Dre “All Day” Baldwin teaches what he learned to help people dominate their game in work and in life. How To Dominate Your Game At Work & In Life (And Avoid Feeling As If You’ve Wasted Your Talent And Opportunity).
He was a hard-working athlete who had distant dreams of going pro, but he was coming from a small NCAA D3 school, and had no connections to the professional world. To add insult to injury, he couldn’t even find an agent to represent him, let alone a professional team to sign with. His career appeared to be over. Most players don’t make it pro. It was then he decided to attend an exposure camp — a job fair for athletes — which changed his life and sports career. From there things started moving in the right direction.
Ahead of the event, he started showing up to the gym every day and doing my work, even when — ESPECIALLY when — he least felt like it. This allowed me to tap into a level of confidence that he didn’t even know he had — which not only helped his performance, but made other people believe in him. His mental toughness sharpened, developing the internal fortitude to push himself when he needed it most.
When all was said and done, he knew his strategy worked when he became a 9-year professional athlete-turned-entrepreneur who has taught his framework to over 73 MILLION business people and athletes worldwide since 2005! He shares his framework for how to dominate any “game” in business, sports and life so you can and avoid feeling as if you’ve wasted your talent and opportunity.
Do You Have a “Third Day” Mentality?
- Make your leadership and school Youtube famous.
- “ Work On Your Game” framework you need to know.
- Celebrate “separation day” with the “The Third Day” mindset.
- Powerful way of answering people’s questions.
- Discipline creates the super you.
- Stop looking at other people’s plates.
- Show up and deliver every single time, regardless of emotion with this.
- Motivation is for amateurs. Out last the clock at midnight.
“Nobody is handed leadership. Leadership is taken. In business it is the exact same thing. You have to take initiative, meaning you have to choose an initiative.”
– Dre “All Day” Baldwin
“You’re not going to be for everybody and you don’t want to be for everybody. As they say, “When you’re trying to be for everybody, you’re really for nobody.” I would tell a school leader to put yourself out there and how you are. Let the people who want to be with you, let them become your audience. They will identify themselves.”
– Dre “All Day” Baldwin
Full Transcript Available Here
This show has been a success, partly because we tell wonderful stories that connect with you, Ruckus Maker listening. It’s through story that we learn. We’re entertained. We’re inspired. We can take action on the ideas that are shared. When I started this show, I started because I wanted to hear stories of success and failure for my guests. My assertion was if I learned from those moments and if I took action on just one idea, I would grow my leadership skills and experience results. Having doors open that I couldn’t even predict what would happen. That was true and it continues to be true. It’s true for you too. If you listen and take action on what you learn now through those stories. Tell me a story, I’m there for it. One of my favorite kind of stories are ones that actually are a failure.
Not because I enjoy hearing how people have failed or somehow get some pleasure out of that experience. But there’s always a pivot, there’s always an insight. There’s always the next chapter. What you’re going to find out today “a third day,that separates you from everybody else and where your story changes a bit. I’m very excited to introduce you to Dre “All day” Baldwin in today’s show. We start our conversation with a specific story of failure, rejection, and challenge, but Dre was a professional. He continued to show up and we’ll hear how that impacted his life in just a second. Hey, it’s Daniel and welcome to the Better Leaders, Better Schools Podcast, a show for Ruckus Makers, those out of the box leaders making change happen in education. We’ll be right back after these messages from our show’s sponsors. Deliver on your school’s vision with a Harvard certificate in school management and leadership. Learn from Harvard business and education, school faculty, and self paced online professional development, specifically designed for pre-K through 12 school leaders. Courses include leading change, leading schools, strategy and innovation, leading people and leading learning. Apply now for our February, 2022 cohort at betterleadersbetterschools.com/harvard. Better Leaders, Better Schools is brought to you by school leaders like principal Katerra’s using Teach FX. Special populations benefit the most from verbally engaging in class, but get far fewer opportunities to do so than their peers, especially in virtual classes, Teach FX measures, verbal engagement automatically in virtual or in-person classes to help schools and teachers address these issues of equity during COVID. Learn more and get a special offer from Better Leaders, Better Schools, listeners at teachfx.com/BLBS. That’s TeachFX.com/BLBS.
