Listen To My Latest Podcast Episode:
Being Exceptional in Speaking, Despite Setbacks with Annie Meehan
jane atkinson speaker launcher



My Greatest Mistakes as a Speaker with John Register

My Greatest Mistakes as a Speaker with Jane Atkinson and John Register
Listen to this Episode (00:38:22)
Subscribe to our podcast!
Never miss a new podcast! Subscribe today!

I have read and agreed to your Privacy Policy

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.


Read Full Transcript

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

00:00:11.610 --> 00:00:27.000
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.

00:00:27.660 --> 00:00:33.450
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.

00:00:33.450 --> 00:00:39.750
John Register: So everything you do for people just elevates and lifts the speaking community, so thank you for what you do.

00:00:40.020 --> 00:00:49.980
Jane Atkinson: Oh you're so kind well I am so interested to dig into your story, because it is a story so.

00:00:50.280 --> 00:00:57.480
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.

00:00:57.840 --> 00:00:59.430
Jane Atkinson: How did this all get started.

00:00:59.910 --> 00:01:06.000
John Register: yeah well you know as professional speakers, we all have a journey a story that we are using.

00:01:06.210 --> 00:01:15.600
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.

00:01:15.840 --> 00:01:24.660
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.

00:01:25.350 --> 00:01:33.030
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.

00:01:33.360 --> 00:01:36.750
John Register: And I was taking these these individuals these service members.

00:01:37.020 --> 00:01:42.210
John Register: down to these terror missions these total army involvement with recruiting.

00:01:42.420 --> 00:01:43.980
John Register: So there's not to put troops in boots.

00:01:44.550 --> 00:01:48.450
John Register: And I would have these athletes, I was their support specialist and the kind of their manager.

00:01:48.840 --> 00:01:51.690
John Register: And I would do this kind of dog and pony show where I would be the emcee.

00:01:52.020 --> 00:01:59.700
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.

00:01:59.970 --> 00:02:04.560
John Register: would work was getting the attention of the principles, because the recruiters being no dummies.

00:02:04.890 --> 00:02:10.920
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.

00:02:11.160 --> 00:02:19.470
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.

00:02:19.800 --> 00:02:27.660
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.

00:02:28.620 --> 00:02:30.990
Jane Atkinson: don't you that question, for the first time.

00:02:33.300 --> 00:02:34.290
John Register: i'll give back to you.

00:02:35.610 --> 00:02:38.400
John Register: Let me figure this one out because I need to speak what.

00:02:38.790 --> 00:02:46.140
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.

00:02:46.710 --> 00:02:49.320
Jane Atkinson: I was on let's go all the way.

00:02:49.320 --> 00:02:49.980
Jane Atkinson: Back way back.

00:02:50.100 --> 00:02:51.450
Jane Atkinson: In the beginning so.

00:02:52.620 --> 00:02:53.460
Jane Atkinson: You were an athlete.

00:02:54.540 --> 00:02:56.430
John Register: yeah I was an athlete but I was also a musician.

00:02:56.730 --> 00:03:05.820
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.

00:03:06.030 --> 00:03:10.560
John Register: To the University of Arkansas became a four time track and field all American went to two Olympic trials.

00:03:10.830 --> 00:03:16.380
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.

00:03:16.560 --> 00:03:24.570
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.

00:03:24.870 --> 00:03:38.040
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.

00:03:38.370 --> 00:03:44.220
Jane Atkinson: Okay, so you choose a sport you train and, what is your sport that you're going to do.

00:03:44.670 --> 00:03:46.230
John Register: The sport becomes track and field.

00:03:47.130 --> 00:03:48.840
John Register: And so inside of track and field or.

00:03:48.870 --> 00:03:55.980
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.

00:03:56.370 --> 00:04:05.190
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.

00:04:05.730 --> 00:04:17.760
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.

00:04:18.060 --> 00:04:20.610
Jane Atkinson: And hurdles are not easy and something.

00:04:21.240 --> 00:04:21.780
John Register: racing the world.

