Jeff Dedrick’s In Search of Heroes
Ralph Zuranski: Hi. This is Ralph Zuranski. I’m on the phone with Jeff Dedrick who is one of the new people on the Internet that is making quite a splash with some of the new software and programs that he is developing. I had the opportunity of spending some time with him at a couple of the seminars and found him to be kind and caring and just a brilliant individual and Internet marketer. How are you doing today Jeff?
Jeff Dedrick: Hey, Ralph, I’m doing great and thanks for having me here.
Ralph Zuranski: Can you tell us a little bit about your venture into Internet marketing? I know you haven’t been doing it for very long but you’ve been fairly successful haven’t you?
Ralph Zuranski: That’s amazing. What is the worthy ideal that you are pursuing with honesty and integrity?
Jeff Dedrick: I have a family and I’ve got two girls. I think everything I do relates to my family. Every action that I take, everything that I say, I am always trying to set a great example for my girls. One is 13 and one is 7, so, pretty much everything I do from my whole idea of being in business for myself.
Actually I’ve always been in business for myself but just recently changed to 100% on-line Website so I could spend more time with my family, with my wife and my two girls. Pretty much everything I do now is just to be a great dad.
Ralph Zuranski: Well, Jeff, what do you want out of life in ten words or less?
Jeff Dedrick: You have asked me this question before, so I wanted to make sure that I got it down. It’s total freedom to do what I want when I want.
Ralph Zuranski: That’s a pretty good definition. What is the dream or vision that sets the course of your life?
Jeff Dedrick: The dream is just kind of to have that total freedom. I’ve always been a hard worker, but I also feel that I’ve been a smart worker.
A hard worker might be working really hard but if all you are doing is a job that you are not happy with or a low end job that you might not be bringing in the money that you want or you might not have that happy home life, you might not feel fulfilled. My vision is always just to work smart and that will create that total freedom that I was talking about.
Ralph Zuranski: How important is it to stay focused on your primary goal?
Jeff Dedrick: I want to say that’s number one. By far, that is number one. I see a lot of people jumping around to different ideas. It’s almost like an idea of the week or the idea of the day. They come up with an idea and maybe they implement it really just half-assed, hardly at all and then because they didn’t make a million dollars that week they move onto the next one.
In my past, I’ve owned real world businesses, pizza stores, restaurants, and even two fitness clubs that I just recently sold. When opening up those you need to have a timeline, a deadline, a calendar. You need to do step A and step B and step C. For some reason, online people don’t do that so they lose focus and they bounce around. I would say that the ability to stay focused is number one.
Ralph Zuranski: Do you follow your hunches and intuition?
Jeff Dedrick: Yeah, I almost always do. So far it has always paid off for me. There were a couple of stocks, that’s when the Internet bubble burst that I have to say were not very conscientious, but usually I do follow those. Maybe it’s something that you can’t learn or teach or maybe some people just don’t listen to it.
A perfect example is when right out of college, I was 22 and my buddy and I were looking at places in the United States to open our first Little Caesar’s restaurant. We are sitting here in Wisconsin doing whatever research we can at the library at the time, looking at demographics and towns and all of the things that we thought were important. Well, at that point, I said, “Here is where we are going. Here is where we are going to end up at.” I pointed at the map.
Then we ended up going in real life. We went out and on our own we traveled up and down the East Coast. We got into towns and did research getting there. We talked to business owners. We did the same thing on the West Coast and we did all of that stuff.
Well, we ended up right in the place that I pointed, Corvallis, Oregon. It was almost like a hunch, but I was using some common sense to back up the hunch. But, yeah, that ability to act on a hunch has paid off many times throughout my life.
Ralph Zuranski: What specific philosophy or philosophies guide your life and decisions?
Jeff Dedrick: I think it all relates back to being the best dad that I can. Then I’m not focused on myself. Some people, if all they are worrying about is their next car or how to look good for other people, if you are focused on yourself or sometimes in a selfish way a lot of times good things don’t happen.
If you are focused on, like how I’m focused on my daughters, everything just kind of falls into place then.
Ralph Zuranski: Mmhm. What is your perspective on goodness, ethics and moral behavior?
Jeff Dedrick: I would say that for me that is one of the most important things. I just hate people that are two-faced or negative or do little underhanded stuff. I just can’t stand those people. Maybe I deal with them, but I don’t want to be associated with them.
If I find out that someone has pulled some stuff like that I definitely won’t ever do business with them again. I definitely won’t want to be friends with them either.
Ralph Zuranski: What place does the power of prayer have in your life?
Jeff Dedrick: I’ve heard you ask this from other people before. I guess here is my philosophy on that. A lot of people can pray and sometimes it doesn’t mean a thing. There are a lot of different religions and that, a lot of times, doesn’t matter.
It’s how you lead your life. Prisons are full of people that are God fearing men and supposedly pray, but they don’t lead their life like they should be. There are a lot of preachers on TV, and sorry to say this, but some of those guys are the biggest scum bags in the world taking money from people that can’t least afford it. I guess I would lead by example, the good moral things in the Bible or that different religions teach, that’s how I like to live my life, that way.
