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Happy Birthday, Robert D.

Posted by & filed under Entrepreneurship, Personal Growth.

NOTE: Robert D. Smith did not, in fact, write this post. Instead, it was written by me, Will Hoekenga, the guy who decided to steal Robert’s blog for the day. Don’t worry, I’ll be giving Robert his blog back eventually. But before I do, there are three important things you need to know. So read on.

Today is Robert D. Smith’s birthday, and I’m stealing his blog. Happy Birthday, Robert D.

Two questions you might have:

  • How did some random weirdo steal Robert’s blog?
  • Why would he do such a thing?

Okay, so technically I didn’t “steal” Robert’s blog. Actually, for over four years now, I’ve worked very closely with Robert in the content development and copywriting department.

I’m already responsible for posting the blog posts Robert writes into the actual blog editor, so I suppose it’s not stealing if Robert gave me the login information.

Anyway, onto the reason why I’m writing this. In a few short weeks, I will no longer be officially working with Robert. I’m starting a new copywriting job with an incredible startup company called LeadPages (which we’ve actually been using for several months as customers).

So, before I go, I wanted to tell Robert the three most important lessons I learned in 4+ years of working with him. However, as I was writing them out, I realized something—why not pass these lessons along to the people who can most directly benefit from learning them like I did…Robert’s readers!

And I couldn’t think of a better day to drop a surprise right on Robert’s head than his own birthday. :-)

So without further delay, I present you with the three most important things I’ve learned from Robert (and there just miiiiiight be another extra surprise you’re going to want to see at the end of the post):

1. The “one thing” is everything.

In the four years I’ve worked with Robert, he has released/overseen the release of:

  • Eight print books published through a major publisher (each with its own corresponding audiobook read by the author)
  • Eight self-published ebooks
  • Three audio programs
  • Two majorly large online courses
  • A typographic print
  • Too many new websites and versions of websites to count
  • An entirely new brand (TheRobertD.com)

All while managing a speaker who has done over 50 engagements per year for all four of those years, overseeing and negotiating several ongoing deals to develop books into movies, investing in an awesome startup company started by a couple of guys he personally mentored, dealing with a crazy medical situation, and investing countless hours into coaching others on their businesses.

This is a long way of saying that Robert always makes sure there’s a lot of stuff happening.

For a long time, this was frustrating for me. Why couldn’t we just take our time to focus on one thing and make it the absolute best it can possibly be instead of focusing on 20 projects at once?

Because even the best home run hitters strike out more often than they hit home runes.

That’s why the best way to hit a home run isn’t to give it one shot where you swing as hard as you ever possibly could—the best way to hit a home run is to give yourself as many chances as possible to swing.

Even if you build something amazing, there’s still no guarantee it will succeed. That’s why there is no “one thing” that will change your business (and you should run from people who say there is).

The one thing is everything.

2. The only metric that matters is money.

The very first email I received from Robert came the day after we first met. I had agreed to do a small editing project for him. I was still in college and this was the first “real” freelance opportunity that had ever come my way.

The email included this line:

“I did tell you I would pay you for your review. Call me so we can discuss money.”

At the time, the thought of discussing money made my stomach turn. I was so happy about the opportunity I would have done it for free. Why focus on the money? It felt so sleazy.

But Robert was different. Robert absolutely loved talking about money. Big amounts, small amounts, whatever. It made him light up.

Not because it meant more cars, nicer houses, or elaborate vacations, but because it meant more impact—more books in the hands of more readers and more speeches in front of more eyes.

And, above all else, more months that he would be in business.

After all, you never hear about people failing because they were making plenty of money but just couldn’t get enough Twitter followers to stay in business. Or website traffic. Or Amazon reviews.

With thousands of things to measure, it’s easy to get sidetracked from the most important metric of all. If you want your business to impact people, it has to survive first.

Don’t ignore the money because it feels uncomfortable. Embrace it.

3. Whatever you’re doing is not worth doing unless you have to be doing it.

Robert calls this having to have a “have to.” (Say that five times fast.)

I’ve come to believe this is the single hardest task a person can attempt. It’s hard enough just to find the thing you “have to” do. It’s even harder to then actually go do it.

Why? Because of the two previous things we discussed in this post:

  1. The amount of work involved to pull it off (the “everything” involved)
  2. The uncertainty of how you’ll make money doing your “have to”

Those two questions apply to all kinds of “have to”s, not just business ones.

Some people’s “have to” involves becoming a mom or a dad—a decision that always produces financial uncertainty and a whole lot of “everything” tasks from what I’ve heard.

Sometimes the game becomes how to survive in spite of your “have to”…just ask a teacher.

If you’re looking for a way to discover your “have to,” or if you already know what it is and you’re trying to determine how you’re going to find a way to do it every single day, you’ve come to the right place.

Because Robert has been doing his “have to” for so long that he forgets he’s even doing it. He does it because it’s simply become what he does. That’s why his office is in his bedroom (trust me, it’s way cooler than it sounds).

And it’s also why I’m about to do something that may or may not get me into some hot water. :-)

Get a Free Coaching Session with Robert D. Smith

I’m going to give Robert a “reverse birthday gift” of sorts.

