World of Speakers E.101: Dustin Reynolds | Sailing through adversities


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World of Speakers E.101:  Dustin Reynolds | Sailing through adversities

Ryan Foland speaks with  Dustin Reynolds, the first double amputee to sail around the world alone. He is an environmentalist, a humanist, and an International man of mystery.

In this episode of our podcast series, Ryan and Dustin talk about overcoming adversity and making the best choices compliant with the situation that you are in.

One of the key messages in this discussion is how to live your life and have a positive impact, because after all, this world is a fairly safe place, and if we just get out there and travel and spend time with others, we find that most people are really kind.

Tune in for an interview full of ideas and tips on sailing, and sharing your stories with the world. 

Listen to the interview on iTunes or Soundcloud.

Subscribe to World of Speakers on iTunes or Soundcloud.


Welcome to the World of Speakers podcast, brought to you by SpeakerHub. 

In each episode, we interview a professional speaker and reveal their very best tips and tricks. 

You'll learn to improve your presentation skills, keep your audience engaged, and grow your business to get more gigs and make more money. 

Here is your host, Ryan Foland. 

Ryan Foland: Ahoy everyone and welcome to another episode of the World of Speakers. 

Today I'm super excited because not only is this a podcast, but today it is a boatcast because our guest is podcasting and from his boat so we're going to call this a boatcast. 

His name is Dustin Reynolds. 

He is an international yachtsman, he's an inspirational speaker and he's an environmental activist. 

Dustin, welcome to the show.

How are you doing today, there on your boat?

Dustin Reynolds: Hey, I'm doing great, Ryan, thank you so much.

Ryan Foland: I heard a podcast that you were on with John Arndt on Good Jibes and it was a fascinating podcast, learning about your story, your journey. 

And when I heard that you're also a speaker talking about this I was like, 

"We've got to get you on the show!" 

I'm excited for people to get to know you and for us to just chat about how you're taking your experiences and speaking about them across the world as your adventures continue. 

In order for people to get to know you, like all my guests, I like to start with a story that shaped you. 

So what's something in your life that you can look back and be like, 

"Damn, that really shaped who I am today."

Dustin Reynolds: Yeah, I guess I'll go back to probably the most obvious. I am now a double amputee that just finished sailing around the world alone. 

But probably-

Ryan Foland: Wait a minute, wait a minute, time out, time out. 

Double amputee, circumnavigated the world, am I correct to remember that you're the first and only person who's done that?

Dustin Reynolds: I am the first and only to do it as a double amputee and I'm one of about 300 people to have ever done it.

Ryan Foland: Damn, well, hey we'll just take a minute and have some props for that, mad props. 

All right, get back to your story.

Dustin Reynolds: What originally started me on this journey was that I was hit by a drunk driver back in October of 2008.

I was riding my motorcycle home and from a restaurant in Waikoloa and the drunk came across the center line and with the truck hit me head-on in my own lane, and my arm flew about 50 feet from the scene of the accident and I was left for dead on the side of the road. 

I don't remember the actual collision but there was a moment when I came to and I screamed for help a few times and there was nobody there. 

And I grabbed my cellphone which happened to still be in my pocket and thankfully survived, and I called 911. 

And just before I hit send on the phone to like make this decision I thought about it. 

I actually remember this time where I'm like, "Do I really want to make this call? My arm is missing." 

I knew my foot was badly damaged. 

I was thinking about what I was about to go through. 

And I obviously made the call, since I'm here talking to you, and even when I was in the hospital, the ambulance was there in 6 minutes, and then it was about a 20-minute drive to the hospital. 

And they gave me a bunch of scans because I had a lot of internal bleeding so they couldn't really see anything in the scans but they knew I'd aspirated which is vomiting through your lungs which is a 50/ 50 survival. 

They knew I had internal bleeding and a punctured lung. 

And the doctors even told me, they said, "Your chances of survival aren't that great." 

They were saying that the aspiration alone is a 50/ 50 survival rate. 

"You have a ton of internal bleeding and you have lung damage, do you know do you want to just stay up with your friends until you die?" 

And I told them, I said, "You know guys, I made this decision on the side of the road when I called you." 

And I think when I'm shaping my life at that time, where I was making this decision of whether or not to live or die when I reflect back on it, the things I thought about were the hardship I was about to go through. 

But I obviously didn't know I was going to turn out to sail around the world alone and become a record holder. 

