Life Tips from One Very Secure Dude
On my podcast/Facebook Live platform the other day, I was privileged enough to interview my friend and business colleague, John Sileo. John and I have known each other since we were young pups in the motivational speaking business—we met through the Colorado Chapter of the National Speakers Association. He is a security and fraud expert, focussing on identity theft and corporate internet security. He is a Hall of Fame speaker (CPAE), he speaks to businesses all over the world, he’s a serial entrepreneur, conducts leadership retreats and trainings, and is an all-around great guy.
The thing with John is that I’m totally jealous of him—he has this important topic for the corporate world which is really relevant right now, he is super smart, thoughtful and always knows the right thing to say. He’s personable, charming, good-looking, all of those things you hate other people for, except …. he’s super nice too, so I can’t hate him. You know how it goes. And he’s my friend. So I’m grateful.
Anyway, John’s identity theft story is tough for him. A co-worker stole his identity by applying for numerous credit cards in his name, and went out and charged up lots and lots of stuff. John was pursued by creditors, banks, collection agencies, almost went to jail, and lost tons of money and time. So, how does he stay upbeat when as part of his job he has to speak about a very traumatic, upsetting time during his life?
John acknowledges that it’s hard. He stays upbeat by surrounding himself with upbeat, positive people. (Like me!!) And when he talks to groups, he focuses on the small wins, the wins that help others. He provides information that keeps people safe. That makes him feel good. He knows that he helps people by repeating his story—and if he can help people by doing that, it is worth it to him to share regardless that it’s a downer to
repeat. And that’s something to admire about him. Caring for others is second-nature to him.
Another thing I admire about John is that he’s a serial risk-taker. To become a successful speaker you have to be able to take risks. Motivational speakers and trainers and keynoters own their own businesses. They market their own product—their story. Developing a business around yourself and your story is all about your tolerance for risk, as well as testament to your confidence in being successful. And John is successful. He first became an entrepreneur in HS and college. And he counts his dad, also an entrepreneur, as contributing so much to his success. John believes that success breeds success, and his father is his primary inspiration.
My focus in my motivational programs is about social and emotional support. How does social and emotional support from others translate to success in your personal life and your professional life. So John and I talked about one of the finest examples of social support: the compliment. Now there’s the insincere, flattering kind of compliments—wow you look great, you’re awesome, you’re the best. But then there are those compliments that are genuine, that come from the heart. So my question to John was: does a compliment have to be genuine or is the only thing that matters is whether the recipient of that compliment believes that it is genuine. Now, I’m not advocating people run around telling lies to people. I’m talking about how best to motivate others. And some times we exaggerate to make a point.
And that’s where we landed. John said, and I agreed, that there are so many shades of gray when you are trying to build people up. The situation, the person, and the context is important. One of those shades of gray is that John and I are now mature speaking professionals with a fair amount of experience. And with experience often comes gravitas, heft, credibility. A compliment from an “elder” in your field often means so much more to a person than one from someone else. These types of compliments can be used strategically to build up others, to get better performance from your employees or co-workers, or to bring a relationship to the next level. Both John and I agree that being a mentor to new speakers is one of the best things about “maturing.” And it’s fun.
Here’s a tip from a security expert: Always update your smartphone with the latest operating system. Today, most of these updates are about security; so if you update, your privacy is more secure. However, with the iPhone the default privacy settings need a little nudge from you. Go to Settings, then Privacy, and turn off tracking. Facebook likes to track you. Amazon likes to track you. So does Google. Turning off tracking will impact these giant tech companies’ ability to send targeted ads to you, and preserve a measure of your privacy. And that is good.
So you heard it here first: Security matters. Compliments matter. Staying positive matters. Listen to John talk first-hand about why. Thanks for reading.