The year was closing out…but I had one more opportunity to present my speech to MY insurance company.
But let me back up to when I met JR, my rep. I met JR about 6 years ago.
He called me on the phone…4 years later…a cool-warm call at best. He said he wanted to meet with me to discuss our Auto Insurance. I had this company since 2001 and I didn’t like the service I was getting, so I agreed to meet.
He showed me what he had and he made a convincing case to switch…so I did. Since switching, I had to call JR one time for my daughters car. As soon as I called him, he picked up on the third ring and answered my question! This was the service that I had been waiting for!!! JR, you are the man.
Anyway, I made a luke warm call to HIM, and said I was looking to speak at one of their COMPANY events and do you think you can help. (OK, I think BIG.) A few weeks passed and I got a call from Christi and she wanted me to speak at her upcoming sales meeting. And Christi told me she lived on the same BLOCK as me (about 12 houses down)! I gladly accepted, but now I had to practice my speech again.
I thought “how hard came that be? I gave this speech over 500 times.” Well, it was hard. The first time thru the speech, I was terrible!!! Luckily, I had a few weeks to practice and I THINK I did ok.
I have to ask my wife Jill….to give me the truth…no holding back. In the past, these were tough to hear, but I think this time, I gotten better. I will ask her one the post is done…so she can’t change it!
After Gordon and I speak to various audiences, I am always struck by the stories told to us privately by a few audience members. People confide in us with their own difficult journeys, whether it be from illness or injury or whatever might have happened.
With each story, I am reminded to be grateful that Gordon has the opportunity to get better. Not everyone has that chance. Some must endure the long, slow decline of affliction, facing each day without the hope of improvement. These people and the people who love them live with that reality.
Gordon and I have hope for a better tomorrow. Rather than endure a long, slow decline, we persevere through a long, slow recovery, always optimistic that improvement is around the corner. We remind each other how far Gordon has come in his recovery and talk about our goals for continued improvement. We don’t want to squander this chance we have–a chance that many people don’t have. We will focus on the bright side of our difficult journey.
A little over two years ago, Gordon gave his presentation, “My Brain Has A Hole In It” for the first time to a group of close friends. That experience started us on a new path–Inspirational Speaking! But who, other than friends, would want to listen to us? Would we be inspirational to people who had never heard of us?
Gordon and I started making phone calls, trying to book an opportunity to speak to an audience of strangers. It took some time but we were eventually introduced to Dennis, an active member of Rotary. After a delightful meeting in front of a local coffee shop, Dennis agreed to give us a chance.
Our first speaking engagement was to the Greater Clark County Rotary of Vancouver, Washington. I was very nervous for Gordon but he was completely confident. I don’t think he even considered that the presentation might not go well. Gordon was right–he got a standing ovation.
Two years have gone by and so much has happened. Gordon has given well over 100 speeches. I’ve published a book and have launched my own speaking career.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to that same Rotary Club, back where we started. This time Gordon was nervous for me! No need to be nervous, Rotary clubs are filled with wonderful people. This time, it was my turn to get a standing ovation 😉