Hey guys. Boy oh boy am I excited to introduce you to David Meltzer.
If you aren’t familiar with David he’s an author, podcaster, CEO, entrepreneur, & keynote speaker.
Not too long ago he was on The Skinny Confidential HIM & HER podcast giving us tons of tips on how to get back up after experiencing setbacks & failures, keeping your ego in check, & mastering time management ( yes plz ). Michael & I also had the pleasure of being guests on his podcast where we discussed influencer branding. Be sure to check out both if you haven’t yet.
Today he is on the blog sharing more of his story, how to be relentless & not take NO for an answer, & how to stand out in the digital world.
Without further ado, let’s welcome David & his amazing energy to The Skinny Confidential.
♡ Introduce yourself. Give us your whole story!
David Meltzer: My parents separated when I was young, so I grew up as one of six kids, raised by my mom, who was a schoolteacher. All of the times I saw my mom upset when I was a kid were times where she was struggling financially & I resigned myself to being rich. I was the least academically inclined of all my siblings, but thought I was going to be a professional football player & even landed a scholarship to play in college.
What I learned from my first play in college, where I got run over by future NFL start Christian Okoye, was that I needed another plan. Eventually, I decided that I was going to become a lawyer. After graduating law school, I was faced with a choice to become a “real lawyer” or sell online legal research. I chose to go into technology & did well at Westlaw before it was bought out for billions. Because I had branded myself an “Internet guy” & not as a lawyer, I had several opportunities open up for me in the tech sector. I worked for companies like Everypath & served as CEO of Samsung’s first smartphone division, before going into a semi-retirement.
It was during this time that I had started losing touch with the principles that had made me successful in the first place ( gratitude, empathy, accountability, & effective communication ). I started surrounding myself with the wrong people & the wrong ideas, but I didn’t end up feeling the consequences for my actions until later on, when I was running Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment.
The decisions I had made resulted in me declaring bankruptcy & losing everything, including the house & car that I had purchased for my mother. Thankfully, I had already re-dedicated myself to living with those core values, which have helped me rebuild & get where I am today.
♡ What’s the number one mistake you see future entrepreneurs making?
DM: The biggest mistake I see entrepreneurs making is not understanding the difference between an entrepreneur & an innovator. An innovator is someone who takes an idea, an innovation, & is able to manifest that in reality. An entrepreneur is different. It’s someone who has learned how to monetize an idea or innovation. Of course, there is an overlap of these categories, as an innovator can also be an entrepreneur if they are able to monetize their own ideas.
What I see most often is that future “entrepreneurs” get lost in ideation. They become so focused on their big idea that they fail to consider how to implement those ideas in a way that they can make money. True entrepreneurs operate their business knowing that they have to keep their doors open the next day, so that they can evolve over time.
♡ What’s something any entrepreneur can do right now for free?
DM: Be more interested than interesting. Today, we have more access to information than ever before. And the amount of free info we can access grows by the day! There is no excuse not to do your research.
Entrepreneurs should be spending their time studying things like human nature, because human nature never changes. When you understand how people have historically reacted in a given situation, you are empowered to plan ahead & act instead of reacting.
Entrepreneurs who are more interested than interesting get insights into human behavior and market behavior, & are more prepared to make the right decisions.
One of the best ways to be more interested than interesting is by attending my free Friday training sessions, which I’ve been hosting in my office for over 20 years. Now, through technology, I’ve got thousands of entrepreneurs joining me every week to get insight on principles for success, asking me questions about topics like leadership, inspiration, sales, & many more.
♡ How can we be relentless & not take no for an answer?
DM: Change the way you look at hearing “No.” What I tell people is to first take the perspective that you are only twenty five “No’s” away from getting what you want in life. How excited would you be to get your first no? How about when you got your 24th no?
That is the approach we need to take, understanding what while we might not always know how many “no’s” we are away from getting the “yes” that we desire.
I also believe in what I call the Universal Law of Three No’s. This means that I’ll never take the first “no” as an excuse to end a conversation or relationship. I work to understand any objections, whether those are related to money, time, or credibility. Then, I’ll do my best to overcome those objections. When I get three “no’s” in a row, however, that’s when I’ve gotten the true answer.
♡ What’s something that you believe isn’t very popular when it comes to entrepreneurship?