I have more opportunities now in my life than I did the day before that person hit me. 

And so even though it was perceived as this horrible thing to get hit by a drunk driver and lose your arm and leg and have your health insurance company sue you for half a million dollars, it put me on this different life path, which I think potentially turned out to be better than the life path I was on.

Ryan Foland: In sailing, one of the truisms is that we don't have control over the wind and I always find that analogous to life. 

But you do have an opportunity to make a decision whether you're going to go out or not, make a decision of how well you prepare your boat to go out.

When you're out there you have the opportunity to adjust your sails and I can't help but think of that situation as you literally making a decision to get out there knowing that the wind is blowing probably 150 knots on your nose. 

And I think that's quite a moment to have and then to reflect on and remember and to be able to share with people too.

I mean, your ability to share this even here now and on the stage, it's a powerful thing to share because not all of us are in a situation where we end up on the street with our arm 50 feet away and having to make that decision. 

So just the power and the story itself I think lends itself to having so much value when it's shared with others. I'm curious, has it been easy for you to share, does it get easier? 

Is it still hard? 

Because it's got to be front and center, it's right there. Is it something that you've come to full terms with and it is now this total positive, more opportunities as you're looking forward?

Dustin Reynolds: It has gotten easier. I've told this story quite a few times now in different ways usually.

I haven't gotten to the point where I'm polished with saying the same thing over and over again and I don't know if I'd really want to get that way anyway. 

There are definitely times when it still chokes me up at random, I'll be talking to someone about it and I'll start tearing up from it. 

And then I can say it you know the next 5 times and be completely fine with it. So it definitely still affects me. 

I still have phantom limb pain, so I have this residual chronic pain from the accident. 

And so I think sometimes when that's acting up, it hits me a little bit harder.

Ryan Foland: Well, let's talk about sailing for a minute before we dive into your advice on the art of speaking and then building your speaking business. 

Tell us how you went from literally a motorcycle to the sailboats and how that kind of transpired and then what inspired you to take that circumnavigation. 

And I know that was not an easy feat and it was a feat over a period of time, what's the high level of that adventure?

Dustin Reynolds: So transitioning from where I was and you gave it that storm analogy would be 150 knots on the nose. 

And it really was at that moment. 

And I don't realize how long it was going to last. 

That storm lasted about 4 years. 

The IRS came after me because I didn't file my taxes that year, I was being denied medical care that risked my life, and it was really difficult to get prosthetics. 

Health insurance companies don't like paying for prosthetics, they are expensive. 

And so they delay everything as much as they can. 

And so I'd break a prosthetic and then ended up in a wheelchair for a month waiting for the health insurance company to approve a new one. 

And it made the recovery process really difficult. And about 4 years after the accident, I did bankruptcy, I did a reconstructive surgery on my leg which made the prosthetics a lot more comfortable. 

And maybe a few months later I paid off my last payment to the IRS and completed that. 

And at that moment like for about 4 years, I was just getting to the next day, it seemed like finally, getting rid of all these things, I might actually start making progress. 

And suddenly I was debt-free, I was feeling stronger as being able to go for hikes without limping the next day.

And so I was like, "Okay, well what now?" 

And so I had a carpet cleaning business and a fishing boat and both of which were at this point 4 years out of maintenance. 

And I tried to get back in the carpet cleaning but the carpet cleaning band was in such bad shape that every time I go do a job something would break down and I had no cash, no credit since I just went bankrupt and so I had no way to really invest back into the company 

And so I would just be looking for something else to do and I randomly came across a website it would set a record saying around the world alone. 

And I was like, "Hey, you know I just could do that."

There's also this Lewis Black comedy special that I watched just before making this decision and he had this really funny bit on rebuilding the economy.

And he says, you know, this is back in 2012 or so where it's right during the financial crash and he was saying, "You just need to build this big F- ing thing, you build this F-ing pain, people from all over come and see the big F-ing thing, and people build a big F-ing restaurant and big F-ing spas, and people come and see the big thing, and go to the restaurant and spa and that's going to rebuild the economy." 

And I went back to that website and I was like, "This is my big F-ing thing, I'm just going to do this, I don't know what's going to happen but somehow this is going to help me out in the long run."

Ryan Foland: So you bought a boat. 

Dustin Reynolds: Yeah so I bought a $12000 1968, 35-foot Aalborg. 

It was every bit a $12000 boat, I might have been overpaid and I decided to sail around the world by myself. 

