Gary Smyth Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Gary Smyth
Gary Smyth is our guest today joining us on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots podcast interview.
He is the co-founder of Sales Elite and is a sales professional with over 12 years of sales and leadership experience within the technology industry.
Most recently he has 9 years’ experience at Oracle America, Inc. building a successful Sales and Business Development organization of over 100 sales professionals.
He is a certified sales professional and also President of the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals Austin Chapter.
Which all sounds very grand, and I suppose less than unusual.
How The Dots Joined For Gary
But it seems to me that it was the big decisions in his earlier life which were unusual and formed so much of what he does today and where he does it.
From the decision to move away from home in Belfast as a child and attend school in Scotland, to deciding to work in Japan where her met his now wife, he took on experiences and challenges bold and exciting.
But it wasn’t until attending a leadership development program at George Mason University and participating in his first triathlon that the spark to light his entrepreneurial journey truly began.
And the rest is history.
So why did this boy from Northern Ireland take such big steps as a child?
And has his journey been one, that when reflected upon was perfect and planned to perfection, or one made up of seemingly unconnected dots?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Gary Smyth
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Gary such as:
How he remembers as a child listening everyday to the external voices who would advise him as to future decisions, but still had the ability to drown them out and take bold actions so remarkable.
Why it is so important to create a positive environment in your family, so our children have the greatest chance of seeing the possibilities that life offers.
Why he feels that change is so difficult at the beginning as it feels so unnatural to our bodies and minds.
Why everyone should look to make themselves uncomfortable for five seconds at a time to build up your expanded comfort zone.
How To Connect With Gary Smyth
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy.
Full Transcription Of Gary Smyth 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, everybody, and welcome to Episode 475 of Join Up Dots. And I’ll be honest with you, you’re lucky to have a show today because me and today’s guests, he’s a fellow Brit. And we started talking about football. Yeah, that’s how you say it properly. Or if you’re in America and the rest of the world, it’s soccer, but it’s football. And we got all excited about the potential of our teams doing very, very well in the Euro 2016 championships next year. He was probably a little bit more excited when I was being an England supporter. But still, he’s boys, Northern Ireland. They’re gonna go onto great stuff as he has today because he is a guy who’s got a bit of a journey. He’s the co founder of sounds elite, and he’s a sales professional with over 12 years of sales and leadership experiences within the technology industry. Now, most recently, he has nine years experience at our core America, building a successful sales and Business Development Organisation of over 100 sales professionals. He’s a certified sales professional and also president of the American Association of inside sales professionals, Austen chapter. There’s a lot of word professionals where which all sounds very good, and I suppose less than unusual. But it seems to me that it was the big decisions in his earlier life which were unusual and bombed so much of what he does today and where he does it. From the decision to move away from home in Belfast as a child and attend school in Scotland to deciding to work in Japan where he met his now wife. He took on experiences and challenges bold and exciting. But it wasn’t until attending a leadership development programme at George Mason University and participating in his first triathlon. But the spark to light his entrepreneurial journey truly began and the rest is history. So why did this boy from Northern Ireland take such big steps as a child? And has his journey been one that when reflected upon was perfect on plan to perfection, or one made up of seemingly unconnected dots? Well, let’s find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up does with the one and only Mr. Northern Ireland himself, Gary Smyth, how are you doing?
Gary Smyth [2:34]
Great. Thank you so much, David. Thank you for the opportunity to connect this morning.
David Ralph [2:39]
It is lovely and you got out of bed at the crack of dawn. You are somewhere in the midst of abama land you have left us Brits. Are you happy with your decision?
Gary Smyth [2:50]
It’s been a it’s been a phenomenal journey over the last 12 years. Definitely. Definitely miss home. I love Northern Ireland, but the last 12 years has been so impactful in my life, the decision to leave home, leave Scotland and go to Japan really was life changing. It’s like you mentioned where I met my now wife. And from there, I haven’t really looked back in my personal as well as my professional life. It’s been a great ride.
David Ralph [3:17]
It’s been a ride, hasn’t it? Because I’ll be honest, this is going to be a sweeping stereotype which is probably going to alienate a lot of the people in Northern Ireland and Ireland. But for my experience of that island, a lot of people will be dictated to by previous generations, I see what their dad’s done. They see what their granddad’s done, and I kind of follow route. But you decided that No, that wasn’t going to be for you and you were going to break free. Was that a big decision? Or were you sort of young enough to not really think about the potential consequences?
Gary Smyth [3:51]
It was a huge decision. I think my whole family would have liked me to stay in Belfast, Northern Ireland went to university There, and then stayed and got married, had a family. But I think my parents, I really valued the experiences that they provided me early on in my life, where every summer, I was fortunate enough to travel around Europe and to visit different countries every year, and going after the sunshine. You don’t get a lot of nerves in Ireland. So it was those experiences that really opened my eyes to so many different cultures out there. I got an opportunity to meet so many unique people. And just really, I found myself growing as a human being and being more open to different experiences. So I got to a point where as I was finishing up grammar school, and I had the choice do I stay at home or do I, I venture to the far reaches of Scotland to attend school and that was one of the most critical decisions I’ve made and I and I didn’t really look back, again, having the opportunity to meet so many different people. from different countries, not just abroad, but also in the UK itself. It really opens my eyes to what’s really impossible and what I could achieve in my life.
