Dave Sanderson Joins Us On The Steve Jobs Inspired Join Up Dots Podcast
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Introducing Dave Sanderson
Dave Sanderson is our guest today on the Steve Jobs inspired Join Up Dots free podcast interview.
He is a man who may not be well known, but the situation that he found himself certainly is.
He is an inspirational survivor, speaker, and author and part of the miracle that occurred back in 2009.
When travelling back on a normal commuter flight for his job as an application sales manager for Oracle he found himself in a situation that most people would wish that they weren’t in.
However our guest reviewed it in a very different manner.
When US Airways Flight 1549, or “The Miracle on the Hudson,” ditched into the Hudson River on January 15, 2009, he knew he was exactly where he was supposed to be.
The last passenger off the back of the plane on that fateful day, he was largely responsible for the well-being and safety of others, risking his own life in frigid water to help other passengers off the plane.
Despite the hazards to himself, he thought only of helping others and emerged from the wreckage with a mission: to encourage others to do the right thing.
How The Dots Joined Up For Dave Sanderson
Today, he travels the globe sharing his inspirational and motivational leadership messages to help people make a difference in how they do business and live their lives.
So of course the miracle was that every single person survived, so would he feel differently operating in this new field if the result was tragic against miraculous?
And does he feel that the majority people in life need something to shake them from the routine and comfortable zones that we all live in to really get the future they deserve?
Well lets find out as we bring onto the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr Dave Sanderson
During the show we discussed such weighty topics with Dave Sanderson such as:
How you can face a crisis and remain calm and collected when all around you are losing theirs.
How he made the decision to take the corporate leap and use the lessons learnt from living through the miracle to build a positive future for him and his family.
How most businesses take three years to really start finding their feet, and the steps he took to find his own firm footing going forward.
How accurate he felt the film was to the real life situation (which isn’t always the case with these type of movies)
How To Connect With Dave Sanderson
You can also check our extensive podcast archive by clicking here – enjoy
Full Transcription Of Dave Sanderson 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 [0:34]
Yes, good morning to you. Good morning to you my Join Up Dots is your my listeners across the world. Thank you so much for being with us. On Episode 643 of Join Up Dots. It’s gonna be a good one today because we’ve got a very different story, but it’s the kind of story that you will have known already. If you’ve been to the movies or the pictures as we say in the United Kingdom over the last few months you probably will have connected with this story but it Let’s bring the guy on because he’s a man who may not be well known but the situation that he found himself in certainly was. He’s an inspirational survivor, speaker and author and part of the miracle that occurred back in 2009 when travelling back on a normal commuter flight through his job as an application sales manager, but overall, he found himself in a situation that most people would wish they weren’t in, however, our guest reputed in a very different manner. When US Airways Flight 1549 on a Miracle on the Hudson ditched into the Hudson River on January the 15th 2009. He knew he was exactly where he was supposed to be the last passenger off the back of the plane on that fateful day. He was largely responsible for the well being and safety of others risking his own life in critted water to help other passengers off the plane. But despite the hazards to himself, he thought only of helping others and emerge from the wreckage with a mission to encourage others to do the right thing. Today, he travels the globe sharing his inspirational and motivational leadership messages to help people make a difference in how they do business and live their life. lives. So of course, the miracle was that every single person survived. So would he feel differently operating in this new field? If the result was tragic against miraculous? And does he feel that the majority people in life need something to shake them from the routine and take them from their comfortable zones that we all live in to really get the future they deserve? Well, let’s find out as we bring them to the show to start joining up dots with the one and only Mr. Dave Sanderson. Good morning to you, Mr. Sanderson. How are you, sir?
Dave Sanderson [2:29]
Good morning. How are you today?
David Ralph [2:31]
I am very good. Very good. Indeed. Looking forward to having you on the show because it’s one of these. It’s the prime time for you because the movie has been in the cinemas for the last few months. Let’s cut to the chase. I haven’t seen the film. I was gonna watch it last night but I was a bit tired to be honest. Is it a good one? Are you happy with it? That’s it. That does it reflect what went on rather well?
Dave Sanderson [2:58]
or good morning? Yes. I believe in movies Sally is extremely realistic. There are a lot of the backstory details that people I believe once they watch him could not believe really happened not only during that day but after the event to not only Captain Sullenberger and Captain scholars but too I think all of us so I think it’s a it’s very realistic I was extremely happy, very moved and very happy with what the how Clint Eastwood represented the day
David Ralph [3:29]
and are you in it? Obviously not yourself but is somebody playing you did did Brad Pitt play you in the film? Well, George Clooney
Dave Sanderson [3:38]
Well, unfortunately, George Clooney and or Brad Pitt did not play me but there is a gentleman who’s representing my role on the plane very he’s he’s on the plane but he’s not doing much action because I think it’s I don’t think they wanted to recreate the 36 degree water and in the plane crash but I am actually in the movie I had three cameos and I was very honour to have a cameo in the movie.
David Ralph [4:03]
So obviously it was a situation that you didn’t want to find yourself in but the fascinating thing is that you have taken it from a huge negative to unbelievable positive. Now, were you sort of that kind of person anyway, were you sort of naturally heroic? Or was this a surprise to you as much as anybody else?