And I learned to sail off of YouTube and books and did a 1-month chip around Hawaii with a friend who also did not know how to sail and then I threw the lines and took off. 

Ryan Foland: The person you took out on your main voyage around Hawaii to test out also didn't know how to sail?

Dustin Reynolds: No, no, he had 0 sailing experience as well. 

There's a funny story in there too because he was also my roommate, my friend Brandon and one day he turns on the TV- 

And I was telling my friends and family members I knew how to sail, I didn't really mean to be dishonest but I didn't want to worry them either. 

So Brandon goes on the TV one day and he pops on the YouTube channel and there are all these instructional sailing videos on YouTube. 

And he looks at me like, "You know how to sail, do you?" I was like, "Well yeah, I do now, I watch the videos."

Ryan Foland: Well, I think that what I'm hearing is stories. 

It sounds like you have more stories than you probably know what to do with, and each time you tell these stories there are probably new things to uncover and new ways that they come out.

And I think that's what really is so exciting about your position to be an inspirational speaker with more stories than the next person. 

And so I want to transition a little bit to your style of speaking, your approach, anything that you know that works for you. 

And in all transparency, I understand you're building your business.

Typically we'll have people on the show that are already well fast and well beyond into the upper echelon so we're learning from you, but I truly believe we can learn from you just as much. 

And so when it comes to taking your story and sharing it, what are some of the things that you find work for you? 

Because you've already got me entertained, you've already got me almost teared up, you've already brought me through this emotional roller coaster and we're just talking on a podcast. 

Talk to me about your process, what are some of the things that you've learned, that you like doing when it comes to sharing your stories?

Dustin Reynolds: I like letting people know that this world is an amazing and safe place. 

I like having a message that people, in general, are really good, we see a lot of division on TV and media and you know, I visited 36 countries in the last 7 years and I was a guest in these countries and sometimes for long periods of time. 

I was in Indonesia for 10 months, I was in Thailand for a year. I spent a year in Africa, Madagascar, Mozambique, and South Africa, and everybody was always kind, everybody always wanted to help. 

I was just surrounded by generosity, just by going out to sea by myself. 

And essentially, I wasn't really by myself you know, there were always people helping, and even when I did my crowdfunding, I was able to build up enough crowdfunding money to buy the new boat when I needed it. 

And I think the thing I would like to pass on is just that it's able if we don't get in our own way like if we don't have this negative attitude, the people out there are really good and this world is really safe. 

I'd never seen an act of violence in 7.5 years. 

I did get boarded twice by pirates in the Solomon islands but they weren't armed, they were just trying to steal stuff off the boat at night and they were just bored. 

And once I threatened them, they jumped off the boat and back on their own and we actually ended up having a bit of a conversation. 

And I think that what I'm trying to work on as a public speaker is that, how to get through some adversity, how not to get in your own way. 

And this world is a fairly safe place if we just get out there and travel and spend time with others, people are really kind. 

People are really mean on the internet and the media, but you know when you're sitting at a dinner table with somebody they're really nice, it's like all that meanness and harshness kind of goes away.

Ryan Foland: Okay, I want to dive more into the stories and your methodology. 

I want to know how you document your stories? Like the pirate stories. 

Did you write it down, do you have a certain methodology, or is it just all in your brain? 

Do you journal, do you take videos, do you take pictures? 

Because I think it's fascinating to learn how people document their stories and with 36 countries in 7 years my head would be spinning to remember like year 6 from year 3. 

Do you have a process for documenting the stories or are they just all in your head?

Dustin Reynolds: I'm still working on this, to be honest. I'm working on a book and I have a blog and so I've kept those up. 

As I'm writing I remember more and more details and sometimes whatever chapter of the book I'm on, whatever stories I'm writing at that time, it will pop up into my next talk or next interview just because it's fresh in my brain. 

And I even, I gave a talk at a place nearby a few days ago and I set up this Google slide show thing, I bought a clicker and I was going to be all prepared for this speech. 

And as soon as I got there, it says it will not work offline, I was like oh great, so I ended up ditching the whole speech, and I had it all down in my head but you know I was using the slides as the time reference. 

Because I did this once in South Africa as well, I gave a speech for a college in Richards Bay, South Africa and the teacher who asked me to do this talk said, "Hey will you come to speak to my class?"

I was like, "Yeah, of course," and I threw some slides on a thumb drive and just went, I didn't prepare anything because I thought I was talking like 20 or 30 kids. 

