“David is a gifted speaker with a passion for helping other people succeed – his message of sound business judgment and ACTION, ACTION, ACTION is exactly what people need to hear… and DO.”
~ Bill Redmond, Founder & CEO of HRI (Sysco) Food Services, Kelowna, B.C.
Participants often approach me at the end of presentations and express how my stories have touched their hearts, or better yet; they tell me that they’ve been inspired to take action towards a goal that’s important for them. These moments are my most favourite, and are what inspire me to live the very best – and most authentic – life that I can.
I believe that by following a proven pattern, anybody can accomplish the things they want out of life; I say this because it’s how I’ve been able to travel the world, create a successful business career and live a life on my terms – DESPITE the many challenges and roadblocks faced along the way.
I’ve learned that by enduring challenges we (a) learn important lessons, and (b) get to all the “good stuff” life has to offer.
So how did I learn all these valuable things I share with groups? I’m glad you asked…
In The Beginning…
Most of what I know comes from living a a busy and varied life, beginning when I was a kid. My dad was in the navy, so growing up our family moved around Canada a lot, plus were stationed in a small English town with easy access to Amsterdam for three years. This meant that for three years I got to experience two uniquely different foreign cultures, an experience that sparked a fierce passion within me for world travel; one that has seen me travel to 3o countries on 5 continents so far.
All this moving around also meant having to make new friends every few months, a pattern that taught me social skills but did nothing for my grades. To be honest, I wasn’t a great student, and didn’t even graduate high school – something that deeply affected my self-confidence for many, many years to come. Being branded a magnanimous failure so early in life was hurtful and embarrassing, and I felt like the word “LOSER” was stamped on my forehead for all to see.
But here’s the thing – I knew I wasn’t stupid; I just learned things differently than how they were taught in school. Instead I set out to prove I was a hard worker, mostly by pulling double shifts and working weekends at my prep cook job. I was quickly promoted, an acknowledgement that thrilled me enough to pursue a career in foodservice; and so the next several were spent slaving away in various hotel and restaurant kitchens; and finally at culinary school – where I FINALLY achieved a passing grade!
A “Non-Traditional” Education
At age 23 I was hired to be Executive Chef at a small West Coast resort, an appointment that made me think maybe – just maybe – I could run a business. I also realized that if I wanted to further my career in hospitality management, hard work alone wouldn’t be enough. I knew I needed an education; but who would teach me?
Without any real life mentors close by, I began reading books on leadership, personal development, finance and business; plus attended seminars by the likes of Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn and David Chilton. I took my studies very seriously (reading well over 150 books) and the results spoke for themselves. My growth – both personally and professionally – was explosive!
Most importantly, it was becoming crystal clear that if I continued to (a) work hard, (b) make plans and (c) take massive, focused action towards their achievement, that having “success” on my terms was within my reach… and so that’s exactly what I did.
Within a few years I’d gained a well-rounded view of the industry, developed a keen eye for profit and had a strong set of leadership and mentoring skills. Feeling empowered, I took a job overseeing national operations for a corporate hotel chain, a job that allowed me to travel all over the country to construct business plans, consult with management teams and facilitate employee workshops. It seemed that I finally had real, marketable “skills”; even better, it also seemed these skills were in demand! I was hot!
Next I was ready to try something entrepreneurial, and joined an investment group to first build, and then manage a busy independent restaurant & bar at Sun Peaks Ski Resort. The business was immediately profitable, and my reputation as a shrewd businessman with strong ties to the community was quickly solidified. It appeared the success I’d been dreaming of for so long was finally within my reach, and life seemed perfect! Then something happened…
Life Re-Defined in a Heartbeat…
After a routine visit to the doctor, our family got some life-changing news: My five-year-old son Tristan was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy and was given five short years to walk. Since travelling the world with him was a dream of mine, we began intensely saving and sacrificing in order to take him away while he could still travel; and just 18 short months later, we embarked upon an epic month-long European adventure together. As it turned out, it was just in the nick of time since shortly after our return, Tristan lost the ability to walk. (For a more in-depth version of this story, please check out my TEDx video)
This dramatic event clearly signaled two things: It highlighted the importance on taking immediate action towards achieving our goals and dreams; and that the time had come to leave the mountains, and move to a more wheelchair friendly environment. Not long after we relocated to beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, where we have enjoyed West Coast lifestyle ever since.
The Top Five Reasons Why I Should Speak at Your Event
Over the past several years I’ve had several ups AND downs; yet through it all, I’ve maintained a positive attitude and a solid belief that anyone can create AWESOME life experiences – my life is proof of this. Besides having a story that’s easily relatable for most people, there are five key reasons why I’d be a great choice to speak at your next event, or facilitate your team in one of my workshops. They are:
- Self-education has taught me how to set and ACHIEVE lofty goals
- A wide and varied career has taught me how to build and manage PROFITABLE businesses
- TRAVELLING THE WORLD has opened my eyes and heart to wonder and possibilities
- As the father of a disabled son, I’ve learned the true meaning of GRATITUDE and the importance of LIVING IN THE MOMENT
- As a professional speaker and trainer, I use my stories to INSPIRE and CHALLENGE audiences to live their own very best versions of AWESOME, both personally and professionally.
If you feel that your team or organization is ready to benefit from a keynote speech or one of my training programs, then let’s talk! Please reach me here to discuss available dates, fees, etc.
Oh, and please note that I’m also happy to customize programs at no extra charge.
Still not sure? No worries; at the bottom of each page you’ll find testimonials from managers and executives who have hired me to speak at their conferences and facilitate high-performance workshops for their teams. Please take a moment to read what they have to say; because once you have, I’m confident you’ll see the value and benefit I can bring to your organization.
Thanks again, and I’m looking forward to creating some AWESOME with you and your team!