We’re all connected in life. What happens to us affects others in one way or another. And it is such a humbling thing to realize that we are who we are because we have each other. Ubuntu is a word that perfectly captures this. It simply means, “I am because of you. You are because of me.” In this beautiful episode of words, John Solleder sits down with Dan McCormick, the host of The Greatest Salesman Podcast. Together, they discuss great words and books that were significant in helping Dan succeed in his life, especially in network marketing. Extending that wisdom to others, he then shares how he is helping more people in the industry and finding success through it.
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The Ubuntu Episode With Dan McCormick
It is a pleasure to introduce a living legend, an icon in the network marketing industry, somebody whose counsel I seek on a regular basis, and that is my good friend, Mr. Dan McCormick. Dan, how are you?
Terrific. I appreciate you inviting me to be with you.
It’s my pleasure, needless to say. Before we get started, why don’t you share with everybody how long you’ve been in the industry and how you got introduced to it?
Like all of us, we’ve got to start. We’ve got a story. That’s the great thing about life. Everybody’s got a story. I was just this young kid growing up in Seattle, Washington, single-parent home, lived with my grandparents a lot of the time, and I started right after I finished my college experience in August of 1982.
In the new book which you’re featured in a course, Leave Nothing to Chance, what’s your favorite principle and why?
First of all, I love the word principle and I hope I can share this with your audience to some degree because when you talk about principles throughout the book, which was what fired me up about the book because I like to think that. I met an individual that was a linguist. He knew every Indo-European language. He’s a professor. I had a chance to meet with him when he was 92. I had a chance to ask him anything I wanted about words. With his rolled-up jeans, his white socks and his Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers on, I asked him, I said, “Where does the word principle come from?” He closed his eyes, paused, and looked down. He said the word out loud, “PRIN, strong channel. PLE, moving you forward.”
The great thing about principles in your book is that they’re all things that move our lives forward. When you think about Leave Nothing to Chance, that’s the best title. I love that title because a lot of times, we could be casual with life, health, relationships and casual effort leads to casualties. You don’t want to leave anything to chance. It’s like Jim Rohn, our good friend, says, “When you go to the ocean, you don’t want to bring just a teaspoon. You want to bring a bucket.”
You don’t want to leave anything to chance. When you read the book, you have your highlighter, quiet space, a chance to contemplate, a chance to ask questions. This is a great question you start off with because my wife has Stephen Covey as a professor in Psychology or Human Relations. He always asks you, “When you look at a word, look at the opposite.” Let’s take the title, Leave Nothing To Chance. Let’s say, let’s leave everything to chance. It’s going to be a long day. Let’s leave everything to chance, and you eat fourteen pizzas a day. It’s going to be a tough row to hoe when it comes to your weight and health. If you think of where the principle, strong channels moving you forward, the opposite of that would be strong channels moving you backward.
Your book is good because of that. The title grabbed me and the fact that you use principles. I remember when you first came out with it and we had a podcast. It was a lot of fun to talk about that. I love the word principle. If you’ve got principle, number one, wake up excited for each and every day and make it a practice. There’s that book out now called The 5 AM Club. A lot of people that are fired up for life are fine getting up at 5:00 or 5:30 in the morning and starting their ritual.
I personally prefer it. The earlier, the better. We’re talking about words. I know you have a favorite word. What is it?
First of all, principle, that’s a fun one. My friend wrote a book, Kevin Hall. If you haven’t read Aspire, it’s just so much fun. He introduced a word at the beginning of the book that few people have ever heard of. It’s called Genshai. I’ve maintained this word to be unique and powerful to anyone that reads this. Genshai is an ancient Indian word that means, “Never to treat another person small.” It starts with you and me. That was my favorite word. I have somebody on my podcast and I had to call Kevin Hall, who came out with the book Aspire for Genshai. We had this massive chat. I said, “I got a word for you.” John, I got a word for you. On my podcast, we do live on Facebook and YouTube.