Ralph Zuranski: What are the principles that you are willing to sacrifice your life for?
Jeff Dedrick: Boy, that is a tough question. I know that the love of my family, if that involved putting myself in harms way so that they can be safe or to save them, I would do that without thinking. If you expand on that, to the love of country if called upon, I guess if there was a good cause, of I felt that the country was doing the correct thing then I would have no problem with putting myself in harms way for my country also.
Ralph Zuranski: Well, are your goals consistent with your beliefs?
Jeff Dedrick: Definitely. As I stated, everything that I’m doing now is set up in a way to make my family and myself comfortable in life. What I’m doing now is always reflecting on how I talk and what I say. I’m always aware of how it affects my girls.
I’m always trying to teach them how to be strong women when they grow up so that they are not dependent on other people or learning bad things. Certain people learn things early in life. They never break out of that. They are forever repeating bad choices or learning bad things. That would be the case where I look back later in life and say I wish that I had done things differently.
Ralph Zuranski: Are your actions consistent with your beliefs?
Jeff Dedrick: 100%. Anything I’ve ever done or said I have no problem telling my kids about it. Maybe I don’t want to tell them how much I partied on college. Maybe tone that down a little bit so that they are studying a little more than I did. Everything I have ever done I have no problem telling my parents or any of my friends of family or my daughters.
Ralph Zuranski: Was it valuable to have highly charged emotions about achieving your goals?
Jeff Dedrick: You said emotions?
Ralph Zuranski: Yes, is it important to have highly charged emotions about achieving your goals?
Jeff Dedrick: Yes and no. People have to be passionate and driven to achieve their goals. Sometimes emotions can really mess with you. They can really actually cause problems if you get too emotional about business.
Often, for example at seminars, people get really emotional because the speakers really work them up and cause them to have certain emotions and then they cause these decisions, financial decisions on the spot that maybe aren’t the best for them. Those highly charged emotions really give you an advantage.
You’ve got to be emotional and passionate, but to me, business is almost a game plan. You are going to do step A and step B and step C and so on. Emotions have their part and you want to keep your focus and be emotional and passionate, but yeah, you don’t want your emotions to run away and have you make stupid mistakes.
Ralph Zuranski: Boy that makes a big difference doesn’t it?
Jeff Dedrick: Oh, yeah, totally. You’ve got to be passionate, but you don’t want your emotions to cause you to do something dumb.
Ralph Zuranski: Is it useful to take a positive view of setbacks, misfortunes and mistakes?
Jeff Dedrick: You definitely need to, every single thing you do, good and bad, you need to learn from and move forward. I’ve been pretty fortunate where most things that I’ve done and all of my businesses have always made money. They’ve always been positive.
A couple and even most of my stock purchases were positive except for the few that were not. I definitely learned from them. They were very expensive lessons. Even though you say you lose many thousands on a venture now, what you learn could prevent hundreds of thousands of losses later on.
A lot of times you hear people use a setback or a loss or something like that to stop doing it. “I don’t want to do it anymore. That’s it. I give up.”
Well, that’s not how it works. You need to use every little positive and negative you experience and move forward from there.
Ralph Zuranski: Is optimism valuable?
Jeff Dedrick: Wow, definitely! Here is what’s really weird is that my mindset has always been positive. I guess I have never even thought about it. I had little businesses as a little kid and then in college I ran a full fledged business that even had radio ads and print ads and stuff like that.
Right after college I opened stores and it has never entered my mind that I couldn’t do it. The first time I kind of felt something, and I told this story to Ralph, I sold my last real world business, my fitness clubs in February 2005. I was 100% on-line and even though I sold these things and they were bringing in great money, I sold them because I just knew I could succeed on-line.
I didn’t have any business yet. I didn’t even have a Web site up. I didn’t even have my first subscriber. I really had nothing. I never thought about it but at some point some of that doubt did creep in.
Right in the middle of setting up the launch for this project and I knew that it would be four or five months before I even brought in my first penny and the doubts did come into my mind. I thought that it was so foreign. I had never seen them or heard them before.
With me I was lucky enough to know that I had done this before, I had seen how I was able to take a business from zero and have it skyrocket and I can do it again. Quickly I was able to get it out of my mind but it was really weird having those doubts. It was really strange for me.
Ralph Zuranski: Do you maintain a sense of humor in the face of serious problems?
Jeff Dedrick: (laughter) That’s usually all I do. My friends and I, all we are doing is laughing and joking. The bad thing is with my friends, everything is off limits. I mean you can talk and joke about anything and it’s expected.
Even if let’s say, something bad happens, I don’t make light of this but for example if I were to maybe be in the hospital and have cancer or something, I would actually expect my friends to come and make fun of me. It may sound kind of morbid, but they would be making fun of me if I had lost my hair or something. I would just expect them to be making jokes about it.
For us it’s important to just have a sense of humor. You can’t get too down. You have to reflect on your mistakes and your problems but so many people are so serious about stuff. It gets them so down. That’s how they do it and it’s almost like a slippery slope. They get down because they are down and then they get even further sad because they are down.