I’m going to give everyone reading this post the opportunity to win a free 1-on-1 45-minute coaching session via phone with Robert.

The subject of the call? That’s up to you. It can be anything from your business, to the book you’re trying to publish, to the speaking career you’re trying to launch, to the process of living out your “how to.”

All you have to do to enter is simply leave a comment below that answers the following question:

How would you benefit from a coaching session with Robert?

A few words of advice on how to write a great entry: Be as specific and thorough as possible. What results are you after? Include it all in your comment. We want details!

(And, of course, bonus points to anyone who gives Robert a creative “Happy Birthday” message along with your answer.)

On Wednesday, May 7, we’ll announce the winner right here around noon Central time.

So get to work on those answers! I promise the 45 minutes you spend talking to Robert will be one of the most valuable 45-minute periods of your life.

Will Hoekenga is a copywriter and the founder of Copygrad.com. Click here to grab a free copy of his ebook, The Copywriter’s Library, the only book about writing officially endorsed by Robert D. Smith.

Update and Winner Announcement from Robert D.

WOW. First of all, a major Thank-YOU to everyone for the birthday wishes! I’m beyond honored by all your thoughts and wishes.

The reason why I am just now responding is because I was truly more unplugged than I have been in a long time over the past five days. I was spending time with family in Charlotte, North Carolina, where there were many celebrations, meals with dessert eaten first, and tipping points for major ideas that are coming soon.

So, again, thank-YOU!

There were so many outstanding comments that choosing a winner was very difficult. So difficult, in fact, that my team and I came up with an extra surprise we believe will be highly valuable for everyone who entered (so don’t stop reading if you don’t see your name below)!

Before we get to that, however, I’d like to announce the winner:

NR Johnson

Congratulations, NR Johnson!! I’m very much looking forward to talking to you. To schedule the call, please email Chase@TheRobertD.com with the subject line “45-Minute Coaching Call Contest.”

As for all the other awesome entrants, here’s what I want to do for you—a free, limited access webinar designed to help you specifically plan the most important aspects of your life. It will be 30-45 minutes of the same intensive life-planning strategies and systems I’ve implemented in my life and business + at least 30 more minutes of Q&A where you can ask me anything.

I’m going to be sending out a registration email in the next few weeks, but I will not be sending it to my entire email list. So, if you want to be sure you receive the registration email, simply click here and let me know you want to be on the special list!

I’m so excited about this. Again, major thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes and for entering into the contest!

Click here to make sure you’re part of the upcoming webinar.

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  • Chris Meyers

    Happy Birthday!

  • piercemarrs

    45 Minutes with one of the smartest, energetic leaders I have ever met? This a no lose situation for whoever wins this. I would spend this time allowing Robert to help me clarify the most important next step to take my writing and speaking to next level.

  • Kathleen Thompson

    Happy birthday, Robert! So glad you get to count this day as another day here on this earth. I cannot tell you how much your 20000 Days book has impacted how I think about my life. I am a bit past that mark now and want to make however many I have left count in a big way. So not only do I wish you an awesome birthday celebration, complete with cake first, but I also thank you for the gift that you are. I would love to coach with you. I have started a blog and podcast about making your life sing, and would appreciate some insight into how to best move forward.
    Celebrate big, brother! You deserve it

  • Nick

    Great post! Happy birthday Robert!

    45 minutes with Robert? Hmmm wow!
    I would benefit in several ways. 1st: I believe the conversation would help me to get over some of my fears as it relates to my life’s calling. 2nd: it would give me a fresh perspective on how to focus on my goals when everything else is pulling at me. 3rd: it would help me to understand that he actually cares. Most producers are like jets leaving the cars parked on the street and never come down to see about us. What is th air like up there? 4th: I would benefit by getting a fresh quote from Robert to include in my new book. 5th: he could help me develop a subtitle for my new book. 6th: maybe if the conversation goes well enough he might even consider writing my forward or endorsing it in someway.

    All in all I believe personal connections are what expose us to new levels of living. I am determined to grow and know a 45 minute conversation with Robert would help me tremendously.



  • Darnella

    Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday Dear Robert D., Happy Birthday to YOU! Now imagine that in your favorite singer’s voice ;-). Here’s to many more…And, a day filled with everything that makes you smile…Be Blessed.

  • Maralee McKee

    Happy Birthday, Robert! What a joyous reason for celebration, it’s the start of a brand new year where each day is full of brand new possibilities. I’m excited for you and wish you a year of perfect health, fun challenges, and unparalleled success!

    (BTW, you share your birthday with my father, a professional musician now retired, who use to tour the nation with Danny Thomas, Lawrence Welk, and Jayne Mansfield. The two of you would love talking to one another. You share a similar energy!)

    If I could talk with you one-on-one for 45-minutes I would write out the exact questions and send them to you in advance so each minute of our conversation could be spent making forward momentum.

    All the questions would be about a large manners curricula project for children and teens in grades kindergarten through second, third through fifth, and six through eighth. It’s already written, professionally edited, and copy-edited. The illustration lists are made, the character illustrations have all been approved, the illustrators have been hired. The same is true in terms of graphic art. I wrote, hired and oversaw the project as a team of one.