All students have an opportunity to succeed with Organized Binder who equips educators with a resource to provide stable and consistent learning. Whether that’s in a distance hybrid or traditional educational setting, learn more at organizedbinder.com. In just five years. Dre Baldwin went from the end of his high school team’s bench to the first contract of a nine-year professional basketball career. While playing pro basketball Dre pioneered new genres of personal branding and entrepreneurship via an ever-growing content publishing empire. Dre started blogging in 2005 and began publishing videos to YouTube. In 2006, he published over 8,000 videos to 136,000 plus subscribers. His content has been viewed over 73 million times to date. Dre’s daily Work On Your Game podcast. Masterclass has over 1700 episodes and more than 3 million downloads. Dre has given four TEDx talks on discipline, confidence, mental toughness, and personal initiative. Has authored 29 books. He has appeared in national campaigns with Nike, Finish Line, Wendy’s, Gatorade, Buick, Wilson’s Sports stash investments and Dime Magazine. A Philadelphia native and Penn State Alum, Dre lives in Miami. Hey there Ruckus Makers.
I am joined by Dre “All Day” Baldwin. Who went from his high school bench to a nine-year professional basketball career in just five years, Dre is published to get over 15,000 pieces of original content daily. Work On Your Game Podcast has over 3 million listens. Dre has given four TEDx talks and written 29 books. Dre, welcome to the show. You have such an inspiring story and you’re prolific with your content. This is a huge value add for the Ruckus Maker community. I’d love to start with your background story. Normally I don’t like to do that, but yours is so interesting. I do want to do that. This idea of keep trying and not giving up and the mental side of things is important because the last thing is mindset’s everything. What scripts we say to ourselves in our head,the beliefs that we have dictate our actions and that’s how leadership shows up every single day. Let’s start with your background story and keep trying and not giving up ideas.
I’ll give you the two to three minute version. I come from the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I now live in Miami, but my background was always in sports. I played some football, touch football, baseball and eventually migrated over to basketball by the age of 14, which for anyone who’s trying to go somewhere in sports, 14 is pretty late to get started by 14. A lot of kids know their parents are investing thousands of dollars into them becoming athletes and he’s getting that college scholarship. I didn’t make my high school team. I was a senior, sat on the bench. One year I was on a team, the varsity team and where I came from the schools were kind of unfunded. We didn’t have a freshmen team or a JV. We only had varsity. It was one team.
You made it or you didn’t or sat on the bench. The one year I was on a team average, two points per game. For those of you not familiar with basketball, two points is not a lot. Now in hockey or soccer, that’s pretty great, but in basketball it is nothing. I still wanted to play basketball even after graduating high school, my grades were pretty good. I went to a magnet high school and my mother’s an educator. I was always good enough at books. My sister was way better than me, but I was good enough. I knew I was going to college either way without playing sports or not. I walked on at a division three school, which is the third tier of college sports.. Playing in college immediately so apparently I was getting better, but I didn’t set the world on fire.
When I graduated with a degree in business and management marketing from Penn State, I still wanted to play professional basketball, even though I had no idea who, what, when, where, why or how. I knew who was me, but all the rest of them I didn’t know. After a year removed from college, I worked a couple of regular jobs, quote unquote, after graduating. A man called an exposure camp for top fare for athletes. You play at an exposure camp. You don’t just talk, you actually perform. I played well there. From that exposure camp, I got this great scouting report that said, this guy’s a pro low-level player. The scouting report and the footage from that exposure camp was only two days. This camp, I leveraged that into signing with an agent in sports the same way that a literary agent or a movie agent or a TV agent works. They basically connect the jobs to the talent. My agent got me my first playing contract that was Lithuania in 2005. At the same time, Danny, I had the footage from this exposure camp. It was on this device called a VHS tape. You remember it, VHS tapes back in the days,
My mom is moving from Florida and she wants me to take her old VHS tapes. I said, “Ma,I don’t need those anymore.”
My parents threw all my VHS tapes away. I left them in the garage because I wasn’t my mom’s thing. That VHS tape. I uploaded it, I got to transfer it onto a data CD, put it on his brand new website where you can put video for free. In 2005, I just heard of it. It was called Youtube.com and that’s where I started to do what we now call build a brand. In 2005, we were not using that phrase. I put just basketball videos up sporadically, very sporadically at first. I found there was an audience of people who wanted it. These were players who were just like me, but only 10 years later, they needed someone to teach them how to play basketball. There was no one around to teach them.