David Ralph [5:10]
But do you think that when you look back on it, it was a decision that was always going to happen? Do you? Do you think that the dots were lining up even back then? Are you back kind of creative, adventurous type at heart? Or was it a kind of a weird decision that you made, which has panned out very well?
Gary Smyth [5:28]
I think it was the latter. It was definitely a decision that maybe wasn’t expected.
At that time, I felt myself
I was a little quieter at the time when I was growing up as maybe more of an introvert didn’t really put myself out there. And quite often I found myself listening to maybe more external voices than my own internal voice at times. With regard to what types of opportunity I take, whether I try out for the football, the soccer team Or the rugby team? Maybe was I good enough? Or would I fit in so at that time, I found myself maybe listening a lot to the external voices outside versus maybe my own heart and where I want it to go. So for me, it was a really big decision and, and kind of quieting down those external voices and truly listening inside and saying there’s, I think, just based on my, my limited experience so far, there’s so much more out there to explore. One of my goals is every day is to create a new normal, how can I take my life and my family’s life and those around like myself to the next level? So I didn’t know what to expect fully. But I knew I had to make the leap at that time and really, truly listen to my gut and to myself and take that first plunge to attend school in Scotland.
David Ralph [6:44]
So you do that every day. When do you try to create the new normal you look at your life and you think I can’t rest on this. I’ve got to keep moving forward.
Gary Smyth [6:54]
Very much. It’s it’s for me, it’s really all about how can I Keep on creating almost a new me or myself on a daily basis. I love to see what’s possible in the last 12 years since leaving home have really shown me what is possible and what can be achieved. So whether it be throughout my corporate career or now, as an entrepreneur, I wake up and I embrace the new day. I think we all have approximately 86,400 seconds a day and what we do with that it’s really up to us. So I my my decision is to use that time to create a new normal, how can I if I made a million dollars yesterday? How can I make a million on one dollars today? Or if I hit 200% of our revenue goal with my sales organisation? How can we do 250%? Or if I completed my first triathlon, how can I maybe do that 30 seconds quicker or 10 minutes quicker at the next race so very much I really want to see what’s possible. I guess answer a question I always ask myself is how what is the limit? Do I have a limit? And I don’t really think I do, or I haven’t found that as of yet.
David Ralph [8:10]
It is fascinating, though, isn’t it, I bind everything to slavery. Because when you get to that point, I think before you’re entrepreneurial, you protect what you’ve got. So if you’re doing a salary, and you’re earning 50, grand, whatever, you just want to keep what you’ve got. But when you’re entrepreneurial, you really do buy into the belief that the the, there’s no limit to what you can achieve, you know, with my show, my first goal was to be able to replace my income that I had before. And I did that. And what I realised was when I did that, I kind of rested for a while, and I needed to start smashing up again, to be able to take it to the next level of making it into a six figure business. And then once I got there, I kind of rested again, and I don’t think I had the energy to keep on doing it every single day. So Why are you different from me Gary, why are you able to do that? Well, I kind of get to the top of this mountain and then sit there for a while looking around.
Gary Smyth [9:09]
I think for me what one of the biggest driving factors in everything I do is my my family, not just back home, but my wife and my daughter. My daughter is at an age now she just turned 10. So for me that’s that has a huge impact in how I approach every day, I not only want to see what’s possible for myself or help those who I work with, see what’s possible and help them get to the next level. Everyone is asking my daughter now what she wants to do when she grows up. I don’t want her to have any limiting beliefs as to what what might be open to her, whether that be the next, the next grade singing sensation, maybe a politician, an astronaut, whatever that might be. I want to be able to hopefully show her that you there’s an opportunity to have great success. You may stumble along the way things may not work out, but they’re always going to be an opportunity to, to learn to grow. And I think also, I want to be able to show her that people if you have a goal and maybe somebody laughs at that goal, that’s when you know, you have a good goal. I remember the time when I when I told folks in my my circle that I was going to train for a triathlon, maybe not an Olympic athlete, and quite a few people chuckled. But for me, that’s when I knew I had a good goal. And I want my daughter to be able to feel like that as well. And really, hopefully I can mirror some of the things that will help her take her life to the next level over the next coming years. So that’s a real big driving force. For me as I approach every day is not only can I help those around me, but how can I help my family and provide them the best light possible?
David Ralph [10:56]
I had a moment the other day, my son’s got A 40 inch flat screen TV for Christmas. Now he knows he’s got it because we couldn’t sort of hide it. But he likes to play Xbox. And he likes to lay on his bed. And he’s been after this big TV for his bedroom for a long time. And I’m of the age, Gary, that I’m still walking in there going. I had a black and white TV when I was your age, and I had to buy it myself and I could barely see anything. And the only thing I could watch was sneaker and all the balls were in black and white. So as I like to go down over here, the other day, I had to put it up on the wall for him. And I’m not terrible at home improvement and dry. But I’m not the best if somebody comes along and says I’ll do it for you. Yeah, I’m gone. You take the drill, you take the roll plugs and do everything. But this was on that time, so I had to put it up. And it was a simple bracket to go up onto the wall. But there was no instructions for it. And they didn’t tell me what screw sizes I needed. And it was just kind of going by, by experience and so I did a crappy job at it to be honest. And he ended up with three large holes in his wall and no flat screen TV put up. And that kind of walked away and Ah, oh, I can’t do this. It’s ridiculous. I can’t do this. You know why? Why am I being asked to do this anyway? Why? Because I’m dead. I had a big stroke. Do I have to do this? There’s other people in this house, you know how to use screwdrivers and any I walked around having a party for a little bit. And my daughter came up to me use 10. And she said to me, don’t worry died. Don’t worry. She said, you did do your best. But I’m surprised that you’ve given up because you keep on telling us You should never ever give up. And it was like a slap in the face, Gary. It really was. But I realised that the message that I try to get out to them every day and through the shows but it’s out there for you, you can go for it. It all come down to this moment, or putting this flat screen TV up, but I realised that message was getting through. It’s amazing when you realise that is working within your own family life, isn’t it?
