Episode 205 – Unstoppable Trilingual Presentation Coach and International Speaker, Part Two with Brian Drury
Welcome to the first time we continue an interview with a second episode. You met Brian in August of 2023. He had so much to say and so many of you expressed an interest in hearing more that I invited him back for a second go around.
Brian offered us so many life lessons in our first episode together that it was hard to end so abruptly. This time we will delve more into how his talk went viral as well as some of the physical and mental challenges he has faced during his life’s journey. We get to learn more about Brian the person and why he is the way he is.
This time he discusses in depth his speech that went“viral”in 2018. He tells us much more about his journey including more about why he left the supply chain world to go out on his own.
Once again Brian offers us many lessons about being unstoppable and how to live life. I love listening to him possibly because he, like me, tells stories to illustrate points. I hope you love this second episode with Brian as much as everyone seemed to like his first time on Unstoppable Mindset.
About the Guest:
Brian Drury is a trilingual (English, Spanish, Portuguese) international speaker and presentation coach who helps his clients to master the skills of public speaking and effective communication to improve their:speeches, interviewing, networking, presentations, sales pitches, and more!
Working with executives, entrepreneurs, and organizations around the world, Brian provides proven frameworks and strategies that help his clients know they can confidently present in any scenario, even on short notice.
One of Brian’s speeches went viral with over 20 million views on Facebook alone.
Additionally, he is a best-selling author, podcaster, content creator, and former Fortune 300 internal consultant.
He offers 1-on-1 coaching, group coaching, workshops and keynote speeches for entrepreneurs, executives, and working professionals alike.
Ways to connect with Brian:
Craft Your Keynote event,
Free Facebook Group:
About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.
Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.
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Michael Hingson ** 00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson ** 01:21
Well, hi there and welcome to another episode of unstoppable mindset. Today, we get to do something in the unexpected part of where inclusion diversity and the unexpected me. Least I didn’t expect it until it suddenly happened. And that is that we get to interview Brian Drury and this is our second interview with Brian. We met him a few months ago. He did a podcast it has gone live. And he and I have talked and we agreed he ought to come back again and chat with us some more. And so here we are, to talk about what’s happened since what’s been going on that we didn’t get to talk about in the first podcast, and anything else that seems relevant to do So Brian, welcome to unstoppable mindset again.
Brian Drury ** 02:05
Thanks for having me back. Michael. stoked to be here, man. Well,
Michael Hingson ** 02:08
we’re really glad you’re here and looking forward to having a lot of fun. And if you remember Brian’s bio from before, he is a trilingual, English, Spanish and Portuguese speaker. He does a lot of things dealing with public speaking, effective communications, and other stuff. I’m sure he is perfectly willing to talk about much more relevant than I. So Brian, what’s happened since we chatted last time? I know you had a big event coming up. How did that go? Tell us about it.
Brian Drury ** 02:42
Well, the event went great. And and for anybody, I’ll plug it right here at the front. So for anyone who wants to connect last time, so it’s the Brian Drewery on social media. So at the Brian Drewery th e b r i a n d ru ry. And then if you want to email me directly, questions, comments, concerns, whatever, it’s br i n. So Brian at Guide to speaking.com. So that is G yd, the number two. And then SP EA que i ng.com. So Brian, a guide to speaking feel like I’m doing a spelling bee. So, Michael, you had asked about the events. So yes, so I had a big event coming up. And as I have found almost every time with self hosted events is when you expect things to go to plan you are planning to fail. So essentially, every time I have self hosted an event, there have been unpredictable unexpected events and things that transpire that you throw off the promotion, throw off the preparation for and so you rarely have as much time as you expect. So what I would say for people who want to be speakers or trainers or want to get into this world, and they want to do events where they’re talking to larger groups of people be ready to not have that week to 10 days before the event go as planned. So many people will say like, oh, yeah, that’s what I’m going to do my most prep or that’s what I’m really going to rehearse. But the thing that you and I know, Michael, that the real pros are prepped and ready well before that, so that when the event actually comes up, if they can’t rehearse as much in the week leading up, it’s not a big deal. So all of that to say I was coming up on this event. And this kind of ties into one of the other topics I had sent over to talk about was my first year, full full year as a full time entrepreneur. So I worked in a corporate supply chain career for a little over a decade. And during that time, I was building my own coaching and speaking and consulting business outside of it. So for seven and a half years, I was building this company while working full time. So then in April of last year, and we can dive into this if you want but it’s how I came to the decision is a whole nother story but Ultimately, I hit the point where I said, my day job had gotten so terrible that I finally hit a breaking point and just said, it’s time. And it did not go as I planned, it did not go as I anticipated. In fact, I had been in a corporate job, I’d always gotten good or great performance reviews, I always considered myself a top performer and work to deliver more than I was asked of me. And I had work to do that every step of my career, and then working in supply chain in the 2020. And beyond was a whole different other kind of nightmare. And I found that more and more of my time was going towards what I didn’t want. And I was spending more time on the thing that paid the bills, not the thing that I really wanted to do. And I had all the typical excuses, you know, it’s not time, it’s not sustainable, yet, I want to build it up more, I want more consistent revenue in the business, I had all those things. And I said, One day, when I’m making x, you know, $1,000 a month consistently, then I’ll just gently take this nice little cute leap and move on to full time entrepreneurship. But ultimately, with, again, we can dive into this if you’d like. But the details, it’s, it’s like, it’s a very common entrepreneurial thing, things got so bad at the job that ultimately, I get called into my weekly meeting with my manager, and supposed to be just touch base, talk about how things are going. And my director, and HR are there as well. And I’m like, this is probably not a surprise promotion. And they say you’ve got 30 days to improve in these areas. And they were the things that were brought up were things that were either false, very small, or just kind of things where they hadn’t talked or communicated to me for over a year. And now we’re bringing these things up as issues. And it was basically them saying we kind of want you out, you know, there were for a variety of reasons. And a part of me fought this and was like, oh, no, like, I’ve always worked to give more this compromising my identity. But then I really thought about it. And I was like, Well, what your director is telling you is you’re not right for this job. And you’ve known that in your heart for four years doing this. So instead of just continuing to sit in that I said, alright, you know what, it’s time to take a shot. It had to get that bad. I mean, it was there’s much, much more to that story of how bad things were, in order to get that bad for me to finally have the courage to take the leap. So were some of them go full time with entrepreneur? Oh, yes, go ahead.
