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Serenity Prayer Project – Interview With KTIS

Minneapolis, MN –

Serenity Prayer Project - Interview With KTIS

Interview with KTIS

Yesterday, Lori Morris Werch (Executive Producer) had the wonderful opportunity to be interviewed by Pam Lundell on 98.5 KTIS for the KTIS Morning Show with Pam & Andy.  You can listen to the interview right here, or visit the KTIS website.
If you would like to hear The Serenity Prayer Song played on KTIS radio, please leave a comment on their website or email them directly making the request.  The more requests they receive the higher the likelihood of having the song aired.  Thank you for all your help and support in spreading this beautiful prayer!

Serenity Prayer Project – Interview With KTIS


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new keynote topics

Billy’s New Keynote Topics

Billy's New Keynote Topics

Billy’s New Keynote Topics

In the last few years, Billy has created and recreated several popular Keynotes. Ranging from his keynote “Adversity to Innovation”, to “Rethink Impossible”, Billy is excited to announce the creation of more new Keynote topics!
In addition to New Ways to Do It, Setback Before Success, and Making an Impact With All You’ve Got!, Billy now offers Keynote topics addressing Life After Diagnosis and Stop Listening to Experts.  Billy’s most popular Keynote presentations and their descriptions are available on Billy’s Keynote Topics page or by contacting Hannah Day.  Updates have also been made to Billy’s One Sheet.
Click here to download your copy of Billy’s One Sheet

Billy’s most popular Keynote Topics:


New Ways to Do It:  The Road to Reinvention

Billy encourages you to step out of your spectator’s seat and recognize your ability to take an active role in designing the future that you have imagined.

Setback before Success:  Accepting the Challenge that comes with Change

Billy combines solid, actionable advice with exceptional music and an entertaining style for an unforgettable experience that will change your perspective on the challenges you and your organization face.

Doing More With Less – Making an impact with all that you’ve got!

By realizing what still works and what still matters, you can make a significant difference, regardless of the obstacles. Listen to Billy’s story; you, too, will choose to be a “difference-maker”!

Stop Listening to Experts!

Billy’s keynote talk with just the right amount music will help you become the confident expert you know that you are – and show others around you the new paths that must be taken for you and your organization to succeed. Who did Steve Jobs listen too?

Life After Diagnosis

Billy has created this program especially for business, foundations, healthcare professionals, Insurance professionals and individuals who have been affected by sudden, future-changing events. He takes them along with him on a personal journey from diagnosis to self-discovery, which led him to a new and more exciting phase of his business development and career building future.

More available upon request.

FNC Inc.

Florida – February 2014.
Photos by TJ Jensen.

interview with donatelle

Interview with Donatelle

Interview with Donatelle


Billy’s Message Inspires Innovation in Medical Device Manufacturer

Treasa Springett, president of Donatelle, an award-winning manufacturer of devices for the medical industry, asked Billy McLaughlin to present his story to the company’s leadership team as part of the team’s future vision project, “Changing the Game”.  “I first met Billy during his presentation at an Executive Group Forum, led by Bill Mills,” she said. “I was amazed at the similarities between Billy’s story and what we’ve been experiencing at Donatelle, which is: ‘How do we as leaders face challenges and not fall back on what had always worked before?’” As a sole proprietor and artist stricken with dystonia, Billy simply couldn’t go back to what he had done before. He had to reinvent himself. The timing of Billy’s story happened to fit perfectly with Donatelle’s planning retreat, which was scheduled for the upcoming December.

Treasa surprised her leadership team by asking Billy to make a special appearance at their retreat and to share his story about overcoming “impossible” challenges. “I found Billy’s story empowering; it aligned so well with our leadership culture,” said Treasa. “In the global medical device marketplace our customers are challenged with rapid change every day. Billy’s message encouraged us to embrace change; recognize the need for it, be willing to address the challenge and adapt. Treasa intended Billy’s presentation to be a gift to her leadership team. “I was so excited to be able to book him for our December retreat, it was hard for me to keep it a secret. Billy’s story combined with his humor and music was fantastic,” she said.

Billy was not the first presenter to appear at a Donatelle leadership retreat. This time, however, the team had the added enjoyment of listening to Billy’s music along with his speech. More than enjoyment, Treasa said that Billy’s message resonated with the challenges that Donatelle and all companies face daily: How do you rethink change in the global market, which creates pressures you cannot anticipate? “Billy’s example of overcoming challenge inspired us to become the change we try to create; this had great personal and business relevance to us. Our mission at Donatelle is to create possibilities to improve the quality of life for humankind, one person at a time,” she explained.