I have this remarkable individual, generating tens of millions of dollars a year in revenue. He says, “Dan, we have this word, this philosophy that we use in our team, and it’s called Ubuntu.” I’m like, “Lay it on us. I’m a word guy. I’ve got to hear what Ubuntu means.” Everybody’s writing down. Here you go. For all of our friends and fans, you’re going to read, Leave Nothing To Chance, and in the margin somewhere, you could write Ubuntu and it simply means, “I am because of you. You are because of me.” If you’re my upline sponsor in a direct selling company, I am because of you and if I’m generating a million dollars a month in sales, you are because of me. I love words because they add such culture to the meaning of life and the fanaticism that I have for humanity in life.
We are talking about books because I know like myself, you love to read and you always have your face in something new, something old. Let’s go back. Young Dan McCormick, trying to find his way, bumps into the direct selling field, perhaps even before the direct selling field, somebody put a book in your hands and you had that a-ha moment where you said, “My life could be better.” What was that book?Desire ultimately means a motivating conviction that moves you to action. Click To Tweet
I owe my mom a lot because she taught me how to read the sports page in third grade. Prior to that, there was nothing I could read that I would have any recall of. I had ADHD, ADD, whatever they would have called it back then. I was never diagnosed with that. I was never on medication for that, but I remember sitting in my bedroom one night, challenging myself to see if I could read my homework assignment in third grade. I sat there and read those pages over and over, and I just couldn’t get it. It was a painful, very deep wound in my life.
Growing up in the Seattle area, we had two newspapers, The Seattle Times and the Seattle P-I. I would read The Seattle Times. We didn’t have the Mariners in the early 70s. I was a baseball guy. I loved the Cincinnati Big Red Machine. I can remember starting lineup, their batting averages, positions, numbers, and I could read the box score for the Seattle SuperSonics basketball team. Bill Russell was our coach. I could remember the players and then I got a job at the Seattle SuperSonics Racquet and Health Club. Then somehow, I made it through school. I seriously don’t know how they just didn’t send me to special ed. I couldn’t learn.
I went to my network marketing meeting and that night, this man told me in the parking lot, the first meeting I ever go to, he holds this book. He had the greatest secret, which is over my shoulder there, which is the journalized version of The Greatest Salesman in the World. Og Mandino had a philosophy for living and philosophy for writing. It was simple. It was a parable. There were a few words in there that I wouldn’t get like equanimity and a few others as a young man.
I learned then that if I did decide to be a student, that leaders were readers and readers were leaders as you and I know that Jim was very fond of saying that. That was my first book. It honestly challenges you 75 to 1 odds that Og Mandino gives you that you will finish those scrolls the way he designed them. I failed my first time, but the second time, I nailed it. I know that anyone can do it. If they truly want it bad enough, they can leave nothing to chance in their life and their business if they have total focus on it.
We’re going to come back to Og, but let me ask this. Somehow you get to a deserted Island and they say, “Dan, here’s the deal. You can go to the Island. We’ll give you plenty of food, but you can only bring three books with you in addition to your Holy Bible.” What three books are they in addition?
I had a book that was on tape before it was a book back in the 1985 timeframe. I think that’s when The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People came out and Stephen Cover was a deep thinker and enormous intellect. Those seven habits of highly effective people captured me and oftentimes, when I do public seminars, I’ll ask the audience, “How many have a copy of The 7 Habits?” Every hand is going to go up. If you ask an audience, “How many people know the seven habits?” Only one person ever answered it correctly. It was a high school girl in Denver, Colorado, and her parents were school teachers and she named all seven like that.
