Dedicated to my mentor - Jay Conrad Levinson
A Light Goes out
Around 2:30pm March 2008 I had just come off the stage at an event called Big Seminar in Atlanta Georgia, USA.
I was wearing a kilt and all the usual scottish regalia for the American crowd and clearly it added to the impact as always.
So I walked off the stage after my 90 minute talk only to be greeted by a rather small man with a rather big smile across his face. He and his wife came racing up to me but in a slow paced manner. He wore camouflage trousers and t-shirt. He was bald with a long thin pony tail in a braid running down his back.
"Excuse me" he said to me.
I turned and smiled at him but I didn't recognise him (despite knowing all about him).
He said to me
"Sir I love your kilt, I loved your talk will you please have dinner with me and my wife tonight?" I almost said no until I saw his name badge. It said… Jay Conrad Levinson
My eyes popped and I froze. He didn't know it but this was the man that had single handedly built my hairdressing businesses in the 90s through his book Guerrilla Marketing.
I had no idea about marketing in those days. I had no idea about business. I had no idea about anything apart from cutting hair until that is I saw a book called ... 'Guerilla Marketing' by Jay Conrad Levinson
I learnt everything about marketing and messages from Jay but he never knew it until I revealed everything to him later that evening.
I said to him…
"You're Jay Conrad Levinson" He stood and smiled the way he did with his large smile. I like a fool stood there totally starstruck and repeated myself like a bumbling idiot time and time again.
In the end he said…
"OK so I will meet you for dinner this evening at 8pm" I stood there in my kilt frozen and said "yes" like a star struck teen at a Justin Bieber concert. As he walked away I just wanted to tell him everything about how his work had changed my life years before.
At dinner that evening we met along with his wonderful happy-hippy smiling and hugging wife Jeannie.
We talk for hours and hours and hours, he shared so much about his life, his adventures, his family and gave and gave and gave to me. I still think it's incredible I stumble into a man that had help me build 3 hairdressing salons on the other side of the planet over a decade earlier and now I was having dinner with him.
That was a magic moment in my life having dinner with a real mentor that was and had been capable of real magic. He was a old-style genius in his field.
Not long after I got home to England Jay called to let me know he would be in England and would I meet him for dinner. I booked them into a real English country lodge in Cheshire England just 5 minutes from my home, we met, we had a wonderful dinner and talked until we were both too tired to carry on talking.
What a man. What a hero. What a giant of a human being.
You know theres no real surprise in death, it comes to us all but the sky goes a little bit darker when a real luminary goes out. Sadly most of the world haven't noticed and will never notice this light going out but Jay Conrad Levinson you were a man that moved mountains for me. Your were a mentor, a friend of mine and a friend of humanity.
I loved the story you shared with me about your adventures in Europe and the hero status they honoured you with a presidential cavalcade and more.
You might be missed, some may be sad, some will cry, some will weep and tears and wailing of hearts will be taking place right now for your passing.
Yet one thing is for sure. Your memory is written in stone, chiselled into rock and I for one am a grateful man that you passed my way and shared so much with me.
Life you birth us into death Death you cheat us out of life Yet there are some amongst men you can never silence Jay Conrad Levinson was one of those men. I'm so happy to have met you. Sleep well my friend.