Peter 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 at 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. Peter 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 is quickly become one of the premier training programs for young professionals; www.gamechangersmovement.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, and that website is: www.realVIPsuccess.com.
Dr. Relly Nadler: Who have been some of the influential people in your life and what have been some of the key things that have allowed you to propel yourself and be successful as you are?
Peter Voogd: There have been a lot of influential people. I got into entrepreneurship at a young age and quickly had some pretty big challenges. I reached out to some mentors and people that really were influential in my industry. One of them was Isaac Tolpin who was my mentor when I was ages 20-26 and still helps me. He is someone that has dedicated his entire life to leadership and helping others. Then Jordan Wirsz is another mentor of mine that actually had a chance to make his first million at a very young age—21. He’s taught me a lot of the integrity and life issues and character, and at a young age that really has helped me propel my success.
Some of the bigger ones; I studied a lot, of course Tony Robbins, and I studied Richard Branson. I try to study people who are very congruent with who they are, they stay the course, they are authentic, they love building businesses but they also love making a difference. Those are really the main ones I studied. Of course a lot of Jim Rohn and Think and Grow Rich by Napolean Hill. I think if you had to narrow it down my two mentors would be Isaac Tolpin and Jordan Wirsz, and then Tony Robbins, and I studied Richard Branson a lot.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Well, those are certainly people that have been movers and shakers in the motivation industry for a long time. 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 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 were not 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 at 15, 16, 17 I was making money on line.
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 leveraged 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 me not to just; 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, and I didn’t even have money to eat at a drive-thru. That is when I made a change where I was making so many excuses why I couldn’t succeed and I remember 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, 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. Relly Nadler: We were talking about your energy, almost fearless energy because we are going to talk a little bit about fearless leaders. How do you cultivate this fearless energy. What do you do to maintain it, is it always there?
Peter Voogd: A lot of people would think that it is always there but it is a very purposeful and I’m very strategic about it. One thing I realized is what you put in your mind is what you do, and what you really eat is how you feel. I really try to eat as healthy as I possibly can and that is the first thing. One thing I do in the mornings first thing, is that I work out and I really, really study and visualize on my goals: my purpose, my mission, what I’m doing to contribute and that right there is setting me up in the morning. Working out and sharpening my mind and thinking about my vision and eating healthy. It’s almost impossible not to be energized throughout the day and being able to do what you love and being able to give back to people and live what you know you are made to; that’s a pretty big energy boost right there as well. I drink a lot of water and I always stay grateful.
Dr. Relly Nadler: One of the things I heard is, the first person I heard this from was Brian Tracy, the first hour of the day is the rudder of the day. It sounds like you set your course early in the day and then it just keeps you sailing throughout the day.
Peter Voogd: 100%. Definitely, that’s it. That is a big key to my productivity as well. Making sure I’m intentional and I’m strategic when I start my day so I’m basing things off my standards verses my mood. There is a big difference there.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: That’s interesting. How did differentiate between those two things?
Peter Voogd: Sometimes you have regrets where you do things you feel like verses what you should do, so you are not going to do very much. I realized that behind every priority and every value and standard is a promise. I just started seeing that I wasn’t where I wanted to be because I was so feeling-based. I don’t feel like working out so I didn’t. I don’t feel like reading so I didn’t. I don’t feel like calling this person, so I didn’t. But now I’m like, I don’t feel like it but I need to do what I should verses what I feel like and now it’s become a habit. I just see the difference in results, that is what changed me.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: What do you think that the young generation really cares about when we say emotional intelligence, sharpen your focus, be more confident?
Peter Voogd: This has taken me years. I have trained three or four thousand in direct sales and they were all ages 18-30. One of the biggest things that they care about is wanting to do something that matters. One thing I talk is culture and a mission. I just read an article a while ago in Forbes, which is funny you asked that, and it talks about 60+% of millenials leave their companies before 3 years and they leave because it wasn’t a good cultural fit. 73% of millenials right now prefer to have a job where they can make impact over income. I think tying things into making a bigger difference; what I talk about with a lot of my leader is when you invest in yourselves, when you become sharper, when you become more courageous, you have more energy. You lower your distractions. You can then contribute at a higher level to others.
I think that really sparks them a lot. A lot of my best performers weren’t sharp when they came in, but they continue to work on themselves for the simple fact that they knew that if they did, they would be more influential and they would be able to help more people and make a difference.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: What do you think are the keys to building a culture where young professionals can be both effective and successful and feel valued?
Peter Voogd: This is something that I really have dived into. One of the biggest things where people go wrong is, 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Learn more about millennials, thinking with a higher consciousness and having a mindset for success. What do companies need to do and understand to leverage those principles to help make busy young talent look in their direction? Is your company fully congruent? It starts from within. The only limitations you have or those in your head. Get tips and tools to tune-up your performance; listen to the complete recording above.