Dave Sanderson [4:24]
I think I was surprised as anybody else I, I candidly thinking the reason I call my book moments matter is because all these moments in my life that I had that I candidly did not think I had any value all of a sudden came to play where it were, they were very important moments to help me get to that point where I could hopefully help people in a potentially crisis situation and and help help other people get to get their outcomes likewise, so I think everything that led up to that day or that training and and I had really added value to know what I did that day, but hope please The entire situation.
David Ralph [5:02]
Now we say on Join Up Dots but all your dots join up all the experiences that you have in all different forms of life, which at the time, you might think is a complete waste of time. Normally, we’ll come to that moment. So, you could have phrased your book totally different, but the dots joined up you could have branded it as my show.
Dave Sanderson [5:21]
I could have and I then I would have to speak with you and probably give you some royalties. So I I went to went a different direction. But I think we generally the same type of mentality that all these moments or dots joined up for me, is that a significant moment in my life.
David Ralph [5:37]
So you were a sales manager for Oracle, I believe at the time and I was interested in that because i the only qualification I’ve got, I’ve got a degree in Oracle relationship database management. And it’s done me no good at all in what I’m doing, but it did teach me but if I put my mind to something, I can pretty much achieve it. Now you was on a commuter route. You will going back and forth was this sort of a normal flight that you would just jump on overseas of a rarity but he was on a plane at this time?
Dave Sanderson [6:07]
No, I’ve at that point, I still do today fly over 100 times a year. So it was the end of a three day three day business trip. I was on my I think sixth flight of that week. So it was a common occurrence in my life. So I took it like most people did, who travelled frequently, this everyday kind of thing and no big deal. Let’s get going and all of a sudden, something happens that changes the entire direction of your life.
David Ralph [6:33]
And do you now you know, when they stand up and they say we’re gonna go through the safety checks and nobody pays attention? Did you Now pay attention did you use to sort of do what we all do and read the sick bag and look around and mess around?
Dave Sanderson [6:47]
I exactly did. When I got on the plane that day. And previously to that day, I went back, yeah, put my briefcase down, put my wall in the briefcase, pull the magazine out and started to read. I did not pay attention to the flight effect. And then but now one of the things I advocate for, and I watch for when I get on a plane is people who are not paying attention, because you never know when that moments gonna strike.
David Ralph [7:09]
So you didn’t pay attention on this flight. So were you grappling around? Or did it just kind of make common sense? I’m really interested in that moment when the hero came from you. And it was as much surprise for you as anybody else. Do you think that if you had paid attention for those three minutes beforehand, you would have done a better job? Or was it in that situation? You just do what you have to do?
Dave Sanderson [7:35]
That I think evolved? I think candidly, I was, I may probably not help that day except for my awareness. That’s something where things were on the plane because one thing I’ve realised after this after the miracle is in every plane is different. So that’s, that’s one thing I probably would have been better at. But my moment came when it was time for me to get off the plane and candidly, I was my game plan was get to the aisle, get up and get out. Once The plane struck water started coming in rapidly and I just want to get off the plane but when I got to the oil that’s when everything changed for me and my I think everything that I learned and train fork came into play.
David Ralph [8:12]
Now in the film I’ve seen the clip when suddenly played by Tom Hanks a in a very different role for him in a way he looks very different. quite calm. He said, you know, brace yourself. He didn’t say we’re going down. Oh my god, we’re going to crash. He just said brace yourself. Whatever moment where you thought, oh, what’s going on here? Or did you instantly think oh my god, I’m going to die when you hear those words. And they, they kept insists them so calmly and so matter of factly did you sort of really, you know, understand what was happening at that moment or were you just sort of strapped in and just going for you know, the journey?
Dave Sanderson [8:48]
Well, when I heard the explosion, and it was a loud explosion. Kaley didn’t startle me because I thought the plane lost an engine I saw a fire coming out from neath the left wing where I was sitting in 15 A but when Captain sombre said his famous words Brace for impact. That’s when I thought it was extremely serious. He used the word dire. I use the word serious. But that’s the moment when you start realising that you may only have another 60 seconds in your life to live and you start checking in with yourself checking in with your Creator. And I believe most of the passengers on that plane that day we’re doing the same thing. Because I think once you start descending rapidly into a river, and you just clear a bridge by about 600 hundred feet, it’s you think you’re probably not coming back.
David Ralph [9:35]
And that 60 seconds Do you think to yourself, oh my God, I’ve still got things to do or do you just go Okay, that’s it. You know, what, what was your mentality with those 60 seconds before you actually hit the water? Did you think it was game up?
Dave Sanderson [9:49]
Well, I said a prayer for a couple things. And then I can’t tell you what what’s the what’s amazing after I speak to other people who survived a traumatic life event. They See their life path before their eyes and clarity of their life comes into play. And I I did think it was going to be it as we were rapidly as soon as he cleared the George Washington Bridge and he was going down fast I thought this is it. But I saw my entire life pass before my eyes and had clarity so I have peace within myself in the last thought that I had before we hit it was probably two or three seconds is I hope my wife pays that house off. That’s one of the goals we always had we never had quite accomplished and that was my last thought hope she pays the house off now.
David Ralph [10:32]
So so you hit the water, you hit the water and you know I don’t want to belabour the point of this story because I’m sure you’ve been bored stupid talking about this over and over again. But it’s important for the listeners that come to you cold and they don’t know about it. So you’re in this plane and you hit the water. And is it suddenly like everything’s like a madhouse or is a serenity after it. What actually happens in that situation? Do people start clambering over each other or is there So I’ve respect within the passengers.
