Blinded before the age of 10, this guy knows how to problem-solve. Meet Michael Edward.

No more excuses for setting and accomplishing goals

This interview with Janice Stephens about Michael Edward and his ability to help other people accomplish their goals is just what you need to hear to be convinced that Michael has a special talent. Blinded before the age of 10, he uses his strengths to find unique ways to think through problem-solving.

Mike’s perseverance and positive attitude are why he’s one of our Shout Your Cause beneficiaries for whom we are raising funds to help with digital marketing and advertising expenses.

Listen to the full interview here.

Want to help Michael progress with his marketing and advertising?

Please consider donating to Michael's cause to get his course to the world.



 00:06                                     Hi, Janice Stevens. My name is Sally Hendrick and welcome. Thank you for talking with me today.

00:13                                     Well thank you. [inaudible].

00:15                                     You're welcome. Um, I'm so glad that we got to, uh, have a little discussion first and talk about Michael Edward and he is one of my clients and someone who I've enjoyed working with over the last few months. And uh, I wanted to gather up some information on him from other people to see if we could get some, a better idea of what his life has been like and to also help to help him in his coaching program to get it marketed and advertised properly through our shout your cause, uh, arm of the business. So thank you for coming.

01:00                                     Okay. And so I'm anxious to hear what you have to say.

01:04                                     Yeah, well, and I'm really looking forward to finding out more about Michael because he has been really fun to work with. Also very challenging because from what I know, he has been blind since before the age of 10, which obviously gives its challenges, but he has an incredible way of working with people. I've working on the computer and being able to use the tools that he has available to him that, uh, seeing people do not have access to. And so it's, it's hard to understand until you take the time to get in and try to understand his situation. So, um, tell me a little bit more about how you know him.

01:50                                     Uh, I've known Michael Edward for quite a while. I, I first met him when I was hiring, um, new staff on it, a call center in Vancouver. And Michael came and uh, I had called him for an interview and within an hour he was asking him what information he needed. He was in the office asking for a pre interview. He was very anxious to learn more about the job. And for me it was incredible cause lots of times I would ask people to come in for interviews and [inaudible] so what do I have to do? But to have a person who comes in, they're blind, they can't hear very well, and they will do anything to prove that they are capable of doing anything a sighted person can. And that's what exactly what he did. He took the job that was meant for a sighted person and he turned that into a job that a blind person could access and um, do and, um, worked on the telephones my best achiever ever had and found ways around the our computer system that even R E T people didn't know about. So.

02:58                                     Well, that's interesting.

03:00                                     Yeah, no, it's true. All of them. One of my supervisors, um, said, uh, I dunno what, what Michael has done here, but I now have stats I didn't even know I could have. So yeah, he was, he was, he was my best employee. I was really proud of what he did. He, um, he endeared people to him and he made friends of everyone. Um, and when he found some discrepancies, he would bring them to me and say, here's what I found. I found it in a very unusual way. Um, but you use it, how you want to use it in my mouth is shot

03:40                                     [inaudible]

03:40                                     product productivity, let's face it. You know, he was more productive than anybody else in the unit, so

03:47                                     that's amazing.

03:49                                     Yeah. And he created bonds with my, um, uh, people, uh, uh, my suppliers. And they love to deal with him. Um, knowing that they, if he, if he could find a way to get them the services they're asked for and getting through the proof he go that way. He just wouldn't say, no, we can't do that and hang up. He would do anything to make certain our client God would they need it.

04:16                                     And that also is a very unique skill to be able to figure out different ways of doing things because he has to sync it behind the scenes. He has to think around the corners. He has to use every type of tool that he can to be able to find the answers to people's problems. And that seems like a really great segue into this coaching program that he has created about crushing mental blocks and creating positivity in your life and being able to move past these things that stop us in our tracks when we have certain goals. Um, so what do you think about that?

05:01                                     Oh, that is, that is him to a T. he's had to do all of that in order to get where he's at. And he, um, he, uh, just amazed me. Um, he helped me through, um, certain little hurdles I was having and it was like, wow, I didn't think about it that way. Had I thought about it that way. You've opened the door. I now I know which way to move. Um, he, he, it's the creative creativity that he's got and the knack of being able to get into someone's head and figure out what it is you really need. I don't know how another way of saying that, but it's the truth. He's, he can motivate you, motivate you to think in a different way that pulls you out of that hole you're in. Put it that way. Um,

05:48                                     and how was that, how, how was that for you emotionally, you know, to be going through a process like that and getting stuck? How was he able to help you get past that? Um, some times,

06:03                                     yeah. Well, you know, one of his, the crushed your mental blocks program. He's, he's got a segment in there about, um, changing mindset. Um, and um, it's like any, any, he says, you know, when you walk through the doorway, that doorway is a marker for you to say, okay, I'm moving to a different site. I've got a change in my mindset. For instance, I think he'll use the thing of, you know, you come home from work and you're upset, you're angry, but when you walk through that front door, you're going into a different life and those people shouldn't be responsible for how your feelings are. You have to adapt to say, put that behind you and move forward. He just has a way of you looking at a situation going, well, why am I, why am I carrying all this garbage around with me when I really don't need it?