So, we always try to keep things light and positive including my family. We joke about everything.
Ralph Zuranski: Do you invest time in daydreaming about what your life will be like when you attain your goals?
Jeff Dedrick: This one might be a little different from what you’ve heard from past ones, but I really don’t. I don’t know if this sounds weird to you. Ralph, I’ve got to ask you, do most people say that they do invest time in daydreaming?
Ralph Zuranski: You know, it’s funny. Everybody has a different answer to that one.
Jeff Dedrick: Yeah, because I was going to say that I just don’t. Some people maybe get caught up so much in dreaming and in wanting more that they don’t have. Then they don’t appreciate what they currently have.
It’s almost like the person that works so hard to have so much money for their family, then they worked hard their whole life and their kids are already out of the house before they see that success. So, they miss out on their kids. Their kids are gone. Who cares? Then they want to get it back. They are older and they wish that they had done things differently.
So, I don’t really dream about stuff. Here is a perfect example. Last week I kind of on the spur of the moment decided to get a new car. Because I had never even dreamed or though about a new car I had no idea what the names of the car were that I would want. I just got on a site on the Web and started looking up all the different manufacturers and all of the different names and models.
I had no clue even of what the names of cars were. I just don’t pay attention about stuff like that.
Ralph Zuranski: What did you get?
Jeff Dedrick: I ended up getting a Lexus. Man is that a lot better than my Jimmy. (laughter) I wish that I would have been dreaming a couple of years ago and bought a better car. Now, after I’m driving it this thing is sweet!
With me I looked it up. I found out my neighbor had a sister-in-law that sold Lexus’s. I got her on the phone and she showed me models that are available. Three days later she drove it up to me from Iowa. I had never even test driven it.
I jumped in it five minutes before I signed the paperwork and it was done. Usually I don’t dream, but when I do want something I react pretty quickly to it.
Ralph Zuranski: Do you feel it is important to make positive statements about yourself and the type of person you are and your goals?
Jeff Dedrick: Here is another one that I’m weird at. I’ve never done that. I’ve heard that it is so powerful to write down your goals. I need to start doing that because even opening up those businesses myself and a business partner we never wrote down goals. We never even came up with business plans.
The only time we ever had to kind of do something financial was when we would go in for a loan from the bank. We would have our account and we would throw together our financial figures and present it to them. We never do business plans or goals in business or even in personal life just because we would be taking action. We would be too busy taking action to maybe write them down.
Maybe I could have achieved a whole lot more. I have been just recently writing down more personal goals. This is what we want to do with the family. This is vacations we want to take. I want to do this and that and this just because before you know it you can blow off a whole summer and you didn’t even go anywhere.
Some of the things I’m writing down now are more personal. Up to this point I’ve either been lazy or stupid or I just never did it. (laughter)
Ralph Zuranski: Do you take time out of your day to feed your subconscious positive thoughts about you, your goals and your dreams.
Jeff Dedrick: There again, maybe I’m just weird. I just don’t do that. I just take action. My business partner is really good at taking action. If he had an idea we would talk about it on the phone and we would be kind of lazy. We had offices in our fitness club and we’d call each other even though it was like a 30-second walk to the other office.
He would call me about an idea and we would hang up. When I would see him an hour later he had already made like five phone calls and made three connections and already had an idea about what we should do. He was really good at that.
Ralph Zuranski: You know, I think that is probably true. A lot of people are so busy having positive thoughts and dreams that they never do take action.
Jeff Dedrick: Yeah, yeah. That might be true.
Ralph Zuranski: Do you have the courage to pursue new ideas? I know for a lot of people it is hard to change their lifestyles and receive the amount of fear and abuse that their family and friends will put on them when they change where they are at. Do you think it takes courage to pursue new ideas?
Jeff Dedrick: It definitely would. If you are surrounded with negative people or if you’ve grown up around negative people, it would be kind of tough breaking out of that.
Even though my dad was just hardworking blue collar type guy, working at the General Motors plant here in town, I did see him doing side businesses. It was always in my mind that, “Hey you don’t always have to work. You can do other stuff.”
So, he had a gardening service, rotor-tilling, and lawn thatching and he did little stuff like that. I think seeing that, it just became second nature for me to pursue a new idea at the drop of the hat. It doesn’t seem strange to me at all because I’ve always been around that.
Ralph Zuranski: Were you willing to experience discomfort in the pursuit of your dreams? It doesn’t sound like you’ve had much discomfort. Do you think it’s a good idea?
Jeff Dedrick: I’m sorry, what?
Ralph Zuranski: Do you think it’s a good idea to be willing to experience discomfort?
Jeff Dedrick: Oh, definitely. I guess it is different levels. When me and my buddy took off we could have definitely easily gotten jobs right out of college and started making money right away. Instead we jumped in a car and literally we drove out, we already had the city of Corvallis, Oregon. That was already our city to put a store in.
It was just a matter of going out there, finding a space and getting the store built. Here we are driving across the country. We get there. We’ve got to stay in a hotel room before we find a place to stay and all we’ve got is we brought a chair. We brought a little TV to put the TV on top of the chair. We both had pillows and maybe a sheet and that’s all we had.
