Emotional Intelligence: It’s a Game Changer

Peter-VoogdPeter Voogd is a serial entrepreneur dedicating himself to excellence in every part of life so that he can better serve others. He has been labeled as a thought leader on millennials, because he is one. He has succeeded as one and he has succeeded leading an organization of millennials at the highest level.

He has real knowledge and authentic raw understanding of what it takes to motivate and inspire the leaders of today. He has trained and lead thousands of sales representatives, managers, college students, professionals, business owners, Olympians and many others to high levels of success.

Peter strongly believes that the more people you help to succeed the more successful you’ll become. I think both Cathy and I advocate that. Peter has started a movement to empower America’s aspiring entrepreneurs and young professionals. It has quickly become one of the premier training programs for young professionals; www.gamechangesmovement.com. It continues to attract entrepreneurs all over the country. He strongly believes that young entrepreneurs are the future of this society. Peter is the CEO of Real VIP Success: www.realVIPsuccess.com.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Peter, you came from a very interesting and modest background, if I can say that. Tell us a little bit about that background and the journey that you have taken to get to where you are today. If you would tell the audience how old you are and how long you have been in the business world, that might be helpful as well.

Peter Voogd: I am 28 and I started in the business world when I was 15 doing Ebay. I started an Ebay business and got introduced at a young age. I had very humble beginnings. My family grew up in Oakland, California, which obviously, if you have been to a lot of parts of Oakland, it’s not like the most pleasant place to grow up and we weren’t in the best area.

We moved up to a small town on the Oregon coast which was a retirement community of around 7,000 people. So I literally went from a huge rural area like the bay area to a small, 7,000 person mostly retirement town. So there weren’t huge opportunities coming out of there.

I got into business when I was 15, luckily my mom is in real estate and has been an entrepreneur and she helped me, but I didn’t really have a ton of guidance. I just learned on my own and 15, 16, 17 I was making money on line and I got into that from a friend that told me about it.

One of my breakthroughs, real quick, which was such an important part of my journey was that a lot of my friends were doing construction and hard labor and taking the normal route, which isn’t bad. I remember my friend was working for my dad and he worked 8 or 9 hours that day shoveling sand. I wasn’t too big into the hard labor; my dad always told me try to use your brain more than you use your hands in hard labor. He came up and he finished the day and I think he made $65-70 and I checked my eBay account and I think I was a sophomore in high school, and I made $91. I said, wait, I leverage my time, I used this platform to make $91 and he traded 8 hours; I was amazed—how can I do this when he just worked harder than me but I’m getting more income.

So that perspective really kind of guided my future. When I was 18 I actually got a job as a valet and I took the hourly route because everybody around me was like, you have to get an hourly job, you’ve got to start at the bottom and work your way up. So I said, ok, fine, after so many people, I’ll try it. I was struggling and I had this hunger inside. I looked at my paychecks and I said no matter what I did I was going to make the same amount. Something wasn’t right and there was something inside me wanting more. Finally, I got a sales job; direct sales. That is where everything kind of took off. I was able to do pretty well at sales but what really inspired me was helping others, leading others, influencing others through my experience, through my perspective, and though my inspiration.

I quickly got out of direct sales and I started leading a direct sales company—big difference, and I failed very quickly. I lost all of my savings, I went broke, I could not afford, literally I remember sitting in a one-bedroom apartment that was about 400 square feet, to eat in a drive-thru. That is when I made a change about making so many excuses of why I couldn’t succeed. I remembered what really had me succeeding to begin with was listening to other people that succeeded.

I heard this quote and it changed the game for me: “If you want to be a millionaire who do you talk to?” The answer is billionaires because you’ll get there quicker. That was a breakthrough. I started reaching out to every single top performer in my company. I befriended them, I wanted to take them out for lunch, I continued calling them; I said hey, you don’t know who I am but I really want to learn from you and I really want to be one of the best. I want to become influential, I want to become a peak performer in this business. From that moment when I got clarity on what I wanted and I shifted my circle of influence, I dedicated my whole life to studying sales, studying the best CEOs, hiring a mentor. I was able to flip my income from broke to 6 figures in 11 months and then continuing to grow that the next 5 or 6 years until now.

My journey wasn’t that exciting, but I did go from very, very humble beginnings and stress and struggle, to really elevating pretty quickly and this was at age 22-23. From then on I just kept dedicating myself and I continued to learn and grow. I attend every single seminar I can, I listen to audios, I invest in myself continuously with masterminds, and I always have 2 or 3 mentors that are always there for me. I try to reach out to them every single week to just elevate my game and my mindset.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: You are certainly a very animated and dedicated young person. What do you think are the keys to building a culture where young professionals can be both effective and successful and feel valued in that way Sixty percent were leaving in the first 3 years because the culture wasn’t correct for them.

