It Knocks All the Time, We Do Not Always Recognize the Sound.
I have had the good fortune to be successful in three careers: as a hairstylist, a professional speaker, and now as an executive speech coach. Although they may seem dissimilar, they have many aspects in common. For one, I have had the opportunity to develop relationships with fascinating and often brilliant individuals whom I would otherwise never have met in my everyday circle of acquaintances. The best and most memorable education comes from having absorbing conversations with interesting people.
In 1971, Werner Erhard, who founded EST training, was sitting in my hairstyling chair. I asked him what business he was in. “The motivation business,” he said. (At that point, he was motivating people to go out and sell encyclopedias.)
A few months later, again while I was cutting his hair, he told me, “I have just attended a course called Mind Dynamics. It was so exciting that I am learning how to teach it.”
As he talked about it, the results sounded too good to be true, so I agreed to attend his first seminar. His bottom-line message was so simple: “You are responsible for your life.”
Although my parents did not use those words, they nevertheless raised my brother and me to believe that principle. The seminar pushed the idea from the back of my mind to the front and helped me focus even more than before.
At the time, I had no idea that one day I’d be speaking for a living and that I’d be passing Werner’s message along to my own audiences in my own words.
Werner’s course then evolved into what became EST Erhard Seminar Training.
What was it about Werner that we can all learn from?
Werner was a showman.
When Werner Erhard was at the height of his fame, I was cutting the hair of one of his life-long show business friends. Innocently I asked, “Was Werner ever in show business?” I’ve never forgotten his reply: “No, Werner never was, and, yes, Werner always has been.” A show business philosophy may be the answer to getting your message across.
Werner made himself an object of interest to others.
He built his EST business success by getting many people to talk about him and their experiences at his seminars. He generated an incredible amount of enthusiasm long before social media. Would you consider yourself an object of interest?
He trained others to teach his message.
Werner created a mini-empire teaching basic, simple truths that had an impact in people’s lives and that they could pass on to others. He staffed his organization with excited, dedicated people who believed in what they were doing.
Of course, he didn’t pay them very much. I know because I recruited several of his former employees. Their low wages were inconsequential to them because they were so excited about what they were doing. Anyone who had worked for EST found it easy to work for Fripp!
On a personal note.
When I began work as an apprentice my father paid for me to train. Even though I made little more than by bus fare to get to work, I loved every moment. Most of my jobs were working 100% on commission and took time to build a clientele. It did not matter. Learning, the experience, the possibilities were more important. The conversations with my executive clients were a great education for an ambitious young woman.
Remember, every time you have a conversation, opportunity is knocking. Be sure you recognize the sound.
This is one of the Lessons I Learned Behind a Hairstyling Chair
Imagine how good a speaker you would be if you had 24/7 access to Patricia’s advice. Try it.
“Fripp! You did an amazing job at the Award’s Red-Carpet event. You could explain how ants crawl across the ground and it would be marvelous and entertaining! It was so obvious you put hours of effort, energy, and hours into the presentation and it showed. Great job!!!” Steve Spangler, Hall of Fame Speaker, Best-Selling Author.
“Your talents as a speech coach have helped me craft my story so well I have delivered it on the MDRT main platform 3 times as well as countless other stages around the globe. Always your raving fan.” John Nichols, President, Acrisure Insurance Wholesale Solutions