I’d say The Greatest Salesman In The World because that was the first book. It was massive. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, then there’s a very rare book that was written in the 1981 timeframe. One of my main mentors in life, this man named Sterling W. Sill. He was like you and I in the world of direct selling, but he sold insurance. He was asked the question you asked me in 1927. The question to him was, “You can only take ten books.” Between 1928 and 1968, he was a remarkable leader in the New York Life Insurance Company. Amazing, out of Utah. He covered Utah, Idaho, Arizona. He wrote 33 books and they’re all in my library. Each year, he wrote a new book. He wrote one chapter a week. At the end of the year, there are 50 chapters. He takes a couple of weeks off. Every book had 50 chapters and the Lessons from Great Lives is the one that captured me.
What it was, was a question for you and I. The question was, “If you could design your life in the eyes of the hall of fame for the greatest people that have ever lived, who would you be?” He used the Hall of Fame for Great Americans in New York City as a template for the idea. I went back to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans. It’s now a defunct underfunded out of business since 1972, 1973, 1974. Every reader has seen the library because if you watch the movie, A Beautiful Mind, they used it to film part of the school classes there. There are 103 people that were ever nominated to be in the Hall of Fame for Great Americans.
Sill wrote and he put 30 people in that book, Lessons from Great Lives. I then bought the rights to that book and rewrote the book. I took thirteen of the lives out like the Babe Ruth’s of the world. He had athletes in there as well. I took the athletes out and I kept the thinkers. I added his life and I added Socrates’ life because he loved Socrates. Those would be my three. It’d be Lessons from Great Lives, The Greatest Salesman In The World or The Greatest Secret in the World and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People along with my Bible and I’ve got some rich material each and every day.
Let’s talk about our industry. We’re living in a unique time with this whole COVID pandemic. There’s a lot of people who are looking at our industry maybe for the first time. I’ll give you a couple of examples. The first example is the young people. The 25, 23, 28 years old, maybe college-educated, maybe not, but they certainly all could take their iPhone and launch a space shuttle with it. They know every application on that thing. I know maybe half of the ones that are on mine. They’re very bright young people, but maybe they’re living in mom and dad’s spare bedroom because they haven’t been able to figure out their path.
All of a sudden, the pandemic happens and the path gets very difficult. Flip that around to the people, our age group, 60, 50, 70-ish. Maybe they’ve been successful in business, own their own business perhaps or senior-level management in somebody else’s business. They’re getting to the end of the road of their working years. Everything’s looking good. The economy is on fire here and all of a sudden, you know what happens. Those two people walk into your office now. You’ve been doing network marketing all these years. You’ve been super successful at the top of every organization you’ve built, made all the fortunes that you’ve made, and you’ve got these two individuals that come to you and say, “Dan, why network marketing? Why now? What are the steps to take?”
I’m reading a book that covers that beautifully. It’s called The Psychology of Money. It compares timeframes and paradigms to the wealth of Warren Buffett. If he would have been born many years later or many years earlier, we may have never heard of Warren Buffett. He goes through paradigm after paradigm like that, but here’s the great thing about network marketing. This is the beauty of small business entrepreneurship with the creativity of the 25-year-old nowadays with social or the paradigm of somebody that’s my age, 57, 58, 60, 65. There has to be this paradigm, in my opinion, that is the vision is always future-focused.
I love the word vision because it’s a great scripture in the Bible and that is, “Those without vision perish.” Vision is always future-focused. One of the things that is most precious to everybody, regardless of your income or anything, is time. The fascinating thing for the 25-year-old and the 65-year-old is if you have a vision of being future-focused, serving more people, taking your product or service to the masses to solve more problems, our old friend Mark Hugh said, “Solve big problems, you make a big paycheck. Solve small problems, you get a small paycheck.” If you come into our industry, most companies are solving big problems with their products in the world of direct selling.If life is worth living, life is worth recording. Click To Tweet
My first thing is you have to have that motivating desire and desire ultimately means a motivating conviction that moves you to action. If you got the idea that you can wake up at the crack of ten every morning and you’re going to be casual with life, it’s going to be a tough row to hoe. You’ve got to work on you and you’ve got to have that desire that motivates you. The second thing I would say to your question is each and every system, for each and every company, with each and every leader, there’s someone that has developed a plan of action strategy that’s smarter than I am, and that would be my first phone call.
