Tag Archives: dreams

The Stuff that Dreams are Made of: The Determined Dreamer

Question: Where have you been tempted to give up?

Question: Have you thought about tossing your dream to the wind?

Question: Can you look at one man’s life and be inspired to begin again?

Abraham Lincoln:

• A man instrumental in bringing an end to slavery
• A man responsible for bringing the most famous speech- The Gettysburg Address
• He guided a nation through its single greatest test- the Civil War
• A man history stands in awe of

Look at the score board of his life!
He actually had a losing record in life:

1. He had a very difficult childhood and was raised in incredible poverty
2. He had less than one year of formal schooling
3. 1831: He entered his first business: it failed
4. 1832: He ran for public office: he was defeated
5. 1833: He started another business: it failed
6. 1834: He ran for public office: he won!
7. 1835: The girl he was about to marry died suddenly
8. 1838: He was defeated as Speaker
9. 1840: He was defeated as Elector
10. 1842: He was married to Mary Todd. They had four sons. Only one son lived past the age of 18 years old. The other boys died at ages 4, 11, and 18.
11. 1843: He again ran for Congress: he was defeated
12. 1846: He was elected to Congress!
13. 1848: He was defeated for Congress
14. 1855: He was defeated for Senate
15. 1856: He was defeated for Vice President
16. 1858: He was defeated for Senate again

Let me ask you, if that was your scorecard, would you have run for President?

Three lessons from Lincoln:
1. He was resilient and always pushed through quitting points. You can too!
2. He was known for his ability to build bridges with people who earlier opposed him
3. He believed that failure is not an outcome but an attitude. Choose to have a successful attitude!

My Favorite Lincoln Quote:
“I do not like that man. I must get to know him better”

I encourage you this day to step back and re-think any setback or perceived failure you have had. It truly is preparing you for the magnificent purpose you were created for.

Be determined in your dreams!

Feeling Stronger,
Steve Gutzler

The Stuff that Dreams are Made of: Just the First Step

“Hi Mr. Olsen, this is Steve Gutzler. Is Nancy there?”

It was my best shot. My mom had gone to Ernie’s Grocery Store and I was home alone. My palms were sweaty, my throat was dry, and my fingers were shaking as I dialed our old manual telephone. My greatest fear was that Mr. Olsen would answer. My second greatest fear at the moment was that Nancy wouldn’t remember who I was. After all, I went to Cedar Park Junior High and she attended Meadow Park Junior High.

I had met Nancy a few weeks earlier at a combined school dance. They called it a sock-hop. I didn’t have the courage to ask her to dance then. But now, by golly, I was going to take the first step! The first step is always the hardest! I was calling her up! First time for everything, so here I go! I’d never called a girl before. I had rehearsed it over and over in my mind. As I dialed it was both exciting and excruciating… 664-2734…ring….ring….ring….

The deepest lowest voice I have ever heard answered, “Hello?” I was pretty sure that wasn’t Nancy. I was pretty sure it was Mr. Olsen… my greatest fear… oh no…

I stammered out the words “…Hi Mr. Olsen, this is Steve Gutzer. Is Nancy there?” Then the deep voice again, “Yes!” A pause… “Umm, may I please speak with her?” My voice was not deep, instead, it was cracking, breaking, imploding! Then he said in that deep voice… “Sure, Steve.” Magical words! Just those two words rang like success!

When Nancy came to the phone I felt emboldened and empowered. We had the most amazing and thought-provoking conversation. We talked about weird teachers, funny friends, her new shoes, my old shoes and we laughed!

As a 13-year-old kid that was a break through!


I know it is a childhood example, but it isn’t childish! I am around a lot of leaders, a lot of entrepreneurs, and a lot of business types. Some of these people carry a bundle of precious dreams around in their hearts. But that is just the problem! The dreams are only carried around in their hearts! They are afraid of taking that first step. They are afraid of big, deep-voiced Mr. Olsen saying “No, you cannot talk to Nancy.”

I heard Les Brown say recently, “Let me tell you a little secret, you’re not coming out alive in life! You will either be in the grandstands or on the playing field. You might as well get on the field and start playing!”

The Stuff that Dreams are Made of:

  1. What are you waiting for?  Perfect conditions? Less stress? Slower pace? Freed up schedule? Reminder: There is no such thing as perfect conditions and probably, things are not going to slow down much.
  2. What is holding you back? Which fear? Is it the fear of failure? The fear of the unknown? Reminder: As you move toward that which you fear it will grow smaller, not larger! Your momentum and traction will gain speed and soon whatever fear has held you captive will be tamed by your activity, not your passivity!
  3. How do you get started? In your over-worked and imperfect state, you start with just the first step. Reminder: Your first step may be small at first, but it will be impactful in the long run.

“That is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”


I appreciate you!

Remember: Take that first step!

Steve Gutzler
ps. Listen to John F. Kennedy’s Speech about landing on the moon too!

The Stuff That Dreams are Made Of

“Your life is not over. We’re just getting started”

“The stuff that dreams are made of…” That’s Carly Simon! Don’t leave just yet, but instead take a listen to her song at the end of the post.

Personally, my dream started in brokenness. Things had been progressing pretty well. I had a wonderful wife, a nice house, and three kids that brought me joy and abundance. But then suddenly and expectantly, I was out of work. It only ended up lasting a few months but I had found so much self-identity, self-esteem, and self-concept in my work that it quickly brought me to ground zero.

The low point was looking through the Seattle Times Classifieds and interviewing over the phone for a sales position. I was being interviewed by the sales director who was probably a few years my junior, who had low EQ, and who had poor interviewing skills for a position that was definitely below my pay grade.

This part of the story I am not proud of. I hung up on him midsentence. I felt degraded, devalued, and humiliated. It wasn’t his fault but my own. I was in a free-fall of identity and purpose. Just hours prior to the interview, I had parked my car in an empty parking lot to despair and to weep for a couple hours. Looking back, I don’t know if I was clinically depressed, but it felt that way. I would try desperately to pull to the surface only to slide back down.

Fast Forward.

On a walk with my new golden retriever puppy, Rosie, I heard the whisper. The Creator Himself said to me “Your life is not over. We are just getting started!” I have referenced this before, but I still get chills when I think about it. I am so grateful for that voice and for that nudge when God reminded me that my job did not determine who I am, reminded me that I am not a failure, and that I am not a “no count.”

It was there in the back trails of our neighborhood that I birthed the dream for Steve Gutzler and Leadership Quest.

The growth chart of my company has not been strictly up and to the right. Instead it has been ebb and flow. But I now walk with confidence and smile. I so desperately want people to feel the possibility of purpose. To feel the exhilaration of the pursuit of that one big thing.

I would like to offer three points from Carly Simon’s lyrics and invite you in the next weeks to draw close and lean in…

  1. It is your Heart and Soul’s Desire:
    Can you slow enough to listen to your heart beat? To listen to your soul’s desire? To your dream?
  2. Don’t look at yourself in the same old way. Take a new picture:
    Oh if I could help you take a new picture of yourself and your dream. I want to help you discover a fresh perspective!
  3. It is the reason we are alive!
    It is not hard for me to say I wept in my car for over two hours because I thought my best days were over.  But I made a come-back. And it didn’t consume me. Instead it recast me into the man with an extraordinary dream who I am today. “Inspiring people and organizations to greatness.” It is the reason I am alive!

In the next few weeks I hope to provide a pathway to your dreams.

Please, sit back and listen…

Special thanks to Carly Simon.

Here’s to your dreams!
You matter to me,
Steve Gutzler