Dave Sanderson [11:03]
I believe the passenger makeup of that plane really tainted that outcome. Once the captain got the plane into the water, it was a hard head. And I think everybody was jarred, because I went up in my seat and back to my seat. But the term that I’ve used is controlled chaos where there are things moving man, people are moving fast, things are happening very quickly, but no one got out of sorts. Everybody had a sort of a respect and wanted to help other people. But there were but it was chaos. chaotic when people were trying to get to their I’ll get to get get out of the plane. And currently, there’s, you think there’s limited pathways out and that’s one of the big lessons I talked about, is when you think you have one pathway out, all of a sudden other pathways open up when people get very resourceful. And all of a sudden some of the seats had broken back and you see people climbing over the seats in addition to going up the aisle and all of a sudden there’s two or three pathways and that was one of the one of the big lessons of that day is when you think you only have one pathway in life. You have others that you’d have to be open your eyes and be open to.
David Ralph [12:04]
Right? Okay, so so so let’s leave the plane behind now because fortunately you survived. Everyone survived and and if you’re interested in this story been Ben go to the movies go to the movies and see it believe that Clint and Tom has done a remarkable job on this one. Now, when did it come together for you but actually hang on, this is something that I can take forward because a lot of people I think would be in a situation and think thank God for that. Maybe go through a period of reflection but then go back into their old life again, quite comfortably. When did you think to yourself actually there’s a big lesson here and I need to take this with me to whatever environment I’m going to go into.
Dave Sanderson [12:45]
That’s a very good distinction because I think most people that they did exactly that wouldn’t my light bulb went off was the next Sunday I went to my church, everybody. He wanted to really talk to me about it because they saw it on TV and But I was invited to speak that following weekend at our church for our men’s breakfast and I spoke and I didn’t even know where I was going to say candidly, I was, you know, I was I was being moved around all over the place, wanting to be interviewed. But after I got done speaking, an elderly lady came up to me, probably 80 or 90 years old and said, I was questioning if there’s a God, I don’t believe in miracles, or I believe that you do our physical evidence, there is a God and he does miracles. And he will she looked me right in the eye and then walked away. And also that’s when I realised that what happened to me that day had impacted somebody’s life. And the light bulb went off. It’s like, I need if this impacted this lady this much, how many more people could I impact this by sharing what happened in the lessons that day? So that was phase one. Phase Two is when I was a head of security for a gentleman by the name of Tony Robbins. And Tony had called me that night. He was the only person that called me that night in the hospital. And he and I had continued our conversations and he was coaching me on can we You know how I could you use this to impact other people around the world? And he was it was a great reassurance. So it was really a two phased approach where the following Sunday, I had a lady that impacted me and said I impacted her and then Tony gave me some of the some of the motion to go forward with it.
David Ralph [14:19]
Now with Tony Robbins, obviously, he’s a motivational legend. Was it almost like you needed permission to be able to take this forward? Because I can imagine, say, like the Twin Towers, which was horrific, and so many people died, I wouldn’t imagine there would be many people that would be able to move forward with competence, because there was tragedy attached to it, because everyone survived and it was a miracle. And because Tony came along and said, You need to do this. Did you need that permission? Did you need him to come along to actually say, hey, guy, it’s okay to use this and you shoot but I do use this
Dave Sanderson [14:59]
now I didn’t I’d never thought of it that way he because if you look back in those those previous years with him and as I travelled with him every time I would pick him up at hella pad or an airport, he would always ask him Are you still working for that organisation? Because you’ll never really be free in your life until you start working for yourself and growing yourself. So I had that lesson and grained in me but I think that his giving some some coaching on you’ve got something now you need to do something with it was not permission but it was like reassurance.
David Ralph [15:37]
Because you do need a story, don’t you? You need It’s alright to people to say they’re a motivational speaker. And a lot of people go through their life feeling like ah, I’ve got something to offer, but it’s having something to nalli on to what’s this your you know, Was this your gift? Could you have done this beforehand? Did you have a backstory that would have worked or did you need this
Dave Sanderson [16:00]
I don’t know if I had a backstory would have the impact that would happen to me that day. But I think the turning point for me, he really woke me up to say, Okay, this is something now I was in sales for 30 years. So I had, I was used to presenting so that wasn’t a real obstacle format. I never spoke publicly like I have. But the really would change for me is when I was on. Good morning, America. And the first picture they revealed was a picture someone took of me hanging out of the plane waist deep in 36 degree water. And all of a sudden, I realised that’s when I realised I became the last passenger off that plane. And it’s like, it’s not the story, but it was like, wow, is there some validation that this was really a chaotic situation and, and here I am, and I can show people exactly what it looked like, as we were going through this and the plane. That was sort of the impetus of going to go, Wow, maybe I should have figured out this story and that’s why I went back and started putting together pieces from that whole from that day and before and, and putting together what really happened and validating that with the ferry, some of the people on the ferries, the hospital, people on US Airways, and so I can make sure that I had had what I saw what happened to me was, was really something that could help
David Ralph [17:18]
other people. There’s a great picture of you with the captain standing next to each other and you’ve got your book and he’s you know, giving you a visual testimonial that that that the book is, you know, a good thing to get out there. Did you need to sort of share it with him? Well, two questions number one, did you need to share it with him? And are there loads of passengers going around sort of talking about this subject but I’m not aware of.