06:52                                     Is it helping me focus? No. Well, then get rid of it. He is a very simple way of thinking. It's black and white and most of us, particularly, I'm gonna say women, but it's not a great thing to say. We look at things differently. Okay, we really do. And he, he knows how to get around that. Um, I don't think about it that way. Have you thought about it in these terms and what are your objectives? Are we going to get to from point a to point B or are you going to stay in between pointing point B and, and never make a decision. It's all about helping you make those decisions to move forward in life.

07:30                                     And I bet he breaks it down into shorter, smaller decisions one step at a time too, which would probably make us, because women tend to carry around everything. We have all the information, we have all the thoughts and we have all this going on all at the same time. And so it's a cult for us to drop those balls and think that they're going to be safely kept caught somewhere else.

07:58                                     Huh, right. You got it. Sally. That's it.

08:01                                     Yeah. So I can see him teaching in that manner. Definitely. Um, it's been a pleasure working with him the last few months because, uh, I've got a process where I help people with their marketing and advertising for the digital marketing side of things. And that's, he's since his course is an online program and he has a, you know, a coaching program and he has materials and all of that that you can download from a website. And when I help people through that process, basically I go through and I asked him all of these questions that make them really think deeply about what they're doing and about who they're serving and give, you know, really distinctive and succinct answers on what their programs are about the benefits and so on and so forth. And I'm trying to get him to narrow that down, the exact type of people he needs to help.

08:57                                     And just this conversation with you makes me think it might be advantageous to actually test out women first because when you identify, um, a specific type of group of people and you say, this is for women who experience X, Y, Z, what happens is those people are able to actually step into that conversation much faster and much easier in a more welcoming way. And that's how you pull them into a digital program. And so just has helped me to think about some ways I can help him to come up with some nice ideal client situations.

09:40                                     Yeah. He tries, you know, he doesn't look at a person is male or female. Um, every person is an individual, no matter who they are. He, um, you know, I, I, I say women be only because it was just you and I speaking, but he can help anyone, any, he puts that out to anyone he meets. She says, if you need help, let me know because I know I can help you. Uh, any does no matter who they are. Um, but he has a way of putting you at ease and, um, I, I don't, I guess it's letting your guard down to say, I don't need to carry all this other stuff. Let's just see this. This is what I want to do is with him. It's black and white. Is this what you want to do? Yes. Well then let's move on and let's show you how to do it right. Um, he, he just knows how to motivate a person and gets them to look at themselves and realize that they're only holding themselves back and put the effort into it. You know, put your effort into it and you will get something out of it.

10:54                                     What was it you were saying earlier? We were talking about, uh, like a three strikes way or he has this intuitive way of knowing if you're ready or not. He kind of gives you three chances, um, to straight if you're ready. But that he knows if you're not that he will say, okay, let's back up and we're going to address this another way.

11:17                                     You're right. He does. He does have that intuitive sense of knowing that something isn't, isn't working. He'll think of other ways to get around it and get to it from another angle.

11:30                                     That's cool.

11:31                                     Yeah. And, and, and that, and that is, that is really good because that's usually the angle that you aren't expecting and you look at them and go, I never thought about it that way. That works.

11:43                                     I bet he would be good at conflict resolution as well.

11:48                                     Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, he can, um, sit in a situation that two sides are very dramatic and upset with each other and he can listen to both sides and see very cool and calmly, um, this is what it appears to be. Um, are you both aware of what you have to do to make changes? Like he can calm a situation down and it too, from a boiling point to um, just to slow sizzle with just a very calm approach and it's so wonderful and it's like, wow, how did you do that one?

12:35                                     Yeah. And that gives me more ideas about how to help him with his marketing messages as well. Cause when you start talking about these things in that light, even if he's not, you know, solving conflicts between other people, he's mostly resolving conflicts within the same person. Um, you could still say, well this is, this is what your ego is telling you, but this is what I can see as being, you know, your problem or a solution to your problem that you may not be seeing.

13:11                                     You're right. Absolutely. Yeah. [inaudible]

13:16                                     yeah. So then,

13:17                                     yeah, that is a great approach there because when we get wound up, we can't see what's right directly in front of our nose. And sometimes that person can tell you what it is and you're still not receptive. So you need another way of going around it before you're receptive to what the person is saying. And he's good at that.

13:39                                     That gives me more ideas. I think maybe I might even want to do some interviews with him and maybe some of my clients who have these mental blocks and see if he could do on the fly.