Michael Hingson ** 07:27
Were some of the things they’ve got bad things that you did. I mean, what what do you mean, when you say things got bad? Or was it just your head wasn’t in it anymore? What?
Brian Drury ** 07:40
It was a combination of things. So the kind of shorter version was in 2020. You know, working in supply chain was one of the most tumultuous times ever, they said it literally, our director told us it was the greatest supply chain disruption since World War Two. It’s unprecedented ground, and everything came to a standstill for a period of time, and then everything tried to pick up twice as fast. So essentially, at first, everyone’s all Kumbaya, and we’re gonna hold hands, these are unprecedented times, it’s all the cute corporate speak. And because of that, they tell us, Oh, you know what, it’s all okay, we’re gonna make mistakes, these times are crazy. And up to that point, they had been, all my feedback had been good, I’d been grading great performance reviews, I was building things I, you know, they were talking about getting me on a management track and all these other things. And then towards the tail end of 2020, I made one big mistake. Now, it was a big mistake. And I didn’t buy several, like 12,000 units, which in the major, I won’t specify the brand, just for the sake of it. But I worked in a major retail footwear, apparel brand that everyone knows, I wear to the corporate headquarters, and I missed a big buy. So there’s a lot of reasons for that were crazy things that I won’t go into just in terms of how the supply chain disruptions were managed. But ultimately, I found I’d made a mistake. And it was irreversible. Like, I would have had to order this stuff three months ago for it to get there on time. So these big important units weren’t going to get there. I tell my boss, I find the air I let them know as soon as I find it, he has to go to the director and the director actually had to tell the president of the company because these were like big marketed styles. And so it was a huge mistake. And I felt terrible. I never like one of my biggest fears is letting people down. And the director came and had this like, Come to Jesus call with me and essentially essentially told me that this had discredited everything I had ever done that, you know, the week before when he said he wanted me on a management track. My years of going above and beyond were discredited and devalued. Now I had a target on my back I was his the direct quote was, Brian, there’s a dart I said, have you lost faith in me? And he said, Brian, there’s a dog Aren’t cloud over your head, and it’s going to follow you for a while. But if you can be consistent for a year, you can earn my trust back, essentially. And he also in that same conversation said, don’t try to improve things just execute on the job. And one of the biggest challenges in that job was all of the terrible processes. So for the next year, I tried to do that, to my best of my ability, we had a team of five people that lost three people in the space of six weeks, we were going through a system implementation, we had a 20 year sourcing office close to all of these crazy challenges all during the pandemic, me and one other person kept that entire portion of the business going for a year, they’re telling me everything’s fine. And then in the beginning of 2022, I come into the meeting, and they had been collecting all the mistakes I had made perceived or otherwise for the course of a year, while telling me everything was fine. They just took hearsay as truth. So even things that were later disproven, or claims that were made or, you know, I sent this already, like just this kind of like He Said, She Said stuff. They just took the other person’s side every time. And essentially, it was like you’re making headaches for me. So we don’t want you. And so basically, I come into this meeting, and they tell me things like, here’s the the systemic issues that we’ve seen in your performance over the past year, sometimes sends an email in place of a phone call, sometimes sends overly long emails, sometimes this and this and this, and most of them were 60%, I’d never heard most several were untrue, like factually incorrect. And when I said, is the point of this meeting for me to share my side of this or and then my director cuts me off and goes, I think it is best best to focus on the path forward. So essentially, it was we don’t care what you have to say, we don’t trust you. We don’t want you. And I honestly, Michael, I believe that even if I’d done everything they said they would have still fired me after the 30 days, because it was they were just like he doesn’t fit because I would ask questions. When I would try to keep our customers, I’d have them adhere to deadlines that say, unfortunately, you missed the deadline. So you have to submit on the next by well, then they just go escalated up. And now I’m creating a headache by trying to get them to adhere to the agreed upon deadlines. So there’s a lot of different things that went into it. But I’ll pause there for a sec, because it was so bad. It just got to the point where I was like this is never going to change. And I’m not going to change this. So I’d rather get into a situation where even if it’s scarier, I’m in control a path forward, right.
Michael Hingson ** 12:39
And so what did you do?
Brian Drury ** 12:43
So the next steps, because the big thing was I realized this, and I think you’ll find many of your listeners have a similar experience is I realized they were never going to value me for me. They actually, in fact, you know, I’m running a communication and speaking and effective communication business. And in that call, they said, Hey, Brian, we’ve got some great interpersonal communication trainings we could recommend and like, they’re all these things that I was just like, they don’t see my value. They don’t appreciate me, they don’t celebrate me. And I can either stay here and just accept that or try and figure this game out on my own. So April 1 was my last week at that job. April 8, I left and I went out on my own.
