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Ruben Gonzalez

Ruben teaches the personal effectiveness system he used to achieve success again and again in both the Olympics and in business. He is proof that ordinary people can achieve greatness.

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A seemingly “ordinary guy,” Ruben Gonzalez wasn’t a gifted athlete. He didn’t take up the sport of luge until he was 21. Against all odds, four years later he was competing in the Winter Olympics. At the age of 47 he was racing against 20-year-olds in the Vancouver Winter Olympics!

Ruben speaks from Olympic experience. He teaches the personal effectiveness system he used to achieve success again and again in both the Olympics and in business. He is proof that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things if they will follow a few simple steps.

From Dubai to Toronto, from Hanoi to Cancun, from Singapore to Africa, Ruben has inspired and motivated audiences around the world. His client list reads like a Who’s Who of Corporate America: Dell, Coca-Cola, Farmers Insurance, Ortho McNeal, the Million Dollar Round Table, Oracle, Wells Fargo, Century21, and even the U.S. Treasury Department!  Ruben has shared the stage with speaking legends Zig Ziglar, Denis Waitley, and Tom Hopkins. They’ve hailed him as a leader of a new generation of personal development speakers.

As a Four-Time Olympian and internationally recognized expert on developing mental toughness, Ruben Gonzalez knows how to achieve success again and again. A master storyteller, Ruben uses his Olympic experiences to inspire audiences to think differently, live life with passion and have the courage to take the necessary steps toward their goals – to push beyond self-imposed limitations and to produce better results!

Ruben’s appeared nationally on ABC, CBS, and NBC. He’s been featured in Time Magazine, the NY Times, as well as publications around the world. His articles on peak-performance are read on every continent. His book, “The Courage to Succeed,” has been endorsed by Lou Holtz, Stephen Covey, Ken Blanchard, Brian Tracy, and Dr. Robert Schuller. Armed with the same energy and dedication that he put into his athletic career, Ruben Gonzalez brings to audiences of all sizes and backgrounds a truly unique, truly memorable performance that teaches as it entertains, and inspires as it motivates.

Because of his powerfully inspiring story, Ruben was selected to carry the Olympic Torch at the Salt Lake City Olympics. Ruben’s story of overcoming incredible challenges on the road to competing in four Olympic Games over the span of four decades goes right into the core of his audiences psyche, filling them with the inspiration and self belief they need to achieve their goals.

Ruben will inspire and equip your people to achieve more than ever before. People walk out of Ruben’s keynote presentation knowing they have what it takes to achieve sustained success. Ruben will inspire your people to reach their full potential, to make bold decisions and to take action – creating long lasting success for your organization. He will change you.

Ruben Gonzalez's Programs

Important Note: Ruben will tailor his presentation based on your needs, your goals, and the theme of your event.

The following titles and topics can be mixed and matched to create the perfect program for your audience. Ruben has many hours of material made up of personal Olympic stories and stories of his adventures around the world (climbing mountains, running with the bulls in Pamplona, etc.). These stories powerfully illustrate the topics of teamwork, leadership, sales, overcoming challenges, embracing change, customer service, managing risk, positive attitude and how to achieve more.

Ruben will always make sure to include stories in his presentation that fit your objectives.

From Ordinary to Extraordinary Ruben is proof that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things if they follow a few simple steps. Ruben is funny, direct and on target. He’s on a mission to inspire and equip people to think differently, to take immediate action, and to produce better results. To achieve more than ever before. Through his riveting stories and keen insights Ruben brings the Olympics to life. He will give your audience an Olympic experience they will never forget. A transforming, powerfully emotional experience. Truly an event. Ruben’s story of his quest for the Olympics gives people hope and strength. His story moves people to commitment and action. After experiencing Ruben’s program, your people will know exactly what it takes to succeed in life. Your people will be inspired and equipped to take whatever they do to the next level. Your people will learn: How to build confidence and destroy fear. How to unleash their passion and drive. How to unlock their full potential. How to turn defeat into victory. How to become more resilient. How to reach their personal and professional goals.

Becoming Unstoppable Success Secrets of a Four-Time Olympian Ruben’s story of his quest for the Olympics gives people hope and strength. His inspiring story moves people to commitment and action. Your audience will learn how to build confidence and destroy fear, how to unleash their passion and drive, how to unlock their full potential, how to turn defeat into victory, and how to achieve their personal or professional ambitions. This program is perfect for a group facing change, challenges or set-backs to overcome. Your audience will learn how to become resilient and how to become unstoppable on the way to the top. Your people will learn: How to condition their minds for success. How to become unstoppable in the face of challenges. How to take their commitment to a higher level. How to become confident and laser focused. How to become better leaders.

Sales Secrets of a Four-time Olympian Ruben sold copiers in downtown Houston for several years. He regularly speaks for sales kickoffs all around the world. In addition to selling copiers, Ruben sold paper shredders. He tells a story about how he knocked on every door of every floor of every building in downtown Houston many times. The only building he could never get into was the Enron building because it had such tight security. He always wondered what was going on in there. Now that he knows, he thinks that he could have sold them a million dollars worth of paper shredders! Ruben doesn’t talk about sales techniques and closes. He talks about attitude, stick-to-ive-ness, and mental toughness. The things that it really takes to succeed in sales and in life. Your people will learn: How to sell uniquely from their competition. How to become high performers. How to gain a competitive advantage. How to separate themselves from their competition. How to commit to their goals. How to keep moving forward while constantly improving. How to consistently be at their best. How to connect and listen to people to sell more. How to get and stay motivated.

