The Freeman Institute®

The Freeman Institute®

Severn, MD

22 years in service

3 employees

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“Dealing With People Who Drive You Crazy!®”


Internationally sought-after conference speaker & workshop facilitator | Accomplished author | Multiculturally astute, with travels to 50+ countries | Devoted husband & father | Off-key singer and extremely bad dancer | No Bull. No Hype.

About The Freeman Institute®

hired 10 times on Thumbtack

EVENT PLANNERS: when you need your event to be a success, you need to be able to rely on your speaker to meet your needs, to deliver on their promise. After all, if it’s your responsibility to make the event a success, you don’t want to leave things to chance.

You need a seasoned professional who LOVES people and LOVES what he does.

"...Dr. Freeman's presentation of the material was both masterful and dynamic..."
-- Judge Richard Conaboy, Chairman, US Sentencing Commission

"...Joel is extremely knowledgeable and a great communicator. Everyone in our group was very impressed with his presentation. We will have him back again."
-- Don G., Deputy Chief, National Counterterrorism Center

"...Dr. Freeman’s wit, winsome style, organized presentation and strong knowledge of the subject combined to make an indelible impact upon the morale, productivity and general emotional climate of our team. The tangible value that has been added to our interaction with each other can be traced back to this program. ..."
-- Stephen Burkhardt, MRI area leader, GE Medical Systems

Thank you for stopping by here on Thumbtack.

For more than 20 years, I have been called upon by meeting planners and executives from fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies, educational institutions, heads of state, and professional associations to provide the message that can make a difference. And in critical situations where the message really does need to make a difference.

I have earned a solid reputation. When my clients have faced a variety of challenges, I have been there.

THUMBTACK SPECIAL: since you are within driving distance, I do not have to make my way to the airport, wait in long lines, take off my shoes, get searched, and then board another plane. Plus, I do not have to stay in another hotel. To someone who has traveled to many countries around the world, that's music to my ears. And to my wife's ears! This is why I am available here on thumbtack at a serious discount for your event. I hope this makes sense.

FEE -- you may have noticed that I did not set a specific fee for your event in my proposal. I have discovered that it is generally better for both of us to discuss those matters over the phone. I'd love to better understand the goals for your event so that I can add premium value to your organization.

Let's talk.

MY PROMISE: to facilitate a world class event for you that will meet your needs...Without breaking your budget. Nor will you have to deal with my agent...Giving more value than receiving in payment for services rendered.

Here's what some others have said:

"... The combination of content, information, application, and heart that you presented was life-changing, and I do not use that term lightly ..." -- Erich Becker, corporate leader (Baltimore, MD)

"... Participants commented that your seminar was the best management training class that they had ever experienced, myself included ..." -- Rod Huff, HR Director, EMI Music Group (Nashville)

"... I am still amazed that our seven-hour investment of time and resources has continued to return such dividends ..." -- Jeffrey Wright, President (UMI, Chicago)

I have some customized staff development, cultural diversity, leadership training, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, team building, entrepreneurship, customer service, black history, executive coaching and conference presentation ideas you might find interesting, but first, please let me introduce myself.

For 20 seasons, I served as mentor and chaplain for the NBA Washington Bullets/Wizards professional basketball team (retired in 1998). Guys at the pro level, with big egos and big paychecks, sometimes have a problem with teamwork, leadership and customer service. From some of my work in the NBA, I developed the following:

* The curiosity-driven life
* Connecting now with later
* Diversity: the value of mutual respect
* All stressed out and nobody to choke!
* Enhancing your emotional intelligence
* The surprising benefits of unselfishness
* A white man's journey into black history
* When strangling someone isn't an option!
* Dealing with people who drive you crazy!
* If nobody loves you, create the demand!
* Lessons from blades of grass in a concrete jungle
* Ignite (or reignite) your entrepreneurial passion!
* How your personality impacts your organization's success
* The mysterious Rosetta Stone: cracking the code to your team's success
* Professional bloodsuckers: dealing with the people who drain you of your time, energy and patience

These uniquely powerful on-site programs are examples of what can be customized to address the following (transcending generation, race, religion and gender):

* conflict resolution
* teamwork
* diversity
* mentoring 101
* core values
* anger management/violence prevention
* communication skills
* customer service
* leadership skills
* change management
* stress management