Dave Sanderson [17:46]
I am I’d never thought that I needed. He knew I needed his validation. I wanted to have him have a copy because number one we were that evening speaking together. For the first time on stage, we actually share the same birthday so we actually Hook up at least once a year to, you know, catch up on what’s going on. Second, I always want him to have a copy because I want him to have my story. He’s in, of course, he’s in the book and some of the things that he did and said are in the books, I want to make sure he had that. So it was just a way for me to say thank you to him. And here’s my story. And there are a couple other passengers that are speaking, I believe regionally and or on occasion, but I don’t haven’t haven’t really heard of anybody else has taken this and really start digging deep and getting the lessons out and really dissecting the lessons of how it really impacts not only from a personal level, but also on a business level because candle II this is this is a case study for many different lessons in life, whether it’s leadership, whether it’s teamwork, whether it’s persistence, whether it’s awareness, so many case studies that can be done this and that’s why I dissect for people in my in my talks.
David Ralph [18:57]
Well, let’s play some words and then we delve back into how you’ve taken these lessons and found the gold that you can share with all the different organisations and corporations that you’re speaking to. Here’s Rocky,
Rocky Balboa [19:10]
You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take it, keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done. Now, you
David Ralph [19:26]
obviously took a big hit when you was in that plane. And I think we all like to think that deep down were some kind of Indiana Jones James Bond, the character can just take on the odds and sort of win. But I couldn’t honestly say whether I would or whether I would freeze whether I would be able to do but do and sort of move forward. Are you surprised that how much you took and remained calm because that’s that’s the key thing to it, isn’t it? You created a plan in your head at that moment of what needed to be done and you implemented it that That’s the first lesson that you must have learned. But actually, in a situation of crisis, I can actually remain cool.
Dave Sanderson [20:08]
That’s a great distinction because one of the things that I talk about is how to manage your mind through a crisis. And here’s, you know, this, Tony called the state management. And there’s a lot of ways to do that. But I had the training, I believe, going through not only being with him, but times in my life. And like I mentioned, all these, like you mentioned, joining up the dots and all the times of your life, that you faced a crisis situation, it may not have been a crisis of a plane crash, maybe a health scare, a fire a flood, but I’ve had that. So I knew that if I managed my mind, at least I had, I guess one thing I could control where everything else was out of my control. So being able to do that, and being responsive, I think, which is one of the things I talked about in my book is being able to respond to them in a time of crisis. And keeping your mind focusing where other people are losing it. That’s what I think may help me that day. Get to help other people
David Ralph [20:59]
and How’d you learn both skills? You know, we’ve already alluded the fact that no experience is wasted. But have you been in situations in jobs, employment, where you were operating in crisis, and you were having to sort of firefight on a daily basis
Dave Sanderson [21:17]
in sales, I think that’s pretty much constant where you’re always in a battle with competition with other folks, but they’re not life and death situations. But they’re great training for being able to have to respond to somebody need very quickly to be able to help get them over the hump, or give them focused on on how you could potentially assist them. So I had a couple times in my life where I think that it was a get injured or not situation which helped me manage my mind. But this was the first one that ever gave me the opportunity to test myself whether it’s life and death, and occasionally I and or other people could die if, if I and other people don’t respond in a in an appropriate way.
David Ralph [22:01]
And only things that you would do differently now when you look back on it, or do you just go? No, it was as it was, I did what I could do, did you have moments when you kind of think, ah, if only I gone that way? Or did I help that person? Do you reflect on it at all?
Dave Sanderson [22:16]
I reflect on that every day and, and but it’s the way I look at it. It is what it is. And one of the things I’ve learned in my life is you don’t see things worse as it is don’t think something’s better as it is see it as it is, and then take action. And that’s I think what happened for not only me that day, but pretty much everybody on that plane because I believe everybody on that plane was seated in their seats for a reason that did the IRS wants they did. And one of the things I’ve realised and I will be talking about in an upcoming TED talk in Canada, is that you never know people’s backstories you mentioned that up front. You don’t know somebody’s backstory, you know where they came from. So you don’t really know how they’re going to respond. And most people responded in a way that they do the best for themselves. But everybody on that point I think did that plus looked out for other people likewise.
David Ralph [23:02]
And you don’t have like a reunion where you all meet up and sort of share stories since
Dave Sanderson [23:09]
every January 15, which we’re coming up on now. There are reunions in New York and reunions in Charlotte where I live. Oh, yes. There at least once a year people get together and then of course with this last year with the movie, solid coming out, there were many times and we got together not only just being around the movie in a situation there, but the sort of re re engaging each other at different places. Where as the movie came out, and after the movie, so yes, there are definitely times when people get together.
David Ralph [23:42]
And when you watch the film, because obviously you sat there and sort of watched it and saw yourself in it two or three times. Were you surprised by the backstory? Well, were you kept in the loop that the captain was going through turmoil afterwards, when when he should have been praised. And the public would have praised him for, you know, being a hero, which quite rightly he was. But then the authorities were almost looking for a scapegoat. Was that a surprise to you? Or did you know that that was all going on?