It turned out to be the senior class in an auditorium with a big screen and a stage and I was like, "Oh yeah I was not prepared for this at all." 

So I wrote down like on a little just yellow piece of paper like I try to do a timeline of stories, you know just to kind of remind myself where I was and I'm honestly a bit nervous public speaking, so I went out there and I started talking and by the time I got stomped I looked down and I was already at the end of my list.

I missed a bunch of stories in the middle, but then to go back I would have had to go back in the story and you know kind of restart the timeline somewhere else and instead thankfully the kids had a lot of great questions, I tried to just wrap everything together and then start asking for questions. It ended up working out.

Ryan Foland: You may say that you're nervous about public speaking but I will let you know that just as you were probably nervous sailing around Hawaii with a friend who also didn't know how to sail 7.5 years later 36 countries and you know a new record you're probably a little bit more comfortable sailing then you were in that first nervousness, right?

Dustin Reynolds: Yeah, I was definitely nervous when I first left Hawaii, now it's going sailing to another country it's just a chore like it's like driving to the grocery store you know, I'm like, "Okay I'm going to go do this now”. 

And I don't think sailing is really that dangerous, there's a perception of danger because not that many people do it. 

But in all honesty, I think it's probably more dangerous in city traffic than it is crossing the ocean. 

Ryan Foland: Your nervous energy on stage is understandable we're all nervous.

But the trick and the flip that you'll see happen is that the more that you do it, the more of these podcasts, the more that you share it, those same nerves will be there I just think that you'll start to interpret them as excitement and a new stage will be like a new island and the things that are new- I talk with a lot of people who are becoming professional speakers and even professional speakers, I think we're all nervous at a certain point but when we become less nervous I feel that we become more excited. 

And so I think that that's something just to recognize, that we all recognize, but if you look at that parallel, I think the more you do this your nerves will turn to excitement and that's one of the fun things that I enjoy about speaking. 

Because when you're in front of hundreds or thousands of people and the pressures and all the eyes are on you, the nerves turn to the excitement, and then all of a sudden, it just kind of becomes addicting and then you want that next rush and then, just like sailing after that next island where is that next stage?

Dustin Reynolds: Yeah, that's really cool.

Ryan Foland: Nerves are a good check. 

Another thing just on nerves, it actually tells you that you're taking the situation seriously, that you put importance on it. 

Because if you didn't give a shit, then like you wouldn't be nervous but you actually give a shit about the students, you actually give a shit about your audience, you actually care enough and that creates some nerves. 

So that's just a good reminder, not just for you but for everybody listening that nerves just show that you really care about what you're doing.

Dustin Reynolds: That sounds good, and I do. 

Ryan Foland: I do have a question for you about picking stories. 

Do you have certain criteria when you go through knowing that you're documenting them, you write, you think about them as they come up. 

Your problem is you have too many stories. 

What is your process to narrow them down to the ones that make the talks?

Dustin Reynolds: There's definitely if there's a lot of swear words involved I won't tell it at schools if there's something that I could see would potentially be offensive, I have a story where I don't know if I should say it- the boat that I sold when I bought this boat had sunk and then a bunch of porno magazines came out of the boat and landed on a Muslim fishing village. 

And it's one that it's hard to tell like it's hard to pick your audience for that story but it's a really funny one. 

Yeah, I definitely try to weigh out how and where to tell my stories. 

And for sailors as well, there are some things that are technical per sailing that if they're non-sailors the audience wouldn't get it.

So those are things that only really resonate with other sailors, non-sailors usually like to focus on storms, pirates, your favorite places, unique animals and so for non-sailors that's what I'll focus on. 

For sailors, I'll generally focus on anchorages, remote places that most people have never heard of, and even some of the crossing techniques when it comes to currents or wind or weather. 

Ryan Foland: Pick your stories with your audience in mind, that's a key part of a successful talk, otherwise you'll bore people out of their minds.

Dustin Reynolds: Yes. I would imagine so. 

Yeah if told a school a bunch of stories about whether windows and authentic winches and all that stuff, they would have no idea what I'm really talking about, they would be bored to tears.

Ryan Foland: Now, in your quest to understand the whole world of speaking, did you also, like if I looked at your YouTube browser would I uncover a whole bunch of how-to when it comes to speaking?