    I’ve put it on hold because I don’t know how to have sources to print, store, and send out the project. I’m also in need of advice of how to best proceed with spreading the word that the project exists. It’s going to need a national sales team, or something that will take the place of a sales team.

    It’s a high ticket item limited to 5000 purchasers. I write books and blogs and all of that is easy compared to this. Yet, this project is THE reason I was put on earth. Because I KNOW that, it’s frustrating, to put it mildly, to have come so far, worked so hard, and not be able to bring it to the marketplace for the lack of a limited bit of knowledge that I know for Robert is top of mind. (For a sneak peak you can check out a website that’s not complete because the project isn’t complete. However, it will give you a 99 percent understanding of the project and it’s scope. You can find it at http://www.BecomeAMannersMentor.com.)

    You said be as detailed as possible. That’s detailed!

    Regardless of winning or not, Happy, Happy Birthday, Robert! May you be especially blessed this year!

    All my best,

  • Jim Sumsion

    Happy 21,550!! I’ve listened to your audio book of 20,000 Days and Counting twenty seven times now, and continue to benefit every time. I’ve given a copy to each of my 7 children, and have encouraged many of my colleagues to get a copy of their own. In many ways, it’s the enthusiasm and emphasis from your voice that lights me up, every time I press play. As I have implemented the things you teach, it has helped prepare me for the next time through. Based on that interesting phenomenon, I think I can honestly say that I don’t really know all of the ways I would benefit from a 45 minute phone interview with you, just like it is impossible to see the end of the ripples from a pebble dropped into a pool of water. The quality of the interview would largely depend on the quality of my questions for you. The first question I’m asking myself, is “What could I ask Robert D. Smith that would still be making a positive difference 200 years from now?” I’ll be giving it some more thought while I’m weeding the raspberry patch, and will make another post.

  • From one Smith to another, Happy Birthday Robert D! I pray that God would grant you many more incredible years of those “one things” – for your sake and for ours!

  • humbleservant

    Happy Birthday, Robert!
    I would love 45 minutes with Robert because I just turned 51 years old on Friday and I woke up actually living Billy Crystal’s life in City Slickers. I have a beautiful wife, two beautiful kids, a nice house, and nice career but somehow with all of these gifts, I feel “lost.” 45 minutes with Robert would be much, much better than a cattle drive in several ways: 1) I wouldn’t have to fly to New Mexico; 2) it wouldn’t take two weeks; and 3) no saddle sores.
    Thank you, Robert for all you do. Have a great birthday.

    • This definitely wins “Best Movie Reference” of the comments section so far. :-)

  • Happy Happy Birthday The RobertD! How many days and still counting???

    Love your blog and love Copygrad.com too – have learned a great deal from you both.

    What would I do with 45 minutes with Robert? I mean a 45 minute call… I would ask for direction and wisdom.

    I am married, self employed – I own two real estate offices — just finished my bachelors degree after a 24 year hiatus and am starting on my masters degree next Monday. Yet, I am restless and feel like I am being called to do something MORE.

    But what?

    I have thought about starting an online store of some sorts as I love the Internet, social media, online marketing… I have thought about assisting others as a life coach… I would love to be a college professor but at 45 years old have no idea how to break into that competitive field…. I have a knack for research and writing.

    So.. Robert D, you see… I need your time … to help me focus my mind!

    • Thanks for reading and for the kind words! And congrats on your businesses and recent degree. Sounds like you have a lot going on!

  • Robert Kowalski

    Well the comment section is going to explode :)

    Happy Birthday Robert! I wish you minimum of 18 250 days more be added to your count :)

    Well how would I use this 45 minutes of RobertD time?
    I am still young so I will seek for guidance from somebody much smarter then me.
    I am in my late twenties, finishing my bachelor degree in finance, interested in trading, behavioral finance, graphic design and optimizing my life.

    I live by David Allen Getting Things Done system and I still can not do it all. Or rather what is most important in my life. Which steps should I take? RobertD to the rescue? :)

    From podcasts I can hear how great guy He is and his brands are outstanding. It would be pleasure and great honor to have talk with him.

  • It would be really interesting to know what Robert is doing for his birthday while his blog is being hijacked…and his reaction! :) Happy Birthday, Robert!

    If I had 45 minutes with Robert, I would want to talk about how I can help and serve him. In doing so, I think I would find greater clarity on what I have to offer the world and what my must do is. I’m getting closer day by day, but the talk would put the cherry on top!

    • I’m interested in what his reaction will be too, James. :-)

      • Shelley Hess

        An epilogue would be fun….

  • Will, You did a tremendous job with this post, and I would gladly join you in singing off-key to wish Robert a Very Happy Birthday!

    Robert – No Brand is an Island (especialy chp. 9 – wow!) AND 20,000 Days have both been inspiring and thought-provoking reads, and I have become a huge fan of your insights and information.