Dave Sanderson [24:11]
Well, each one of us was interviewed by the NTSB, the National Transportation Safety Board. So each one of us had had time with him. But I think the one thing that I knew was going on but I know the the intenseness it was going on of him and Captain Skye was going through what they did. So I being with him many times right after the plane incident at many different interviews and locations, I can sort of see where he was not really, you know, he was really focused on something else. And he was in I believe, maybe going into an overwhelm situation because he is a hero. And people as you as you’ve seen the movie see this one lady to come up, basically hugging just thanking him for what he did. So I believe he was an overwhelmed by that. Never knew until really the end of the movie, how intense it really was for him and Captain Sullenberger, I had an inkling because I was invited, all the passengers were invited to attend that hearing. And I think four of the passengers, which I was not one of them attended that hearing. So I, that’s when I found out from my inner, the inner loop of our little group that we have on Yahoo. what was really going on, so I knew what was what happened, but I didn’t know the intenseness of what was happening.
David Ralph [25:27]
It does seem bizarre, though, doesn’t it? But somebody can do that they can not only risk their own life, but save the lives of every single passenger and have to go through that afterwards. It does seem bizarre, you know, I’m going to look forward to speaking to you, actually, and I’m glad I haven’t seen the film now. So I can sit and look out for you and try and try to spot the dude George Clooney at the back. And but it does seem bizarre But in today’s day in life, but that we still look for scapegoats where things happen, you know, Bird could fly into an engine, it will just happen and we deal with it. But we’re still looking for sort of answers and blame culture somehow.
Dave Sanderson [26:08]
is really, really is amazing. I think, as I get older, if there’s money or financial interest involved, there’s always gonna be somebody who’s gonna be questioning it. Even though the outcome was a mirage goes outcome. people’s lives were saved, people’s lives were changed and additional generations of people’s lives were changed. When there’s a financial interest involved, I believe somebody’s always going to be questioning it.
David Ralph [26:31]
Now, let’s all move away from there and get back on to your journey because the key part to every episode of Join Up Dots is when the guest decides to change direction, and they normally will share their thoughts with their wives, their partners, and more often than not the people closest to them say What the hell are you doing? What are you doing? You’ve got a good job, you just stay where you are you got 20 years ago, and then you can you know, You can live your life on a golf course in Florida. Now, you had a solid career, you’d been in sales, you’d been into sort of the responsibility positions over that period of time. And you probably weren’t far from the top. I would imagine after those sort of amount of decades, when you decided to change direction. Did you have people trying to anchor you did have people just Oh, just go away for two weeks? Yeah, you know, you’re dealing with the trauma you’re having a moment what what occurred in your life?
Dave Sanderson [27:31]
Well, thank you for that, because my company never said that my company wanted me to go back to work. So I believe nay they wanted to let me get back on back on the horse. So I never got that kind of reinforcement from them. But I do. My wife was sort of that way. She, she just wanted me to go back to the way it was gonna work. We were making a good living, you know, okay, we’ll get through this and then we’ll get back to our real world. But what happened for me, and how it all changed. I remember the most And it changed because I was speaking, I was working, I was all over the place, doing things and trying to serve a lot of different masters. But it was the fifth anniversary of the, of the plane crash. And I was invited CBS did a piece on me and basically followed me from our house here in Charlotte, to the New York and New Jersey for about two and a half, three days. And to do this piece on the evening news on CBS. So I was in New York doing the media around that on the anniversary, and went out the broadcast that night, I was all over the place up there doing stuff and I got back to my hotel room about midnight, one o’clock, and I finally talked to my wife and my wife said you know, maybe it is time for you to leave me and I should did your Oracle call you that day? I said No, they didn’t. I said Did they call you and then she didn’t she goes all goes well maybe it’s time for you to go maybe it’s time for you to take that next up and I think she needed to sort of see that have that time built that. You know what this he’s you He’s pretty good at this. He He knows how to articulate this in a way that will have you will be okay financially but he can lead his life now where he where this is taking him and she gave me the permission primarily that’s that’s what I was looking for the validation from her to say, it’s okay go go do this and won’t be all right and yeah, we’ve taken you know, a little bit of a hit financially because you anytime you start something new, you’re starting from scratch, but I had I had I had to reinforce it from her which gave me the impetus of fulfilling the mission I had on this earth.
David Ralph [29:33]
So Was it scary time to do this because you know, having that feeling inside but you want to change direction having that feeling inside but something has been given to you that you need to use, but actually transferring those thoughts into bringing money in because it all comes down to we’ve got to pay the bills, we’ve got to pay the bills, we’ve got the mortgage, we’ve got all this sort of expenses that we have in life, and you can’t or very few people can get run off to a dream without actually being real enough to say, how’s this gonna pay me back somehow? Was it scary time?
Dave Sanderson [30:09]
It was scary time. And it was, it was it was one of the biggest questions she had. And I had to overcome and I had to figure this out. And this is the probably the scariest part of that is, is health insurance. We, you know, I’ve always worked for a company and I’ve paid paid into it and we’ve had health insurance and never devastated by anything. How scary like that. But now it’s up to me to pay for and by the same same token, it was a time where healthcare was changing in the United States, and there was a lot of uncertainty. So that was a scariest moment I, I knew that we’re going to take a financial hit. And there were things that I’m gonna have to change my life like not taking those vacations that we had become accustomed to, but being able to handle the healthcare and the all these things that companies do for you that you really don’t realise the additional benefits. Because I one thing I promised my wife was that your lifestyle is not going to change. Mine might know what you did. But hers wasn’t going to change. She was going to have the benefits. She always had to give her that certainty that would be okay. And that was the scariest moment.