Dustin Reynolds: You would see me doing a lot of research on how comedians do their specials, this is something that I kind of realized awhile back that comedians because I always wondered like why you would see like Dave Chapelle or Chris Rock like in a small bar like doing comedy. I found out that they do these small batches and see what people laugh to, what people relate to and then structure that into their big specials. 

And I like the way they bring things together as well. 

And I started doing this in my speeches where I'll tell an uncomfortable joke at the beginning of the speech I'll say, "Yeah I thought I got this great deal on a motorcycle but it ended up costing me an arm and a leg." 

And I would-

Ryan Foland: [Laughs] Sorry. It's funny. That's a way to set the tone, okay. 

Dustin Reynolds: That's the response I really like. 

But honestly, at a lot of places that get crickets, you know people aren't comfortable laughing at it. 

But I say that in the beginning just to get that out there, try to share some of the nerves out. 

Halfway through the speech I'll tell a story about me making a decision whether to live or die, and how my life is going to go from this, it's not necessarily good or bad, and then I'll close a speech with you know, 

"Hey maybe it's even worth paying an arm and a leg, for how my life has gone in the meantime." 

And I noticed comedians doing this a lot where they'll tell the joke beginning that doesn't necessarily hit but then they'll come back to it 2 or 3 times and by the third time really it fits in the end.

So I've been watching that, I've been watching David Goggins because he's just wild and really energetic.

And yeah, I've done, I've watched a bunch of keynote speeches by random people. 

So I've been trying to get an idea of what I want my style to be, but I really like how the comedian structures their specials. 

So I think I kind of want to structure my speeches in the same way.

Ryan Foland: Interesting. 

One thing that comes to mind is a technical term that I learned long ago and you know I always share things that I learned when I can but there's this concept of what's called an open-loop and then closing the loop. 

And so oftentimes there's a comfort that comes with you when you end very similar to where you began.

There's also this concept of the law of latency and the law of recency. 

So here's how those combine. 

In general, people remember what you say in the beginning and they remember what you say in the end, and that's why it's so important to nail your beginning and nail your end so that when they think back they're like, "Wow, that was impressive."

I know we don't like to admit it but in the middle sometimes people just don't remember as much, right? 

Like that's the reality. 

And so a very powerful tool which you've tapped into here is starting with something that then you sort of finally close the lid on at the end, and it could be thematically, it could be based on a story. 

But another thing that might be interesting for you to play with is creating an open loop, so let's say that you go 3 forces to the story and then you talk about how at that moment you know the dramas there, and then I lost my limb overboard and whatever that is, there's just moments and then you just stop. 

And you're like, "Well, we'll get back to that later." 

And everybody's like, "Aah, you left me hanging."

And then you go dig into the middle, you go around, you have these lessons and you come back and then you can just channel back and be like, "As soon as my limb went overboard-" and you just kind of pick it back up. 

So it's almost as a way of wrapping the whole talk in a little piece that you get them excited and then you hold it back from them and then deliver in the end. 

But a close loop is something that from an audience standpoint, they don't really know but it just really resonates.

I love doing that so I'm glad you're finding that as part of what you're naturally doing. 

Dustin Reynolds: I like that idea too, letting them hang and then coming back to it. 

Dave Chappel did that one of his specials as well, he had this thing on, he did like, he said he had four occurrences where he met OJ Simpson, he told 3 of them and he ends his special, then he runs back on stage, "Wait, wait, there's one more!" 

And then he killed, he absolutely killed in the end, I was like, "Oh that was such a good idea."

Ryan Foland: Well this just goes to show that whoever you are, whatever stage you are with your speaking or sailing, check your YouTube history and you can judge how far you are along. 

I'm a geek, I love YouTube for a number of reasons, I even had a situation wherein the middle of the pandemic my engine crafted out and my normal mechanic basically said, "I can't even get there for 6 months." 

And so I was faced with the choice of a broken boat or YouTube. And so I YouTubed, I ended up taking the whole thing apart and so I was so frightened, and YouTube was my guide. 

And I have a new relationship with my boat as a result. 

So that same new relationship can come with putting in the work by just researching and seeing what people are doing.

Dustin Reynolds: Yeah, that's a good analogy. 

I've done the same thing where my boat work is almost always learned by YouTube, I had very little experience with any of it including diesel mechanics. 

A lot of times even if you hire someone to do it you end up having to fix that work. 

So just by learning it yourself, made things a lot easier. 

It's the same with like watching other speakers, I like picking up other traits that they do and things that affect me, and things that I would maybe like to incorporate into my own style.

