Last Friday was a remarkable day! I traveled with three other guys to Franklin, Tennessee to meet with Robert Smith, also known as The[Robert]D. You probably don’t know that name. He’s been working behind the scenes for more than three decades to help someone else be successful. We went searching for best practices for building a strong brand. We were blown away by what we found!

For 33 years, Robert has been working with Andy Andrews. Andy is an amazing communicator and writer. Andy has written numerous books including The Traveler’s Gift which has sold almost 2 million copies in over 25 languages. The seven decisions outlined in this book are life changing. I highly recommend it.

Robert is Andy’s manager —  that’s the term they use. What we discovered is that Robert is really the CEO of a thriving organization. Today, I want to tell you a little about our visit and share just a few ideas that have helped Andy and Robert be successful. I believe they are transferable to whatever you and I are attempting to accomplish.

As I said in the opening paragraph, we wanted to learn from Robert how he had been able to build such a strong global brand for Andy (every minute of every day, someone in the world purchases a resource produced by Andy!) Our first clue was revealed immediately upon our arrival. We were introduced to nine members of Andy’s team.

Lesson #1 – Teams multiply capacity. The scope and scale of the activities Robert described could not be done by a single individual.

After the introductions, Robert spent the next four hours sharing with us some of the principles and practices he and Andy have used over the years. We talked about their core values, the strategy for creating content and products and perhaps most importantly, we explored the logic behind many of their decisions.

As you can imagine, I took pages and pages of notes. I always feel extremely blessed when I’m around uber-successful people. It was obvious to me we were in the presence of greatness. Robert was the perfect blend of entrepreneur, business leader, creative genius and hard worker to help Andy build his global brand.

Lesson #2 – Talent creates competitive advantage.  There is no question Andy is a truly gifted person. Robert and the team MAGNIFY Andy’s gifts.

One of the interesting twists in this story is that Robert has been behind the scenes for over three decades, and he’s just now beginning to step into the public eye. He recently wrote a book entitled 20,000 Days and Counting. It is a really good book. The reason I mention it here, it is one of the keys to Robert and Andy’s success. As the book advocates, they live every day like it is going to be their last. As Robert explained to us, that generates intensity.

Lesson #3 – Intensity drives action. If you’re having trouble generating intensity in your life, find something else to pursue.

Robert told us about the journey to get The Traveler’s Gift published. It was not an easy road. Robert enlisted three literary agents who pitched the book for over three years before they got a yes. They were rejected by 52 publishers!

Lesson #4 – Success is rarely easy. Like David Ponder discovered in The Traveler’s Gift, to “Persist without Exception,” is an indispensible ingredient for success. Is there something in your life you gave up on too soon? Have you been rejected more than 50 times? Maybe you need to try again.

Thank you, Robert for sharing your wisdom and insights. You and Andy are great role models for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world![GLS_Shield]

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Author: Mark Miller

Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.