On Cover - Featured 1-On-1 Interview
Stacy Tetschner: Giving Yourself Permission to Succeed in Business and Life
Ty Howard

 



Stacy Tetschner, CAE is the CEO of the National Speakers Association (NSA) where he has enjoyed serving the membership for the last 25 years. NSA is dedicated to advancing the art and value of those who speak professionally – simply put he loves the opportunity to lead NSA as the organization helps professional speakers speak more, speak better and make more money doing it!

*CAE = Certified Association Executive


Ty:

Stacy, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to interview you for the online Winter 2017 Issue of MOTIVATION magazine. The theme for the Winter Issue is Giving Yourself Permission to Continuously Succeed. My interview with you, Stacy, will carry the tone and focus on the importance of giving yourself permission to succeed in business and life.
 

Stacy:

Okay Ty, sounds great. 
 

Ty:

I have two preliminary questions for you, Stacy. The first question is, we all have guilty pleasures, what's your favorite snack food or health food?
 

Stacy:

Oh, wow, it depends on the day. I’m a stress-eater, my guilty pleasure when I really get the chance is pizza. As much as I shouldn’t be eating it, I love a good pizza.
 

Ty:

What are your favorite pizza toppings?
 

Stacy:

Pepperoni and sausage with thin crust. But if I’m going to be really guilty, I’m going to go for the thick crust.
 

Ty:

My next question, what’s your most memorable and inspiring childhood experience?
 

Stacy:

To put my answer into context, I’m 49 years old. My most inspiring, memorable childhood experience is I went to a one-room school house out in the Sand Hills of Nebraska much like Little House on the Prairie.

So, I’m one of the few Gen X’ers that can probably still say that I did that, but it was for me, yeah, when you’re in a classroom with kindergarten to sixth graders all of you in the same room. You learn to fend for yourself and you get to learn up, and learn down in whatever happens. The experience taught and made me self-reliant.
 

Ty:

That’s memorable and interesting. Thank you for sharing. Now onto the main interview questions.

Stacy, my first question to you is what motivated you to become the man and successful entrepreneur you are today?
 

Stacy:

Well, I have the opportunity to work with some of the most amazing thought leaders and entrepreneurs from around the United States and around the world. The biggest motivator for me is seeing all the speakers and the motivators that I have the opportunity to work and see their results.

I see my role today as being able to help them go to that next step. We provide the tools, we provide the education, and to know that we have even played a little part in helping them get to their next level — that is what gets me going every morning.
 

Ty:

Stacy, are you a professional speaker?
 

Stacy:

I speak a little bit, but my chosen profession is running associations, obviously having ran the National Speakers Association the last twenty-five years. Eighteen years as CEO, but twenty-five years on staff.
 

Ty:

As CEO of the National Speakers Association, what do you feel is your sole purpose as CEO?
 

Stacy:

My purpose is to be the facilitator and the connector where I’m connecting great people to other great people or great people to great ideas, whatever that happens to be. I get to sit in that chair that swivels back and forth and say, wow, look at this amazing person, I’ve heard their amazing story. Then I hear this other one and say, these two people need to connect. They could do more business together and could change the world together. I feel like I get to sit in that chair and see all these amazing ideas and I can then help them connect so that they can go to new levels of success.
 

Ty:

Looking back over your life, where did you struggle, fail, or make mistakes? How did you recover and bounce back?
 

Stacy:

I would say one of the biggest mistakes that I made early on in my career was when I was going to college. During my freshman year I majored in a lot more partying than I did going to class. Thus, I didn’t go back to college after my freshman year.

As I progressed in my career, the biggest stumbling block I always came up against was especially if they’re looking at resumes. A headhunter (employment recruiter) said to me one time, “You’re going to go in the 'No' pile every time because you do not have the required college education. We get so many resumes and have an initial filter process, and you’re not making it past that.”

So, I went back to college later in life. When I received the invitation to my twenty-year reunion for high school, it was the same year I received my college degree. I went back to college and corrected the stumbling block the headhunter pointed out to me. I took a lot of online courses, and made it a point every night to burn the candle at both ends until I completed and earned my college degree.