My steps would be to know my desire, know who I’m calling because if somebody has done it better than me and I’m a 25-year-old newbie or a 65-year-old newbie, I want to follow the guy at the top of the plan that’s created the system that duplicates the model. If I understand how to be in the social retailing world that we’re in because we know that the world wants to see network marketing companies create this massive flood of customers, which you and I are seeing right now in numbers we’ve never seen before because of so many talented people on social media. There would be a couple of things for me. First, the desire, the motivating conviction that moves you to action, calling that upline knowing what that system is. Down the list, people think that they have to become product evangelists, and that’s not the top of my thing. If you show me results from other people, I got to know what that top guy is doing and what that system brings out to me.
These people say, “Dan, sign me up. Ready to go.” An expression you and I used to use, ink striking paper because of the old days you wrote everything out and got a credit card or a check. Now it’s more like hit the button and they’re started. Either way, they start the business with your company. You sponsor them. How do you get them off to a fast start? What’s your best methodology to get them so that they see those results and start to gain that very important thing called confidence that they can do this thing and succeed?
One of the things that obviously, our mentors and the pioneers of the world of network marketing would want anyone to experience is something positive in your first 24 to 48 hours. If I can take this product that’s going to change your life and I buy it for $10 and I sell it for $20, I had a very positive experience. If I put somebody on a Zoom call and I had a friend of mine that sold real estate, cut my hair, and I can put them on a Zoom call, great if we can put them on a social media page, great. Anything that feels positive, I want to accentuate that. I want to recognize that activity and I want to do it as quickly as I can.
I want to congratulate them and tell them, “You sold this product that you paid $10 for and you got $20 back.” Here’s John that does tens of millions of dollars a year in business, that’s what he does every day, too. He started like you and he had to sell that little bottle of hand sanitizer. Lo and behold, he does the same thing now, many years later. He looks to get customers. He looks to get distributors and if I do some, I’ll make some money. If I do it a lot and I do it with the right system and the right people. I can stay focused on the consistency chain, then I’m absolutely going to get where I want to go.
You’ve been inspired, educated, worked extremely hard on your self-development all of these years, and I know you’re still tenacious about it. Some of our colleagues are comfortable and you talk to them. They’re at the beach, having a good time and that’s great. They work hard for it and are entitled to it, but you and I are two of those guys that are still not only building our respective downline organizations and very active in that process but always working on making a better Dan.
One of the things that you’ve done is you’ve adopted to me one of my three favorite books of all time. That is The Greatest Salesman In The World by Og Mandino. Those scrolls are life-changing and you went the distance of getting involved with that company and marketing. I’d love for you to share with our audience, because people, this is educational. It’s to make you a better you, you a better product, and one of the things that Dan brings to the table, not only is his amazing knowledge but his amazing relationship and what he’s doing to spread the word on it. Dan, I’m going to throw it to you. Anything you want to share about your podcast and relationship with the Mandino Foundation.
I’m addicted to life and playing it out each and every day. I love the feel of the old authors, not that Leave Nothing To Chance can’t be one of the greatest books of all time because the title and the principles are that. In terms of an iconic penmanship era, nobody writes like that. That’s a parable that has a lesson for you. My kids got their first copy when they were probably between 7, 13, 14, 12 of age. They all have their copy. We would sit around on Sunday night and read a scroll together. There was some hemming and hawing about that. The kids don’t want to necessarily sit with dad all the time and talk about scrolls and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Many years ago, I met the owner of the Og Mandino company for and he knew Betty Mandino. He bought the rights to Og’s materials. Lo and behold, he came on my show and he was a guest, Dave Blanchard, and we just developed this friendship. Probably for many years, I sent him business. I said, “Coach this guy. Coach this company. Coach these people.” Their coaching is specific to a philosophical approach that is how do you affirm people in relationships the way the Mandino books do. We got to know each other, and finally, I said, “I sent you so much business. Why don’t you just pay me to be the ambassador for the company? I’m going to do it for free, but I’m happy to get a paycheck for sending you people.”
