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What happens when the LIGHTS go out during your keynote?

I’m writing this email from a place I’ve been writing & thinking about regularly lately…35,000 feet on an airline heading back from the Bahamas. 

Yes, I was over on a tough “tour of duty” in the Bahamas speaking for an incredible company called “Nassau Financial Group” (no relation to Nassau Bahamas; see below!).

And during my keynote for the company this week, the LIGHTS went out WHILE I was speaking and the room went pitch-black.

Furthermore, I just happened to be speaking about being a “LIGHTHOUSE” when the LIGHTS went out so the people thought it was part of my “props.”

Haha…no, I did not actually plan that (I wish I could say I was good enough to plan that but I didn’t).

I’ve never had the “Lights Go OUT” and the room goes completely black my entire time of doing talks or keynotes…but I might use it in the future. 

Here is what happened…

  • The keynote was supposed to be outside on the “Ocean Edge” terrace overlooking the beautiful Caribbean.
  • But there was a big storm that morning with rain, wind, thunder, and lightning, so the talk was moved indoors to another room (good decision!).
  • And during the talk, the storm knocked out the power…and the room went pitch-back while I was speaking!

So what do you do when the Lights Go OUT and you’re doing a talk?

You KEEP GOING, of course!

Here is exactly what I did when the LIGHTS went out…

  • After a few seconds of trying to process what just happened, I said to the 60 or so people in the room, “Sometimes in life, the LIGHTS go out and you gotta keep going. You gotta stop and be thankful that your ears can still hear while your eyes cannot see. And you do NOT need to see me to hear me!”

And they laughed. So I went on.

“Furthermore, when we talk about being a LIGHTHOUSE, remember what LIGHTHOUSES do. They guide ships safely into the harbor. The brighter the LIGHT from the LIGHTHOUSE, the further they can radiate into the sea. That means when it’s dark out, we gotta AMP-UP our LIGHT even more to find the LOST SHIPS. If you saw the logo inside the Nassau logo, there is a Lighthouse. And I wanted to illustrate the power of what a LIGHTHOUSE will do when the LIGHTS go out and you gotta amp the LIGHT from your INSIDE.”

And then the LIGHTS magically came on.

I could not have planned it any better.

The place erupted with laughter…and then a roar of claps.

People looked around and wondered what just happened. And they wondered if I had planted that or it was just coincidental. 

I should have just walked off the “stage” right then.

While I don’t necessarily believe in “coincidences,” I can tell you that I did NOT plan it. 

But I did think quickly on my feet.

I happened to pivot quickly as I thought to myself, “Hey, it might be dark in here but it’s not going to stop me from delivering my message.”

That little blip ended up being a great prop in my talk and helped me deliver “IMPACT AMPLIFIED—5 Ways to Create a Life of Legacy” in a way that ended up being epic.

Had a GREAT Time Speaking to the “Nassau Financial Group” in the Bahamas this past week…even when the LIGHTS went OUT!!

My 3 questions to you are:

  • What do you do when the “LIGHTS go out” during your keynote talk?
  • How quickly can you pivot when things don’t go your way in school, sports, business, or LIFE?
  • Can you learn from something that went “wrong” and then infuse it into a “future talk” (or email?)

Some things to think about and I wanted to share that story. Things don’t always go exactly as you planned or visualized. But sometimes when you’re in your zone or in a “flow state,” it ends up being a blessing.

3 Reasons WHY this particular speaking engagement was extremely special (beyond the talk itself):

1. I got to team-teach with my wife Melanie. I taught the “IMPACT Boot Camp” and Melanie infused a beautiful mind/body meditation & yoga class at the end of the session. It was a total yin/yang experience. 

2. I got the opportunity to present for my good friend Gus Cheliotis’ company. He and his business partner Phil Gass started Nassau in 2015 (they both are from Nassau County Long Island; no tie-in to the Nassau Bahamas) and the company now manages over 20 billion dollars in annuities and additional financial assets. To see the IMPACT they have created in 8-short years is nothing short of amazing and I love to see how they’re continuing to operate in HYPER-GROWTH mode.

Gus Cheliotis & Phil Gass have created great IMPACT with the Nassau Financial Group in just 8 short years!

3. Did I say I got to travel with my wife Melanie? Haha. I’m on the road a decent amount these days. And I actually LOVE it. But it’s even way better when I can bring Melanie with me and we can enjoy new spots, include some adventure, and get some #MellowYellow time together. The fact that we are celebrating 22 years of marriage next Friday was a celebration in advance of our anniversary.

I love when Melanie can join me on my trips & even co-teach with me on occasion

ONE MORE THING: How did I meet Gus Cheliotis in the first place?