Then also, just the process of living off of nothing literally until we could get that first store up, looking back at it, it was a discomfort. It could have been a lot easier staying at home and looking for a job and then moving out and making money first but because you are in the middle of it it’s so exciting that you don’t even think about it. I’m definitely willing to experience the discomfort of leaving maybe that job.
I mean, selling my fitness clubs, we were bringing in over two million a year. Obviously that’s not all profit. You’ve got high costs in a gym but it’s pretty steady. It would have been real easy to just stay on but I was getting bored, plus I was tied down having 100-plus employees and that was causing me some discomfort.
In a way I move from the discomfort even though it is short term. Long term now I can set my own hours, I can do anything I want. It’s kind of nice.
Ralph Zuranski: Is it beneficial to make decisions quickly?
Jeff Dedrick: Yes and no. The decisions have to be backed up, obviously, with common sense and experience. You can’t let emotions come into play because as we said earlier you can really make some poor choices if you really let emotions come into it.
I move real quickly on stuff. The car example, the gym, from when I talked to my wife to when I talked to my partner was three weeks. Three weeks later I was totally out of the business. Total of six weeks is pretty quick when you talk about selling a big business like I sold, but I move really quickly.
Ralph Zuranski: Are you slow to revise and reverse important decisions?
Jeff Dedrick: I definitely could revise it pretty quickly. For example in business you see things that aren’t working real quick like you think you are going to have an advertising campaign that is really maybe going to kick butt and you are right in the middle of doing it and it isn’t working out.
Maybe you tweak a few things and it’s still not working out. You want to revise and test and change things pretty quickly but if you know that it is going to continue not to go well then you need to reverse that decision quickly.
Ralph Zuranski: How are you able to overcome your doubts and fears? I know that is something that paralyzes a lot of people, the idea of just failing or just fear of injury or some of the things that paralyze people. How are you able to overcome your doubts and fears?
Jeff Dedrick: I’ve been lucky. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but I just don’t have the doubts. A few doubts entered my mind and it was so foreign. I had never really heard that play out in my mind before.
Luckily with me I just move forward. I just don’t really think about it too much.
Ralph Zuranski: Do you think that had to do with the upbringing that your parents gave you, that they didn’t put fear and doubts into your mind?
Jeff Dedrick: Yeah, yeah, I think you are right. My dad just was a great worker. I learned things later on. I didn’t even know when I was a little kid like under four, like two or three years old, I didn’t even realize that he had a second job.
He was getting four hours of sleep a night. I just found this out when I was like 39 or 40, just a couple of years ago, that he was working. He had bought a house and my brother was born when I was like a year and a half. I didn’t even realize that he was going off with four hours or five hours of sleep a night working at General Motors. Then he had a second job at a lumber yard.
Here it is 35 years later and I’m finding out about that. He was just a great worker. He had that stuff on the side. Yeah, I think whatever I wanted to do they would let me do. I think that was my total upbringing. It helped me big time.
Ralph Zuranski: Would you readily forgive those who upset, offend and oppose you? I know that I’ve had quite a few different answers for this question. I thought yours would be fairly interesting.
Jeff Dedrick: (laughter) Well, that is maybe one of my weaknesses. I know that maybe you are supposed to forgive and forget. I really have a problem. If someone wrongs me, I almost never forgive them.
Now, there have been a couple of cases where I did forgive people but I definitely never forget it, if there is someone who does me wrong. Now, on the opposite side I am loyal. I’ll stick with someone too long when all opposition has maybe left that person and the facts are staring me in the face that this person is not the person they thought they were or they are doing something they shouldn’t be.
I am a little slow because I always trust them. When it does finally get through my big skull then unfortunately I have a tough time forgiving people.
Ralph Zuranski: You know that’s funny. A lot of people say that the value of forgiveness is not so much forgetting about what the other person did to you but just for yourself, clearing it out of your mind so that you’re not thinking about it and re-experiencing these emotions of what it feels like because of what they did that was wrong.
I think that is important to realize that we still need to hold people accountable and forgive them just so you can get them out of your mind but you still need to hold them accountable until they repent and actually do restitution and do the right thing. I think there is no true forgiveness until people actually truly are sorry for what they did, ask for forgiveness and also if they harm somebody either physically or financially do some form of restitution.
Jeff Dedrick: I totally agree with you Ralph. I 100% agree with you on that one.
Ralph Zuranski: So, I think that in situations like that I totally agree with you that it is important to hold people that do bad things accountable and never forget what they did because if you do then you are subject to potentially re-experiencing that again in the future. What’s that old saying about fool me once that’s human shame on me; tool me twice shame on me.
Jeff Dedrick: Yeah.
Ralph Zuranski: What’s the third one? You fool me a third time and shame on both of us?
Jeff Dedrick: Something like that. (laughter) Hopefully we would never get to that third one.
Ralph Zuranski: Have you experienced service to others as a source of joy?
