Life is the lesson.
Why use me as a keynote speaker for your next conference or event?
In my long life I have been a business man, building contractor, plant manager, designer, major conventions salesperson, Public Speaker, singer/songwriter, producer, recording artist, record label owner, poet, writer and author. I have also survived a terminal disease that lasted four years. I have been as low as it is possible to be. I have picked myself up more than most. In all that I laugh and tell stories that lift and coach, and I sing songs that explore all it is to be human.
I have been my own boss as a Contractor for most of my long life, on the occasions I worked for other companies I had the good fortune of finding good fits for my skill sets. Like many others I had some bumps along the way. When the economy was particularly bad I did some soul searching and realized I needed a way out of the trap of my own thinking. I made the decision to learn and immerse myself in something I didn’t know. There were certainly plenty of self programs in the early 80s to engage. The choice was made after a thorough and non-delusional self examination. I might add that my wife helped me with obvious zeal. With her help I discovered that one of the areas I was weak on was my presentation, notably in the area of sales.
I had a weekly ritual of having breakfast with a few friends, I chatted about what I discovered. One of my friends suggested looking in to Toastmasters. I did and joined. It was remarkable. To shorten this part of the story I was soon elected as the president of my club and shortly thereafter became an area Governor working with four clubs. I had the delightful opportunity to be a Keynote Speaker for dozens of San Diego local business’ and organizations while in that position. As well as winning an Area Humorous Speech Contest.
As my profile states I am a musician and singer/songwriter which for me was a parallel life path. It is interesting that as a singer, something I had done since I was sixteen, I do not have the nervousness I did when first doing public speaking. I’ve been told that my guitar acted as a barrier. Perhaps.
Set Backs and Set Back Ups
My life was good, having the normal up and down of my chosen discipline, until my business failed, with setbacks and problems pilling up looking like a blitzkrieg, that a story for another day. Consequently I contracted a rare auto-immune disease. I and my wife even went back to the Mayo Clinic for study – nothing conclusive came of that study. The fifteen of us there just went home, being told to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. I, without substantiation, make the case it was due to stress. My nervous system was being attacked by my own anti-bodies, I could not walk, was in horrific pain, and lost feeling in my legs, arms, hands, feet. and most of my skin surface. I was in a wheel chair for almost four years and told my condition was terminal. During lucid moments, when I wasn’t blitzed on morphine, I one-finger typed poetry and short stories, in fact a little over 500,000 words. My story should have ended there…but it didn’t. I slipped into a comma. My family was told that my time had come.
I did not die.
Nicely situated and tucked in for my last viewing, I awoke, scaring the wits out of young nurse. The din was terrible, with her dropping a tray full of noisy metal plates and me screaming “Let me up” and ‘Where the (bleep) am I’.
Doing What It Took
The disease’s deathward march had abated. The next two months was dedicated to kicking my legally acquired morphine habit and teaching myself to walk again, one hundred yards at a time. The next five months was a living discipline of losing 100 pounds of the weight I gained from large doses of steroids I ingested for four years. The next was to rebuild my life. I am often asked “How I was able to do it?”
That’s the grist of my stories and songs.
Since that time I have written six books, and recorded one album with the Burning Sage Band, two solo albums, one will be released next month. Started http://songwritersmarketplace.com with my dear friend David Dodds. We are in out seventh year, included is my podcast wherein I chat with music industry mavens. I also built this website http://kenlehnig.com
I might add that it has been 11 years since I was ill. I just turned 69 years young.
The point of this story-telling post is for you, my friends I haven’t met yet, is that there is no failure, or trying circumstance stopping you. Take a short rest and then pick yourself up and start all over again.
I’m available for bookings as a Keynote speaker for your Company, Associations, or Organizations.
Ken offers entertaining, uplifting, thoughtful, and life- educational stories and songs in the areas of:
Pride and ownership,
Starting from zero,
and believing in yourself.
A link to Ken’s discography : http://www.broadjam.com/artists/albums.php?artistID=103445
Contact for consultation and pricing: lehnigs@coxnet
Ken Lehnig (c) 2016 all rights reserved