00:04:24.870 --> 00:04:27.210
Jane Atkinson: run hurdles, I was a track and field girl.

00:04:29.400 --> 00:04:32.220
Jane Atkinson: Today 20 minutes on the treadmill and i'm done so.

00:04:33.840 --> 00:04:35.160
Jane Atkinson: I don't even put it up a level.

00:04:35.640 --> 00:04:39.720
Jane Atkinson: So okay talk about what happened.

00:04:41.190 --> 00:04:50.130
Jane Atkinson: Was it athletics, and then military and then you were coming back to athletics, and you had the accident, what happened.

00:04:51.300 --> 00:05:01.020
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.

00:05:01.680 --> 00:05:02.280
John Register: To us.

00:05:02.460 --> 00:05:04.050
Jane Atkinson: an athlete only in the in the.

00:05:04.320 --> 00:05:05.400
Jane Atkinson: Military OK.

00:05:05.490 --> 00:05:13.020
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.

00:05:13.440 --> 00:05:22.020
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.

00:05:22.680 --> 00:05:32.970
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.

00:05:33.540 --> 00:05:35.850
John Register: And in my first my fifth race ever I finished up.

00:05:36.420 --> 00:05:44.910
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.

00:05:45.300 --> 00:05:48.960
Jane Atkinson: you're heading for the Olympics Is your goal.

00:05:49.290 --> 00:05:50.610
Jane Atkinson: And what happens.

00:05:51.150 --> 00:06:03.720
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.

00:06:04.770 --> 00:06:17.070
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.

00:06:17.550 --> 00:06:25.080
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.

00:06:25.500 --> 00:06:27.630
Jane Atkinson: And you were married at the time track.

00:06:28.200 --> 00:06:34.410
Jane Atkinson: Right and you and your wife, make the decision that you're going to let your leg go.

00:06:34.470 --> 00:06:35.130
you're gonna go.

00:06:36.390 --> 00:06:38.850
John Register: Well, she didn't make the decision so she always tells me that.

00:06:42.510 --> 00:06:45.180
John Register: So see actually you know the.

00:06:46.440 --> 00:06:54.930
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.

00:06:55.350 --> 00:07:02.550
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.

00:07:02.550 --> 00:07:08.850
John Register: picture is you know after we do something as we make a commitment to something that's when the work begins.

00:07:09.120 --> 00:07:16.800
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.

00:07:17.100 --> 00:07:34.320
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.

00:07:34.590 --> 00:07:34.980
Jane Atkinson: yeah.

00:07:35.250 --> 00:07:37.680
John Register: you're gonna stay around is my son going to still see me.

00:07:38.010 --> 00:07:45.060
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.

00:07:45.630 --> 00:07:48.030
John Register: She says that to be a 1994 and, of course.

00:07:48.270 --> 00:07:59.280
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.

00:07:59.520 --> 00:08:05.460
John Register: You can over take the conversation and become a thought leader inside of that because it works in jails with your.

00:08:05.460 --> 00:08:07.860
Jane Atkinson: story what concept you're speaking of what.

00:08:08.040 --> 00:08:10.920
John Register: So the concept is the new normal most people like.

00:08:12.480 --> 00:08:13.230
John Register: That term right.

00:08:13.530 --> 00:08:14.550
John Register: And so new.

00:08:15.480 --> 00:08:17.370
Jane Atkinson: I mean it was so legit right.

00:08:17.490 --> 00:08:21.240
John Register: yeah it was it was it was really the thing that that would that would cause us to.

00:08:21.510 --> 00:08:35.580
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.

00:08:35.940 --> 00:08:39.330
Jane Atkinson: Is that, like the weirdest thing to you that.

00:08:39.930 --> 00:08:48.000
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.

00:08:48.720 --> 00:08:53.280
John Register: History, but all however it's another talking point collect that new normal.

00:08:53.490 --> 00:09:04.020
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.

00:09:04.350 --> 00:09:11.100
John Register: In reality, it's was 1500 that were had amputations so it's very small, the media blows it up.