I basically became their virtual basketball trainer, virtual mentor to them. Again, this is a very early day. Maybe Facebook wasn’t even out yet. At this point, we were still on MySpace for those people old enough to remember it. So that’s how I started to have these two careers running at the same time. Fast forward around 2010 players started asking me about my mindset. They started asking me about my approach because they noticed I was starting to be more consistent putting these videos out. This is still way before it’s cool to be consistently putting stuff on the internet for free. Like who are you putting stuff on the internet for free. There’s no business in that. Is that a career when you wanna get a real job? When I was doing these things, people started asking me, Dre, what keeps you coming to the gym every day to work out?
Or how do you have the same confidence in a game that you have in practice? I want to answer questions. I would always respond to people’s comments. And this is way back when it was a good idea to read comments on YouTube. I would respond to these comments and tell people a little bit of my background. I would make little videos, just talking, telling people my story. Where I came from and these players were like,”Man, this guy is playing pro basketball, but he had the same setbacks that I have. He didn’t make his high school team either. Nobody around him really thought he was going to make it either. He didn’t have anyone helping him out either, but he still made it. So, wait a minute, what is he doing?” They already saw me playing.
They already saw how you work on dribbling. Here’s how you jump higher. They wanted to know what I was thinking. They want to know the mentality behind it. They started asking me these questions like “Dre, how did you even have an idea to try to go pro with all those setbacks that you faced?” Or how I got started getting online? By this point I started to have a little buzz to my name because of these videos. I started answering these questions in my content. I started doing a series called Weekly Motivation. I was forming a foundation. A philosophy that I now teach on purpose, it’s called Work On Your Game. Fast forward to 2015, another five-year jump. I stopped playing ball in 2015 and went into doing this Work On Your Game thing. Full-time basically got into what we now call the Faulk leadership world, similar things to what you do, writing books, podcasts, speaking, coaching training, et cetera. Today, I am a full-time CEO owner of my company, Work On Your Game. Incorporating what we do here is really simple. Danny, we take the mental tools to get into the top 1% in the sports world. We translate those over to the business world and into everyday life. I’m sure in this conversation we’ll fill in the gaps.
I’m especially excited to dig into the Work On Your Game framework and talk about your new book coming out The Third Day. But before we get there, I actually have a question about YouTube. You’ve been on there so long and correct me if I’m wrong. I think I saw 137,000 subscribers, 45.9 million views. That’s unbelievable. I think about school leaders and the power of story in promoting what they’re all about or their thought leadership. I’m wondering if you can share some of your key insights of being so prolific creating on YouTube and how might school leaders use it to promote what they’re about?
Well for a school leader, the way that they can promote themselves through YouTube is realizing that YouTube is the new television. People like yourself and myself, Danny, when we were kids, we would turn on TV for entertainment. Nowadays, young people or younger people still consider themselves young. They go to the phone or tablet or they go to the computer and then they watch YouTube. Youtube is the new TV. The good thing is you don’t have a certain package. I remember sometimes as a kid, my family would only have basic cable or we wouldn’t have cable at all. You’re stuck with 4 channels. Nowadays with YouTube, you have a billion channels of whoever wants to put something out. The first thing is to be there because that’s where the eyeballs are at. The second thing is no, just share who you are, be who you are as a person and share.
This is how I see things. This is why I see them being able to articulate. I’m assuming most people in positions of leadership are really good at communicating. They’re good at articulating what’s in their heads. Share who you are, what you are, and why you are, and your audience is going to start to find you. When I started publishing content there were no courses, “Hey, here’s how you build a brand on the internet.” We weren’t even using the phrase, “build a brand” in 2005, I was just sharing who I was as a person, talking how I talk to anybody. Whether it was a camera there or not. My audience gravitated towards me. At the same time, there were people who would see my material or hear something and I said, “That’s not for me.” And that’s all right. If you’re going to build a brand and have a distinct place in the marketplace, you’re not going to be for everybody. And you don’t want to be for everybody because as they say, “When you’re trying to be for everybody, you’re really for nobody.” What I would tell a school leader is really just to put yourself out there, how you are and let the people who want to be with you, let them become your audience. They will identify themselves.
I’m resonating with what you’re saying. I’m experiencing you as if we weren’t at the podcast and we were hanging out there in Miami, this is who you are. I think the success, I know the success that I’ve experienced has been similar as well. I’m this way on the podcast meeting you, going out to lunch, whatever it is. My mentor says people crave authenticity. The other thing I want to unpack too, that you mentioned as well as,just sharing those insights: the way you, iew the world, the perspective, the lens you have, that’s actually a gift. Sometimes we downplay that. There’s a Derek Sivers quote, “What’s ordinary to you is extraordinary to me.” Nobody else has the way that you, Dre, view the world. Right? That’s a gift to show up and consistently share it.