Peter Voogd: This is something that I really have dived into. One of the biggest things where people go wrong, I think, you can’t create a culture that you don’t possess inside you. Meaning, what you care about. Your business will only grow as much as it is the reflection of those who manage it and those who are at the top. That’s a big problem. People are copying culture, they aren’t fully authentic. I’ll tell you Cathy, culture eats strategy for lunch. If your culture is good enough, you don’t have to persuade anybody to do anything.

Culture is really a reflection of three things. I have promoted this a lot in my company and the companies that I work with.

  1. What you preach. Spread out in the entire organization, what is talked about continuously? Every single time someone opens their mouth in your culture, it’s either helping or hurting the culture; standards, expectations, what’s being talked about, verbally and nonverbally which has to do with past growth and of course preparation and intelligent thinking about it as well.
  2. What they see. From the staff, the CEO, the sales manager, the PR department. Professionalism, innovation, is there creativity, is there full respect or is there hierarchy, are there things that aren’t congruent with what the company promotes? The BS meter of these young professionals is outrageous right now. They can see everything that we couldn’t see easily 20 years ago.
  3. What you recognize. What I realize is whatever you appreciate, appreciate. We like to publicly endorse positive action in a group setting, all of the time. That was key. Once I decided what I cared about and what was in me and what my core values were I promoted that to my culture. You have to realize that no one is going to give you feed back, and if you need somebody’s approval then good luck, especially in this new economy. You are going to drive the culture consistently if it is where your true convictions lie.

For example, I was working with a lot of young professionals. I will never forget this, in forty years. There is four things I continuously promoted because what I was doing was getting these kids to do direct sales. That is really hard to do—to motivate young people to do direct sales. But, I figured it out. What I promoted was:

  1. That this is a great place to build experience that stands out and differentiates you.
  2. It is a great place to have flexibility and lifestyle if you become disciplined. This is a great place to build a lifestyle, be able to do what you want, when you want, if you put the discipline in.
  3. It’s a great place for financial freedom and wealth. I gave third person stories and examples.
  4. I talked about memories and relationships a lot because the really, really care about network.

I surveyed 200 of the young professionals that I know; very, very well known young professionals. The number one thing they look for—this is crazy—is network and relationships being built in the company, before income.

Dr. Cathy Greenberg: That doesn’t necessarily surprise us, Peter, I think you are affirming something that Relly and I know from working with people who are top sales professionals. In using tools like the emotional intelligence suite of tools and the fearless leaders suite of tools, we can easily help people pinpoint where their connector profile might be off a little bit, where their social responsibility profile might need a little enhancement.

Dr. Relly Nadler: What is it that some of the millennials want in a leader, what we are calling a fearless leader? You had said that they want a fearless leader; from your perspective or from the millennial perspective, what is a fearless leader?

Peter Voogd: Really good question, and I will tell you just from experience and from being in the trenches, one of the top things that they look for is leaders that have integrity and that are fearless in what they do. They want someone that is strong and that they can follow and really build with. So what I think a fearless leader is are a couple of things. I want to just say a quote that has always stuck with me that I think is relevant is: “a real leader is not somebody who can develop the most followers, a real leader is somebody who can develop the most leaders.” I think fearless leaders are those that not only have amazing courage, but they can relentlessly lead their team regardless of others opinions and regardless of what others think. They guess they don’t fear people.

One of the biggest keys to leaders that I have followed is that they not only base things off their standards verses emotions, they don’t show a ton of weakness, but they don’t fear people and they let nothing affect them. Like Cathy said, reacts with resilience and a mindset maniac.

I think if you have a leader that shows weaknesses, that shows you are hungry, shows you are tired, shows frustration; subconsciously people lose respect for you. They don’t mean too but it’s subconscious. So every leader that I look back on that led me and that I have respected, they are just so courageous. They don’t show all of this frustration. They are always in a peak state, I guess. They are passionate, they think with mindfulness like you say, and they just have so much energy and inspiration. They  always know the way and go the way. I think that is a big key.

Another thing is that they teach others how to inspire and motivate. They don’t just motivate people, they teach others how to do what they do. I think that is a key as well. They also stay future oriented. There was a survey too, I know people like stats, I learned this from Brendon Burchard, where they did a survey on people that think about the future. They said, successful people and the best leaders think about the future and promote the future 9 to1 over the majority. So they are always focusing on what’s next. I think a fearless leader, if someone brings them a problem, they teach them how to find solutions and they teach them how to focus on what matters verses the problem.

So that is a couple of things. I think they are just always; not on their game because they want to show they are vulnerable, but I think they are just consistently growing, they are staying courageous, they are staying mentally tough, and they don’t veer the course, if that makes sense. They don’t waiver.

Find out more from our interview with Peter Voogd. You can listen to the complete interview above, without commercials.








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