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My Greatest Mistakes as a Speaker with John Register

My Greatest Mistakes as a Speaker with Jane Atkinson and John Register
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Quote: “The mission is to hurdle adversity, amputate fear, embrace a new normal mindset to win life’s medals.” John Register

If I’d only known then what I know now. A thought we’ve all had at one time or another. What are the things you wish you had done differently when starting your speaking business? On this episode of The Wealthy Speaker Show, we welcome John Register to share his experience and discuss some of the decisions that may make your journey to creating the speaking business of your dreams a little smoother.

John Register failed to clear a hurdle as he trained for the Olympic Games—a move that led to a tragic accident and altered his life forever. He shifted his focus and embraced a “new normal mindset.” The decorated Persian Gulf War combat U.S. Army veteran world champion became a two-time Paralympic Games Silver Medalist, professional speaker, and global influencer.

 

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Jane Atkinson: hey welcome everyone to the wealthy speaker podcast today we are talking about hurdling adversity, because, as you know.

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Jane Atkinson: Or maybe you don't the speaking business is not exactly a straight line personally i've been writing a lot about failure of the past few years and I found the perfect person to discuss this with john register welcome john.

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John Register: Jay thanks for having me on your show I can't wait, you are just one of the Rock stars in the industry.

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John Register: So everything you do for people just elevates and lifts the speaking community, so thank you for what you do.

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Jane Atkinson: Oh you're so kind well I am so interested to dig into your story, because it is a story so.

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Jane Atkinson: You know, start at the beginning and kind of take us to where you are today in your in terms of your speaking business but.

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Jane Atkinson: How did this all get started.

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John Register: yeah well you know as professional speakers, we all have a journey a story that we are using.

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John Register: Usually, to get into the business right we think we have something to say we want to say it, whether you're a motivational inspirational speaker or whether you're speaking to business and corporate.

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John Register: clients are really doesn't matter there's a story and impetus that excellently gets a story started in mind really came when I was working for the United States army.

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John Register: At the community and family support Center right after I had injured my left leg, and I was trying to do a rebirth a reset to my life.

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John Register: And I was taking these these individuals these service members.

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John Register: down to these terror missions these total army involvement with recruiting.

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John Register: So there's not to put troops in boots.

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John Register: And I would have these athletes, I was their support specialist and the kind of their manager.

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John Register: And I would do this kind of dog and pony show where I would be the emcee.

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John Register: And that would introduce the next act and then that would be the emcee again and I would tell a clip or story or joke, or something points in my leg haha and all these things.

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John Register: would work was getting the attention of the principles, because the recruiters being no dummies.

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John Register: They started calling me when I went back to Virginia, where I was living at the time and saying hey, who was the one like a guy that was down there.

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John Register: telling these kids about this journey and emceeing the program they're still talking about them so they called me up and asked, would you would you come on down, would you.

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John Register: Would you be able to do like a 40 minute presentation in front of the audience these kids and I said sure, then they said well how much do you charge for that.

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Jane Atkinson: don't you that question, for the first time.

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John Register: i'll give back to you.

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John Register: Let me figure this one out because I need to speak what.

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John Register: So that was the beginning of this journey and, for me, you know I made reference to being an amputee and I was a world class hurdler.

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Jane Atkinson: I was on let's go all the way.

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Jane Atkinson: Back way back.

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Jane Atkinson: In the beginning so.

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Jane Atkinson: You were an athlete.

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John Register: yeah I was an athlete but I was also a musician.

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John Register: So we often have these well rounded things and they come back to us later in life So yes, I was an athlete play football play baseball ran track and field earned a scholarship.

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John Register: To the University of Arkansas became a four time track and field all American went to two Olympic trials.

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John Register: Parallel to that I was in the scala can Torm I was singing at the University of Arkansas on the highest level choir.

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John Register: I got in there, my freshman year they never take freshmen in that choir but I was trained so well that they want to me in the choir so here's a parallel thing that's going on.

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John Register: I also communicated very well, I was it was doing speeches and stuff in high school, so all these things we are some of all of our experiences that get us to the point, later on, of when we you know may launch off into the speaking career.

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Jane Atkinson: Okay, so you choose a sport you train and, what is your sport that you're going to do.

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John Register: The sport becomes track and field.

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John Register: And so inside of track and field or.

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John Register: Multiple disciplines and I become a world class hurdler high hurdler so I went to the Olympic trials and the hurdles in 1988.