David Ralph [31:15]
I agree with you totally on that. When I quit my job, I was on private healthcare. I had a good bonus. I had the annual leave I it was comfort time, it was just totally comfort time and I quit and I went down, I reckon about 40 to 50% income from what I was earning previously to create this show and sort of grow it up again. And the thing that I realised was I couldn’t take anything away from the kids and the wife. You know, I couldn’t say right? You can’t have Netflix now because dad’s made this decision and you can’t have best and you can’t have so it was very much a case of myself sacrificing everything, but I look back on it and I think I didn’t really sacrifice anything because there was a purpose to me. That purpose kind of fills the gaps of what I was using the money to fill in, you know, the extra holidays. I didn’t want the extra holidays because I was building this. I didn’t want the weekends away because I was building this there’s there’s that sort of tie up with your life as well. It may seem a sacrifice to some people but when you’ve got that dream and that vision of what you want to create, it really isn’t.
Dave Sanderson [32:22]
I I concur with you completely. I think you articulated that. Probably better than anybody I’ve spoken to since the the plane crash because it’s exactly right. I never saw it as a sacrifice for me. I just saw it as I’m following my mission is to be okay. I prayed every day that God gave me the resources to do whatever I needed to do, but I wasn’t gonna let make him sacrifice. We’re currently what they sacrifice is not going to Florida twice a year. And that’s something that you know, we’ll get over we’ll get through, but I agree with you. I could concur with you completely. That’s exactly how it played out for me.
David Ralph [32:58]
So So how did you start? Start to create the income from this mission. You can write a book, but unless you market it correctly, no one’s going to read it. You can be the best motivational speaker. But unless you’ve got a track record, more often than not, they won’t give you the chance. So how did you start to chip away and break back down?
Dave Sanderson [33:20]
I started leveraging myself more which, you know, first all I had for income was really speaking, because you don’t get paid to go on TV. They don’t pay you to go on TV. So it was speaking but I had to start leveraging myself and so I I was one of the smartest things I did is I found that person. Her name was Tammy originally, who would help me She’s my like my personal assistant, who would give, take all those mundane things that I didn’t have to focus I could focus on building the strategy on how I was going to build this from not only speaking to doing workshops and books and other things that we’re doing to, to raise income, but then She was a great, great, not only pleasure to me, but a great asset to me. And then, of course, she had to go into her life and I had another person but that was probably the smartest thing I did. I started leveraging my time. Yes, it was it was it cost me some money, but it gave me the time to strategize on all these different things I had to do and grow it to the point where we’re now sustaining and hopefully now it’s starting to thrive a little bit after a few years after we made that decision.
David Ralph [34:27]
But it’s okay to strategize. But when you’ve never gone through this, you’re just making it up as you go along. You know, you Yes.
Dave Sanderson [34:34]
Did you learn the lessons? Exactly right. You learn lessons.
David Ralph [34:39]
And do you look back on any of those things now with the experience and thing that was never gonna work? I don’t know what I was even thinking about.
Dave Sanderson [34:48]
I there were a couple things that I said you know what, maybe that wasn’t the smartest move. But the one thing I realised after talking to other people who gone through, you know that that changed from corporate to entrepreneurship. As everybody’s going to go through this, so you’re not the first person. So, you know, success leaves clues, find people who’ve gone through it and find out. And the things that I started realising is I was pretty good at revenue generation I was in sales, I was pretty good at that what I wasn’t very good at was the administrative side of collecting and in doing all those things you have to do and I got so far behind for one one year, and collections because people were just, you know, I didn’t have anybody to sit on them. And I didn’t want to sit on them because that was not my mission. I was. And so therefore, I got behind and what I’ve figured that strategy out after talking and one of the gentlemen actually was from the UK that I spoke with, who gave me some strategies, I got over that hump. It was a learning experience. But I figured out wasn’t the only person in the world has ever gone through this. Find somebody who has get their strategy implemented and see if you can get through it quicker than trying to figure it out yourself.
David Ralph [35:52]
Because I think he comes together in entrepreneurial land. I say to everyone if you want to create a business and a real estate dabish business, it’s gonna take I think about three years and the first year is about you trying stuff and working really long hours and hustling, and making mistakes and going back three paces. And then the second year is kinda like consolidation. I think it comes together in the third year and for me, mentally, it’s when you define yourself and I think the world understands what you’re bringing to the table. And that’s when things start to come together much quicker. It’s like the perfect advertising. They can look at it within two seconds, and they understand what Dave Sanderson is bringing to the table. Have you gone through that as well? Have you had a sort of dawning realisation of how to brand yourself personally and that personal branding is the key to everything.