00:09:11.520 --> 00:09:15.780
John Register: But there are a lot more amputation that happened inside the military but it's outside.

00:09:16.260 --> 00:09:24.450
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.

00:09:24.810 --> 00:09:28.410
John Register: To say sometimes the things that we look at in the media is not the thing that.

00:09:28.470 --> 00:09:32.430
John Register: That we understand in fact it's actually something else.

00:09:32.670 --> 00:09:34.350
Jane Atkinson: shining the light in the right area.

00:09:34.470 --> 00:09:52.470
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.

00:09:53.550 --> 00:09:58.560
Jane Atkinson: go out and you take your first speaking engagement, how much did you charge them for that very first one day.

00:09:59.130 --> 00:10:00.090
John Register: I went to a.

00:10:00.540 --> 00:10:05.880
John Register: person who was in the side, the national speakers association that time and her name is bonnie St john.

00:10:06.060 --> 00:10:06.990
Jane Atkinson: Oh gosh.

00:10:07.080 --> 00:10:10.320
John Register: yeah because my mentor in business.

00:10:11.040 --> 00:10:11.790
John Register: And she gives me.

00:10:13.560 --> 00:10:16.680
John Register: An idea, I think it was 1500 dollars, I asked for.

00:10:18.210 --> 00:10:37.590
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.

00:10:38.700 --> 00:10:46.890
Jane Atkinson: Did very, very well in our best website contest it was nominated to the finalists and really did.

00:10:46.920 --> 00:10:47.640
John Register: I was shocked.

00:10:50.730 --> 00:10:53.280
Jane Atkinson: How we got introduced to each other, oh.

00:10:53.790 --> 00:11:03.120
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.

00:11:03.120 --> 00:11:03.990
Jane Atkinson: Business today.

00:11:04.350 --> 00:11:17.490
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.

00:11:18.120 --> 00:11:25.530
John Register: ambiguous before kind of getting into this mode where i'm right now and Cobra was another place to dive deeper into.

00:11:26.220 --> 00:11:34.380
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.

00:11:34.650 --> 00:11:41.340
John Register: The the vision that we have is to inspire worlds with our company inspired communications international.

00:11:41.790 --> 00:11:48.660
John Register: And to inspire world we have to reach out and touch other individuals other entities, is not to inspire the world.

00:11:48.990 --> 00:11:57.090
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.

00:11:57.420 --> 00:12:06.510
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.

00:12:06.720 --> 00:12:14.610
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.

00:12:15.090 --> 00:12:22.650
John Register: amputate fear embrace the new normal mindset to win lives metals, because right at as a most times when.

00:12:23.100 --> 00:12:30.900
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.

00:12:31.170 --> 00:12:36.960
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.

00:12:37.140 --> 00:12:38.850
John Register: And so we speak to corporations and.

00:12:39.480 --> 00:12:42.930
John Register: With our State Department we traveled the globe trying to.

00:12:43.980 --> 00:12:54.510
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.

00:12:54.780 --> 00:13:03.060
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.

00:13:03.600 --> 00:13:10.890
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.

00:13:11.100 --> 00:13:17.610
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.

00:13:17.880 --> 00:13:26.010
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.

00:13:26.400 --> 00:13:39.540
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.

00:13:40.260 --> 00:13:47.430
Jane Atkinson: And that's all about what you're talking about making the leap, and then the second thing is consistent action.

00:13:48.000 --> 00:14:00.900
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.

00:14:01.650 --> 00:14:12.870
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.

00:14:13.140 --> 00:14:18.990
John Register: it's primarily keynotes However, we have done some work around.

00:14:20.730 --> 00:14:31.410
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.

00:14:32.130 --> 00:14:37.920
John Register: brown a Taylor are killed, and in that we're having these conversations and people are calling to say.

00:14:38.310 --> 00:14:48.180
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.

00:14:48.420 --> 00:14:53.460
John Register: Because we talked about employee resource groups business resource groups or the entire di.

00:14:54.060 --> 00:15:04.650
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.

00:15:05.400 --> 00:15:15.270
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.

