It was his 61st birthday just a few days ago. Birthday wishes were flying around the social media universe. Then, only a few days later, out of no where, rumors were flying he died in a plane accident. I found the news in my inbox.
Stunned and in disbelief, I Googled “plane crash” over hundred different ways to confirm if this was true. A few phone calls later, it became more real.
As the news was sinking in, on April 8th an official press release was issued. Sadly, it was confirmed. His untimely death was real, however it was the result a torn carotid artery. He made it to the hospital. He was on his way to get airlifted to another. On the way to surgery, his body gave way. The news of this unexpected loss shocked his followers from Pentaluma California, to Australia, Canada and around the globe.
Message boards, blogs, and social media sites lit up like wild fire filled with the expression of sadness, grief and inspiring messages to those who loved him. Some of his graduates, deeply committed to his teachings, continued to deliver Brian’s inspirational quotes, to remind those grieving, what Brian taught. Some chose to mourn silently.
Mourners were now connecting with others of like mind, to share in their grief and send their respects to the family, friends and fellow graduates. Not yet certain of the plans for the funeral, we all sit waiting, thinking, praying, grieving, and remembering a really special and quality guy.
I met Brian a couple of years ago when an affiliate thought we should take time to meet. She had tried several times to set up a meeting, but it never made it to the top of my ‘deeply committed’ list. I didn’t really know why I was meeting him, or why she felt it was important for us to connect. However, out of respect for her, I made time to meet Brian at a restaurant (Moxie’s) near the Toronto airport. I had no idea who he was.
I soon found myself sitting across the table from a man named Brian and all I knew is that we were both trainers and public speakers. The only difference apparent on the surface of the conversation was that he specializing in personal development and my company specialized in internet marketing and social media.
Within minutes, I discovered he’d been doing this a lot longer then I and in a few more minutes, it was clear he was the mentor and I was the student. I really knew nothing about this man, but clearly, he was a master and there a reason I was there to meet him. Though neither of us knew what “the opportunity” of our meeting was, Brian made certain we would explore it further.
Just last night, I just read a press release by Bob Harrison from Hawaii where he said that Brian Klemmer was one of the greatest “possibility thinkers” he had ever met. Even in that first meeting I could sense the exact same thing,
I really don’t know how it unfolded but, he invited my wife Nancy and I to a Champion’s celebration in California. We were not students of his work, nor were we graduates. But somehow he put us right in the middle of his circle of Samurai. We felt privileged, though we still had no idea about this significance or about the reach of his work, etc. What we read on the internet only offered nuggets of what his work was all about. Not until the other attendees shared their stories of gratitude around the table, did Nancy and I understand that this man had changed all of their lives in a deep and meaningful way. During that visit, we had dinner with part of his team, including one of his lead trainers Sona, his son Kelly, his lovely wife Roma and we also met his CEO at the time; Bob.
Our relationship continued and Brian asked me to return to California to train his executive team on internet marketing. With Brian at the helm of his company it was obvious that everyone there was deeply committed to learning everything about internet marketing.
I introduced all the possibilities, probabilities and secrets that were the strengths in growing my training company 300% a year in a recession. Their team quickly adopted a few choice strategies and put an accountability plan in motion. It was amazing to see. What was apparent to Nancy and I was the fire in his son Kelly’s eyes. It was the same spark I had when I first thought of being a concert pianist. Kelly, had clarity on how he was going to contribute, and we knew their was an internet marketing guru about to be born.
It was obvious to me (whether Brian knew it then, I don’t know), but Kelly was going to become the head of the internet marketing initiative, even though Brian wanted him to be in charge of booking the corporate speaking engagements. I actually remember hearing Brian coaching Kelly to focus on the bookings.
As I observed their web presence grow, it wasn’t long before we saw Kelly’s deep commitment at work, and the keyword phrase “leadership training” made it to #1 on the Google search engine. Amazing. I continued to follow Kelly on Facebook to witness some great stuff. I was impressed.
Brian’s generosity quickly expanded into my world, as he opened his Rolodex and opened the US market to me. Along the way I met other Samurai’s, kind folks like Dwight and Sue Havener, Dr. MacNamara, and more who enjoyed years of memories with Brian and Sona and crew.
Brian was good at reaching out. He actually called and offered me a video testimonial for the work that I had done for his company. “Whatever you need Paul,” he’d say. He would continue to coach me, and offer advice on how to grow my training company. He wasn’t afraid of sharing his secrets. And when one of his trainers asked Brian “aren’t we competitors?” Brian quickly pointed out, that was lack thinking. Abundance thinking means there is enough for everybody.
He came back to Toronto frequently, at one point we had an opportunity to train side-by-side. The first day, his close was much stronger then mine. Over lunch, he gave me a few pointers, and the next day, mine was much stronger than his.
I met him again most recently three weeks ago when he was in Toronto. Brian did focus on opportunities and looking back, I recognize all of our encounters were always productive and this one was no different.
Again, he offered to open up his Rolodex to me. There is someone he wanted me to meet in Hawaii. He mentioned again the video testimonial that he wanted to do for me, what would I like to see in it? We also talked about a couple of other initiatives and like Bob Harrison said, “he was a possibility thinker.”
But there was something that especially stood out to me about this meeting. It was his immense energy. I came home and told my wife Nancy he was vibrating like a huge magnet. He personally told me that his business was almost 200% stronger than it was the previous year and he thanked me for my help in that. I knew Kelly had a big hand in delivering, putting the action into motion and getting a result. Brian seemed unstoppable, untouchable, a master, a guru, a leader and a friend. I walked away from that meeting almost feeling a little envy that his current path seemed effortless. When I confessed it to Nancy, she just smiled, and reminded me that it was my lesson of the day.
Brian was more than a friend, he wanted everyone to succeed, and he held nothing back. It’s the basic principal behind his very existence. He once asked me how he could help me get to Carnegie Hall. You see, even though I had built a successful training company, he kept his eye on my blessings and playing jazz piano, he knew, was one of my heart’s true desires. He never forgot what men/women were built of, and he weaved his thread through my fabric.
Brian was many things to many people. What I admired about him, and what should be said, was that first and foremost, he was a master trainer. One of the best. He truly was “in service of”, and perhaps that was how a small training facility became a multi-million dollar training company.
I was curious when he told me he had a 500 year plan. When I think about the ripple effect of his life, I think of a man who picked up the biggest stone on the shore and threw it in the water. The stone was filled with his trust, his faith, his love, his generosity and the ripples spread blessings into my life and into in the lives of thousands of men, women, and children. He was generous man who took time to extend himself in generous ways. His 500 year plan was in motion before it ever came to his consciousness. He threw that stone in the water many years ago. He chose.
With that said, it is perhaps time I take the time to play the piano again.
With great respect, love and gratitude, to my friend and mentor, my heartfelt thanks for your friendship, and gifts you brought into our lives. Rest in Peace my friend. And may the ripples of change last more than 500 years.