Dave Sanderson [36:45]
Most definitely now, I am going into my third year at the end of January, I will have just begun my third year. And I think you’re right the first two years it was understanding realisation and now is implementing and and really expanding on that, on what we’ve learned and I agree with you totally it, it’s, this is the year I’m looking at where people I think understand I’m not in more than a plane crash, I’ve got these, some of these messages and lessons I can impart on people that, who when they get when they face what I call their own personal plane crash in life, they can, how they can utilise that to help grow instead of being devastated or go into spare. And I think that’s what is sort of changed in the last couple months since the movie came out, gave me more confidence, give me like, gave me some more credibility, but also gave me some more clarity for people that wow, this guy is not a, you know, run by night guy. He’s still here and he’s got some things that maybe when I’m facing cancer or something in my life, I can share some of the things he did and hopefully get through it and thrive and grow afterwards.
David Ralph [37:50]
And do you go back on planes now?
Dave Sanderson [37:53]
I fly 100 times a year. I got 10 flights this month. So yes, I fly quite often.
David Ralph [37:58]
And so the first flight after it Were you frightened or did you just go well what’s the chances of it going to be happening twice
Dave Sanderson [38:05]
now the first flight Kaley, it was the next day and I was I was so I would say out of it but I was being moved people just okay now you were doing this now you’re doing that I was being handled there. The the second flight was the toughest flight which is the next week my company asked me to fly to Michigan for a business meeting. And I currently should not even have been on a plane at that point in time but I had I was working I could you know, you say no, they’ll put somebody else in and and when you’re in sales that means your Commission’s are going someplace else. So I that next weekend, when I flew to Michigan was pretty difficult. It was not I was on a different air. Airlines because they didn’t know me like US Airways knew me. So I was not a rock star on that flight. And it was a little bumpy and fortunately, someone recognised me from TV that previous week, and the captain came back and talk to me and I had a little bit more comfort. There was a tough second fight was the toughest
David Ralph [39:01]
And but now it’s just like jumping into a taxi is it for you?
Dave Sanderson [39:05]
Well, I do it so often by now I’m much more aware when I get on a plane. And I usually sit on the exit row because I, I feel that I can manage myself now, if something does happen, at least I know the situation and can probably handle the door. We’re right now I look at who’s on the extra rows because that person and persons can determine the entire outcome of a plane flight situation.
David Ralph [39:30]
And you should always sit at the back I think I’ve never heard of a plane reversing into a mountain. Do you have you?
Dave Sanderson [39:36]
As I have not heard of that one? I’ve heard of going to going in a lot of different ways from never backing into a mountain.
David Ralph [39:43]
Yeah, that’s that that’s the safe place. You’ve got people go to the toilet next to you all the time. But everything else is is plain sailing. As I say, well, let’s play some words now but from a man who created a whole fame of Join Up Dots and if anyone will buy into these words up and you’re going to be the man Steve Jobs,
Steve Jobs [40:00]
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 [40:36]
I hardly have to ask whether those words mean something to you.
Dave Sanderson [40:39]
I believe they do. And when I was listening to that, the first thing I thought about was back when I was young in business, I found that mentor because that person that 50 or 60 years of experience and I could tap into and that was one of the biggest lessons I have because I have untold uncertainty at that point in time. But you know, and other people have gotten there. So I I would say the first thing I thought about was in my mentor, my first mentor bill.
David Ralph [41:05]
And what did he give you? What Why was he such a big.on? your timeline?
Dave Sanderson [41:11]
Well, I didn’t know who bill was Bill and I interacted a restaurant. And Bill bill wore a flannel shirt and drove a pickup truck what I found out as, as Bill and I started a relationship and he owed at movie theatres in North and South Carolina, and he was a multimillionaire. He was like the Sam Walton of Charlotte. But he took me under his wing, and he gave me those life lessons where you think you know everything, you’re Superman, you’re bulletproof. You no one can tell you anything. Because you know the world. And you realise all of a sudden, you don’t know anything. And he was the one who’s giving me those life lessons. When I was asking him questions on things. He would give me those experiences that he had, or so I could tap in and basically model his what he did to get me through whatever challenges and or potential what I thought crisis was. I started pretty like you said, putting those dots together like, okay, he could help me here he can help me here. He gave me some guidance here. He was right. All of a sudden you have trust and credibility and even all of a sudden you’re now doing that for somebody else’s. give them that opportunity a lot that you had.
David Ralph [42:13]
And so what would he well if the whole life now it’s gonna be too simplistic to say the plane going down was the moment but what was the moment when it really started coming together for you? Was it the the conversation with Tim Robbins was a conversation with your wife? Was it the old lady looking at you at church? Can you pinpoint the moment when you thought yeah, my life will never be the same again.
Dave Sanderson [42:35]
The moment that I realised that was on the plane. And when I went to the aisle, my game plan was get to the aisle get up and get out. That was it. When I got to the hour I heard my mother who had passed away in 1997 talked to me in my head and said if you do the right thing, God will take care of you. And that was the moment I think that I knew that something was going to change. I didn’t know what but I knew at that point, you know, she gave me the choice of doing The right thing and the right thing was to help other people. And that’s why I went towards the back of the plane to help other people before I got out because I was alive. I didn’t know anybody else was alive. So that was the moment that I heard got that sort of by my mother talking to me is that do the right thing. And that was sort of the thing that sort of spurred me on. And, you know, if I do the right thing, maybe things things will play out the way she says so and they did so that was the moment for me.
David Ralph [43:25]
And was that a shock to you that you heard your mother because I never hear voices at all. So I couldn’t sort of say whether that you know, is real or not, but when you heard it, was it actually her voice? Did it surprise you or did you just take it in you’re taking your stride?
