6 Ways to Level Up Your Business – Waldschmidt’s “Awesome” Keynote

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What you think about becomes your reality. Be awesome!

This is one example of many inspiring takeaways from the keynote address by Dan Waldschmidt, CRO of Panzura, during the virtual Digital Agility Summit on January 21, 2021. Waldschmidt started with a short history lesson about how Sparta (Laconia) managed to rebuff domination by the Macedonians when all the neighboring territories were, out of fear, allowing themselves to be subjugated. The Spartans didn’t see themselves being conquered and provided an efficient reply to Philip of Macedon, “If.” Waldschmidt described Sparta as having the “If Factor,” putting the city-state in a league of its own.

Waldschmidt offered six ways for companies to take their business to a higher level and, likewise, operate in a league of their own.

  1. Be focused.  Waldschmidt recommended high levels of focused intensity. As he pointed out, the more effort you invest, the more experience and more options you have. Once you have those additional options, you need less focus and less intensity. If you think it’s too hard, it becomes too hard, and as an ultra-runner, he acknowledged that people avoid suffering. However, if you’re not willing to sacrifice to get what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice. “There is no secret elixir to become successful,” he said. Put in the work when you’re already tired, do the hard things, get up earlier, and have intensity. Positive outcomes, he reminded, are not an accident.   
  • Be weird.  Citing companies like Amazon and IKEA, he encouraged companies to choose to do the weird thing, not the obvious thing. If you’re only slightly different, you’re not really different at all. He challenged the audience, “What are your weird ideas?” Choose the outrageous option. If you tear through the obstacles that are in your way, what you thought were impossible solutions will be become real.
  • Follow up religiously.  Citing several apps he uses, Waldschmidt recommended attendees use smart tools to guarantee a targeted outcome. Follow up and follow through on activities, making sure to set aside time for certain tasks. Waldschmidt stressed that targeted focus is better than an addiction to multi-tasking. He suggested that every activity needs to be purposeful and thoughtful. Be consistent with using time productively and focused. Creating momentum for your actions needs to be your energy source. If you don’t have a plan to succeed (written goals), you’re guaranteed to fail. For companies, that includes staying ahead of your competition.
  • Tell yourself No, even if it’s uncomfortable.  In the final assessment, it’s not what you’re willing to do to reach your goal, it’s what you are willing to do without until you reach it. Waldschmidt encouraged people to not even entertain the option of failure. In contrast, he encouraged everyone to disconnect from stress sometimes with exercise or meditation. Otherwise you leave yourself open to burnout.
  • Give value.  Strive to become valuable to others, not successful. Be incredibly easy to work with. Be so awesome that people come back for more. Waldschmidt suggested, “Provide so much value that it’s crazy.” Let your customers know you care and you’re reliable.
  • Be awesome.  “You don’t have to be perfect to be awesome,” Waldschmidt assured. He offered a rule to guide your decision-making process: “Ask yourself, ‘Is it awesome?’” To level up, set priorities. Be clear about what’s awesome and what’s not awesome. “Good” can become the enemy of “great,” especially when someone thinks something is “good enough.”

Summarizing, Waldschmidt said there’s lots of work for all of us to do. His presentation allowed everyone to catch a vision for taking their business to a higher level. With his energy, focus and solid advice on how to “level up,” it’s obvious that Waldschmidt is, himself, in a league of his own.


The Digital Agility Summit was presented by industry thought-leader Applied Software, with featured sponsors Panzura and Stambaugh Ness.

With breakout topics ranging from remote workforces and IT infrastructure to machine learning and future trends, the Digital Agility Summit gave business leaders the opportunity to learn real-world ways they can get the most from trends shaping today’s digital transformation.

Contact Applied Software to discover how you can position your company to benefit from digital transformation.

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