Randy: Welcome to The SuccessInSight Podcast. Our guest today is David DuPont. And if you have not heard -- David was actually our second guest ever on the podcast. Go back and listen to episode 1002, and you can hear my first conversation with David. But we have lots more that we're gonna talk about today. Hey David.
David: Hey. What's going on, Randy?
Randy: I have been wanting to talk to you about something that you mentioned in, again in episode 1002, when we first talked. And that was that there are a lot of entrepreneurs at any stage of their careers who do not ask for help. And that that is a big problem, a pitfall that a lot of us fall into. What do you mean?
David: So I agree 100% that most people, entrepreneurs included, don't take the time to ask enough questions. And when you ask enough questions you end up getting help. And so most entrepreneurs look at their business and they wonder, how am I going to get all of this done. The answer is, ask for help, and it will happen. So I started getting help early on in my career from ... Started with the SBA, and then it went to Greater Houston Partnership, and then it went to a CEO roundtable within the Greater Houston Partnership, which led me to my marketing mentor, Dan Kennedy. So it wasn't a straight line when I started asking for help. You may not get the answer you're looking for the first time you ask, but you have to be diligent and keep asking.
Randy: I failed to mention earlier that you are the inventor of the Shure-Step safety step, and then also an author, and you've got a lot of things going on.
David: Yeah. I wrote the book because I felt like seniors didn't have a place to go to get a quick guide with great information to keep the seniors from taking that fall that really changes their life.
Randy: You had a big moment that I think a lot of people are afraid of coming along when they're facing their business planning. And this was, I'm talking about in 2017. What happened?
David: So in 2017 a couple of things happened. Hurricane Harvey hit. I live on the beach, and our house was 100 miles north of the eye of the storm when it hit. We were very fortunate in that our house was still standing, and we had very, very little damage. When I came down, I was down here by myself and I ended up getting pancreatitis. I had to be rushed to the hospital. I was stranded on an island, I had to be taken across the water by boat to a truck, and then rushed to the hospital. The pancreatitis was really caused by not following my gut instinct when I was told something.
David: So when we're young, Randy, people are taught that when you have a cough, you take cough syrup. When you're very young, you get started on a regimen of vitamins that are in the shape of maybe a Flintstone, or something cute for kids. And so as a young person you never think twice about taking a pill when you're growing up. And we all trust our doctors. They are the trained professional in the field, and when we go to these doctors we expect that they're going to give us 100% of the truth about anything that we ask them, whether it's the drugs that they're prescribing. We think we're getting all the information from the doctors, and if it's not coming from the doctors, we also trust the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, to keep drugs that might harm us from reaching the shelves in our medicine cabinets.
David: So some of the time this is not true. The Food and Drug Administration puts the side effects on the drugs, on the bottles. I'm sure we've seen the commercials, I won't even talk about that. But you've seen the commercials, you know there's side effects, and people think that "it won't happen to me." That side effect is there for a precaution, I understand they have to put it on the bottle, but that'll never happen to me. I'll be okay taking this drug.
David: I got pancreatitis from the cholesterol medication I was taking. Pancreatitis was the number two most common listed side effect of the particular cholesterol medication that I was taking. Didn't think anything about it. I was on this cholesterol medication probably longer than I should have, eight years. And that is what ended up causing my pancreatitis and sending me into the hospital. It was hard. The first three days they weren't sure, they didn't tell me, but the doctors were pretty sure I was not gonna make it. And he gave me a 10% chance of living, and I think that was high.
Randy: Wow. How long were you there?
David: I was in the hospital from September 7th until December 6th, three solid months in the hospital.
Randy: What were you able to do while you were there?
David: Well, a lot of what I was able to do in the hospital had to do with what I had done prior to going to the hospital. What did I have in place in my business that allowed me to run my business for three months in the hospital? And so what I had done was I followed the advice of my mentor, Dan Kennedy, and I can't remember when I heard him say this. Again we're going back to asking for help, finding my mentor, and I'm going back, because finding that group with Dan Kennedy, introduced me to so many more people that have played a part in my business.
David: But he said something very telling early, early on, and I read it in books. And I went back and I pulled it up. And what he said was, "Imagine that a doctor just told you that you only have six months to live. How would that change how you take care of your business? And if you think it wouldn't change, you're wrong." That always kind of stuck with me, until I get in the hospital, and I really understood what he was talking about.
Randy: Right. 'Cause they weren't even giving you six months it sounds like.
David: Well they weren't telling me that. So I in the hospital, being obliviant to what was really happening, never ever had one thought of "I might not make it." I never had one thought of "Oh my goodness, what am I going to do for my family?" I never had one of those thoughts, until I got home and I realized what had happened while I had been in the hospital.