Lastly, one of the attendees asked me on the trip, “How did you originally meet Gus and how long have you known him?”

The story is actually quite interesting. Here’s the back story…

In 2010, I wrote my first book called The IMPACT BODY PLAN.

About a year after I wrote it, I got an email from a man named Kostas “Gus” Cheliotis, who had been through the 10-week program 3x consecutively. That means he had repeated the “IMPACT BODY PLAN” for essentially 30 weeks, which equates to more than half a year.

He asked in the email, “I’ve been through The IMPACT Body Plan 3x. What should I do next?”

I didn’t have a good answer. I emailed him back and said, “Do it a 4th time!”

While you may laugh, it’s the truth.

I eventually asked him how he learned of “The IMPACT Body Plan” book.

He shared that he found the “yellow book” in a hospital room as he was visiting his friend Adam Ferreri, who at the time was in the hospital receiving treatment for cancer. When Gus asked Adam what the “yellow book” on the bed-stand was, Adam retorted “It’s the book that’s keeping me ALIVE right now!”

The rest is history.

Well, truth be told, 13 years later, Gus Cheliotis has become a great friend. And Adam Ferreri is still going STRONG!

In addition to being a friend and someone I consider in my “Circle of Genius,” Gus has helped my business as well:

  • He has bought hundreds of my books, Planners, and Journals and has gifted them to his friends, family, and co-workers.
  • He has hired me several times to speak for his companies (including this trip to the Bahamas).
  • He has listened to about every podcast episode and shares many of them.
  • He’s in my new IMPACT-X program. This is my new program I just launched on February 1 for high-performers and entrepreneurs looking to level up their “circle of genius” even further and go even deeper on their success & SIGNIFICANCE.

WHY do I share?

Because your “Circle of Genius” matters. How you think. How you operate. Your thoughts. Your decisions. The wisdom you hear. The feedback you receive. Your actions. Your character.

And Gus is in my Circle of Genius.

Here are 3 ways to make sure your inner circle and “Circle of Genius” is one that LIFTS you up and challenges you to play FULL-OUT as well.

  1. Prune the energy vampires. Make sure you have no “energy vampires” in your life…or that at the very least you are not giving them more time or energy than you should. While all of us probably know “energy vampires,” it’s important that you do not let them “INTO” your sphere of thinking, positivity, spirit, or ENERGY. 
  2. WHO than WHAT. COMMIT TO LISTENING to people WHO LIFT you up regularly. Yes, this can be a podcast. Or a favorite author. But WHO you listen to gets in your head. And affects your thinking. And this can allow you to dream BIG, think BIG, act BIG, and make BIG, BOLD moves. #ChooseCarefully
  3. Find ways to be around people you respect, look up to, or have paved a way you would like to go. I have done this my entire life. I’ve always had coaches. I’ve always had mentors. I’ve always spent TIME with people I want to be MORE like. 

Time could be in a coaching program (if they don’t live near you).

Time could be attending a conference or meeting they are hosting (once or a few times a year).

Time could be on a coaching call once or twice a month (if they don’t live near you).

Time could be meeting with them more regularly. Once a week or more if you are training with them, doing a group workout, or doing deep, intensive work on yourself.

The bottom line is to find people you respect in life and business and #FindAWay to go deeper with them. It will IMPACT you in all facets of your life. And it will up-level your Circle-of-Genius.

Relationships. It’s all about relationships. The relationships we have in our life are everything. 

With your family.

With your colleagues. Co-workers. Customers. Clients.

With your community.

My heart and soul are full as I head home from the Bahamas. As I reflect upon a few days of “Mellow-Yellow” time on top of speaking, I can’t help but be grateful…even when the LIGHTS GO OUT and you can’t see those you’re talking to.

Peace and God-Bless,



If you would like to get into the habit of journaling and need help following a simple & easy plan to help you create more clarity, focus, gratitude, and inner peace, I encourage you to pick up an IMPACT JOURNAL.

This daily journal includes my most powerful prompts for a 5-minute morning journal routine and a 5-minute evening journal routine. If you journal for a combined 10-minutes a day, I guarantee it will help you DOMINATE YOUR DAY.

Get Your IMPACT JOURNAL today at

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Being a part of the TD Mastermind gives you the opportunity to connect, share, and grow with the fitness industry’s top coaches, trainers, and entrepreneurs on a daily-basis. 

The MASTERMIND is for passionate and purpose-driven fitness professionals who are committed to creating success & significance in their personal and professional lives and want to be coached by Todd and surrounded by some of the brightest, sharpest, and most passionate trainers on the planet.

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