Jeff Dedrick: Yeah. I really do like it. I need to do more of it. I talked about how my businesses have always been doing well and right now my family life is in what I feel a great position. I really think everything is going forward great there. The service part of it, the service end, I need to be out there donating my time.
I really do enjoy it and when I was at the athletic club and the pizza restaurants, we all the time donated our services and our place. We would open up our club and have groups come in and we would at my pizza place we would donate so many thousands of dollars of pizza a year. It’s unbelievable.
We would go into all of these schools and set up what we called our Little Caesar’s prize patrol. We would have our spinning wheel and we would give out prizes. Granted there was an advertising benefit to that, but I really enjoyed being there and helping these women out. I could have easily sent my employees out to do I,t but I was there doing it myself. I would be in the little Caesar costume having fun with the kids and just be like a little kid myself. I really enjoyed it.
Now that I’ve been on-line I don’t have that. I need to get my butt out of the house and maybe join some organizations to re-experience that feeling again.
Ralph Zuranski: When was the lowest point of your life and how did you change your path to one of victory over obstacles you were facing at that time?
Jeff Dedrick: Overall I’ve had a pretty darned good life. Some people have a lot of hardships. I was listening to your interview with Tom Beal earlier today and I know Tom. He was talking about some of his experiences in life and it’s almost like an opposite extreme where I have a story where his parents were teenagers and there is a lot of divorce and the story of him being ejected from a car and not being able to walk, all of these things.
I’ve had a pretty good life overall now. Sometimes this is hard for me to talk about, but my wife and I did go through a rocky patch and I would have to say personally that was the lowest point in my life. The whole thought that I could be losing my kids, meaning that the wife would move away to the other side of the country to the state of Oregon, I’m in the state of Wisconsin right now.
That was tough to even think because I knew the outcome of what could possibly happen of the kids being away from their dad. You’ve heard all of the stories and that alone caused me to decide for us to work on it. I might have told you the story that it went right out to the day before or maybe two days before the actual final divorce hearing that I called it off.
I would say that was the lowest point, but I also I had some control on it and I made that decision to change it. I’m really glad that I did make that change.
Ralph Zuranski: Were there things that you changed in yourself that made the difference?
Jeff Dedrick: I think that was one of the forgiveness things that I talked about maybe a couple of times forgiving in my life. I realized at that point that I had to for once, one of the few times ever, to do the forgiveness and change my behavior. Even though I am stubborn, I was smart enough in this case to change my behavior for the long-term good of my kids.
Ralph Zuranski: You know it’s funny. I just went through that same thing with my wife and the last couple of years of her being away from her family and helping take care of my mom and dad in catastrophic illnesses, I just suddenly realized that the major problem was I wasn’t accepting her for who she was and I was trying to get her to conform to who I thought she was.
When I dropped those expectations and just allowed her to be who she was and was willing to forgive her for all of the stuff that I perceived as slights against me it was an amazing relationship changed right on the spot because I changed myself and realized that I could never change her and that she could only change herself.
Jeff Dedrick: That’s just been all recently, right?
Ralph Zuranski: Yeah, recently.
Jeff Dedrick: That’s good to hear.
Ralph Zuranski: I think that’s one of the biggest eye openers that I’ve learned from the Heroes Interviews is that a lot of times if you want to change the world you have to start with yourself. If you are having problems with relationships with others you have to change yourself first.
Jeff Dedrick: I agree.
Ralph Zuranski: That is astounding how fast that works isn’t it?
Jeff Dedrick: Yeah, we agree on a lot of stuff.
Ralph Zuranski: Is there anyone who helped give you the will power to change things in your life for the better? Was there anyone who helped as a counselor for you when you were going through that difficulty with your wife or how did you arrive at the decision you made?
Jeff Dedrick: Oh, boy. I’m one of those guys that my whole family has, like I said, strong, strong loyalty but we keep our emotions kind of in check. The whole idea of when my wife and I were going through problems up to before the divorce proceedings started, I would keep everything to myself including my best friends. My best friends didn’t know and had no clue.
If you were to say my two best friends who I talked to every couple of days, one being my business partner and one being a buddy who was just a couple of hours north of here, they had no clue. So, I did maybe start talking for once. That helps obviously, if you keep everything bottled up.
Jeff Dedrick: That’s probably not good. In that case maybe just me talking things out, the whole idea of will power and being able to just do things on my own and how quick I can move on things, that just all, how we talked about my parents and seeing them in action over the years. Again, that’s what I’m trying to do for my daughters.
I want to show them how to do things correctly or at least be in a proper mindset to accept things and to be able to be accountable for their actions and stuff like that. So many people are not accountable. They think it’s everyone else’s fault that things are happening in their life. Everything that I’ve learned I totally owe to my parents.
Ralph Zuranski: How important is it to believe your financial dreams would eventually become to reality?
Jeff Dedrick: I totally believe the philosophy of that T. Harv Ecker’s Millionaire Mindset. If you believe you are going to be successful or rich or if you are going to have a good relationship it’s going to happen because that’s just how it is. If you truly believe then without even thinking you are just going to gravitate towards success.
