Many years ago when I was first starting out after college, there was a dentist who had a HUGE impact on my self-confidence as a professional and as a speaker, Dr. Jim Fey.
On the back end of a dental seminar we were doing in New Jersey, Dr. Fey asked if I would be willing to come up to upstate New York to speak to the parents and students at their local school. It was in the early days of Eagle U and he wanted the people in his town to benefit. The schedule was tight and so he offered to send a friend who had a plane to pick up my in New Jersey and fly me to Ithaca, NY. I felt like I had hit the big time!
What Jim did not know was the it was one of the first times I had ever been asked to speak alone. We had a presenter team at our dental seminars and at Eagle U, but to be asked to “fly” solo was a HUGE compliment that I have never forgotten.
Upon arrival at the school, the expression on the face of the principal was priceless. It was like, “Are you sure Dr. Fey that this the speaker?” Because of my baby face, he asked if I wasn’t a student, not the speaker! Despite the principal’s reservations about my appearance, the evening went as planned. It was a landmark experience I will never forget that left a positive impression on my self-image.
The bonus was having the opportunity to spend the night in the home of Jim and Vanessa Fey and their children. One unforgettable moment was watching the then eight or nine year old Matt Fey smiling and dialing that evening as he called his friends to arrange early morning transportation to hockey practice. Jim and Vanessa had told Matt that they would take him one morning each week. It was his responsibility to arrange transportation for himself the other days of the week. And so, there he was, calling, organizing, and learning to be responsible for himself at a very early age. They gave him the opportunity to learn by doing.
That example made such an impression on me that I included it as a model to follow in The 13 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make and How to Avoid Them. www.MistakesParentsMake.com
We lost Dr. Jim Fey last month and he will be missed. What he did for me, however, will never be forgotten.