David Meltzer is the former CEO of the legendary Leigh Steinberg Sports & Entertainment, and the Co-Founder and CEO of Sports 1 Marketing and S1Media House.
He started with nothing and yet, became a millionaire just nine months out of law school and a multi-millionaire by the age of 32. But then he went broke, but then, he made it all back again, and now he is a successful serial entrepreneur and philanthropist who, through hardship, was forced to codify the rules of success.
Both Forbes and Entrepreneur named David as one of the top keynote speakers on the planet and Variety Magazine named him Sports Humanitarian of the Year.
David, I am a big fan. As a rabbi, I am curious if your concepts of mindfulness and coming back to center has anything to do with your Jewish upbringing. Perhaps you can tell us a bit about how your Jewish background inspires your teaching?
I have a tremendous amount of appreciation for my Jewish heritage — I was blessed to have a family that raised me with strong Jewish values and an openness to always grow and question. A challenge I have with all religions is how people feel it seperates them — but to the extent that we are allowed to connect to G-d and ourselves, it is a crucial part of who I am and what I teach. We I connect to G-d and goodness, the cleaner the connection I get, the more I can become who I am.
In the most recent Super Bowl, we saw a new kind of competition — not the kind of cut throat behavior but a sense of camaraderie, support, and values. To what can you attribute this culture and how can you create this in a company environment?
I learned from Bill Belichick to lead with values and to let the players play. The universe loves simple; and both coaches built a community based on values, so don’t have to fall back on a fear based and attacking the other. They are fiercely competitive but it is from within. The owners hire coaches who are value driven and do their jobs, and let them do it. It is important to hire people you trust and allow them to do their jobs well. Whenever there is ego-based emotions it slows down the teams and hurts their progress. These teams keep winning because there is a higher purpose.
You are very open about your life’s ups and downs — including losing millions of dollars! But before you lost your money, you shared in another interview how your wife insisted that you change your identity and become a better person. I’m curious how your parenting strategy changed as a result of your wife’s advice?
I was a master manipulator. I would manipulate in business, and even my family. I might talk about how my family was important but I didn’t put them first. Now, I re-evaluated and re-prioritized my life, I put my health first, then my family, and then my business. And my highest potential is that of being a father, and that takes time and putting them first, over other opportunities. If I am going to empower others, I have to make sure to give daily amounts of time to each person in my family and ensure the relationships are good. Even my mom gets a minute a day, where I can focus on making sure she knows she’s loved and appreciated. If you can make sure the people in your life who matter to you know that you love and appreciate them, your life will be revolutionized.
Taking care of your family and working on your health may mean taking your eye off the ball when it comes to your business. How do you be both well rounded yet laser focused on your goals?
First of all, you have twenty four hours. You must learn how to be efficient, effective, and accessible. I am a business person, and as a business person I know I have to focus on making money. Money doesn’t equal happiness but it means being able to support important charitable causes and help make the world a better place. Twenty four hours is more than enough time to do what you want, because God would not have allowed us to sleep if it wasn’t.
About the author: Jacob Rupp is a coach, author, speaker, podcaster, and rabbi. He is the founder of Lift Your Legacy, a community that helps people live a more authentic life. He has a regular, syndicated column that appears in ThriveGlobal and Authority magazine. To learn more about him or to listen to the Lift Your Legacy podcast, search iTunes or visit his site: liftyourlegacy.live