The Think Big Movement: Grow your business big. Very Big!

The Think Big Movement: Grow your business big. Very Big!

by Jon Dwoskin, A. J. Reilly


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945173479
Publisher: Waldorf Publishing
Publication date: 08/15/2017
Pages: 350
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

The Jon Dwoskin Experience was founded to provide organizations with the guidance and advisory services they need to make pivotal business decisions. A go-to solution expert that business people turn to for advice, Dwoskin offers high-level strategy and accountability to the business community, including individuals, start-ups, entrepreneurs and corporate executives, among others.“Over the course of my lifetime, I have read, listened to and attended thousands of self-help and personal coaching seminars: I love soaking up as much knowledge as I possibly can and I’m dedicated to self-improvement,” says Dwoskin.In addition to his self-mastery study, Jon created one of the first online marketing companies in the United States at the age of 23, a business he started in his parents’ basement. In 1997, he sold the company to USWeb, the largest Internet professional services firm in the world. Since then, he has exploded a management career, having strategized, trained and improved agent skill sets, and held people accountable to their business plans. Dwoskin is a proven entrepreneur whose skills have been honed in the high-tech and commercial real estate sectors. Dwoskin has been a board member for dozens of organizations over the last two decades and continues to mentor many as a way of giving back. As a cancer survivor himself, Dwoskin offers support and guidance to other men experiencing the same frightening circumstances he did.

Read an Excerpt



The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret.

- Nido Qubein

The movement of the clock seemed to be slowing down. For months now, minutes were hours, hours were days, and days were weeks. Slowly creeping in was the overwhelming, suffocating feeling of being stuck. Jacob Wengrow sat at his desk watching the stock ticker flash by in one window, while another window opened to a destination far away from where he was. He tossed a golf ball in his hands, up and down, and up and down, just listening as the clock ticked on and on.

This was a special ball — his first hole-in-one — and one that he kept around for luck. It had brought luck to him that day on number 12: a short, one hundred and seventy-five yard par 3. With a flush 6-iron, Jacob watched as the ball disappeared after landing on the green. Since that day, the lucky ball had been his constant companion. He was in need of some luck now more than ever.

Fresh out of college, Jacob had started his career at Levine, Savage, and Rose Brokerage Firm. Starting from the bottom, he had labored tirelessly to climb the ladder and learn the ins and outs of this business. As he worked, he would arrive early and stay late, and through the years he had gained a strong foothold in the business. Yet, as time went on he started to see a way in which, if on his own, he could make a greater business — an enormously successful business. He began to think about the processes that LSR used to attract and retain their clients and wondered, "Is there a better way?"

Late at night he started to brainstorm, leaving the office long after his colleagues had gone home. He wrote down his ideas in a journal and continued poring over them as he had downtime throughout the day. Brokering deals started to become almost second nature to him, and he was, frankly, killing it. Tasting success for the first time in his life, Jacob wanted more. He repeatedly laid his head on his pillow at night unfulfilled from the day's work. He kept remembering what his dad used to tell him, "Success minus fulfillment equals failure."

His father had been to an Anthony Robbins' workshop and came home every night repeating this same phrase. Being a teacher was rewarding for Jacob's father, and he wanted to make sure his son understood the valuable lesson that Mr. Robbins had taught him. So, every night he'd walk through the door and repeat the same five words. Although Jacob had tasted a bit of success, because of these stinging words, he no longer felt fulfilled and needed a new plan.

As a direction formed for his new business, Jacob was ready to start his own brokerage firm. The plan was to set a new mousetrap: better ways of bringing in clients and running a company with a highly entrepreneurial culture, and targeting people who want a better, newer way of doing business, but were more like old souls than the current landscape of employees. His focus was to run an office that took a special interest in the client, and show them this newer, better way, ultimately endearing themselves to their clientele. Having felt deep in his heart and soul that this was the best way forward, he felt he was ready to start this new, forward-thinking, entrepreneurial endeavor. Once ready, he met with the bosses of Levine, Savage, and Rose and tendered his resignation. And, just like that, he was out on his own.

Four years ago he had started TBM Brokerage Firm. And, like everything else in his life, it was successful at first. But, as the years passed, and the grind grew, it started to become stale. Lately, he had been complacent. He had started the company with a few clients in a bad economic climate, and from there he had grown it. As the economy improved, the clientele stayed where it was. No new accounts, no really big wins, and no answers. Jacob had done all of this on his own. As he found himself tossing his lucky Titleist Pro-V1 up and down, and up and down, he was ready to pack the clubs in the back of his car and drive out of town and off to some random place where no one knew his name.

Jacob had visions and dreams of grandeur. His plans for his business had been something in the beginning that kept him grounded. He always heard the voice of his mother or his father, who told him that there was nothing he could not do if he simply put his mind to it and believed in himself. This was a very motivating piece of advice, but in certain moments it gave him a Superman complex. It made him feel practically invincible; and, in other times (like these) it paralyzed him, leaving him searching for answers and knowing there was no one other than himself to turn to.

