TAMPA — After jamming the highways in and out of town Tuesday, tens of thousands of sales folks — peddlers of homes, barkers of insurance, hawkers of attic insulation, even sellers of salvation — most certainly awoke today motivationally Tasered.
All day Tuesday, they took 10,000 volts of get-off-your-rear-end. They left ready to take charge of their fates, make a difference, buy when everyone else is selling, and while they're at it, help the other guy. If there's a giant jump in the Dow today, 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 dead markets, 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 forum and others spilled over to the 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.
These days, her best business is foreclosures. 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 in Clearwater. She's doing okay financially, but she has dealt this past year with family illnesses. For her, Walsh's America's Most Wanted program epitomizes the act of turning personal tragedy into a force for good.
"It's more what he's done than what he said," she said. "I can apply that on a day-to-day basis."
So it went.
Keith Bruce said he was taking that message back to the Christ Like Ministries in Tampa that sent him and 10 other volunteers over to help with the crowds.
"We help people in need. This is about self esteem."
So it went.
Don't lose hope.
Don't forget your friends.
Chuck Fuller's company, Cam Solutions of Lutz, represents homeowners associations, whose members in recent times have been unable to pay dues. He said Tuesday's Tasering came down to this:
"A little kick in the butt."