Gary Smyth [13:03]
Very much and like the example that you shared that’s, it’s amazing for me when you realise, like on a daily basis, you may not think your family are watching you hundred percent, but they truly are observing and there may be absorbing the information you’re putting out there. And that’s really, I think, for me really cool to have maybe your daughter come back and say, yeah, this is what you’ve told us in the past, like you’ve done your best. And for me, that’s my daughter work to come to me and say that though that would be so uplifting just to really notice that she may not say it all the time, but she really is witnessing and observing some of the things I’m trying to put out out there into the world and hopefully help her with as she navigates the next stages of her life. So definitely, it’s very cool.
David Ralph [13:50]
I did really want to punch her hard in the stomach though I’ll be honest. Just leave just leave me alone for a moment child Leave me alone. So if we Start looking back at your life again because obviously you’ve made some big decisions. But I was fascinated when you said, when you said that you’re going to do that first triathlon, a lot of people chuckled, which made you realise it was a goal worth setting. Why did you not do what so many people do and become the turtle and go, Okay, I won’t do it and just pull your head back in what made you realise but that that laughter that amusement was actually vam being frightened of doing it themselves?
Gary Smyth [14:31]
It’s a great question, actually, right up until the start of that first race. It was one of the shortest triathlons It was a sprint triathlon, so not very long at all. But even getting like I pulled myself out of bed is almost a battle of mine over mattress that morning, to try and to get there to the race line. And I had so many doubts in my mind as I wondered, am I doing this I could be at home. I could be watching the football game. I could be spending time with my family but I’m here about to put myself through excruciating pain that I thought. But again, I just remember, like, with everything I do, like I said before, it’s like how can I create the new normal and for me, this is an area that I really wanted to explore. And if I truly want to show my family and daughter what’s possible, I have to follow through on my commitments and my actions as well. And it was it was terrifying. Especially the first part was the swim but I get stroke by stroke. I just tried to chunk out the race little by little and as soon as I started, my goals were to finish the race and hopefully not come last. I knew my family were going to be there at the finish line. They were probably waiting a little bit longer than they thought. But I crossed I think I walked across the finish line and I didn’t come last I came one from last. And so I was really I achieved my goal but to see my my wife and daughter at the finish like knowing that they were there, throughout the whole race really carried me through. And then also thinking about the reaction of folks that said, maybe chuckled, almost like, wow, look, I was able to achieve this. And I often thought that people that maybe chuckle or maybe have that type of reaction to a goal, are usually the folks that really care about you. And they, they’re maybe worried a little bit about losing you from their circle. If you take this plunge and try and get to the next level. Maybe by doing a triathlon or being an entrepreneur, whatever that might be. Sometimes I find that they’re maybe worried that they may lose you too, and then maybe the next set of friends, or that next set of professionals and they may not have as much contact, but it was really the thought of my wife, my daughter being at that finish line, following through on my commitments, even if I maybe didn’t win the race, which I would have loved to but maybe wasn’t quite possible. For that first one,
David Ralph [17:01]
I suppose the big question is Gary and it’s the question that I’m sure is burning into the brain of all the listeners out there is did you wear the skin tight speedos or did you go with the baggy swim shorts?
Gary Smyth [17:14]
I was I didn’t quite go for the speedos, but it was definitely a long short spandex form. So not the most flattering of suits, but I was there he was multicoloured and there’s some photos out there, which maybe aren’t the most flattering.
David Ralph [17:34]
Where we’re having old on the show notes, people you can come across, we get huge downloads from this show because of it. So what was that triathlon, more about teaching yourself that life was possible? Could you have started settling into a routine and forgetting that mantra of let’s create the new normal every day?
Gary Smyth [17:55]
Very much it really showed me what was possible. It was something I never thought I always thought about doing a triathlon I saw on TV folks competing, I love swimming. I love getting out there in the open running or cycling. But there was always something at the back of my mind that prevented me from following through or signing up for a race and it was almost like we will if I come last will folks maybe will they laugh? Or will I maybe not fit in with that that demographic always have an image of folks that are triathletes they’re varying through World Class athletes in the best shape of their lives. And at that time, I wasn’t anywhere near that. And so for me just taking that plunge, it was really life changing to see what was possible. I just going through the race and I came one from last. I wanted more and I found that community that I got introduced to just during that race, there was professionals who are cheering the me the one of the last people in the race on the today have finished maybe an hour So before I had, and they took the time to come cheer you on, to give you support. So it introduced me to a whole new community that I had never had exposure to before. So just by taking that step and showing up at the starline, I got to meet so many more like minded individuals who I’ve kept in touch with and made friends with, who have also elevated me to the next level, and I finish that race. And I said, what’s next? I went home, and I signed up for the next one. And I said, Well, I didn’t fall down in that race, maybe I can do a longer distance. So it really started a journey of like, what is possible, what is the limit? When what is the point I fall down and I can’t go any farther. And, and to this point, I haven’t found that and I’m excited to see how far I can go and I truly realising that there are no limits on what you can do
David Ralph [19:51]
as you end but as you say, quite wisely, it’s the people close to us. They’re the ones that will hold us back somehow and it’s it’s a shame because they do care, but they just don’t want to lose you somehow Do they? I was watching a preview yesterday of a new film that’s coming out. You remember that guy? Eddie the eagle Edwards? Oh, yes.