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John Register: And then, so that means I made the Olympic qualifying standard that was that's what it means for the United States and also competed in the long jump at the same trial so two sports.

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John Register: High hurdles and long jump and then later on, after that I am I also ran the 400 meter hurdles in my second Olympic trials one time around the track over over 10 obstacles space and 35 meters apart.

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Jane Atkinson: And hurdles are not easy and something.

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John Register: racing the world.

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Jane Atkinson: run hurdles, I was a track and field girl.

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Jane Atkinson: Today 20 minutes on the treadmill and i'm done so.

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Jane Atkinson: I don't even put it up a level.

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Jane Atkinson: So okay talk about what happened.

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Jane Atkinson: Was it athletics, and then military and then you were coming back to athletics, and you had the accident, what happened.

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John Register: Well, the accident happened when I was serving in the United States army after college I joined the military to compete on the army's world class athlete program team.

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John Register: To us.

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Jane Atkinson: an athlete only in the in the.

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Jane Atkinson: Military OK.

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John Register: And then of course there's all these parallel paths right so operation desert shield Desert Storm came up and I was diverted off of this team.

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John Register: To actually go serve and the goal for the first Gulf War, and I spent six months in the desert came back without a scratch didn't have you know any issues.

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John Register: But I the my biggest issue was I wasn't I wasn't training during that time, so therefore I lost my high hurdle acumen and that's the reason for switching to the 400 meter hurdles what the one time around the track.

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John Register: And in my first my fifth race ever I finished up.

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John Register: 17th and those trials, and so my coach and I said okay let's do another four years, because we have a plan now that we can execute against to make the Olympic team.

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Jane Atkinson: you're heading for the Olympics Is your goal.

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Jane Atkinson: And what happens.

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John Register: So on may 17 1994 at 529 in the afternoon i'm on the world's fastest man in the hurdles top 20 in the world top eight to the United States and the winds blowing hard in hays Kansas I go across a hurdle.

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John Register: I missed it I land awkwardly the Doc would landing causes a dislocation to my left knee a severing of the RD behind the kneecap and seven days later i'm faced with the choice.

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John Register: keep my leg use a Walker or wheelchair, for the rest of my life amputate my leg use a prosthesis for the rest of my life.

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Jane Atkinson: And you were married at the time track.

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Jane Atkinson: Right and you and your wife, make the decision that you're going to let your leg go.

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you're gonna go.

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John Register: Well, she didn't make the decision so she always tells me that.

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John Register: So see actually you know the.

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John Register: I was in so much pain, it was really the pain that spoke and i'd look to the doctors, I know it has to be amputated answer the way she's like what the whole family like what wait a minute wait a minute wait time I wait.

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John Register: And I just went straight for it because it's going to probably be amputated later on, as he realized, it was my choice now where she really comes into the.

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John Register: picture is you know after we do something as we make a commitment to something that's when the work begins.

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John Register: And sometimes we don't we haven't measured, the cost of what it takes to actually become successful we now get on this other side they.

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John Register: have to unlearn some things in order to relearn for for me relearning how to walk relearning how to to do some things and in that moment, we can go down this downward spiral kind of a woe is me almost in my wife saw me struggling of my identity, who am I now.

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Jane Atkinson: yeah.

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John Register: you're gonna stay around is my son going to still see me.

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John Register: yeah and so she comes and says john we're going to get through this together, you know, this is really just our new normal.

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John Register: She says that to be a 1994 and, of course.

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John Register: The term now is overused but I use it back again and bring people back to original intent, so therefore if you can take a concept that people might be over using and bring back to original intent.

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John Register: You can over take the conversation and become a thought leader inside of that because it works in jails with your.

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Jane Atkinson: story what concept you're speaking of what.

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John Register: So the concept is the new normal most people like.

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John Register: That term right.

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John Register: And so new.

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Jane Atkinson: I mean it was so legit right.

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John Register: yeah it was it was it was really the thing that that would that would cause us to.

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Jane Atkinson: How ironic, was it for you that you are in the military and you're serving on the battlefield and then and you come home unscathed and then have this accident happened on a track and field.

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Jane Atkinson: Is that, like the weirdest thing to you that.

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John Register: It is on the surface right on the surface it's crazy cuz i'm the only one that's had this accident according to track and field news USA when they did the history.

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John Register: History, but all however it's another talking point collect that new normal.

