How To Have Real Impact As An Entrepreneurial Leader, with Will Duke
Published DateAuthorDan Sullivan and Strategic Coach
When Will Duke was introduced to his first thinking concept in The Strategic Coach® Program, he was worried he’d just entered a cult. Since then, he’s found success and happiness by implementing various Coach tools into his life and entrepreneurial career in the field of security integration.
Here's some of what you'll learn in this episode:
What led Will to making his health a priority.
Why he stopped obsessing about competitors.
What’s allowed Will to spend time away from work without worrying.
Why his company now does workshops instead of sales presentations.
The reason why his company deals only with Strategic Coach-connected consultants.
Someone becomes an entrepreneur in the first place for freedom.
Entrepreneurs can experience a change where their motivation goes from being about freedom to being only about money.
In order to change as a human, something has to affect you emotionally.
If you find yourself feeling nervous, that might mean you’re growing.
Helping your clients think better can set you above the competition.
Making an appointment to return to your clients shows you want to help them in the long term.
You can find people who love doing the things you don’t.
It gives you confidence to know you’re thinking differently than any of your competitors.
Entrepreneurs tend to put themselves last, not first.
It’s best to know whether someone would be a great client before they become a client and you get invested.
Dan Sullivan: Hi, this is Dan Sullivan. I'd like to welcome you to the Multiplier Mindset podcast. Today's Free Zone Frontier Transformation is Will Duke. And Will is in a very, very hot industry, which is security systems for companies. Not just security systems for physical security, but also data security. His story is a very poignant story because a lot of entrepreneurs become entrepreneurs because they really do not want to be employees. In other words, they don't consider working for someone else to be a real freeing, freedom-based way of living their lives. And then they become an entrepreneur and then they get real busy and then they get real confused about a lot of the challenges that they've taken on as an entrepreneur. And then things get very, very complicated and they get very discouraged and then they start questioning why they became an entrepreneur in the first place.
My one answer to all those people of why everything has become confusing and complicated is that they forgot the reason why they became an entrepreneur in the first place. And instead of it being about freedom, it became about straight out money. And then the money doesn't have enough reward in it to actually make them feel very excited and optimistic about their future because it just looks like more and more confusion and complexity. And they're tired and they’re fatigued.
And I think some of my greatest satisfaction is seeing how quickly, when someone joins Strategic Coach, there's this sudden simplification of their notion of why they became an entrepreneur. But the big thing is, they get reminded very clearly why they became an entrepreneur in the first place, and it's for freedom. And freedom is the whole game as far as being an entrepreneur.
And we've broken this down into four kinds of freedom and Will talks very eloquently about all four of the freedoms.
So the first one is freedom of time, that instead of actually having other people control your time, more and more, you take complete ownership for your time. And what that does is that you have to free up really exhausting and non-satisfying ways of making money. And looking at just, from your experience, the ways of making money that always makes you fascinated, makes you motivated, always makes you thinking about a bigger future.
So you free up your time and then you free up your money. So the money is both quantitatively better and it's qualitatively better. You're making more money, but you're making more money that represents the best use of your personal time and the time of your organization. So with freedom of time and freedom of money, then you can get very, very discerning, choosy if you want to say, picky if you will, about who gets to spend time with you, so the relationships.
And that flows over to your outside relationships too, not just the relationships inside the business. And you remember once standing up in front of a lot of people and saying that, "This is the most important person in my life and I'm going to spend the rest of my life with this person." And you realize that, if that's not a good relationship, you realize that you've taken the freedom, the promise of freedom away from that relationship. You haven't allowed yourself to be more freed up for the most important relationship in your life. And you haven't really provided freedom for the other person because if you don't have freedom, you can't expand it for other people. So you now have three freedoms, as Will describes it.
And then you have freedom of purpose. What's this all about? What's this whole entrepreneurial life all about? You can define that in the biggest kind of impact and the biggest kind of payoff that you would like in the business world and also in your personal world. Because quite frankly, your business world is just a vehicle for allowing you to expand your freedom in your personal life.