People that don’t have that mindset that think that other people owe them or that for some reason they deserve not to be happy, well they are going to be searching out situations where they are not going to be happy. Yeah, I totally think you really need to feel that you deserve to be happy successful and financially successful.
Ralph Zuranski: Boy, that is true. Why is it valuable to know how much money you want to have in your bank account and when?
Jeff Dedrick: That’s another one where I might give kind of a weird answer. I probably changed a lot. When I was younger it was all about money and how much I was going to make and stuff. Now, I don’t even pay attention to it. I couldn’t even tell you how much I have in my accounts or what is in my IRA or anything like that.
I am more focused now on being successful and my mind, my mindset of being successful, not so much that corresponding to what you have in your checking account. There are many millionaires’ that are not happy. Their kids are dysfunctional because they are not around. So, to tell you the truth I don’t really pay attention to that.
Ralph Zuranski: It’s funny to think that so many people focus on money and they are missing a lot of things that are more important in life that actually make them better people and also make their life happier than those around them. What is your definition of heroism?
Jeff Dedrick: Oh, boy. That was kind of a tough one too. I definitely can tell you this. Some of the people that right now kids are looking to nowadays that are so called heroes, just because you can throw a basketball through a hoop.
It seems like people gravitate towards the loudest and the guys that are just downright not nice people. I don’t know why that is. Nowadays the loudest reality stars that have done nothing in life other than be on TV and they are loud and obnoxious, they get the most press. They end up getting more deals out of it.
Everyone should start looking at people in their life that are making a difference especially people who are making a difference in their life like teachers. That is something of value, being able to catch a football, in the scheme of life who cares?
Ralph Zuranski: That is so true. Did you ever have a secret hero in your mind that helped you with life’s difficulties, maybe Little Caesar?
Jeff Dedrick: Hey, I was Little Caesar. Yeah, I was dancing around in that costume. Unfortunately people outside in their cars would be going by beeping their horns and flipping me off half the time. I never did. I was able to just draw strength from the real world people around me, my parents, so that I didn’t have to create anything.
I guess some people listening to this aren’t maybe as lucky as I was. It would be important for them to either create something or create a person to strive to be or even to look for someone that is not catching a football, someone to look at in life that they can pattern their life like or at least get some additional training or just be able to talk to some of these real life heroes.
Ralph Zuranski: What were the qualities or attributes of your mom and dad when you were growing up? I know that they are probably your real heroes and you didn’t need any secret heroes. What specifically were there other than hard work and just infusing in you the ability and the knowledge that you could do anything?
Jeff Dedrick: Good people. You know if my dad said something even now, you knew that was it. Even now we make jokes about it. If my parents say they are going to be at my house at say noon they will be here at noon or maybe two minutes past or they are going to call and give you the reason why all of the sudden something happened that they couldn’t be there.
It’s almost like their word is gold. You know that you can rely on them. You can trust them. They are always there for you. We don’t have that relationship where you’re all running around screaming, “I love you, I love you, I love you.”
The bond is there. The family is my mom and dad and then I’ve got a younger brother. It’s almost like a guys type of household where you don’t talk it you walk it.
Ralph Zuranski: Boy that is so true in so many people’s lives that I’ve interviewed. Having your word be your bond and actually following through on what you say has such a huge impact on people growing up. Who are the heroes in your life now?
Jeff Dedrick: That was another one of those questions where I sat there and thought about it and just because I never really look for heroes just because I’ve always had the strong family for some reason I don’t have the heroes that maybe other people have.
Other people have political heroes or maybe even heroes of books or writers that they’ve read or in business. There are many people that I admire. There is just no one that I could really come up with.
Ralph Zuranski: How important is it to have trusted friends or a mastermind group to bounce your ideas off?
Jeff Dedrick: That is 100%. The friends that I hand out with are almost like my dad. My buddy Paul, nicknamed Mooka, if he says he’s going to be somewhere or do something or whatever it may be it’s done. I don’t have to worry about. Business wise, it’s very important. Everybody that is listening, if you are thinking about doing a business or anything I say always take on a business partner.
Don’t think of it like you are splitting the profits 50%. Think of it like you are also splitting the work 50%. If you don’t get that work done you’ve got 100% of nothing and having a business partner will get you because you are relying on each other.
Again, it’s got to be a good match personality wise. It’s got to be somebody you can trust that will get the job done but they are going to get you to move forward because your buddy is expecting you to get something done and it’s going to get done and vice versa. He’s going to get done because you are expecting it. When it comes to something like that it is very, very important.
As for the mastermind group, before it was just my business partner and myself. It was just the two of us. We did have other owner’s and stuff. We would kind of ask a little bit but it was pretty much just us.
We were very successful the two of us but I’ve just now because I don’t have that anymore even though I occasionally do bounce things off of him I am just now getting a group of friends on-line that I can ask questions with. That’s also very important.
Ralph Zuranski: Who do you feel are the real heroes in society today that aren’t getting the recognition and the rewards that they deserve?