After his performance, Billy was invited to join the group for an evening of fun and conversation. It was exciting for him to learn that some of the devices Donatelle is designing will treat the symptoms he suffers from focal dystonia. Treasa and the Donatelle leadership team look forward to having Billy return again to a future retreat. Treasa mentioned, “I’d like for Billy to delve deeper into his story so that we can learn more about his journey. Also, I think it will be great fun to add another hour of musical entertainment following his presentation so that we can continue to enjoy listening to Billy play.”

interview with donatelle

Billy with Treasa Springett

Epilepsy Foundation of Western WI

Epilepsy Foundation of Western Wisconsin

Epilepsy Foundation of Western Wisconsin
 “The Epilepsy Foundation of Western Wisconsin leads the fight to stop seizures, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy.”

“There are not enough words of gratitude to Billy McLaughlin who was our incredible speaker for the Epilepsy Foundation of Western Wisconsin’s Share the Flame and Silent Auction on December 3rd, 2013 at Fanny Hill Dinner Theater in Eau Claire. Our guests who are business professionals, medical staff, family, and personal supporters of our mission, were absolutely amazed at Billy‘s powerful performance and inspirational story. He kept all of us spellbound, with his presentation and music.
“Many of our guests knew of his music and talent in the 1990’s and were amazed at the challenges he has faced over the past years with focal dystonia which forced him to relearn how to play his guitar. His personal story as a single father with a son, who has many challenges with epilepsy, warmed our hearts and created understanding  in the reality of how difficult living with seizures can be. His amazing personality, and determination to make his marvelous comeback and his life more meaningful and positive made an awesome impact on everyone!

“Billy has a kindness, charm, and caring demeanor about him, and he is able to relate, and talk to anyone! He changed our way of thinking and feeling and gave us the hope and new goals to focus on in our work and in our lives. Billy spoke to us as friends and left us with wanting to hear more of his music and his compassionate message over and over again. We are thankful for the uplifting “gift” Billy gave us that touched our lives and filled our hearts with his magic!”

-Lou Kelsey,Director of Client Services and Community Resources. Epilepsy Foundation of Western Wisconsin


Minnesota SHRM 2013 Conference

Billy Speaks at Minnesota SHRM 2013 Conference

Minnesota SHRM 2013 Conference

Minnesota SHRM

Minnesota Society for Human Resource Management (MNSHRM) State Conference

On October 13, Billy McLaughlin kicked off the annual conference for the Minnesota Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The conference brought together human resource professionals and consultants for new ideas, shared thoughts and best practices in employee engagement, education and new ways at looking at HR problems. Following his kickoff speech, Billy, accompanied by his string quartet, added an unprecedented element to the evening’s festivities as well.  For an event that is typically filled with continuing education and legal content, Billy and his ensemble were a deviation from the norm. Attendees responded positively to Billy’s addition.
Mary Gummerson, office manager for McGladrey LLP and chair of this year’s SHRM event, said that Billy exceeded expectations. “He wonderfully related the HR profession into his experiences and challenges while entertaining us. He also reminded us through his challenges that the thinking we need to do to solve a problem is not always in front of us.” Mary commented that the SHRM conference does not usually have a musical component. “It was a good fit. Members raved about it; I heard people mention that Billy was fantastic.” She added that Billy’s combination of entertainment and speaking contributed to the overall success of the conference. “He has overcome difficult challenges to become an incredible inspirational speaker who reaches people on an emotional level,” she added.
Jennifer Taschner, human resources director for Fiduciary Counselling, Inc., was among the attendees at the SHRM event. She said, “The foundational core of our work is to know, understand and have empathy for the employees we serve. Yet, there is so much separation due to legal paperwork and compliance updates. Billy’s story brought me back. He made an emotional connection through which I was able to share in his trials, experience his success and see the happiness he now has for the work he is doing.”
In response to hearing Billy’s music at a SHRM conference, Jennifer said, “Music is important in everyone’s life; it touches us in many ways. When I was growing up, we had an improvisational music instructor in grade school. She taught us the value of free-form learning. That understanding has translated into my professional life. Through Billy’s music I am reminded to think creatively, especially in a world that is constantly changing. In my HR role, it’s important to see individuals for what their talents are.  Billy’s combination of music and an emotional message made sense, especially speaking to this group. He is an inspirational singer, songwriter and presenter with a unique style that you wouldn’t expect.”
All photos taken by TJ Jensen

spirit of success

Spirit of Success Testimonial

Spirit of Success

Spirit of Success

I had the opportunity to be a presenter at the Spirit of Success Entrepreneurial Summit October 17th.  I want to share with you some feedback I received from a new colleague and friend, Terri Wilcox, at Resultants for Business, Inc.  She put into words what I hope many others discover upon hearing my story and seeing me present.

