C-Suite Network

Overcoming Adversity

Have you ever felt ready throw up your hands in frustration, and give up? It’s so easy to be convinced that the odds are against you and feel like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. If this sounds familiar and need a new perspective on things, my client Pete’s story will help you persevere and encourage you to discover untapped strength you didn’t even know you had.

Pete’s story is a double-whammy of seemingly impossible situations:

First, the 28-year-old Kenyan designer was framed for murder, denied legal rights, wrongfully convicted and – because it was required by law in Kenya – sentenced to the death penalty. For 18 years he awaited the date when his name would be called, with no projected time frame ever given. The “tunnel” was as long and dark as it could possibly be, and he wondered how he could find the strength to get through each day.

But in the process, he was provided an opportunity. He was given the chance through a non-profit organization called the African Prisons Project to study law via a correspondence program – and I mean old fashioned paper correspondence; no internet in prison! – at a British university. He completed his degree and used that opportunity to fight and clear his name, ultimately emerging as a free man with a presidential pardon. Now that’s perseverance through adversity!

The second challenge – which pales in comparison but would make anyone else freeze in their tracks – happened in the fall of 2017. Pete was at the TED Global (not TEDx) conference in Tanzania, and was unexpectedly offered the opportunity to share his story on the main TED stage in a five-minute TED talk – with TWO DAYS NOTICE!

That’s when he reached out to me. From seven time zones away, Pete and I worked together to hone his message and craft his story, and ensure he could deliver it all with the impact that he wanted, all in two days. What was his message, you ask? No matter how dark things may seem, every day, take one step forward.

If you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t have that kind of perseverance,” or “I could never do that,” I’m pretty sure Pete would have said the same thing about himself, until it happened to him.

Need some inspiration to help you get over the next hurdle? Listen to Pete.

No matter how big your challenges are, just remind yourself: if he can get through that, I can get through this. Dig deep: you are stronger and more resilient than you think.


Are you planning to give an important talk or presentation, and want some help to ensure that your message lands correctly and your delivery seals the deal? Email laura@vocalimpactproductions.com or click here to set up a 20-minute focus call to discuss it with me, personally.

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