Michael Hingson ** 13:27
Now that’s 2022
Brian Drury ** 13:30
is 2022. Right? So last year. And so I go out on my own, and I have found this, you know, I fought so hard for years, I invested 10s of 1000s of dollars in like, into my education and personal development events I had been working in modifying and tweaking my business, so I knew what I wanted to do. And when I left, I had three months worth of expenses covered like in terms of cash. So it was not like I had this big runway or I have a year to figure things out. I’m like I got three months and we’ll see what happens. And simultaneously in that time, I started to develop what I thought was sciatica or like, you know, nerve pain kind of in the glute and shooting pain down the leg. And so as I was working to figure out my business, I started to have increasingly bad symptoms I tried every modality of treatment I could think of to try and make it better, none of which worked. And then got to a point where I went to the emergency room September of last year. They said it’s a disc issue in the back. So I spent the next probably six months trying to treat it in every way. I got an epidural spinal injection, I tried to do PT, I was doing one to two hours of PT type work every day and still couldn’t beat this thing. So in my whole first 14 months as a full time entrepreneur, I was battling chronic pain, chronic sleep deprivation, and so many other challenges as a result of that, that I never could have predicted as As my, the challenges I would face as a full time entrepreneur, and that ultimately led to spinal surgery, so I had to get a major spinal surgery, about three and a half months ago, got a diskectomy and a laminectomy got the problem fixed. And now three and a half months later, I’m in recovery. And I’m working through things so that managing that issues with medication issues with treatment, pain, all this, my whole first year and a half of entrepreneurship has been either chronic pain surgery recovery, and I’m just kind of getting to the first times of being pain free since then. So it’s one of those things where everyone says you’re gonna face challenges, as you know, when you go full time, and now it’s all on you. And the first year was exceptionally hard. And I just tried to focus on the goals and step forward, I remember seeing my bank account, go to $16. And wondering how I was going to pay rent the next month. And then December, I started to get some momentum, I put together some programs, January was a little better, February’s little better March was my best month yet. And then I had my best quarter ever in my best businesses history. And at that point, I was averaging, I would say one to two hours a day of work because of the pain. And since then, since getting the surgery, now this month in August, I’m having my best month ever, and it’s better than that entire quarter. So I’m very optimistic about the path forward because with a healthy body and not chronic pain of being able to sleep again, it’s a whole different world. So that’s kind of the summary of my some of the highlights or lowlights of my first year as a full time entrepreneur. And I’ll pause there because I know there’s tons of places we can go. But yeah,
Michael Hingson ** 16:43
well. So what exactly did you go off? And do you left the job in April of 2022? And being an entrepreneur, what did you go off and entrepreneur and do?
Brian Drury ** 16:57
Well, that’s a great question as well. So for several years, I started my business back in 2015. So at first I just said coaching, because I didn’t really know what type of coaching I was doing. I just said, I’m a coach, and I can help you get great results and achieve goals and dreams. So the whole thing for me was in order to, if I’m going to try and motivate and inspire people to do those things, live their dreams, I’ve got to do that myself. So I started just working to achieve all of these goals and dreams, launched a business published a book that became an Amazon Best Seller launched a podcast, you know, moved to a new dream place got a dream job where I got paid to travel. So I started doing all this through personal development, and then teaching those skills. And I remember for anybody that’s scared about getting started, or how do you charge for your first client, my first client was just a friend of mine who said, Hey, Brian, I love the results you’re getting. And I want those two, I want you to coach me. I said, Okay, well, I’m trying to start a business. So the cool if I charge you, he said, Sure. They said how much I was like 300 a month, we’ll do one call a week. So like 75 an hour. He’s like, sounds great. Sounds great. And that was the beginning. So after that, I did that for a couple years. But I said I need to be more clear. I need a better niche any more clarity. So I realized, Okay, well, achieving any goal is the product of habits and how you live day to day. So now I’m going to become a habit coach. So I help people effectively set goals, and establish the habits to achieve those goals. So lots of study in human psychology and human behavior, and trying to help people optimize their habits, get rid of the bad ones, implement the good ones, get the mental blocks out of the way, and get to work and create results quickly. Because both in my corporate job and in my entrepreneurial pursuits. My thing is about results and momentum and change. I I don’t think it’s enough, just as a speaker, just to motivate, I think we should be giving insights and changes and help prompt people to take action. So I did that for about three and a half years. And then that was when my speech went viral. So 2014 was the first time I met Shawn, I believe I shared the story on the first one. So I speaker and mentor Sean Stephenson, one of the most prolific speakers on the planet before he passed from 2014 to 2018. He went from this untouchable hero to one of my best friends and he was introducing me to speak on stage. At that event, that speech that recording went on to go viral and we see has been seen over 20 million times up to this point. So when that went live, a lot of people assume that like how much money did you make off that because people think views or big social presence equals money. And that’s really not the case. So I wasn’t set up for it. So my facebook page for that old business grew. But I didn’t have any offerings. I didn’t have ways to engage people. I wasn’t as consistent with content. So I didn’t know the things I know now. So what it did do is give me incredible credibility though in the ability to deliver great talks, so I could share that I could use that motion. And I started getting more and more questions about speaking and presentation skills and being confident on stage and messaging and craft Hang in storytelling. So what I realized over time was I kept fighting for this habit change coaching, and I wasn’t feeling it as much, and I wasn’t getting the response. But then when I finally stopped and paid attention, I was like, everyone is asking me about speaking. And storytelling is one of my favorite things to talk about. And I can help people, I can solve some people’s biggest problems in 30 minutes, and then we can go even deeper. So why not just, you know, meet the supply and demand together? Where match those two? Because it’s often the entrepreneurial ideas, the intersection of, you know, what can we do? Well, what do people want? What can we get paid for. And now, after years of all these different iterations, and trying things, and making information products, and all these different tests, I finally found that intersection of the thing I loved that I’d worked with some of the best in the world at what they do, and I could give exceptional value, I could get paid for it. And I absolutely loved it. So I shifted gears there. And I didn’t change my original business was called overcoming graduation, because it was about teaching young adults, everything I wished I’d known about life to help them live the life of their dreams. And I didn’t change the brand, I didn’t change the business, I just started focusing on speaking. So I started to grow and was doing that while I was working full time. So ultimately, when I got to the point of it’s time to leave, I said, You know what, I’m going doubling down on speaking, I’m going full tilt into this. So I gotta create a new brand. So the first, honestly, Michael, like first two months, I really was like, I needed to decompress, I kind of had some, like, by the end of my career, I had originally said, my supply chain career, had originally said, Art, I’m gonna get paid to move out to California, buy this company, I’ll spend like two years getting settled getting established. And then after two years, I’m gonna go full time into my entrepreneurial stuff, I’ll build it up. That two year mark was 2020. So you know, as we like, we tend to make plans, and life has great curveballs to throw our way. So 2020 hits, I’m like, wow, it’s not be