I introduced my long-time friend, Nacole Schapiro before her speech to the Golden Gate Breakfast Club. Although she is a professional keynote speaker who often presents on negotiation and change,
I knew our group would love to hear her personal story about growing up under communism.
Her family lived in fear that they would be shot if it were discovered that every night they would go into their basement and read a book about America.
Every Sunday her mother would take her young children on a long walk towards Austria.
When they complained she told them, “One day you may have the chance to walk toward freedom. I do not want you to waste any time wondering which way to go.” You may be tearing up reading this, I am while writing it, even though I have spoken about this speech many times since I heard it.
At age 15 Nicole did start that walk alone. With 20 others she was caught and held in a barn overnight. The morning brought the firing squad.
You have to read her book or listen to her story to know how she escaped. Wow! By now you get the idea of the beginning of the story. This is how my introduction went….
“Your speaker Nicole Schapiro is a true American success story… except she’s Hungarian.
The end of our story finds her a successful International keynote speaker, consultant, award-winning poet, New York Times best-selling author of Negotiating for Your Life. She has been on the BBC, CNN, and Oprah.
Her book is printed in three languages and the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, ‘One of the best contributions to business books.’
The middle of our story finds Nicole at age 30 with a Masters in Industrial Phychology, and the first woman senior vice president of sales and marketing at a New York financial institution.
Nicole has lived a very interesting life.
The beginning of the story proves what lengths some individuals are willing to go through to achieve what most of us take for granted.
I am confident as you listen to her story you will realize how lucky we are to call ourselves…Americans.
To discuss Freedom is not Free… Nicole Schapiro.”
Hope you have the chance to read the book and hear Nicole speak. Visit her website for more information.
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