Peak Your Profits: Barriers, breakthroughs and the Berlin Wall

Jeff Blackman

What a privilege to be asked by longtime friend, Karen Cortell Reisman, to speak to my peers on July 13, at the National Speakers Association’s influence18 conference in Dallas. Plus, then be interviewed and asked, “What’s most important to the individuals we serve?”

Watch it here:

From the video link and accompanying photo, you’ll notice I’m standing in front of a unique background: two huge segments from the Berlin Wall that fell in November, 1989; 12 feet high. 4 feet wide; 11,905 pounds. Literal and figurative reminders of life’s barriers and breakthroughs.

Since 2004, when I began writing this column, overcoming obstacles has been a popular focus. I’ve shared with you my suggestions, as well as, insights from some of the world’s top achievers; championship athletes, talented thought-leaders and remarkably successful business people.

Jeff Blackman standing in front of a unique background: two huge segments from the Berlin Wall that fell in November, 1989.

So that inspired me, to dig into my archives, and share with you now — selected, powerful excerpts from these interviews. To immediately help you ponder possibilities—about your future winning ways.


National Basketball Association Hall of Famer, 11 NBA World Championships, recognized by HBO as the greatest winner of the 20th century.
When I asked Russell how he perfected the “outlet” pass, he rose before me, extended his long arms in front of his body, spread the fingers on his enormous hands and said, “I worked on and improved my peripheral vision. Every day, I’d slowly extend each hand. A little to the left. A little to the right.”
Eventually, his hands, though extended at his sides like a bird's awesome wingspan, were still in his line of sight. Just like the court. Just like a streaking open teammate, who would take Russell’s bullet pass in full stride and head for the hoop.
Russell told me, “Clear peripheral vision, gives you focus. You have to rid yourself of peripheral opponents.”


Nido and I have been friends for over 30 years. He’s a fellow award-winning speaker and bestselling author, who came to America with $50 in his pocket and a big desire to, “make something of his life.” He has. Big time! Nido is also the Chairman of the Great Harvest Bread Company and President of High Point University.
When I asked Nido, “How do you help others “think” differently about their
future?”—he said, “I look at challenging issues from a ground zero perspective. Discovery is the name of the game. Ask lots of questions. There’s a difference between a person who learns and one who learns how to learn. The latter is always growing.”
And his advice on creating a “transformational” business: “Transformational leaders are deeper thinkers with more lasting impact on their teams. Transactional leaders focus on tasks and short-term results. Transformational leaders allow people to explore options, take risks, judge consequences. They guide their team to meaningful transformations in how they believe, behave, and measure results.”


Earned All Big Ten and Most Valuable Player honors, while playing basketball for Ohio State. Played 5 NBA seasons. Has been a popular basketball broadcaster for over 25 years.

When I asked Clark, “What do winners have?” He replied, “Winning starts with an attitude—striving for excellence. Winners put in time and energy. It’s more than wins and losses, it’s how you go about becoming better.
Winners prioritize. And that’s a constant struggle. You have to ask: What’s important? Where will you invest your time? What will you sacrifice?
Winners know it’s a juggling act. It never ends. I still wrestle daily with what I need to do versus what I like to do—and where I invest my resources.”


Brian and I have known each other for decades. He’s a prolific author and highly-regarded speaker, who told me, “My friend, Denis Waitley, says we spend too much time on activities tension-relieving versus goal achieving. To be successful, study successful people. They … ”

  1. “Accept complete responsibility for their lives and don’t make excuses.”
  2. “Have clear goals and written plans.”
  3. “Are continuous learners.”
  4. “Are very persistent. They keep working and working.”
  5. “Anybody who does these four, is going to have a wonderful life.”

Here’s to your wonderful life! For remember, when you’re busting through barriers or mental boundaries, it’s not called trespassing.

More:Peak Your Profits: Ask and isolate

More:Peak Your Profits: He said what?!

Jeff Blackman is a Hall of Fame speaker, author, success coach, broadcaster and lawyer. His clients call him a "business-growth specialist." If you hire speakers, please contact Jeff at 847-998-0688 or And visit to learn more about his other business-growth tools and to subscribe to Jeff's free e-letter, The Results Report.  Jeff's books include “Stop Whining! Start elling!” (an Amazon Bestseller) and the soon-to-be released 5th edition, of the bestselling “Peak Your Profits.” You can also stay connected with Jeff via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: @BlackmanResults.