rash here, right. And it’s that convenient excuse not to take the big leap. So then, two more years, two years, and two months later, is when I ultimately got the, you know, the 30 day notice. And so now that by the end of it, I was so drained, you know, I was working 1012 hour days, I was working on weekends, and I was pouring so much time fighting for a job that I hated and not spending time on the thing that I love that I really wanted to fight for. And when things got that bad, my dad said to me, he’s like, you know, Brian, it’s probably time to stop fighting for what you don’t want and fight for what you do. And the way that I left the company, too, I wanted to make sure that I didn’t compromise my values. So I said, Hey, listen, I’ll give you guys a month. So I can properly train people, even though you know, I don’t think I was treated well, I don’t think this was handled well. I’m not gonna let that dictate my behaviors. Because I had let my standards slip. While I was there, I had started to just make excuses and get lazier and justify these things and play the victim. And so I said, I’m gonna raise my standard backup to my standard, I spent a month training everybody, they didn’t offer any severance, they didn’t offer anything. And I was like, You know what, good, this is gonna make the story better to tell. And during the leaving corporate, so the first time not having a full time job, since college, and all of these things that was one of my big messages. That was one of the things I carried was Shawn, my mentor told us if things go wrong in your life, but don’t go as planned as a speaker, you should be thrilled because it makes great content for the stage. So the whole time when things were crazy and chaotic. I would just say this is going to make the story better to tell. This is a great one I love to share with people. So I said, You know what, two months I’m just kind of decompressing. I’m taking breaks. I went to San Diego and took a trip with a girl I was dating at the time and was like, oh my god, okay, I’m finally doing it. So now let’s figure this game out. I said, You know what I need to rebrand. Spend some time figuring out a new brand. So you know what guide to speaking, I really like that that fits. So I make a new website, I announced the new brand, I go through all this work, finally launch it and then all of my mentors go, Hey, man, everyone is moving towards personal branding. Now, it’s far better and it’s more flexible. So you know, your business changes in six months, you still have to say, you know, Brian drew.com or the Brian drew.com, which I have now. So then I go through an entire nother revamp while I’m promoting and trying to get clients. And I started to just, I when I was going to personal development events, I would offer a free hour of coaching people you know, it’s a hey, we’re all at this event, we all came. So I’m just gonna give a free hour. And that was great to build my chops and get my skills up even tighter but I wasn’t getting any clients. So then I’m like, I talked to some of my speaking mentors. Some of the coaches I’ve worked with in the past they said you need a package or an offering. And so I started to dive deeper into that I created a 12 week group coaching program and one on one coaching program. And that was where I started to get some momentum and some results is towards the end of the year. did a big launch event, I got five people into it both with giveaways and with paid joining like so people paying to join. And that kind of was the spark for everything else. And so that was all up until like December of last year was kind of figuring out one big thing that I’ve, I’ve said to people that was contrary to what I expected. And I’d be curious to hear if this happened. And your speaking career as well was, I thought for speaking, and for coaching, people would want a custom experience. Everyone wants, you know, a custom perfect for you experience that’s just tailored to you in every specific way. But then I realized, here’s the challenge, when you have conference coordinators and booking agents and people that are busy trying to find someone to pick, instead of a custom menu, they want like the McDonald’s menu, they want to number one or number two, and number three, they want to be able to point to it and then say, no pickles are extra sauce. And so in that way, they get their customer experience, but they have a proven thing. They know what a Big Mac tastes like everywhere. And so that was what I started to do both in product and in speaking was I created standard off offering signature talk signature coaching programs, and started to build on those. So that was kind of the first that like 2022. And then as I gotten to 2023, I made some more adjustments and things. But those are the initial steps into it and how I started to get my feet under me and get some momentum. So
Michael Hingson ** 26:27
I would, I would say pretty similar experiences. I have a number of standard talks. But I also tell everyone that talks to me about becoming well coming to their event, I customize every talk that I give. So what is it that you need specifically in your presentation from the what kind of messaging? Or now that you know about what I do? What would you like me to include or add or whatever. And I find that oftentimes, especially if I go to an event and get to hear some people who speak before I do, I may be customizing a little bit off of the basic talk right up to and including beginning to talk myself, because what I’m looking for is what is going to have the greatest impact for the audience. What does the audience want to react to? What do they want to hear. And I think people who are organizing events who are good at it, do understand that and do understand what it is that audiences want to hear. But even then the audience can tell you more, right up to the time that you begin to talk because every event is different, even a little bit different than what the planners talked about. So I’ve learned to judge that when I’m speaking to an audience or with an audience. And I love to say I don’t speak to but I like to speak with because I want them engaged. And I want them to be part of the speech. So I do make sure that I’m interacting in a way that gets reactions from the audience. So I know that they’re with me as we go sort of presentation. So I do like to customize, but from the basic talk, which is basically what you’re saying.
Brian Drury ** 28:14
Right, exactly. And it’s, that’s why and doesn’t surprise me at all, because I like I know how experienced you are. And that the best speakers I know put the audience first. And it’s obvious like anybody who watches your speeches See that you do that because you make it entertaining, you make it fun, they laugh, they cry, like you take them on an emotional journey. And the way I like my phrasing for it is I don’t want to lecture in an audience, I want to co create an adventure, right? So especially when I’m coaching people and speaking, one of the big things is a lot of people think and I’m really getting some powerful lessons on the balance of like content versus activity and engagement. Because my mentor always always harped on the criticality of activities, how that’s a keep people engaged for the long term, they get more a better experience, they have more fun, they make connections. But what I’m realizing more and more is oftentimes in an effort to over deliver value, we take out some of the room for magic. So when I’m coaching speakers, I’m like, if you’re doing an hour keynote, it’s great to prep for 45. And then you also have a section you can pull out if you know, inevitably the time changes, someone went too long, etcetera. So you’re prepared for that stuff. So you don’t throw the event off. But you also gotta leave room for your magic, because each of us has something that we do specially or engagement. And if you bring somebody on stage or have somebody stand up in the audience, and one of the things I’ll do is like live keynote crafting, I’ll say okay, give me your premise, give me this and then I can give them an idea of how I would craft this is the less I leave room for that. There’s less room for that magic and like you and I we can give the same speech over and over and over and that can get boring because when you know a lot of people go oh, I want this like homerun speech but at some point if you give it 50 times in a row When you know when people laugh, and this, you can lose the connection if you don’t focus on the audience, right, and you can lose like the energy in the spark. So that’s why I love to leave in the room for audience engagement and live activities, because that creates the variability. But also, like you said, come to the event, talk to people. And then we then those things and use callbacks to other speakers. And that’s where you add the novelty so that this place gets a customer experience and that killer signature talk that you always deliver.
