As Founder of UGG, I learned from the school of hard knocks how to deal with:
FEAR—Dealing with the ever-present reality of uncertainty
LETTING GO—Releasing things you cannot control
LOYALTY—Passionate dedication to customers, employees and the vision
SPIRITUALITY—An understanding of what creates peace and perspective in life
ENJOYING THE PROCESS—The tadpole principle of being in the NOW
RESILIENCE—The ability to get back up after setbacks
Because I speak to a diverse range of audiences, from beginning entrepreneurs to seasoned C-Suite executives, I have become adept in curating each keynote to fit the theme of the meeting.
Using anecdotes from my 35 plus years of starting businesses, I have found the following topics arouse particular interest.
Customer Service: How the loyalty of my customers saved me on more than one occasion when I had supply problems—even when my major manufacturer abandoned me for a new distributor, threatening to put me out of business completely. I talk extensively on how although customer service has changed with the advent of the Internet and “click” purchasing, the same principles of reaching out to customers is still a priority.
Perseverance: I tell a very emotional story about how I lost ownership of the UGG business, yet through my loyalty to the brand, I hung in there with the new owners and ultimately ended up owning 100% of the company again.
Overcoming hardships: How my four mantras—FEAST UPON UNCERTAINTY—FATTEN UPON DISAPPOINTMENT—ENTHUSE OVER APPARENT DEFEAT—INVIGORATE IN THE PRESENCE OF DIFFICULTIES—are positive affirmations that ring true in life situations, as well as in business.
Tenacity: Audiences resonate with my theory (and examples) that “almost always, your most disappointing disappointments turn out to be your greatest blessings.”
My Tadpole theory: I tell stories of how companies such as Nike, Reebok, and UGG have all shared the same evolution proving that THE QUICKEST WAY FOR A TADPOLE TO BECOME A FROG … IS TO LIVE EVERY DAY HAPPILY AS A TADPOLE. I have people come up to me years after having heard my talk, saying; “You’re the tadpole guy … that was the greatest piece of advice I ever received.”
Spirituality: If appropriate, I share how my attention to goosebumps has helped me tune into that “inner voice” guiding me to make decisions in times of desperation and apparent defeat.
I look forward to discussing your upcoming gathering to help tailor an exciting, memorable, and valuable talk for your particular audience.
– Brian Smith