The last thing for the Ruckus Maker listening is just the power of answering people’s questions. To have a lot of stuff with you in terms of the top 1% mindset and approach to work and leadership. For the Ruckus Maker, listening to how they do school. Thank you for creating that value for us today. Let’s get to this framework. I love this Work On Your Game idea that you have. I think it incorporates discipline, confidence, mental toughness and personal initiative. If I got that wrong, please correct me. If not, tell us more about this framework.
Going right down the line, the discipline question really came from when people would just see me in the gym, working out every day. Now the thing is when they saw me in the basketball gym and the videos, they could see that I could play. They could see, this guy has skills. He obviously knows what he’s doing on the court, but they didn’t know who I was. They had never heard of me. It’s not like I was on TV playing for the Lakers. I was playing overseas where most American, even basketball fans in America have never seen an overseas game. If an overseas basketball player walked by, you wouldn’t know who they were. Maybe because they’re tall, like a basketball player, but you wouldn’t know their name. When they saw me, they were like, all right, who is this guy?
Why are you in the gym everyday working out like this? And that’s when they started finding out a little bit about the background. When they found out about the background and that I had made my high school team, I walked on a division three college, but I still became a pro. How did you do it? And then I would point to them and say, “Well, don’t you see me posting these videos every day. You don’t see me doing these drills all the time. It was a discipline showing up every single day to do the work.” Which is exactly how I described discipline every single day when I’m talking to my audience is that willingness to show up and do the work. The thing is it was going to feel like showing up. I don’t care how high your position is, how much money you’re making, how great your job appears to be from the outside.
Looking in, nobody always feels like it is their work, not every day. What do you do in the moments when you don’t really feel like being at work? That’s really what separates you from everyone else in that? Now you mentioned my book The Third Day. What that book is based on. What do you do when you don’t really feel like showing up? It’s easy to show up when you feel good, the second part, the second principle of the work, and philosophy is confidence. Now thing is Danny. When people come to me asking about anything related to mindset, most of the time they’re asking about confidence because that’s the one that’s confidence, it’s fun, right? It’s fun to have confidence. It’s fun to hear some nuggets that can help you build your confidence. It’s fun when you feel confident.
What a lot of people don’t understand is that discipline creates confidence. If you really think about it, you think about anyone who’s highly disciplined. They’re probably also very confident. You think about the most confident people there’s a heavy amount of discipline that goes behind that confidence. It means the confidence is actually real. The way that I explain it, confidence is a framework that I have called the super you. The super you is still you being yourself. As you at your highest possible level of confidence, and it is not, I want to make sure I’m being clear and he’s not faking it until you make it. I did a Ted talk on this in 2016. I told people, fake it till you make it is actually an oxymoron. When you tell your conscious mind that you’re faking something, that means eventually you have to stop faking.
You had to go back to being the actual you, whoever that is. It’s kind of like Cinderella when the clock strikes midnight, that those beautiful shoes and a gown go away and you go back to wearing rags. That’s what happens when you tell yourself that you’re faking it. The super you is you taking yourself to that same level that no Cinderella went to, but it’s actually you deciding that that’s the type of person that you’re going to be, not the person you’re faking or pretending, but the person that you actually are. You can stay with that person for as long as you wish. The third principle is mental toughness. The mental self. This is just your measure of how disciplined and how confident you can remain. Even when being disciplined and confident have not produced the results. Because how many times in life, especially people in the education field, how many times does a teacher go to a or a school leader?
You go to your subjects, whether it’s students or other people who work there and you tell them, “All right, this is the exact framework, follow these steps. You’re going to get this outcome.” And then you have some people who follow the steps and they don’t get the outcome. They’re like, “Well, Hey, I’ll follow the steps. I did everything right? I’m following the process. I’m doing everything I was told to do yet. I’m still not getting the outcome what’s going on.” What happens with many people when that occurs to them is that they either start quitting. They start complaining, they start feeling sorry for themselves. They just start going in the opposite direction. Mentally mental toughness is the measure of how locked in and focused can you remain, even when doing everything right? Quote, unquote has not yet produced the result. The thing that we all have to understand is that life doesn’t guarantee us fairness.
