MF 058 : Think Big, Act Big, Win Big, with Jeffrey Hayzlett
Updated: Jun 16
Jeffrey Hayzlett is the host of TV’s C-Suite and the CBS on-demand radio / podcast series, All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett. A former CMO for Eastman Kodak and guest judge on the early seasons of Celebrity Apprentice, Jeffrey is now a highly sought after brand marketing expert, serial entrepreneur, international keynote speaker, and best selling author of three books: The Mirror Test, Running the Gauntlet and Think Big, Act Bigger. In today’s episode, Jeffrey shares his secret for using failure as rocket fuel for “win fast” and shares his best resources and knowledge bursts for moving forward.
Successes at a glance:
Former Chief Marketing Officer for Eastman Kodak (Fortune 100).
Guest judge, representing Kodak on three seasons of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.
Serial entrepreneur: bought and sold over 250 businesses; $25B in transactions.
TV, radio and podcast host for CBS and Bloomberg.
Prominent guests include: Steve Forbes, Gene Simmons, Kevin Jonas, Bob Villa and many more.
Spokesperson for Dodge.
Internationally acclaimed keynote speaker.
Author of three best selling books:
View Jeffrey’s Sizzle Reel:
How Jeffrey gets inspired to conquer the day:
Jeffrey’s morning inspiration actually begins the night before. Jeffrey has such a passion and zeal for his life’s work that he goes to bed every night with the anticipation of a kid on Christmas Eve; who just can’t wait for the next morning. While many would be content with being the CMO of a Fortune 100 company, being a best selling author or TV star, Jeffrey is continually reinventing himself; not allowing himself to be defined by one title, venture or occupation. Jeffrey’s constant thirst for knowledge and for creating success channels fuels his inner drive to, as his book says, “Think Big, Act Bigger” and be relentless. Make no mistake, this is neither easy nor something you can do on a whim. Jeffrey sets incredibly high standards for himself, his career and the way he lives his life. While passion is an obvious, key component of what drives Jeffrey, hard work and grit are the engine that enables him to turn his passions into sustainable, successful ventures. Armed with a zest for life and a Herculean work ethic, it’s no wonder that Jeffrey does not need much encouragement or push to conquer each day. Moving Forward listeners, ask yourself: are you living up to your best standards? Second, are you putting in the time, effort and unrelenting persistence that it takes to see your passion through to the point where inspiration is inertia? We can all learn a huge lesson from Jeffrey: success isn’t about luck. It’s a formula that combines passion + hard work + being relentless. Jeffrey is the best of example of moving forward and doing so in a way that can takes us to the biggest heights and the greatest successes.
Setback or failure that led to pivot and shift:
As someone who has owned both big and small businesses, shifted careers and continually tries something new, Jeffrey candidly admits that he “fails everyday.” However, what makes Jeffrey so relentless is that he doesn’t see “failure” the way most people do. Instead, Jeffrey sees failure as “getting to win fast.” Jeffrey reminds us that if you want to live an extraordinary life, pursue your passion and become an expert or “maestro,” you’re going to make mistakes. Citing Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs and his good friend, Fran Tarkenton, Jeffrey shares the knowledge burst that no one wakes up a “maestro.” Even gifted people have to work hard and “play a lot of bad notes” and practice, practice, practice to become experts and reach success. Moreover, the notion of failure as a road to “winning fast,” isn’t simply something Jeffrey plays lip service to. He embodies this; literally putting his money where his mouth is. Jeffrey, candidly shares a story of trying to corner the pheasant market, investing time, money and energy; that is until he realized there wasn’t a market to corner. Even today, Jeffrey reveals that moving into digital content and media with C-Suite, is all about learning as you go since this is such a new frontier. Moreover, Jeffrey stays grounded in knowing that for the most part, the decisions and mistakes he makes in his business or his career aren’t going to cause anyone to die. As Jeffrey shares in his last book, Running the Gauntlet, the key is to keep adapting and pivoting. Moving Forward listeners, start taking a critical look at what you are doing in your day-to-day, in your career and in your businesses. Are you adapting and reframing failure by being in a state of constant change? Do you play it safe or do you take risks and make mistakes so you can win fast? As Jeffrey teaches: if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning. If you’re playing it safe, you’re not growing. If you’re not failing, you’re not winning fast.
Resource or cultural experience that inspired Jeffrey to move forward:
Three books that had a big impact on Jeffrey’s early career and that he recommends should be in your library:
Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends & Influence People (paperback) | Kindle : Jeffrey first read this at age fourteen and continues to revisit it every year.
Other great business books recommended by Jeffrey:
Bryan Burrough’s Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco (paperback) | Kindle : an inside look at how leverage buyout deals are put together. Jeffrey read this book while in college and it inspired him to go into business; steering him from his original intent of pursuing a career in politics.
How Jeffrey stays organized and manages his time:
Make a list. Everyday, Jeffrey starts his day with a brand new list with a callback to items he may not have been able to get to the day before. Jeffrey uses three columns with an organization system that he has been using for many years. Jeffrey also makes it a daily practice to print a hard copy of his calendar. As a frequent traveler, Jeffrey finds it important to have both his lists and calendar to keep him on track, organized and prioritized. Jeffrey’s bottom line advice for Moving Forward listeners: develop a process or system to keep organized. And a key point is that it doesn’t matter what your process is, just have one that you stick to on a consistent basis. Jeffrey’s priorities and tasks have changed but his method of managing his time has stayed consistent over the years.
Favorite app / website / resource or productivity hack:
Jeffrey uses a mobile app to keep track of his receipts and expenses. Two that Jeffrey recommends are Expensify (IOS) | GooglePlay and TriNet Expense (IOS) | ExpenseCloud (GooglePlay). For a busy traveler, this has been a huge game changer for Jeffrey as it enables him to keep track of all expenses by snapping photos of receipts and cross-checking / linking them to his credit cards.
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Jeffrey’s Advice for you to Move Forward:
Jeffrey recommends that you must look at what your “conditions of satisfactions” are. This is an amazing paradigm tool for looking at the passion/purpose question. Instead of leaving it as an amorphous, often confusing “what am I passionate about” inquiry, Jeffrey splits this into two questions: 1) what do you want and 2) what will satisfy your conditions of satisfaction. To illustrate, Jeffrey shares his own example of wants and conditions of satisfaction, which fall into three buckets: 1) to build wealth for his family, 2) to learn new things, 3) and to have fun. Using this matrix, Jeffrey is able to determine whether a venture or pursuit is worth his money and time investment. If it does not satisfy all three buckets, Jeffrey crosses it off his list. What Jeffrey understands and has been the key to his success is that a want or desire only becomes a catalyst for action if you know and understand what your conditions of satisfaction are. This is particularly important as you consider your family, spouse, children and the people in your life who are impacted by those decisions. Moreover, if you look at your goals from a conditions of satisfaction framework, this allows you to change and adjust them as needed. As you fulfill one goal that meets your conditions of satisfaction, you can aspire towards a new or more ambition goal. Without the conditions of satisfaction test, a want will remain undefined and a lofty dream. So move forward by identifying and knowing your wants + your conditions of satisfaction. From there, you will be able to take the necessary steps and make the choices that will get you there.