Thanks for asking! Here’s the process.
Believe it or not… I attended my first seminar when I was 14 years old. I was working my dream job at my small town bike shop… and the own sent me to a Schwinn Selling School. From the minute the speaker walked in the room… I wanted his job.
In high school and college, I got to speak at different events around the world. (My favorite was at a castle in Wales.) I even hosted my first seminar while still in college.
After college I got into business to business sales and pharmaceuticals in order to build some experience. During that time I was able to become Program Training Manager for a $ 2 billion company. I was able to design and facilitate training on new products, sales, ethics and leadership.
Eventually I was wildly blessed to launch my own speaking and coaching organization in 2002, and we’ve been working with amazing clients ever since!
Great question! Personally, I have some BIG dreams about experiences I want to have with wife Melissa and our two boys. (For example… we want to hit Italy for a month some day and geek out a Comicon for a full week.)
Professionally, one of my biggest dreams is to help spark one million dreams in my life time. That’s one of the biggest reasons why I’m so passionate about our “BIG Dream Gathering” movement and some of our other big dream projects. That might sound a little “touchy-feely” but I feel really strongly that if a group of people stops dreaming big… they die. (Whether it’s a company that stops innovating, a country that stops producing great ideas or a sports team that can’t win a game.) So yeah… I want to play my part in sparking big dreams!
My speaking is HEAVILY influenced by coaching theory. In fact, I geek out on ways to help an audience to really own a concept.
Think about it. How many times have your read a great book or received some solid advice… but you didn’t apply it? (Don’t feel bad… it happens all the time!) This tends to happen because we don’t OWN the idea. So as a coach AND as a speaker… my goal is to help people to discover solutions that work for them and then own them. Because if they own the idea… the chances they will implement will go through the roof!
LOVE this question. The first one that comes to mind was from when I was speaking at NASA. During a break, a participant came up to ask if I’d want to be a part of an anti-gravitational project. I thought he was joking, but he was serious as a heart attack. (I jumped at the chance but it hasn’t played out… yet.) In this case… the audience member wasn’t funny… but my reaction made me an instant member of “Geeks Anonymous.”
Hmmmm. That’s a good one.
I speak on innovation and thinking big, so recently, I was asked to speak at a conference that were honoring 100+ Ph.D’s for their accomplishments in innovation internationally.
That was a little daunting. I started out by reminding them that I had drawings in my first book, and by thanking them for pushing the envelope on what was possible.
Then, I told some stories about some lesser-known but inspiring innovators and asked them some questions to get them thinking. It must have been a success because we had 15 minutes scheduled for Q&A and in the end and they just wanted to keep going!
It was a true honor and whole lot of fun!