Stu Speaks
Stu Speaks

A Message of Leadership and Laughter.

Stu Speaks - inspiration that moves you to fly.

Take Your Team To The Next Level

Leadership Training Centre - Customized To Meet Your Group’s Needs.

Something from nothing

Thu, 2010-02-11 02:05

One of my favourite children’s books of all time is by author Phoebe Gilman. Something from Nothing is a fable of a young Jewish family that is poor and doesn’t have much. Joseph, the young boy in the story, is given given a blanket that he loves and takes with him everywhere. It becomes tattered and torn and his grandfather makes it into a jacket, then a vest, then a tie, then a button. When he loses the button Grandpa believes that there’s nothing else he can make. Joseph disagrees… from the lost button comes a wonderful story.

The story inspires me because everything in life comes from nothing more than an idea. You can trace everything back to one moment of brilliance, usually by one person or maybe just a couple. Think about it; Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, McDonald’s or public health care. It all came from NOTHING but an idea. It took someone to say why not? Instead of we can’t.

I am sitting in a boardroom in a beautiful old church in Ancaster, Ontario. I am on the second floor looking down at a packed room full of camp displays. One of them is ours, YLCC. 2010 will mark our 18th summer. 18 years ago I sat in a make shift boardroom (my mom’s old dining room table) and said to a friend, “Why not?”. What started out as 50 kids for a weekend is now a camp that works with over 8000 youth a year!

What is it that you want to do? Why can’t you do it? For every excuse you make there is a solution. For every solution there is a first step. True it’s easier to say it’s too hard, too expensive, too much competition, too many road blocks. The path of least resistance rarely takes you anywhere interesting. Find it, find your passion. What is it that drives you? What do you want to change in your life, your community, your (our) world. You know you have thought about it! You need to trust yourself.

One small note of caution I want to put out there to all of my younger readers (anyone under the age of 75), the grass always seems greener on the other side. Sometimes it is, rarely though is it true. Make sure you learn all you can from where you are, as my friend Robin Sharma always says you can lead without a title where ever you are. When your ready though, create, create, create! Don’t be afraid to fail!! You might, lord knows (and anyone else who knows me) I have! That’s ok. You learn more from falling flat on your face than you will ever learn in school. Adversity should create new enthusiasm!

So take a moment and truly think. Be honest. Perhaps the next BIG “thing” is whirling around up in your head. You too can create something from nothing! I believe in you.

Add new comment

  • Stu Speaks

    Students were very engaged, enthusiastic and excited. Stu is hilarious…seriously. “Humour is never a bad thing” said one student.

    ~Annalisa Varano - Vice Principal - St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    They say a great presenter “leaves them wanting more”. Well, we loved your presentation and the entire team asked me when you will be back! You are truly STUpendous!

    ~Nancy Klensch - Founder of Summit Kids
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is an energetic, entertaining and dynamic presenter. He captures is audiences’ attention and keeps the room engaged for the entire presentation! His stories in his presentation captures everyone at different points, even the teachers!

    ~Sara Meaney - Cobourg Collegiate Institute
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was great! Staff and students felt it really broke the anxiety in the building and we even got cupcakes today from one of the students.

    ~Carrie Rowlandson - William Aberhart High School, Calgary Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu was fantastic. There is nothing better than seeing 600 adolescents laughing their heads off. He delivers a terrific message and has the entire audience engaged, thinking, listening and most importantly laughing within seconds, and he keeps it going for over an hour. Thanks again on behalf of the Shores!!

    ~Doug Woods - Vice Principal, Nantyr Shores Secondary School
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu’s speech did exactly what I hoped it would do when I tried to bring him in: it brought the school together for a good laugh while empowering the student body to be the change they wish to see in their classroom. I feel he hit this goal perfectly.

    ~Steven Fotheringham - Oakville Trafalgar High School
  • Stu Speaks

    I really liked how the speech really just seemed like Stu was telling us funny stories, but he always related it back to the overall message. It didn’t sound like a speech at all, it was as if he was just talking to the crowd. I would say that he is excellent in connecting with the audience and keeping them entertained. There was not a two minute period in Stu’s speech were nobody was laughing. He kept us amused throughout the entire presentation. I thought he was perfect.

    ~James Palloto
  • Stu Speaks

    I would highly recommend Stu, his engaging personality was a real hook for the students and his messages were ones that many of them could identify with. The humour was great and the students shared that they enjoyed the presentation.

    ~Teresa Fowler - W.H. Croxford High School, Airdrie, Alberta
  • Stu Speaks

    Stu is personable. Students are willing to listen to him. They enjoy listening to him. He has a message, but he is also entertaining. He is fun to listen to and students don’t feel talked down to or preached at.

    ~Tanya Lacey - McKinnon Park Secondary School, Caledonia, ON
  • Stu Speaks

    I was at the OCA conference on May 6th, and I just wanted to thank you on being such a wicked keynote… you definitely put me back in the camp mindset and reminded me of what’s truly important about the up-coming summer. Once again, a job very well done.

    ~Emily Summers
  • Stu Speaks

    The students really enjoyed Stu’s humour and low-key but critical message about getting involved and getting the most out of their High School experience. I would recommend Stu as a speaker who relates well to students, is funny, and gets the message out without preaching.

    Thank you,

    ~Lynn Toye