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Neal Petersen South Carolina
Neal Petersen

Neal Petersen has completed two amazing journeys in his life: a single-handed yacht race around the world, 27,000 miles, 9 months at sea, alone, and in a yacht he designed and built himself. And an even more arduous and eventful trip of overcoming racial prejudice during the Apartheid era in South Africa, poverty and a childhood physical disability, just to make it to the start line! While sharing his riveting life story - and philosophy, Neal's personal messages and unique delivery opens the mind to "turn barriers into opportunities" and speaks to almost every organization.

He knows how to interact with different cultures and people from everywhere - he is well traveled and has lived in many parts of the world. Currently, has homes in the USA, Dominican Republic and South Africa.

An award winning author, professional adventurer and global investor, Neal Petersen shares real life examples of how he overcame insurmountable barriers by always turning "perceived" disadvantages into advantages-then into opportunities.

In his captivating and empowering "No Barriers - Only Solutions" keynote, Neal demonstrates how success is realized-through innovation, balancing risk against return and being flexible enough to adapt to constant shifting winds. Neal Petersen has challenged thousands to prevail against their own formidable barriers and setbacks and to turn them into treasures. Neal has "wowed" international audiences with his story and how he related it to their challenges, which usually ends with a standing ovation.

In these challenging times of uncertainly, fear and insecurity rise, many feel like solo sailors, adrift, grasping for survival. Neal lays out the importance of a clearly communicated vision and direction, followed by detailed planning, preparation, passion and execution using his personal story.

Take home values:
  • Neal carries a treasure chest on stage to empower others to turn your baggage into treasures.
  • Understand the importance of building a solid support structure.
  • Innovate - how to capitalize on ever changing winds storms.
  • Change - adapt to wind shifts and stormy seas by knowing when to alter course.
  • Leverage economic challenges to your advantage-keep pumping, choose a winning course and navigate to your advantage.
  • Attitude adjustment - refresh your vision - There are No Barriers ~ Only Solutions!
  • Remove personal barriers - get rid of the chips on your shoulder.
  • Dreams are the seeds of success, hope is the fuel.
  • Elements of success include determination, perseverance and hard work.
  • With hope and planning, a dream can become a reality - anything is possible.
  • The application of knowledge is POWER.
  • Ego can destroy, but passion can build.
  • Life is about choice, with choice are consequences ~ chose your course wisely.

As a world, we are facing our "Cape Horn." More than any other time in history, people must have the attitude to be open to finding the many ways to develop the systems that will bring optimum results. We need to be focused, have a solid strategy, create a dependable team, respect the competition and get to the finish line in the most efficient method. In this process, there will be headwinds of resistance, stormy seas of change, or just the immense challenges of having daunting objectives on a limited budget. Neal will help prepare audiences to tackle their barriers, by providing hope, a change in attitude and the vision to navigate these challenging times ahead, not just for today - but, more importantly, the next generation.

Neal was rated the best speaker ever at IBM's Global Conference. After the opening keynote presentation to 8,000 attendees, Neal personalized and sold 1,000 copies of his award winning autobiography, Journey of a Hope Merchant, with a solid line out the door for six hours! Unscheduled, but willing, Neal was on a plane three days later to open the sister conference in Europe to another 5,000 attendees. It was history making at IBM.

Neal Petersen has a wonderful spirit and a genuine talent for storytelling. Unique in his delivery, he carries a treasure chest on stage and shows actual footage of rounding Cape Horn. Neal takes his audience on a journey they will long remember. They find the key messages are not just a topic, but rather a philosophy they can incorporate into their lives as well.

Neal is known for his uniqueness, high energy, subtle humor, adaptability and flexibility. He customizes every keynote and is extremely easy to work with.


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  • No Barriers ~ Only Solutions - Neal Petersen's spellbinding story is one of overcoming enormous adversity, perseverance, believing in the power of a dream and learning. Neal delivers a powerful message of hope, dedication and the will to never let anything stand in the way of your goals.

    Through this unique presentation audiences will:
    • Realize the importance of having goals and persevering towards achieving them.
    • Learn how to turn "perceived" disadvantages into advantages.
    • Understand how to balance risks with rewards to overcome barriers.
    • The power of positive attitude - anything is attainable
    • Understand the importance of on-going knowledge building.
    • Learn to take responsibility for actions - with choice there is consequence - choose wisely.
Journey of a Hope Merchant
Journey of a Hope Merchant: From Apartheid to the Elite World of Solo Yacht Racing

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