What Buzz Aldrin Secretly Shared With Me After Asking Him The Question He HATES But Constantly Gets Asked
I’ll never forget the day I met Buzz Aldrin.
At our annual member event that we call the IT Sales And Marketing Boot Camp, I hired him to deliver a keynote speech to an audience of roughly 1,000 MSPs. Standing off to the side and watching him speak gave me chills. Here, on my stage, was a true, living legend — a bona fide American hero and passionate public servant who had dedicated his life to big achievements and the betterment of mankind through scientific breakthroughs.
I was very fortunate to spend several hours with him back in the hotel suite, where he talked about his life and history, but more importantly, his continued big plans for going to Mars — a dream he talked about with the unbridled excitement of a 6-year-old boy on Christmas Eve, even though he was 86 years “young” at the time. His T-shirt read, “Get Your Ass To Mars.”
After we’d talked for a while, I asked him a question that I’m sure he hates: Does it bother you that you will always be known as the second guy to walk on the moon?
His reply was pure Buzz (and I’m paraphrasing from memory): “If I hadn’t been able to successfully and safely land the module, no one would have been able to walk on the moon that day.”
There’s brilliance in that answer. In business, we, too, have to be able to “land” if we are going to succeed. In sales, we have to be able to land the sale. As owners, we have to be able to land our business plans, or they’re nothing but a wishful dream. We have to be able to land the key employee. We have to be able to land the interview, land the appointment, land the deal. Anyone can hope, wish, or dream about going to our own proverbial moon, but only those who can build a ship that will sustain the journey and land it get to enjoy fame and fortune.
Another big takeaway I got from Buzz is to THINK BIG.
It seems to me far too many people have meek ambition. They want to just “get by,” happy to be “good enough” and maintain the status quo. Sad. One of the greatest burdens to mankind is unfulfilled potential. Henry David Thoreau correctly observed that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” How is that possible when the masses have their most fundamental needs met? A safe home, food to eat, entertainment on demand, and a warm bed to sleep in. What desperation could they feel? The desperation of a meaningless, purposeless life they are meandering through.
Human beings extract meaning from setting big goals and putting our full and complete effort behind our achievement, not by “taking it easy” or “getting by.” We gain self-respect, confidence, and pride by going after something big. We’re inspired by people who seek excellence, achieve great things, and overcome impossible circumstances. A good question for you to ponder is this: What is your moon shot? What big goal or goals do you have for your life? Your business? Your wealth? Your health?
An easy, uneventful life is not all that exciting to live, and most of what you can get by setting your goals and standards low isn’t worth having. Big dreams — big goals — pull you forward and give you purpose, for when you are truly giving it your all, you will succeed and you will win.