Interview with motivational keynote speaker Michael Wigge, who has made Denver, CO his home
Michael, you moved from Germany to Denver, CO years ago. Why did you leave your home country for Colorado? Was it your career as a motivational keynote speaker?
Wigge: Thanks for knowing my background so well. Let me go back in time a bit to help you better understand my path as a motivational keynote speaker, which led me to move and live overseas. Yes, I was born and raised in Germany in 1976, and I actually lived there for about 30 years. I came to the United States for the first time in 1996 and in 1997; I lived in Santa Barbara, CA. This was such an inspiring year for me that really changed my life. During that year, it was the very first time that I was influenced by people telling me that I could do anything I wanted, if I would just follow my dreams and passions and work hard for my dreams. This was so amazing to hear that rules and education would not be the most important influence on my future.
After returning to Europe at the age of 20, I started following those words, and I followed my dream to become something I would title “challenge traveler.” So, what is that? I basically started traveling to about 90 countries within 15 years and created certain challenges, which I had to face on these trips. The outcome was several books and TV docu-series broadcast in Germany on how I traveled the world for free, how I traveled Europe blindfolded, how I traveled Germany on a razor scooter, and many more. My trip around the world for free was picked up by the American market, broadcast on PBS, and I was invited on The Tonight Show. Things became pretty big after that.
I knew it was the right time to establish the next step in my career in Germany and at the same time in the United States as a motivational keynote speaker! I moved to Denver, CO to make this plan real! But one question remained: how do I actually become a motivational keynote speaker?
This sounds so inspiring. But why did you move to Denver, CO and not to LA or NYC?
Wigge: I researched the most beautiful places in the U.S., and I came across Colorado, an incredible state with its natural beauty, friendly people, and favorable weather. After a few years in Boulder, I found my place in Denver, but I often speak in Colorado Springs, in Summit County, in Keystone, Aspen, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, or in Fort Collins as well. Denver, CO inspires me every day to be good on stage as a motivational keynote speaker and to share my own inspirations with the conference and college crowds. I probably travel back to Germany every second month for a week to appear as a motivational speaker, coach, and seminar trainer over there, too. I feel so blessed to be able to do this and to call Denver, CO my hometown.
What exactly is it in Colorado that makes you feel at home as a permanent resident?
Great question—let me combine local, regional, and national aspects with cultural, natural, and economic reasons to give you the entire picture as to why a German motivational speaker is a permanent resident in Denver, CO.
- The beautiful nature of Colorado with its Rocky Mountains and national parks
- Fantastic climate with 300 days of sunshine (and best snow in the winter)
- Friendly local atmosphere
- Centrally located in the U.S. with a major airport connection, which allows me to easily travel for motivational speaking gigs around the United States and to Europe
- Perfect trails in the Rocky Mountains for me as a trail runner
- Good economy for me as a keynote speaker, life and business coach, and seminar trainer in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Summit County (I love Breckenridge, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs for regular visits), and in Colorado Springs
- The United States is an inspiring place with its immigration history and diversity.
- The United States is inspiring with its cultural focus on motivation, goal setting, out-of-the-box thinking, and change management.
- There are incredible job opportunities as a motivational speaker with awesome audiences.
- It is a personal goal of mine to become one of the best speakers in the U.S. with English as my second language.
This sounds like a major strategy plan for your own life’s happiness, right?
Well, yes. I want to live a very happy life, and that’s the only way to be successful in my three professions as a:
- Motivational speaker
- Seminar trainer
- Business-life coach
Denver and Colorado inspire me so much to be a happy person, that’s true. And that’s how I’m able to forward my inspiration and motivation to all my conference, association, and corporate clients. Just imagine a speaker who goes home to a place that just doesn’t fit well. I guess he just wouldn’t be the perfect fit to inspire huge crowds to achieve their goals, embrace necessary change, and to self-motivate in terms of great leadership, great sales, or professional and personal development. I am glad to be here and to have learned how to become a motivational keynote speaker!