The 150 attendees of Northstar Meetings Group's Destination California, which began Monday evening at the L.A. Hotel Downtown in Los Angeles, were urged to be "fluid, flexible and fast" in their decisions and actions at this morning's opening keynote. The presentation by Bill Wooditch, CEO and president of the Wooditch Group, was sponsored by Goodman Speakers Bureau.
Wooditch shared his personal story of finding business success and fulfillment by "throwing away the script" early in his career in insurance sales. "I didn't know what I didn't know," he said. "I had a huge ego that soon would be beaten down to nothing. I said to my manager, 'Who is your number-one salesperson in the world? I will beat him in two years.'" The manager's response: "Wooditch, I thought you were arrogant; now I think you're ignorant."
After extensive training, Wooditch found that following the "script" he was given was not effective, and decided to take a different approach. "I started to meet people as people -- one heart, one mind at a time. People want to know that you care about them before they know what you know."
Within two years Wooditch was, as promised, the company's top salesperson. After 10 years without a vacation, though, he found himself asking, "Is this all there is?" With that, he said, "I decided I wanted to start my own company, and build it a different way -- to blow up all the fear that stops people from moving forward."
A common human behavior that holds people back from personal and professional progress, he said, is that "you have the greatest thought, but you don't act on it for a long time. If you have a thought without an action, you have a fantasy. What do you really want in life, and what are you willing to give up to get it?"
Wooditch offered more advice in a recent M&C blog post, "Live Your Life by Design."
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