Michael Hingson ** 30:29
Well, exactly right. And so even though it may be the very same talk, the the lack of boredom, or the excitement for you, as the speaker comes from all the interactions that you do, and the fact that you recognize every audience is different. And so you treat it that way. Even though, essentially the same speech may come out of your mouth, it’s still going to be different. Yeah, exactly. So how did your original speech go viral?
Brian Drury ** 30:58
That is, it’s one of my favorite stories that and I don’t know if you experienced this, Michael, but I’m very quick to kind of downplay or minimize the things I’ve done, you know, like mentally, like, I’m very self critical. And I’m quick to go like, Oh, yeah, you did that, like things that were lifelong dreams that I achieved. Once I did, though, my brain was gay, but it’s just, you know, it’s my imposter syndrome. My negative voice is trying to minimize these things. And when people ask me about the stories, and I think back, you know, right now, it’s like, Hey, I’m focused on growth, I’m focusing on the new direction, the new product, the new thing. And I appreciate this question, because getting to reflect is so important to see both the hard work, but the magic that it took for this to come together. So essentially, the way that it all went down was in 20. So for 2014 was my first ever Sean Stephenson training event. And at that event, I was it was three months after I lost my mom to pancreatic cancer. So I was 24 years old, I was feeling broken and lost, I was more existing than living like I was just kind of, I kind of shut off. Essentially, I said, and this is all looking back in the moment, I was just trying to survive. I found myself shutting off my emotions, because my brain and again, didn’t realize this at the time, but my brain went, you love your mom more than anybody else in the world, like your mom, your dad, your brother, the closest people in your life, losing her hurt worse than anything you’ve ever felt. You’re experiencing more pain, sadness, fear than you’ve ever experienced. So, love equals pain, emotions, equal pain, just shut off your emotions. And I’m a highly emotional dude, I’m a very, I feel things very intensely. So essentially, for a time, I just closed off this entire piece of meat because I couldn’t I, I didn’t know I didn’t have the tools that I do now to be able to process and work through that in a healthier way. Now, I’d gotten into personal development, thank God because things didn’t go too far astray. So you know, I said, if I’m, you know, if I want to cake for dinner, I’ll have cake for dinner, if I want to have two beers for dinner, or I’ll have two beers, but I’m not going to become an alcoholic, I’m not going to, you know, just binge eat all day. So I had some controls on it. So I didn’t get too far lost, or I didn’t like go start taking drugs to just try and numb the pain. But I gave myself some grace, which typically, I wouldn’t do that. And I go to Shawn’s event. And it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced was my first personal development event. And at the end of the event, there’s a testimonial, like I shared on one of the mics at one of the sessions that you know, I was crying and I was like, I just lost my mom, I don’t know where to begin. And then there’s a testimonial video at the end of that event where I said, this is the first time I’ve been happy since my mom passed. And this is what I want to do. Like, this is what I want to my life to be about. Because you don’t even ask me he’s like, What do you want to do is I want to be speaker and a coach. And it’s moments like this where I tell the story. And I’m like, I’m doing that now. And I have to remind myself, like, someone said to me, even when things were really hard in that, you know, 2022 and I like almost no money in the bank. They’re like, Brian, you are living your dream, though. Like you are a full time coach and speaker you’re doing it doesn’t mean it’s always gonna be easy, but you’re doing it and those reminders were powerful. So after that event in 2014, I said, you know, that at that point, I think I paid $1,000 for the ticket. And then I had to fly to Arizona to be there from North Carolina. That was insane for me, you know, I graduated with $80,000 in student loan debt, and I had a good salary, but I wasn’t making like tons and tons of money extra. And I was paying bills paying loans. And so paying 1000 bucks for ticket was crazy because I had this huge debt and why should I pay that down? But that’s when I started to invest in development in the way many people invest in stocks or a home etc. Because to me, I was like those skills that I developed can have not just a multiplying effect, but they can have an exponential effect on my ability to create impact and wealth. Because I was like I don’t just want to do something for money. I’ve done that in the corporate job. I want This to be about my mission, purpose, passion, those words that are really big and scary, but I was like the things that I know my heart I’m meant to do. So for the next three years, I went to every shot event I could go to, I just found a way, sometimes I was taking a little extra debt, and I had to get a client to pay it off. And sometimes I grow my business, sometimes I took out a loan, but I found a way. And then every year, at the end of his events, he had his big year long coaching program. And it was a huge investment. Every year it got bigger, but you would get all this time with Shawn. And it was like a dream. And every year I’d see the people standing on stage that ultimately bought in and I’d say one day that’s going to be would be me one day, it’s going to be me. So in 2017, I’m at Sean’s annual events called 10k speeches. And I have that feeling in my heart. I know I’ve been to all of his events, I know when the offers come in, I know what it’s going to be like, but this year, he goes big, and he offers more than he’s ever offered. And that group is going to take a trip to Hawaii together and you’re going to get a one on one day with Shawn at his house, and you’re gonna get events at these different areas and venues in person with Shawn you’re gonna get all this time and monthly calls. And so I just found myself going, Oh, my God, this is the best offer yet. And he gets to the offer and says it’s $20,000 to pay up front. Or it’s $2,000 a month for 12 months. So 24 grand total. And my logical brain goes that there’s no way I do that’s just way too much. You know, like you have four grand and your business bank account right now and maybe like six in your personal so you don’t even have the money to cover it. Now, and your business isn’t consistent, like so just logically, I’m going through all this. But then lying in bed at night, I’m thinking about it. And the next day I come back. And it’s the last day of the event. And I’m just sitting there going, Oh, my heart is calling me to do this. And so Shawn used to say your intuition can’t give you all the answers because it operates off faith. And