Ryan Foland: There's a conference that you should have on your radar, it is the Content Marketing Conference and a gentleman by the name of Byron White puts it on. 

I've spoken there for the last 3 years, I'll be happy to make an intro. 

And one of the cool things about this conference is that they have a full comedy track like they have comedy keynotes, they have comedy break out sessions and there are this whole like, people who come in and who are comedians and there's such an emphasis on the power of humor and content. 

And I think you would totally dig it, especially if you're into following comedians and stuff. 

My dad always told me something, my mom and dad are both educators, but my dad would always say, "Ryan, if you can get them to laugh you can get them to learn." 

And there are so many opportunities for humor that I think we just skip over or it's really too challenging to make it hit or you're afraid to make it hit because you're putting yourself out there. 

But knowing those dynamics can be fascinating. 

So I'd love to see you speak there and maybe in the humor comedy keynote section, I think that would be great.

Dustin Reynolds: Yeah, I would love to. I'd love to just, and I'd love to see everybody else doing things.

Ryan Foland: Totally, totally. 

Hey, well speaking of stages, let's transition to talk about the business. 

Tell us the things that you're doing that are working, some of the stuff you're doing that doesn't work and then we can kind of dive into it.

Dustin Reynolds: All of my speaking gigs so far have been word of mouth. Schools, like I did a few in South Africa for a beverage company that just wanted the speeches on resilience. 

And I'm actually in the stage now where I'm trying to figure out how to market myself. 

Also, I've had a few agencies reach out to me, I had like 2 people in New York who had reached out and asked, wanted to sign me as an agent, and then the other one is like a speakers agency. 

And yeah, I'd be curious to see what other people's experiences are with those types of things because I haven't actually signed with anyone yet and I have a few speeches coming up just from people reaching out. 

But yeah, all my marketing so far I've gotten a fair bit of media just for finishing my trip around the world and I've had people reach out and ask me if I'd like to speak.

Ryan Foland: One thing we can speak on a little bit is the bureau or non-bureau. 

I have still yet to make the bureau jump and the way I do things is a little bit different the reason why I'm able to still get traction and get gigs is that I've really put myself out there and built my own personal brand and acted as my own PR media team, as sort of initially chased down a lot of gigs and eventually got to a point where gigs would come and find me. 

I know a lot of people were very successful with the bureaus and I know a lot of people who were not successful with the bureaus. 

The quality of the bureau and how high you are ranked within the bureau I think is one of the most important things. 

I know people who are with more than 10 more than 15 bureaus but don't necessarily get traction and that's because they are small fish in a big pond. 

So my thoughts if you are interviewing and having people reach out to you, understanding kind of what priority level you fall on their roster is probably one of the most important things that I've taken from what I've learned in that quality is better than quantity. 

Because they are going to be booking their top 5 or 6 speakers almost all the time and really the scraps go out once everything is super full. 

So that would be one thing to ask when you're interviewing them is, "How many speakers do you represent? Do you have a certain top category list and where do you see me fitting on that?"

Have you talked to these guys at all or is it just initial conversations?

Dustin Reynolds: A little bit. 

The one speaker's bureau that reached out I just told them I was going to get back to them when I got back to Hawaii, and I looked at their list of speakers and they're all really impressive people. 

And then the agent is with a big talent agency in New York but the agent said, "Don't sign anything with the exclusive."

And I talked to another public speaker who does most of his own stuff as well and he says, by all means, sign under the speaker's bureau as long as it's not like exclusive because he said, he's signed on to dozens of speaking bureaus and maybe gets one from each of them per year and he said he's doing multiple speeches per week, like 5 or 6 speeches for weak right now like online. 

So he's been really successful, and the pandemic actually helped him, he said, because he is not having all this travel time, he is able to book a bunch of speeches and do them from home.

Ryan Foland: Yeah, those who have adjusted their sales definitely can catch the wind that's happening right now and it's hard to find those well-paying in-person gigs, especially with kind of the flip-lop of the virus as it comes and goes and these different waves and wants. 

For your book, that's a great opportunity to market yourself and to be honest, there are a lot of things you can do before you're actually published. 

Have you locked in the title and kind of the concept and do you know what you're doing with it or is it still in its infancy?

Dustin Reynolds: I have a concept and I have an outline and you know a few chapters done and I have a bunch of stories that I want to fit into the book and characters and whatnot. 