00:15:15.570 --> 00:15:20.040
John Register: And then, with our State Department I love working with our State Department, because if you think about it.

00:15:20.610 --> 00:15:25.140
John Register: You get a chance to go around the world, and one of the things I saw was I was speaking in.

00:15:26.040 --> 00:15:39.060
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.

00:15:39.960 --> 00:15:51.750
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.

00:15:52.140 --> 00:15:53.670
John Register: To talk about the team concept.

00:15:53.880 --> 00:16:05.460
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.

00:16:05.460 --> 00:16:07.230
John Register: get clear on who you are, you can.

00:16:07.440 --> 00:16:11.130
John Register: you'll find yourself in some pretty interesting rooms right.

00:16:11.310 --> 00:16:36.060
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.

00:16:36.090 --> 00:16:37.320
John Register: yeah the room.

00:16:39.480 --> 00:16:47.760
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.

00:16:48.510 --> 00:16:53.910
Jane Atkinson: Tell us about your biggest mistake that you made in the speaking business Okay, where you want to start.

00:16:55.980 --> 00:16:56.580
Jane Atkinson: We only have.

00:16:57.030 --> 00:16:58.470
Jane Atkinson: We only have 40 minutes.

00:16:58.950 --> 00:17:02.940
John Register: Okay i'll give you i'll give you the biggest one I made, I think the greatest lesson.

00:17:03.990 --> 00:17:11.490
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.

00:17:12.270 --> 00:17:20.490
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.

00:17:20.790 --> 00:17:25.050
John Register: But I took an engagement, I never should have done it was an engagement with a government entity.

00:17:25.380 --> 00:17:35.220
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.

00:17:35.850 --> 00:17:43.860
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.

00:17:44.550 --> 00:17:52.080
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.

00:17:52.620 --> 00:17:56.400
John Register: quickly falling on the heels of that presentation was another one, I did.

00:17:57.300 --> 00:18:00.540
John Register: And I thought I was in a moment i'm going to be over prepared, and all this other stuff.

00:18:00.840 --> 00:18:07.680
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.

00:18:08.040 --> 00:18:15.900
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.

00:18:16.830 --> 00:18:28.080
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.

00:18:28.320 --> 00:18:33.180
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.

00:18:33.270 --> 00:18:34.380
Jane Atkinson: Man down the whole.

00:18:34.890 --> 00:18:35.820
John Register: Not nothing.

00:18:36.030 --> 00:18:37.350
John Register: it's like crickets.

00:18:38.610 --> 00:18:48.090
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.

00:18:48.450 --> 00:18:50.610
John Register: I just had this other one with his government now this one.

00:18:51.150 --> 00:19:03.570
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.

00:19:04.350 --> 00:19:10.950
John Register: And so, always asked the question because 10 years later, when this woman who brought me in.

00:19:12.030 --> 00:19:21.000
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.

00:19:21.750 --> 00:19:22.530
Jane Atkinson: And you're like.

00:19:22.560 --> 00:19:25.650
John Register: Okay 10 years 10 years I was like that was horrible.

00:19:26.040 --> 00:19:35.490
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.

00:19:35.670 --> 00:19:45.450
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.

00:19:45.990 --> 00:19:46.230

00:19:47.610 --> 00:19:53.940
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.

00:19:54.780 --> 00:20:01.860
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.

00:20:02.130 --> 00:20:03.030
Jane Atkinson: Read the room.

00:20:03.150 --> 00:20:03.720
John Register: see whether.

00:20:04.530 --> 00:20:06.330
John Register: Let them breathe with it.

00:20:06.600 --> 00:20:13.620
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.

00:20:13.890 --> 00:20:25.200
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.

00:20:25.200 --> 00:20:36.780
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.

00:20:38.130 --> 00:20:40.140
Jane Atkinson: Because do not assume.

00:20:40.380 --> 00:20:47.580
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.

00:20:48.450 --> 00:21:03.150
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.

00:21:03.720 --> 00:21:14.880
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.

00:21:15.150 --> 00:21:24.090
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.