you know, for all your listeners, whether it’s God or a higher power, or the universe or whatever you believe. And there was something in me calling saying it’s like that call to greatness, that moment where something and you see something beyond what you’re currently living, but it can’t give you all the answers. Because you need to take a step you need to take action and operate on faith. So I’m sitting there and I’m freaking out. And then we come to a break. And now Shawn is one of my best friends. And he’s up on stage and you’re not supposed to go up in Iraq, but I go to his wife and like Mindy, I got to talk to Sean. I’m like, I just I just need a minute. I need to talk to him. Because it’s coming up on the end of the event. I’m like, I think it’s time but I’m so scared. And so she goes by you’re not supposed to. And I was just like two minutes. And she goes, Okay, just real quick. And so I run out to Shawn on stage. He looks at me and he had this way of just seeing into you, you know, not just looking at you. And I’m crying like I’m losing it right? Because Shawn it changed my life. I want this so bad. This is amazing. I want to and so much, Shawn. And I don’t know if cursing is allowed on your show or not. So I’ll refrain but I said, Shawn, I’m f and terrified. I was like, I want this but I’m so scared. And I have tears running down my face. And he looks at me and goes, Brian, have I ever let you down? I was like, No. And he goes, so I got you. I said okay, he’s like, so what are you gonna do? I was like, I’m gonna go sign up, you know, he’s like sobbing and snot coming out. And he’s like, okay, man, I’m excited for you. And so I went and did it that year, he gave everyone a cape. So he got this silk cape. Because the program is called Master heart. You are the master for our heroes. His whole thing was if I want to teach you to be a world class speaker, I’ve got to teach you first to be a world class human being. So the next year so I sign up and figured it out. Right. And it was messy and you know, building up credit card debt and my brother’s like you have way too much debt. So I had to take out a loan to make it more manageable. And then my business grows a little and it was this all this stuff of just figuring it out. And we went to Hawaii together my first trip to Hawaii, we had group calls together on a one on one with Shawn and so the big thing at the end of the program was a speaker contest. And if you won the speaker contest, and Sean said you were ready, you will get the opportunity to speak on stage he does next event. So every year I’d seen his students that were always amazing. I was the youngest guy in the program. Three months before the event, he announces the challenge. We start preparing, we start rehearsing and I was doing the thing so many people do. I was going on. I’ve got it in my head. I’m rehearsing in my head, but I wasn’t practicing. I’d written it out. I’ve never really practiced it. I got to my dress rehearsal three weeks before the event. And the whole thing was it was a 10 minute talk. You come in you give the speech and Shan Shan says okay, we’re gonna get started and set the time when you hear the timer. I’m gonna give you three minutes of feedback. And that’s it. So it’s been an hour. It’s real quick. I come in. I’m all confident I thought I had things under control and bombed I gave one are the worst speeches I’ve ever given. And it timer goes off. I didn’t even finish I was it was just terrible. And Shawn would lovingly give you harsh feedback. So he would tell you the truth. And he goes, Okay, Brian, that was terrible. And I was like, I know, I know. And he goes, but I want you to know, everyone’s dress rehearsal sucks. And it’s okay. You know, it’s like, it felt a little better. But I still I was like, I just blew and he goes, I’m gonna give you a challenge three weeks before the contest. Because I’m gonna give you a challenge. I want you to scrap this entirely what you’ve been working on for three months, start fresh and do something different.
Brian Drury ** 40:38
And I was like, I got it. I was like, Shawn, how could you ask me to do that the events coming up. This is my best story, my best speech and I was telling a story about my mom’s battle with cancer. And he goes, Brian, you’re becoming without even realizing it. Your identity is becoming the guy who lost his mom, when you talk about all the time. It’s your main story. It’s your main thing. And you lead with that, because it’s a way to get to a deeper conversation quickly. But there’s so much more to you than this. He goes, your mom saw it, I know it. And I want you to show yourself that you are so much more than this one story in this one experience. And I think there’s an even more powerful story you could tell that will help you realize that you’re more than this identity. And so the next week, I had my one on one day with him at his house. So now it’s two weeks till the event. He takes me through an activity I remembered a story that I hadn’t thought of in years. So I just decided Alright, it’s time because he used to say this thing. Don’t pad the fall. So so often, you know, when we have something coming up, we pad the fall, we give ourselves an outright like, Oh, I didn’t sleep well. I didn’t practice enough. If I had really rehearsed I would have done better, he said so don’t give yourself the out of the excuse playful out fail spectacularly but go forward, fill out and surprise yourself. So for the next two weeks, I worked as hard as I possibly could add ever worked on any speech ever. I practiced every single day I wrote the speech. I rehearsed it, I did it for friends. I revamped it. I was doing it every night as much as I could because I’m still working full time. Then I fly to Arizona for the event. The night before the event. My Uber driver asked me why I’m there I say speaker contest, he goes want to give me the speech. So I did it for my Uber driver. I did it for every person I could that was willing to listen. And then we have the speaker contest at Sean’s house the next day. I was the youngest guy in the program. And I ended up winning the contest. And they said we’ll text you tonight and let you know when you’re going on. So typically, in the years prior, it’s I’d been every event they would have the speaker like in the middle or the last day around when they were going to make the offer the pitch. I got a text around 10pm That night, the event is the next day. And they said we’re gonna have you go on first after Sean. So he’s gonna start the event. And then you’re the first speaker they see. And he brings on all these world class speakers and people in marketing and sales. And I’m like, oh my god, I’m the leadoff and he’s saying he has that much confidence in me that he’s willing to put me right after him. You know, this is his showcase students. So pressure goes out. But at that point, I’d done the prep, I’d done the work, I knew I was ready. And I even set my goal not to win the contest. My goal was to give the best speech I’ve ever given because that was