People often ask how I started in the speaking industry.  It all started with a back row seat.

In 1990, I was a single mother with no financial resources, nor an education beyond high school. I was selling real estate part-time, and it was always feast or famine with three young daughters and with child support always months behind.

What got me through the tough times was going to hear speakers speak at real estate events, and reading books like “Think and Grow Rich,” “Three Magic Words,” “The Power of Positive of Thinking,” and everything by Dr. Wayne Dyer.

In the spring of 1990 Wayne Dyer was speaking about an hour from my hometown of East Lansing, Michigan. I drove my little Ford Escort wagon to hear him speak, determined to sit in the front row (as I always did when at an event).  But when I arrived at the venue about a thousand other people were ahead of me, and I soon found myself sitting in the very back row, dead center.

Dr. Wayne Dyer and Nancy VoglI wasn’t happy about sitting so far back, but before too long I became aware of the energy in the room. It was electrifying! From my usual front row position, I’d never experienced what others were experiencing when a speaker was speaking. But from this new vantage point I was suddenly struck by the power a speaker can have on an audience.

Driving home I couldn’t get it out of my head that I was destined to some how, in some way, be a part of the magic of the speaking industry, and decided I’d start with Dr. Wayne Dyer.

I managed to secure a small bank loan, using the Ford Escort as collateral, and began connecting with Dr. Dyer’s office for a date that September. Even though I received several polite “no’s” over the course of four months to my invitation from Maya, Dr. Dyer’s manager, I didn’t give up…and even started promoting the event and selling tickets!

After the sixth rejection by phone, I decided to try another tactic. Instead of pleading “please, please, please,” I wrote a very thorough letter to Wayne, citing all the details pertinent to the event, and why I felt he should speak to an audience at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts at Michigan State University. But at the end of the letter, I just couldn’t resisting adding a final, heartfelt thought. I wrote, “Dr. Dyer…I just finished reading your latest book, “You’ll See It When You Believe It,” and I believe with my whole heart and soul I am meant to bring you to East Lansing, Michigan. You simply can’t say no,”  and signed it: Love, Nancy.

My letter did the trick..and Wayne said yes!  Less than six weeks later, nearly 2,500 devoted Wayne Dyer fans filled the auditorium, the largest group Wayne had spoken to up to that point. Wayne was flabbergasted.

Since that very first event, I’ve had the privilege of booking a long and impressive slate of professional speakers and big name presenters. And to think it all started because this “front row girl” had to take a back seat. One time.