#471: How to Build a 6 Figure Speaking Business in 7 Months with Dr. Reggie Wright [Transcript]

Table of Contents

Grant Baldwin:

Hey, what’s up, friends? Grant Baldwin here. Welcome back to the Speaker Lab podcast. Glad that you’re here with us today. I’m super excited about this conversation. We’re talking with Dr. Reggie Wright, Jr. This guy’s been absolutely crushing it. He’s been killing it.

He joined one of our programs less than a year ago, is on track to make six figures in speaking this year. So this is going to be a great conversation. Excited for this one. So welcome, man. Glad that you’re here.

Reggie Wright:

Thank you. Thank you for having me. Grateful to be here.

Grant Baldwin:

Good. We’ve had a little technical issues getting to this point, but we’re here, man. The show must go on, and we rock and roll with it. That’s the life of the speaker. So first of all, I want you to give us a little bit of context here of who do you speak to, what do you speak about? How does speaking fit into your world? Yes.

What do you speak about?

Reggie Wright:

So I speak to educators and students to cultivate the conditions for academic success through character development and social emotional learning principles.

So that’s talking about setting reachable goals, making responsible decisions, identifying and managing their emotions, effective communication, choosing the right group of peers. We talk about peer influence. So just all the things that really can help a student succeed or the things that could potentially hinder them from having success.

And not just academic success, but we also want them to be successful outside of the academic institution as well. So that’s what I talk about.

Grant Baldwin:

That’s cool, man. Now, again, we kind of touched on it here, but this is all fairly recent for you, right? And so I kind of teased it there, but correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re on track to do six figures this year. You’re crushing it right now. Yeah.

When did you start getting paid to speak?

Reggie Wright:

So my first actual paid gig it’s not my first time speaking, but my first actual paid gig as a professional speaker was mid February of this year of 2023.

Grant Baldwin:

Okay. And for context sake yeah, we’re recording this early September, 2023. So whatever that is. Seven months or so since your first paid gig. And can you give us any context there? So in seven months, since that first paid gig, how many gigs are you doing? Any numbers that you’re comfortable sharing with us?

What did you accomplish in 7 months?

Reggie Wright:

Yeah, so I just cracked six figures in seven months? In seven months.

Grant Baldwin:

It’s crazy, man. That’s no joke.

Reggie Wright:

In seven months? Yeah. Complete transparency. And I think there’s a couple of things that have helped me. We could touch on that whenever you get ready, but so I just cracked six figures. The range of how many I’m speaking per month varies. August was my busiest month since I’ve been speaking, just because of the back to school convocations. So just a lot of traveling out of back to school convocations.

So I would say August, I did maybe probably around, like, eight speaking, maybe August itself.

But I would say on an average, I’m probably averaging around maybe like one per week. I would say around four a month.

Grant Baldwin:

Are these pretty much all in person? Are you doing anything virtual right now?

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In person? Virtual? What’s your balance?

Reggie Wright:

So 90% are in person. I have done about three virtual keynotes.

One was with a nonprofit organization that helps with students. Another one was a corporate gig with a company named Zimmer Biomet in the medical industry. So that was one of my corporate speaking engagements.

Grant Baldwin:

And so we were talking a little bit earlier, you kind of split time between New Jersey and Atlanta. Are most of the gigs that you’re doing fairly local, regional, or are you kind of all over the map right now?

Where are you speaking?

Reggie Wright:

I wouldn’t say all over the map, but I would say somewhat regional. So I would say the Northeast primarily. But I have gone out to Texas, so I would say the Northeast and Texas have been the primary places where I’ve done all of my speaking engagements.

Grant Baldwin:

Okay. So we’re going to dig into the nuts and bolts of what’s working. How have you had that level of success in a short seven month window or so? But let’s go back and kind of talk through how did we get to this point. So what was your background? What were you doing professionally prior to getting into speaking?

What did you do prior to speaking?

Reggie Wright:

Yeah, so my first professional occupation was professional basketball player out of college. So I played professional basketball in Europe in the Euro League for a number of years, transitioned from that into law enforcement space, and actually was a patrol officer for a number of years and then transitioning to the classroom, teaching a character development curriculum to middle school students.

So that’s pretty much where I was doing in terms of nine to five. But in addition to that, I also have a real estate investment company where I’m the property manager of okay. I wear a lot of hats, but.