Life guarantees an opportunity. What are you going to do with your opportunity? Everybody gets dealt a different hand. It’s the analogy that I was explaining to my audience not too long ago, if you play a game of cards with five different people, everybody has different cards or the only card that’s the same as maybe the jokers, but you take the jokers out. Then every card is different. So nobody’s going to get the exact same thing. What we see, or oftentimes, especially as kids, but now the adults are doing it. It’s a different conversation, but people are looking at other people’s plates. Saying is, don’t look at the food on another person’s plate because it won’t fill your stomach. What they have and what you have is not supposed to be the same. Mental toughness is your measure of looking at what you have and dealing with situations on your plate and doing what you need to do with it.
Last one is personal initiative. Personal initiative is where we take all of this potential energy of discipline, confidence, mental toughness and we actually make it real. We turn it into kinetic energy, energy in motion, go and actually do something because in life leadership, your show is targeted towards school leaders, but nobody is handed leadership. Leadership is taken and in business it is the exact same thing. You have to take initiative, meaning you have to choose an initiative. The root word is initiate. Initiate means to go first. The root word of that is initial buzz means first primary. Number one, you had to be the one who moves first. You’re the one who takes action. You’re the one who initiates everything that’s going to occur. The leaders are usually the people who are going first, the leaders that are the ones on the front. The leaders are the ones who are putting themselves out there.
That gives courage, confidence to everyone else to put themselves out there. Personal initiative is your willingness to step forward and be that person who goes first, whether you’re right or wrong, because people will be willing to follow you. Frankly, a lot of people in life don’t want to go first because of that fear of what might happen if they’re not correct. We put all four of those together, that discipline, confidence, mental substance, personal initiative, what all that does is help you. The theoretically is going to help you create an opportunity for yourself. When you create an opportunity, then you have to perform because coming from the sports world, education, the same thing, this is a performance based business now. If you perform, you win business, you don’t perform you out of business. In the end you produce a result in sports.
The result is winning the game and education world. The result is a lot of different results you can have, but you want to know what your results are. When you get the results that you get, the rewards, the rewards might be money. It might be fame, admiration, love, happiness, personal fulfillment, whatever it is that you want, then we repeat the cycle all over again. Next year we got to do it again. Next season, we got to win another championship. We go through the whole process all over again. So that’s how the Work On Your Game framework works.
Beautiful. That’s brilliant Dre, and that’s definitely a masterclass on how to elevate your leadership and drive results. We are in the results business. If you want to be in that top 1%, that was a masterclass on the Work On Your Game Framework. I encourage Ruckus Makers to rewind and play what would a challenge look like to listen to Dre inspiring you there every day for the next week? The most important part is where he ends with personal niche initiative. John Doerr says, “Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.” What it comes down to is personal ownership and taking action, which separates you from everybody else. Dre, I’m loving this conversation. We’re going to pause here just for a moment, fr a message from our sponsors. When we get back, I do want to get to that motivation idea, which you talk about in The Third Day, because I’m very interested in what drives you get professional development without leaving your home.
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Today’s show is brought to you by Organized Binder. Organized Binder develops the skills and habits. All students need success. During these uncertain times of distance learning and hybrid education settings, organized binder, equips educators with a resource to provide stable and consistent learning routines so that all students have an opportunity to succeed. Whether at home or in the classroom. Learn more at organizedbinder.com. So we are back with Dre “All day” Baldwin, and he was just talking about his Work On Your Game framework, which is absolutely brilliant. You started that work on your green framework talking about sometimes there’s days that you don’t want to hit the gym, make the video show up right, and do what you need to do, but you still are motivated to show up. I’m just curious what, what pulls you through those difficult times? There’s a lot of, “Yeah, we all experienced it.” Might be imposter syndrome might be the friction of just the difficult task, but what pulls you through those difficult moments,
This mentality that we call it The Third Day, as you just mentioned. The Third Day is all about what our title is. This decision separates the pros from the amateurs and things that people have to understand. If you go look up the definition of professional. The dictionary says someone who does something as their main paid occupation, that’s the dictionary definition. The Work On Your Game definition of professional is a person who shows up and delivers every single time, regardless of how they’re feeling. That’s really what makes you a professional. Many people think that being a professional means that you’re the best at what you do, or you have the most talent, or you have the most skills, the most games, so to speak. Now, while talent skills in game do matter to be a professional. You need them to be a pro.
