025: Timeless success wisdom from a prolific entrepreneur (with John Saddington)

team-johnDo you know what the secret to life is? One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else don’t mean $#!7.

That’s the wisdom Curly passes on in the movie City Slickers, and it’s the wisdom so many of us feel like we’re chasing.

We want to find the one thing that’s going to make us happy. We want to find the one thing that will transform us into a success story. We want to find the one thing that will make our business soar.

We look at guys like John Saddington (our guest on the show today) and think, “Wow, John’s got it all figured out. John found his one thing.”

After all, John was the youngest executive in the history of a Fortune 50 company. He holds two masters degrees. He’s started and successfully exited numerous software startups. All this and he’s in his early thirties, so he must have found his “one thing,” right?

Wrong. In fact, I was shocked when John told me, “I have no f-ing idea what I want to do with my life.”

In John’s eyes his story is just beginning. He may have some skins on the wall, but he knows there is still so much to learn and so far to go before he could ever consider himself experienced.

Starting and selling a successful business is just a single bullet point in the story John is creating with his life. That’s a powerful reminder for what we’re all really after – stories, not ‘w’s.

I’m thrilled to have John share that wisdom and so much more in our session today.

John shares with us:
– The moment when he realized what was really important in life.
– The powerful limiting belief he had to overcome to become a successful entrepreneur.
– Priceless advice for getting your next business idea off on the right foot.

Listen now: 025: Timeless success wisdom from a prolific entrepreneur (with John Saddington)

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Success Quote

“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
– Maya Angelou

Rapid Fire Questions

One thing holding John back:
John’s dad spent 47 years climbing the corporate ladder. Because of this model John had a great deal of guilt, shame, and fear of letting his dad down by choosing to throw that away to become an entrepreneur (he was a Fortune 50 executive at the time).

John’s advice: Own up to who you are and be true to it (even if it makes things harder).

One thing John gave up:
Spending time and effort working in areas where he wasn’t strong. By focusing exclusively on his strengths (and getting help with the rest) John is able to do his best work. (nudge The same goes for you)

One characteristic that sets John apart as a high performer:
I love John’s answer when I asked him this, “Not much.”

According to John, he’s just been at it longer and has more experience. John believes that entrepreneurship is not a skill, talent, or gift – it’s a muscle. You have to put in reps to get stronger.

Book Recommendation

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull


  • John Saddington

    thanks for this friend!

    • Deacon Bradley

      Thank YOU John! Your work, journey, and willingness to share it continue to inspire me. Can’t wait to get my hands on Desk PM!