In order to get to the next level, I had to make sacrifices. The reality was I was overweight, I was out of shape. You know what, I started to give up soda and only drink water. I gave up french fries. Before I knew it, I had to get disciplined, so my question for anybody to get to their next level: what are you willing to sacrifice? What are you willing to give up? Who are you willing to stop hanging around? You know what, I spent a lot of time drinking and hanging out with my boys. I had to give that up, and while they were at the nightclub, while they were at the bar drinking, I got into the stadium. I stole a key from the manager, and at midnight I would get shots up. At midnight, I would work on my game and that’s the kind of passion, that’s the kind of commitment it takes to get to that next level. So as a training and development person, my first question is to make sure, what are you willing to give up? What is your discipline like? What is your work ethic like? Are you just comfortable right now? You got an $80,000 job and you’re comfortable. You work in a work queue, and you’re comfortable. You can’t get comfortable. None of us can arrive, none of us can just go through the motions. Our job is to get bigger, stronger and faster. Our job is to get better. All my clients, at least minimum got to get 10% better. You can’t hang around me and not get better. You can’t hang around me and stay the same, because me staying the same almost ruined my future. By staying the same, I got stuck and I got inspired that I gotta get better, I gotta get to this next level and I’m obsessed with this next level. Now I’m obsessed with helping you get to your next level. You can’t afford to stay the same. I want you to try. I want you to have a big house. I want you to have a nice car, but most important I want you to get to the top. I want you to have your dreams come true so you can have this feeling that I have. This feeling that I have, nobody can take it away. I know what it feels like to have a hope and a dream and to get it. We’re not chasing dreams, we’re catching them. What is your dream? What did you say in front of that classroom in third grade? What did you say to that teacher? What did you tell your mom and your friends? What did you say before you gave up? What did you say before reality became, became your truth? When did you accept the lie? When did you get comfortable? When did you get off track? When did you stop? When did you quit? I’m here to push you, I’m here to drive you, I’m here to connect with you. When did you give up? When did you talk yourself out of it? I need you to talk yourself back into it. I need you to make sure that you get those notes out. What are your goals, what are your dreams? I’m here to help you, I know you can get there, I know you can get to that next level. No doubt about it, but you got to work, baby. You got to work, you got to rise up early, you got to go to bed late. Let me tell you something, you got to get obsessive. What are you obsessed with? You can’t act normal and think you will make normal money. You can’t act common and think you’re gonna live in a common house. Any successful person I’ve ever seen in my life, they are different, they are obsessive, they are uncommon and if you want to get to that next level, you got to do something different, baby. Because who you are today is not your potential. Who you are today is just a point of reference. Don’t you ever confuse your potential, with who you are right now and my job is to be on a mission to help you get to your next level. Oh, I’m not going to let you quit. I’m not gonna let you stop. I’m not gonna let you have excuses. I’m not gonna let you come up with justifications, because right now I promise you, you have justified something in your mind and in your reality you think it’s true. You think it’s really true of why you’re not where your’re supposed to be. Let me tell you something, you need to get to where you’re supposed to be. I remember in our high school, the bell would ring and the principal would come into the hallway. If you were out in the hallway after the bell, he would yell and say, “Hey, hey were you supposed to be, son? Hey young lady, where are you supposed to be?”, and all the students would run to class because they knew where they were supposed to be. So can I ask you a question? Where are you supposed to be? Based on your dreams, based on your goals, based on your vision, where are you supposed to be? That might change my life. My father reminded me of where I was supposed to be, and all of a sudden I had to become somebody different in order to get to where I’m supposed to be. See, I’m in a transformation business. That’s all I’m about. Your next level requires you to transform. You got to think better, you have to execute better, and you have to win better, but it requires transformation. You can’t stay the same and get to where you’re supposed to be. You’re company can’t stay the same, and get to where it’s supposed to be. Our job is to improve, our job is to get bigger, our job is to get stronger. Our job is to get faster. Every single year, I’m gonna push you. Every single year, I’m gonna drive you until you reach your potential. And you can go back to your class reunion, and you can look at your classmates and say, yep yep, I’m that lawyer I’m supposed to be. I’m that entrepreneur I’m supposed to be. I’m on the global platform doing international business, just like I told you way back when in the third grade. Always get to where you’re supposed to be. I was a high school star, I just thought I was on to do great things. Another typical kid. You know, we all stood up in front of class in the third grade and fourth grade and said what we were gonna be when we grew up. You know, I was no different than any other student. Everybody in the world did that, right, it was like an exercise we all did. So my message was, I’m gonna play pro