David: But Dan made that impression on me, and so I had started taking steps to create a business that I could take with me. And when I say that, so I got into the Dan Kennedy group and I looked around, and I said, "Okay what are other people doing that's really cool in this group?" And one guy got up to speak,, and he was talking about how he and his wife had just taken a vacation to some exotic location in the world on a beach, and he was there on the beach with his laptop working, and that kind of struck me. I said, "I wanna do that. I wanna have a laptop and I wanna sit on a beach. And I wanna do my work sitting on a beach."
David: And so how do you do that? So I started setting up things, I started taking the PC-based programs from my computer and I started migrating everything to cloud-based, so that I didn't have to take this particular computer with me or store the information on a drive and take it with me. So what I did was I started putting everything on cloud-based. And, in the group, these other people, they had production facilities to provide them with the ease of getting their product. When an order came in, they never saw the order, it went to their production facility. They made the product, they boxed the product, and they shipped the product.
David: That was the second thing I said, "I want that." So I set it up on the cloud-based. I got my production facility in-line, and then I took everything off of my PC. It took a year, it wasn't very easy. It took a year to take all of the moving parts off of my computer and put them on a cloud-based program, or programs I should say, in order for them to all talk to each other and work. And it's constantly taking a little bit of work to tweak and make it happen.
Randy: Help me with the timeline here. So you said that took a year. It was September 2017 when you found yourself ... You know you had all this set up so you could go to the beach. And then it just so happens that it also came in handy in a hospital bed, it sounds like. So when did that migration happen?
David: So the migration started taking place a year prior. I started in 2016 towards the end of the year, migrating everything from my PC to a cloud-based. And that, again it took a year to do that. But I thought I was going to the beach, not the hospital, mind you.
Randy: Right. It turns out that that happened just in time as well.
David: Yes. It happened right before ... Oh my goodness, less than a month before I went into the hospital is when everything was live on a cloud-based. So yeah, the timing couldn't have been better, and boy was I happy that I had done that while I was in the hospital.
Randy: Yeah. And this came along because you had that advice that you had gotten from talking to other people about how to be prepared. What was the productivity then while you were in the hospital? I'm just curious.
David: While I was in the hospital, I had my laptop, I didn't have it with me when I went to the hospital. So I go into the hospital September 7th, which was a Thursday. And on Sunday I was able to break out ... I did not feel good, but I still forced myself to pull the laptop out, open it up, and play catch up with invoicing and orders that had come in in those three days. I was able to do that. And I was able to do that every day that I felt good enough to sit up and open my laptop.
David: Then I got bored in the hospital. I was told ... I thought I was gonna be in the hospital for a short while, and then I was told minimum 6-8 weeks, and I was like, "Oh no. I've gotta find something to do while I'm in here 'cause I'm gonna be bored to tears." I did not watch any "Judge Judy." I didn't do any of that stuff, because to me that's just a complete and utter waste of time. And so I did happen to watch the Astros. They are my team, I've watched them from a little kid. They were in the playoffs. That was exciting to me. They ended up winning the World Series,, as we all know in 2017. So I was in the hospital, I couldn't watch most of the games, because I just didn't feel good enough to sit up and watch the game. That's how bad a shape I was in while I was there.
David: But I started working on my LinkedIn campaign, because I knew I couldn't sit in the hospital and do nothing, so I started working on my LinkedIn campaign. And what I mean was, I had a presence on LinkedIn, probably like most guys do with their business. I went and signed up for LinkedIn and said, "Okay that's good." Well I have a friend who helped me while I was in the hospital start setting up invitations. You have to know who you want to invite to connect with. And so you have to start thinking about a lot of details. So while I was in the hospital, I started working on my business.
David: But something I did while I was in the hospital really changed everything. And it was reading Dan Kennedy's book, "The No B.S. Time Management for Entrepreneurs." And I can't recommend the book enough, because it was something I had heard Dan say. Everything in his book I had heard him say live at some point in a conference or another. When I read it I realized that I had my ears open and I was listening this time. Before I just heard it. I was ready to listen this time. And so within this book, he talks about how to manage your time to get the most productivity out of your time. Doing that I can share a couple of things, which is putting a "do not disturb" sign on your door and locking it when you want to get something done. Do not allow people to railroad your time. Stay the hell away from Facebook. Those are some good starters for ya.
David: I was really starting to get into my business, and I wanted to get my business ... When I got out of the hospital I wanted my business to be better than when I went into the hospital. Just like I wanted ME to be better when I got out of the hospital.
Randy: And do you feel that happened on both counts?