Grant Baldwin:

Even going from like basketball to law enforcement to educator, those are three very different industries and spaces. So you get into the education and so were you like a classroom teacher?

How did you get into education?

Reggie Wright:

No. So pretty much there’s the old Dare program. I’m sure most people know the old Dare program. Yeah. So there’s a program very similar to the Dare program that you go into the schools, and it’s kind of a drug prevention, cyberbullying type of program where you want to help these students become boys and girls, or just students, I should say.

Now students of high character. Right. You want them to become students of high character, and if they become students of high character, you don’t necessarily have to worry about them making decisions that are not healthy decisions.

So it’s like if Grant Baldwin has a goal of becoming a professional speaker, then why would he get involved with a group of kids that’s using drugs? Because that decision is going to hinder him from becoming a professional speaker.

So we’re trying to get them to understand developing character will prevent them from making decisions that when they look back, they will have the pain of regret. Gotcha I went into the classroom speaking on behalf of the police department and on loan to the board of education, so to speak.

Grant Baldwin:

Okay. Gotcha and so this was like, not your own speaking gigs, but you’re it sounds like you’re doing some speaking, some training, but you’re doing it on as part of your job.

Reggie Wright:

It was a curriculum, so it’s a scripted curriculum that I was going into the classroom, teaching a scripted curriculum and utilizing that curriculum to teach the students. But that kind of gave me some reps, so to speak.

Grant Baldwin:

Yeah. And so how long were you doing that?

How long were you teaching it?

Reggie Wright:

Five years.

Grant Baldwin:

Okay, five years. And at what point along the line are you thinking, when does professional speaking start to kind of enter the equation of, like, I don’t know, man, maybe I could do something like this?

Reggie Wright:

Yeah. So when I was playing professional, it started years ago when I was playing professional basketball. They had in our contract where we had to go into the schools in the country and talk to the students in English because obviously ESL is big in other countries, so they want us to come and just have a conversation so the students could work on utilizing their English.

I would just be sharing my testimony. I would share my testimony. How did I get from where I grew up in the city of Trent, New Jersey, to becoming this basketball player in Europe? And afterwards, students would come up to me and just be like, man, we really enjoyed listening to you. Like, you’re a powerful speaker. It was really inspiring or motivating.

And I’m just thinking, like, I’m just sharing my story. It’s not a big deal to me. So I didn’t pay any attention to it.

So then years later, obviously, with the police department going into the schools, now I’m talking to middle school students and also doing some programming at the high school level with some of the high school kids. And I’m sure you know how high school students can be since you’re a speaker yourself. But the high school kids, either they go to me, either they like you or they don’t.

Grant Baldwin:

There’s no in between, right?

Tell me about your first keynote?

Reggie Wright:

There’s not much in between. So I would go into the high school, run these programs and talking to the students, and afterwards, I would hear the same thing I heard years back from these students.

Man, we wish that you could come into the school more. We love listening to you talk. What you said today was very inspiring. You really helped me out by the information that you provided. And then it was this natural assumption for some of them, depending on what I was dressed, they just thought I was a like, they literally thought I was already a speaker, and that wasn’t the case.

But then one day they have something called the young men’s conference in New Jersey, here in one of the counties where they invite all these male high school students to go to the local college.

And this is supposed to be just to promote character and personal development for all these male high school students. So you’re talking about, let’s say, 400 plus male high school students coming to this conference.

I’m on a committee, and we’re in a zoom call, just like you and I on a zoom call right now. And the young men’s conference has a grant, so they have grant money, but the grant money can only be utilized to provide food and transportation.

They’re trying to figure out, how can we get a speaker? We want a keynote speaker for this conference. So in this committee call, I’m just sitting there and we’re all just thinking, like, who could come in and do an excellent job, but grant do it for no no expenses paid, nothing.

So one of the guys on the committee on the call was just like, Reggie could do it. I heard Reggie speak before, let Reggie do the keynote.

Reggie Wright:

And I’m just like, how you just going to volunteer me on this committee call right now?

Grant Baldwin:


Reggie Wright:

So, long story short, I agreed to it then. This was like six months prior to the conference. I treated the preparation for this conference like it was life or death, you know, because you do the modules. You know what I’m about to say when I say it, you’re going to start smiling. So all I’m thinking about is, I do not want to get on this stage and make a fool out of myself.

Grant Baldwin:


Reggie Wright:

Preparation breeds confidence. I just want to be prepared. And I just thought about it, like, as an athlete, right. I just want to go into the game being prepared for the game. Let the chips fall where they may.