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John Register: Because most people think when I asked audiences how many people you think in America were injured on the battlefield during the 20 years in Afghanistan and I get numbers like 30,000 you know 50,000.

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John Register: In reality, it's was 1500 that were had amputations so it's very small, the media blows it up.

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John Register: But there are a lot more amputation that happened inside the military but it's outside.

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John Register: Of theater 70% of injuries happen outside of theater so I became one statistics of the 70% that were outside so that's a talking point for me.

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John Register: To say sometimes the things that we look at in the media is not the thing that.

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John Register: That we understand in fact it's actually something else.

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Jane Atkinson: shining the light in the right area.

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Jane Atkinson: Absolutely interesting Okay, so you you go out and you are speaking in the athletic division of the military to bring in new recruits and they say hey you we're gonna pay you for this.

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Jane Atkinson: go out and you take your first speaking engagement, how much did you charge them for that very first one day.

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John Register: I went to a.

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John Register: person who was in the side, the national speakers association that time and her name is bonnie St john.

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Jane Atkinson: Oh gosh.

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John Register: yeah because my mentor in business.

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John Register: And she gives me.

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John Register: An idea, I think it was 1500 dollars, I asked for.

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Jane Atkinson: that's that sounds about right I, and I say in the wealthy speaker 2.0 that you're in the game at 1500 dollars, this is like the baseline that and and the only place to go okay so let's just fast forward to your business today john your website.

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Jane Atkinson: Did very, very well in our best website contest it was nominated to the finalists and really did.

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John Register: I was shocked.

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Jane Atkinson: How we got introduced to each other, oh.

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Jane Atkinson: Really excited about that and I thought Okay, well, I really wanted to talk to you a little bit more so fast forward to today and give me a snapshot of what's going on in your speaking.

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Jane Atkinson: Business today.

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John Register: yeah lots of lots of things happening because, as a as a professional speaker in that world you know we I became I got really clear on what I deliver, and I think that was always really.

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John Register: ambiguous before kind of getting into this mode where i'm right now and Cobra was another place to dive deeper into.

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John Register: The content that I deliver instead of becoming a coach and the speaker and all the other things I really want to deepen my content, because the at the end of the day.

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John Register: The the vision that we have is to inspire worlds with our company inspired communications international.

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John Register: And to inspire world we have to reach out and touch other individuals other entities, is not to inspire the world.

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John Register: it's to inspire worlds, so our worlds are intersecting now and so now, I have an entry into yours, and you have entree into mine and we can expand.

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John Register: The way we measure this is by echoes that come back to us so ripples go out but echoes come back and those echoes can come from anywhere.

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John Register: So the mission, then, is when everybody's heard about the the hurdles is to hurdle adversity as to work a business professionals to hurdle adversity.

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John Register: amputate fear embrace the new normal mindset to win lives metals, because right at as a most times when.

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John Register: An Olympian or somebody can mount Everest is trying to relate a story, they only get to the story part and they don't tell us the point of why they're trying to do it.

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John Register: I want you to win the metals that are in your life at your level, so we put that and bake it right into our mission statement.

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John Register: And so we speak to corporations and.

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John Register: With our State Department we traveled the globe trying to.

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John Register: Implement that that strategy, the concepts into at the baseline level of leadership and at the executive level to cause those ripples of change.

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John Register: The biggest thing we're really trying to do Jane is to get people to commit to the jumps that they know they have to make in life.

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John Register: So i'm not trying to i'm one I love teams there's nothing wrong with teams, you know, I was on teams and we did very well when national championships.

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John Register: But where i'm really focuses on that individual that's my target market is the person that's about to commit to a jump.

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John Register: or just has to make a jump the hurdle that's right in front of them and then what they do, right after they take the hurdle that's the goal and the person i'm trying to get after.

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Jane Atkinson: You know it's interesting we've been talking a lot about the two secrets of the speaking industry lately and it's only two things it one is belief.

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Jane Atkinson: And that's all about what you're talking about making the leap, and then the second thing is consistent action.

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Jane Atkinson: So first you need to believe that what your goal is is really possible and then you just simply need to take consistent action in order to get there and there's lots of things along the way, so.

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Jane Atkinson: Tell us give us an example of the types of companies that are hiring you today and are you doing just keynotes for them what's your what's your business model look like.

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John Register: it's primarily keynotes However, we have done some work around.

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John Register: Things that will come up in society that I might have a life experience around, for example, being an African American man inside of the United States of America and George floyd Ahmad aubrey.

