If you ever get invited to a Secret Knock meeting, drop any plans you have and attend. Not only is the meeting a collection of some of the brightest and most successful business people, but it’s also one of the most exclusive meetings in the world.

To get into Secret Knock, you first need to be invited to apply. If your application gets approved, you are then mailed a key — yes, a physical key — to enter the meeting. However, the process is entirely worth it. Regulars at Secret Knock have included Kevin Harrington, Rob Angel, football hall-of-famer Andre Reid, Mount Everest record-holder Pem Sherpa and leadership teams from Make-A-Wish to Chuck E’ Cheese and Velcro.

The goal of Secret Knock is to share knowledge, a goal that Secret Knock-founder Greg Reid brings to each one of his keynote speeches. Reid is best known for his books, many of which became national best-sellers. Three Feet From Gold: Turn Your Obstacles Into Opportunities! and Stickability: The Power of Perseverance are a few of his books which share his secrets to individual success.

How did his books become so popular? As Reid puts it, “I don’t go to people who write books… I go to people who’ve sold books.” Just another lesson from one of the best modern inspirational speakers.

Coming from the Del Mar neighborhood of California, Greg Reid seemed to be given everything he needed to succeed when he was young. Naturally gifted at communication, it seemed that all he had to do was get through high school and college.

However, Reid turned out to be a poor student. In a phone interview, Reid told me that he “barely graduated high school and was the worst student.”

After, he jumped into a sales position where he quickly earned six figures. Reid’s “gift of gab” helped him sell Wolf of Wall Street style, and he was proving people that he could succeed despite not doing well in school.

But things didn’t stay great for Reid. It was coming out of rehab that Reid learned one the most valuable lessons of his life: people only have their perspective, and they’ll press it on you. It’s your job to separate the opinions from the genuine advice.

These lessons define Greg Reid. He’s learned that there will always be highs and lows, but it’s how you carry yourself through the lows that define who you are. Reid had plenty of moments where he could have given up, but he continued to push and persevere.

While his life has had low moments, Reid has found a way to dig deep and stay positive. His first big success came in 2004 when he sold his company, WorkSmart, for “low millions.” However, it wasn’t selling the company that turned out to be the best part of the deal.

After WorkSmart sold, Reid was approached by students at the University of California — San Diego to teach them how to build a company and wealth. His natural gift of speech wowed universities everywhere, and he began to teach across the nation.

It was at one of these events that a student suggest Reid write a book. “I should because I’ve never read a book,” he replied.

Reid began reading best-sellers and noticed that they were preaching the same lessons that he evangelized. He figured that writing a book wouldn’t be so difficult, and that’s when he learned another lesson: “The difference between an author and a writer.”

This is the key to Reid’s success. Instead of doing everything himself, he enlists the aid of experts who get things done. And not just any expert. Reid says he goes directly to “whomever is the top in the field.” While he could have worked with people who write books, he worked with people who sell books, culminating in a deal directly with Barnes & Noble.

Entrepreneurs thrive when they’re collaborating with each other and working together instead of against each other. Reid’s inspirational speeches drive people to achieve more and to never give up on their goals. With speakers like Greg Reid and events like Secret Knock, there’s plenty of ways to hear life changing lessons from some of the best.

Originally published at medium.com