Jeff Dedrick: Boy, going back to that, people have to give up on some of these sports figures or these TV celebrities. People care so much about what celebrity is cheating on who and who is having whose baby. Man who cares? They sang a couple of songs and they became stars because of that. Other than that who cares? They might still be just evil nasty people.
It’s the people that you see that are making the difference. The teacher that sits there and they get in school early and then afterwards they are a coach. They don’t make that much money being a coach as far as I remember in high school, but they are out there teaching kids great lessons that they are going to have for the rest of their life. Some of them eventually make money, but they are definitely not paid what they are worth.
Ralph Zuranski: Boy, that is so true.
Jeff Dedrick: Yeah, it’s amazing. Then the hassles that they go through. There is almost no respect for them. I remember when I was a kid unfortunately in middle school and you know looking back at it people were pretty mean to those middle school teachers. I am assuming it’s the same now.
Ralph Zuranski: Why are heroes so important in the lives of young people?
Jeff Dedrick: They are the ones shaping it. Many kids don’t have strong parents or if it’s a single family right there you are down 50% of what you could be learning. Even though the mom might be great and she is doing all she could do they might need a different figure in their life be it maybe a father figure or male figure or vice versa. If they are living with their dad, they are going to need a strong female figure.
Women are going to want to relate or should relate to a strong female figure. Them having a hero, be it their parents or someone else to just shape their personality is just so important.
Ralph Zuranski: That is really true. What are the things that parents can do that will help their children realize that they too can be heroes and make a positive difference in the lives of others?
Jeff Dedrick: I would say getting involved in their life by exposing them to as much stuff as possible. Even if the kids don’t want to try it or do it, hopefully they have built up a good enough relationships that they can join in. Expose them to different music and different cultures and different cities or whatever it may be.
You need to just expand their mind and break down any barriers. Definitely don’t be introducing any bigotry or racism or anything like that. Even if you have bad habits try not to introduce those to your children.
I love it when parents are smoking and then they are telling their kid not to smoke. The kids love and respect you. They are going to do it because you do it. Everything they do they have to realize that it’s shaping that child’s life.
Ralph Zuranski: It’s funny how much kids actually look at what people do and listen to what they say and see if those two things match up.
Jeff Dedrick: Yeah, a lot more than parents realize it too.
Ralph Zuranski: How do people become heroes?
Jeff Dedrick: I think being unselfish, doing things for other people and not having some other motives like they are doing it just because they want to get something out of it be it money or whatever it may be. Unselfishness, that they are giving their time, their energies, their past knowledge, they are giving just for the sake of giving and not expecting something back.
Ralph Zuranski: How does it feel to be recognized as an International hero?
Jeff Dedrick: I think it is pretty cool. I really appreciate this Ralph. The whole Internet part of it is fairly new to me. My business is having great success. In the past, and I’m also quickly seeing it on the Internet but it’s pretty nice. I kind of like it. I really feel honored.
Ralph Zuranski: Why do you think I selected you for this unique honor?
Jeff Dedrick: Well, originally I thought it was in case you ran into a hotel problem and you had a place to crash that one night.
I think just because what you do is you go around to these seminars. I think you are meeting people and you are taking pictures and soaking in what people are and eventually you get a feel for the people that are legitimate good people compared to the guys that are just in it to make a buck and that’s it.
I think you do a good job of just sitting back and looking at people. The ones I think that pass your test you feel that those are the people that can teach other peoples something positive.
Ralph Zuranski: When I take photos of people, the eyes are really the mirror to the soul. When you take a photo of a person that really tells you a lot about them which is how I pretty much judge people’s character by how they look in the photos, whether their smile looks phony or you see them over a number of different events. You can really tell a lot about their heart on how they look when they are smiling.
Jeff Dedrick: Really? So, over the years you’ve just been able to pick up stuff and you end up being usually right?
Ralph Zuranski: Pretty much. People can see that too, they are attracted to the honesty and integrity and the quality of the people in the photos that I have taken over the years. That’s one of the things that really draws people to the individual that I’ve selected as heroes.
I was just curious as how being recognized as an Internet hero changed your life?
Jeff Dedrick: I think after hearing some of the questions that you were going to ask it actually makes you take a look at yourself. For example, until you asked the question or had me think through the question about servicing others and the joy I feel, I didn’t really realize that I wasn’t doing it anymore. I was doing all of that back with my fitness club and giving so much and the pizza places and it never even dawned on me. If anything, it’s just going to reawaken these are great questions.
People need to not just listen to these interviews you are doing but to actually apply them to their own lives and see am I doing what I should be doing? Am I following some of these principles? Am I a hero? If anything, I think it’s more personally going to awaken a few things and make me a better person. I like to think that anyway. That’s what I’m striving for.
Ralph Zuranski: Hopefully it will awaken the hero in everybody. It’s there. It’s just waiting to come to fruition and have them realize that they too can be a hero. Well, how are you making the world a better place?
Jeff Dedrick: I know that I’m starting from home. I know that if you said, “Could the world survive without my businesses or my pizza places?” Now, the fitness clubs are a little different because I was really shaping people’s lives. The success stories that I had in those clubs were great, people that dropped 100 pounds are now living longer.