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John Register: brown a Taylor are killed, and in that we're having these conversations and people are calling to say.

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John Register: Tell me more about this, I want, I really do want to learn now I don't do the work for folks what I do is I see our experience and I give a framework generally baked in disability.

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John Register: Because we talked about employee resource groups business resource groups or the entire di.

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John Register: process disability encompasses all of those but it's The least one that's talked about so we do a little bit of training on on that or things and disability.

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John Register: equity as well, but the keynotes are really with you know companies like South by Southwest airlines KPMG you know big companies like like that top fortune 250 companies.

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John Register: And then, with our State Department I love working with our State Department, because if you think about it.

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John Register: You get a chance to go around the world, and one of the things I saw was I was speaking in.

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John Register: Was I was in Dubai talking about disability and there was another kind of well known football coach who was going to talk about teams to our State Department underneath the last administration with so it was Secretary of pump pale and.

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John Register: The word got back that I was doing this thing, and I was connecting the business community with the the State Department can mean that was over there are our ambassador in charge of affairs and they took out that football coach and inserted me.

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John Register: To talk about the team concept.

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John Register: So I went to talk to all of our ambassadors all of our charge of affairs and the in Franklin room in Washington DC so the next to you know Secretary pump pale so it's not a brag thing is it's like saying when you.

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John Register: get clear on who you are, you can.

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John Register: you'll find yourself in some pretty interesting rooms right.

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Jane Atkinson: So amazing to go back to the dei space here it's very interesting for you to weave your existing ideas of creating a new normal around like culture, how can we get a new, better normal is more advanced in this in this space so many things so many things.

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John Register: yeah the room.

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Jane Atkinson: Well, it sounds to me like you're doing, really, really well john and i'm very excited for you, but i'm sure it hasn't been a straight line for you.

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Jane Atkinson: Tell us about your biggest mistake that you made in the speaking business Okay, where you want to start.

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Jane Atkinson: We only have.

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Jane Atkinson: We only have 40 minutes.

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John Register: Okay i'll give you i'll give you the biggest one I made, I think the greatest lesson.

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John Register: At first that I learned i'll tell you in two different kind of pack the short into different stores, the first one that I took a speaking engagement that never should have taken.

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John Register: was out there, doing it, I really wouldn't say anything I didn't have my content down, I was still you know kind of pushing and trying to understand, who I was in the moment.

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John Register: But I took an engagement, I never should have done it was an engagement with a government entity.

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John Register: They wanted customer service and I thought I could just morph and put my package stuff into this customer service experience and for 55 minutes, it was the worst.

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John Register: Time of my life and I knew I was missing it, I just want to give their money back right, it was it was it was absolutely horrible so and then.

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John Register: You know, we do things like that So what do we learn from the experience right we never want to do that again So how do we prepare for it and so.

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John Register: quickly falling on the heels of that presentation was another one, I did.

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John Register: And I thought I was in a moment i'm going to be over prepared, and all this other stuff.

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John Register: And I was hitting it, I thought I mean i'm doing my best stuff and I got this really good I i'm still not to the place where I am today, and I can and.

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John Register: Then, today I will be where I am in the future we're always growing so so i'm at this at this group i'm speaking for pharmaceutical company down in Florida.

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John Register: And i'm feel, these are like $250,000 $3,000 earners and i'm in here the guy because I because this latest book sitting next to me that's their team leader on the aircraft and wants me to come and speak.

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John Register: And i'm I know it's i'm giving good stuff right and at this point, I know i'm giving good stuff.

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Jane Atkinson: Man down the whole.

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John Register: Not nothing.

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John Register: it's like crickets.

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John Register: And so after it's over with people are coming up and spratley saying oh that was that was really good and stuff, and so I just thought it was flatline bomb another one holy cow what is happening.

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John Register: I just had this other one with his government now this one.

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John Register: And so I didn't ask the question I should have asked a question that's another mistake, I made is to just ask the question when you're in that moment, did I miss it did we do we get it give me some feedback right now and I didn't do that.

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John Register: And so, always asked the question because 10 years later, when this woman who brought me in.

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John Register: To that organization she reached out found my new email address contact me and said i've switched to another company, would you please come in and deliver that same presentation.

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Jane Atkinson: And you're like.

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John Register: Okay 10 years 10 years I was like that was horrible.

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Jane Atkinson: And you thought it was horrible, but it was not horrible the audience just didn't a moat the way that you were anticipating that they might.

