534. A Passion for Helping Vets Reach Greatness
Phil applied for a commission-only job selling fire extinguishers. The interviewer startled him by asking the last personal development book he’d read. When he couldn’t think of one, the man threw a Jim Rohn cassette at him and said, “Get out of my office and don’t come back until you learn to work on yourself!”
Phil Randazzo is a serial entrepreneur and veteran supporter. He owns Text Safe Teens, a patented app to prevent people from using cell phones while driving. He runs and operates American Dream U, a nonprofit that helps transitioning military find their dream job or start a business. The organization has reached over 20,000 veterans. He was invited to the White House and to testify in front of Congress, given the key to the city of Las Vegas, and more.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
From childhood, Phil knew he wanted to be a teacher and a coach. Ironically, he was not an especially serious student, and his happy-go-lucky ways led to a wake-up call in his junior year of college: he got his girlfriend pregnant. “You wake up pretty quick when that test strip turns pink!” His girlfriend has been his wife going on 25 years. In hindsight, he sees how his life has brought him around to teaching and coaching thousands of veterans and their families as they re-enter civilian life.
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
When asked on an interview what was the last personal development book he had read, Phil did not know what the man was talking about. He responded, “I have a college degree.” The interviewer shot back, “A college degree doesn’t mean anything. When was the last time you worked on yourself?” As Phil remembers, the man “threw a Jim Rohn cassette at me and said, ‘Get out of my office and don’t come back until you learn to work on yourself!’ So, I went to the library and started learning about personal development. I was hooked! It was just great! To this day, I spend at least an hour to 90 minutes a day learning about personal development, working on myself.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“Learning to give back to the community, to be generous, even before I feel I can afford it. Psychologically, it is hard to think about being charitable when you’re focusing on meeting your own obligations. But all the masters teach this, and it really is true that generosity pays off. What you give away comes back. To anyone listening, that is a game-changer.” But Phil explains there is a paradox. “As Les Brown teaches, you have to fill your own cup first, and share the overflow. As vital as generosity is, there’s an important self-care component to generosity.”
On His Bookshelf
Steps to Success from Phil Randazzo
1. Start by taking small steps: volunteer in an area that you care about. Try doing it like “A Day in the Life” of whatever appeals to you.
2. Practice generosity and giving back, even before you have a lot to give. What you give always comes back to you, but…
2. …learn to fill your own cup first. Whatever overflows, give it back to the community.
Connecting With Phil Randazzo
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