The company is busy with their coaching. It’s all centered around just the Og Mandino philosophical way of life. We now have 150,000 network marketing and direct selling people that are in our pilot study that have taken our assessment to measure your thoughts. You know that 90% plus of every network marketer has a vivid imagination. Imagine the person that’s thinking to themselves, “If I could build the downline like John, I can have that Corvette. I can have that Lamborghini. I could buy that private island in The Bahamas, and I don’t have to talk to people anymore.” These are vivid visualization people. What we’re able to do is measure the thoughts and then we can help people say, “It’s a great thing that you want to have all of that success, but guess what? Scroll number nine says, ‘I will act now.’”
All of the stuff about dream creation is critical because we believe in it. We all do. We know that everything has two creations. First in mind and then in the physical. It’s imperative that people understand it’s a work program. I don’t think life is supposed to be easy. If anybody wants to show me easy, tell me where there’s an easy story in the Bible. Everything that’s happening in your life, good or bad, challenging or not, happened in the Bible. That’s what I get a chance to do.
“I love your recommendations. I love other people to give me a recommendation.” I’m on a podcast for another book product company, and a sixteen-year-old kid reached out to me on Facebook. He says, “Mr. McCormick, I love your podcast. I think it’s the greatest thing in the world. I think my grandpa should be on your show.” I interviewed the guy. He’s going to be on my show. Do you remember the Alpine Air Filter Company?
Sure. I bought one.
He was the number one guy. We had a great chat. I make a new friend and he’s going to be on the show. It’s fun for me whether I’m talking about Leave Nothing To Chance or The Greatest Salesman. If I showed you my desk, most people would go, “This guy’s a nut job.” I have six journals on my desk because if life is worth living, life is worth recording. Sterling W. Sill said and probably somebody said it before, maybe it was Napoleon Hill, “The dullest pencil is better than the sharpest mind.”Success is measured in making others’ lives better. Click To Tweet
I have enjoyed listening to your show and there’s so much. It’s funny because since I was on your show in October 2020, I probably have recommended that book as a first self-development book probably to no less than 50 people, like one-on-one. I’m not even talking big meetings. There are no big meetings but big conference calls, big Zoom calls. People are like, “Where do I start?” I’d love to tell them to start with Leave Nothing To Chance. That’d be great and I’d love to tell them my other book, Moving Up 2020. But it’s like, “If you don’t start with getting you right, all that knowledge building a multilevel is not going to make much of a difference.”
If you do the curriculum here, let’s say that you take the ten scrolls and you do 1 scroll 3 times a day for a month. You got ten months in front of you. Seven years it took me before I felt that I could trust at all. We all love speed. Money loves speed. When a system is working and money starts coming, it’s like in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich. When the money comes in, you say, “Where is it coming? I had the biggest month of my life this year. Just so much money, I couldn’t believe it. It’s interesting how fast it can come.” I’ve also had some of my biggest challenges in 2021 and you realize that it’s just part of the process.
You’ve been incredibly successful for a long time. You’re not an overnight sensation like some of the young people in network marketing. They are doing really well. I’m proud of them and I’m happy for them. Like myself, you’ve got a family. You’re doing all the other things in life at this stage of the game. How does Dan keep his discipline when he no longer needs necessarily the income on a monthly basis that you built up to get the things you want to get? You’ve got the material things that you want. You’ve got the spiritual life. I know that’s very important to you. You’ve got a wonderful family. What gets you up at 4:30 or 4:00 in the morning and gets you doing everything from your physical disciplines to your mental disciplines after all this period of time?
It’s important. A lot of young successful people or newly successful people, not necessarily age young, reading the show. For 1 or 2 years, you and I know, we’ve seen it. They’ll do everything they need to do and then all of a sudden, the money starts to get to here, and the discipline starts to go down. Have you kept it for this long as consistently as you have?