    That said, I am thrilled at the prospect of having you invest 45 minutes into clarifying my “branding.” An individualized coaching session would beenefit me in two very valuable ways…

    First, it would be terrific to connect and begin a more personal relationship with someone I respect as a true encourager.
    Second, I believe a session with you would help me to identify and better connect with my ideal audience. (I am presently working to complete the last few chapters of my second book on building great teams, and a third book, on continuous improvement and “staying coachable,” it is already in outline form).
    Robert, just as you saw potential in Andy Andrews in working to make The Traveler’s Gift a reality on bookshelves, I believe that I have a collection of impactful messages that you can help me to share with people. My background as an educator, coach, facilitator, and speaker has always been based on serving and encouraging others to lead from where they are – and with your help I am confident that we could make an even greater contribution to the teammates and leaders I am passionate about helping.
    I truly look forward to our conversation-

  • 48DaysDan

    Robert – I had a reminder of your birthday pop up on my phone early this morning so I’ll just follow the crowd in wishing you a big Happy Birthday right here.

    Man I’d love to have Robert’s wisdom for 45 minutes to help me have some new “eyes” in looking at our 48Days.net community. We now have over 14,000 members and I feel like I’m no longer the leader but just a shepherd boy. That’s okay but I don’t think I’m serving the brightest and best that well. I want to see ways to have it continue to be the best focal point – not just for beginners, but for those who rise and shine as well.

  • Bruce Pittman

    Happy Birthday to you Robert! My voice is just one of a multitude of people whose lives have been blessed by you through your books, blog and in many other ways, such as Andy’s speaking engagements.
    It is very generous of you to do this reverse birthday deal. Thanks for offering. You ought to do this every year. I’m game if you are. : )
    If I had the chance to speak with you (& I have actually wished for that), I would want your input on my present vocational situation. I just recently self-published a book (which I mailed to you and Andy) and am enjoying the writing world greatly. However transitioning to that career is something I am hesitant to do, namely due to financial challenges. What kind of advice would you offer? Also, how do I get this message into the hands of publishers and more readers. I believe deeply in the message that GOD has birthed in me and I want to share it with many who are discouraged. Not only would your input help me, but it would help many who are struggling. I look forward to hearing from you or Will, if you don’t fire him.

  • I love the work of Robert. If I had the chance to win the coaching session, here are a few ways I would benefit from it (and what I’d desire to learn):

    H – How to manage a brand with high intensity. I just started to oversee the product development of an organization as well as direct organizational operations in the background … so how do I manage the brand practically with full intensity, yet still give attention to every detail

    A – Appreciation. I would love to articular my appreciation to Robert and the work he is doing.

    P – Product Management. Learning how to juggle and move forward a variety of projects would be a blessing.

    P – People not just projects. How do you balance a care for the people and getting things done?

    Y – You (me) time. As a single man in my 30s, how do I structure my life in such a way to not always be about work. I am a workaholic by nature (and preference) so I love to give everything to my job – but that often means I don’t schedule time for rest, refocus, etc. Since Robert has a few more years of working this out pacifically, I’d love to hear thoughts from his own life.


    Thanks for the post, the opportunity to enter to win, and foremost, thank you Robert for all you do (and your example of excellence, energy, and focus). Hope you have a tremendous birthday which outshines the first 20,000+ days! =)

    • Congrats NR!

    • Great post and congrats on winning!

    • Shelley Hess

      Ditto! Congratulations NR!!! Really enjoyed YOUR post!

    • Jim Sumsion

      Although you can’t see or hear me, I just gave you a standing ovation for a fantastic post, with several wooooo hooooo’s. Congratulations!

    • Maralee McKee

      Congratulations, NR! May your time with Robert be especially blessed!

    • Brian & Sara Calhoun

      Congratulations NR! Great post and I know you’ll receive exactly what you’re excepting and then some. Blessings to you and your future endeavors!

  • Happy Birthday, from one “D” to another. I would find it difficult to imagine more value than he has already given me from 20,000 Days and Counting and No Brand is an Island – I’d be greedy to take the opportunity away from another. However – next time Robert is in South Florida, I love to grab dessert!

  • Kevin Burr

    Great post, Will. And a huge Happy Birthday to you, Bob! Hope you’re eating nothing but dessert today.

  • curtisrose

    i just lost about a half hours work 2-finger typing my entry which disappeared when i tried to post it; so how about just letting me know how much 45 minutes with Robert D would simply cost me? i am open to that kind of expense because i believe him to be an honest and Godly person, and i really do need some insight on “how to look for my next step?” Will, i think You had a really bright idea, and i’d be surprised if You do not ‘go far’. Hope Robert D had a magnificent Birthday!

  • Jenn Burwell

    45 minutes on the phone with TheRobertD. Um, yeah! Ok, so I am still trying to figure out my “have to”. I think that I am close. I am most energized by interacting with bookstores, libraries and church library ministry(CLM). With trepidation, I agreed to teach and facilitate a few sessions of CLM. I was not sure that I would enjoy that or if I could even do it. It happened this past Saturday and the answer to both was a yes! So how do I make CLM more of my life? Well, I am an officer on the state level already (hence the above request). Do I want to pursue an Masters Degree of Library Science? Required if I wanted to be a public or school librarian but CLM does not have any such requirement. Would it be beneficial though? Of our recent 6 officers, only 1 has had that level of education. Mind you this is all volunteer. I do have a full time job and all the other responsibilities that comes from being a 46 yr old daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, child of the One True King, encourager, nurturer, choir member, missionary (1 week a year), etc. I have loved books forever. I have worked in bookstores and libraries most of my early life. I worked in the jr high library so that I could read the books faster. I worked in the sr high library because I loved being there. I worked at Waldenbooks stores in Frederick, MD and Pittsburgh, PA. I worked at The Library Corporation learning about how automation helped libraries by manning their help desk. Then i became a secretary to make ends meet and have done that for the past 17 years. Library has taken 2nd place at best. Fallen of the shelf of my life sometimes at worst. Yet whenever I meet with CLM folks for a workshop, a regional event, a planning meeting or even just for dinner, I am rejuvenated. So what do you think, Mr. TheRobertD.