One of Jacob's strengths was in his ability to see down the road and plan ahead. Like any good business owner, he planned his yearly goals and, in the beginning, lived by them — eating and breathing them in as the life-source that they were. As the years passed, his visions became entrapping. His passion had formed a four-walled barrier around him that left him stuck in the monotony of the day-to-day operation of his business. And for the last year, he had his plan but was stuck in the execution of it. Sitting at his desk, staring beyond his computer screen, he thought about what Year Four had been for him.

This is just too big, he thought. He was paralyzed by the plans he had made, and in knowing that he had no direction as to how to get there.

He sat and could not bring himself to move, tossing his ball every so often, the weight of the world sitting on the shoulders of his cleanly pressed, custom-cut and monogrammed, white-cotton shirt. Jacob hated dressing up. He could not even tie his own tie until college. But, if he was going to impress the clients he was hoping to meet, but who hadn't come through the door yet, he kept up appearances. As he sat alone in his office, waiting for nothing in particular, he started to think back.

Jacob had grown up in Metropolitan Detroit. He had grown up at the tail end of the "Bad Boys" era of the Detroit Pistons, the miserable early '90s days of the Detroit Tigers, and the mediocrity that the Detroit Lions maintained while he came of age. In a city trying to escape its failing moniker, Jacob understood the struggle of "us against the world."

Jacob's parents were never wealthy, but they were hardworking. They fought and scraped for everything they had, and from an early age, Jacob understood the value of working hard. His father was a high school history teacher and coach, while his mother worked the midnight shift at the hospital as an emergency room nurse. Though they did not have much, they did have each other: his father, his mother, his younger brother Geoff, and Jacob. The four of them were as close as they could possibly be.

A natural self-starter with a propensity for academics, Jacob breezed through middle school and high school, barely picking up a textbook to study. He particularly excelled in his math and economics classes. And, of course, he became the talk of the town when he made a nearly impossible touchdown catch in the fall of his senior year to beat the crosstown rival. He had excelled at sports, but it wasn't his forte, so eventually he headed off to the University of Michigan to pursue a degree in economics.

As time passed in college, Jacob found academics increasingly difficult. Having never truly studied in high school, he was drowning in numbers, theories, and best practices when he reached out to a fellow student, Aria, who seemed to be excelling in every class they had together. His struggle wasn't in the academic arena.

He was a smart guy, but Jacob struggled to see how any of the classes that he was paying for applied to the real life he was about to experience. Plus, he did enjoy the occasional party — much like his peers. Eventually, Jacob swallowed enough pride and found the right words to throw toward her — he didn't want her to think he had ulterior motives — and asked her to study with him.

The seeds of a blooming friendship were planted that day in Econ 201 at the University of Michigan. At the end of their college career, when Jacob's mother had passed away, it was Aria who would be by his side, holding him as he cried, and giving him the strength to face a tomorrow without the woman who had been the pillar of his existence.

As thoughts of Aria Warren found their way to his mind, Jacob smiled for the first time in what felt like months. Aria's presence had a calming effect on him. She always had answers, almost like a savant, to the point where it would dig and dig at Jacob's ego. But in the end, she always came through, and there was no one in the world he trusted for advice more than Aria.

Tossing the trusty Titleist up into the air, Jacob thought, how am I going to grow this brokerage? How can I execute this plan I've created? It was a constant thought, always lurking in the back of his mind. This thought was nearly as close as his lucky golf ball. For months, it hung right there in front of his face. For all this time, he had no answer.

Like tires spinning in mud, Jacob's question just kept turning over in his mind. He had built a pretty good-sized business in four years, with at least a dozen employees, including a sales team, an administration team, and even a technology division. Everyone had his or her specific responsibilities. Jacob always took particular interest in making sure those responsibilities were done, and he held weekly staff meetings — Tuesdays at 8:00 a.m. — just to make sure that everyone was on the same page for the week. He was at the end of his rope, trying to figure out what more he could do to make his company successful and get the most he could out of his employees.

"What the hell am I gon- ..." he began to ask himself.

"You ready, Jakey?" a soft, serene voice said coming from the doorway. The way the sun was setting through the windows behind her gave her a mystical glow. Not in a romantic way — that was never going to be an option — but in a sent-from-heaven sort of way. "You forgot about dinner didn't you?" Aria chided.

"Aria, hi. Um, no, I, uh, I didn't forget. Where do you wanna go? And you know I hate that name. My dad's name was Jacob. I like going by that," he corrected.

"I know. I know. Relax," she said playfully. "Come on, reservation at Cafe D'Mongo's at 7:30. You done here?"

"Haven't had anything to do for a while. Nothing more I can do tonight. I want to get out of here anyway. Let's go," he said. And with that, they were out of the office, down the elevator, and out the front door.

Another day over and no closer to a solution for this thing, thought Jacob as he smiled at Aria.



