What’s YOUR Story?

Jean Gatz Standout Strategiesby Motivational Keynote Speaker Jean Gatz

Did you really give your sister a kidney or did you just make up that story to add punch to your keynote?”

Whenever I get that question my answer has two parts. “Yes, I did give my sister a kidney 44 years ago, and we’re both doing great. And do you really think I would risk my reputation by telling that big of a lie on stage?” (Talk about bad karma!)

Although I didn’t share that story for many years because I didn’t want it to set me apart from the audience, I finally realized how it actually connects us in a powerful way. It’s not a story about being a hero. It’s about weighing your options and moving forward when there are no guarantees. It’s about making tough decisions in life when none of your choices are easy.

Although I’ve spoken to thousands of people, I’ve met only five who came up afterward to tell me their story. They had donated or received a kidney, or they knew someone on a transplant waiting list. If so few people can relate to my experience, why do I share it? Where’s the connection?

As a keynote speaker and trainer my job is to create changes in mindsets, attitudes and behaviors. Whether it’s an audience of 20 or 2,000, I know that everyone in the room is searching for something…an idea, answer, strategy or insight that will make their jobs and their lives less stressful. And because we live in an imperfect world, I also know that my audiences are filled with good, honest, hard-working people struggling with their own tough decisions about their health, relationships, marriage, career, finances, job security, their parents, their kids, and their future.


How about you? What tough decisions are you facing at work or at home? Are you waiting for a guarantee that all will go well? What needs to happen next? Who’s stopping you from moving forward? What’s stopping you? Who needs to act? Who needs to get out of the way? And the most important question of all: how much longer can you afford to wait until the easy choices come along? Answering these questions can provide the clarity you need to take action, move forward and make the right call.


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