    Oh, btw: I pray that your day was fabulously full of faith, family, friends and fun!

  • Happy Birthday, Robert!

    It’s only in the last year I learned of Andy Andrews — easily my favorite speaker — and thus Robert’s work as a manager. Thank you for demystifying the artist / manager relationship and shedding light on what is typically a black box no one discusses. As you’ve said, proper execution is still incredibly rare, so it doesn’t matter how much you share with others. Your insights have been very valuable to me and my wife!

    I had just crossed 10,000 days when I read 20,000 Days, and it kicked me into gear. My wife Lisa and I are now on fire to create and develop our brand as “Team Ralon” — a husband and wife duo known for A) minimizing hassle for professionals so they can do what they love, and B) sharing resources and tools to help them work in their strengths. We are both incredibly passionate about enhancing the efforts of others while evoking passion for personal growth.

    Thank you for inspiring, encouraging, and pulling us, Robert!

  • Brandon Triola

    Great post, Will! Perfectly articulated.

  • Brian & Sara Calhoun

    45 minutes to spend with The Robert D would be nothing short of a phenomenal dream come true. Andy Andrews is not only one of my favorite authors, he IS my favorite author. Therefore, understanding that you, Robert have shaped Andy’s very successful “career,” as y’all affectionately call it :), I would relish the privilege of spending this generous amount of time with you. I want to help people discover life and impact eternity . . . one life at a time! Thus, Robert with your uber-positive attitude and creative personality, I could learn how to most effectively help others uncover their potential and live it out . . .one moment at a time. May your 21,550th Day–YOUR BIRTHDAY BE EXTRAORDINARY! Happy Birthday and as always, eat dessert first! Blessings my Friend!

  • James Divine

    A free coaching session with THE Robert D would be awesome! I’ve been influencing lives for three decades and am realizing this next phase of life can be my most powerful. I wrote two books in 2013 and have been speaking on the topic of both of those.

    My struggle is what route is the best one for me to take in this next phase. I love what I do teaching high school music. I feel a call to teach at the college level, but keep facing closed doors due to a lack of a doctoral degree, which is not an option at this time, but maybe that call I feel will just involve teaching seminars at colleges, which I am qualified to teach.

    Thanks for ,considering me,

    James Divine
    Music educator
    Son of God

  • Wes Cline

    Happy Birthday Robert!! To my old college roommate who started selling and recruiting in college and who sold me on signing up to be an Amway rep when I didn’t really want to. Still am amazed at how persuasive he was and continues to be . Not surprised at his level of accomplishment. I’d like 45 minutes to discuss my Have To’s and hear his assesment.

  • Will-Thanks for the great post, and Robert, thank you for the amazing ability to distill things down to their most common denominator. I have read your books, followed your blog, and each day I look forward to the next one! Robert has taught me the importance of discernment, by cutting through to the heart of the matter each and every time. His emphasis on focus in a variety of different ways always packs the one-two punch I need. Happy Birthday and many blessings!

  • dru wood

    ThrougH a 1:1 coAching session with the Proven thought Process of the verY capable
    Robert D., I could get the Best
    high-level overvIew on how to proceed
    in cReating my platform, in addition
    to promoTing, Hand-delivering and Differentiating
    my services from the rest; Attracting
    mY ideals clients by THE D.ozen!

    • dru wood

      look closely…

  • Jenny Feely

    For a long time I had been thinking: “Why should the monsters get all the good stories? Why not ordinary kids who if they only believe in themselves can do extraordinary things? And why is ‘saving the world’ never about actually saving the world? Where has the hope gone?” It took me nine years to get the courage to write it — my first novel — then 5 months to write it, edit it, learn to believe in it. Now my baby is ready to face the world, but I need some clues as to the best way to help my child flourish in a world awash with words. Even writing this to you makes me think that my courage is growing. So your birthday is a blessing to me. Happy birthday Robert: look back; look forward, live laugh and love.
    Jenny Feely

  • Joyfarm

    I wish you the Happiest of birthdays to you Robert (we both
    share the same birthday). I have read your book the 20,000 Days and Counting. I
    think it is a book that has changed the way I think of my life and my accomplishments.
    Every day counts and we do have a limited number of days on this planet.

    What I would like to talk to Robert about is how I can break out of my career choice. I really love/enjoy my job and I am good at it, but it is very physical and I realize that I cannot do this type of job for the next 15 years due to issues with my feet (I have no desire to relocate due to my church and family plus there is no clear career path in this job). I have a great family and home life I am active in my community and church. I head a Father Son Maker group that helps fathers build better relationships thru building and crafting things.