So that’s what I did. I didn’t know, grant, that with 400 students comes teachers, principals, assistant superintendents, superintendents, executives, eds for, nonprofits. When it comes time to do this keynote, it’s a real keynote on a stage with real lights and everything.

This is the real deal. I’m doing it for free. When I finished the keynote, there was people that was like, you did a great job. You’re one of the best speakers I ever heard. How long you’ve been speaking? The assumption throughout the building was that I was a professional speaker that they brought in. And I’m just like, I’m just a guy that was helping out.

Grant Baldwin:


Reggie Wright:

So calls started to come in. People started reaching out, like, hey, how can we get him to speak? We love to have him come over here and student assembly, so forth and so on. I had no company, I had no brand, I had no plan of action. So I just started doing my research and figuring out, what do I need to do to actually make this a reality?

Grant Baldwin:

Yeah. So whenever you gave that presentation, one was you took it really seriously and it didn’t just kind of, like, phone it in and kind of go through the motions. Is there anything else that you feel like happened at the event that audiences resonated with or people commented on that even maybe gave you the spark of like, oh, Dang, I could actually do this? Because what could have happened is you could have put all that preparation into it.

You could have got that same feedback, and people have been like, wow, you’re really, really good at this. You should do this more often. And you’ve been like, thanks, but no thanks. I’m just not interested in it. So was it something that happened there or something that you did or something that someone said that just triggered this? AHA.

Like, oh, Dang, maybe I hadn’t considered this as a profession. Maybe I should legitimately take this more seriously.

What changed for you to consider it as a career?

Reggie Wright:

Yeah. I think my upbringing, I think the fact that I come from an inner city context, I come from Trent, New Jersey, 7 sq. Mi. About 90,000 people, about 14,000, a little more than 14,000 students in the public school system, the graduation rate is around 70%.

So just coming from that environment, an environment that didn’t really value education. But I had a grandmother who set the standards and expectations for me. So my grandmother said, I don’t care what’s going on in society. I don’t care what times that we’re in.

Or that we’re just on the tail end of the civil rights. I don’t care that we’re dealing with the crack epidemic, the war on drugs. As long as I have breath in my body, you’re going to get an education.

She taught me the value of an education. I also remember the quote from Maya Angela that says, I come as one, but I stand as 10,000. Right. So I think about all the people that have invested in me and that have poured into me, that have helped shape and form me to be the man that I am today. It’s been teachers, it’s been coaches, it’s been mentors.

Right. So when I did this presentation, this keynote address, the students themselves, it’s one thing for teachers to come to me and say something. It’s one thing for principals to say something.

When you have high school students and junior high students coming to you, saying what you just said shifted my perspective. I was thinking one way, but now I think a different way. I’m contemplating who I’m hanging out with. The people in my inner circle, are they an asset or are they a liability? Right.

They’re contemplating certain quotes that I said, like, if you show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.

Right. Those things really matter to me. So for me to be able to help and pay it forward to know that there’s real lies on the other side of my words. I wasn’t just preparing because I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself.

I was preparing because I really wanted to be an agent of change. For me, I was hoping this experience would be transformational for those that heard what I was about to say. I wasn’t just trying to go through the motions. I believe Martha Burke’s quote, how you do anything is how you do to.

I’m on a mission to try to impact as many students and educators as possible. And I wanted to be felt that day. So when students came afterwards and said, we were really inspired. How can we find out more about you?

Students came up to me and said, can you mentor me? How can I follow you? That right there, that was the thing for me because it wasn’t about let me start a speaking business so I can make money. It was, let me start a speaking business so I can impact lives. I’m in the business of changing lives, like for real.

Grant Baldwin:

Prior to that talk and to that night, was being a full time speaker, was that on your radar at all or was that night something that really shifted for you?

When did your priorities shift so you could pursue it?

Reggie Wright:

Honestly, it was because I’ve heard it so much. So from the time I was playing basketball to even in law enforcement, even there was times in law enforcement where I was making arrests, and sometimes the people that I was arresting were thanking me just because of the way that I communicated with them. Right. It was like, okay, you did something wrong. I know you did something wrong. You know you did something wrong, but I’m still giving you the level of respect. I’m treating you like a human with dignity. Right.