And I'm just trying to figure out where I want to include everything at this point. 

And it really just needs to be polished up to be perfectly honest. 

Yeah, and I don't have, I'm not set on a title yet. 

I think if I really worked hard on it I can probably be done with it this year.

Ryan Foland: Have you ever played around with live streaming on Facebook?

Dustin Reynolds: I haven't, no.

Ryan Foland: So one thing that just sort of makes me think live streaming could be a fun avenue for you is the hot pressure of being in the hot seat and the fact that it's actually going and it's real and it's live.

I think you can thrive in that. 

The other is that it helps to break the algorithms to get noticed. 

And thirdly, I can see you're looking at these as the little small venue comedy settings that you see some of these other comedians do, without the pressure of a full hour live stream or something like that. 

But you have that live audience, you can get a little bit of real-time feedback, but I would think that going live in little 10 or 15 minute blurbs might be a fun exercise, a way for you to test out some material and get some real sort of real feedback and getting people to actually see you in action.

Dustin Reynolds: Yeah, that's actually a really good idea. I'll have to watch a few of them and see, kind of get an idea of how it works.

But yeah, I've never actually tried that before.

Ryan Foland: Yeah, or just YouTube. The other thing that comes to mind with what you're doing is just some of the visuals of your adventure. 

Seeing the images that were with the podcast you're on with Good Jibes, there are so many fascinating, colorful, underwater, on the water, over this and I think utilizing all of the imagery that you have can be something that's different, that not everybody has when you've been to 36 countries in 7.5 years.

Dustin Reynolds: Yeah, the imaging definitely helps. And for me too, I said, my speech, I was hoping to use it as a like a place setter. 

I was practicing different things to say for the different slides and that way it just when the new slide came up I just pick up, "Oh, here is where I am." 

But yeah, the speed, I do have thousands of really great photos that I've taken around the world and yeah, it's definitely visually stunning. 

And I mean there are very few places in this world that are actually remote anymore. There are tens of thousands of people who go to the Galapagos Islands, which is perceived as a remote place, but with all the tourists, it's not so remote. 

So it's cool to be able to put up stuff like National Geographic asks you know and then talk about it and have a nice backdrop.

Ryan Foland: And that leads me to kind of the final thing I'd love to dive in and talk with you about is your environmental activism. 

Maybe you can share a little bit about what spurred that in your trip and I think that could be a really unique angle for your speaking. 

Tell me a little bit more about why environmental activism has become so important just in your life, I guess?

Dustin Reynolds: For me, it's been a matter of just trying to leave something better than you found it you know, it's like our moms would never let us leave our room like works every single day. 

And as I realized sailing around, I started to realize my energy consumption really fine-tune it because I'd only through maybe 6 gallons of propane per year, I'd use maybe 20 gallons of diesel and the rest of my energy comes from solar and wind. 

And so I was able to transfer my life to have a very, very small carbon footprint, but it's still negative, I'm still absorbing carbon, I'm still buying things in plastic containers, a lot of the things on the boat are made out of plastic and junk recycled and like I'm still having a potentially negative impact on the planet, even though much less than most western people. 

And none of it is sustainable, you can't have a negative impact on every single person on the planet and have that be sustainable, at some point we're going to have to shift that balance. 

And trying to figure out a way for all of us to shift that balance and for people to start thinking differently and just stop thinking it's not my problem, it's just a huge issue that it's like our moms raised us better, we should leave our room cleaner than we found it every day and we're not going to have this problem and we need to start looking at these things and not just leave it to the next generation, it's just incredibly irresponsible.

Ryan Foland: You know, one thing I am going to just challenge you with and you can think on it is how do you combine the topics of the resilience of adventure to this environmental element? 

It almost makes me think of environmental resilience or sustainasilience.

Something that you can actually makeup and I think when you take 2 core topics like resilience and then the environment that on the surface level they're 2 different things, right, you're talking about overcoming physical challenges and you're talking about plastics in the ocean. 

Being able to combine those 2 you're able to sort of look at them both in a new way and one of the things that I find, I guess I want to have the right word for you, I guess so many speakers levitate towards these very generic topics. "I speak on resilience. I speak on leadership. I speak on sales. I speak on the generational workforce. I speak on blah, blah, blah", right. 

It all kind of ends up sounding the same and so I think you've got a really unique opportunity to blend your passions and these messages and everything from what mom tells you to do to the environment, to learning as you go, to humor, all these things.