And then you get to the point where you realize that your biggest purpose in life is actually using all of your success and all your freedom to actually help many other people. Starting with your family, with your friends, with everybody in your company, your clients, your customers and associates and colleagues in the business marketplace to expand their freedom.
Freedom is a capability that once you have it, you want to give that same freedom to other people. And I think Will is probably one of the most articulate entrepreneurs in our Program. And in just expressing how much the four freedoms has become the center of his life, it's the blueprint for his life. Every 90 days, the four freedoms expand, but they have to expand for his team, they have to expand for everybody he knows. And I just think it's a very, very striking, very simple, and very powerful account for his experience in Strategic Coach.
Will Duke: Will Duke, San Antonio, Texas. We're in the security integration space. We design, install, and service, and support electronic security equipment for enterprise level clients. And so this Program for me has really helped me think about the future in a completely different light. And it's been a situation where, the first thinking tool that he broke out was the Lifetime Extender, and I literally thought, “Oh my God, I think I'm in a cult. I think I came to a program. What is this? The concept of thinking about living longer.”
So I put health at the top of my life when I never really paid any attention to it. And I have to attribute a lot of that towards number one, having a baby so late in life. But number two, thinking about the future and how long I want to live really tapped me deeply emotional. It was an emotional connection there. And I think that's where, in order to change as a human, it's got to really tap you emotionally.
Before Strategic Coach, I used to obsess over my competitors and now I don't even think about them. And because nobody can copy the way I think, nobody can take my company's culture, which is also a form of thinking, and my competitors also aren't in this Program. I told Dan it's like stacking the deck. I said, "Your whole Program is stacking the deck in my favor. The way you guys do the Program is you make it all about us, the check writer." And so I just went back and made my company all about my people, and I get whatever I want.
It's been a really cool year to see the transformation just in one year. But the Free Zone muscle for me is... I told Dan, we had a Zoom call a few weeks ago. And I said we did our first workshop with our largest client, which scared the hell out of me.
So I said, "We're going to do a workshop." And literally when I was preparing for it, I was super nervous. And I caught myself and I said, "Oh, I'm super nervous. That has to mean I'm growing." And we went in and did the workshop, grabbed the concepts that you guys use with the tools of thinking back, present, and forward. And the clients just flipped out. They're like, "Wow, it was so impressive that you came in and you actually wanted to find out what was keeping us from achieving our goals. And the fact that you want to come back 90 days from now tells us that you actually care about helping us long term." So that was super cool. And so now we do workshops, we don't do sales presentations anymore. Took the concept and I'm like, "Well, let's just help our clients think better." And none of our competitors do that. None of them.
One of the filters we started making, and I heard Dan say something about this last quarter is, all of our consultants have to be connected to Strategic Coach somehow. The first 50% of the filter is, I already know their value set's going to be the same as ours because my value set lies with the Strategic Coach group. But I don't have to question their motive. So just knowing that gives me massive confidence to know that none of my competitors think like that. But the whole "Who Not How" concept is just... I'll just find people that love doing the things I don't, and I move towards all the things that I want, which is... The pure gem of the Program is, help you identify what you want in your life and what you don't want, and move towards it.
And it's actually massively helped my family too. So my wife is... She's such a beautiful person, she's an amazing leader. She's the oldest of four, so she's always taken care of her siblings, her two brothers and her sister. And I would say, "Cindy, what do you want? What do you want to do?" And I don't even know if I would have even asked her that type of question in that context without knowing what I wanted first, right? Fairly important we both know what each other wants to have a healthy marriage. But actually I told Shannon, the podcast Inside Strategic Coach, I just started sending my wife the different podcasts. The good thing is they're little 15 minute clips. Anybody can listen to a 15 minute podcast, right?
So just little snippets like that, because I've been in programs like this, not like this one, but other learning programs, where, when you come back from the program, you're super high. And you have to learn how to share it without blow torching their hair off because you're so excited about all these new ideas. Well, they're not at that level, so you have to know how to share it, when to share it. And you do it by asking questions.