Satisfied clients are ranging from the prime minister of Grenada (and his senior advisers), top government officials and business professionals of Nigeria, and permanent secretaries of Barbados to the White House Communications Agency (WHCA), Secret Service, Keller Williams, Defense Security Service (DSS), Rutgers University, National Security Agency (NSA), E! Entertainment Television, Blacks In Government (BIG), NASA, Verizon, FBI, GE, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), EMI Music Group, Ikea, NRC, CDC, NTSB, YPO, DISA, NIH, Association of International Schools for Africa (AISA), US Sentencing Commission, Billboard Music Group, Black Public Relations Society, European Council of International Schools (ECIS), many pro athletes and executives around the globe.

I am looking forward to talking with you...

Warmest regards,
Joel Freeman

The following is a reference letter from E! Entertainment TV in Hollywood, CA:

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: Our team here at E! Provides all television production for all shows airing on E! And style networks. This is a customer-service job requiring a combination of people skills and technical skills. Not long ago, our department was experiencing some challenges that needed an objective person to help us sort through them.

After reviewing Dr. Freeman's website, I contacted him hoping he could help. Initially I was not totally convinced that he could deliver. I know my team members. They are a somewhat skeptical and resistant bunch when it comes to "attending another workshop."

After listening to my interpretation of the issues, he discussed the problems with a couple of my most experienced employees. During his research, Joel included every part of my department, from the employee to the employer. Unbiased and now informed, Joel developed a unique, customized program for us that was very well received by our entire team.

Joel flew out from Maryland to Hollywood for one day and created a code of conduct with my employees that they and I value to this day. He helped us to understand and accept the unique qualities of each other. I was surprised by the mastery with which he presented the material and the impact it had on my staff and me.

Dr. Freeman actually analyzed the fundamental problems facing us, encouraging us to confront the obstacles. He helped us to see how, as individuals and as a group, we could turn the perception of our entire department around.

We now have the positive tools to disrupt the patterns of negative attitudes that follow us into our very busy schedules. Dr. Freeman is truly a gem who should be utilized by any organization that values employee morale and customer service.


Peter Osterhaus
Field Production Supervisor
E! Entertainment Television
Hollywood, CA


Severn, MD 21144

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  • 5/5 stars March 13, 2015

    Our leadership teams loved Dr. Freeman's presentation!

  • 5/5 stars February 4, 2015

    This is the PMIWDC review of Dr. Joel Freeman's presentation “Dealing With People Who Drive You Crazy” delivered on 01/20/2015 at the Fairview Park Marriott Hotel. Of the 275 attendees, there were 155 responses to our survey.

    Speaker Rating (5 point scale)
    Speaker's Delivery: 4.70
    Value/Appropriateness of the Topic: 4.63

    Additionally, here are comments relevant to Joel's presentation:
    - Great Presentation
    - He needs more time to talk.
    - Speaker is very animated - certainly kept me awake but also hard to follow his point at 8:07 pm. Lots of graphs, not much explanations on influencing different people.
    - Excellent speaker
    - Exceptional! Well done!
    - Speaker effectiveness off the chart! No suggestion- Amazing! Best speech in a while!
    - Please bring Mr. Freeman back each year.
    - Great speaker and topic!
    - Not really my style of speaker. It was too "informercialish" in beginning but better about 15 min in when we got to the "meat."

    My feedback as the event coordinator:
    Joel was exceptionally easy to work with. He was flexible in tailoring his presentation to our member's needs. His visual were legible for the large ballroom. He communicated frequently with our team and showed great interest in the engagement.

  • 3/5 stars January 26, 2015

    Joel provided a customized presentation in Richmond, Virginia to a group of CEO's and high level executives. It was a small intimate group of 12. The reviews were somewhat mixed with the group with overall positive reactions. Joel was very interactive and engaged the group thoroughly. I believe the members took away a positive experience that some will utilize the tools that Joel shared within their organization. There are many profiling/behavioral assessment tools out there and Joel's tool added dimension and another assessment tool. A couple of members felt the presentation was not high level enough and therefore the average rating. Overall, I personally (as the Executive Director) would highly recommend Joel.

  • 5/5 stars December 2, 2014

    Joel presented to our staff of about 60 employees at one of our semi-annual off-site communication meetings. He was very effective in utilizing humorous scenarios to convey a positive and uplifting message. We had asked him to keep the presentation to 45 minutes; I believe we would have benefited more with additional time, as is his standard duration.