When I would put my kids to bed at night, my wife and I would kiss them goodnight, and then I would tell them, now, I’m going to do more work and go to college and I would be up ‘til 1:00 o’clock in the morning some mornings working on college papers. I would say to them both, you will go to college and get your degree because you should not have to go through and suffer the mistake I made early on.

Today, both of my kids have their college degree.
 

Ty:

Congratulations, Dad!

Stacy, what is the best way for our readers to learn more about the National Speakers Association, to register for your conferences, webinars, seminars or to become an association member?
 

Stacy:

To learn more about NSA, go to our website, which is NSAspeaker.org and that will give you all the information about the organization.

I am also going to tell you for those of your readers who are looking for those nuggets of insight, one of the free sites that we provide is SpeakerMagazine.com. It’s a blog site, but we have compiled some of the best ideas on successful speakers today; on how to speak more, speak better, and make more money doing it. We put them there and there’s no obligation or status, you do not have to sign up for anything, you can go there and just sort through it. I think it is one of the best hidden gems on the Internet in terms of finding things that will be relevant to your speaking business today.
 

Ty:

Next, the theme of the Winter 2017 issue of MOTIVATION magazine is Giving Yourself Permission to Continuously Succeed. Stacy, what does Giving Yourself Permission to Continuously Succeed mean to you?
 

Stacy:

To me, it means looking beyond all the reasons why you think you can’t do it or you’re not qualified to do it. When you look at the reasons why you were put on this Earth. Like I feel one of the reasons I’ve been put on this Earth is to connect great people and great ideas.

For a long time, I thought, why would these people want to talk to me. Then, I gave myself the permission to say, it’s not about me, it’s about the gift that I’m bringing where I am connecting them and, if they never remember me, I am completely fine with that. I want them to connect because there is something bigger in their life for them to achieve. You have to give yourself permission to say, I’m here for a reason. I’m here for a purpose, and give yourself permission to dive into that and understand completely what it is you’re here for.

If you do not give yourself that permission, you will always come up with excuses and say, well, I’m not qualified. Go back to my earlier career. I didn't have a college degree, so I’m not qualified to sit at that table.

Just give yourself permission to continuously succeed.
 

Ty:

Stacy, when it comes to succeeding in life, who helped and influenced you most?
 

Stacy:

Wow. I think the biggest influencer in my life has been my wife. She has been an amazing supporter. Every time I would come home and say, well, I’m not qualified. I don’t know if I can do this or that. This is too hard for us. She’s the one that would never tell me to do something. She would always ask me the right questions until I would finally say, I should be doing this! Then she would say, see, I told you. The way she tells me, in a roundabout way, is not by nagging me. She is the one that’s always encouraging me to go to that next level and do the thing that I want to do.
 

Ty:

Stacy, what do you feel are three good strategies people can use today to stay positively captivated to achieving their personal goals, after they’ve given themselves permission to continuously succeed in life or business?
 

Stacy:

Number one is to surround yourself not just with the right people, but the articles, the books, the podcasts, whatever it is will prepare and motivates you to do that thing you truly want to do in life. If you’re listening, if you’re putting the things in your brain that you want to come out, it’s much more likely to happen.

I'll use an example: Our youngest son we adopted and he has Down Syndrome. He is 13 years old and we constantly are putting so many things into his brain. We never know when it’s going to come out, but then when it does, it’s exactly the way we put it in. Or it may take a little bit longer and it sometimes comes out a little differently.

To me that’s the biggest proof that what you put in is going to come out, so make sure everything that’s around you going in, in your environment, is what you want to come out. That one is such a big one for me. Surround yourself with all the right people and information going in.

Strategy number two, being committed to reading. I would say that, again, those things that you read and take in, but reading no matter whether you’re listening to a podcast and everything else, reading creates such a different dynamic in your brain. You’ve got to continually be committed to reading.