Gary Smyth [20:09]
Very much. Oh, the skier that ski jumper.
David Ralph [20:12]
Yeah, that’s right. And he’s an English guy if anybody don’t doesn’t remember this guy, he was an English guy who I suppose at the time we laughed at because he got into the Olympics, and he did a ski jump and he wasn’t very good. Everyone else was flying past him. And they called him Eddie the eagle Edwards, because he, he wasn’t an eagle. He was like a duck on this slide. And he became kind of famous due to the sort of ridicule me I’ve made this film with Hugh Jackman and I was watching the preview the other day, and it totally changed my perception because this guy had a dream. This guy had a belief that he could put himself into that position. And okay, he was never going to win, but he still did it. And the effort that he had to go through and the training and the persistence and the perseverance to get to that point that he actually could get onto the Olympic team, even though he wasn’t going to win it. It’s hugely inspiring. I can’t wait to see this film because it really sort of made me realise that so many of us give up. Before we even get going, we look at what is possible, what our dreams, what our heart says, and go, Ah, now that’s never gonna work, because it’s never gonna work unless you get off your backside and do it go, yay. It’s
Gary Smyth [21:26]
so true. It’s so true. And you never know with anything that is different. And it’s new for you. If you’re going through changes, like change is really so difficult in the beginning, because it feels so unnatural. And then you kind of get to the middle if you hang on, then it feels a little bit clunky but if you like you say if you can truly persist and and keep going keep pushing forward and at the end, it’s it’s it’s truly amazing what you can achieve or how you can feel. So definitely persistence is key.
David Ralph [21:58]
I’m going to play some words now. Then we’re going to delve Even more into your journey through free Japan up and we’re gonna go to Japan. But before then, Jim Carrey
Unknown Speaker [22:06]
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 [22:34]
What lessons did you learn from your father because obviously, different generations have different way of operating and now we’re in and anything is possible kind of environment, but maybe your dad had a different type of lifestyle.
Gary Smyth [22:48]
I learned a lot from my father. I think first and foremost was his work ethic. It was just on a daily basis. Like constantly doing everything he could to To provide for, for me and my family, and for us to have the best life possible. So that was really first and foremost what what I learned from my father was just having that work ethic on a daily basis. But also, he always used to say, or say, Gary, sometimes I wouldn’t ask for what I truly wanted. When I was younger, maybe I thought it was a little too expensive, or maybe a little bit too far out of reach. And he always used to say, if he found out later on that it was something I really wanted. I didn’t ask for it. But Gary, if you don’t ask you don’t get. So that’s something which I’ve really taken through my whole life. And it’s really how do people know truly where you want to go in life, what you what your goals are, how they can help you out? If you don’t put it out there or you don’t ask. So that’s something which has really helped me even in my sales career over the last 10 to 15 years. It’s really Asking and trying to see what is possible and at least put it out there and have a conversation. The worst that can happen is someone can say no, that that’s not possible at this time, but let’s put a plan in place to achieve that moving forward. So that’s probably the biggest thing I took away from my father is, you don’t if you don’t ask you don’t get.
David Ralph [24:23]
That’s a gift, isn’t it? Because it’s so scary, isn’t it? The fact that you go into that pub, and is that really beautiful woman and you stand there for a whole evening with your pints thinking, I’m gonna ask her, I’m gonna ask her. I’m gonna ask it and then you missed that opportunity. But if you’d gone up there, you could have ended up having babies and I live together
Gary Smyth [24:43]
very much you never know. And again, the worst that can happen is I think so often. What holds you back is what you think the result of doing something is going to be? Maybe you’re ready to folks are going to laugh or you’re maybe not going to fit in with that. A certain crowd or a certain demographic or really for me, I everything I say is one, what’s the worst that can happen? Like most of the time people are genuinely really nice and appreciative of what you do. But really the worst that can happen is they can say no. Which, which for me is okay. It’s just really an for me and no, for now, it could be in a yes next week, or it could be a Yes, in six months or next year. So for me, that’s how I approach really a lot of situations in my life is I really, what’s the worst that can happen? And it’s really a lot of the times it’s no or folks may chuckle a little bit, but that’s an opportunity for me, either to know I have a great goal, or I get to become even more creative to figure out how I can get a yes and I think I probably asked my now wife on a date probably Gosh, more than 10 times. But if I took no at the first, the first asking and I don’t think I’d be in I would have had the journey through Canada or here now in Texas.
David Ralph [26:00]
Why did she say no, Ven, I want to know why did Mrs. Smith not see but glory that is Gary?