00:21:24.330 --> 00:21:30.270
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.

00:21:30.870 --> 00:21:45.930
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.

00:21:46.290 --> 00:21:47.970
Jane Atkinson: Oh what's happening in the audience.

00:21:48.030 --> 00:21:55.230
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.

00:21:55.500 --> 00:22:08.880
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.

00:22:09.420 --> 00:22:17.820
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.

00:22:18.930 --> 00:22:21.150
John Register: The Canadian version, dynamic and caps right or.

00:22:21.270 --> 00:22:29.970
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.

00:22:30.360 --> 00:22:46.140
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.

00:22:47.760 --> 00:22:49.320
Jane Atkinson: you to read the wealthy speaker to.

00:22:49.530 --> 00:22:51.300
John Register: The wealthiest man you gotta read this one, of course, you.

00:22:53.850 --> 00:22:59.580
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.

00:23:00.480 --> 00:23:09.930
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.

00:23:10.530 --> 00:23:16.200
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.

00:23:16.740 --> 00:23:27.540
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.

00:23:28.320 --> 00:23:39.060
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.

00:23:39.120 --> 00:23:39.870
John Register: hire an assistant.

00:23:40.470 --> 00:23:41.820
Jane Atkinson: Ah, starting to.

00:23:42.240 --> 00:23:47.130
Jane Atkinson: take off the you know $30 an hour jobs off of your plate.

00:23:47.160 --> 00:23:47.610
Jane Atkinson: and put them.

00:23:48.960 --> 00:23:49.200
John Register: up.

00:23:49.830 --> 00:23:52.020
John Register: Higher system, then probably after that give me a person.

00:23:52.110 --> 00:23:53.670
Jane Atkinson: You waited too long.

00:23:54.480 --> 00:23:58.380
John Register: um I well, so I have to that's a.

00:23:59.970 --> 00:24:02.520
John Register: it's not a it's not an easy question to answer because.

00:24:02.910 --> 00:24:12.600
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.

00:24:12.840 --> 00:24:18.600
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.

00:24:18.990 --> 00:24:27.600
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.

00:24:28.020 --> 00:24:33.360
John Register: 2019 when I was released from the United States Olympic Committee and went into my business full time.

00:24:34.230 --> 00:24:52.650
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.

00:24:52.800 --> 00:24:54.000
Jane Atkinson: Rather than.

00:24:54.030 --> 00:24:55.080
John Register: $30 book.

00:24:56.040 --> 00:25:05.040
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.

00:25:05.760 --> 00:25:12.780
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.

00:25:13.770 --> 00:25:29.040
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.

00:25:29.700 --> 00:25:41.940
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.

00:25:42.360 --> 00:25:56.670
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.

00:25:57.630 --> 00:26:00.510
Jane Atkinson: Oh, he has a multiple.

00:26:00.900 --> 00:26:02.460
Jane Atkinson: Well yeah so the.

00:26:03.060 --> 00:26:11.550
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.

00:26:11.790 --> 00:26:18.540
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.

00:26:18.720 --> 00:26:26.400
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.

00:26:26.640 --> 00:26:35.790
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.

00:26:36.180 --> 00:26:37.890
John Register: Well, they started telling people what to do.

00:26:38.790 --> 00:26:41.340
Jane Atkinson: If they were stuck in fear mode.

00:26:41.460 --> 00:26:52.050
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.

00:26:52.470 --> 00:27:02.520
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.

00:27:04.410 --> 00:27:05.670
Jane Atkinson: A minute I had a moment.

00:27:07.740 --> 00:27:10.380
Jane Atkinson: sided So when I my belief.

00:27:10.710 --> 00:27:15.480
Jane Atkinson: came back that people need me now more than ever, was my belief.

00:27:15.660 --> 00:27:27.780
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.

00:27:27.840 --> 00:27:33.390
Jane Atkinson: Absolutely, and let us steer our groups to them, so my buddy Chris West video.

00:27:34.530 --> 00:27:34.860
Jane Atkinson: press.

00:27:35.940 --> 00:27:52.530
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.