  • 5/5 stars November 18, 2014

    Joel provided an interactive presentation that provided our group a chance to reflect and become better both professionally and personally. Joel was very dynamic and we only wish we could have allowed him more time.

  • 5/5 stars November 16, 2014

  • 5/5 stars October 26, 2014

    We hired Joel to conduct a workshop on personality types and understanding how to deal with each personality type to create a productive and harmonious work environment. Joel was extremely knowledgeable and a great communicator. Everyone in our group was very impressed with his presentation and we would love to have him back again.

    Don G. National Counterterrorism Center

  • 5/5 stars July 30, 2014

    Dr Joel is incredibly talented, worked within my budget and gave me the best service. He is a great motivational speaker, I thank God for meeting him. Everybody in his training class was happy and highly motivated. His training session was rated the best of my 7days program by my group from Nigeria. He is awesome, I would love to work with again and again.

  • 5/5 stars May 7, 2014

    Joel spent time preparing prior to the meeting which sets him above the rest with cookie cutter info....We were very impressed with the feedback we received from the team! I would use him again.

  • 5/5 stars September 9, 2013

    Joel did a great job and delivered just what our staff needed. He taylored his PD with personal information about our company/program which resonated with the staff. Staff members stated they would like to see him provide additional training for us in the future.

Question and answer

Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.

A. Keynote. Breakout sessions during a conference. Lecture. Motivational. Helping them develop a Code of Conduct. Executive coaching. Critical Incident Debriefing. Helping them develop a Diversity initiative. Helping them develop a mentoring program.
ARENAS OF EXPERTISE: Staff Development. Leadership. Diversity. Teamwork. Entrepreneurial Creativity. Brainstorming. Change Management. Black History. Executive Coaching. Stress Management. Emotional Intelligence. Anger Management. Sales. Cross-Cultural Competence. Conference Keynote Addresses...