Gary Smyth [26:07]
Oh, at the time, she said I was too young. She’s a few years older than I am. And so that was the primary reason. She was worried maybe what people would think, by dating a gentleman who or a guy who’s younger than her. And we didn’t really know each other for very long because we’ve only connected for the first time in Japan over the course of a couple of months. But I thought we had a connection we seem to get on well, so I persisted. Just like Eddie the eagle Edwards that I kept asking we kept building relationship and finally she gave into a cup of coffee and the rest is history. I think
David Ralph [26:46]
you realise once you ask are over eight times. It’s called stalking Gary. Do you realise?
Gary Smyth [26:51]
Oh, gosh, hopefully, hopefully, it didn’t come across like that, but I was definitely very persistent. Well, I’m glad cuz
David Ralph [26:57]
it is it’s all about persistence, isn’t it? So When you went over to Japan was was that a scary time because that is a world apart. I always say that. There’s a lot of countries that although they’re fallen, they’re not falling. You know, you go to Australia, you go to America, you go to the United Kingdom. They’re all kind of similar. We speak the same language. There’s McDonald’s on every corner and you’ve got familiarity. You go to Japan, it’s totally different culture. Was that a scary time? Or was that a time that really made the Gary Smith that we’re talking to grow up?
Gary Smyth [27:29]
A little bit of both. I was. I was terrified. I was a long flight. I remember getting the plane from Belfast to London. We flew from Heathrow and it was a 13 hour flight. And I was terrified on that plane because I wasn’t sure what to expect. So like you’d said, I’ve been to travelled throughout Europe and been to countries where everyone for the most part will speak English or you can communicate fairly, fairly easily. But when I was stepping off the plane at the airport in Japan, it I knew I was in a very different world. Because the signs were in Japanese characters, and very few people spoke English it was I knew I was in a very different country. And I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I wasn’t sure if I’d made the right decision. But at the same time, as well as being, having that fear, I was also excited by the opportunity. And very quickly, I realised how the Japanese people were so welcoming. They were so friendly. And I started to really identify with with their personalities, the culture. I was just very curious. I just tried to ask a lot of questions I wanted to learn and know for the first few weeks as I started to learn more about the culture, the history of the country, I became to get more settled, and I tried new foods. Sometimes I went to the supermarket I had no idea what I was purchasing. It was almost like a bit of a potluck, getting home to figure out what I bought. But I love that It was just the although it was scary. It was the opportunity that existed to grow as an individual as a human being, to learn about a culture to meet people who I probably would never have met, if I’d stayed home in Ireland. And so for me, it was a mixture of both a lot of fear. Pretty terrified in the beginning, but also a lot of excitement about the possibility that could happen. And again, I almost thought about what’s the worst that can happen. I made the decision to go out there. But worst worst case, it may not work out for whatever reason. And I had a family and friends back home that I could always go to. So for me, that was the worst case. And if that was the worst case, I was, I was okay with that. So I went about trying to explore as much as I could in the country that I found myself in.
David Ralph [29:55]
I suppose the key message to our listeners is what Gary was doing. Bear was testing himself on a daily basis, he was breaking down the routines that he could have set around him by trying different food by trying a different culture. But you can do that in your own town, you can do that by going into Starbucks. And instead of asking for the same thing that you always asked, just try something different. And by being proactive and focusing on those tiny little changes, you will realise that the big changes start to naturally occur. It’s amazing when it happens. You don’t have to go help a lever overnight. That’s probably not maintainable that’s too big for you. And you’re just going to exhaust yourself, but by doing these tiny little mini adventures, been life changing, do you agree go
Gary Smyth [30:41]
very much I love I love that comment. And I think for me, like you say, if you’re uncomfortable 24 seven that’s not enjoyable in any way. It’s good to be uncomfortable because it’s always you’ll learn you’ll grow from that. So I suppose like you say, chunk it out a little bit. And if you’re, I guess have the approach like be on commercial about maybe five seconds at a time, 10 seconds at a time, and then maybe take the next 10 seconds or the next hour to reflect on that experience and really take away from it. Is this something I enjoyed? Gosh, how can I maybe take this forward to the next level to improve my life for those around me then it’s so worth it. But I agree if you’re uncomfortable 24 seven is probably not a pleasant place you want to be in but if you made me uncomfortable five seconds at a time, then yeah, use that time to reflect and you really define or figure out what what you love or what you can take forward with you to take yourself to the next level.
David Ralph [31:38]
So do you love your job at the moment being the co founder of sales elite? Is this the culmination of everything that you work towards? Or is this a stepping stone to something that probably you haven’t even touched on yet?
Gary Smyth [31:51]
I think right now, I honestly love what I do. I love the profession of sales. I love coaching. I love helping people. I love seeing the improvements and developments in organisations and professionals I work with and I have an opportunity to make a living doing that at the same time. So for me, that’s right now in this situation, it’s, it’s, it’s wonderful. I’m having such a great time. At the same time, six months ago, when I started my business, I was terrified. I left a great corporate job on a Thursday and I found myself on Friday with no email in my inbox. I didn’t have any customers. I didn’t have my salary. I was nervous I was I was fearful about what what could happen. But what kept me pushing forward was this is the new normal for me. I made a decision. I found myself getting comfortable in that corporate world and that’s one of my biggest fears is like being comfortable and I could have stayed there and for maybe three, four or five more years having a good salary a good job, but I found myself maybe not growing as quickly as I would like as a professional as an Individual. So or and I found myself putting into the job so much, I was working 13 1415 hours a day where I could have maybe got away with working eight to nine hours a day. So it was a point where I said, this is an opportunity to take my family’s life to the next level, my own life and help a much bigger audience outside of the corporate world. It was terrifying. And it’s still challenging on a daily basis. Honestly, I love what I do. I am passionate about helping folks. And it’s pretty cool. I get to do that every day. And I hope it continues and in the long term, and I keep expanding my reach further and further. Hopefully beyond Texas and across the US and maybe back home to the UK.