As an entrepreneur, you feel like if you're not the first one there and the last one to leave, the company depends on you, you're the engine, you feel guilt. But knowing that it doesn't have to be that way is super liberating. To know that self-managing, self-transforming company, getting out of the way, letting people just roll with their Unique Abilities is... I actually enjoy leaving my company now because I know that in some cases things will actually get better because I'm not there.
And I can tell you now that I have the four freedoms framework in my brain. Anything that violates any of those four freedoms, I reject it immediately. Whether it's a person in my company, I'll say, "Which one of the four freedoms is that team member violating for me and my family?" And as an entrepreneur, we put ourselves last, not first.
And I started working on a different thinking tool, which is, where can I show evidence of where the four freedoms are in movement for me and for my family. And for my team and for my company. And then I want to teach my team, what are the four freedoms for them? And then I want our team to teach the rest of the company, what are the four freedoms, all the way down—time, money, purpose, and relationships. Or money should be removed off the table as quickly as possible, so that's not even a thought anymore. And then you get to the most important stuff, relationships, which is at the end of the day all that really matters, our relationships. Everything else is just stuff. The connections you have with people are all that really matter.
So that's time, money, relationships, purpose. And then purpose is like, why the hell are we here? What are we trying to accomplish? Right?
When you move into the unknown, there's so many things that we're going to bump into that we don't even know about yet. And so the four freedoms really help contextualize that and make it real for me. And then it's great for me, but then what am I going to do? I'm going to teach that.
So if I just keep it and make it great for me and my family, I haven't done really much as a leader. But if I teach my team how they can make it real in their lives and then they become teachers to their teams, then it becomes exponential inside our company. And that's when you're truly adding value to the world.
So if you take all the tools that Strategic Coach has, I told this to Dan, they're like massive time savers, every single one of them. And I know they're all connected. Dan and I were talking about how the tools are connected to each other, but from the Mindset Scorecard of deciding who you want even as clients and as partners, I mean it's crazy. We had an invite to a huge retail company and I told our partner, I said, "Great, I need to send the scorecard out. I need to interview five or six stakeholders." And he was like, "Well, I'll try." I'm like, "Well, don't try. Do it."
If you want me to hop on a plane and leave my family for three days, these are the things that we want to know up front. So how soon do you want to know if they're a great client? Immediately. I want to know before they even become a client, if I even want to get invested, because we don't want large, evil customers, which take away our freedom. So it always rolls back to those same four freedoms for me now.
Dan Sullivan: The ultimate goal that we have here at Strategic Coach, for every entrepreneur who comes into Strategic Coach, that through constantly expanding your personal freedom, your organizational freedom, your personal life freedom, that you will reach a point where you realize that in terms of your business, you have no competition. Because none of your competitors have their focus on freedom. They have focus on money, they have focus on all sorts of things which really aren't very liberating. And you realize, because you've designed your life the way you want and you've got unlimited opportunity because your impact on the people who mean the most to you... And here I would just zero in on who your customers and clients are, that you're such a freedom based person, when you meet with them, that they feel freed up. And none of your competitors actually can provide that value in their lives.
So when you realize that your life is about greater freedom of time, money, relationship, and purpose, you can very quickly and very, very seamlessly actually transform that into the value that you actually create for your customers and your clients. Because guess what? They would like more freedom of time, freedom of money, freedom of relationship, and freedom of purpose. And nobody else who tries to do business with them ever offers that as the ongoing experience for the business relationships.
So many of our clients, the lifetime, once they establish it with really great clients or customers, it's lifetime, and the customer and the client actually eliminates all the competition. They say, "I wouldn't deal with anyone else. Nobody else can match what I experience, what I'm able to think about, how I'm able to look at the future when I'm working with you. So as far as I'm concerned, this is a lifetime relationship." And that is the Free Zone Frontier.