When did you decide to start speaking?
Michael: During my challenges, I first wasn’t really aware of the lessons I learned while traveling. I was just trying to make things happen without really thinking about my personal and professional development. In ‘How to Travel the World for Free’ I basically had to survive on the road without money for accommodation, food, and travel to make it 30,000 miles to Antarctica. In ‘How to Barter for Paradise’ it was the same story. I might have reflected that I was constantly acting out of my comfort zone, but I didn’t think further ahead in terms of learning how to become one of the new speakers. Just two years after these two challenges, I sat down and reflected on personal development, my lessons I learned on leadership, sales, and mainly on change management.
During those adventures, I had to constantly embrace change to achieve those goals. I remember, that I had to act out an endless amount of different roles during my trip around the world without money. One day, I had to be the funny guy to entertain people and to get food for free. Other days, I had to be most trustworthy, a good listener, or develop creative ideas to make things happen. This happened in constantly changing settings, in cities, on the road, in the US, on a container ship, or just somewhere in the rain forest. Change was the key to success. I sat down after the trip to reflect on all lessons I learned on change management. Finally, I realized that this is something I should forward on stage to the corporate world – I became one of the internationally recognized change management speakers! Nowadays, the BigSpeak Speakers Bureau supports my keynotes. I am in touch with many corporate leaders nowadys on how to get the best performance combined with a healthy work culture. This can be a challenge, especially in times of change. But most of my corporate events turn out to encourage staff, executives and entire leaders for higher performance, better change, and a healthy work culture.
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