How can you mash them together so that you're not just another resilient speaker, you're the only person that's combining resilience when it comes to how you live your life, including the environment, including this, including that? 

And I'm just sort of spitballing here but I think that could be something for you to hang your hat on or something for you to look and differentiate, just from my perspective and if I were a meeting planner which I'm not, it's just so many people just blend together, and you have just such an opportunity that would be one of my challenges and that could really just create a lot of regional core content that makes it fresh.

Dustin Reynolds: Yeah, I'll have to think about it and ride on it a bit. 

Yeah, that's a good idea because I usually try to incorporate environmentalism in the comments section, my topic is more about making choices with the situation that you have, essentially adjusting the sales. 

And yeah, maybe if I could find a way to try to incorporate environmentalism and just leave things better than you found it, it's such a simple concept but really, the entire planet is failing at it, horribly.

There are very few people living a sustainable lifestyle. I mean you probably have some of the small villages in Madagascar, but even there, there's horrible deforestation in Madagascar because of the cooking fuel, you know they are cutting down the forest just for cooking fuel, with population increase. 

I mean even there where they're probably some of the least, they're still a negative impact. 

Yeah, I'm trying to find a way that we could try to live our lives and have a positive impact instead I guess just having a positive impact would be probably the name of the speech.

Ryan Foland: Once you combine these elements, keep in mind, and this is for everyone listening here, how does what you're talking about drive business results, drive revenue for companies, help teams work better together, help leaders manage their teams better, help manage a remote working environment.

Because we have to remember that whatever it is that our experience has and we want to talk about, whether it's sailing or environmentalism, the people who have the big bucks they're going to pay for you to come and speak to their company or at their major conference, always think of like what does this translate to a return on the investment for somebody who's hiring me. 

Well hey, this has been fun to get to know a little bit more. I hope we stay connected, I'm here as an ally just even as a sailor and a friend and when you come down this way we'll go sail over the Big Geiger Cove on Catalina Island, and I'll show you my stomping ground. Dustin, any final words or thoughts you want to share with our listeners?

Dustin Reynolds: I'm on Facebook and Instagram at a single-handed sailor or you can email me at [email protected]

I actually really appreciate this talk, I learned a lot, Ryan, thank you so much for having me on.

Ryan Foland: Well, you're welcome. 

And the one thing that I love about sailing is that you can learn how to sail, it's like you can do it, like within a day or within a few YouTubes. 

But you can spend the rest of your life trying to get better at it, and I really feel that for me speaking and skateboarding, and golfing and all these things that I enjoyed doing, I think I enjoyed doing them because at the core it's something that I understand, but I can continue to learn and grow. 

And for me personally, I've had the most success by just meeting other speakers and becoming friends with them and swapping stories and advice. 

So let's just have this be the first-day sail of hopefully so many but I think it's really powerful what you're doing and I'm excited for you to embark on this new circumnavigation your speaking navigation circumness.

Dustin Reynolds: Right on, Ryan. Thank you so much for the talk, it was a pleasure.

Ryan Foland: All right, for sure. And for all of you speakers out there or one of the speakers, remember, if you speak in public then you are a public speaker, it's a scientific fact that you cannot argue either, whether you're in a sailboat or on a stage you've got a story to share so do it, don't be selfish with your stories. 

If you like this episode definitely like it, give us a review, connect with Dustin, share it with some friends, and share it with your sailor friends. 

And if you want to hear more about Dustin, find the other podcast that he's been on, like Good Jibes you can check out 

And Dustin, this show is sponsored by SpeakerHub. 

SpeakerHub is a platform where you can actually create a speaker profile and so what I'm going to do is I'm going to get you a VIP status there and it's a place where you can put all of your information about what you speak on and then organizers have more chances to find you and there's actually an engine that allows you to make the outbound call for speakers applications all with a couple of clicks. 

So not only am I here for you, but SpeakerHub is another thing that you can put into your arsenal and we'll get you all set up. 

Thanks, everybody for listening and if you don't have your SpeakerHub page either, why not go check it out. My name is Ryan and we're sailing off into oblivion to go pick up some trash and watch comedians. 

Thanks again, Dustin.

Dustin Reynolds: All right, cheers Ryan. Aloha.

Ryan Foland: Alright.


A bit about World of Speakers

World of Speakers is a weekly podcast that helps people find their own voice, and teaches them how to use their voice to develop a speaking business.

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