I've failed over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed. I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can't accept not trying.

- Michael Jordan

As Jacob and Aria settled into the middle booth of the old speakeasy, Cafe D'Mongo's, they looked at the drink menu. There was no need to look at the regular menu because they only had two choices: ribs or chicken. Cafe D'Mongo's is a nice, quaint little restaurant that is only open Friday through Sunday and serves two items: ribs and chicken. All of the sides are the same, and the atmosphere is perfect for a Friday night getaway. That's why Jacob loved coming here. In a way, it allowed him to escape the newly formed prison that was his reality, even if only for a short time. Here, he could be someone else and forget his troubles for a while.

Tonight, with Aria, there was no escape.

"Good evening, Ma'am. Good evening, Jacob, so nice to see you again," Pauly C., the bartender, said to them as he approached the table. "Whadda-ya'll gonna have tonight?" he said, his thick accent coming out strong.

"Hey, Pauly. I'll have the ribs and a bourbon on the rocks, two green olives, please," Jacob answered.

"And for you, Miss?"

"Hi, um, I'll just take the chicken with a martini, shaken not stirred," Aria replied.

"Um, excuse me, Mr. Bond, could I have your autograph?" Jacob teased. Every time they went out it was the same exact joke, and every time Aria would just roll her eyes.

The two had kept in touch through the years after college. Luckily for Jacob, neither of them wanted to go too far from home after graduation. With his mother's passing, he was glad for a friend like Aria. Aria was thankful for Jacob, too. It was a friendship that worked, and worked well.

"How's it going, Jacob?" Aria knew the answer but asked anyway. Over the past year, she and Jacob had talked about his inability to work his plan, and how he felt trapped in a self-imposed prison.

"Eh, it's going," he responded. "Actually, Aria, I'm stuck. I'm getting up every morning, going to work, and accomplishing nothing. At least that's how it feels. My dad always said, and it keeps repeating in my mind every night, Success minus fulfillment equals failure. And, right now, Aria, I feel like I'm failing. Yes, I have my own business, and the business is going well, but there's no fulfillment in it. I feel trapped. I love my company, but right now it's strangling me, not sustaining me," he confessed.

"I get it," she started, "I've been where you are. Don't you remember what I was going through four years ago, right as you started TBM?"

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Aria took a job at one of the top financial advising firms in Metropolitan Detroit. Throughout her senior year, the company had been in constant contact with her, taking her out to multiple lunches, trying to woo the girl who was among the top in her class to commit to working for them. Finally, a month before graduation, she told the partners at Kent and Rodgers Advising that she would be happy to join them.

She took a week off after school ended to move out of her dorm and into her new place, and the following Monday she began as a junior associate, with the possibility of moving up. There was a clear path to the top. There was not, however, a clear timeframe. At first, that unsettled Aria, but she eventually got used to it. At least for a couple of years.

Just like her peers, Aria had gotten restless after about two years. That upward movement she had expected was not happening. In two years, she had received just one raise; yet, her title had not changed. She imagined that things could be different on her own if she could find a new angle on the business — something that would attract people to her own advising firm. By this time, she had six reliable clients and figured that if she could get started with just these six, others would follow. How could they not? She was, of course, the top in her class at Michigan, had worked for the best, and now owned her own advising business.

Of course they will follow. We've had a good relationship for a couple of years. I'm sure they don't want anyone else handling their business, so let's go for it. She gave herself this pep talk and took the bull by the horns.

For a month before she was set to resign, she started to take her clients out to lunch. Casual, off-the-book conversations about what her (and their) futures held. She told them to take some time and think about the big decision that was before them and to let her know, giving them each a deadline of when she was set to resign. Except for the clients she had courted, which were all of her own, she seemed to drift off when it came to Kent and Rodgers business. She had mentally removed herself, a month early from it, and it was starting to concern the partners.

After a couple of weeks of long lunches and no production, they called her into a meeting. By the end of it, Aria had resigned her position — two weeks earlier than she had planned and one week earlier than the deadline she had given her clients. As she packed her things in her office, there were six numbers she made sure that she had.

She called all six of them immediately. All of the conversations could have happened simultaneously. That's how similar they were. She would start by explaining how she was transitioning earlier than expected and that she needed their answer now, along with a solid apology for making the request a full week before the date she had told them. Out of the six, five responded with the same exact message, even if the words weren't the same: they would be staying with Kent and Rodgers because they had been with them for a while, their reputation was what they paid them for, and they loved the strength and power that came from the brand that Kent and Rodgers had built, not necessarily their relationship with her. All said that she had done a great job for them. They ended the conversation with their own apology and wished her the best of luck. When they hung up, Aria was stunned. The sixth client did not answer the phone, so Aria left a message, but she expected the same answer. Now she had no idea what to do.


Excerpted from "The Think Big Movement"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Jon Dwoskin.
Excerpted by permission of Waldorf Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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