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“If Benjamin Franklin had picked someone to teach the lessons in self-mastery that he used in his life, he would have picked Bob Burg.”

~ Vic Johnson, Founder AsAManThinketh.net

Sir Sidney Poitier’s Inspiring Advice

August 14th, 2014 by Bob Burg

Nancy Vogl owns a successful speakers bureau and regularly posts to a Facebook group of speaking professionals to which I belong. One of her recent posts – while intended as a lesson for speakers, – is a lesson for everyone, both in terms of following our own dreams…and in being an encourager for others to follow theirs. Both attributes help make for a successful human being.

Here’s Nancy’s post, edited just slightly in order to make it less “speaker-specific.”


Posted on Facebook by Nancy Vogl

Tyler and Sidney PoitierLast month, NSA (National Speakers Association) Youth Leader — and my grandson — Tyler Cole spent two glorious hours on his 18th birthday with the legendary actor, Sidney Poitier. Tyler recently graduated from one of the most prestigious performing arts high schools in the country (LACHSA), and Mr. Poitier invited Tyler to his home to screen one of Tyler’s award-winning student films and to talk about acting and filmmaking.

Early on in the visit, Sidney in his rich, melodic voice said to Tyler:

“So, I understand you want to be an actor…is that right?”, cocking his head to the side, in a classic Sidney Poitier move.

“Yes sir, yes I do,” replied Tyler with great conviction.

Sidney paused and smiled for a brief moment, then looked Tyler square in the eyes, pointing his finger right at his heart, as if he were speaking to his soul, and said, “You already are.”

What Sidney Poitier did for Tyler — on that once-in-a-lifetime day — with that simple phrase was simply this: He reminded Tyler that it was his desire, his passion, his determination, his talent, his love for the craft that gives him the right to call himself an “Actor.” From there, his task is taking deliberate action so the rest of the world knows it too.

And so it goes with anyone wishing to make their mark in the world.

If your heart is burning to share your message, talents or gifts, and you, too, are determined to work at your craft with gusto, you can call yourself whatever you choose. Now, your task is working towards that goal.


Nancy Vogl owns Nancy Vogl Speakers Bureau. If you are having a conference, Nancy can help you choose the right speaker(s) to fit your needs.

4 Responses to “Sir Sidney Poitier’s Inspiring Advice”
  1. dubaitara said at 12:59 pm on

    Thanks for sharing Bob – what sage advice from a wise and wonderful man. Sir Sidney Poitier is one too.

  2. Bob Burg said at 1:09 pm on

    Tara: 🙂 🙂 Thank YOU, great friend!

  3. I absolutely loved reading this, Bob. I can picture the whole moment in my mind and I can even feel the emotions in this moment:

    “Sidney paused and smiled for a brief moment, then looked Tyler square in the eyes, pointing his finger right at his heart, as if he were speaking to his soul, and said, “You already are.”

    I will never forget the feeling I had when someone I loved/love called me a “Book Publicist”, for the first time. That person anchored a new belief system in my heart, soul, and mind. In that moment, reading it and hearing it… made it so.

    Words are a powerful thing and time is a precious gift to give to another.

    You were/are my Sir Sidney Poitier! Thank you for creating that anchor for me over 2 years ago, Sir Bob Burg!


    Founder of 2 Dream Productions,Inc.

  4. Bob Burg said at 4:19 pm on

    Michelle: WOW – thank you for huge smile you just put on my face and that amazing compliment. Being mentioned in the same sentence as Sir Sidney is a huge honor!

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