“I wanted to let you know how great the presenters were at the Spirit of Success.  I especially wanted to thank you for placing Billy McLaughlin in the morning to kick off the day.  At first I was skeptical.  I saw those guitars up there waiting for the speaker and as a business person attending strictly to glean new knowledge and strategy about business I was automatically disappointed with what I was expecting to be a long hour.  That didn’t happen.

“As the presenter started to speak, and then play I first thought, ‘What am I going to get from this?  He’s just telling us about his personal story.’  Then I started getting wrapped up in the total experience…the words, the business messages, the story, and the music.  All were interspersed so that small nuggets of information infused into my brain.  What seemed to be a scattered approach became more deliberate for learning.
“You see, many business leaders are pressed for time. They do not have the luxury of time to be creative.  Their brains are working on the left side constantly.  We look for structure, black and white answers, and concrete learning points…’give it to me straight and give it to me fast.’  Billy forced my brain to switch to the right side and for one hour allowed me to open up the gates of creativity and innovation.  I don’t care how concrete our thinking, everyone has the ability to be creative in their own way…it’s a matter of choice.  But what most busy people do, when in business, is to turn off their creative sides. Yet one of the most dangerous issues we observe today is watching a business grow and mature yet lose their ability to innovate. Once the innovation is lost, the business suffers.  It cannot adapt to change so readily.
“Billy helped me to see business concepts I already knew, but in a creative way.  My mind started racing, thinking about those concepts differently and actually applying some ideas right there on the spot.  This presenter opened me up to accept the other presenters for the rest of the day.  No wonder he got a standing ovation.”

-Terri Wilcox, SPHR, Business Advisor, Resultants for Business, Inc.

Pictures taken by TJ Jensen

spirit of success

Spirit of Success

Spirit of Success

Spirit of Success

Anyone who knows me knows how much I believe in the power that we have within ourselves to change life for the better, even when challenges come our way. If all the tools, technology, experience and skill you accumulated were to be taken away overnight, like what happened to me, you’d still have 99.9 percent of what you need to move forward and make life a better place for yourself and those you care about. Looking back at what I learned, I believe we have only scratched the surface of our true potential as individuals and as a society. The source of that potential is not in knowing more things or having more money. It’s in the truth that becomes obvious once all those things are gone, when you finally pay attention to the person, the soul, who has been there all along.
For these reasons, and many more, I am looking forward to the Spirit of Success Summit, on October 17, when I will share the stage with some world-famous speakers who happen to live here in Minnesota. The Spirit of Success speakers include Harvey Mackay, Joan Steffend, Dave Horsager, Paul Scheele and me. Each of us has a powerful message to share about lessons we have learned from life, not books. Over the years, I have attended and presented to lots of business events. Often they focus on things like industry issues and trends, technical and economical subjects that change quickly. Spirit of Success is an event where we will talk about the one thing in life and business that is unchanging.
Along with the speakers you will meet that day, you will also meet some very special people who are inspired to attend this event. They are people who are looking for better ways to work and collaborate with others so that we can all get to where we want to go. Thinking about all that energy in one place and knowing the people who will be presenting at the Summit, I can tell you that, in addition to being inspired, we are going to have a lot of fun. If you want to join us, register at Spirit Of Success.
Interview with Secura Consultants

Interview with Secura Consultants

Interview with Secura Consultants

Secura Consultants

Once a year, Secura Consultants hosts the Twin Cities DI Day. The annual event is designed to enlighten financial professionals on the many ways disability impacts the lives of individuals and their loved ones. It is also intended to encourage these professionals, through their roles as insurance providers, to help people avoid the devastating and unnecessary financial side effects that accompany a disability.
Last month marked Secura Consultant’s 12th annual Twin Cities DI Day, which was held at the Minneapolis Convention Center. President George Davidson invited Billy as keynote presenter. “Billy wove a tapestry of story, talent and passion for music, which was an incredible experience for attendees,” he described.
According to George, much of Billy’s ordeal was the result of his loss of income due to the sudden onset of his disability. “When something like this happens it changes the complexion of everything,” he explained. It is an example of why George is committed to communicating the message that disability protection is an important part of planning for financial well being. He wants to make certain that people in the financial services industry include disability as part of the conversations they have with their clients. “It’s not all about fun and lake cabins, it’s also about risk planning,” he said.
In the 12 years that Secura Consultants has sponsored DI Day, George cannot remember anyone who has delivered more impact than Billy.
“He is an incredible star who will make it hard for us to provide comparable talent next year. His ability to be open, disarming, funny and engaging is rare. Often in a presentation, you get what feels like canned commentary.  While I am sure that Billy knew what he was going to say, it felt more like we were having a conversation with him. The same is true when he plays guitar, it comes through him and is very soulful. I had never seen him play before; I was mesmerized. It is clear that he is a unique talent. You can’t appreciate what he has lost until you hear what he has gotten back.”
In his efforts to curb the financial distress caused by disability George said, “All we can do is deliver the message. I don’t think that I could have found anyone better to do that than Billy. I have sent a correspondence about him to others who do what I do in this industry. He is a tremendous spokesperson.” George believes it is important that people fully understand financial impact of a sudden disability. “When I think of what it would’ve been like if Billy hadn’t made his turnaround; what the world would have lost!”

