TAMPA — After jamming the highways and expressways in and out of Tampa Tuesday, tens of thousands of sales folks — sellers of homes, sellers of insurance, sellers of attic insulation, even sellers of salvation — most certainly will make it home tonight motivationally tasered.
All day, they took 10,000 volts of get-off-your-butt. They left ready to take charge of their fates, make a difference, make some big bucks, and while they're at it, help the other guy. If there's a giant jump in the Dow on Wednesday, it's probably half of Tampa Bay, buying everything.
Peter Lowe's Get Motivated seminars have been around 25 years, but this year's seminar at the St. Pete Times Forum struck a soft spot among sales people hardened by a dead market, the cynicism of the times. They said they wanted to hear something corny and old-school, something that didn't sound like a joke on the Daily Show.
Basically, they craved hope.
About 18,000 of them gobbled up seats at the St. Pete Times Forum and others spilled over to the Tampa Convention Center to watch their superstars on video screens. Among the motivators: Tony Dungy, Colin Powell, Lou Holtz, Rudy Giuliani, John Walsh and world champion motivational sales guy Zig Ziglar,
Giuliani is a hero to Rose Hunter, who sells houses for the Horizon Palm Realty Group in Spring Hill. Her best business is foreclosures. But Giuliani fought his way out of a tough Brooklyn upbringing. He survived prostate cancer.
"His message to me was, 'Take action. Just do it.' "
John Walsh got through to Nicole Vikhlyantsev. (She has a Russian husband). She's a training manager for PODS Enterprises. She's doing okay financially, but she's had to deal this past year with family illnesses. For her, Walsh's America's Most Wanted TV work epitomizes turning tragedy into a force for good.
"I can apply that on a day-to-day basis," she said.