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Bernie Swain

Episode 18: Pay Attention to the Turning Points, with Bernie Swain

Don’t miss this episode of The People Catalysts Podcast with guest Bernie Swain. Bernie is going to share with us how he co-founded the leading US speaker’s bureau that’s represented three US presidents, five prime ministers of Great Britain, and countless American and world leaders by putting people first and making every decision in their business about relationships.

Inspired by his high school football coach, Bernie planned on a career in college athletics. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from George Washington University. In the last few months of graduate work, he met his lifelong partner, Paula, a special education teacher. The two of them started a family during Bernie’s five-year tenure as GWs Assistant Athletic Director. Bernie and Paula’s friend, Harry Rhoads, sent them the note that inspired all three of them to turn their lives upside down. They quit their jobs to start a lecture agency without experience, without a plan, and without a single client.

The trio started Washington Speakers Bureau from a small supply closet belonging to Chuck Hagel, who would later become Secretary of Defense. For eighteen rocky months, they sat in that closet with their savings running out, unable to compete against the dozens of established agencies up and down the east coast.

In just eight short years, WSB became the top agency in the world. Then their growth and their reputation expanded.

Over the last thirty-five years, WSB has represented three US Presidents, five prime ministers of Great Britain, countless American and world leaders, business and economic visionaries, authors, media personalities, and sports legends.

Today, Bernie remains Chairman of Washington Speakers Bureau. He travels with Paula, his wife for 42 years, and spends time with their 3 children and their families, including one new grandchild. Bernie also speaks and writes extensively.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Bernie came up with the title for his book, “What Made Me Who I Am”
  • How chances for success and opportunity are available to all of us as long as we can pay attention to turning points in our lives
  • How Bernie made the jump from the academic world to being an entrepreneur
  • The story of how the top lecture agency in the world, the Washington Speakers Bureau, got its start
  • How to quickly establish trust and honesty within a company
  • The one thing that is missing in business and life today
  • Why we need to pay attention to the opportunities that people in our lives offer us
  • How you can reach your full potential in life
  • How to determine if someone will be a good fit before hiring them
  • The importance of having a good solid foundation

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