    So my life is satisfying and rewarding, but I have real concerns about my feet not being up to the physicality of my profession. I need a plan and some insights into my career path. I have started to build my Linkedin profile and I am now blogging my interests which

    include reading, learning, making things, and acquiring and building my speaking and teaching skills.

    Thanks for all the great blog posts.


  • Bob

    Nice post! And happy birthday!

  • Shawna Espiritu

    First and foremost, HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT D! I am not sure if Robert recalls my first e-mail to him. I stumbled across a podcast on a station I had never heard of and found out he was the force behind Andy Andrews for many years. I was scheduled to see Andy speak that following week. I felt magnetized from that point to find out more about Robert. I subscribed to his blogs, listened to other podcasts, downloaded his Battle-Tested Branding ebook. I just recently emailed Robert about my mother. My mother has a rare eye disease. They told her she would be blind by 40 and is now 55. She is the most incredible woman I know (most of us can say that about our mothers!) Despite her disease, she has never fallen victim nor believed she would lose her sight. I truly believe that is why she still has a bit of her sight left. We are heading to Visions 2014 to learn more about the gene therapy and trials being done for her eye disease because we know there is a cure in the very near future. I believe I stumbled on Robert D’s podcast that day for a reason. He put a smile on my face just through his voice and I couldn’t wait to share this with my mom! The fact is, my mom and I have discussed writing a book but don’t know where to begin. She wants to be able to share her journey with this eye disease and how it’s changed her life, she wants to share all the things she would want to do with her vision, she wants my incite on how its affected my life as well and what I’ve learned from having a mother. I know this, she started college at 50 years old, is now straight A’s, it’s incredibly difficult for her to get around, let alone read and write papers and look at a board to copy math problems. She struggles but she’s a fighter… and she wants to share that with others. I am so proud of my mom and all that she has accomplished! Robert would give us incredible insight and advice as to where to go with this idea. We would like proceeds go toward helping the Foundation for Fighting Blindness. The foundation she has followed for research for over 20 years! I’d love this opportunity!!!

  • gabbygirl123

    Happy Birthday Robert!!! I remember reading your book, submitting the month, the day and the year I was born. Sobering to realize the days I had already lived. Your book will be one along with “Tuesdays with Moorie” that I will read over and over. We aren’t promised tomorrow, so we need to live for today and live out with intention and to the calling God has called us to. I am at a point in my business that I am stuck, not sure which direction to go. A coaching session with you would be most helpful. But for today we celebrate you. Happy Birthday!!!

  • Kevin Jennings

    Happy Birthday, Mr. Smith! Thanks for freely sharing all the lessons you learned the hard way. I appreciate your generosity and candor.

  • Shelley Hess

    Absolutely foremost HAPPY BLESSED BEST-OF-THE-BEST-EVER BIRTHDAY ROBERT!!!!! And Thank YOU Will, for reminding us of this special day on which we sooo wanted to acknowledge Robert. Busyness had this escaping the grey cells today but Will to the rescue!

    In answer to how we (David and Shelley are ONE :-) ) would benefit from a 45 minute coaching session with Robert, I begin by saying adequate words do not exist to express the benefit we know today from having met and spent time with Robert!!!

    There is not one molecule of flattery in this statement when I say that we will never meet a finer man in our lives. I believe Robert’s book 20,000 Days describes in every word far better than I ever could exactly the man that Robert is! It’s simply heaven on earth to be around his incredible positive energy, enthusiasm, joy for life, gratitude in all things, humour (I should say HUMOUR), very serious “Get To It and Do It Right, Because You Really Totally CAN!” unboundingly encouraging take on life. Did I mention determination, tenacity, love for and trust in Jesus…. the list simply has no end!!!

    We would sooooo benefit from 45 minutes to listen AND speak encouragement into this precious Brother’s life. We’d come armed with great questions. About business because we love business. But possibly more about life, and living out our shared faith, because we too LOVE LIFE WITH A PASSION UNBOUNDED!!!

    We’d much rather be GIVING TO Robert. Lord willing, that would be the case, a mutual exchange!!. In doing so we’d be bouncing ideas back and forth about living out our “how to” because our lives are THE BEST EVER, which means we’re sponges for learning more. More about how to live. And give. And give some more!!!

    SO, all that said, ROBERT, WE PRAY YOU ARE HAVING THEEEEE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER, WITH all those near and dear to you!!!!! You’re the BEST, BRO!!!!! Enjoy your 5/5/55 day and the awesome count UP!!!!!

    Oh, and Will, we KNOW you will be missed, yet also celebrated for and in this new season of your life. GOD BLESS YOU as you travel onward, celebrating EVERY MOMENT to the max!! Thanks for all we’ve received at your hand!!!!!

  • First, I want to wish Robert a happy birthday, I thought we shared a birthday (May 6th). I have loved all that Robert has already done for me as I have taken steps I would never have dared take after reading 20,000 days and counting AND his blog posts. . When I first met Robert a number of years ago at a Ken Davis Summit event, I really only knew that he was Andy’s agent but since that time I have followed him and love his posts and tweets.

    I have even put some of the principles in 20,000 days into my marriage of 12007 days. Yes we celebrated a year ago.