I have the notes for your show with me right here in this journal. The answer that I’m going to give you is truly understanding this is my mission and here it is because I fully believe at the deepest of my core that this life is a time to prepare, to meet God. If I believe that and I’m casual in my approach to life, my physical well-being, my wife, kids, business. If I truly know in my heart of hearts that this life is a time to prepare to meet God, then how could I not be?
The Stephen Covey approach would be habit number two, which is to begin with the end in mind. If you think about the end, there is no end. It is another day to serve another. What if I missed the opportunity to meet the next nineteen-year-old Dan McCormick that couldn’t read, couldn’t write, couldn’t absorb, and I get to add something into his life, her life, that family’s life, husband and wife, couple that could make their lives different, it is rich to be on the journey that you and I are on. My wife came in my office and said, “What time did you get up?” I said, “4:30.” I got all my reading material on my couch over here. I got my journals out. I’m ready to roll. I hope that everybody, in their own way, whatever their belief system is, scroll number one, Og Mandino, an alcoholic, “Living a life ten years of a living hell. Today, I begin a new life.” It’s no joke. It’s real. I believe it, so I live it.
Going back to that thing you mentioned with Og and I have one very close person to me who’s in the same club that he was eventually in. You and I think of him in our industry, but there’s a whole world out there of people who have gone through proverbial hell with alcoholism that are inspired that not only that he was part of the club, but that he wrote about it in such a way and he affected tens of thousands of people around the world that way. You and I don’t necessarily miss, but that wasn’t in our lives.
Fortunately, it wasn’t our lives, but I got that and one of the people that I had shared the book with happened to have been this relative of mine, who came back and said, “I found all these people were familiar with this guy, and I didn’t know it.” I said, “Yeah.” Amazing life that he led and amazing life that you’ve led by a friend. You continue to inspire me. I love everything that you’re doing. I love your leadership more than everything else, your vision, and your continual desire to help people. I’m going to give you the last word, and then I’m going to close.
If somebody is reading now, it’s okay to be where you are. I think Wallace Wattles said it beautifully in The Science of Getting Rich. Chapter 7, “You can’t go beyond where you currently are until you’re grateful for what you currently have.” I would just leave that with everybody today and say, “You are good enough right where you are.” I hope and pray we get the chance to meet on the journey and we can celebrate your success while doing it. That success is measured really in making others’ lives better. John, you’ve done that for me. Leading Nothing To Chance is doing that for others. Your podcast is fantastic and your book is beautiful. The principles are all right there for everybody, and I appreciate you having me on the show. Hopefully, I’ve said something that could be a positive impact on someone somewhere.
It’s always a pleasure. Our books are called Leave Nothing To Chance. You can get that and Moving Up 2020 in English or Spanish, digital or hard copy. Maybe get a copy of both, so you can mark it up. I don’t know about you, Dan, but I still buy both. I’ll buy the digital because it’s easy for me to travel, but I buy the real copy so I can mark it up so my grandkids can read my notes down the road and say, “Here’s what grandpa thought.”
You’ve got to feel it. There is an interesting point to that. Putting pen to paper first thing in the morning, there’s science on that on how that changes you, versus going to an electronic. If you can go to pen to paper, you’re going to have a brain experience and that’s documented clearly on another book I can go into, but thank you for fun. It was great.
Thank you, Dan. Thanks so much.
Have a great day.
- Dan McCormick
- Leave Nothing To Chance
- Jim Rohn
- The 5 AM Club
- Facebook – The Greatest Salesman
- YouTube – The Greatest Salesman
- The Seattle Times
- Seattle P-I
- The Greatest Salesman in the World
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Lessons from Great Lives
- The Psychology of Money
- Alpine Air Filter Company
- Moving Up 2020
- Think and Grow Rich
- The Science of Getting Rich