Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ronnie Kagan Interview (Part 1 of 3) - My midnight interview with the International Business Guru

Interview with Ronnie Kagan - Still looking fresh!
3rd July 2009 1:00am
Friday wee hours of the morning
Changi Village Hotel Lounge Bar

This 3-parter 'Interview with Ronnie Kagan' kicks-off my interview series with 100 inspirational individuals who have achieved success in pursuing what they are truly passionate about.

One common thread: They never achieve this by going it alone. They all attribute their success to certain people in their lives. My quest is to gain insights into how they attract these valuable connections into their lives, their networking magic and secrets to their success.

Nailing the Interview: The Approach [Monday, 30 June 2009, 10.30pm]

I met Ronnie Kagan when he presented an hour long seminar for the Asian Professional Speaker's Association monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, 30 June 2009. He had just flown in from Russia, where he had addressed a crowd of thousands. I was fascinated by this man who only achieved a high school education, yet rose to achieve heights of success, reached by so few. (Its all laid out in his profile below!)

At the end of the seminar, he was surrounded by a group who wanted to buy his books/cds. He had cleverly slipped in during his speech that he had only 8 books and 2 CDs for the evening. The scarcity bait! Unfortunately, I had used up most of my cash on the evening's entrance fee, so I didn't have moolah to buy one. Didn't see him with a credit card or NETS machine. Nevertheless, I hovered around him until there was a opening in the group, and I introduced myself.

"Hi, I'm Karen. I absolutely loved your talk. I'd like to buy your book, but I don't have spare cash on me right now. You don't happen to take credit or a bank transfer?" That question, was definitely a filler. But it was there to give him a reason to reply me.

"No, unfortunately." Ok, time to move on to securing an interview, the book purchase can come later.....

"Ronnie, I am writing an interview series on successful individuals who turn passions into profits, and you are someone that I think will inspire many people with your story. Would you have any time for me to schedule a brief interview?"

He looked at me for a few seconds. It seemed like eternity. And from the corner of my eye, I could see the rest of the women around me (for some reason, I could only remember the women) waiting around for their turn, and listening for his reply.

"I'll be flying to Malaysia tomorrow and will be back Thursday. I will then be flying off on Friday. How about Thursday afternoon?"

"Great!" I'll take that! Yes, though I am leading evening seminars back-to-back from Wednesday to Friday. I'll take any window of opportunity.

He then whipped out a card, and asked me to give him a call.
"I'll buy the book from you when we meet!" I genuinely looked forward to reading his book. The thought also crossed my mind that giving him one extra reason (one more book sale to a potential fan!) not to stand me up, wouldn't hurt.

Yippee! The first interview of this series confirmed.

Here's a brief profile of Ronnie Kagan as promised (of course with google search, you can get this and more, but this is here so that I can spare you the effort of additional keystrokes) :)

During his 30 years of business Ronnie Kagan has gained a broad foundation upon which his huge success is based; from Co-Founder and World Wide Vice President of a Gold Company employing over 5,000 people, to part ownership in an International Franchise organization coaching 32 licensees with over 345 employees in 8 countries. Ronnie also co-founded a property development company that turned over $1 billion per annum.

With his straight-forward, frank approach – he delivers powerful presentations on how to inspire and motivate a work force and generate more profits. Ronnie has delivered more than 1,000 presentations to a combined audience of over 1 million people in 15 different countries. As the author of the International best seller The Winning Way in Business, he clearly understands what it takes to be successful in the rapidly changing business world.

Past Midnight: The Long Wait [Thursday, 1 July 2009, 11pm till Ronnie arrived just after 1am]

Last minute meetings on my end. The decision to hold the interview at 11pm at Changi Village after Ronnie was done with his convention. Mixed signals. Miscommunication.

I ended up waiting for Ronnie for over 2 hours at the lobby cafe of Changi Village Hotel. I had been yawning away as I just finished leading a 3-hour evening seminar earlier after a full work day.

But thank god for the iPhone. Many people have commented that I seem addicted to it, but this time it was extremely nifty in doing research on the fly. Hmmm.... Ronnie's bio, YouTube videos, twitters, it takes time to research a man, in order to get under his skin.

The Interview Begins [Post-1am, 1 July 2009]

Ronnie arrives! Extremely apologetic for the miscommunication, and we settled back into the cosy lobby lounge. He has had a long day himself, but still radiated this warm glow. I think to myself - his eyes are his best feature. He seems to look into your soul with his eyes. Yet they are smiling eyes, so you don't feel intimidated, rather deeply connected.

Note to self: The eyes can connect a person to another in a way, no amount of words can. For a start.... Just look into the eyes of another 1 or 2 more seconds than you normally would. Your connection with anyone will instantly deepen.

I ask Ronnie "Would it be ok if I recorded our interview?"

"Of course. I charge for my coaching sessions. All these conversations I have with people are recorded, so they don't miss a thing" Big Smile.

I turn on the voice memo application on my iPhone. Gratitude. Steve Jobs has created a magical application the size of my palm. Can't ever imagine living without my iPhone. It ranks way higher than the invention of the air-conditioner.
Ronnie thoughtfully picks up my iPhone, checks to see where the Mic is, and opens the interview by saying "This is an Interview with Ronnie Kagan, 2nd of July, (he forgot its past midnight which means its now 3rd July morning... ) Changi Village Hotel Singapore..."
My interview begins.
Watch out for part 2 and 3 over the next 2 days!

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