today. But you know, you don’t have the mindfulness at eight, nine and 10 that you do when you’re 25, or 30, or 35, or 40, or 50, or 60, or 80. Now, you just, you can stop and say, You know what, this is not how I want it, I want to change and then change, or you know what, this is exactly how I want it, I’m going to focus on it and make it even better. And so I think that, I think the key is, you know, as a child, we’re impacted by the people around us. We’re told what’s right and wrong, we’re told what to do, and that certainly shapes us and we carry that with us, sometimes as baggage and sometimes as Presence. But as adults, we have to take the responsibility to say, are we where we should be? Now? I’m not talking monetarily or stature status or anything like that. But are we living the life that we should be living? Are we doing the things we should be doing? And if we let left things from our past impact us? And if so, what changes do we need to make and go make those changes? I just, I just think we all have the ability to do that. But you have to stop and ask those questions and have that mindfulness about you.
David Ralph [42:38]
So we’ve heard the story about your granddad’s wisdom. We’ve heard the story about the the angel that was back at the right time and showed you the path to writing a book. Can you see when everything really came together, and you were sprinkled in Rocket Power because there seems to be a story in everyone’s life where things start happening. winning over a period of time, but then suddenly it’s wash time. And that’s when it all comes together.
Unknown Speaker [43:07]
You know, it’s interesting you you
Sam Silverstein [43:12]
we see these people around us and we go, Wow, look at her, you know, she’s just like this overnight success. It’s amazing. Or, you know, it just came out of nowhere. And I just don’t believe it’s that way. I think that if you’re an overnight success, you’re basically an overnight 20 years success that it’s layered one thing after the next and, and it’s one thing that builds on the next and there are turning points in our life and there. There are important times in our life and there’s were people that come into our life that that push us in a new direction. But I just don’t i don’t believe in overnight. Success. I don’t believe that it happens that way. You know, it’s in my life, it would be people that have come into my life. You know, it, I told you about the impact that my grandfather had. My parents had a tremendous impact on me. I’ve got the most supporting wife I could ever ask for. That she, she enables me to do the crazy stuff I do. She enables me to just quit the family business and then go off and do something not knowing at all what’s going to come because she does give me that support. I meet this person at this convention that basically shows me the path and what I need to do to write a book and then and then I get a phone call from someone three years ago that read my book that right reads a book, and then engages me in conversation and next thing I know she’s part of my organisation and she’s leading me in a direction that’s allowed me to grow and so it’s just it’s one thing stacked upon another stacked upon another, and if there was a common thread through it all, it’s the people in my life. It’s, that’s, that’s the influence. And I think it’s really important we have to be careful. We have to be careful who we listened to, but we have to be aware of who’s around us that we can listen to. And, and being willing to not have the answers but being willing to, to trust and and I think when I’ve trusted the people in my life the most I’ve had the most growth
David Ralph [45:36]
so you’ve just opened yourself
Sam Silverstein [45:40]
Yeah, not easily. I don’t want to paint the story that wow, I just trust freely and it just happens and life is no I mean, you know, I mentioned I mentioned Sharon, who who’s been in my life now for some three, three and a half years and, and, gosh, we have fought like cats and dogs But, but I’ve realised that the more I’ve trusted her, the faster I’ve grown. And so, you know, Renee and I just have discovered that we have to trust people. And we have to be willing to listen because we don’t have all the answers. And you have to know what the people that you listen to believe in and what influences them. And that’s important, because that’s going to impact you.
David Ralph [46:29]
But you’re no different from anybody else. We are just jigsaw puzzles, we bits missing. And every now and again, somebody comes along and they put a piece in us, and we think I’ve asked a bit I was looking for. And so that lady that’s now working for you, she’s just another jigsaw puzzle in your your piece. And ultimately, you’re building yourself until you you get all the pieces together and you’ve you’ve made it that’s it. You’ve got all the edges, you’ve got the middle and the full picture of Sam is there but we’re we’re all missing pieces. Aren’t we as we move along? And it’s the people that had them?
Sam Silverstein [47:03]
Will we are but I will tell you this. I think there’s a difference between thinking that that jigsaw puzzle that on the box is 3000 pieces. And you you try and sit there and you put all the edges together. First you find those four corners, you get the frame, and then you fill in the middle, and then you’re done. I don’t think we’re done. And I think those of us that see it as a set number of pieces, and we’re done, are going to miss out. I think that there’s no edge on our jigsaw puzzle. I think that there are pieces that keep coming together, and the edges keep extending and the puzzle gets bigger, and it grows. And each piece is critical and it remains critical. And when you when you look at it like the puzzle tomorrow’s going to be bigger than it is today. That’s where that excitement comes in. Because who knows what it’s going to look like tomorrow. And you know what, we could be working on this piece over here, and all of a sudden a picture of London tower comes into view. And you think, wow, that’s what the puzzle is about. But then you extend it beyond that, another 234 or five inches, 10 inches, 10 years, and then you realise that that’s just what you thought was a major piece of that picture, that puzzle is really only a small part.
David Ralph [48:26]
And he said, what the really successful people know, they know that the puzzle was never completed, they’re still having to grow. And I always looking for self development and finding answers to things that maybe a year ago, they didn’t even know they didn’t know.
