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Interview with Josh Tolley

Learn more about how your company could ‘start winning’ and how Josh Tolley’s keynotes are the first step towards star status and success. Read the interview below.

What is the most amazing experience you have had as a speaker?

Seeing the results afterward.  When I get an e-mail or a call from someone who had attended one of my presentations, speeches, or seminars and they tell me how their lives have changed.  In particular, I have had a couple experiences where people have said that after my teaching they have literally changed their mind as to wanting to commit suicide.  The travel and everything is wonderful but the most amzaing experience for me is the experience others have.


What do you qualify as star status for businesses?

Star status in business for me would be when you achieve a level of success in your industry where you start to define that industry.  Sometimes that can be in large ways like Xerox or Google, where your name becomes synonymous with a particular action.  It can also be in how the industry operates, for example, standardized invoicing in an industry so customers see uniformity span competitors as it aids the entire industry as a whole.


How are your keynotes unique?

What makes my keynotes unique is my background, personality, and approach to the audience.  There are so many “experts” in the world today yet so very few of them create an impact and I wanted to change that.  If you have every listened to my talk show, one of the things that becomes evident right away is my ability to take complicated subjects and make them easily understandable.  In addition, I do it with a lot of humor and ease with a personality that is very relate-able and approachable.  When we think about the purpose of a keynote speaker, the purpose is to really drive home everything that the event represents.  In order to do that, you have to take all that an organization is, it’s history, purpose, leadership, future and deliver a message that not only reflects those things but connects those things with the hearts and minds of the audience.  To me, a keynote speakers job, if done well, is a hard one but one that brings so much joy.  I have to take the soul of an organization, business, movement, or message; then I have to connect it to what makes me…me, then I use my personality and charisma along with wisdom and insight to deliver the soul of the message to an audience in such a way that they not only understand but also are impacted.  With that in mind, I would humbly place myself in the company of the most elite speakers.


You discuss women in the workplace – what are some differences between men and women in the workplace?

I think there are many differences, from organizational skills, thought processes, emotional fortitude, tasking allocation, just to name a few.  The important thing here is to get out of this mindset that everyone and every sex need to be the same.  Success is actually achieved by taking what is unique to you and amplifying it to a larger audience, what makes you unique is what fills the need, want or desire you are striving to fill.  Since that is a truth then I find it odd to say the least that speakers, trainers, and “experts” are out there trying to “level the playing field” for what they are really doing without being wise enough to understand, is taking away advantage.  Man or Woman, each offer advantages and disadvantages and by learning to embrace both you can learn how to achieve and compete at your best.


Can you give three tips to companies who wish to ‘start winning’?

  1. Realize you cannot know everything and that continued education in all areas of business is a must!  Too often I hear arrogant business owners say they don’t need anymore training or they know their industry better than anyone so why bother.  All this shows is ignorance and a great opportunity for the competition to destroy them, and rightfully so.  Keeping up on not only what works in terms of industry advancements but business advancements as well is vital.  Not only that, it show’s a lack of forethought to think they know everything.  We know it is impossible but what else is that saying about there lack of maturity about raising leaders behind them when they themselves retire or die?
  2. Think strategically beyond your business.  This could be a course in and of itself, but in a nutshell make sure you see what is happening outside your business and how it impacts your business.  Something as simple as a retail location signing a new 5 year lease and they didn’t bother to notice that road construction on the main road to their location is going to be starting next month and lasting a year a half.  Can a new business survive a year and a half with a customer base that has interrupted access?  This is just one example but I have seen so many business people fall to circumstances and they love to say “beyond my control” and in reality is was just beyond your field of vision and strategic planning.  Another example could be realizing one of your primary competitors is getting up there in age, a small business, if they keep tabs on these things, could work out a long term buyout plan or partial client acquisition and take their business to the next level without having to fight tooth and nail for more sales.  Sadly, what happens most often is the older business will either be bought out by a major corporate player, making it even harder for the small business to compete, or the customer base will be lost all together meaning the small business has to work twice as hard to gain those new customers.
  3. Make sales and marketing the major focus of your business.  You are in business to gain business, to make money.  You make money by marketing and selling a product or a service.  Too often small business owners think they are their to offer the best product or service and then they blame the world three years later when the world was “too stupid” to know what they could have had.  Meanwhile a lower quality product or service in the same industry is thriving.  We need to realize that while quality is a very important aspect and perfecting your craft is a noble goal, it generates absolutely nothing unless marketed and sold.  Again, too many small business owners focus on their industry and too little on their sales and marketing.


What type of audience benefits most from your keynotes?

Any audience that has people.  I know that may sound too vast but it reminded me of a situation where I was speaking to many different groups; political, religious, relationship, business, education, and someone asked “Are you just a jack of all trades and a master of none” to which my response was, “No, I’m a master jack.”  My focus and background is people, period.  I have spent a very long time mastering how people work from a scientific and a practical level.  The real answer to the question of what type of audiences benefit from my keynotes would be, any audience that has people in it.  Fixing a relationship is understanding people, the cause for division, and how to communicate in such a way that the people come to a mutually understood and accepted belief, and follow through with unity.  That same equation is true in crisis management, sales, marketing, team building, evangelism, dating, exploration, travel, whatever else involves people.


Click here to see Josh Tolley’s profile

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