Q. Describe three recent jobs you've completed.

A. Prime Minister of Grenada & Senior Advisors (Grenada, West Indies)
Billboard Music Group (New York, NY)
U.S. Sentencing Commission (Washington, DC)
National Security Agency (Ft. Meade, MD)
GE Medical Systems (Hanover, MD)
Sequoia Software Corporation (Columbia, MD)
EMI Music Group (Nashville, TN)
Tuscan Dairy Farms (Union, NJ)
E! Entertainment Television (Hollywood, CA)
Black Public Relations Society (Washington, DC)
WAVA Radio Station (Arlington, VA)
National HME, Inc. (Fort Worth, TX)
Government of Barbados Permanent Secretaries -- (Barbados, West Indies)
Prime Minister of Grenada & Senior Advisors -- (Grenada, West Indies)
NBA Washington Bullets/Wizards -- a number of NBA players during 19 seasons from 1979-1998 (Washington, DC & all over the NBA)
Pan African Conference, with over 100 African Kings and Queens -- (Benin, Togo & Nigeria, West Africa)
E! Entertainment Television -- (Hollywood, CA)
United Nations Headquarters (Transatlantic Slave Trade Exhibition) -- (New York, NY)
WHCA -- The White House Communications staff -- (Washington, DC)
NASA -- (Goddard Space Center, MD, Wallops Island, VA & Stennis Space Center, MS)
Government and Business Leadership Conference -- (Lagos, Nigeria)
Saturn -- (Bowie, MD)
LOC -- Library of Congress -- (Washington, DC)
WACRA -- Worldwide Airlines Customer Relations Association Conferences -- (Stockholm, Sweden & Reykjavik, Iceland)
NIH -- National Institutes of Health / Executive Officers -- (Rockville, MD)
YPO -- Young Presidents Organization -- (Leysin, Switzerland...JLU, Junior Leadership University)
NRC -- Nuclear Regulatory Commision -- (Rockville, MD)
ICE -- Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- (Washington, DC)
Sorenson Genomics -- (Salt lake City, Utah)
NTSB -- National Transportation Safety Board -- (Washington, DC)
USSS -- Secret Service -- (Washington, DC)
DTRA -- Defense Threat Reduction Agency -- (Ft. Belvoir, VA)
CDC -- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- (Hyattsville, MD, Atlanta, GA)
NPR -- National Public Radio -- (Washington, DC)
HSBC Bank -- (Indianapolis, IN)
FBI -- Federal Bureau of Investigation / Recruiter's Conference -- (San Antonio, TX)
FMB Trust -- (Baltimore, MD)
Harlem Book Fair -- (Newark @ Rutgers University & NYC @ Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture)
National Hospice Medical Equipment (NHME) -- (Fort Worth, TX)
Verizon -- (Burtonsville, MD)
BIG -- Blacks in Government Conferences -- (Washington DC, Orlando, FL, New York City, NY, Nashville, TN, etc.)
USGS -- U. S. Geological Survey -- (Laurel, MD and Reston, VA)
Mountain States Health Alliance -- Johnson City, TN
DEA -- Drug Enforcement Agency -- (Washington, DC)
The MITRE Corporation -- (McLean, VA)
Frasernet Conference (George Fraser) -- (Atlanta, GA)
FDA -- Food and Drug Administration (Silver Spring, MD)
The Barbados Pavilion -- Barbados, WI
Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA)
-- (2003 Conference Series: Botswana, Kenya & Senegal)
-- (2007 Conference Series: Ghana & Kenya)
European Council of International School (ECIS)
-- (2006 Conference: The Hague, Netherlands)
Association of American Schools of Caribbean and South / Central Americas
(Tri Association) -- (2002 Conference: Guadalajara, Mexico)
-- (2005 Conference: Mexico City, Mexico)
Frostburg State University -- (Frostburg, MD)
Columbia Union College -- (Tacoma Park, MD)
Prince George's County Dept. of Education -- (Easton & Bowie, MD)
Ridgecrest Elementary School -- (Hyattsville, MD)
University of Ottawa -- (Ottawa, Ontario)
Howard Community College -- (Columbia, MD)
Urbana University -- (Urbana, OH)
Elementary School -- (Laurel, MD)
Let's Make It Difficult For Our Children To Fail -- (Virginia Beach, VA)
Reading Is Fundamental -- (Washington, DC)
Multicultural Counseling Association -- (Bowie, MD)
Baltimore City Department of Education -- (Baltimore, MD)
TOC -- Training Officers Conference -- (Ocean City, MD)
Montgomery College -- (Rockville, MD)
Community School -- (K-12, Bolling Green, KY)
Elementary School -- ( Delaware)
Prince George's County Department of Education Equity Assurance Liaisons -- (Bowie, MD)
Sinclair Community College -- (Dayton, OH)
Job Corps -- (Oneonta, NY; Simpsonville, KY; Indianapolis, IN; Talking Leaves, OK...& more)
National Institute of Sports Professionals (NISP) -- (San Antonio, TX)
Baltimore City Community College -- (Baltimore, MD)
Maryland Association of Mental Health Counselors -- (Columbia, MD)