David Ralph [33:46]
I talk every now and again about our family business. We got a family business and it’s a car accessories business. And every now and again once in a blue moon I have to go in and cover just because staff shortages and stuff. It’s not even my business. Nice bye kind of do it to help my parents out because it’s bears. And I was in there the other day, and it’s quiet leading up to Christmas. I suppose. People don’t want to spend a lot of money on their car when they’ve got to do other stuff. And I realised I was bored. I was so bored from about 10 past eight in the morning, I was clock watching. And I thought to myself, what was the last time I’ve been bored? And I couldn’t remember because every day I get up and it’s exciting and it’s invigorating and hours go. And I suddenly think, oh, oh God, I’ve got to have lunch. I didn’t realise the last four hours have gone. When was the last time that you’ve been bored to that degree, but so many of our listeners will be experiencing every day in their lives.
Gary Smyth [34:43]
I think going back to I love my career in the corporate world, I learned a lot and I grew a lot and I was able to provide a really good base and foundation for for myself and family but towards the end of my corporate career. I’ve found myself almost going through the motions of just everyday, everyday grind almost I knew what to expect. I knew the process that we had to follow. I was fortunate enough to have a great team and a great organisation, we performed well. And things were good, but it was going through the motions and I found myself looking outside of the corporate world for opportunities that I could take upon myself to grow. And that was the point where I realised I was like, gosh, well this is okay. But this is kind of this is a little stale, I’m I go to work, I know what to expect. There’s no real surprises. I go home and I repeat for the next three, four days during that week. And that was a point where I realised there’s when I found myself looking outside of my corporate job for other opportunities to grow, that’s when I thought this might be a time to make a change. I have a choice. I could stay here be comfortable. Maybe not grows quickly or I could put myself out there and truly state Be true to myself and and create that new normal in the shorter term. So it’s really the towards the latter end of my like my corporate job where I found myself really going through the motions and like you say a little clock watching a little bit. And there was nothing to surprise me on a daily basis it was it was okay. And that’s for me, that was almost a bad situation to be in because I found myself being comfortable and just being okay and going through the motions.
David Ralph [36:32]
But it’s not okay Gary is it is not okay. Now. It’s the worst thing ever, that comfort zone where you’re being paid to kind of just exist, you go in, you have to do a hours and you kind of just feel time up. I spent mums before I quit just feeling time and doing stuff and building things secretly behind the scenes because I didn’t have any work to do. There wasn’t any work. I was still being paid to go in there and do it and Now I see a light, but it’s just exciting and invigorating. And the thing that I want to do, Gary, and it’s so important to me, I realised that with Join Up Dots, I was getting comfortable. I’ve done 500 episodes. And hopefully I’m a lot better now than I was at the beginning. But it was becoming kind of routine again, I knew that I needed to set big challenges up. So we’re setting up a platform, but we want to help a million people. Now I’ve got no idea how to do this. It’s beyond me. I don’t know, 10 people, let alone a million people. But we’ve set this target out that we’re going to help a million people to feel the same way that I do every day in the same way that you do by getting the dream and going for it. And we’re sorting out in a way where it’s so manageable on a huge scale. But I got no idea how to do it. And that excites me. Were sitting there thinking yeah, I’ve done this before. I’ve done this before. It was just bought me stupid to the point that I just couldn’t do it anymore. Totally unemployable, Gary.
Gary Smyth [38:00]
I can agree that’s exciting just to hear the passion in your voice, just by having that goal, you’re not quite sure what the exact path how to get there, but just trying to figure that out and the journey that you’re going to go on is just, it’s exciting. And it’s, you’re going to learn so much you’re going to have so many successes and things may work out things may not but you’re gonna learn and grow from those. That’s that’s exciting to hear. And it’s again, like yourself, it’s something I get to do every day also, and Gosh, I right now, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
David Ralph [38:29]
Did you think people worry about the big picture? Did you think people when I say a million people, and I think I don’t know how to do this? I’m always reflective on words. I think Mother Teresa said, when she said don’t think about the numbers, just think about the one person that you’ve got to help. And about one person becomes two people, three people, whatever. But at the beginning, do you think people get stuck because they know what they want to achieve and it’s too big for the brain to deal with.