00:27:53.580 --> 00:27:54.150
Jane Atkinson: But.

00:27:55.200 --> 00:28:12.870
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.

00:28:13.050 --> 00:28:18.150
Jane Atkinson: And so, how much how much virtual work have you done, I wanted to just make a note.

00:28:18.240 --> 00:28:18.750
Jane Atkinson: That when you.

00:28:18.870 --> 00:28:19.650
John Register: What i've done.

00:28:20.400 --> 00:28:27.480
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.

00:28:28.110 --> 00:28:41.820
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.

00:28:42.300 --> 00:28:48.150
John Register: Because if you're telling your your folks beforehand that that this is how you get out of these tough situations.

00:28:48.840 --> 00:28:50.550
John Register: And you can't overcome the adversity.

00:28:51.180 --> 00:28:59.160
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.

00:28:59.580 --> 00:29:06.840
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.

00:29:07.470 --> 00:29:21.660
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.

00:29:22.140 --> 00:29:28.290
John Register: New is no prior point of reference, how many of us ever lived through a trance pandemic, none of us.

00:29:28.680 --> 00:29:39.480
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.

00:29:39.900 --> 00:29:46.830
John Register: Who could offer value and add value to me and believed in my vision that I had and they could elevate me.

00:29:47.190 --> 00:29:56.790
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.

00:29:57.000 --> 00:29:59.010
John Register: That they flew me out to another location.

00:29:59.370 --> 00:30:01.080
John Register: To go in a room that was like you know.

00:30:01.290 --> 00:30:09.780
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.

00:30:10.170 --> 00:30:26.580
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.

00:30:27.180 --> 00:30:43.050
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.

00:30:43.170 --> 00:30:52.080
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.

00:30:53.010 --> 00:30:56.730
Jane Atkinson: There, with a nice lamp on it standard hotel room stuff.

00:30:56.790 --> 00:31:13.770
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.

00:31:14.070 --> 00:31:15.180
Jane Atkinson: overlooking.

00:31:15.270 --> 00:31:16.920
Jane Atkinson: The garage it doesn't matter.

00:31:21.270 --> 00:31:26.280
Jane Atkinson: Now that's really a great idea when did you start putting the picture in your traveling.

00:31:27.300 --> 00:31:29.370
Jane Atkinson: engagements that you were doing from the road.

00:31:29.700 --> 00:31:33.390
John Register: i've done that, since I was when I went to the military and I went to war.

00:31:34.020 --> 00:31:37.800
John Register: So it was always it was always a memento of my family.

00:31:38.130 --> 00:31:39.270
John Register: And some form.

00:31:40.860 --> 00:31:43.740
John Register: Just to give me the reminder of what i'm doing this for.

00:31:44.640 --> 00:31:51.000
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.

00:31:51.270 --> 00:32:05.340
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.

00:32:07.260 --> 00:32:16.320
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.

00:32:16.560 --> 00:32:22.740
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.

00:32:22.950 --> 00:32:33.990
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.

00:32:34.230 --> 00:32:37.890
Jane Atkinson: Okay, so let's just have a little reality check.

00:32:37.890 --> 00:32:43.320
Jane Atkinson: Here we're dealing with a pandemic, or maybe the ends of it or a pandemic, so we.

00:32:43.320 --> 00:32:43.770
Jane Atkinson: don't know.

00:32:44.850 --> 00:32:47.730
Jane Atkinson: Can we talk about what you learned.

00:32:47.880 --> 00:33:02.610
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.

00:33:03.960 --> 00:33:19.140
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.

00:33:19.500 --> 00:33:24.630
Jane Atkinson: So we were not on the same page in terms of times there was a miscommunication and blah blah blah blah blah.

00:33:25.110 --> 00:33:33.090
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.

00:33:33.630 --> 00:33:39.300
Jane Atkinson: But when I think about how upset I was it doesn't take me long to say perspective Jane.

00:33:39.930 --> 00:33:52.770
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.

00:33:53.130 --> 00:34:03.480
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.

00:34:04.680 --> 00:34:13.110
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.