Community School -- (K-12, Delaware)
University of Hawaii -- (Maui Campus, HI)
Towson University -- (Baltimore, MD)
Howard University (Eli Entrepreneurship Institute) -- (Washington, DC)
Springfield School District (training for Superintendent and his Cabinet) -- (Springfield, IL)
Northern Virginia Community College -- (Annandale, VA)
ASALH -- Association for the Study of African American Life & History (Carter Woodson) -- (DC)
6th Circuit Federal Court (Bankruptcy and District Clerks) -- (Memphis, TN)
Code, Hennessy & Simmons -- (Chicago, IL)
National College of Probate Judges -- (Conference, Maui, HI)
DOJ -- Department of Justice -- (Washington, DC)
U.S. Department of Justice / Immigration Naturalization Service (Baltimore, MD)
U. S. Attorney's Office -- (Leadership Academy, Birmingham, AL)
Piper & Marbury, L.L.P. -- (Baltimore, MD)
AO -- Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts -- (Washington, DC)
U. S. Sentencing Commission -- (Washington, DC)
United States Probation -- (Ocean City, MD)
U. S. Bankruptcy Court -- (Clerks/Judges Conference, Orlando, FL)
USDA -- Department of Agriculture -- (New Orleans, LA and Washington, DC)
EPA -- Environmental Protection Agency -- (Washington, DC)
City of Annapolis -- (Annapolis, MD)
Great Scott Broadcasting Network -- (Dover, DE)
ODAR, Social Security Administration -- (Falls Church, VA)
HHS -- Department of Health and Human Services -- (Rockville, MD)
Salem Broadcasting Network -- (Sandy Cove, MD and Arlington, VA)
Sherwin Williams Paint & Chemical Co. -- (Baltimore, MD)
Greater Washington Employee Relocation Council -- (Arlington, VA)
Department of Treasury / Alcohol Tobacco & Firearms -- (Washington, DC)
US First Army Recruiting (USAREC) Brigade -- (Poconos, NY)
US Second Army Recruiting (USAREC) Brigade -- (Atlanta, GA)
US First Army Recruiting (USAREC) Battalion -- (Albany, NY)
US Sixth Army Recruiting (USAREC) Battalion -- (Denver, CO)
US Second Army Recruiting (USAREC) Battalion -- (Jacksonville, FL)
US Second Army Recruiting (USAREC) Battalion -- (New Orleans, LA)
US Second Army Recruiting (USAREC) Battalion -- (Raleigh, NC)
U.S. Army Beckley Recruiting Battalion -- (Norfolk, VA)
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base -- (Dayton, OH)
U. S. Army Corps of Engineers -- (Philadelphia, PA & Baltimore, MD)
VA -- Department of Veteran Affairs HQ -- (Washington, DC)
NETWAR -- Naval Network Warfare Command -- (San Diego, CA)
U. S. District Court -- Eastern District of California (Lake Tahoe, CA)
Army National Guard Directorate -- ( Washington, DC)
LANL -- Los Alamos National Laboratory -- (Los Alamos, New Mexico)
Eighth U.S. Amy Chaplain Corps -- (Seoul, Korea)
U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps -- (Pusan, Korea)
Ordnance Center & School, US Army -- (Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD)
DSS -- Defense Security Service -- (Quantico, VA)
DON -- Department of the Navy -- (Washington, DC & Pusan, Korea)
DDISA -- Defense Information Security Agency -- (Ft. Meade, MD)
Defense Logistics Agency -- (Ft. Belvoir, VA)
U.S. Army Baltimore Recruiting Battalion -- (Norfolk, VA)
TACRON 21, US Navy -- (Norfolk, VA)
CECOM -- (Fort Monmouth, NJ)
Air Intelligence Agency -- (San Antonio, TX)
Naval Aviation Executive Institute -- (Williamsburg, VA)
NSA -- National Security Agency -- (Linthicum, MD and Ft. Meade, MD)
Provident Bank -- (Baltimore, MD)
Automated Cable Services -- (Suitland, MD)
DOT -- U.S. Department of Transportation -- (Baltimore, MD)
National Association of Manufactured Homes -- (Baltimore, MD)
DOL -- U.S. Department of Labor -- (Philadelphia, PA)
Kissinger Financial Services -- (Timonium, MD) training: 2002 and 2007
D.C. Metropolitan Police Department -- (Washington, DC)
Reliable Contracting-- (Millersville, MD)
Giant Foods -- (Landover, MD)
USPS -- U.S. Postal Service -- (Cumberland, MD & Baltimore, MD)
EPA -- Environmental Protection Agency -- (Washington, DC)
Eastfield College -- (Dallas, TX)
Greater Washington Education Association -- (Washington, DC)
Baltimore City Jail -- (Baltimore, MD)
National Association of Accountant Administrators -- (Linthicum, MD)
Department of Veteran Affairs Materiel Acquisitions Management (Nat. Conference Series)
-- (West Palm Beach, FL, Los Angeles, CA, Cleveland, OH, & Iowa City, IA)
Nu Concepts in Travel -- (Baltimore, MD)
The Maryland Municipal League -- (Annapolis, MD)
Maryland Science Center -- (Baltimore, MD)
Northern Nursing Home Pharmacy -- (Ellicott City, MD)
Associated Springs -- (Hamilton, ONT, Canada)

Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?

A. "Chemistry, timing and fit are all needed to create a win/win/win result." I agree with this statement made by George Fraser.

Video clips, bio, references and conversations over the phone all help to provide the kind of picture you need to determine if there is the right chemistry and the right fit.

I will need to know why you are calling for my services at this time.

Is your call a proactive move or is it in reaction to something crazy that has happened within your organization? It does not matter which it is, but knowing what has sponsored your request for my services at this time will help me better serve your organizations real needs.

Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?


1. Listen. And then listen some more.
2. Approach every day with curiosity and a sense of humor.
3. Address problems with practical solutions.
4. Give credit where credit is due.
5. Start projects worth finishing and then finish them with excellence.
6. Give more value than receiving in payment for services rendered.
7. Customize each training experience to meet specific needs.
8. Do the details with dignity.
9. Act with purpose and passion.
10. Paint all the way to the edge of the canvas.
11. Practice humility.
12. Gratitude for everything. Everything.

Q. What questions should a consumer ask to hire the right service professional?

A. 1. "What do other customers have to say about your services?" (Advertisement is what we say about ourselves. Third party endorsement is what others say about us and has much more credibility and objectivity.)

2. "How many years have you been providing this service as a full time vocation?" (Time and experience help to hone one's skills.)

3. "How much have you traveled?" (Travel tends to open up one to a variety of different cultures and experiences, which help to inform their training skills.)

4. "What have you written?" (Writing books and articles forces one to drill deeper and to sharpen research skills.)

5. "How do you customize what you do to meet the specific needs of our organization?" (Off-the-shelf training hits the floor, missing the mark. Customization hits the bulls eye.)

Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?

A. "You get what you pay for." This is not always true, but 99% of the time it's the norm.

Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

A. I have discovered that it is what one learns after he/she thinks they know it all that really counts.

I have traveled to well over 50 countries, learning much from the people I have met and worked with in those countries.

I am curious about many things, which has informed what I am passionate about: Black History. Rosetta Stone history. The psyche of professional athletes. Entrepreneurship. Emotional intelligence. Comparative religions. Cross cultural competence. And so much more...

I customize my training around the implementation of the mission and vision of any organization I work with.

Q. What do you like most about your job?

A. * Helping to solve problem situations for organizations.
* Enhancing creativity, productivity and purposeful communication.
* Providing skills and tools for better customer service (both internal and external).
* Watching the "lights go on" in people's eyes.
* Travel.
* Meeting new people.
* Helping teams communicate better.
* Cross-cultural relationships.

Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?

A. Clients tend to focus on the time for the event and tend to think that's all they are paying for. Little do most clients understand is that I am giving up an entire day to do a 1-2 hour event for them.

CUSTOMIZATION: I refuse to pull something off the shelf for an event. I always seek to customize each event to each audience. That takes extra time and energy. Couple that with time spent in preparation, drive time (to and from the event), gas, tolls, wear and tear on the's far more than what meets the eye. Not complaining. Merely educating. I LOVE what I do and it shows...

Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?

A. I served as mentor/chaplain for the NBA Washington Bullets/Wizards for 20 seasons. Schools, companies, government agencies, churches, and community-based organizations all started calling me to come and speak. That's what launched my company. As organizations requested different topics, I was forced to become a student of each topic. The rest is history...

Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.

A. Here is what one of my recent Thumbtack clients said: "Joel did a great job and delivered just what our staff needed. He taylored his presentation with personal information about our company/program which resonated with the staff. Staff members stated they would like to see him provide additional training for us in the future...."

Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?

A. I am learning all the time. I read widely on all types of topics. I also attend seminars and workshops periodically to sharpen my skills. "It's what you learn after you think you know it all that really counts."

Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.

A. THUMBTACK SPECIAL: Since you are within driving distance, I do not have to travel on another plane and do not have to stay in another hotel. To someone who has traveled to 50+ countries around the world, that is music to my ears. International travel is not as alluring as it once was when I was younger. This is why I am available here at Thumbtack for your event. I hope this makes sense to you.

Let me be frank. The reason I did not list my fee for your event is because I have an agent in Nashville and I am rather embarrassed by what he charges for my services. I can guarantee that it is far more than what's in your budget. I have a clause in my agreement with him that permits me to deal directly with you...and not have to send you to my agent.

But for Thumbtack, I am making myself available to organizations who normally would not be able to afford my services. I am a trusting soul. Tell me about the purpose of your organization, the "take-aways" you want from your event, your budget and your objectives.

I leverage my talents to help with my Foundation. Whatever funds you provide will be put toward projects I am passionate about through my Foundation. That makes my agent happy and also allows me to say, "The more you are able to pay, the happier it makes me."

Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?

A. Find a mentor in your profession you trust and respect...

Q. What is your greatest strength?

A. Listening and learning...

Q. What are you currently working on improving?

A. Listening and learning...

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