    I would like to have a coaching session with Robert to ask him some questions about the direction I am moving as I try to relaunch myself in a different type of public speaking. I know I need to refine my message but I could sure use some help. I’ll pay for the phone call.

  • Shawn

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROBERT!!! Simply, may every day going forward (because it’s the only direction to live) be celebrated as a Holiday! The results I’m after? Momentum that rolls into continuous action and becomes just that – results. Not just peddling words and generating false hope. It’s also not about motivating people (be inspired, but motivation is a personal thing that comes from within). It’s creating a platform that gets the momentum ball rolling in people’s lives. That assists people in building a bridge from where they are, to the vision of where they want to go. My platform vision is to be that Momentum Speaker and Coach. A bridge builder! The hard truth is that the path to success (whatever a person’s definition of that may be) is the road less traveled. Or in this case, the bridge not often built and crossed. The “tools” to build this bridge are belief, perseverance, and discipline. The courage to stand out. Be part of my vision Robert and lets build a bridge in showing people that they are the ones that can (and will) make the biggest difference in their own lives.

  • NLChennault

    First off, a simple Happy Birthday! Be proud of everyday you have lived, and thankful you have another.

    If I had 45 minutes I would talk about starting my next nonprofit shelter. My first venture in the nonprofit world did not work because of many things that are all too clear now. So now how do we re-assess, refocus, and start again? Not forgetting the stress it out my family through the first time around.

  • Vee Linton

    Happy Birthday to you Robert! I am so excited for the opportunity to win 45 minutes with Robert D. I have been alive 20,051 days and quickly approaching 20,052. I can’t think of a more perfect birthday gift to myself then a session with you. I don’t want another day to pass without realizing my dream of becoming a full time novelist. I have written a fictional book called Paper Or Plastic and published it with Amazon. Now what? I’ve built a website to help promote myself but if you build it, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will come. I live my life with gratitude and without knowing how many days I may have left, I want to live out those days with passion and all the knowledge I can get in 45 minutes from Robert D.

  • Maureen Horn

    Dear Robert, I am sure I am not the only Juan to wish you a very Happy Cinco De Mayo Birthday. I hope you have been having a wonderful day.
    I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed hearing you and Andy Andrews on In the Loop with Andy Andrews Pod Cast. I listen as I pull weeds in the garden and have been saving up episodes to listen to since spring is in the air. It makes weeding so much more enjoyable.
    I work in a school with special education kids and started later in life because I dedicated my younger years to my family. My last one is graduating high school this year.
    It is time for me to concentrate on building up my retirement income to a greater level. I have a home based business which has given me the opportunity to hear Andy Andrews speak in person several times. My question is, ” How do you learn to read people?” I want to find out what they are thinking so that I don’t muddle through rejection after rejection with a defeatist attitude?” I want to be sensitive to their needs but I don’t know if they are being honest with me. Do you use a phrase that will prove to others that I have their best interest at heart? I would also like to develop thick skin to the rejection. Family members think I am crazy but they don’t and won’t see what I know to be true. By the way, I shared the “20,000 Days and Counting” with a teacher that I highly respect where I work, and I don’t think she ever read it. Yep, discouraging! I hope to hear from you soon. I hope this reached you before midnight your time.

  • Hiram Torres

    Happy B-day Robert, wishing you the best, and many more years, so you can continue to spread knowledge to many people around the world. Now, with this opportunity that has been presented on today’s blog, at first I didn’t feel like giving it a shot, in trying to win a phone conversation. But at the end of the day I can only win by giving myself the opportunity to take some time and respond to the question above. The question is very simple “How would I benefit from….”, well I am 21 years of age and see myself as a motivator and inspirational speaker at times. I tend to paraphrase many authors or philosophers from books that I read to the people that I speak with. I would greatly benefit from speaking with you by learning new things, and overall motivating myself to continue doing what I am striving for….want to know what it is? call me :) Not that I am special from others, but in today’s society I do not see many young people striving for new concepts in opening their minds and creating inner wealth and generating happiness. I would surely appreciate a talk with you Robert, so I can gather more knowledge and clarify certain concepts to help future generations. I do see myself creating a better world for myself and those around me. Until then, have a great day. Thank you for taking the time and reading this.

  • Happy belated birthday Robert!

  • First of all, I’m officially renaming the holiday Cinco de Roberto.

    Happy Birthday to you my friend!!

    45 minutes with THE Robert D would be like flying to Degobah to spend some time with Master Yoda. Being the Jedi Master of effective and efficient living, Robert has the wisdom AND experience to help me launch my brand – Matt Ham – Living Richly.

    I can even hear him saying, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

    My first book ‘You Make My Life Rich’ is currently in editing with a planned release date in August of this year. I am currently working on a study guide to accompany the book, a RICH assessment for my readers, and a podcast to feature their stories of richness. Additionally, I am booking speaking engagements at colleges across the southeast as well as churches, businesses, etc.

    Robert’s strengths meet my needs head on. Effective and efficient time management in the business of ME. With so much competing for my attention and my energy, I constantly have to say, “What’s now?” And, “What’s next?” In these early stages of preparation, planning, and doing I would greatly benefit from Robert helping me prioritize the process.