Now how many people do Danny? How many people do the listeners know? How many athletes do I know who had talent skills and game yet never became a professional? It takes a little bit more than that. What makes someone a professional is the fact that we can depend on them to consistently show up and deliver. That’s really what makes you a pro is that we know you’re going to deliver on a consistent basis every single time. The Third Day mentality is understanding that that motivation, you mentioned word motivation. We went to break motivations for amateurs. And I tell audiences, I tell athletes this, I tell professionals this in any line of work, motivation is for amateurs. I’ll explain why, because motivation comes and goes. Our motivation doesn’t last and motivation is kind of fickle. One day, you might be really motivated.
I’m sure Danny, you’re really motivated to record an episode of your podcast or work on your next book or write a blog post or send an email to yoga. But then other days you’re not quite so excited. Maybe you’re sick. Maybe it’s cold outside. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep the night before you got other things going on in your life. You’re not so motivated to do your job. How do you still get the job done? You still get the job done? Actually, let me not answer the question. Let me ask you, how do you still get the job done when you don’t feel like it
I’ve made a commitment. The way it looks in my leadership practice, I made a commitment to myself and to the work and those I serve the night before. Despite how I wake up and how I’m feeling. That was a great distinction you made there about motivation. I know what is most important and I’ve already committed to delivering that. I just go out and do it. That’s it. That’s how it works for me.
Exactly. When we look at the word commitment, what does it really mean? Commitment means you show up with the same level of dedication and energy that you had when you first decided you were going to do something. That’s what really being committed means. It means, “Okay, the wedding is over, but now we’ve got to focus on the marriage.” Everybody gets excited about the wedding, but what about the marriage? The mentality of The Third Day. The mentality of the true professional, the person who is always showing up consistently getting the job done. That is what we call that third day mentality. To give people a snapshot of why I call it The Third Day for any of you who haven’t been in a gym in a while, especially with the pandemic we had over the last year, gyms got shut down.
A lot of people, I mean, some people did the workouts at home. I did it myself. I didn’t really like them. I like being in the gym, but when you can’t work out for a while or you choose not to work out for a while, and then you come back the first day you come to the gym, you’re excited because like going to the gym is voluntary, right? Exercise voluntary, you hired a trainer and you signed up for a bootcamp class. You got the new tights from blue mine, new sneakers, you feel great, right. First day was good. Now to work out, kick your butt. You’re not in shape, but you go home and look in the mirror. You’re like, I’m doing this. I’m excited. The second day half of your body is sore because you haven’t worked out in a while, but it’s still new.
Think about the second time you drive your new car. Still smells. The second day at school is still pretty good. Second time. No second date with somebody you like, it’s still pretty exciting. You still don’t really know the person. You drag yourself home. After that workout kicks your butt again. You’re like, I’m doing this The Third Day already. You’re already getting some pushback. You’re already feeling some resistance. Your body is having a difference of opinion with your mind. When you get to the gym, you don’t even want to say hi to the person at the front desk. You don’t want to hear your trainer’s mouth. You really don’t want to be there. Already you’re self-disciplined or lack thereof is saying to you very loudly, allow me to reintroduce myself. It is reminding you, you haven’t built this muscle yet. You have not built this internal muscle.
And right now I’m going to challenge you. Or if you’re going to keep showing up. And that decision that you make on that day, that third day will determine where you’re going to be fitness wise, 30 days from now or six months or 10 years from now. A lot of people make the wrong decision, or they make no decision on The Third Day. They ended up in a bad spot in the long run. I want everyone to understand that The Third Day does not necessarily mean Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. The Third Day is any situation in your life where the newness has worn off. The novelty is completely gone. The new car smell has completely eliminated it, but there’s a job that still needs to be done. And guess who’s responsible for that job? You are. The Third Day is a decision that you make at that very moment. When you realize that it’s no longer new is no longer exciting, but the job still has to be done. What do you do at that moment? That’s going to determine the long-term outcome of your career, your business, your life. That’s The Third Day.
Love it. That’ll be available everywhere. You can get books. We’ll have it linked up for you in the show notes too. Along with Drai’s,social channels, YouTube, everything website. They’ll all be linked up for you. I have one more video question for you before I get to the last two questions. I asked everybody this time, not YouTube, although I think you sent it on YouTube, but it was a personal touch. I talk about this and I do it myself, invite and welcome people into our community, right? Better Leaders, Better Schools, the way you got on this show is you created a very short minute or less video saying, Hey, Danny, this is me and I’d love to be on your show and talk about what I do. Tell me a bit about that approach because I teach it myself, school leaders, Ruckus Makers have heard it, and it was so special to be on the receiving end of that because I’m doing it every single day. I did 10 yesterday. So a number doesn’t matter, you could do a hundred, you could do one, but there’s something special about it. I just want to hear it from your perspective.
