From time to time people will ask what I do. It's a fair question. My wife tells me I need to talk more about it. I will post on Twitter, or Facebook about where my travels take me...but never too much about the specifics of it. Until now. So, here we go...
I do three things.
I'm a motivational speaker & a life coach.
My best friend just made a Matt Foley reference in his head when he read that. You might have, too. That's fine. That bit is hysterical! But what I do is as real as the high fives, laughter, occasional tears, and life change stories that come from students after speaking into the lives of the next generation.
My work is wrapped in helping high school and college students transition well. From HS to college. From college to the workplace. From wherever they are, to where they feel called to. And if they are struggling to find their calling, we work through that, too.
I've made some bold steps recently, and more are in the works. Why? Trust me, it's not to see my name in lights. It's to double-down on my commitment to not waste my pain. To do, as a mentor once encouraged me to...teach from it. Yeah, pain infers there is a story. It's rich. You'll laugh. You'll cry. Heck...I fight tears trying to get through parts of it. But I have to tell it, because I've heard life-change stories from students as a result of sharing from it.
In today's blog I want to give you an inside snap-shot of what this looks like. After having spent an entire day speaking on a college campus, I asked a college professor to share his thoughts on my time with his students.
I wasn't fully prepared for the impact of his response. It has created a renewed sense of urgency on my part. More on that, after you read this...
Here is his response:
(Bold and italics, mine)
"In the fall of 2015, I invited Brett Gould to campus at Roberts Wesleyan College to give a series of talks in my writing courses. Brett spoke in every class back-to-back-to-back-to-back and the day culminated with his campus-wide lecture as part of the Cultural Enrichment Series. Brett's presence on campus truly created a transforming experience for many students.
I know this because
1) I read student exercises from a journal we worked through for class professing such and
2) I had students continue to ask me about him the next semester. Many of the students spoke glowingly about both Brett's speaking style and ability to instantly connect with them on a deep level. He made them feel seen and that they mattered.
A few years ago I noticed that around halfway through an academic term many students needed real encouragement. The rigor of a 15 week semester left many weary and feeling overwhelmed. That's why I contacted Brett. I believed that his message about finding out who one is in order to discover how to live would be received well. I was not surprised to see that this single class session was enough to speak volumes to many students; I had witnessed as much when Brett changed my worldview as a soccer coach when I was in high school. What he does so effectively is show people that he cares about them and the work they will do. As Brett and I told stories and shared from our own walks with God, I saw many students put their guards down. It was a rare day. It was a pivotal day. In fact, many actually did some of their best writing as they processed the changes that were occurring in their lives because of how Brett provided a clearer picture of peaks and valleys of life.
Every college professor or coach looking to establish a real rapport with his or her students should consider inviting Brett Gould to campus to talk about the art of "becoming" or rediscovering who we are. His work helped me to reach out in a really significant way to my students; he helped me to create a memorable class that many students will remember far beyond the content I discussed in class."
So this is the part where I need your help. Actually, not me...the students I could be speaking with.
Let's peel back the onion a little. Getting to the point where you get this bold (to "make the ask" like this) is a huge "I wanna puke on my shoes" moment. That's a natural reaction to potential rejection. But when you feel as strongly as I do, it's not an option. It's my responsibility.
The reality of rejection is real. We've all felt it at some point. But the reality of the response after I've spoken to high school and college students is even more real.
So I continue. So I ask. So I reach out. Because there is a young person sitting in a high school, or walking across a college campus that needs to hear this message.
Thanks for stopping by today.
Oh yeah...those bold moves?
Tour Dates will be announced soon.
Wait, what? A tour.
It's called "DIALED IN"...and you are not going to want to miss it. $10 a seat. An hour that will challenge and encourage you to be who you are called to be, and do what you only you are uniquely equipped to do.
Do you know a student that needs to hear that message?
We are even accepting submissions for where I go on tour. Want me to come to a city near you? Let us know! I will trek here, there and everywhere. (End of post has how to get in contact with our team)
I have also just agreed to come speak to college students at a major NorthEast festival. That announcement will be coming soon, as well.
Grab a snack and buckle up.
2016 is about to get real...real fast.
Thanks, in advance, for "making the ask" to have me come speak, on the behalf of students who need the encouragement.
Drop a note in the comments, or hit me up to talk more details, here:
@BrettWGould on Twitter
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.