And they appreciated that. And all I attributed to was just my ability to communicate with them. Right. So over time, people have always affirmed a gift. My uncle told me years ago, my great uncle, before he passed away, he was like, if you have a gift at something, people will affirm it, right? If you can sing, people are going to say, you sound good. You can dance. You dance really well. So speaking was something that was just on my radar.

I just didn’t understand the business of it because I had never been an entrepreneur. Basketball, you just got to show up and play the game. They do all the behind the scenes things for you. The travel is arranged for you, your uniforms is washed and all that kind of stuff. Same thing with the police world. You got to kind of show up, do what you have to do as an entrepreneur, it’s kind of all on you. So as we know, you have a speaker and you have the speaking business.

Grant Baldwin:

And so that night, you give that presentation, it goes really well. You get a lot of great feedback. You’re driving home going like, all right, maybe ought to take this speaking thing more seriously. That’s the point where a lot of people get stuck of going like, I’ve done some speaking before. Maybe I’ve been paid a time or two, maybe I’ve never been paid at all. I love it. I would love to do more. But, I don’t know what to do from here.

So you’re driving home feeling confident, feeling on cloud nine, you want to do more speaking, where do you go from there?

Where do you want to take it from here?

Reggie Wright:

Yeah, it’s just a mindset thing for me, Grant. I ain’t going to lie to you. To me, in 2023, as long as I have the ability to learn, there’s no excuses. So we have Google, we have YouTube, we have libraries. I’m like, I just made a commitment, right? I made a commitment that this is something I’m going to do now let me just do the research and figure out what’s the best route to take.

To me, there’s always blueprints in life because there’s always somebody that’s come before you that has done it. So it’s just about seeking out people. Now, for me, to be honest with you, I’m sure you’re going to get into how I got to the speaker lab, but for me it’s always been based on character, right? So I always want to be tied to people of high character.

So my mentor growing up was, like I mentioned to you, offline, was Charlie Ward. I sought him out as a mentor not because of his fame or his accolades as a Heisman Trophy winner. I never watched college football growing up, I was a basketball junkie, so I didn’t even really know what he did in football because I didn’t watch it with my own two eyes.

So, I just heard about it from afar. But I remember watching the Knicks because my uncle was a Knicks fan and I remember listening to his interviews, so I could care less about how he played on the court. But in his interviews, I could tell he was a man of high character. So it kind of goes to this quote that I heard by this guy by the name of Grant Baldwin, that know who you are is more important than what you know. Who you are is more important than what you do.

So when I started seeking out different programs and figuring out how to go about becoming a speaker, I wanted to be part of something that was attached to someone that was a person of high character.

Grant Baldwin:

Wow, I appreciate you saying that. Kind of you. How did you even come up stumble across the speaker lab?

How did you find The Speaker Lab?

Reggie Wright:

Just research. I just spent hours upon I’m that dude that people talk about, right, that’s just always researching, always studying.  I would research different masterminds or inner circles or whatever the case may be and I would write them down. Then I would just make a list of different ones out there.

Then I would really track who’s the face behind this, who’s the face behind this, and are they still speaking themselves? What do people say about them? How long have they been speaking? I just did my homework on the individual themselves, and I was really trying to find a group or an organization like yourself that was about helping people more so than just monetizing.

I understand capitalism, I understand we’re in the business of making money, but do you really care about the people that come through? Or is it just like, all right, this is my target. I just need 50 people at X amount of dollars because I’m really trying to make an impact.

So I believe that one of the best investments we can make is in ourselves. So I’m willing to invest in myself, but I want to make sure that I was going to do it with the organization that really cared.

Grant Baldwin:

So again, you do that initial free gig, and then a few months later you come across our stuff, join one of our programs. What do you do from there? How do start implementing it? How do you start applying it? Because I know one thing that a lot of speakers run into, especially whether they work with us or not, is beside the point. But it’s just overwhelming.

There’s a lot of stuff who am I going to talk to? What am I going to talk about? I need a website, I need a demo video, and who do I reach out to? What do I say and how much do I charge? What if they ask me this? And I don’t know, it’s just a lot.

So when you’re like, you’re going all the way back to kindergarten, just trying to learn all the basics of the game and how it’s played, how do you go from feeling completely overwhelmed to starting to build some confidence there? Yeah.

Reggie Wright:

So I would say that I was confident in my ability to speak in terms of being on a stage. I knew that I still had a lot of work to do in terms of crafting my speech, in terms of the intro and the transitioning and all that kind of stuff.