When I was playing sports Danny, there were times when I didn’t have a contract to play professional basketball. When I was looking for my next contract, I would send emails out to general managers and decision-makers, or sometimes to agents, just trying to build some moment to get some buzz, going back around my name. I was sending these emails out. Sometimes I would send a form email. It’s like copy paste, the same email to a bunch of people that wasn’t really working. I decided, I don’t know where, who first planted the seed in my mind, “How about I just personalize the message to each person that I’m sending to?” And that started to work, took a lot of time, but it did actually work. I wrote about it actually in one of my books, Working On Your Game, how I got that to work for me.
I realized that, and later on, when I was reading about no marketing and sales and things like that, somebody put a phrase to it and they called it “doing things that don’t scale.” And that was the first time I heard it. When I heard that, I said, that’s it right there. Doing things that don’t scale, because a lot of people will do something. If all you had to do is do it, you just do it one time. You just send it to a thousand people, multiply by a thousand. You felt like you did a thousand, sent a thousand messages, but you really didn’t. You sent one and these days, I mean, maybe eight to 10 years ago, if you sent a bunch of four messages to people, you would actually get responses. They will actually work. It was a new thing, but now it’s not new anymore.
We’ve all gotten hip to the game. Everybody knows it. I get formal emails all the time from people like Danny for my podcast, and I don’t even have guests in my pocket. We know that people are doing this the wrong way. I’m sure you get 10 times as many as I get. I am doing things that don’t scale. First of all, like you just said, Danny, when you send a personalized message to another person, and you’re saying your name, you’re missing the show. You can’t fake that. Either you did, or you didn’t. The best, the sweetest music to any person’s ears is their own name and name of their own brand and whatever it is. Making a personal touch, given that person that’s us to another person, you will have their attention. It doesn’t mean everybody’s going to say yes, but you always have their attention.
You’ll get a clear response from somebody who respects the fact that you at least took a minute out of your day. Even if it’s as one minute out of your day to pay attention to another person, because all of us are so narcissistic and self-sensitive to hear somebody else, they took time out of their day to talk specifically to me, that means something. The other thing is most other people won’t do it. And this goes right along with what I was just talking about on The Third Day. Most people, when they hit that third day in their eyes, they don’t show up. They either won’t come to the gym or they’ll come to work and they kinda halfway through work. They don’t really give their full effort in sports. We called it, they would, they would mail it in, or they would go through the motions that day, even though they’re not really there.
For anyone who has that competitive mindset, or you have other people in your lane trying to get the same thing you’re getting, how do you separate yourself from them? It’s doing the things that other people won’t do. And in The Third Day, I talk about this concept called the separation day, the separation day. See The Third Day mentality is about you and yourself looking in the mirror. All right, what am I going to do when I don’t quite feel like showing up? How is that going to reflect itself in my life, in the long run. The Third Day is all about you. Your relationship with yourself, the separation day is also about The Third Day, but it’s about your relationship to everyone else out there, because you can separate yourself from other people who don’t show up on The Third Day. When you do and they don’t, or if they’re ahead of you, then you can catch up. It can be to catch up there. But if you’re an equal to them or already ahead, then you’re separating yourself even further. It’s just understanding that in those situations, in those third day situations, this is the decision that you make that has ramifications that go way beyond yourself.
I’m glad you made the connection to the third day because that’s you living it out and sometimes you don’t get the response. Do you still take the time to get those crafted personalized messages, but it landed really well. It did make me feel special and I want to thank you publicly for sending me that it really, really meant a lot. Last two questions. I asked everybody, can’t wait to get your perspective on them. If you could put a message on all school marquees from around the world for just one day, what would your message read?
Work On Your Game?
Could have seen that one coming, but that’s all right. In terms of building your dream school, if you could build your dream school, you’re not limited by any resources, you’re only limited by your imagination. How would you build your dream school and what would be your top three priorities?
That’s an amazing question. No one has ever asked me. Top priorities and building my dream school. I would want it to be a welcoming place. The schools that I went to, I’m not talking about colleges themselves in K through 12. They were in a very cold environment. Schools always felt like a very cold place. I would want it to be a warm place. I want my school to be like when you’re living in a nice condominium building, the kind of place where you just want to hang out in a building all day. If there’s a pandemic and you can’t leave the building, you’re good. You’re happy because you can just stay there. You can just hang out. You want to be there even when there’s no school. I would want the place to be warm. I need the people to be more from the principal all the way down to the maintenance man.