DM: One of the things that isn’t popular, especially with the younger generation of entrepreneurs, is illumination. So many people today are about flash over substance. They’ll post photos of themselves in front of cars & houses that they don’t own, projecting an image of what they think a successful person is or should be.
What should be more popular is illumination. Entrepreneurs need to be illuminating their failures as much as their successes, so that others can learn from their mistakes. Instead of only posting your “highlights” on social media, consider taking a more honest approach. When you are authentic and vulnerable to others, your message will resonate with the right people.
♡ Talk to us about Instagram and how you see it changing.
DM: Instagram has become one of my favorite ways to connect with my audience in recent years. I start off every morning with an IG Live session, where I answer people’s questions & am joined by people from all walks of life, to share their insights on how to excel. It’s a great way for me to provide value to others, free of charge, and connect with them emotionally.
I am always looking forward to the new features that are added during updates to the platform, because that gives me even more ways to interact with my audience. I take every opportunity I can to learn what types of content my audience is looking for, so I can provide them with information to improve their skills, knowledge, & desire. All social media platforms boil down to three key areas ( content, access, & mediums ), & that’s one thing I don’t foresee changing any time soon.
♡ Why should we be on TikTok?
DM: That’s a really important question for entrepreneurs to ask themselves nowadays. I think the answer to this lies first in your audience. Is TikTok a place where your audience is spending time currently?
Take the example of a middle-aged entrepreneur who has a financial services business. If I had to guess, I would venture to say that only a small proportion of their clientele would be on the app. For that entrepreneur, it might not make sense to capture or create content that is specific to the TikTok platform, especially if there are other mediums where you can find a larger percentage of your audience ( such as LinkedIn ).
If you can determine that TikTok is a place where your audience is spending time, the next question to ask yourself is if the time & effort to produce content for the platform will generate enough new leads or revenue to make the effort worthwhile.
♡ What are your top 3 pieces of advice for young entrepreneurs?
DM: Make sure your doors are open tomorrow – All great businesses evolve over time, but you won’t evolve if you can’t remain open. Your first task every day should be to ensure that you have the assets & capital in place to ensure that your business makes it to the next day.
Be kind to your future self – This is one of the most important life lessons that my mentor Leigh Steinberg ( the inspiration for Jerry Maguire ) taught me. The core of this approach comes from a willingness to provide others value unconditionally. When you treat people the right way & provide them help when they ask, you build relationships that can benefit your future self.
Money won’t make you happy, it just helps you shop for the right things – When I was younger, I was a very money-driven entrepreneur. I wanted to make a lot of money because the only times I had seen my own mother upset were times when our family was struggling financially. It was only after losing everything & declaring bankruptcy that I realized money doesn’t make you happy. It simply lets you shop for things that can make you happy, like the Leadership & Empowerment Center I built in Kenya for my 50th birthday.
♡ How can we make meaningful connections?
DM: People connect emotionally with others, which is the key to any meaningful relationship. Making that connection can be a struggle for some, which is where asking open & closed-ended questions comes in.
When we ask others to share their passions with us, we can align ourselves with their values. First, we must be sure that we are carrying the right energy. We need to truly believe that we are on Earth to provide value to others in order to make these connections.
By bringing the right energy to a conversation & demonstrating a real willingness to learn about the values that another person holds dear, we can build beneficial long-term relationships.
♡ How can you stand out in the digital marketplace right now and what are some tangible steps to get there?
DM: The people who are able to build digital brands that “stand out” from the rest have an understanding of one thing: their own frequency. Frequency has three main components, the strength of your signal, the spectrum of your signal, & the clarity of your frequency or message.
The messaging you share online has all three of these aspects, you have to have a strong message, you need to know the spectrum of people you are sharing that message with, & then you need to make sure your message is crystal clear. There are also two key practices that will help you over the long run; be consistent & be authentic.
When people know what to expect from your brand & when to expect it, that’s when you’ve truly stood out from the pack.
♡ Pimp yourself out! Where can everyone find you?
I’m also happy to give my books away for free to those who request them, & as I mentioned above, I’ve been hosting free Friday training sessions every week for the past 20 years. Here is a link to register for free.
Hope you guys loved this post. Be sure to follow @davidmeltzer on Instagram & listen to his podcast episode if you haven’t yet.
+ learn more about how to get the most out of LinkedIn.
++ read all about how my mentorships work.