Articles From Tom Koulopoulos View Profile

Share this Article
  • The One Thing More Important Than Following Your Dreams

    Tom Koulopoulos, The One Thing More Important Than Following Your Dreams

    Abdul Kalam, President of India from 2002-2007, loved to talk about dreams. My favorite of his many quotes about them is, "Dream is not the thing you see in sleep, but is that thing that doesn’t let you sleep." Indeed, I suspect the phenomenon of waking up in the middle of the night in an entrepreneurially-induced euphoria is commonplace for you.

    Yet, there is another aspect of our dreams that we often talk about much less, but which provides a surprising compass setting for finding success--the fear that stands in the way of realizing them. But wait, entrepreneurs are fearless, right? Actually, the ones I've worked with have usually blasted their way through a mountain of fear to get to the other side.

    Taking a Moonshot

    As a child I had one great ambition, to become an astronaut. Growing up in age of moonshots it was a dream I shared with many. One tiny obstacle stood in the way; I was scared to death of heights and flying. I mean panic attack terrified. The view down from a few flights of stairs was enough to induce vertigo and the mere thought of a Ferris wheel would send me into a cold sweat.

    Getting to the Other Side

    As I built my business that theme repeated itself many times. There was the overwhelming fear of leaving the comfort of a steady well-paying job to start a new venture from ground zero; the fear of personal guarantees and signing long-term leases; the uncertainty of acquiring companies and monthly payrolls; betting on new products and services; navigating the financial crisis of the early 2000's, and starting a new business in the great recession of 2008; a long list of fears that I either had to face head on or run away from. In each and every case one thing was clear, as Jack Canfield, co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, once said "Everything you want is on the other side of fear."

    But here’s what’s missing in Canfield’s quote; you don’t get around fear, you go through it. That's not just the most direct route; it's often the only route. And in the midst of it is where you learn the hardest and most important lessons, the ones that provide the insight and the courage to move yourself and your organization to the next level. It's what Richie Norton talks about in The Power of Starting Something Stupid, "To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around."

    So what are your fears right now? Whatever they are I'll wager that they are standing dead center in the path of where you need to go. So rather than look at fear as something to avoid and steer clear of, how about seeing it as a guide to take you where you need to go. How about standing right next to it, embracing it, and thanking it for illuminating the way to your future?

    The bottom line is that we owe a lot to our fears; they're beacons that can guide us to just about everything we want to achieve.

    Radical thinking? Not really. How about you just sleep on it.

Share this Article
X

FIND A SPEAKER

TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials
  • You ladies really are the BEST!  After this event I am going to be on the hunt for keynote speakers in May.  I really want to work with you ...
    ICMI
  • “Thank you guys it was a pleasure working with you.... You made the whole process easy. Thanks again”
    CableNation
  • "We loved our speakers. Thanks to you and your team for your outstanding service and thank you for your patience!"