something I could control couldn’t control if I won or not. But I could control given the best speech. So when I knew I was going on the next day, I just said that’s my goal again. Now I’ll give the best speech again I’ve ever given. So I got on stage, I do it. It’s my first standing ovation. It was one of the most validating experiences in my life. And Tony Robbins says proximity is power. You know, we often hear you become like the five people you spend the most time with your circle matters, all these different phrases. Two days later, the founders of a company called goal cast were speaking at Sean’s event as well. Now gold cast is like an internet motivation company. And they make motivational videos and they do clips and find like speakers and bring them up to like, they have all these incredible speeches. And I’ve been watching their stuff for years. I love their stuff. So after they talked and they came down off the stage, I wanted to talk to them and thank them because I was Listen, your work has impacted me so much. It’s helped me through so many tough days. So I’m thanking Salim is one of the co founders. And he goes, Brian, I really appreciate it. So tell me why are you here? I said, I spoke at the event. I was one of the speakers in here. So I’d love to see your speech. And I, I lost I was like, oh, like and he goes, No, no, he is I’m not saying we’re gonna use it. I’m just saying I’d love to see it. And I said, Hey, just the fact that you want to see it. After the event, I sent him the speech. And you know, even the editor for Shawn’s programs had to like work, pull some strings to get it done faster. It sounds like there’s this huge opportunity. Didn’t hear first from Celine for like two months. And then all of a sudden, I get an email it says your video goes live on Monday. And I still didn’t even believe it. At that point. I was like, I don’t want to assume you know not until it’s out there live. And then a week later it goes live and it gets out to the world. It his million views in the first day. Then it hits 10 million in the first week. I’m having people from all All over the world reaching out to me, I’m having friends I haven’t talked to in years go, Oh my God, I know this guy. And it was just surreal. It was my first experience with virtuality. And it was incredible and overwhelming in many ways. But it was also just proof of what Shawn had talked about. When you play full out, you don’t pad the fall, you give it your all, you have no idea where your story can go, and how much reach it can have. And there was so much magic that took place in so many little things about being in the room and knowing who goal cast was, and just going up to thank them not asking anything, and that turning all into this incredible thing that really changed the course of my career and my life, was that speech going viral? Because that’s a large part of why I’m doing what I am today.
Michael Hingson ** 45:42
So what exactly do you do as a coach? What do you coach about?
Brian Drury ** 45:47
So my coaching is primarily, I think, to give the broadest stroke is effective communication. Because I help people with this in a variety of ways, and what I’ve seen in my career, but also this is true of every coach I know that continues to iterate and find what works and change their niche to better fit was, it’s an amalgamation of everything that I’ve done. So I spent years studying psychology and human behavior and habit change, and storytelling, and all of these different elements. So I have an ability to help people craft their stories in the most effective way to take people on a journey. So what that’s led to is, Keynote crafting is one of the areas where I help people craft keynote speeches, or TED Talk type speeches, and help them actually go through and step by step craft a world class speech. But then I also have presentation skills. So when I’m doing corporate trainings, recently, I’ve done an event called elevate your elevator pitch, excuse me, where, and helping them create a redefined, reimagined elevator pitch, because I don’t like the original one or the way people typically do it. I do events on non cringy networking is another one that I do. Sales, like effective sales, pitch and presentation skills, public speaking skills. So as you said, I go to the clients with kind of my list, I have a PDF of my programming guide, which is standard offerings, here’s, you know, three of my development trainings, here’s three of my business development trainings. And then here’s five keynotes they can choose from, and then that prompts, the conversation gets them started, I understand very clearly what they need and go from there. So with coaching, I have done group coaching, I’ve done one on one. And then also, I have the corporate training side. So what’s been great about My business is building it in a way and again, it’s taken, it took years and years of testing and iteration to figure out what I wanted to do and where I could bring the most value. But for the right audience and market, if they’re an author, and they’re about to go on a book tour, having a signature talk that they know really hits and is going to help them sell books and get more exposure and press is huge. I’ve done media training, I’ve helped C suite executives prep for big sales pitches and offerings. I’ve helped people with I’ve worked with these soldiers medal winner. So it’s the third highest commendation, someone can win in the US military. I’m helping right now a former Navy Special Ops rescue swimmer, I’ve helped people in training development. So I’m getting to touch in all these different worlds and help people with all these different elements. Because essentially, at the core of everything I do is I’m going to help you have confidence and clarity in your messaging. So whether that’s helping you craft a more effective one liner, and you know, digital presentation, or having a speech or a short form talk, what I help people do is understand how to more effectively present what they do to not just like look confident, which is one thing, but it’s to feel confident, and to do so in their authentic voice. Because a lot of what I help people do is shed the nonsense that we think we have to put on to be taken seriously or to be credible, I help them get rid of that. So they can focus on creating something that is authentic to them, and helps them grow their business, increase their impact, etc. So those are really the primary areas is my group in one on one coaching. And then I do have like individual consulting I do on a more ad hoc basis. And then the corporate trainings where I’m doing, you know, two to four hour trainings on a specific topic related to that audience.
Michael Hingson ** 49:18
Yeah, certainly exciting. And you certainly have come a long way since April of 2022, haven’t you? Well, you, you prepared for it. So it’s not like you’ve come a long way since April 2022. You’d been preparing a long time before April 2022. But you finally made the leap and decided to put it together and actually do it. Right.