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John Register: Right, so I got the courage to ask her I said when I said, you know the lady's name and I said, you know what when I thought, when you call me I thought you were calling me 10 years later, to ask for your money back.

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Right.

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John Register: And she said no, you know what happened is I had these high level performers and you were light years ahead of them.

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John Register: In what you were delivering so that's not a brag that what that means is, I have to slow down on my content.

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Jane Atkinson: Read the room.

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John Register: see whether.

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John Register: Let them breathe with it.

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Jane Atkinson: You know even look at somebody and say hey it looks like you're really thinking deeply about this tell me what you're thinking right now.

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Jane Atkinson: And that informs me where to go next, because if people are looking at you like deer in the headlights you have to dig in and say what's happening, are you processing.

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Jane Atkinson: Yes, I I keep going back to what you just said about this oh okay well let's dive into that a little bit more like I love it when you find out why there is a look on their face.

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Jane Atkinson: Because do not assume.

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Jane Atkinson: That you know what the look is about Actually, I want to tell a story, because one of my clients had this whole.

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Jane Atkinson: I kind of had to talk her down a little bit before a presentation, because she overheard a conversation, where the meeting planner was getting guff about hiring her from the marketing mocks.

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Jane Atkinson: And so, she was worried that they didn't actually want her there, but the meeting planner had set it up, so in the presentation, she sees them.

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Jane Atkinson: And they look bored and they look like they're on their phones and she thinks oh boy I don't have them, so I had said we're just going to step over them.

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Jane Atkinson: And we're going to give we're going to be there to provide value for the audience, which is what she did in the moment.

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Jane Atkinson: Only later later on to find out, they were texting each other whoa she's brilliant where did she come from and all of this praise and so you never know what's actually going on, do not assume.

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Jane Atkinson: Oh what's happening in the audience.

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John Register: Ever and that's the that's So when I when I give advice when someone comes to me and they're asking how do you become a speaker.

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John Register: Right it's it's I say there's the action steps you have to do in order to understand this entire game and that's one of them right there right so First, I will say yeah going into toastmasters so because that's like the scales will be playing the cello it's the scales.

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John Register: just learned that way right The second thing is you're doing the national speakers association reason why because they don't teach you how to speak, they teach the business of how to grow with speaking business.

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John Register: The Canadian version, dynamic and caps right or.

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John Register: Or the the the global speaker federation right so cover the world, and then the The third thing is, you probably want to join an improvisation troop.

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John Register: Just because of that moment, because it will never work out the way you want it to something always going to happen, and if you can use that as an offer, and a gift to you to expand to everyone else, so that those are the kind of three things I I suggest.

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Jane Atkinson: you to read the wealthy speaker to.

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John Register: The wealthiest man you gotta read this one, of course, you.

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John Register: know I mean it's because those are the resources that are out there in order to help you shorten the learning curve.

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John Register: So there's there's a lot of things that we can put into our arsenal that helps us get down the road faster and the final thing is you got to practice you got to go out there and actually do it.

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John Register: Because it's in those that I see so many people coming to conferences and things and they're just kind of spinning.

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John Register: You know they got the information they just spend it comes the next conference and they spin they don't put the action behind it that's why you have to take the hurdle You attack the hurdle that's in front of you so just do it put yourself out there, making it happen.

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Jane Atkinson: You know we're talking about hurdling adversity in your business if there was something that you wish, you would have done sooner What would it have been.

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John Register: hire an assistant.

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Jane Atkinson: Ah, starting to.

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Jane Atkinson: take off the you know $30 an hour jobs off of your plate.

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Jane Atkinson: and put them.

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John Register: up.

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John Register: Higher system, then probably after that give me a person.

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Jane Atkinson: You waited too long.

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John Register: um I well, so I have to that's a.

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John Register: it's not a it's not an easy question to answer because.

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John Register: I was, I was working a dual job I was working in the daytime with United States Olympic and Paralympic committee and in the evening time I was working on my speaker business from 2012.

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John Register: So I was kind of doing these things, trying to earn the certified speaking professional because I would have built a business so.

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John Register: In that time period i'm not sure if I would have handled an assistant, but maybe I don't know so maybe 2012 is an answer, but when I started in.

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John Register: 2019 when I was released from the United States Olympic Committee and went into my business full time.

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John Register: I believe I waited about six to seven months to hire somebody to come in, and I should have hired them right away, so I would say six or seven months too long, because I need to be focusing like you said on the 1500 3000 5000 $10,000 opportunities.

