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About Dallas (i.e. My Story)

So, this is the real about me page.  The one that isn’t safe.  The one that supposedly won’t get you hired by all the corporate hiring committees looking for their next keynote speaker.  The one that isn’t so simple, clean and short.

But, you know what?  I have finally decided to show everyone who I am…really.  Not the “polished” version.  Not the typical, heavily revised and reinvented about me page that’s titled something like “My incredible, meteoric rise to excellence without making any mistakes and changing the history of our planet forever!”

NOPE.  THAT’S SIMPLY NOT HOW THE STORY GOES…NOT AT ALL.

But the truth often isn’t quite so simple; and, since I always strive for full transparency in myself and my clients I decided that I finally needed to do the same with my About Page.

The brutal truth is most people are following the examples of or trying to emulate people that project as these high IQ, succeeded immediately, never-made-any-mistakes or slept-in past 4am super-geniuses.

I believe this single misconception of how success is achieved is the number one reason why most people never take action or quit after one or two failed attempts…and candidly it breaks my heart to see it happening all the time to great people with loads of potential.

Plus, I candidly now know that there is much more to be learned from most of my flaws than from my successes.

Below is a copy of my “official” bio that most of my friends and family would see.

MY OFFICIAL FANCY-SCHMANCY VERSION

“Dallas Hardcastle is widely regarded as one of the country’s best sales trainers and business coaches.  For over twenty years Dallas has been involved in sales, sales management and a entrepreneurship.

After being consistently recognized as an industry leader in sales and sales coaching Dallas went on to open several of his own companies before age 35.

Soon afterward business leaders from different industries began asking Dallas to train their people in sales, leadership, rapport mastery, and career path ideation.

Dallas created the hugely successful framework known as “Build U, Brand U, Bond U” which helped him to increase his sales and income by 507%.  It has now been shared with tens of thousands of people who want to improve their performance, sales, leadership skills and lifestyles around the world.  Teaching his framework to a room of 750 people recently drew an overwhelming response with dozens of questions during his Q&A!

When Dallas isn’t building his company and helping others to develop their personal six-figure strengths he can be found chasing his daughter, trail running, skiing or trying to suck less at golf.

SO THAT’S THE NICE, SIMPLE, CLEAN VERSION THAT I SHOW TO MY FAMILY AND FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES.

But, here is the messier, more complicated version of who I really am…

To get started I might as well let you know some of my flaws…some of my serious, unattractive flaws.

  • When I was younger I was told that I had the attention span of a “crack-gnat”.  That apparently was a gnat that accidentally wandered through some crack and was just all over the place, constantly changing direction every millisecond.  For most of my life that was exactly who I was.
  • Being a high-energy extrovert has never been my problem.  What has been my problem was maintaining focus on single activities.  My excitement used to send me in different directions as I was chasing all the ‘shiny’ things that I thought would be fun to try.
  • If I don’t find something incredibly interesting I simply cannot get excited or even involved in it.  I have friends who carry this “gene” but I simply don’t have it.  If I am doing anything I don’t love you can just bring on the suck because that is what will soon be the result.  This defective “gene” has led me to question why everyone doesn’t spend all of their time creating a business and a life they deserve.  It’s our life we’ve been given.  Don’t we want to be the engine that helps to change the world in which we live?
  • I quit college at least three times that I can remember (how is that even possible?).  I seldom had the faintest idea why I was even there.  When I say “quit” that just accounts for when I declared I couldn’t take it anymore and left.  That doesn’t factor in the six or seven times I changed my major.

WHERE THIS ALL BEGAN

I have always been a hard-worker, upbeat and happy to indulge in some good times and I think that came directly from my mom.  Not just because she was such a hard worker but also because she was always so positive, uplifting and talked about having fun.

So, what does positive and uplifting have to do with being a hard worker?  Simple…

It began leading me at a fairly young age towards wanting to do what I liked in both work and play.  If work wasn’t fun I didn’t see the point.  Sure, we all have to make money and when we are younger the choices are often limited.

But, I have seen people spend their lives not loving what they are doing…and taking it.

They may tell me they feel challenged but that is the root of their stress.  Yep, they’re challenged by their work and up till 11pm answering work emails.

ENERGY (AND OPTIMISM) COMING OUT OF MY EARS

My mom showing-off her high-output baby (me)! I was always ready to go!

I never lacked energy…ever.  What I did lack most of the time was focus.

I spent most of my high school and college days usually taking a “mutual fund” approach to working, playing, studying, etc.

The mutual fund approach was all about diversifying..and playing safe.

I think I was afraid of not liking something (or failing) so I would usually have three or four things all happening at once.  So, not only would I be running around like a crazy idiot trying to make several things all work at once; but, subconsciously it gave me an excuse.