But in terms of the business side of it, combining both of them together, I just looked at it like going to school. I need to start playing a sport. I need to start up the basics. Let me learn how to dribble with my right hand. Let me learn how to drill my left hand. So what I did was just to make it practical for people.

I would go to work and I would work from seven to five. I would come home. Spend some time with my twelve year old son named Isaiah. Helping him with his homework, sports, chores, whatever the case may be. He goes down around 830 during the school year. And so I would put him down around 830 from 09:00 P.m. To midnight every single night. I locked in.

No TV. No netflix, no YouTube? I locked in. I’m on a straight grind, right? Like mamba mentality. I’m locked in. Everything that I need to learn, I’m learning, I’m reading.

I’m listening to your stuff, taking notes, rereading. I’m not rushing through anything. But I’m literally disciplining myself understanding that what I want is on the other side of hard, as Monty Williams says, right? So I did that every single day for a month.

So I started your program. I jumped in a call with the salesperson, the gap week. You know, the week between Christmas and New Year’s. I jumped on the sales, know, took some time, thought about it, prayed about it, was, this is this is the route I want to go.

I needed some things, and the things I needed, you guys offered all those things in a package, kind of. So I said, okay, I’m going to look at all the information during the gap week, and I’m going to start right after the New Year and really lock in.

I gave myself from January 2 to the end of the month, and I just went to work. So I did that every night, 3 hours a night. So I was working two jobs, pretty much. One was for myself. On the weekends. I dedicated like 4 hours on Saturday and Sunday at minimum, and just went through everything.

But again, for me, some people it’s a burden, some people it’s a chore. To me, it’s about passion. So you were asking, how do I even know what to speak? I know where my passion lies. I love helping people, in particular educators and students, because I know that I wouldn’t be where I’m at right now if it wasn’t for educators. Right.

I know what it felt like to be a student. In my world, I didn’t like school, had a cynical, negative attitude towards school. I despise school, but my grandmother set the conditions.

So you better bring these grades into this house. I don’t care how you feel about it, but you better get these grades. Right. So she set the standard, but I’m like, what if I could go into schools and help? Kids have a different perspective.

If they can understand, one of their greatest assets is their mind. Or, if they can understand, one of their greatest assets is their time. If they can understand, one of their greatest assets is the community of people that they surround themselves with. What if they approach and had a different perspective on school? Your perspective determines or dictates your performance.

Right? Your perspective is everything. So if somebody comes into the speaker lab and their perspective is, I don’t think I can do this. Well, if you don’t think you can do it, then more than likely you won’t do it. But if you have a perspective that says, all right, it’s not going to be easy. There’s going to be some opposition, some adversity that’s natural for all of us. But with this opposition adversity, I’m going to be resilient. I’m going to get through it. Right.

That mental resiliency is just something that I had, and I was just like, I have to apply myself. You’re giving me the blueprint. I got to do the work.

Grant Baldwin:

Yeah, I got to do the work now. All right, I got a bunch of questions. One would be for a lot of speakers, one of the biggest challenges and hurdles is getting clear on who they speak to, what they speak about, what problem are they actually solving.

It sounds like a lot of your previous experience, the stuff that you’re doing in schools already and stuff that you were doing through law enforcement, kind of dovetailed and segued well into what you’re currently doing. Did you have trouble kind of getting clear on who you speak to, what you speak about, or you’re like, no, I felt pretty good from day one on that.

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Did you struggling finding your audience?

Reggie Wright:

No, it wasn’t even a law enforcement piece, to be honest with you, Grant. It was just my upbringing. I did not like school. Yeah, I did well in school. National Honor Society. Dean’s listing college. It was all just a means to an end, a necessary evil. When I knew that I was having a son, one of the things that was important to me was I wanted my son to love learning and not look at learning as a necessary evil.

So I wanted to figure out, what do I have to do to start cultivating him and shaping him so that he can love the process of learning and not look at it as literally as a necessary evil. So before I became a speaker, I was reading a lot of books on education, on students and how to, like, curriculums and how to relate to students, how to be relevant, all that kind of stuff.

I knew once I got into this speaking lane, already knew what I wanted to talk about. Right. In terms of talking to students, educators is the same thing I always thought to myself when I was a student, okay, this person has a wealth of information, but they’re boring.