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Jane Atkinson: Rather than.

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John Register: $30 book.

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Jane Atkinson: Exactly I think a lot of people would probably agree that they've made that exact same mistake talk about a little bit about how.

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Jane Atkinson: You were to thrive and, by the way, your whole new normal speech and that idea is so perfect for right now, because.

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Jane Atkinson: No, nothing is going to go back to the way it was so we do understand what the new normal really is today talk about during the pandemic, how you maneuvered and not only you know survive, but thrive.

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John Register: yeah so the pandemic was was is is interesting because, so I heard a person, say, a woman came in from the distant future, and you know 2050 back to.

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John Register: 2020 march of 2020 and she she met Jane Jane oh my gosh Jane did you come to their spaceship where what your mind oh you're in March of 20 2026 oh my gosh the first year, the pandemics.

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Jane Atkinson: Oh, he has a multiple.

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Jane Atkinson: Well yeah so the.

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John Register: That shifted my thought process So the first thing I did as an athlete you surround yourself with the people that will push you forward and believe in.

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John Register: Just your success, and can you can elevate each other, so I got the negative groups out there was a fruit, they were the first to go.

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John Register: And I inserted myself into people that were looking for the opportunities, despite the obstacles it's what I say in my speeches, so I started enacting.

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John Register: Every single thing that I was telling other people to do into my business, and I feel, and I believe that a lot of speakers, they began check it out there's no to do.

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John Register: Well, they started telling people what to do.

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Jane Atkinson: If they were stuck in fear mode.

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Jane Atkinson: right they look for other people to back them up and say you're having a rough time aren't you you're having a rough time and then they could say, well, all of us are having a rough time and they feel better about that.

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Jane Atkinson: But when you made that shift, and so I was there for the first week or two talking to my husband about how we might need to sell everything I mean it took me.

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Jane Atkinson: A minute I had a moment.

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Jane Atkinson: sided So when I my belief.

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Jane Atkinson: came back that people need me now more than ever, was my belief.

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Jane Atkinson: Right when that came back it was it was like flipping a switch and then I sought out other people who were also thinking about where's the opportunity here.

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Jane Atkinson: Absolutely, and let us steer our groups to them, so my buddy Chris West video.

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Jane Atkinson: press.

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Jane Atkinson: You know, he said, come on Jane let's do a four week branding boot camp everybody needs this right now, so we did this brand camp that was so much fun and and he was a little ahead of me in his like mindset, I had to catch up like week two I think I showed up.

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Jane Atkinson: But.

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Jane Atkinson: And then I started to do other things with other people who are in the industry doing things like me, we all teamed up and we want it to be the voices of good for people to lead them through this difficult time and to show them where the opportunities were.

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Jane Atkinson: And so, how much how much virtual work have you done, I wanted to just make a note.

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Jane Atkinson: That when you.

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John Register: What i've done.

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John Register: A lot of virtual work and I did I wasn't turning anything away, not whether it was like a paid or not paid.

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John Register: It was not in that mindset of scarcity, it was a mindset of what I deliver because it was needed, as you said, in this time, even more so, so I really got a little bit chippy with inspirational motivational speaker that checked out.

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John Register: Because if you're telling your your folks beforehand that that this is how you get out of these tough situations.

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John Register: And you can't overcome the adversity.

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John Register: I think you're the wrong business right and now i'm really chippy with some bureaus that are bringing those same people back that couldn't make it through this time.

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John Register: And inserting them back into playing the card again you can't do that, what are you going to tell them during this time that you had that you checked out.

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John Register: yeah, we have to be able to come in and and the new normal mindset really is around this concept that the the the new normal is not a destination at all we don't arrive there it's only a plateau by which we grow.

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John Register: New is no prior point of reference, how many of us ever lived through a trance pandemic, none of us.

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John Register: So why are we trying to use old things old system to put into a new box to get a different result that's the definition of insanity so what I did was very similar I sought out individuals.

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John Register: Who could offer value and add value to me and believed in my vision that I had and they could elevate me.

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John Register: Because they're holding me accountable, week after week to the things I said I was going to accomplish so virtual yeah that was on the table hybrid I did a hybrid session like with inside of four weeks.

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John Register: That they flew me out to another location.

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John Register: To go in a room that was like you know.

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John Register: You know just to camera people and then i'm talking on you know, on the on my content and then they will be that right so and then that day I did.