If one of the three or four things didn’t pan out I could shrug-it-off and point to having too many other things happening.

Fortunately, over the years this major flaw became an enormous asset as it really taught me the value of learning to laser focus on single tasks.  Today, there is no such thing as multitasking in my life.  I block time and drill down into a project, and that is all I do until it is done right!

 SHUT UP AND GO SELL SOMETHING!

I had proven that when I was really excited about something I would absolutely crush it!  The problem was I only got excited about a few things.

I began my selling ‘career’ back in high school as I was given the sage advice, “You can talk with anyone about anything.  You should be in sales.”
So, I began selling stuff…all kinds of stuff.

My first sale. I convinced the mysterious ‘bag man’ to stop loading me into the dishwasher.

Things like electronics, men’s suits, communication devices and something that used to be called long distance 🙂

About 9 months into selling communication services I was running a conference call for the company that regularly had around 500 people on it and man did I love hosting that call.

But, it was around that time I had someone share some really valuable information.

You see, I had become a decent sales person but all of the advice I had received up to that point was about closing and overcoming objections.  Although these were well-intentioned individuals they were freaking clueless and ultimately they were feeding me bullshit!

So, I had a brilliant mentor (at least by my estimation) tell me to begin to learn how to become a peak performer, rapport mastery, neuro-linguistic programming (say what?) and become an elite communicator.

Man did he nail that one!

I began a two-year crazy-immersive process of learning from the world’s best peak-performance and communication mastery coaches.

My sales went through the roof…literally.  Something like 507% in a super-short period of time.

My bosses were constantly asking me what I was doing.  My friends and family wanted to know exactly what I was doing differently to get my $37K income to go up over five times so quickly!

SHUT UP AND TEACH ME HOW TO SELL SOMETHING!

People all around me began to notice.

Suddenly I was being asked to train sales forces, create training materials and meet with executives to coach their managers how to increase revenues.

This became a conflicting time in my life because as much as I loved to sell I learned that I loved teaching and coaching others even more!

But, even more than that I learned that I really loved helping people change their situations and circumstances completely.

If helping them to sell more was what they needed to improve their finances than that was great!

Speaking at an Invitational Entrepreneur’s Event in 2010.

But, a lot of times it was getting to dig deeper than just sales.  It was about understanding a lot of the underlying issues that were often keeping them from their own success.

It was helping them to realize that becoming peak performers would change ALL AREAS of their lives and blast their sales through the roof!

Even beyond that I began to come back to the same theme over and over in my life.  I needed to feed my passion for who I was…I needed to feed my soul for what I felt I was meant to do.  What I was meant to offer the world.

When I learned I could help nearly anyone change their trajectory for the better I became so hooked and sooo happy!

My wife and I went from a small apartment to a nice house.  We went from owning a nice house to investing in several pieces of real estate.  We were able to gift and donate more in a year than we had probably in the past 10 years combined.

But, the problem was they wanted me to create all of these materials, presentations and study guides and I really didn’t want to do that.  I loved the training part but I hated having to create all of these materials people kept requesting.  Especially when it was around the artificial crap like closing.

Although I tried to remain focused on selling I began to realize that, that wasn’t where my energy and passion was any longer.

I decided that was not my path.  I decided that I needed to help people in those deeper levels.  I needed to help change people’s lives by learning how to become successful entrepreneurs.  Not just increase their sales.

So, I began a training company with the initial purpose of helping others achieve greater sales success and hoping it would then lead to more.  That’s where it began anyway…

WHERE HAVE ALL THE GOOD TIMES GONE?

At about the same time I decided to start my training company I also began a partnership with another company.
This was one huge mistake.  Not only did it divide my efforts but I also chose my partner very poorly.

Then some bad news arrived…

At about this same time an “investment” property my wife and I had purchased a few years back had lost nearly $150K.  We were shoveling more and more money every month trying to keep it afloat.

But the market was crashing and we were going down hard and fast with the townhome.

Then more bad news…

Just two months after we had decided to “pull the plug” on the town home the IRS came knocking.

It seemed that our accountant who was trying to “help us out” had filed the town home incorrectly.  It cost us over $22K and we didn’t even know we had done anything wrong.  They didn’t really seem to care though.  They just wanted their money and they wanted it yesterday.

And finally a little more bad news…

In my other company where I was a partner we had installed over $215,000 in equipment to a couple of customers that had gold-standard credit.

Unfortunately, the economy came knocking on their front door and they suddenly weren’t able to pay.  We had a purchase order and a measly deposit in our hands that became nearly worthless and that was it.

My wife and I were flat broke and the cash, credit cards, and savings were gone…completely.

All I could seem to do was loose money at an astonishing rate and I was in a business partnership that made me miserable.  The money I was earning wasn’t bad; however, the amount we were losing was off the charts.

