When the Influence Scout Team shortlists professionals and shares names and credentials with me, I'm often impressed. When they did a deeper dive on Andy Craig and not only his credentials but also his vision, I knew he belonged on our Influence 100 list.
Andy is a brilliant and engaging speaker and trainer and his work centers on his talent for uncovering someone's genius. In other words? Andy has a series of questions and exercises that let him uncover his clients inner talents and "giftings". It is this ability and passion for helping clients that caught my attention and it's exactly what I was keen to uncover both in my Editor's Spotlight and in our Influence Interview podcast.
As a speaker and trainer, Andy Craig uncovers your inner genius. While that may sound like a big task, he not only does it, he does it in a way that makes light bulbs go off and sets people on a path of success. His results speak for themselves.
As the Editor-in-Chief of Influence I am passionate about sharing the story behind the success and I am very proud to share Andy's with you today. I invite you to sit back, read and reflect on his journey. And once you're done? Grab your ear buds and listen to Andy on The Influence Interview Podcast!
Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Influence
Andy, often our success in life is tied back to our origin story, or where we came from. How did the place you grew up help make you who you are?
I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence early in life. When I entered high school, at Bremerton High School in Bremerton, WA instead of enrolling in a Physical Education class, they had an option for NJROTC (Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp). I chose NJROTC. That turned out to be one of the best things I could have done. In that structured pseudo military type environment, I began to find my identity and self-confidence. I excelled in this environment and it helped shape who I am today.
Where do you live now?
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
I find that knowing the kind of family you come from helps me form a fuller picture. Who do you consider family?
I'm happy to have a wonderful wife, kids on the way, furkids, nieces, nephews and crazy friends that I include as family.
Being motivational and visionary.
What key events or memories changed the course of your life? Were there any driving factors that make you who you are today?
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to attend an Advanced Leadership Seminar in San Francisco, CA. Although I was working full time, I didn’t think I had the resources to attend this training. I did however have a very good friend of mine who believed in me and she prayed with me daily (literally, because I called her daily at lunch for a couple weeks). She finally gave me the advice to start asking people if they had work that needed done that I could do. I went to a mutual friend of ours and he said he did have work. I did yard work for him for two days, but still didn’t have the total amount required for the seminar earned yet and the deadline had arrived. I asked him to put up the money and I would pay him back with an upcoming commission check. He and his wife discussed it and agreed it was the right thing to do and they helped me get to this seminar.
This experience taught me my provision is not always in only one form. I did not have the monetary resources available, but I did have time and networking available which did result in the required provision.
Do you have or have you had a mentor? Who is/was it and what do they bring to your life?
Yes, I have a mentor and I have had several mentors throughout my life. My current mentor is Jack Zufelt (another Influence 100 Authority). He provides me a different perspective and leads me to better thinking in many areas. Another mentor was Brian Klemmer. He taught me about my belief systems and the power of desire.
Do you consider yourself a mentor? If yes, what is the most important thing you can share with someone seeking guidance?
Yes. I have mentored many in the area of speaking. Most people are terrified of speaking. The only way to move past the fear of speaking is to simply do it. Find somewhere to practice speaking and simply hone your speaking ability. You will never completely erase the adrenaline rush that takes place right before speaking. However, there are ways to manage it. There is a viewpoint to consider. If you consider the physical symptoms of fear/anxiety and excitement, you will notice they are the same. Increased heart rate, sweaty palms, shortness of breath, etc. Fear and excitement to me are two sides of the same coin. It’s all in how you view the situation. Are you scared to speak or excited to speak? It’s simply your mindset in the moment. That’s the short answer.
100 years from now how would you like to be remembered?
As a loving man who has inspired those around him to bring out the best in them and to keep pressing forward in life through the daily challenges so they can be an example to those closest to them.
Eph 2:10 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
What do you consider to be some of the highlights of your career so far?
One, being featured as an Influence 100 Authority. I also ran for United States Senate in Oklahoma back in 2014. I have also had the opportunity to travel all over the United States and meet thousands of interesting people and influence hundreds of decision makers. I’ve recently been invited to speak as far away as India and the United Kingdom.
What are you looking forward to professionally? What are you excited about?
I am launching a new training called Superhero Academy. This is a multi day event and it will provide each attendee with a new perspective on who they truly are and what they are able to accomplish.
They will discover how they are a masterpiece created for a specific purpose. To put another way, each person is a superhero that is yearning to unleash their own superpowers in a very special and unique way.
What this means is each person will be able to have better relationships, double what they are making now, revitalize their current job or career, or find a new one/business and find more happiness in life.
Tell me about your business.
I provide a 90 minute inspirational keynote to corporations and organizations.
I also provide a package in which I walk a person through a process to uncover what success is and what their strengths are in life.
Who do you work with?
Corporations, organizations and individuals that desire to change the world for the better.
Who do you love to work with? What kind of client?
Those that have a desire to change the world for the better. Their world can be local, regional, national or international.
What makes you and your business unique compared to your competitors?
My mission is to utterly transform the human heart. Each person is in essence a caterpillar waiting to metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly. To put it another way, each of us is a superhero, waiting to unleash our gifts or superpowers in a very special and unique way. I facilitate that transformation and unleashing of the superpowers.
Since we are so close to Independence Day here in the U.S., I would also add the transformation also helps each person to obtain the freedom they are seeking.
The story behind your published writings:
Why did you write your chapter in "The Change 3." book? What did you want to share?
I wrote a chapter in which I shared what I learned when I ran for United States Senate in 2014. My goal was to inspire people to achieve more in life.
What message are you sending people with your words?
They are able to accomplish the dream that is in their heart. It was put there by design.
Who do you think your speaking engagements, training and writings help?
Anyone who has big goals and dreams in their heart to achieve.
What character traits have been most important in getting to where you are today?
Faith, Persistence and learning from my failures.
What is one thing you know for sure?
Jesus is Lord. He is the only constant in this world. Relationships fluctuate, business changes, bodies change, life happens, but Jesus is the same. He is My Rock.
What are you grateful for?
My salvation first and foremost. After that, my wife, Michelle. She is my constant companion and she always believes in me. From there, my family and friends and my mentor, Jack, as he is always available when I ask him for help.
The Style behind the Success, let's find out more about what makes Andy tick. It's a speed round!
Jeans or Khakis?
Suit when speaking, jeans any other time.
Watch or play sports?
I enjoy playing sports, but I actually watch more than I play right now.
Coffee, beer or wine?
Coffee in the morning.
Feet up on the desk or flat on the floor?
Flat on the floor.
Vacation close to home or across the world?
Both. Totally depends on what we decide. I’d like to see Europe and Asia and especially Israel. And, I am happy to drive a few hours to Texas or another nearby state and stay there as well.
Beach or ski resort?
I would enjoy both, however, we would probably go to the beach. We both prefer heat to cold.
Your weekend: Plan every moment or wing it?
I wing it. Michelle likes to plan things.
Andy, how can people connect with you to find out more
AndyCraigSpeaks.com (for speaking services)
Watch Andy's Video on Vimeo
Listen to Andy Craig on The Influence Interview podcast