Gary Smyth [38:58]
I do I think Sometimes it can seem overwhelming. If you have that, that big goal or that really audacious goal that you’ve set yourself. It could be maybe as simple as maybe losing weight, maybe could be chasing your dreams of an entrepreneur or gaining more customers or making a certain amount of money. If it’s that one big number that’s sitting in front of you from the very beginning that could be that could maybe stall your thinking it could make you think, oh, gosh, it’s the fear of the unknown or what’s going to happen. It’s almost the fear of what what happens if I get to this level if I am successful? Is that going to bring even more work? Oh my gosh, can I can I handle that? So I think for me, I had that, that that challenge starting none of my own business. Everyone asked me What’s your revenue goal, or what’s your profit goal starting out? I’m very aggressive in my goals and what I set for myself, and when I put out my goal for for the first year, people were like, wow, can you really get there and I started doing Myself, was that too aggressive for the first year? And I said, Well, well, not really. I’m competent myself, and I definitely believe I can get there. But what really helped me was putting out a survival goal, initially. So I went back, I talked with my family and figured out, okay, this is the large number I want to accomplish in my first year. But let’s let’s try and chunk that out a little bit. What’s my survival goal for? What do I truly what is that revenue number, that dollar amount, or pound amount that I need to, to achieve this year for my family to maintain a good lifestyle. And once I had that number, it really wasn’t as much as I thought it was just taking into account our bills, the lifestyle we wanted to have. And just looking at that number. I said, Okay, that’s my survival goal. This is my first and foremost goal that we’re going to achieve over the course of the next six months, and then we’re going to build from there and take it to the next level. So I think definitely, if you have that huge goal in front of you, it can be overwhelming. A little intense. Medina Thomas. But if you’re able to work backwards and work a timeline backwards from that overall goal and chunk it out into little bits, maybe on a weekly, monthly quarterly basis, it seems a lot more manageable. And you’re hopefully setting yourself up for success earlier in the process and success that you can keep replicating and will hopefully keep building your confidence as you work towards that much, much larger goal.
David Ralph [41:24]
Because I go one step even further than that, I always coach my clients that we look for they’re keeping the lights on figure, you know, literally bills, no luxuries in your life. What is that minimum figure and once you get that you realise that is quite doable. It’s quite doable, because I believe that most people who want to change their life are probably in a job anyway. So the key thing that you’ve got to get is time that’s that’s the big thing a thing. So if you can do a side hustle that replicates your keep the light on figures, first of all, that means that you can then step away from your job. Okay, you’re not going to be having car loans and holidays for that period. But you are going to be able to keep a roof over your head and food in your refrigerator and heating for your family and all that, then you’ve got the ultimate luxury of time, and you’ve got time to be out to expand. That’s the bigger thing, isn’t it? You come back from work every day, you’ve got these big dreams, but you’re just knackered, and you think, oh, I’ll just do it tomorrow. Oh, I’ll do it on a weekend or do it. That’s a killer, but give you time, then you can do anything.
Gary Smyth [42:30]
Oh, very much. I love that this is the actual absolute bare minimum that you need in order to get going. And just having that platform like working a little bit on the side. And getting to that point, you’ll realise very quickly that it’s maybe a little bit easier than you maybe had first thought and will allow you to, I guess jump off in a much more secure point as you explore that entrepreneurial dream. And I think like you say we all time is I think is a level set for everyone in the world. We all have a 6400 seconds in a day. And it’s really what you do with those, they’ll help you get to the next level. But starting out if, if it does look at intimidating next step, they have that bare necessities goal, and you’ll get there probably quicker than you really think. And it will allow yourself to achieve your goals hopefully a lot quicker and give you the confidence and foundation to take your life and hopefully family’s life to the next level.
David Ralph [43:31]
But let’s bring on to the show now a man who did so much in his life and funnily enough the times in his life that you thought he was actually wasting it were actually the the times that he was getting ready to come back stronger. These are the words from Steve Jobs.
Unknown Speaker [43:47]
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.
David Ralph [44:23]
Do you live by those kind of words that kind of message that he’s getting out there?
Gary Smyth [44:28]
Very much and just thinking about my my own thought in my own life. It really takes me back to Grammar School, back home in Northern Ireland. And it was I had a I knew I was preparing to go to university. As I mentioned earlier, I’m maybe not a an extreme extrovert. I was somewhat introverted at the time very quiet, very reserved. I tried to do everything correctly or follow a path But an opportunity came up to participate in the school musical. It was any Get Your Gun and I had an opportunity to be one of the protagonists is a fine, fine gentleman called Pawnee bill.
David Ralph [45:13]
I thought he was Annie, Gary, that would have been that would have made that story perfect when there
Gary Smyth [45:18]
would have been quite definitely get it out of your comfort zone, that’s for sure. But it was I am not a singer in any in any shape or fashion. I’ve never acted before, I’d never been on stage. And I found myself saying, Well, if I need to get to the next level, I wanted to at that point in time, I found myself not really following my father’s advice and asking for the things that I wanted. So I saw it as an opportunity. Well, if I volunteer or put myself up to be a part of this play, it will put me in such an uncomfortable position that I’m not I’ve never been familiar with and and I was terrified. But that was the point in my life I can really look back to that really opened up so many doors to see what truly was possible and I think is impacted everything I’ve done since then. And it was really finding myself on stage and in front of hundreds of people at the school performing. And at one point, it was the most terrifying moment where I had a long wig on. And just by accident, it fell off in the middle of stage right in the middle of the performance. And it was, things could go bad. That was the worst thing that could ever happen. And I was terrified. But the whole audience just laughed, and I found myself I took it over my stride I bent over, I picked my wake up from the ground, and I put it back on. And I just continued on as if really nothing had happened. But that’s the point where I really look back and I said, Well, Gary, the absolute worst thing that you envisage by doing this play actually happened and the worst thing that happened was some folks laughed. And so many people came up to me after that performance and said, Wow, you handled that so well, or gosh, I can’t believe that happen. And some people felt sorry for me, that’s like, well, that’s over. That’s not really that bad at all. And they opened up a whole new network of friends for me that I had never met before at school. And it really gave me the confidence to take the step to go to school at Scotland. And then from there, take the step to go to Japan and then to Canada and then to Texas. So for me, that was really a defining moment, just by putting myself out there. And the small mishap happening on stage really changed my whole way of thinking as to what’s truly the worst that can happen and really getting out of my comfort zone on a daily basis. It’s really, it sucks at times, but it’s not really as bad as you think. Did I call the next performance
David Ralph [47:54]
Gary get your week did I did I?