Dave Sanderson [43:42]
I took it in stride because yes, she was he passed away. It was sudden and I always thought she was my guardian angel. And at that point, you need a guardian angel. When when things are breaking loose like that, and but I heard it was such clarity in my head. It was like she was standing right by Jaime’s saying this. So I never questioned it. But it gave me that that okay, maybe getting out is not the best strategy maybe somebody else did because you’re alive and I think that was the reassurance that gave me that you know what? Maybe I can survive this thing. And that was the moment that changed me that I could survive when all stuffs breaking loose in your life.
David Ralph [44:22]
But just before we send you back in time because we’re at the end of the show now on the Sermon on the mic when you have a one on one with your younger self looking forward over the next few years are you still on a strategy is your strategy changing all the time? what’s what’s in the focus of Dave Sanderson?
Dave Sanderson [44:40]
The strategy is always evolving where you know since the movie it definitely is given some more visibility of what happened that day so that sell but but you know, I’m still want to speak Tony still speaks after 37 years. I still have that passion to get in front of people and share the story but the messages are have been like I mentioned evolving, we’re now I’ll be doing a TED talk on a wholly different topic, which has opened up a whole different avenue for me, which is now will be leading to another book that we’ll be doing and some video series that we’ll be doing an alignment with the book. And there’s other things around the media that I’ll be doing likewise. So it’s still growing at this point in time. And I as I think as long as I started, keep adding value to people, it will grow and it can grow as long as I want to, or I can get back and go a different direction. But it’s still in the pathway that I said, and you’re exactly right, a few minutes ago, it’s three or three when I think all these things start coming together, that you’ve been putting the plans plans to for those previous years.
David Ralph [45:42]
But let’s put you on another journey and this time to send you back in time to have a one on one with your younger self. And if you could go back in time and speak to the young Dave, what age would you choose and what advice would you give? Well, we’re gonna find out because we’re going to play the theme and when it fades your way up. This is the Sermon on the mind.
Unknown Speaker [46:09]
With the best bit
Unknown Speaker [46:10]
of the show,
Dave Sanderson [46:25]
Dave you think you know everything. And that’s, that’s a great place to be alive. But you got to realise that you don’t know everything, such as that time when you went out and bought your first sports car and you had no money. And you all of a sudden your father had to give you that lesson that maybe you could afford something but you have to look at the bigger picture and the exit strategy. So in life, start looking at it when when you get started getting involved with things. Don’t look at just the immediate gratification, look at the delayed gratification in life. Also, Dave, I would be focusing on your family more Spending time with your family where it’s not all about your own personal significance. I know that there are times in your life David, you’re gonna think it’s all about you. And it’s, it’s all about what you can get in the material things in life and once you realise that those things come and go, it’s the family and the time you spent with your relationships that really last well we’ll take you not only today and tomorrow, but give you that long term. Yes, comfort insecurity going forward. Know that there’s always a creator in your life Dave because can only he, he or she not only gave you this life, but they also will be there and leave the certainty when when all things start breaking loose, and abuse. One thing you can believe in is Is this your creators been there a lot longer than you have. He’s been there forever. And he’ll be there now. And in the future when you when you need to help and then when you pass on, that’s where you’re gonna be living. So, focus, focus on the long term. No Focus on your immediate gratification
David Ralph [48:02]
Fantastic stuff powerful stuff, Dave. But what’s the number one best way that our audience can connect with you, sir?
Dave Sanderson [48:10]
The easiest and most effective way is go to my website at Dave Sanderson speaks comm I’ve made it easy where people can interact with me personally and I will personally be back with everybody. That’s one of the joys that I have. So Dave Sanderson speaks comm you can look at everything that I’m doing and sort of get updated there. But Facebook is, is where I do a lot of my postings of what’s happening. So as Dave Sanderson speaks is my my my page and Twitter’s of my daily news is where it’s at Dave Sanderson to on Twitter. But the thing the avenue that I’m doing a lot of work with that with LinkedIn, because that’s where I give these business lessons and how that would happen that day relate to business and how the some of the strategies that I’ve used and learned from people I can impart and that’s a David Sanderson LinkedIn. So those are the three four primary ways to get hold me but the best way is probably still the best. Our website Dave Sanderson speaks.
David Ralph [49:02]
We will have all the links on the show notes. Dave, 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 but joining up the dots and connecting our past is the best way to build our futures. Dave Sanderson, thank you so much.
Dave Sanderson [49:20]
Thank you very much.
David Ralph [49:23]
So Dave Sanderson, the Miracle on the Hudson now, how would you operate in a way like that? I don’t know, if I would, I’d love to think that I’m gonna be calm and collected. But of course, you don’t know until you’re in that situation. But if you are living a life that is just sort of going through the motions every single day, maybe that’s what we need. Maybe we need somebody to shake us up. Maybe we need something to sort of rock us on our heels and see what we can actually do. Because more often than not, you’re going to be surprised by what you can do. And once you step out of that comfort zone, you can never go back. That’s the thing about comfort zones. It’s like a bubble and you come out of it and the bubble seal up and you’re into the next zone and you keep on moving forward. Thank you so much for listening to this episode of Join Up Dots. I love doing that one. I loved bringing it to you. And I’m going to look forward to doing the next one to see ya. Cheers. Bye bye.
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