They’re not relatable, they’re not relevant. I’m tuning you out so I know everybody else in the class with me has tuned you out, and I’m the kind of person that can actually sit and receive information. I don’t need you to entertain me, but I just need you to somehow connect with me.

Right. So I recognize as a speaker, I’m like, okay, if I can talk to the educators and get them to understand how they can take the knowledge and skill that they have, because educators are amazing. I feel like they’re invaluable. I feel like they are the superheroes educators, I really do. And it’s a book called Educational Strategies by Dr. Jawanza Kanjufu. And he talks about this five types of educators.

He says, you have custodians. They just babysit students, right? That’s all they do. You have referral agents. The moment a student doesn’t behave properly, they just refer them to try to get classified as special ed. You have instructors, they just teach a subject matter. They’re not teaching a student. Then you have teachers and coaches. Teachers and coaches have the most success because instead of just teaching a subject matter, they teach the actual child.

They try to figure out different ways to engage and connect and build rapport with students. And that was my thing, is like, if I can help educators understand how to build rapport and connect with students, they’ll have more success. So I kind of knew who I wanted to talk to from the beginning. I would say the corporate space. I’ve done a couple of corporate gigs. I wasn’t expecting that. That was kind of new. I had to try to figure out my way with that.

But I knew exactly who I want to talk to because I knew where my passion lied.

Grant Baldwin:

When you go back to January and you said, all right, I’m giving myself a month to kind of get things going, what did you expect was going to happen? The clock rolls around, the calendar rolls around. February 1. What were your expectations at that point?

What did you expect going into this?

Reggie Wright:

I had a plan. I had a plan, right? Denzel Washington said a goal without a plan is just a wish, right? I had a plan. So it was like, okay, I’m going to do this work. I’m going to start reaching out to people. Let me understand how to do these cold emails, lead generation, let me send a CRM. I had no idea what any of that even meant. So let me find out how all this stuff works, and I’m just going to really go after it. I’m going to reach out to some people right here in my local area.

Like listening to the stuff that you said, right? You can make it local, right to your you could county, statewide, the town you live in. I’m going to reach out to some people and just share my heart and share my passion with them and ask them to give me an opportunity and let them know that if they give me an opportunity, I’m going to over deliver. I’m already doing the work. That’s what you tell people. I’m already doing the work, right? So that’s what I did. I’m not giving you any fluff. I’m not embellishing anything. That’s exactly what I did.

I reached out to and you were right. I think you said in one of your modules, it’s like 10% of the people are going to respond to you. And that’s probably what happened. I mean, I may had a little bit more than 10% of people that respond, but a majority of people say no. I was expecting rejection. I was expecting people to not answer me or to just give me a quick response with no follow up. But I knew one person you could have 99 no’s. All it takes is one yes.

And my mindset went back to how I was as a basketball player. I’m just telling you how it worked for me as a basketball player. It was this way. I’m going to practice and do all that I can and I may not start. I may be on the bench. Somebody at some point in time is going to get hurt, is going to be ineligible, especially where I grew up. Somebody is going to do something. It’s going to open the door for me.

And when it opens the door for me, coach is going to have to look down on that bench and be like, reggie, I need you to get in the game. And when I get in the game, I want to show up and show off for the right reasons. So that was my mindset, like, all I need is one yes, and I got that one yes. I got that one yes.

Grant Baldwin:

Were there points in the process? Know, early on and you’re getting into it, you’re getting after it, you’re doing the work, you’re reaching out to people. You got a website, you got your video, you feel momentum building.

But like you said, you’re reaching out to people. Maybe you’re not hearing as much as you’d like, you’re not getting as many yeses or we’ll think about it or we’ll get back to you, or you do a gig. Maybe that just didn’t go as well as you would have liked. Are there moments early on that you just felt discouraged and you’re just like, what the heck am I doing?

Did you feel discouraged early on?

Reggie Wright:

No. Because I feel like anytime that I didn’t get a yes or I made a mistake in reaching out, it was something I could learn from. So any moment where it would seem like discouraging or disheartening was something that I just tried to extract from it.

What can I learn from this email? What can I learn from this phone call that didn’t go well? Or what can I learn from whatever the case may be? There’s always something to be learned. There’s a quote that I tell my son all the time. I tell my son all the time. It’s only when you stop trying that you truly fail. I wasn’t going to give up.