Also we’re going to be selective in the type of students that we bring in because my mother is an educator. I hear the stories of students, the people. I grew up next door to some of them as teachers. One of my best friends is a teacher, my grandmother’s a teacher. My sister’s a college professor. I have teachers all around me in life. The number one thing that I ever hear teachers complain about. Danny, I don’t know if you can concur or not. Is this the students and their parents? When the parents are not bought into their child’s education, then it makes it that much more difficult for the teacher to teach the students, because who are they going to appeal to? If the student’s not doing what they need to do.
I would meet with the parents. I will meet with every parent one-on-one and say, “Hey, this is what we’re doing. This is how we’re doing it. This is what I need you to do. Here’s the commitment that we’re going to make on our side.” Let’s say, I’m the principal. Here’s the commitment that my teachers are going to make. Here’s the commitment that I need you to make. Mr. And Mr. Mr. And Mrs. Jones and your child. I want the child there too. Here’s what we’re expecting of you. Here are the rules here, the way we’re going to do things. If you violate these, you have to go, and this is the way it is going to work, because this is the work. When you’re game school and here at the school the most important thing about you is your game.
Your game is the way that you perform and the value and resources that you bring to the table. If you’re not bringing anything, then you’re bringing our average down. We’re going to have to excommunicate you from what we have going on here. They are going to sign the contract. This is what we want from the parents. This is what we want from the students and the teachers. The same thing. This is what we want from you all. Even down to the people, working in a lunchroom, this is what we want from everybody. What would be my top priorities? That’d be number one because I want it to be a warm place. I wanted to feel the warm kind of place the kids come to school, even when there’s no school, because they just want to hang up.
The second thing is that every parent is going to have to commit. Every student has to commit, and every teacher has to commit. Everybody who is in that building has to make a commitment that is documented and is on paper. If any of those commitments get via media, we can see that has been violated. We’re going to deal with them as they are. There’ll be no arbitrary rules. The third thing is the most important thing about everybody who is in that building. The most important thing is your game, meaning your performance. The results that you produce and the resources that you bring to the table. Because when you get out there and the quote, unquote, real world, that’s what you’re going to be. Just the game that you bring to the table. If you have no game, no amount of anything else is going to save you.
If you have a game, people don’t even always necessarily have to like you or agree with you, but you’re going to get the things that you want because you have the game to bring to the table and you can produce results. People who can produce results will always create opportunities for themselves. Again, me coming from the sports world, nobody explained it. I come from sports, we’re in sports. The most important thing is that’s score board. That’s that sheet. And that’s the way that everyone gets judged at the end of the day. So those would be the most important things in my school. That’s a great question.
When you’re ready to launch the Work On Your Game School I’d be happy to help. We’ll get that team built and get those principals and kids in there. It’d be wonderful. Dre, we covered a lot of ground today and thank you so much for being a part of the Better Leaders, Better Schools Podcast, everything we talked about today, what’s the one thing you want a Ruckus Maker to remember?
The one thing that I want you to remember is in life, as in school, and education, as in business, is that you are in a performance and a results based business. When you perform and produce results, you get the rewards that you want. If you’re not getting the rewards that you want right now, you have a couple of different options. Number one, look at your performance and see, is there something about your performance and can be fixed? Number two, if you feel like you are performing at the proper levels, but you’re still not getting the rewards, go somewhere where you will be rewarded properly based on your performance. A number three, if you are not quite performing at the level that you need to perform at, then you just need to shut up and keep working. Because that’s what this game is about, is producing results. If your results are not coming through, that means something about your game needs to be fixed, or maybe just who you’re delivering your game to needs to be fixed as one of the others.
Thanks for listening to the Better Leaders, Better Schools Podcasts for Ruckus Maker. If you have a question or would like to connect my email, Daniel@betterleadersbetterschools.com or hit me up on Twitter @alienearbud. If the Better Leaders Better Schools Podcast is helping you grow as a school leader, then please help us serve more Ruckus Makers like you. You can subscribe, leave an honest rating and review or share on social media with your biggest takeaway from the episode, extra credit for tagging me on Twitter @alienearbud and using the #BLBS level up your leadership at betterleadersbetterschools.com and talk to you next time until then, class dismissed.
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