    My confidence in the Force is strong, but I need someone to help me master using it. As we know too well, there is a Dark Side that many fall prey to.

    (My apologies, but when you mix ‘May the 4th be with you’ and Cinco de Roberto you get a Star Wars themed proposal for a coaching session with The Robert D!)

  • Quite simply, I want to have the passion, fire and enthusiasm that Robert embodies on a daily basis. I am a solo-preneur, quite by accident, who has the drive and desire to do whatever it takes to avoid the corporate 9-5. I have escaped it, for now, and I would like to keep it that way. I am well aware that hard work, strong branding and consistency are needed to get there. I believe 45 minutes with Robert could be the catalyst that propels my business and myself to the next level. To the next dimension even.

    Steve Jobs said to a graduating class at Stanford: “Stay hungry, stay foolish.” I got kicked out of high school for hacking and then came back to finish my masters degree 14 years later with top honors. I am both hungry and foolish; a bit scruffy but ready for the road ahead.

    As for birthday wishes: It is my hope that you spent it with friends and family and most importantly ate desert first.

  • Lou Landau

    Happy Birthday Robert, thank you Will.
    I would re-read the book 2 times before our phone meeting, get really clear on my next life goals, to make optimum use of our precious few minutes together. Looking forward.

  • Zainab Habib

    Happy birthday Robert! I hope it’s filled with love, laughter, and cake! :)
    I recently got let go from my job and now have the opportunity to redefine my career again. I admit I’m not sure how to go about it – about how to really find what I’m truly passionate about – and I’m doubting my own experiences and expertise at this point. A 45 minute coaching session with someone this inspirational would surely be helpful to see where my career could go in the broader scheme of things, especially in terms of how Robert suggests in his book. Thanks!

  • Mari Larson

    Happy BIrthday Mr. Robert D! I hope you had an awesome and lovely day!.
    I have been blessed with approx 13,000 thousand days on this lovely and amazing journey we call life :) and I am looking forward with an open, optimistic and loving heart and mind for the future. How would I benefit from his couching?
    First, it will be a one of a kind experience! :)
    Listening to his wise words would have a deep effect on me, that will motivate me, inspire me and reinforce what I have learned through his book; and by achieving this I will be able to instill this learning and teachings in others around me. To help them to LIVE life! to take advantage of every opportunity and every blessing!

  • Joshua Swift

    Happy Belated Birthday Robert D! I have been a fan of Andy Andrews for 5-6 years, but just learned about you and your wealth of wisdom a year ago. Since then I’ve read 20,000 days and Counting and been awe-struck by your enthusiasm for life! Learning about your physical ailments has only increased my appreciation for your upbeat attitude and zest for life!
    45 Minutes with you would be an honor and a life-changing experience. I want to my work and personal life to the next level. I have been blessed by God with a great marriage to my beautiful wife and soulmate (same woman) for 11 plus years and have two beautiful young children (6 and 3 years old). I have a great job and I’m in a job that takes most people 20 years to reach and I got there in 5 years.
    Saying all that, I want to take it to the next level. God has blessed me with talent and I know I need to use it and use it well. Help me go to the next level!

  • Hi, Robert! I hope your birthday was the BEST! I’m thankful for Will’s post yesterday. I’ve been meaning to join the discussion on your blog since I listened to your interview with Michael Hyatt for Platform U. Anyone who orders “dessert first” is a friend of mine! Since then, I’ve been blessed by your creativity, generosity, and amazing enthusiasm. Thank you!

    My “have to” is communicating hope (through writing, speaking, coaching) for real change in women’s lives–especially when they’re dealing with tough circumstances…a difficult marriage, poverty, addiction, etc. I’ve thought of developing a place locally for women to have a “time-out”, a safe home where they could find rest and renewal. I’ve been inspired by Nashville’s Magdalene/Thistle Farms model of ministry. My biggest problem is feeling overwhelmed, not knowing how to get started or really believing I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. Having the opportunity to talk with you and hear your thoughts would be so valuable.

    I also wanted to say how touched I was by the post you wrote about your mom. I’m so sorry for your loss and pray for God’s peace and comfort for this first Mother’s Day without her. Blessings to you!

  • Tony Wright

    What I need to gain is easy – Credibility to my potential customers. I have the skills to help golfers improve, but they need to believe that I Am The Answer for them!

  • Shelley Hess

    Robert, We’re totally blown away to read what you intend to do for EVERYONE, not just NR Johnson! Thank YOU SOOO MUCH!!!

    We pray the webinar is scheduled before OR after June 1-7 as we have this little issue of an Alaska Cruise booked which seriously conflicts. We’d rather NOT miss the webinar for ANYTHING!!!

    Have an AWESOME Day!

  • noshaus

    . . . am I too late? (Yes, sadly.) —— Happy Belated Birthday, Robert! Here’s to many more year years of feeding elephants, and living without pain.

  • Congratulations, NR! And thank you, Robert, for the upcoming seminar. Can’t wait to hear more!

  • Angela Howell

    Happy belated birthday Robert!! Loved the blog and you are so deserving of all the blessings and wishes!!! Your name keeps popping up as we keep networking. I find that… Curious!