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John Register: That, I was in San Diego I was in I was doing the sherm conference in Washington DC I was doing another conference to conference over and was at another University of Rhode island university and I was sleeping in my bed, I was in San Diego so I said i'm not the forex my business.

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Jane Atkinson: says don't tell me it's hard out there out there who are doing it and making it happen, and I just want to do a little side note because i'm looking at you, we have this out on YouTube visually if people want to see it but you're in a hotel room.

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Jane Atkinson: Right and you've got your headset on so you've got good quality of sound and everything, but you brought a personal picture so you're sitting.

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Jane Atkinson: There, with a nice lamp on it standard hotel room stuff.

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Jane Atkinson: But you've got a family picture behind you, and so I don't know really where you're tuning in from and if you're willing to just take things on the road that will make you feel at home, wherever you are you're going to shine no matter if you're in you know, on the 18th floor.

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Jane Atkinson: overlooking.

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Jane Atkinson: The garage it doesn't matter.

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Jane Atkinson: Now that's really a great idea when did you start putting the picture in your traveling.

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Jane Atkinson: engagements that you were doing from the road.

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John Register: i've done that, since I was when I went to the military and I went to war.

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John Register: So it was always it was always a memento of my family.

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John Register: And some form.

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John Register: Just to give me the reminder of what i'm doing this for.

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John Register: And you know, and I want them with me I want their presence their essence with me, so this picture is of course my wife and I we went to.

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John Register: A friend soul, she was a friend of mine who helped me build out a program and she got married and She invited us to come to a wedding was a total blacked out wedding without you know social blackout, so no no cell phones no nothing in there, like a picture of us.

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John Register: In this in this place so don't tell her, but we, but it was I do that, even when I go to a conference if i'm at a table, I will set the my family on the.

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John Register: On the like in a picture frame right up there, this is on my iPad and I just pulled up a nice picture that I can always kind of.

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John Register: Take a glance, and you know what while we're talking to, and I could just kind of look at my wife Alice and real and remember the time she told me, we will get through this together, this is just our new normal.

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Jane Atkinson: Okay, so let's just have a little reality check.

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Jane Atkinson: Here we're dealing with a pandemic, or maybe the ends of it or a pandemic, so we.

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Jane Atkinson: don't know.

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Jane Atkinson: Can we talk about what you learned.

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Jane Atkinson: During war that might bring some perspective to you know, overcoming hurdles in the speaking world Okay, so I had a phone call last week, I wrote about it it'll come out in the.

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Jane Atkinson: thing you know how to learn from failure I write one of these articles, at least once a year, sometimes multiple times, and so I had a photo where I showed up for the first time in 20 years to an event that all the other people were coming to an add another time.

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Jane Atkinson: So we were not on the same page in terms of times there was a miscommunication and blah blah blah blah blah.

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Jane Atkinson: And when I think about in that moment how upset I was, but yet I had a few people on the line with me, so I had to hold it together.

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Jane Atkinson: But when I think about how upset I was it doesn't take me long to say perspective Jane.

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Jane Atkinson: In the big scheme of things when two people misaligned in terms of the times and dates how big of a deal really is that, compared to war, compared to what's going on in the world, right now.

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Jane Atkinson: As we tape this russia's just invaded Ukraine, I mean there are such bigger fish to fry when you make a mistake in your business, how does this give you perspective john.

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John Register: Well, I think it's all about the preparation and when we prepare for war we drill and drill and drill so that, when we get there, that things will.

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John Register: will work out to the best advantage, and then the first shot inspire them and everything goes to pop you know after after that.

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John Register: However, you know, there are some things we can learn from that like you're saying with the perspective in that do people die when we we make a mistake in our business, you know some business, maybe, but in my business not too many, but in that in that case right.

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Jane Atkinson: always saying to my team look there really are no speaker emergencies like that's the group we cater to your nose.

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John Register: Not too bad.

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Jane Atkinson: yeah well the making engagement that's an emergency will do.

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Jane Atkinson: But really there are in in terms of being a coach to a speaker, there are really no emergencies.

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Jane Atkinson: Right so perspective.

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John Register: So there's a big perspective shift there right so The other thing I think what I bring the context I bring to, that is, we see in war.

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John Register: What we don't really see at home and here's what I mean by that there's the media will tell us one thing, depending upon which channel, we might be listening to which is very different than the narrative that might be going on.