00:34:13.770 --> 00:34:18.540
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.

00:34:18.960 --> 00:34:35.610
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.

00:34:35.880 --> 00:34:43.710
Jane Atkinson: always saying to my team look there really are no speaker emergencies like that's the group we cater to your nose.

00:34:44.610 --> 00:34:45.180
John Register: Not too bad.

00:34:46.260 --> 00:34:49.020
Jane Atkinson: yeah well the making engagement that's an emergency will do.

00:34:49.650 --> 00:34:55.740
Jane Atkinson: But really there are in in terms of being a coach to a speaker, there are really no emergencies.

00:34:55.890 --> 00:34:58.320
Jane Atkinson: Right so perspective.

00:34:58.590 --> 00:35:10.470
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.

00:35:11.520 --> 00:35:24.150
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.

00:35:24.570 --> 00:35:30.120
John Register: In the theater so, for example, when we talk about this is talking about Desert Storm now we're talking about.

00:35:30.720 --> 00:35:41.610
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.

00:35:42.090 --> 00:35:43.710
John Register: that's how it plays out over there.

00:35:43.980 --> 00:35:49.080
John Register: And so we don't understand that we just say yeah cut the supply chains we don't understand the ripple effects.

00:35:49.320 --> 00:35:52.860
John Register: So in our business, we have to understand the ripple effects of what we do.

00:35:53.700 --> 00:36:04.860
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.

00:36:05.220 --> 00:36:09.840
John Register: What can I do to make sure that i'm not causing friction in his or her life.

00:36:10.890 --> 00:36:11.700
John Register: I didn't think about.

00:36:11.820 --> 00:36:21.690
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.

00:36:23.670 --> 00:36:33.030
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.

00:36:34.260 --> 00:36:38.010
Jane Atkinson: But I think about all the people who have come back with.

00:36:38.370 --> 00:36:41.550
Jane Atkinson: ptsd and all of the things that these.

00:36:42.060 --> 00:36:48.030
Jane Atkinson: families of people who have served in the military have gone through the Members and their families.

00:36:48.720 --> 00:36:56.970
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.

00:36:57.120 --> 00:37:07.260
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.

00:37:07.620 --> 00:37:14.130
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.

00:37:14.460 --> 00:37:22.860
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.

00:37:23.070 --> 00:37:34.890
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.

00:37:34.950 --> 00:37:35.940
John Register: Yes, yes.

00:37:36.420 --> 00:37:46.560
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.

00:37:46.800 --> 00:38:01.560
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.

00:38:02.640 --> 00:38:11.610
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.

00:38:12.120 --> 00:38:15.630
John Register: You know I do most of my work and out there is on linkedin.

00:38:17.040 --> 00:38:17.430
Jane Atkinson: yeah.

00:38:17.460 --> 00:38:19.170
John Register: I do a lot of lot of work on linkedin.

00:38:20.190 --> 00:38:20.940
Jane Atkinson: and actually.

00:38:21.000 --> 00:38:25.590
John Register: We did so um yeah I adore linkedin.

00:38:27.510 --> 00:38:36.840
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.

00:38:37.440 --> 00:38:54.600
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 slash john F register gets you everything that i'm kind of up to on the social on the social scene.

00:38:55.020 --> 00:39:00.240
Jane Atkinson: Okay we'll have Monica put that in the show notes as well john register, thank you for your time today.

00:39:00.540 --> 00:39:04.650
Jane Atkinson: And I would say thank you for your service but I live in Canada, so I would.

00:39:04.710 --> 00:39:06.990
Jane Atkinson: say on behalf of the people of America.

00:39:07.140 --> 00:39:15.750
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.

00:39:16.050 --> 00:39:19.770
John Register: Absolutely, thank you for having me on I really appreciate everything that you do.

00:39:20.100 --> 00:39:25.170
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.


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

Sharing is caring!

Podcast Reviews
Our Latest Podcast
Podcast Managed By
Learn more about their podcast services HERE.
Podcast Music Provided By

Now Available

Our Latest Blog Post