    National Association of the Blind
  • "My mind was very much at ease knowing that Jack Uldrich was so well prepped.  I will definitely use your agency again."  
    EAIE
  • "Thanks to you and Jo for all your efforts.  Connie Podesta and Roger Dow were great!"   
    National Apartment Association
  • Bridgeworks was awesome!!! Great feedback from all!! Thanks for all of your collaboration and positive we'll use you in the future.  
    Johnson & Johnson
  • "I wanted to share with you feedback of my experience in working with Executive Speakers Bureau.. Very responsive and detail oriented.  When I wa...
    Amdocs
  • Thanks to Richard and Jo for all the coordination. Another homerun from Executive Speakers Bureau!  
    Wisconsin Hospital Association
  • "Thank you so much for all your help in putting this together on such short notice. I will definitely use your services again in the future."
    Applied Materials
  • I want to thank you for all of your assistance you and Jenny were wonderful. If it had not been for you sending me suggestions I would not have found ...
    West Virginia Tourism
  • I’ve used the services of a number of speakers bureaus in the past. However, my current experience working with the Executive Speakers Bureau ha...
    Intel
  • "I shared with Kaplan [Mobray] that I had never had this type of experience with ANY vendor I have worked with in the past. Your responsiveness to urg...
    Gates Corp.
  • "I want to thank you for helping with our Principals Day event. Marshall Goldsmith was excellent. Not only is Marshall the consummate professional, be...
    Burns & McDonnell
  • "Everyone loved Bob and he was so nice on site. Thank you for all you did. The process was so easy and we will definitely work with you again next yea...
    NBC
  • The event was EASY Cake! and it went over very very well.  Thank you so much for the help and organization, it made my life very easy. 
    Boys & Girls Club
  • "I will be sure that all involved know what a wonderful resource you have been. The universe smiled on me when I discovered Executive Speakers and you...
    Ocala Eye
  • "We not only went 3 for 3 but I'd say they were all home runs! Thanks for your help on the speakers. It was a key and very positive component of our c...
    Chem-Dry
  • Thanks to you, Jo and the rest of your team.  You are the BEST.  Knowing you are behind a speaker allows us the luxury of concentrating on o...
    Ohio Hospital Association
  • We truly appreciate the excellent support and attention to detail we have received from Executive Speakers Bureau.  They have provided us with so...
    IBM
  • Everything went really well and we really enjoyed having Jack Uldrich as our speaker!  He was entertaining and funny and provided great examples....
    Novo Nordisk
  • "OMG Richard! As always you make me look like a rock star. Every single speaker we selected hit it out of the park. Thank you again. Can't even say wh...
    Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Assn.
  • "I LOVE this list that you sent me! I emailed several different places on Tuesday an...
    CoreLogic
  • "This year’s speaker line-up at our Summer Meeting was the best yet. We knocked it out of the park. Thanks for all your help securing such excel...
    North Carolina Hospital Association
  • We could not have done it without you.  Thank you for the outstanding suggestions.  The speakers were by far the best we have ever had.
    FedEx
  • As always, you deliver excellent service. Thanks!
    Camden National Bank
  • "I appreciate your recommendations.  In addition, you are always a pleasure to work with and understand the pains of an over worked meeting plann...
    Milliman
  • "The group that I work with to obtain all of my keynote speakers is Executive Speakers Bureau and I can tell you that I don’t like working with ...
    Indiana Youth Institute
  • "Richard, Your ability to put me in front of just the right group again and again, is nothing short of amazing. You work your tail off, you sweat the ...
    Alan Hobson
  • The Nebraska Hospital Association along with numerous other state hospital associations have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Executive Speak...
    The Nebraska Hospital Association
  • "You made my job so much easier! You are the only bureau I will use."     
    Sigma Systems
  • "Let me just say again, what a pleasure it is to work with you and ESB. You really make it harder for others to reach the bar."
    ASTD
  • "As I mentioned before, your engagement model was incredibly easy to work with, and I know we came to you on short notice!  I would highly recomm...
    Capitol One
  • Thank you to both of you for everything surrounding Mr. Will as our special guest. I suspect, soon, I will be in touch regarding our next event. 
    Oxford Financial
  • "My entire team has enjoyed the experience of working with you and ESB more than words can express. Everything was handled in a professional and timel...
    Cregger Company
  • "WOW, is all I have to say and thank you!  Our event was a huge success and you never steer me wrong, both David Cottrell and Ryan Estis were exc...
    ICMI
  • Our bank has held an annual business and economic conference for the past 9 years.  We have worked with Executive Speakers every year and I have ...
    First Midwest Bank
  • "Your tenacity and persistence in staying in touch with us is a model example of good salesmanship and partnering.  I will be using you as an exa...
    Schneider Electric
Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Call us to discuss how we can help find the right speaker for your organization.

Get Ideas in 2 Hours or Less

Please fill in information below

Executive Speakers Bureau consistently receives praises about our speed and efficiency. From the beginning of your event planning, our extensive online speaker database and resourceful staff allow us to quickly equip you with the best speaker for your event.

Need a last minute speaker? No worries. Our speed and efficiency help us give you ideas for speakers in two hours or less.


Privacy by SafeSubscribeSM