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Peak Performance How a master of motivation changed his business . . . and his life

By Paul Katzeff

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Most people find their pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. DanBrattland found his at the end of a neighbor's driveway-past aferocious, snarling dog.

It was 1979, and Brattland, then 17, was going door-to-door inBloomington, Minnesota, asking neighbors if they would pay him tosealcoat their driveway. "One guy had a long driveway, with adog at the end of it-a big, mean dog," recalls Colin Sievers,Brattland's partner in that long-ago enterprise. "I said,'Dan, let's go to the house next door.' But Dan said,'No.' "

The teenagers made it up the driveway but not before the dog hadsunk its canines into Brattland's leg. It was a painful way tolearn the salesperson's age-old lesson about the value ofgetting your foot in the door. Whether out of pity or genuine need,the dog's owners hired the pair. For payment, Brattland agreedto a barter arrangement, accepting a set of audiotapes by notedmotivational speaker Tom Hopkins.

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