At the age of 10, this speaker was playing outside with his best friend when a sudden brawl with his brother led to a trip to the hospital.
Hit in the head with a rock, he received 10 stitches and a heap of pain, but the injury left him neither bitter nor angry at his brother. In fact, it did the opposite. “On the way home (from the hospital), (we) stop and get ice cream.” “When I get home, I’m told that I don’t have to go to bed at 7:15. Because of the possible concussion, I had to stay up ‘til midnight. And my response was … ‘This is the happiest day of my life!’ ”
Certainly an ironic declaration, but the statement is much more than that. It’s a prime example of his incredible ability to focus on the silver lining in the negative – A characteristic that’s helped him cope with difficult obstacles, including his diagnosis with Parkinson’s disease more than 10 years ago at the age of 41.
Stricken with a degenerative disorder typically detected in people in there ’60s, this speaker – a former top corporate attorney – chose to do something good with his diagnosis. Leaving the practice of law, he began a new chapter as motivational speaker and author, penning a book on success.
The book describes various episodes in his life that shaped him as a person and the intense visualization behind every goal that led him to achieve tremendous success, such as gaining admission to Cornell Law School and a 25-year career representing Exxon Corporation and other companies
Just as he’d handled any other setback, this speaker looked for a solution to the problem. He took medication and continued to practice law until 2008, when he decided it’d serve him best to place his declining energy elsewhere. “I couldn’t qualify for social security disability right away, and I had to make a living.” “So, I thought about it and I went through the same steps I’ve gone through, and I said, ‘Well, I’ve always wanted to write a book, I’ve always wanted to work for myself, and I’ve always been out speaking to colleges, high schools.’ ”
“I didn’t try to niche it Parkinson’s-only,” he said. “I felt the lessons applied to students, professionals, people doing hobbies, anyone with a life-changing event or caregiver to a person with a life-changing event. This gives you the guide book and it has exercises in it.”
While writing, this speaker also booked more opportunities to speak on his experiences with adversity. But while he’d fully moved on from his past in the corporate world, not everyone was sure he’d made the right decision with his new career path. “(My mother) – always been full of wisdom – said to me one day while we were talking, ‘Everything happens for a reason, you know that.’ I said, ‘Time out. I’m a lawyer, I’ve been a lawyer. I look at words, I heard that word change. … You’ve always said my entire life, everything happens for the best – For the best. Now you’re saying everything happens for a reason.’ ”
His mother’s reasoning was simple: “Well, I can’t imagine your Parkinson’s is for the best.”
Not to be dismayed, this speaker used his mother’s statement as motivation. Now a highly-sought-after speaker, he has delivered inspirational lectures all across the U.S., from Phoenix to New York, Hawaii and Cincinnati, where his mom first heard one of his speeches. “My mother (came up to me afterward and) said to me – she didn’t say it was for the best – but she said, ‘Now I understand why you left the practice of law.’ ”
How to book John Baumann?
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John Baumann is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book John Baumann for your event is $10,000 - $20,000. John Baumann generally travels from Kentucky, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Viola Davis, Amy Poehler, Amy Schumer, Rashida Jones and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling John Baumann for an upcoming event.
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