During the early 1990s, a new musical movement swept across the United States. Dubbed "The Seattle Sound" or "Grunge," it made superstars of bands like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and many others.
Those four bands alone went on to sell a combined 150 million records (and counting), and at least two of them attribute their incredible success and impact to a guy you've never heard of.
His name was Andy Wood, and he died in 1990, before any of those bands made it big and before Grunge became as popular in Peoria as it was in the Pacific Northwest.
What Andy Wood Knew
The reason Andy Wood had such a massive impact on those musicians (and countless others) was that he encapsulated one of the secrets to success in business (and life): You must act as if what you want to achieve is ALREADY a reality.
Motivational speaker and bestselling author Tony Robbins is famous for this, telling anyone who will listen these six words: "Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it."
Note the second part of that phrase - Believe it.
Even though his Seattle-based band, Mother Love Bone, was playing to mostly-empty bars and indifferent crowds during the late 1980s, Andy Wood already believed he was a rock star.
He dreamed it. He believed it.
Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready recalls how Wood would work the crowd - no matter what the size - as if he already was a world famous singer.
"He'd go to the Central Tavern, when there were like twenty-five people there, and play it like it was a coliseum," McCready says in the Pearl Jam Twenty documentary. "He'd be like, 'To all you people in the back!' and [the only person back there] was the guy at the door."
Tragedy, Then Incredible Success
Unfortunately, Wood never made it to the big time - he died of a drug overdose just as Mother Love Bone (which featured future Pearl Jam co-founders Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament) finished its first studio album.
But in the aftermath of his death, what would become known as Grunge, or "The Seattle Sound" was launched. Seattle-based bands like Pearl Jam (32 million records sold), Nirvana (75 million), Alice in Chains (20 million) and Soundgarden (22.5 million) became some of the most popular rock acts of the 1990s and beyond.
"He was a rock star, he knew it," Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell says of Wood in the Pearl Jam documentary. "And something about that ... made us all believe that we were, too."
Navy SEALs and Tony Robbins
One of my favorite scenes from the hit movie Zero Dark Thirty happens in a helicopter.
Consider for a moment that U.S. Navy SEALs are considered to be some of the most accomplished, incredible and toughest soldiers on the planet.
And when the United States decided to send in a team for a top secret mission to get Osama Bin Laden, they picked the SEALs.
And, as portrayed in Zero Dark Thirty, at the very moment the SEALs are flying toward Bin Laden's compound, getting ready for one of the most important military missions in U.S. history, the leader of the team is listening to Tony Robbins on his headphones:
Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it.
Make no mistake: those six words carry the future success - or failure - of your biggest goals in life and business.
Confidence, after all, is contagious. Remember: It doesn't matter if it's rock music or refurbishing wood windows. If you do not act as if you're already there, you'll never get "there."
In Andy Wood's case, his refusal to give up and steadfast belief that his band would make it big infected those other young, struggling musicians around him. The group included the founding members of what would later become Pearl Jam (Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament) and Wood's roommate, Chris Cornell, who would found Soundgarden, Audioslave and many other successful solo and group projects for decades to come.
Hundreds of millions of album sales. Worldwide fame and success.
All because a singer nobody ever heard of believed it was inevitable, and, in fact, acted as if it already were true no matter what room he stepped into.
Dream it. Believe it. Achieve it.
Your Turn - What's Your Dream?
Tell me in the comments what your dream is! (I'm achieving one of mine here.) Let's get you taking the next steps to believe it and achieve it. Look forward to your thoughts!