Giving up is not an option. Giving in is not an option. I could have sent out 1000 emails and they all could have said, no, I’m going to send out 1000 more. I’m going to call 1000 more people. It has to work. And I know deep down in my heart that this is something that I’m called to do. This is part of my purpose, right? Your purpose is not determined. It’s discovered.

So I’ve discovered something that I’m passionate about. I love what I do right now much more than I love playing professional basketball. I never thought anything could supersede my love and passion for basketball. Basketball is entertainment. I’m changing lives. There’s been kids that come to me crying. What you said to me today has changed my life or shifted my perspective. And I’m talking to 300 students, but that particular student thinks I’m talking directly to them.

This is different, right? This is a calling. So for me, I’m not giving up. I can’t give up. Why would I give up?

Grant Baldwin:

It’s not an option, man, I love your passion. You just point me to a wall right now that I need to run through, and I’m all about it. You are a phenomenal, phenomenal communicator. And your passion, your energy, your excitement and enthusiasm for what you’re doing really comes through.

So let’s wrap up with this. I know there’s a lot more we could cover, but let’s wrap up the speaker that is listening, that is maybe where you were, let’s say, a year ago and is going like, man, I’m interested in speaking maybe again. I’ve done some speaking before. Maybe I’ve spoken a time or two, maybe I’ve been paid once or twice.

I would love to do more of this. I just don’t know what I don’t know. I’m a human so I have some of my own self doubts and insecurities and fears and worries. I’m not as good fill in the blank or I don’t have that type of resume or track. I didn’t play basketball in Europe or anything like that. What would you say to that speaker?

What would you say to speakers getting started?

Reggie Wright:

I would say to that speaker, if they’re passionate about the work that they’re trying to do, whoever their target audience is, whatever their niche is, if they’re truly passionate about it, commit to it. Commit to it. Discipline yourself. Have a plan in terms of time management, right?

So figure out how you can dedicate and allocate a certain amount of time to crafting your talk, understanding the business of speaking, reaching out to people, lead generation, and just know that you’re going to get a lot of no’s in the beginning. You’re going to get a lot of people that may not believe in you, a lot of people that don’t want to give you an opportunity, but at some point in time, someone’s going to say yes. And when that person says yes, if you’re already doing the work and you’re prepared, then it will show. It will show when you get that opportunity. Don’t get discouraged.

Don’t give up. Giving up is not an option. No one has achieved any level of success without opposition adversity. I don’t care who they are. Everyone had a starting point. Everyone started at home plate and then made their way to first base, second base, third base, and so forth and so on. You just can’t give up. So that’s my encouragement to everyone, and I do believe this grant.

I believe that everyone that’s on this planet right now has greatness in them. I truly believe that. For me, I believe everyone has worth and value, but I believe that people are afraid. And that’s why I love the quote, right? It says, fear has kept more people from accomplishing their goals than failure ever will. We can’t be afraid of going after our goals. It takes courage. And what’s the worst that can happen? People say no to you.

It doesn’t work the way that you would like for it to work. What can you learn from it? Turn a page and move on to the next page into the next chapter. Life goes on, right? But don’t give up. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. And I would tell them just to really pay attention to the information that you have as they join the Speaker Lab, because I’m a testament that it works. And I’m grateful. I’m grateful.

I never would have thought that I would be in a position I’m in right now, doing the work that I’m doing. And it’s not always easy. I have a lot of days where I’m still grinding, I’m still getting it out of the mud, but I won’t give up.

Well, and one thing we were talking about before we started recording here was we always say, like, this works if you do the work, and so we can tell you exactly what to do, but if you don’t implement, you don’t apply it, it means nothing. And make no mistake, it’s not easy. It requires effort.

It requires a lot of work. So it’s not, I joined something or I listened to a podcast or I took a little bit of action. No, it’s very evident and clear. You’re all in. You’ve done the work, you’ve done the effort.

And so a pet peeve is like when people are expecting professional results, but they’re putting in amateur effort. The reason that you are able to play at a professional level with basketball, the reason that you’ve been able to have the kind of success that you’ve had with speaking is because that you’ve done the work.

It’s not because you have some social talent or ability or gifting or story that nobody else does. It’s because you are the one that has put in the effort that you’ve grinded, that you’ve hustled and created the opportunity that you have. So huge props to you. I’m incredibly, incredibly proud of you. Not for anything that the Speaker Lab has done, but because of the work that you have done. So huge props to you, man.

Reggie Wright:

Thank you, Grant. Appreciate it.


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