Gary Smyth [47:57]
It was definitely a running joke. Everyone was anticipating If I was going to pull someone who’s going to pull my wig off again, I think it was it was a great pattern interrupt for the whole play. But it was it was definitely a talking point. And no, maybe not one of my finer moments, but it was a looking back it was the thought has really impacted my life and is prompted me to take so many different unexpected routes, then typically what was expected for me,
David Ralph [48:23]
the worst can happen and you can deal with a carny
Gary Smyth [48:26]
very much, very, very much. You’ll be surprised at how you respond to those types of situations. And it’s often not as not as bad as you think. And you’re a lot stronger than you truly think you are. And you’ll learn a lot from it.
David Ralph [48:40]
But let’s put you in another situation now because this is the part of the show we’ve been building up to that we call the Sermon on the mic when we send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back and speak to the young Gary, what age would you choose? And what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because I’m going to play the theme tune and when it fades you up. This is sermon on the mic
Unknown Speaker [49:10]
with the best bit of the show.
Gary Smyth [49:27]
Hi, they’re younger Gary. You’re currently 10 years old. This is your older self, a little bit older. And I wanted to tell you that although you there’s so many choices in your life at the moment, there’s going to be so many choices ahead of you moving forward as you go into your teenage years and into your adult life. I really encourage you to listen to your gut. Listen to yourself. There’s going to be so many external voices out there that are wanting to lead you down a path that may be comfortable, that may be the norm for for you for your personality. But I really encourage you take the time to understand what you truly want to achieve. If it’s something that’s going to be uncomfortable, really think about the impact it’s going to have on your life. If you take that next step and be uncomfortable five seconds at a time. Don’t worry about not having enough experience in a certain area, you will come across one book that will have a huge impact in your life. And that book is called the leader who had no title by an author called Robin Sharma. And a quote that you will learn to live by his leadership does not require a title. It’s a way of being. So I really encourage you to no matter how young you are, no matter how much experience you have, or no matter In the circles that you find yourself in, you have an opportunity to be a leader on a daily basis. And to really be a true master of your craft. As you progress into your your professional life and your career, I really encourage you to, to be vulnerable. I think your willingness to be vulnerable, in your later years will truly be your greatest strength. And having the ability to be humble, and to show humility and to be vulnerable will really set you apart and will really grow your network of friends. It will help you grow your professional career. And we’re really help you be true to yourself, and be that great self that I know you’re going to be. So there’s going to be so many exciting times ahead of you. free travel experiences visiting different cultures, I encourage you to embrace those, make the most of them. Enjoy and truly learn from those things. that maybe don’t work out quite as well as you had hoped. I know you’re gonna have a lot of fun. And I know you’ll have a lot of success, and good luck and live every day to create a new normal. Gary,
David Ralph [52:13]
what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir?
Gary Smyth [52:18]
Thank you, David the best way I’m very active on social networks and social media. So please definitely reach out to me on on LinkedIn. So you can definitely find me on LinkedIn. Just search Gary Smith on Google or via LinkedIn. I’ll be the first option that will pop up. Please also reach out to me on Twitter with any questions or feedback. My Twitter handle is at Gary D. Smith. And then also feel free to reach out to me on Facebook as well again, under the name Gary Smith, my website for sales lead. please reach out ask any questions. I have a lot of great sales literature materials there. It’s Sales leads.sandler.com. And I hopefully look forward to connecting with all of you moving forward and sharing some ideas and best practices to help us all create that new normal in our lives. Great stuff. Gary,
David Ralph [53:15]
thank you so much for spending time with us today, joining up 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. Gary Smith, thank you so much.
Gary Smyth [53:29]
Thank you so much, David. It’s been a pleasure.
David Ralph [53:34]
Gary Smith, a man who is creating the new normal everyday I didn’t have that. I love that statement. And he was somebody that he said it about nine or 10 times through the show and every time he said it, I thought yeah, that’s what it’s all about. It’s about just pushing those barriers, pushing those boundaries over time to create the new normal because a new normal is going to be expensive and adventurous and profitable. You’re gonna earn a lot more money by doing things that are unusual and getting out of that comfort zone. Unfortunately, unless you’re the owner of a company, being an employee, you’re never gonna get rich, he’s gonna get rich or she’s gonna get rich, but you’re not. But once you understand that you can create your own income and start moving forward with passion, commitment, and just getting out of your comfort zone creating the new normal everyday, then you will be cooking on gas. As always, thank you very much for listening to Join Up Dots in absolute pleasure to bring you another Episode Episode 475. And if you are inspired to start moving forward with your own life and come across to get the dream at Join Up dots.com and connect with us. And we will start working with you on our coaching platform. It’s massively affordable. And you will get members only podcast you will get motivation you will get connection with people across the world. We will support you on a daily basis as you move forward to the dream life and whatever You have, we will work with you to create that. Hopefully we’ll see you soon. If not, hopefully you’ll listen to another episode of Join Up Dots. Thanks very much. Cheers. Bye bye.
David doesn’t want you to become a faded version of the brilliant self you or 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.