An Interview with business-leadership expert, public speaker and trainer, Steve Diggs.

1. Where did the idea for (insert name of your company or organization) come from?

I chose Fast-Forward Leadership™ because I believe every successful person should strive to develop what I call the Fast-Forward Leadership Mindset.™ This is an attitude of resilience; a focus on what things can be; and the tenacity to do the tough things required to achieve the goal.

That everyone falls into one of three categories: 1) Those who are leaders…and know they’re leaders; 2) Those who are leaders…but don't think of themselves as leaders; and 3) Those who have not yet stepped up to that leadership bar…but should.

2. What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

For me the day starts with prayer and intentional “centering” so I have the “3 N’s” in correct order. First, I focus on doing the “Now’s.” These are jobs that must be done…and they need doing right now. Second, I focus on the “Necessaries.” These are the jobs that must be done today…but they aren’t time sensitive. And, third, I now have time to focus on the “Neats.” These are the jobs and projects that aren’t vital…but I enjoy them.

3. How do you bring ideas to life?

Here are the 4 Building Blocks of a Great Idea:

1) Be a Germ Collector
- As in: Look for the Germ of a great concept that you can… Reframe, Rephrase, Restate…in a better way
- Listen to and read everything…Specialize in eating the fish and
spitting out the bones
- Write everything down…10 ideas per day…most are bad…once in a
while you’ll hit a winner.
- Pay attention to everything going on around you. You can’t pour out of
a cup what’s not in the cup

2) Learn to Be A Counter Thinker

- Strive to look at Problems and Solutions differently than others.
- When others say, “No”…use it as your inspiration.
- “No” simply means there’s a door that others have not yet opened.
- Its your job to open that door

3) Say Stuff Differently…Words Mean Things

- Look for Trigger Phrase or, Thought Sparklers to help your audience absorb your point in an unforgettable way.
- I work hard at this:
- When I developed a life-skills seminar, I spoke it differently; we titled it ReTooled & ReFueled.
- When teaching employees how to behave in the job place…I talk about “learning to play better in the sandbox together.”
- Several years ago, when everybody was writing money management books, I knew sales would be greatly determined by our title. My research showed that roughly 70% of all westerners are struggling with their money. I named the book, No Debt No Sweat. It became a bestseller.

4. What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m excited at the prospects that Blockchain will bring in coming years. I suspect that, eventually, it will be the supporting backbone of most contracts as well as the
storage of wealth for many people.

5. What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I have ADHD. While I was only diagnosed a few years ago, I’ve suspected it for many years. I’ve never been medicated. I was never put in a special class. And, no one
allowed me to excuse my bad behavior because of it. But, ADHD has been a great blessing in my life. I have more energy than my peers. I have an insatiable curiosity. I
always have more ideas than time. All in all, ADHD has made me more productive and much happier.

6. What advice would you give your younger self?

Enjoy and appreciate your accomplishments more. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

7. Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees
with you on.

While many people do agree on this point…most of the culture doesn’t. I believe that true joy in life comes only from those rare people who learn to constantly say no to short-term gratification…and remain focused on long-term gratification. It’s always easier to do what feels good in the moments…but it always makes the long-term exponentially more difficult. FACT: Every failure in my life has come from short-term thinking.

8. As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Routinely go back to the basics.

9. What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

I call it: Diligent Tenacity. In other words: work harder than anyone else and never, never, never give up. Period.

10. What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Early in my career, I was determined to get into show business. I did all the show biz things: got a radio show, performed at live shows and on TV, and eventually signed
contract with a major record label. But there was a little problem: I can’t sing. Soon the label dropped me. The bottom fell out. I was depressed. Eventually, I realized there was a place for me in the record business…not as a recording artist, but as a producer. Eventually, I built a multi-million dollar radio/TV production firm and ad agency…all from that failed show business career.

11. What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers? (this should be an actual idea for a business, not business advice)

Perfect a solar-powered cell phone and mobile device charger.

12. What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and
why? (personal or professional)

To upgrade my seat on an overseas airline flight. That allowed me to arrive rested and ready to make better use of my time.

13. What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

I use lots of apps…all speed things up and make my efforts more successful. Since I routinely take over 100 flights yearly, I’m always looking for ways to make flights easier
and more predictable. To that end, I’m getting great use out of the Flight Stats app.

14. What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

The Bible. This is the beginning of knowledge and a blueprint that shows us our purpose.

15. What is your favorite quote?

People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily. -Zig Ziglar

16. Key learnings:

- Focus first on the "nows" and get those taken care of first in your day.
- “No” simply means there’s a door that others have not yet opened.
- Routinely go back to the basics.
- Think long term by valuing the short term.

Author's Bio: 

STEVE DIGGS (CSP) knows what it takes to be a great leader. He led his own advertising agency and broadcast production firm for 25 years. Since selling it, he has built an internationally recognized speaking, consulting and writing business. His Fast-Forward Leadership Programs™ keep Steve’s clients on the cutting-edge of industry best practices. Although Steve lives in Nashville, speaking requests take him all over the world. He is the author of ten books.

Steve is one of America’s most sought after keynote and breakout speakers, corporate/leadership trainers, and C-Suite thought leaders. He is the recipient of the National Speakers Association’s Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation…the highest earned degree in the speaking industry…held by less than two-percent of speakers worldwide.

Always content rich, on-message, and up-to-the-minute, Steve has shared his insights over 3,000 times on five continents. A national bestselling author, Steve has also written 100’s of published articles. He is a high-content communications expert who inspires his audiences with wit, storytelling, and an encyclopedic knowledge of leadership strategies, branding and communication skills…always lots of laughs, eye-candy, and an occasional magic trick.

CNN has called Steve a “public relations expert.”

Steve speaks at corporate/professional events, associations, conventions, universities, keynotes, cruise ships, churches, and non-profits. He has shared his insights with some of America’s best-known brands including American Airlines + McDonalds + Wal-Mart + FedEx + Hilton + BMW + Princess Cruises + Mercedes-Benz + Colonial Insurance + CBS Radio and Celebrity Cruise Line.

Steve has been called a Renaissance Man: founder of four businesses, a renowned private investor, a college teacher, and a recording artist for a major record label. Currently, The Big Picture with Steve Diggs™ is airing nationally on public television and is heard around the world on radio. He can be booked for speaking engagements, a weekend leadership seminar, and other engagements at his website,