Pictures by TJ Jensen 2013

Interview with Upsher-Smith

Interview with Upsher-Smith

Interview with Upsher-Smith


Dave Stefanoni, head of early-stage commercialization and advocacy, and Mark Evenstad, president and CEO of Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc., comment on Billy McLaughlin’s performance at a recent company event.
Billy was asked to give a presentation to the Upsher-Smith Community, an assembly of employees and invited guests, with the intent of raising their awareness and understanding of the types of challenges Billy encounters with dystonia as well as the challenges he faces with his son’s epilepsy. “Originally, I had wanted to ask Billy to do a more intimate version of his music and leadership story that he presented during the gala for the Epilepsy Foundation. When Mark heard of the plan, he decided to invite the entire company together on the lawn outside our building,” said Dave.
“People at Upsher-Smith are kind, caring and open-minded. When they observe and hear someone like Billy, they work harder, better and faster to develop solutions that people need to live healthier lives,” said Mark. “That’s why I hold these events. They give us a picture of who we are working for while attaching a face and a story to our efforts. As far as I’m concerned, the faster we can solve problems involving the central nervous system, the better it will be for all,” he explained.
The company has hosted similar outdoor events to employee groups, including a panel of parents whose children have epilepsy and an adult woman with epilepsy who shared her life experiences. One of the reasons for this exploration is that Upsher-Smith is developing drugs that treat seizure disorders. They are currently working on three products that include standard therapy, rescue therapy and treatment for refractory symptoms.
Billy’s presentation was scheduled so that it bridged normal and after-work hours. It took place on the lawn outside the building. Mark noted, “When I sent a company-wide email announcing Billy’s presentation, the excitement was high, but expectations were unknown.  People did not expect to be as captivated as they were by Billy. I looked around the audience and all eyes were fixed on him as he told his story. This is unusual during an after-hours event where people like to visit and chat. Whatever expectations they may have had were blown away, mine included.”
Among the takeaways for Mark was the fact that after Billy resolved to learn his music left handed (having lost the use of his right hand to dystonia), he would not settle for anything short of playing his hardest song before returning to stage publicly. Also, the inspiration he shared from having been at the top of his craft before crashing and burning and then pulling himself up again while helping his son as best as he could modeled behaviors that, according to Mark, “any of us would be excited to witness.”
Billy’s presentation also served people at Upsher Smith beyond those who were working on the drugs specific to epilepsy. Dave had wanted to acquaint other groups with people afflicted by epilepsy as well as their caregivers so that they might feel less removed from all that had been going on with the new products and advocacy program.
“Billy has a unique ability to weave levity and music into the serious subject of epilepsy. He created the perfect platform to make an impact. Billy helped to rally our people behind our goal; he let them know that everything they do helps to fuel our success. The results were better than I had anticipated. Billy aligned our organization. The feedback we received was exceptional. Mark mentioned to me that it was one of the best events we had ever put together. I don’t tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, but the thing that touched me about Billy is what he’s been through. Through it all he remains positive, upbeat and willing to give of himself and his talent. I also happen to love his music. Billy provides the unique experience of a concert motivated by a story – there’s not too much of one or the other,” said Dave.
According to Dave, “I would absolutely ask Billy back to do another performance. However, I’d like to do it somewhat differently next time. As we continue our efforts in this area, I would love to see us become a bigger partner by helping to sponsor Billy’s tour in such a way that more people can hear his message, especially those who are directly impacted by epilepsy. As our efforts evolve, we can touch others with this message. Billy will help us increase awareness of what epilepsy is and how to handle it. Eventually we can make progress toward how epilepsy is being dealt with in the legislature, schools, jobs, transportation and housing. Creating this voice is a big part of our ultimate goal.”
*Thanks to Dave Stefanoni and TJ Jensen for capturing some great pictures from the event!