Strategy number three is dreaming. Make sure you’re constantly thinking about what is it you want to be? What is it you are trying to create? Stay focused on what your dream is and where you want to go. As long as you always have that vision right out there in front of you and you’re constantly dreaming to make it better, you’re going to stay motivated and driven to pursue your dream; otherwise it’s easy to plateau.
 

Ty:

Stacy, when you look at and think about the many professional speakers around the world today, what positive advice and words of caution would you share with them?
 

Stacy:

The biggest caution I would give is always use your own words and your own stories. You may hear a lot of wonderful things from other people and other speakers.

But, remember those are their stories and, what the audience wants to hear is your story, they don’t want you telling someone else’s story. Be consistently authentic.
 

Ty:

Stacy, you've mentioned reading a few times during our interview. What two books would you recommend for our readers to read so they can learn how to succeed in life or improve some aspect of their life? And why?
 

Stacy:

Wow. That’s a good question. There’s one book that had a huge impact on me because it helped me to realize how important it is to seek the counsel and advice of others, including mentors. The book is titled, The President’s Club by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy.

It’s an amazing book that just talks about how the U.S. Presidents have reached out to the Presidents before them to make their presidency better. They put politics aside and really got into how we live in the greatest nation in the world and how we can continue to be great by building on our past. I think I am a bit of a history buff so that was great insight for me as well.

The second book that really influenced me early on in my career is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People because life and business all comes down to relationships. Whether you have employees, you have clients, you have customers, you have friends, you have neighbors or family members, and if you don’t know how to relate to people at a human level, life will always be a great challenge for you when it comes to relationships. That book taught me so much early on.
 

Ty:

Two good books, I like both.

Stacy, when you look at the young people in the world today, what do you feel are two effective ways parents can encourage and inspire their children to go after and capture their desired vision of success?
 

Stacy:

One way is by always having your children be aware of everything that’s around them, everything that’s available to them. Do not pigeonhole them into one thing, that’s the parent’s dream. Tell your kids anything is possible, yet be realistic in what your kids want out of life, and what will be absolutely required for them to achieve what they truly want.

The second way is to be kind. We get so much more done in this world by being kind and right. There is a message of adversity and opposition with one another both in the political world and socio-economic world. We need to move above that and realize the number one thing is we must be kind to one another.
 

Ty:

Here are my two final questions.

Stacy, what motivates you to see and believe in the possibilities each and every day?
 

Stacy:

Number one motivator for me is our youngest son that has Down Syndrome. Every day I get to see things newly through his eyes. We also have two adult grown biological sons. Raymond came to us as our foster child. His mom had left him at the hospital, he was supposed to come stay with us for two weeks, but it ended up being a few months, and then we ended up having the opportunity to adopt him.

Raymond learns so much differently than the rest of us. I get the opportunity to look through his eyes as best I can to look at things differently and say, wow, there is more possibility here than challenge. By doing that and taking that approach every day, it’s just phenomenal for me and how it’s changed my relationships with people.
 

Ty:

Mr. Stacy Tetschner, what one last empowering tip or strategy would you share with the MOTIVATION reader who is finding it difficult to get and stay motivated to go after continuous success?
 

Stacy:

Never lose sight of the vision of what you want. There will be days that are going to feel like roller coasters rides, there are going to be ups and downs. But, if you always know what you want at the end of the day, and stay focused on that, the jerks, twists and steep uphill climbs become insignificant.

Also, make sure your dream is big enough and inspiring enough that it motivates you for your life, and is not too tactical. It’s got to be big and it’s got to be inspiring to get and keep you out there. It’s the reason we’re all put here on this Earth. We were all put here to do something big. Find out what it is, get focused on it, work tirelessly hard, be resilient, and capture your dream.
 

Ty:

Really strong, sound and inspiring advice! Stacy, the MOTIVATION readers and I Appreciate YOU. Thank you for your time, information, and sharing with us a kind, motivating and beautiful piece of your heart.
 

 



Follow Us



Sign up For Our
Newsletter