How to Turn Your Trash Into Treasure with Brian Bogert

By Yuresh Shayzer
April 09, 2024

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On today’s episode, our guest is Brian Bogert. He's an incredible individual who has gone through a remarkable journey, including the loss and reattachment of his arm. He shares his inspiring story on stage but also offers insights on how to have a significant impact and generate income. In our discussion, we explore his business growth strategies and how he leverages his speaking career to make a difference. If you're looking for both a compelling story and practical advice to launch or grow your speaking business, you're in for a treat. So let's dive into the episode and hear from Brian himself.

[1:50] Do you mind sharing with everyone what your actual message is when you step into the world? 

To put it plainly, I often declare that my primary roles are as a husband and father. However, my actions didn't always align with this declaration. There was a significant period in my life where I found myself reacting to situations or feeling a certain way due to actions that I believed were in line with my intentions, but often were not. Looking at my journey from a high-level perspective, when I was seven, I endured a traumatic accident where I was run over by a truck, resulting in my left arm being torn from my body and then reattached. While this event has been a cornerstone of my narrative as a speaker, I later realized that it also contributed to unresolved issues that I suppressed for years, leading to periods of turmoil. However, an experience later in life dramatically shifted my perspective and allowed me to realign with my values. Today, I collaborate with individuals and organizations to uncover and eliminate hidden obstacles, transforming them into opportunities for growth and success. Much of our focus centers on understanding human behavior and fostering meaningful connections, ultimately enabling individuals and organizations to operate at their highest levels of performance and potential.

[4:10] What was your personal journey in working through that? What did you do differently than most people do? 

From the outset, it's crucial to acknowledge a couple of phases in my journey. When I emerged from the hospital as a child, I often drew attention due to the teddy bear I held between my arms. People would inquire about what happened to me, expecting a mundane response. Instead, I would bluntly reveal that I was run over by a truck, causing 99% of them to pause and seek validation from my parents. This experience led me to believe that others wouldn't understand or believe my truth. Consequently, I embraced the idea that mindset and mental toughness were paramount. This mindset served me well for a while until I experienced a snowboarding injury at 20, leaving me isolated and resentful as others adhered to the narrative of my self-sufficiency. Realizing the need for vulnerability and authenticity, I embarked on a journey to foster genuine human connections. Despite achieving material success by age 27, I felt a profound sense of loss as I realized it had come at the expense of my true self. This pivotal moment led me to hire my first coach and transition into a profession where I could utilize my story to inspire others.

[12:50] How did you begin building your speaking business? What was your approach?

In the beginning, my main focus was on getting as many repetitions as possible with the initial framework, concept, and messaging. Whether it was through podcasts, conference submissions, or other platforms, I tested various languages and observed what resonated with people in real time. Feedback was crucial, and I remained open to adjusting the message to better connect with the audience. While I had prior experience speaking on stage, podcasts opened up new opportunities and allowed me to build relationships with hosts and event organizers. Through these interactions, I aimed to create deep value and impact without solely focusing on selling from the stage. My goal was to transform the audience's experience and leave a lasting impression. As I gained clarity on my message and built assets like a speaker reel, I leveraged referrals and cold outreach to expand my opportunities. 

[18:10] What was your process for figuring things out and getting started? Did you rely on asking a lot of questions? How did you pave the way to getting the information and traction you have now?

To be completely honest, a lot of my speaking approach stems from the strategies I used to create growth and impact in my previous business. I've been using video for prospecting and communication for 15 years because I understand that words alone don't convey the full message. With video, I can communicate tone, cadence, and nonverbal cues, which builds trust at a deeper level. This approach has roots in my experience negotiating complex deals with multiple decision-makers. Speaking, in comparison, feels easier because typically there are fewer decision-makers and quicker conversations. My goal is to insert humanity into my interactions and ensure that people can feel who I am beyond what they find online. Recently, I delivered a keynote for a $500 million surface contractor after a serendipitous website submission led to a direct phone call. By engaging in personal conversations and sending follow-up videos, I was able to land the deal and secure a consulting contract. I believe that the more intentional and congruent I am in my interactions, the greater the impact I can make, leaving a lasting impression wherever I go.

[25:25] When did you realize that simply sharing your story wasn't enough and that there needed to be substance behind it? How did you develop that understanding and begin implementing it into your speaking engagements?

I've been speaking for philanthropic reasons for over 20 years, mainly sharing my personal story for motivation. However, as I transitioned into professional speaking, I realized the importance of creating depth and impact beyond just telling my story. While my story can be compelling, I've learned to quickly normalize it and integrate relatable elements that others can connect with. Instead of solely relying on my own experiences, I studied and incorporated stories of well-known figures into my talks, but I found that forced and disconnected. Therefore, I focused on understanding the emotional and mental states I was in during pivotal moments and how I navigated through them. By sharing pragmatic applications and methodologies, I aim to leave a lasting impact and create inflection points in people's lives rather than just being a fleeting memory.

[32:20] What strategies are you employing to access higher budgets and build your brand?

Currently, my main focus is aligning with what you just mentioned. Historically, most of my opportunities stemmed from direct efforts and referrals. I'm now working on refining my outreach strategy. Despite speaking for large organizations, there are still untapped pathways in the speaking business that I aim to access. While I've been fortunate with referrals and good speaking fees, there's a gap between where I am and the top tier. My motivation for speaking has evolved from seeking higher fees to tying it to a deeper purpose aligned with our broader mission. Each speaking opportunity is a chance to amplify our impact and inspire others. I'm now aiming to identify the right audience and establish consistent outreach systems. Consistency over time is key, and while outbound efforts remain important, having reliable systems in place will make them complementary rather than essential.

Key Quotes

[8:10-8:18] Trashing your past is not your fault, It just becomes your responsibility once you become aware of it or you start burying others in yours. 

[12:55-13:00] Having a great message is one thing but getting it on the stage is another 

How to connect with Brian Bogert


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