By Les Brown and Janine Avila
Les Brown is one of the world’s most renowned motivational speakers of all time. A leading authority on achievement and peak performance for Fortune 500 CEOs, small business owners, and non-profit or community leaders, Les Brown helps people overcome the limitations of their own mind so they can face the challenges of the world around them.
Over 20 years ago, Les won a Chicago-area Emmy® for his unsurpassed fundraising pledge drive for the Public Broadcasting System. This milestone was followed by several bestselling books and hosting popular national talk shows on television and radio. Today, with thousands of followers on social media, Les Brown’s impact goes well beyond the stage and public appearances, meshing traditional and digital media to reach his global audience.
From Denmark to Dubai, Canada to the Caribbean, Les Brown shares his powerful message rooted in his own extraordinary life story, showing why we can’t afford to be complacent. For anyone facing roadblocks or adversity, it is his compassionate heart combined with the depth of his knowledge that creates personal transformation and lasting results.
Les Brown received the National Speakers Association coveted Council of Peers Award of Excellence (CPAE), and ultimately, its most prestigious Golden Gavel Award for achievement and leadership in communication. Toastmasters International also voted him one of the Top Five Outstanding Speakers worldwide.
Les didn’t have an easy start in life. In elementary school, he was mistakenly labeled “educably mentally retarded” by his teachers, who did not recognize his true potential. Using determination and belief in himself, he went from being a sanitation worker to becoming a broadcast station manager, political commentator, and multi-term state representative in Ohio.
Today Les Brown is committed to motivating and training the young generation to be achievers and leaders as he introduces new audiences every day to It’s Not Over Until You Win, Up Thoughts for Down Times and Fight For Your Dream. Les Brown’s audio series, “Choosing Your Future,” remains his all-time bestseller for its acclaimed impact worldwide.
“In business as in life, there are always going to be ups and downs,” says Les. “However, where there is a will, there is always a way to achieve amazing results for your organization. Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you!”
Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals, and charge after them in an unstoppable manner. It’s not over until I win.
“How Les Brown and I Became Friends”
Janine Avila is Director of Field Support for Robert Oblon’s direct selling company. Having been a successful network marketing professional for over three decades, Janine also spent two decades as a corporate vice president and trainer for different network marketing companies.
Janine built her first organization in the eighties as a single mom raising seven children and became a top earner in her company.
Born in California, Janine grew up as a farm girl with grandparents who had emigrated from Portugal. Janine credits her unshakable confidence and business acumen to her rigorous upbringing, tempered by her parents’ unconditional love and support. She learned some hard lessons over the course of her career, and today has created a life of balance and happiness for herself, her family, and her company’s growing team.
How did you meet and become friends with Les Brown?
From being in direct selling and working in the personal development space, I knew of Les and used to devour his books and audio programs. Especially when going through some challenges, I would listen to his tapes over and over again. One year as he was speaking at a nearby event, I decided to go see him and stood in a long line to greet him after his talk and thank him for the difference he made in my life.
One of Les Brown’s mottos is “You’ve gotta be hungry!” As I was waiting in line (and always thinking like a mom!), it occurred to me that he might be hungry so I bought him a sandwich. When I finally was able to hand it to him, Les was so touched that he gave me a business card with his direct number. “You are special,” he said, and he made me promise to call him. He warned me he was hard to reach and that I would need to be persistent. I promised I would keep calling him until we connected, and that’s what I did. It took 37 calls to finally get through to. After that first call, we continued our conversations, and that’s how our friendship began.
How did you get Les to speak at your company convention?
About a year and a half ago year, I knew Les was going through some health challenges. He called me to ask if I know of any products that could help him. I asked Robert Oblon if I could send him some of our product. As Les began drinking our coffee, he started to feel better and have more energy. I was so happy that I could return the favor: years ago he had been a lifesaver for me with his tapes and empowering messages, and this time I was able to help him out of a challenging situation.
Gradually and unexpectedly, Les also began losing weight—a goal he had set for himself as part of his healing journey. Blown away by the products, he naturally wanted to learn more about our company so I shared some more information. He became interested in what we were doing and watched our company grow from a startup to a significant player in the direct selling space.
In his generous spirit, Les would ask me, “How can I support you? I really want to help you spread the message. People around the world need to know about these life-changing products!” When I told him about our upcoming convention, he proposed to attend and share his story. Needless to say, we were delighted and his high-impact, heartfelt message was received with a standing ovation.
As Director of Field Support, how do you see your company’s future?
I see our business growing rapidly throughout North America and globally, as we are on our way to becoming a billion-dollar enterprise. I strongly believe that network marketing is meant to flourish in the new gig economy and I never miss an opportunity to point this out to our affiliates.
Reflecting on my own network marketing journey, what I cherish the most is a lifestyle of freedom. I love being able to serve our company while also having time for my family. Our company’s mission is to elevate lives by offering people a path to freedom. Part of this freedom comes from the personal development we receive from teachers like Les Brown. These messages liberate the mind and offer the ultimate gift: the freedom to be happy and know that anything is possible!
Les Brown’s Quotes
The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.
Don’t let someone else’s opinion become your reality.
Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.
If you take responsibility for yourself, you will develop a hunger to accomplish your dream.
You don’t get in life what you want; you get in life what you are.
The people who want to step into their greatness are hungry.
I will heighten my life by helping others heighten theirs.
Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.
If you don’t program yourself, life will program you.
Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals, and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.
It’s not over until I win.
You must be willing to do what others won’t do, to have what others won’t have.
I don’t know what you’re up against, I don’t know what you’re facing. But here’s what I do know: You’ve got something special, you’ve got greatness in you, and I know it’s possible that you can live your dream.
Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.
It’s necessary to get the losers out of your life if you want to live your dream. People inspire you, or they drain you. Pick them wisely.
Review your goals twice every day in order to be focused on achieving them.
Act the way you want to be and soon you’ll be the way you act.
You must remain focused on your journey to greatness.
The greatest revenge is massive success.
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