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John Register: In the theater so, for example, when we talk about this is talking about Desert Storm now we're talking about.

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John Register: disrupting supply chains What that means is there is a six year old seven year old eight year old kid is not going to give me food because we're going to cut off the supply and they're coming up to your vehicle asking for food to eat.

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John Register: that's how it plays out over there.

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John Register: And so we don't understand that we just say yeah cut the supply chains we don't understand the ripple effects.

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John Register: So in our business, we have to understand the ripple effects of what we do.

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John Register: can cause huge thing, so if I know that i'm part of supply chain for the speaker Bureau or for the for the conference professional that's putting that conference together.

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John Register: What can I do to make sure that i'm not causing friction in his or her life.

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John Register: I didn't think about.

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Jane Atkinson: yeah I really like that, and I just knew that you would have some lessons that you have come from the battlefield that say you know.

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Jane Atkinson: What we're dealing with what we're facing on a day to day, yes, with the pandemic, it has been rough on people it's been rough on mental health.

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Jane Atkinson: But I think about all the people who have come back with.

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Jane Atkinson: ptsd and all of the things that these.

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Jane Atkinson: families of people who have served in the military have gone through the Members and their families.

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John Register: I think you know Jane there's there's another thing right and that is i'm talking about Desert Storm as a past experience.

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John Register: yeah so the past experience means we will get through it right, we there is an end date that's coming we might not be able to see it but we're closer to it than yesterday.

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John Register: And I think we need to keep that in perspective, rather than oh my gosh another day in this freakin bank dimmick right so that.

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John Register: that's a negative downward spiral where if I said yeah, but I think we probably are halfway through it, or at least more I can see the hope that's, on the other side that you've been talking about.

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Jane Atkinson: we've got to stick with that hope and we've gotta believe that we, as speakers, we have to believe that we have value for people that will help them in this moment.

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John Register: Yes, yes.

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Jane Atkinson: you've got a tight to that and we know that there's a lot of business going on out there and we know that those businesses still need to drive their projects forward.

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Jane Atkinson: In all of the various spaces and all of the new initiatives i'm thrilled to see some of the new initiatives that corporate has taken on, and a lot of my clients and the Di space are hot right now and I love, seeing that and.

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Jane Atkinson: john you've been absolutely wonderful to talk to if people would like to connect with you in some way, how would you suggest that they do that.

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John Register: You know I do most of my work and out there is on linkedin.

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Jane Atkinson: yeah.

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John Register: I do a lot of lot of work on linkedin.

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Jane Atkinson: and actually.

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John Register: We did so um yeah I adore linkedin.

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Jane Atkinson: john register on linkedin we're going to put a link to your website in the show anything else we should put out there.

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John Register: yeah I think with inside the show notes the website will have all those those channels on on it, and then the link tree will as well, so that will actually dive deeper so link tree.com slash john F register gets you everything that i'm kind of up to on the social on the social scene.

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Jane Atkinson: Okay we'll have Monica put that in the show notes as well john register, thank you for your time today.

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Jane Atkinson: And I would say thank you for your service but I live in Canada, so I would.

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Jane Atkinson: say on behalf of the people of America.

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Jane Atkinson: Thank you for your service as well, and they give her being such an amazing role model really with overcoming diversity, this is fantastic.

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John Register: Absolutely, thank you for having me on I really appreciate everything that you do.

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Jane Atkinson: awesome and with that we all say see you soon wealthy speakers bye for now everyone.

Highlights you won’t want to miss:

  • Star athlete beginnings. [3:00]
  • Headed for the Olympics, until… [5:00]
  • From military service to the big stage. [11:00]
  • Sharing experiences to educate. [14:30]
  • When it goes wrong. [17:00]
  • What to do differently? [24:00]
  • Surround yourself with positive people. [26:00]
  • Understanding the ripple effect. [33:00]

John “amputated his fears” and founded the U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Military Sports Program. He authored 10 Stories to Impact Any Leader: Journal Your Way to Leadership Success in Spring 2020 and works with business leaders to hurdle adversity, amputate fear, and embrace a new normal mindset to win life’s medals. The artificial leg he used to win the silver medal is displayed in the Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

If you would like to hear some sage advice and learn a few of the dos and don’ts of creating a successful speaking business, you simply can’t afford to miss this episode!

I hope you’ll download and learn.

Links:

John’s website
John’s LinkedIn profile
Jane’s LinkedIn profile
John’s LinkTree profile
The Wealthy Speaker School

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