Lisa Ryan first wrote a goal to become a public speaker back in the late 80’s; of course, she said with a laugh – “I was six when I wrote that.” She didn’t know then what her message was, she just knew she was meant to speak.
When Lisa discovered the power of gratitude, she said
“I knew to the core of my being, like the gates opened and the Angels sang, my message is about the power of gratitude.”
It started in 2009, when Lisa learned the importance of keeping a daily gratitude journal. After attending a four-day intensive seminar, she and a couple of friends decided to keep the energy going by posting their daily thankfulness to a Facebook page, holding each other accountable to finding three things every day, for which to be thankful.
Today it seems like a very simple idea, but from small acorns the mighty Oak is born. The simple process of logging items of gratitude rapidly made a dramatic impact on her life. Realizing the infinite power of gratitude and how it was positively affecting her, she found her message and mission, to change the world one thank you at a time.
Also, understanding that the corporate world may not yet be ready to accept that such an abstract concept of simply being thankful could positively affect profitability, she modified her message to include employee engagement, retention and recognition.
Imagine the novel idea of corporate America being thankful for their clients and employees.
Mother Teresa said,
“We are more starved for appreciation than for bread.”
Once her audiences began hearing her positive message, corporations became more profitable and their employees more satisfied and productive. In addition, when the employees took the basics from her message and applied them at home, their home life rapidly improved also. Relationships with their spouse and children improved and their families grew closer.
One of the most gratifying highlights for Lisa is the feedback she receives from people that have applied her principles of gratitude at home and taken the time to write her to relate the success of improved family situations. Her gratitude thought of the week is her short inspirational message that goes directly to people’s email boxes. Sign up to receive yours. Lisa says,
“It seems like they come out exactly at the right time for someone. I get beautiful emails from people sharing their stories. It’s very gratifying work.”
Lisa has been recognized for her speaking and was recently named the 2015 Connector’s Choice Awards Corporate Speaker of the Year. She had been nominated on three previous occasions and had made it to the finals in 2014, but did not win the award.
She was so elated when she made it to the finals in 2014, she invited several friends to join her table for the event, wrote a beautiful acceptance speech and planned a grand celebration. When someone else’s name was read, she was completely devastated and wanted to run and hide.
However, when she looked around the table at her friends, she realized immediately, they did not think any less of her because she didn’t win. In fact, the woman that won, had her 102-year-old grandmother at the event. It was truly a heart-warming moment, when Lisa noticed how much it meant to the winner to have her grandmother, who had encouraged her speaking career, there to witness the bestowing of the award.
Lisa learned from that experience to accept defeat, move on and be glad to be nominated for the award and recognized by her peers as a worthy contestant.
Lisa told us, “As a speaker, when you get the lesson, all adversity becomes material for your next presentation.”
The following year, when she was once again nominated and made it to the finals, she did not put nearly as much energy or anticipation into the event. She didn’t even prepare an acceptance speech, until a few minutes before the event began.
She learned from this experience to be optimistic, but allow things to unfold naturally and not become overly invested in the outcome. But they called the name, she was the winner!
The best part of the evening for Lisa was the few tears of joy, she saw in her husband’s eyes, when she returned to the table after accepting the award. Seeing him happy for her, validated his support and acknowledged her accomplishment.
In addition to being an award-winning speaker, Lisa is the best-selling author of eight books. Her clients appreciate her real-world insight, high content message and the immediately actionable ideas contained in her fun, interactive and engaging workshops, programs and books.
Lisa’s vision for her business is to continue the same message of gratitude and employee engagement. She is also making a conscious effort to work with more local businesses, specifically manufacturing enterprises. Living in the “Rust Belt” of America, the Midwest, she wants to work with industrial companies offering more training to develop stronger employee relationships.
Lisa also feels it is important to be an active part of the National Speakers Association. She has served on the Board of Directors for several years and is currently in her second year as President of the Ohio Chapter of the National Speaker’s Association.
Another way Lisa gives back to her community is with, “The Tour of Good Cheer.” The Tour was founded by a former alcoholic, who was so depressed from the problems in his life, that he decided to do something good for someone else. He took some toys to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Cleveland at Christmas. The experience made him feel something deep inside. He has now been sober for 20 years and 32 years later, “The Tour of Good Cheer” involves hundreds of volunteers and thousands of dollars of Christmas toys passed out to nearly 1,000 needy families in Cleveland.
Over the years, Lisa Ryan has seen the power of gratitude improve personal lives, as well as, corporate bottom lines. She is thankful for the ability to serve in a career of her choosing doing the exact things she loves.
Lisa is poised to meet the future and “Soar to Success.”