People that were getting off of medicine because they were so heavy that they were taking 20 pills a day and now are down to 2 or 0. That was a nice feeling. On the Internet, even though I’m helping people, am I really changing the world? That is a tough one.
Now, your stories are great. These can change people and make a difference. I know that I’m making a difference by paying attention to my family and my daughters, that’s how I make a difference.
Ralph Zuranski: Do you have any good solutions to the problems facing society, especially racism, child and spousal abuse, and violence among young people?
Jeff Dedrick: Oh, boy. There again, some of that can again boil down to maybe it’s just the luck of the draw for these people. It’s having strong role models because like you said they need those heroes. They need the strong role models to pattern their lives after and to not associate with some of these characters, weaker people with problems.
It’s one of those tough questions. So many people are in bad situations and they feel like it is out of their hands. It is out of their control. People need to just be able to take and look at their situations and realize they do have control.
They do have somewhere some type of control be it distance themselves from the bad situation or start making better choices for themselves. You always have some type of control so people need to just look at how they can better themselves and take control back in those situations.
Ralph Zuranski: If you had three wishes for your life and for the world that would instantly come true what would they be?
Jeff Dedrick: There are obviously for the world you want major things like having no poverty and having peace and for there not being all of the natural disasters that are just killing people and ruining people’s lives. Obviously, all of that I would want, true.
I guess I always think on a smaller scale. My immediate family and friends, I want all of the happiness for them and for them to reach their goals and their dreams. That’s what I want the most.
Ralph Zuranski: What do you think about the In Search of Heroes program and its impact on youth, parents, and business people?
Jeff Dedrick: I think it can have a huge impact. As I understand, Ralph, you are going to be expanding this into other areas, or possibly people are listening to this it’s already expanded into a lot of different areas. If people can find a hero that they can relate to be it outside of Internet marketing, it it’s in different businesses, if it’s in different areas, if they can relate be it if it’s a female or a male of different races, that’s what’s going to be great.
To expand this to include more and more people it’s just a better chance that people are going to be able to relate and they are going to be able to realize that they can change or they can make a difference in their own lives.
Ralph Zuranski: Hopefully the program will go to every local community and people will go in search of local different individuals for making a positive difference in the lives of others. As opposed to the people that are the sports’ stars and the movie stars, the rock stars who don’t have any real value to society other than how much money they make and how screwed up their personalities are.
Maybe people like them so much because they don’t feel so bad in their own lives because these people’s lives are so messed up.
Jeff Dedrick: Yeah, they don’t realize that. I don’t want to name celebrities but some of them are so messed up but people are hanging on their every word or looking at People magazine or Us or whatever the magazines are in the newsstand as though these guys are experts on anything. All they are doing is maybe singing songs or making movies and that’s it. Otherwise they are screwed up.
Ralph Zuranski: That’s the reason for the heroes program is for other people to realize, especially young people that the real heroes are the moms and the dads and the next door neighbors and the coaches and the teachers that are making a positive difference in their lives.
Jeff Dedrick: Totally, I 100% agree again, Ralph.
Ralph Zuranski: I really appreciate your time, Jeff. I know how busy you are and it’s just a real pleasure to talk to somebody who has had a good childhood and a good college and has been successful and hasn’t gone through all of the trials and tribulations that most of the people that I know have.
That really, I think, goes back to the quality of your upbringing and just how valuable it is to have a mom and a dad who are people that keep their word and live what they say and pass that on to the young people.
Jeff Dedrick: Definitely.
Ralph Zuranski: Thanks again, Jeff Dedrick. I appreciate your time.
Jeff Dedrick: Thank you very much for having me here.
Ralph Zuranski: You are very welcome.
For over 20 years, Jeff Dedrick has been a successful entrepreneur. From owning a DJ service while in college to eventually owning 5 restaurants and 2 fitness clubs, Jeff has enjoyed the freedom that comes from being self employed.
In February, 2005 Jeff decided to completely sell all of his offline businesses and move 100% online. He made that decision before he even started his first website or captured his first email subscriber!
Less than a year later, Jeff had a successful and rapidly growing online business.
The launch of his first site Secret Article Converter was an instant success and reached his one month’s goal in just 6 hours.
Jeff is the owner and creator of some of the hottest sites in Internet Marketing including his most recent sites:
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http://www.SendButtonProfits.com Membership at Send Button Profits gives online marketers all the training, tools, and monthly materials they need, including the Optin and Download Page Creator, the Video Optin Wizard, the One-Time-Offer Builder, Mini-Profit Packs, Premade Product Templates (that include optin and download pages), Premade Autoresponder Message Sets, and tons more, to create a massive list and to start making money online now.
http://www.ViralEbookExplosion.com Membership is FREE and you are able to brand your very own money producing ebooks with your cash producing affiliate links.
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Jeff’s online operation now has an office in the Ukraine with 4 full time coders and programmers and an office in his home town with 4 additional part-time employees.
You can contact Jeff at:
2100 East Milwaukee St.
Janesville, WI, 53545
Toll free: 1-877-867-373