sports and when I’m done playing pro sports I’m gonna make more money in business than I did in sports. And everything was going along fine, until when I got to college, I found myself sitting on the bench. A high school stud basically becoming a scrub, sitting on the bench. And I never forget, all of a sudden I recalibrated my dreams and goals and my father called me on the phone. This was a turning point, he asked me a question that really changed my life. He said, “Son, you don’t play, why not?” When I gave him what I thought was my truth, I gave him what I thought was my reality, only to find out now, it was an excuse. I said, “Dad, politics. Dad, it’s political.” My father said, “What?” He said, “Son, if you could have that coach win, you will play. Go back and do what you said you’re gonna do,” and all of a sudden I got reconnected to that little kid on the inside of me. It had dreams or goals of getting to that next level. I went to my coach and I said, “Coach, what do I need to do to play in the NBA?” See in many cases, sometimes we get stuck, we get stagnant and we lose that fire and that passion, because we forgot our vision. We forgot our goals. We forgot our dreams, and all of a sudden reality takes over. All of a sudden, circumstances take over. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m on a mission to make sure that everybody in this world knows that that next level is waiting for you. You can become that person you wanted to be when you were 10, 11 and 12. You don’t have to let your reality take over, and all of a sudden you live this normal life. You don’t want to have a normal life. Why have a job and just be normal? Why have a company just be average? I’m telling you, you should be on a mission to get to that next level. My coach told me what I needed to work on, and ladies and gentlemen, I had to up my game. I had to start working harder, right? I stole the key from the manager, and I would go into the arena at midnight and work on my game, work on my left hand, work on my right hand. I got fundamentally sound. All of a sudden, I began to realize that I gotta get better. I’m not just good enough and I began to confuse my potential, with who I was at the time. That might be the biggest mistake that people will make around the world. They confuse their potential, with who I was at the time. People get hired based on their potential, but your work ethic is what’s gonna make you a vice president. You’re work ethic is gonna make sure that you become a CEO. Being fundamentally sound in marketing, and selling, and customer service, I became fundamentally sound and I made it to the NBA. And before I knew it, I got cut. Because I realized, that all I wanted to do was to get there. I had no vision to be an impact player. Ladies and gentlemen, you got the job, but that’s not enough. Don’t relax, don’t settle, you got to get bigger, stronger and faster. You got to get better, you got to make sure it’s your work ethic. Getting that job is just the beginning, that’s not the end. You want to live your dreams, you wanna have your goals. You want to get to that next level, ladies and gentlemen. You want to take trips, you want to have a nice house, you want to have a nice car. You want to know powerful people so your kids can have access, and their lives can be easier than yours. You are beginning a legacy, and your job does not just take your career to the next level, your job can take your family to the next level, so your kids are better positioned than you were. All of a sudden, when my career ended, I had no money coming in and I was starting over from scratch. But there was a difference. I knew what it took to be the best in the world. I sat down with a speaker, who was a Hall of Fame speaker, and I said, “What do I need to do to become a Hall of Fame speaker like you?”, and at this breakfast I did not have enough money to pay for it. And he told me what I needed to do to get to the next level, and I did it. So here I am, it’s the Hall of Fame induction and another speaker came up to me and says, “You know what, aren’t you excited? You’re getting inducted into the Hall of Fame!”, and I looked her in her eye and I said, “You know what miss, I am very excited, but this time, I expected to be here. This time, I knew exactly what it took to get to that next level.” So when I go and speak, I’m all about the next level. When I coach executives, I’m all about the next level. You have to master fundamentals, you have to have a good vision. You have to make sure your mindset is right. You have to make sure you understand how to operate in a team, but most importantly you have to be accountable. We live in a world where people lack accountability. That’s what my best-selling book, All Buts Stink, is so popular. It’s how to live your best life and eliminate excuses, because until any of us own our situation, until we’ve become accountable, we are all crippled by our own excuses that we believe are real. All I want people to know, is that they can get 10% better every single year. If we get 10% better every single year, in five years we won’t notice you. In five years you won’t notice your own bank account, you won’t notice your own career. You will get bigger, stronger and faster. You will get more effective, you will get promoted, you’ll drive more revenue, but ladies and gentlemen, next level is about purpose. Next level is about understanding what it takes to get there. I’m on a mission, because if I can get to that next level in two different industries, I know that I got a message for the whole world, and I have the information that I can teach to make sure that anyone can have that dream come true. That they had in their third grade class, that they had in their fourth grade class. Don’t give up on your dreams, don’t quit. Don’t pick reality. I’m telling you, that dream that you had way back when can become true, and it could become your reality.