Neal Petersen has completed two amazing journeys in his life: a single-handed yacht race around the world, 27,000 miles, 9 months at sea, alone, and in the smallest yacht he designed and built himself. And an even more arduous and eventful trip of overcoming racial prejudice during the Apartheid era in South Africa, poverty, and a childhood physical disability, just to make it to the start line! While sharing his riveting life story - and philosophy, Neal's personal messages and unique delivery open the mind, with new hope and a determination to break down the barriers, real or perceived, that now exist and to take adversity head on and demonstrate that with determination and hard work you can achieve your goals.
An award-winning author and the subject of a PBS documentary, Neal has "wowed" international audiences with his life story and ability to relate and connect it to their challenges, resulting in consistent extraordinary reviews and rousing standing ovations.
Petersen carries a treasure chest on stage, and in it symbols of how he reached his dream by always turning barriers into opportunities, then into solutions. He empowers and challenges audiences to use their experience and treasures in navigating these economic challenging times to their advantage - it's an opportunity to excel by choosing a winning course.
Using examples of how he overcame insurmountable barriers is compelling and highly entertaining. Neal demonstrates how success is realized—through innovation, balancing risk against return and being flexible enough to adapt to constant shifting winds. In these challenging times of uncertainly, fear and insecurity, many feel like solo sailors, adrift, grasping for survival. Neal lays out the importance of a clearly communicated vision, followed by detailed planning, preparation, passion and then execution. Neal has challenged global audiences to prevail against their own formidable barriers and setbacks while igniting passion as they navigate forward. This story of hope, resilience, and accomplishment is truly inspiring and reflects a powerful message that "in life there are no barriers, only solutions!"
Neal projects images during his keynote that bring his story to life and 2 videos, a 1 ½ minute intro and a 4 minute powerful video of Neal rounding Cape Horn solo – his dream! He has thunder built-in and fog on-stage is an option for large audiences. Proving vast international appeal, having lived and traveled in many parts of the world, Neal’s story is highly effective for opening keynote addresses to set a theme or guarantee a powerful opening/closing experience, for leadership, sales incentive/reward, product launch, associations, and spouse/family events. Neal ignites passion, determination and dedication – this is fuel that can right the course of your organization as you navigate forward to significance.
- No Barriers, Only Solutions
In this captivating keynote, Neal Petersen addresses adversity, diversity, childhood physical handicap, poverty and the need to excel with accountability and responsibility - not only for today, but, for the next generation. Petersen is an in-demand guest lecturer at the College of Charleston's International Business Program teaching leadership and macro/economics. He is a well-traveled global investor, lives in various parts of the world, and has experienced many cultures. Petersen demonstrates how success is realized-through innovation, balancing risk against return and being flexible enough to adapt to constant shifting wind and "wows" international audiences as he relates and connects it to their challenges, which end with rave reviews and rousing standing ovations. Petersen shares how his courage to dream, dedication to a plan, perseverance, and help from others, enables him to reach his goals and provides the fuel for others to reach theirs. Known for delivering content which moves people emotionally, inspiring them to make substantial changes in their personal and professional lives. Petersens story of hope, resilience and accomplishment is truly amazing and reflects a powerful message - "In Life There are No Barriers - Only Solutions!"
- The Power of Positive Attitude & How It Affects Performance
Neal has always defined himself by what he can imagine – rather than how others would define him and how he sustained his dream in the face of numerous barriers is compelling.
- The Importance of Realizing Goals
Overcoming fear and facing danger and the unknown has been central to how Neal approaches his goals and his life.
- With Choice There Is Consequence
Neal’s impact transcends age, gender, and race to promote the creation of leaders, life-long learners, and individuals who are mindful of the consequences their choices will have on personal, familial, community, and generational levels. His keynote provides validity for direct correlations between perseverance, determination, motivation, and dedication to achieve any goal.
- Change Is Constant: It’s How You Play the Cards
Audiences will understand that you have to address the possibility of failure if one wants to achieve great things. His message will connect with audience members’ experience facing challenges, sales quotas for instance, that may seem formidable at first – until imagination, innovation and passion are applied.
- Diversity and Inclusion
Neal Petersen has faced many challenges in life, poverty, racial discrimination during South Africa’s harsh Apartheid-era, when wanting to be a racing yachtsman was a white man’s sport and a dangerous dream. Neal responded by looking for opportunities and solutions. His experience shows that imagination coupled with determination to achieve can break through the roughest challenges. Overcoming fear and facing danger and the unknown has been central to how Neal approaches his goals and his life. Neal represents the need to constantly expand the horizon of the possible; cross new frontiers; seek out new challenges and accept no limitations within oneself.