ENTREPRENEUR’S PATH TO SUCCESS WAS STREWN WITH MISSTEPS
Dan Molloy runs Molloy Business Development, a highly successful New Jersey-based sales training company with a national client base that works with clients in a range of different industries.
He is a world class triathlete within his age group, having competed internationally in such outposts as Beijing (where he finished sixth in the world triathlon championships, the first American to cross the finish line) and London. He sings the national anthem at major sporting events – and as a professional singer, he once appeared on David Letterman and The Today Show.
He’s in demand as a motivational speaker. His personal life is also a charm – he’s happily married and has a close relationship with his adult daughter and stepson.
Although these successes may make him sound like Dos Equis’ “most interesting man in the world,” his path in getting to where he is today was about as torturous as Holden Caulfield’s. Growing up in a wealthy Bergen County, New Jersey community in the 1960s, he was a child of the Woodstock Generation (both literally and figuratively). He used recreational drugs occasionally, and drank and smoked cigarettes to excess. He tried and failed at several businesses and declared personal bankruptcy. His track record when it came to marriage was equally dismal – he batted a thousand, twice married and twice divorced. He was overweight and out of shape.
In short, as Molloy himself is the first to admit, life was a Rubik’s Cube, and for his first 40 years he hadn’t a clue how to master it. Yet, Molloy always managed to pick himself up after a defeat, and he never lacked the initiative to try again.
At 41 he started a band called Strange Brew, appearing as a lookalike for Eric Clapton. He raised $36 million to buy a company from BP that he helped run for five years. Yet, in keeping with his topsy turvy life, the company went under and Molloy was left without a job.
That experience, however, taught Molloy that he was ready to make changes in his life. In 2001, he eliminated all vices and started Molloy Business Development, based on a concept called the Language of Commitment™ that he tweaked and re-established from an idea he first become acquainted with nearly 20 years before. Not only would this philosophy become the cornerstone of his company’s sales training program, but one he would incorporate into his personal life.
“Language is at the heart of everything,” he said. “We use language to create a clear vision for employees and customers. It’s the foundation of leadership. You create the mood of success by learning the words and the music.”
He strived to produce results in his own life and take an active role in re-inventing his future. It’s the same concept he uses today in his motivational speeches.
“You can’t change tomorrow unless you change how you do things today,” he said. “For some reason, people think that suddenly, for no apparent reason, what hasn’t worked in the past will suddenly bring better results, whether it’s in sports, business or in life. It doesn’t work that way. Fortunately, I’ve learned that lesson.”