I was out of ideas…I was out of money…and I lost my will.

IT WAS TIME TO DECIDE (THE FORK IN THE ROAD MOMENT)

Losing my ideas and the money were horrible.  Utterly failing my family and losing everything was more than I could bear.

I tried telling a couple people I was really depressed but they said I wasn’t.  They had been around depressed people before and I definitely wasn’t one of them.

Apparently I was very good at hiding my depression.  That was unfortunate.

I began to have thoughts…awful thoughts as to how I could best “help” my family.  But, there remained one true constant in my life.  I was completely ga-ga over my daughter and could not bare the thought of failing her or her future.

So, one late night (real late…like 3am) after putting my daughter down and having us console each other I decided to make a “quit list”.

This list was going to be unlike any other list I had made in my life though.  This was not going to be a list of things to do but rather a list of things to un-do and I was going to begin un-doing them right away.

You see…it happened again but this time it was so raw, so powerful and in-my-face I couldn’t ignore it.  I needed to go out and do what I absolutely couldn’t NOT do.  I had to go out and design the business and the life that I deserved.

And that business and life that I deserved was completely built around surrounding myself with others like me and helping them to do exactly the same thing.

THE (FAIRLY) BIG TURNAROUND

This would be a great time to tell you how I woke up the next morning, flew out of bed and began my $100 gazillion mega-corporation.

Well, it didn’t exactly happen that way but I did decide I was going to make some big changes and they were going to begin immediately.

  • I decided my training company wasn’t going to be put on hold anymore.  I began it again, nearly from scratch with an entirely new focus.  I was not going to merely serve business clients with their sales training or marketing needs.  I began working with entrepreneurs that craved a business and a life they controlled completely.
  • I was no longer going to allow myself to dispassionately go through my life doing things I ‘sort of’ enjoyed.
  • I decided I was only going to do what I loved to do and insist that those around me do the same.
  • I was never going to have some fancy degree this or dream job that…but I was going to create the life and company of my dreams and help others achieve the same.

SOME OF US ARE CONDEMNED TO NEVER QUIT

Quitting has gotten a bad rap, hasn’t it?  That’s because most people think of quitting as a form of instant gratification.  If work is difficult one day or if they are having trouble figuring out a problem they just pick-up and quit.

That’s not what I’m talking about at all.

I’m talking about having the courage to quit the thing that you are not 100% excited about doing with your life.  Most people are completely unwilling (although they’ll probably say it’s because they are unable) to quit the thing that isn’t the 100% right thing for them.

So, they rationalize with themselves that they need to “keep on keepin’ on” until they retire or something else ‘comes along’.  Thus, they walk a path of feeling dispassionate about what they do and how they live.  Tragic…but so very real…and pervasive. 

And you know what?  Life is too damn precious and short to do that.

MY BIGGEST QUIT HAS LED ME HERE

Today, I offer no apologies for who I am and what I am doing.  Because every time I talk with someone who is frustrated, depressed or feels alone I remember where I was just a few years ago and how one person can completely change a life forever.

And I know that they are often just a few steps away from being able to do exactly what they were meant to do with exactly whom they were meant to do it.

That jazzes me BIG TIME and I am their number one advocate for success.

Today I spend most of my time directly working with people to help them define, develop and earn an (great) income using strictly their passion as a compass.

Not just some touchy-feely path of discovery but a comprehensive path to actually making money doing what they love! 

Today I am trying to encourage people to be quitters and to go out and design their dream life from the ground up.

I want them to decide to grab a hold of this life we are given and follow their passion, their dream…their destiny.  And all-the-while they begin to earn way more than they ever have because they love what they’re doing so much!

I personally work with individuals and groups to help them find their six and seven figure strengths…and you know what…I love creating all those materials I used to hate because these have purpose…these change directions…these change lives…they literally are changing our world.  To me…that’s pretty much everything.

I love creating the the exact steps that will allow a person to get away from the thing they don’t love to the thing they can’t live without!

Today I stand in total appreciation of the life I have been given…twice.  I stand before people ready to serve and ready to make a BIG TIME difference.

I know I am one of the luckiest people alive and stand in awe of how amazing we all can become with some specific direction and useful guidance.

We all will arrive at a destination one way or another.  Some by chance and others by finding the correct map and reading it intently.

I hope your map is folded neatly in your pocket and is read several times a day to remind yourself of the awesomeness that is soon to come!

HERE’S WHAT I WOULD LIKE YOU TO DO NOW

I would love for you to leave a comment below and tell me some of your story, too.

We all have awesome stories so go ahead and share a little bit.

I feel so grateful that you are here and I look forward to our road ahead!

 

In friendship,

Dallas