David: On both accounts absolutely. And that's where the analogy comes in with your health. It doesn't matter whether it's your personal health, or the health of your business. They both require maintenance and attention. And what I had to do for my health when I got out of the hospital, was I had to change my diet and start taking supplements to help my body heal itself. I kind of did the same thing for my business. When I got out of the hospital, I refused to let anybody steal time from me. Another one of Dan Kennedy's great quirks is he calls those "time vampires." Those are people that steal time from you that you'll never see again. So the time vampires had to come to an end. Which is, I don't care if it's looking on Facebook, or if it's talking on the phone. Something is stealing your time, which is stealing your productivity in your business.
Randy: Do you think that you almost needed that experience as an eye opener to make things better for your health and for your business?
David: I would love to tell you that's not true, but it is. And I think that's probably the human nature part of all of us. So I had seen my holistic doctor four years prior to getting the pancreatitis. Had I taken what she said and truly believed it and followed it as if my life depended on it, I never would have gone into the hospital with pancreatitis. But now that I'm out of the hospital, and I realize how severe my pancreatitis was, and what I have to do to make my life normal again, I will not ... And I tell my natural doctor this every time I visit. I follow your instructions as if my life depends on it.
David: And so the same can be said for your business. If you don't believe that you need to cut the waste and the fat out of your time in order to make yourself more productive, then you're going to end up in the business hospital. Where you have no money coming in, and a lot of money going out. And so that's kind of the scenario that most of us ... Its human nature. We don't believe it's going to happen to us. We don't think that we need to work that hard on it, when yeah you really do. And you truly have to believe that if you don't, you're gonna die. Your business is gonna die, or you're gonna die. If you don't have that anchor, you're not going to believe it, and you're not gonna get much done.
Randy: As you know, at the end of every episode we ask for an Insight2Go. So this is anything that's been on your mind lately that you wanna recommend or share.
David: Two things if I can. The first one is: Money is no longer my currency; time is. That speaks volumes, and it has to do with paying attention to value instead of price. We've all been taught to pay attention to price, and I believe the opposite is true. You will get a lot more out of life if you pay attention to value instead of trying to buy the cheapest thing.
David: The second thing I wanted to share with everyone is something that happened to my daughter this last week. My oldest daughter is in college, and she was studying engineering and wasn't quite sure what part of engineering she wanted to go into. She's in her third year of college. And she called me the other day so excited, and she said, "I found the love of my life." I said, "what are you talking about?" She goes, "What I wanna do." I said, "What you wanna do with what?" And she goes, "I want to be an ocean engineer. I can't believe that these people get paid for doing what they do. I would have done it for free." And I said, "You got it. That is exactly what you wanna do. You wanna find the love of your life. You wanna be able to do that the rest of your life and get paid." So find something you love doing and get paid for it. Wow, that's just like you've hit a grand slam home run.
Randy: I love that it was her third year when she came about ... There's so much pressure to know exactly your major, and your career path, and everything before you even finish your senior year of high school. So, the fact that she took that time to figure out specifically what her love is, that's great.
David: Well, and what's funny is, she had looked at ocean engineering early on and decided it wasn't for her. It wasn't until she saw a program about what ocean engineers were doing that she went, "Oh my goodness I could do this for the rest of my life."
Randy: Thank you again for being here, David. And we're glad that you are healthy and that your business is healthy. If people want to ask for help, is there a way they can get in touch with you?
David: They can either go to my website and get my contact information, or they can e-mail me directly. My website is www.shure-step.com. That's S-H-U-R-E-hyphen-S-T-E-P.com. Or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm only too happy to help other struggling entrepreneurs, because I was one of you.
Randy: Thank you so much, David. And thank you everybody for listening. For Howard Fox, I'm Randy Ford. We'll talk to you next time on the SuccessInSight podcast.
David DuPont is a business owner & entrepreneur, and inventor and best-selling author. David shares quite a few golden nuggets and some lessons he's learned along the way. His designs have helped hundreds of retirement communities, churches, and bus, truck & SUV owners to help their precious seniors board and disembark their vehicles. David invites you to visit him at https://shure-step.com
Randy Ford is the Founder of First Story Strategies. For more than two decades, Randy has been using storytelling as the basis for his work as a communications strategist, writer, editor, journalist, political strategist, media relations professional and events specialist. Randy invites you to visit him at https://firststorystrategies.com
Howard Fox is the President of Fox Coaching, Inc. and the Founder of the SuccessInSight Podcast. Howard is inspired by great leaders, no matter where they are in the organization or on their personal and professional development journey. Howard works with Business Owners and their teams to learn to lead and to work and thrive together. Howard invites you to visit him at https://foxcoaching.com.