Brian Drury ** 49:38
And that’s the big thing. You know, you hear all the time we were like, Oh, it took 10 years to become an overnight success and blah, blah, blah. And, and that was one thing I learned very early on early on is there’s no shortcuts. And so the thing for me is there are no shortcuts but there’s better strategies and so through mentorship, you can find the strategies that work and then it just takes you putting in the work to get the results and And what I found here, and oh, now it’s August of 2023. It’s crazy, because it’s August 31, I can’t believe it’s already September. But what I have found for me has been the best thing for building business is person to person connection and referral based business. Because so many people go, I need to build a big social, I don’t have any impressive social following, I don’t have a big email list. I mean, my email list is, I think, less than 200 people right now. But what I have found is by really focusing on over delivering for each client you meet, really understanding their needs, and then building good relationships. It’s one of the best ways to do this, because people often forget, especially in entrepreneurship, you’re the brand, you’re the business, you know, when you’re the face of it as a speaker or a coach. But the big thing is, people aren’t just booking you for your expertise, your credentials, or what you’ve done. They’re booking you for you. So I remind clients of this all the time, like, if you just connect and really genuinely care about the people you’re working with, you’re going to build stronger relationships and make real connections. So you have friends and clients, it’s not just all business all the time. And if you’re some diva speaker, who, you know, has a writer that says only read skills in the bowl, when I get there and you’re hard to work with, and you’re difficult to communicate with, even if you’re exceptional, people are less inclined to book you. So what I love is meeting new people and building relationships. And that’s what I do. And it’s not this, you know, of course, as business grows, I’m working to hone the processes and create client acquisition funnels, there’s all these things that I am working on. But for anybody that’s afraid to get started it start with your network, look for areas to bring value, and then look for opportunities to get in front of people. And that’s why I tell people it’s if you have a high value clear, like high value and clear value proposition offer that you can come in and train somebody’s company on where you can get in front of 20 or 30 or 40 people to talk about something give value first and then make an offer to connect after so that’s a big thing for me is whatever it is, is get started and get rolling because he learned so much more by getting in and implementing and trying and all of this versus you know, the theorizing or drowning in the you know, I’m just going to post on social media and hopefully people will come get come to me it’s like for me it’s far better to create direct real meaningful relationships and build from there and at you know, as a result of that, like you said, there have been a lot of things in motion for a long time and for me you know my dad is a great sales person he spent 30 years in sales and you know good authentic real sales not like used cars Carmen used car salesman type of straight like authentic genuine relationship based sales and so he’s taught me things throughout my life my mentors have taught me and so for me it’s not pushing it’s not forcing it’s not trying to you know, not everyone’s a prospect if they’re not not everyone is so treat people like people get to know people and then where mutual value exchanges become possible then explore those and so I’ve been able to build my business and I’ve had again my best month ever in August better than my best quarter prior and there are a couple of things that if any, like I’m there’s lots of things out there like lines in the water so I’m playing the long game in multiple areas but I’d say the biggest thing for anyone considering this route don’t count on any of them because I have had things that seem like a sure shot that fell through I’ve had yes is that at this point of payment fell through so don’t expect it Don’t count on it. But play the long game, build relationships, ask for referrals make it clear what you do, and it’s incredible what can come
Michael Hingson ** 53:33
and that is what it’s all about. Well, I want to thank you for being here with us again, this has been every bit as fun and inspiring as I thought it would be. I hope it was for you. Last question. Have you paid off your student loan yet?
Brian Drury ** 53:50
No, but I have paid I think I’m down to like 20,024 22,000 80,000 from 80,000 so you know that’s the thing is I have I looked at it was like yeah, I really love to pay those off. But as I’ve been playing the game you know it’s like figuring out how to so I have never missed a payment I’ll say that so even in my dark times and I’m still paying the loans because I’m like I want to find a way to do this while paying them off. And ideally if I hit some of my bigger goals this year I could almost completely or completely wipe those out so working towards that for sure but it was something where find a way to create manageable debt and then continually pay it off but not quite there yet but my brother’s a financial advisors reminded me several times and said like Brian to have paid off in almost three quarters of that by 33 years old which I am now is huge. So instead of going I still got 20 grand I gotta go hey I’ve come a huge way with all the ups and downs so yeah, so I hope by the end of this year to be like a Michael I did it all gone. You know push that and click that final Pay button and just wipe it out.
Michael Hingson ** 54:58
Let us know when that has happens. Well, I want to thank you. Cool. Well, I want to thank you again for being here. This has been a lot of fun. We’ll have to figure out what to do for a third one, but this has really been enjoyable. Absolutely. Tell us again, if people want to reach out and maybe take some opportunities to get coached by you or look for you as a speaker or whatever. How do they do that?
Brian Drury ** 55:20
So best way, the Brian Drury on all social media. So t h e b r i a n and then d r u r y. So D as in David r u r y. So at the Brian Drury on our social media, I’m most active on LinkedIn right now. So you can just search me you’ll find me very easily on LinkedIn. And then if you want to email me directly, oh, sorry. Also my website thebriandrury.com. So everything social is the Brian Drury, or the Brian Drury.com. And then my email again, I’ll do my spelling bee here. So Brian at Guide 2 speaking.com. And that’s the number two. So B r i a n at G u i d e, the number two, S p e a k i n g.com. So I feel I really feel like I’m at the National Spelling Bee. So this is the best way to reach out if you want to book me for an event or coaching, or connect or just share some feedback, Michael, and I love feedback. And we do Piper show. So he has like an insight you want to share? You can send it to me, I’ll let Michael know. So we’d love to hear from everyone listening.
Michael Hingson ** 56:22
And that goes the other way as well. If you want to share with me, I will let Brian know we would love to hear from you. You can reach me in a couple of different ways. We’re on LinkedIn especially and Facebook, at M Hingson and LinkedIn is Michael Hingson and but you can reach me at Michael m i c h a e l h i at accessibe A c c e s s i b e.com. Or go to our podcast page www dot Michael Hingson H i n g s o n.com/podcast. Love to hear from you. We’d love to hear any referrals that you might have that might want to be guests on podcast, unstoppable mindset. And in general, any thoughts that you have, we all want to know them. So please reach out and let us know what you’re thinking, please give us a five star rating. Wherever you’re listening to us. We appreciate that as well. And I just want to thank you all for the time that you have put to listening to us today and for being here. And Brian, once again, thank you for making this possible and being here and for giving us so many insights again today.
Brian Drury ** 57:23
Thanks for having me, Michael. I look forward to it again. I’m looking forward to getting to know you better and better and hopefully meeting up sometime soon because we’re both in Southern California. So thank you for having me. It’s always fun man. It’s great to see
**Michael Hingson ** 57:39
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com . AccessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for Listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.