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Score One for ASI Speakers

February 13, 2017by Payden And Company


Score One for ASI Speakers

Football great Dan Marino is very tall, very tan and surprisingly funny.

He also got the biggest applause from an audience at an ASI keynote as any speaker we’ve had in recent memory. One woman was so thrilled for the chance to catch a football thrown by the former Miami Dolphins quarterback I thought she’d faint.

Aside from the glitz factor, our Orlando audience seemed generally interested in Dan’s incredible trajectory, rising from a working-class family in Pittsburgh to a record-breaking football star in Miami, including the time his truck driver dad lectured the sports-crazy 7th grader about the importance of school, telling him “If you don’t settle down, you won’t get to college.”

If you have any school-age kids in similar straits you might consider sharing that story with them – and reminding them that Dan listened to his dad and is now, at age 55, enjoying life to the fullest, running a variety of businesses and the Dan Marino Foundation, which has distributed more than $20 million to help children with neurodevelopment disabilities.

Of his own son, diagnosed with autism at age 2, Dan told us, “Michael’s done really well. He has an apartment, he has a girlfriend. As an athlete, it’s important to give back to the community. I think all of us can help in our own way.”

Dan’s Q&A with me and the audience at our first trade show of the 2017 season was just one of the highlights of ASI Orlando. Every day, ASI offered distributors one great reason after another to attend the three-day show.


On Education Day, they could choose from 44 new classes, in subjects as diverse as social media, sales success, business management and graphic design.

On Thursday, they could get terrific life and business advice from the effervescent Coach Ken Carter, a former high school basketball coach and small-business owner who launched a new career as an in-demand speaker after his improbable life story was turned into a movie starring Samuel L. Jackson.

Carter made national headlines in the 1990s when he refused to let the kids on his undefeated team play until they got better grades (are you sensing a theme here?) to teach them that school was as important as athletics as a ticket out of the inner-city.

Carter also asked something of his audience I urge everyone at a trade show to do: Meet 10 new people. “These people are your family,” he said. “You have a problem, there’s probably someone in his room with a solution. You have to seek, to ask. In this thing called life, that’s what we do.”

Among Carter’s choicest bits of wisdom: If you want something, write it down. By putting pen to paper you’re more likely to make it happen. So to anyone reading this, I challenge you to think of one goal you want to accomplish this year, write it down and see if a year from now you’ve made it happen.


And if you do, I suggest you post a video all about it.

That’s the advice given by another of our speakers, the always informative and enthusiastic Marki Lemons-Ryhal, who posts a video every single day, starting with one on Facebook called “Overcome the Crabs in a Barrel Mentality for Optimal Growth.”

To date, that single video has earned 20,000 views, giving Lemons-Ryhal (@MarkiLemons) more free publicity that she could have gotten with anything else – except, of course, promotional products. “It’s so easy to do – once you don’t care what you look like,” she told her packed class. “It would take me days to write a 4,000 word doc. Video can be repurposed as marketing over 200 different ways.”


Payden And Company
Monday - Friday 8:30am - 4:30PM
530 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Naples, FL
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530 Main St, East Greenwich, RI 02818
Naples, FL
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