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Living A Life In Full

Nov 1, 2020

David Meltzer, is the former CEO of the renowned Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment agency, which was the basis of the Tom Cruise movie Jerry Maguire. He is now the Co-founder, with partner and NFL Hall of Famer, Warren Moon, of Sports 1 Marketing which leverages over $20 billion in relationship capital to market some of the biggest sporting events in the world like the Superbowl, The Masters, the NFL’s Hall of Fame, The Pro Bowl, The Kentucky Derby Breeders’ Cup, and award shows like the Emmys, Oscars, and Grammys as well as numerous charitable events.

David regularly speaks around the globe at some of the world’s biggest business, sports, technology, and motivational events as a result, he was recognized as one of Forbes’s Top 10 Keynote Speakers.

He has created a value-based consulting model that focuses on guaranteed, quantitative value which has earned him Marshall Goldsmith’s recognition as a Top 100 Business Coach. David’s clients include leaders who are Fortune 100 executives to start-up entrepreneurs.

In terms of media, he had a starring role in WGN’s World’s Greatest Motivators, he is the executive producer of Entrepreneur‘s #1 digital business show, Elevator Pitch, and David hosts of one of the top entrepreneur podcasts, The Playbook, which is an engaging mix of exclusive conversations with some of today’s most influential CEOs, sports icons, and successful entrepreneurs – including Gary Vaynerchuck; Jordan Belfort, known as The Wolf of Wall Street; Tillman Fertitta, Owner of Houston Rockets; NBA Champion, Jeremy Lin; Former Professional Racer, Danica Patrick; as well as Cameron Diaz.

He is often on the other side of the mic as a frequent guest on a number of interview shows as well as Bloomberg, ESPN, Forbes, CNBC, and Variety. He is a three-time international best-selling author and we’ll be discussing his books and his philosophy.

David has been recognized by Variety Magazine as their Sports Humanitarian of the Year and he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

It seems inevitable that he and I were meant to connect as we have some notable overlaps in our Rolodexes—while I’m a bit more so in the sandbox of endurance athletes, we both nevertheless know Colin O’Brady (I “climbed” with him and Lewis Howes and Jesse Itzler at a 29029 a couple of years ago in Vermont, and Colin’s been on my show); and Daniel Lubetzky, KIND bar founder, and I have done Davos together a number of times and I profiled him and his work in my book, The New Humanitarians. I still need him to connect me with Cameron Diaz though…

We delve into David’s origin story, which may be a surprise to some. Many successful individuals become that way because they were born on third base and think they hit a triple as Barry Switzer used to say, that’s not the case with David. His also shares how he earned and then lost over $100 million, went bankrupt and then made an amazing comeback.

We discuss how Covid-19 has impacted his sports work and humanitarian work. And he gives some actionable advice for entrepreneurs and business leaders as well.  

We discuss his books, starting with his most recent, the best selling Game-Time Decision Making: High-Scoring Business Strategies from the Biggest Names in Sports. Tilman Fertitta chairman and CEO of Landry's, owner of the Golden Nugget Casinos and the NBA's Houston Rockets, wrote the Foreword, and said:

 No matter what ‘game’ you’re playing, teaching others to make the right decisions is even more important for leaders. If you can equip others with the ability to make informed and well-reasoned calls, your impact is scalable. This is the core of David’s approach to Game-Time Decision Making: to empower you and those around you with the awareness and ability to make the right call when the ‘game’ is on the line and the pressure is high.”

David’s method of structuring the book is via sports metaphor, in particular-football. I particularly enjoyed his style of chapter structure as “The Offense and Defense” for the business areas of Branding or Marketing or Communication, and the topical areas of putting together an all-pro team with diverse skillsets, building a positive mindset, and learning from failures. In our conversation, David gives us a highlight-reel of his points from the book. His concept of “asking” in Chapter 3 reminded me of Amanda Palmer’s Art of Asking TED talk and her subsequent book. David notes the power in something so simple, and too often overlooked.

In his prior book, Connected to Goodness he identifies seven interconnected principles that are applicable to our lives in general and just as relevant to more specific pursuits such as business along with the four key elements they are predicated upon. His first book, Be Unstoppable: How to Create the Life You Love  is a very quick and enjoyable read. That book breaks down how people tend to limit themselves with their beliefs and mindset, and offers strategies that will change the way people pursue their goals. In it he wrote about shifting his business paradigm to be of service, and this becomes is a thread throughout our conversation.

He hosts a very popular Friday Trainings for entrepreneurs, star-up founders, and business leaders. This led to his thoughts on the difference between a good coach and a good mentor, and we then delve into coaching (David commands 5-figure coaching gigs), getting value from coaching, various methods to coaching, and much more.

Uniquely, David’s life goal is to inspire or make a billion people happy. I think you’ll enjoy leaning how he goes about doing that, and measuring it. This ethos, along with his humanitarian work in Kenya and other projects are what distinguish David from others. His positive spirit is infectious and his resilience and caring for others, an inspiration.