Sam Silverstein [48:42]
I think it’s that way. I mean, you know, I’m at a point in my life where some people call me a tweener. You know, I’m between my kids and my parents, and in the sense that I now have adult children and I have ageing parents, and so on. see a lot of different perspective from a different points and, and while I’m, I’m still a little bit I don’t know, I don’t know that you ever stopped taking care of your children they certainly take care of themselves, but I’m definitely now taking care of parents both for my wife and, and my mom and and,
Unknown Speaker [49:19]
you know ice
Sam Silverstein [49:20]
youth when you see what some people get older and don’t do anything but you know I look at my father in law for instance that at age 86, he delivers over 100 speeches a year sharing his story of surviving through a concentration camp and you know, a lot of people at 86 aren’t out there sharing talking. He’s discovering new horizons and this is the guy that was afraid to stand up in front of a crowd and talk but he pushed through and he does it. And you know, my mom at 80 sevens out there still playing tennis and doing things that you know, because she still wants to push that envelope so Yeah, I think I think that’s what it’s about. It’s like, how can I continue to contribute? How can I make a difference? You know, it comes back to where we we started, David, it’s not what can I get? It’s what can I give.
David Ralph [50:16]
But let’s play some words from a chap who gave so much to us. Unfortunately, he’s no longer with us, but these words will stay Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs [50:25]
Of course, it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards 10 years later. Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path and that will make all the difference.
Sam Silverstein [51:00]
Good word, Sam. Oh, absolutely. Not just because I’m a big apple fan or Steve Jobs fan, but you know, the key word there is, is trust. He says you have to trust in something. And so that goes towards faith. And that goes towards believing in something. And so, you know, to me, you not only do you need to believe in yourself and trust in yourself, but I, you know, he, Steve spoke to it. You have to believe in something bigger than us because I can’t explain it otherwise. And when you have that trust when you have that faith when you have that belief, it’s like what I said before doors are open, you walk through them, you don’t know necessarily the path that’s going to get you to where you’re going but you have Have to just keep stepping forward. And you get the answers along the way. And if you believe in that, it will happen. It just happens over and over and over again. There’s no reason not to believe in it. And that’s why you know, that’s why Jim Carrey’s father, he didn’t believe in the possibility of doing something beyond what he could see. We have to believe in the possibility of doing something beyond what we can see.
David Ralph [52:26]
Just before we send you back at the end of the show on the sermon and Mike, what what do you think is the legacy that you’re leaving the legacy?
Sam Silverstein [52:38]
Boy, I think part of my legacy lives on and in my children, I’m, I have four incredible children that really believe in impacting people’s lives and that look beyond themselves, and I’m incredibly proud of the way they live their lives. The other the other legacy, I guess, if I’m leaving a legacy is that is that we’re really working hard to redefine what accountability is and not make it something that’s punitive, but something that’s positive and understanding it, and how to build an accountable life, how to create an accountable community, and hopefully, you know, a more accountable world. And if in the time that I have left, I am able to impact that or leave behind tools that impact that then I’d be incredibly proud to have that part of my legacy. I’ll be long forgotten over time. But if we can impact some people in a positive way that impact other people, then that’d be a cool place to be.
David Ralph [53:47]
I’m sure you’re gonna achieve and I’m sure you won’t be forgotten. We’re going to send you back in time. Now this is the end of the show really don’t want to show to end but this is the part that we call the Sermon on the mic and this is when I send you back in time to have a one on one with you. your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Sam, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? But we’re going to find out because I’m going to play the theme and when it fades, you’re up. This is the Sermon on the mic.
Unknown Speaker [54:20]
With the best
Unknown Speaker [54:20]
bit of the show.
Sam Silverstein [54:35]
if somehow you’re listening to this, then
Wow, it’ll be amazing. I’m able to go back in time, but really what I’d like you to think about it, a couple of things and, and number one is, I love your drive for success. But don’t let the drive for success creating patients that keeps you from recognising that we all have to to step through certain hoops that we need to realise it, just like it takes time for a cake to rise, we have to be willing to do certain things to get to where we’re going. And if you allow yourself to be a little bit more patient, and do well what you need to do first, then what you need to do second will, will come along. And I want you to think about whatever advice that you would give your children or that you do, give your children. Be sure that you listen to that advice first, and that you’re living it in your life first. And then it’s not just empty words, that it’s things that you’re actually speaking from experience, because then you will gain from the same wisdom that you’re willing to share with others. And finally, start at a young age and realise that it’s not about what you get. It’s about what you give because when you follow Focus your life on always trying to get you’ll never get to where you need to be or want to be. But when you focus on giving, giving and giving more the joy and the bounty and the richness that you want out of your life in so many ways will come to you abundantly. And I if you think about those three things then boy, I can’t wait to meet you.
David Ralph [56:32]
How can our audience connect with you Sam?
Sam Silverstein [56:36]
Very simply, you know my website is Sam Silverstein calm or be accountable, calm. We’ll get you there on Twitter. You know, we love to communicate on twitter at it’s it’s Sam Silverstein and you know if someone wants to contact us directly at the organisation, feel free to send us an email at it. info at Sam Silverstein calm, and we’re happy to communicate back with you
David Ralph [57:05]
will have all the links on the show notes. Sam, thank you so much for spending time with us today joining those dots. And please come back again, when you have more dots to join up because I do believe that by joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Sam Silverstein Thank you so much.
Sam Silverstein [57:22]
My pleasure and honour.
David doesn’t want you to become a fated version of the brilliant self you are wants to become. So he’s put together an amazing guide for you called the eight pieces of advice that every successful entrepreneur practices, including the two that changed his life. Head over to Join Up dots.com to download this amazing guide for free and we’ll see you tomorrow on Join Up Dots.