13:51                                     Oh, I'm certain he probably could because you know, he has dealt with so many, um, uh, issues on his own to move forward in life that we take for granted. He's learned so much that way that he, he uses the challenges he's been through his lifetime. [inaudible] create a pathway, I guess I'll say to understanding the sighted individual. And I don't like to put people in categories, but it's the truth. Um, he knows how to listen very carefully for the cues and then sort that out and he's does it in such a cool, calm way. Um, he has a voice that is very, um, uh, well, he's got a great sense of humor for one thing and, but he also has calm, calming voice that settles you down and then you start to listen. Um, so that I think is um, his a great attribute on his part.

14:52                                     I love that. I've told him many times, I said, well, why don't we make some of these videos you've got and turn them into audios because I think that there'll be more effective when people can just hear the way your voice sounds. Cause he does, he has this nice melodic tone that is very homey and very soothing and I believe that. And I know that he's got some audios and things in his, in his program, some of them. Let's use some of that to your advantage on the marketing end as well.

15:23                                     Yeah, I think audio is a very good realm for him. I know he's stretched so hard and he works so hard at all those videos, but there's a bias towards looking at person who is blind because they can't communicate the same gestures a sighted person can. And some people get turned off by that. And, and I, and I, and it's, it's just one of those things. And I said, you know, I think they're great, but I said, I know you and I, but to a person who hasn't seen a blind person before, they get feel awkward. And if you can't get over that awkwardness, it's not going to help you work through what you want to use them for. But audio is, I think, a wonderful way to go because you concentrate on his voice and you concentrate on what he's trying to do for you. You're not looking at video going, what's, that's a weird hand. Yester well, and he's using his braille note sometimes, you know, um, I can get by, but some people wouldn't, you know. Um, so I think audio is a great way to go with him.

16:28                                     Yeah. Well I think too, I've, I wanting so badly to crop some of his videos and then add in some design elements to the side as well, which I think would, would make them move forward a lot easier because unless somebody knows they're going in just to listen, then in there watching a video, it sets the tone differently as to what they're expecting. And so I think that that's, we're going to try to, um, incorporate a little bit of video editing and also, um, some audio editing as well to go in and use his stories cause he's got some great stories. And then of course his own story is amazing and inspiring and uh, and I really want people to get his message out there cause I think he's got something to say

17:22                                     so. Well we, yeah, he does. He does. It's again, it's, if it was like the very first time I met him, all I needed was an opportunity and once I gave him that opportunity, he flew with it. Right. Cause he's, he's so motivated. Any very positive. And so Sally, what, what you'd be doing is giving him that, that opportunity for him to fly. Right. And that's all he wants.

17:46                                     Yeah. Help people. Yes.

17:49                                     Yes. Him such a great feeling of I'm contributing because his sector is such that they put handicap people like themselves into a corner and they say, okay, you can only do such and such. We don't think you can do anything else. Well, he's proven he's gone to, to college. He's is, he's graduated, he's done things. Um, with no sight in hardly any hearing that most people who wouldn't go to a blind deaf school come out thinking, well, I'm only going to be on a, um, a welfare type wage cause no one will ever hire me. Cause people make excuses not to hire them. So for what he's done and where he's gone, it's just been wonderful.

18:36                                     Yes. I'm so glad that you go ahead. [inaudible]

18:40                                     yeah. He has to prove himself all the time. Right. And if the average individual had to go into a job to prove themselves all the time, they say, Oh to hell with this all go somewhere else. But a blind person doesn't have those options. They have to work and what they've gone. Right.

18:57                                     Yes they do. And I am so glad that I've been able to talk with you and get to know more about his past and what he's been doing and the things he's done to help people, especially, you know, talking about in the work situation. That's, that's always inspiring and I can see him definitely motivating other people to be able to get through their issues as well. So this helps me a lot and I'm so thankful that we got to have this chat today and I appreciate you agreeing to do it.

19:31                                     Okay. Sally, I have just one other thing to add. You know, he moved very, very quickly up in the federal government and he became a team leader for, of um, uh, an agency within the government that is a very high, um, high tension area and he motivated people that you wouldn't beyond belief. And he did things that, um, people waited 20 years to, to work to get to. He was able to take a team and turn their stats around and get them motivated. And he was always there for them. And that's what I have to say about Michael Edward. He's there for you and he's there to support you. Give him the opportunity, he'll help you all away.

20:12                                     Thank you. Thank you for that. That really is helpful. And, um, it's been nice talking with you today and nice meeting you and I appreciate it.

20:22                                     Okay, Sally, you have a good day.

20:24                                     All right. You too. Thank you.

20:26                                     No. All right. Take care. Bye. Bye.

20:29     Bye. Bye.




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