Safety and Managing Risk – Secrets of a Four-Time Olympian Many people think that lugers are adrenaline junkies. On the contrary, lugers as a whole are very analytical and rigorously follow proven processes. They understand that in order to consistently have the best times, they need to manage risk and stay safe because when you are hurt you can’t train. The adrenaline junkies quit after a few weeks and go on to something else. Although Ruben enjoys challenging himself with high risk activities, he always manages risk by learning from the experts and doing lots of due diligence before taking action. In sports, at work and in life, you don’t know what you don’t know and what you don’t know can hurt you. In this presentation Ruben shares the importance of learning what to do and what not to do to stay safe and to produce more. He does this through entertaining stories about climbing Kilimanjaro, skydiving in South Africa, luging, running with the bulls in Pamplona, and other great high risk experiences where Ruben was able to stay injury free by managing the risk around him. Your people will learn: How to reduce disability. How to achieve superior safety in the workplace. How focusing on the task at hand increases safety. How to take responsibility for your results. How to using due diligence prevents accidents. How to be present and how to create contingency plans.

Overcoming Challenges – Secrets of a Four-Time Olympian Ruben did’t take up the sport of luge until he was 21 years old. He was a marginal athlete, lived in hot and humid Houston, Texas, and financed his Olympic training himself. People laughed at him and said he was crazy. He broke many bones on the way to the Olympics and eventually became the only person to ever compete in four Winter Olympics each in a different decade. He’s an ordinary man who accomplished the extraordinary and THAT’S what makes him special. Because people in his audiences relate to Ruben and after hearing him are inspired to go the extra mile and fight for their goals and dreams. Your people will learn: How to become resilient in the face of challenges. How to become mentally tough. How to create a vision that keeps them from becoming discouraged. How to create the mindset of a champion. How to outlast their competition. How to win regardless of the circumstances.

Embracing Change – Secrets of a Four-Time Olympian Anybody that can switch from soccer to luge at the age of 21 and make it to the Olympics knows a thing or two about embracing change. The luge is a lot like race car driving. In car racing, you use different tires for different road conditions. In the luge you prepare your steels differently for different tracks and for different weather. You have to be ready for any changes in conditions. Whenever conditions change, whoever adapts first wins. Change is actually a good thing because it is like a blank slate – it gives you an opportunity to leave the competition behind. If you don’t embrace change you’ll get left in the dust. Like a 6th-grade-educated truck driver who became a millionaire used to tell me, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” In the 1970s, in the days of mechanical watches, Switzerland owned 50% of the world’s watch business. They refused to embrace the quartz movement technology and Japan took their business away. When fuel injection replaced carburetors in the 80s, the mechanics that didn’t embrace that change went out of business. When the analog copiers I sold in the were replaced by digital technology, the salespeople who didn’t embrace change lost their jobs. Vinyl records got replaced by CDs, and today they are not putting CD players in laptops because that technology is being replaced. In the telecommunications industry, they went from selling boxes to selling cloud services, the list goes on and on. So deal with it. Everything that is comfortable for you right now is eventually going to change. But that’s a good thing. Change is good. It gives you a chance to get ahead of your competition – as long as you embrace it. Your people will learn: How to navigate challenges, problems and setbacks with agility. How to use creativity to stay ahead of the game. How to innovate in any situation. How to take advantage of change to surpass your competition. How to thrive in the midst of uncertainty and change.

Leadership Secrets of a Four-Time Olympian When Ruben got started in the luge he thought he could do it all himself. Along the way Ruben realized that he would need help. He needed coaches, sled mechanics, doctors, chiropractors, financial assistance, etc. He needed to learn some leadership skills and create a team of people. Ruben was able to create a Dream Team and by working through his team he was able to realize his Olympic dream. Ruben believes top leaders are trustworthy and passionate about their mission, and they have a high level of Emotional Intelligence which allows them to truly connect with their people. Those attributes make people want to follow them and fight for the leader’s goals. Your people will learn: How to engage their teams. How to communicate effectively as a leader. How to use Emotional Intelligence to connect with their people. How to get their people to take personal responsibility for their results. How top leaders make quick and effective decisions. How to become better leaders by teaching, coaching and mentoring their people. How to connect with their people in a meaningful way. How to achieve maximum positive impact with their teams. Why perfectionists have trouble leading people. How to use failure as a tool to become a better leader. Why being open about your mistakes makes you a better leader. How to turn success into significance. Teamwork Secrets of a Four-Time Olympian Ruben trained for years as part of an international team made up up lugers from many different countries. Even though they competed against each other at World Cup races, European Championships, World Championships and the Olympics, they understood that their best chance was to work together and help each other out during the training week. This is because they were competing against powerhouse teams from Germany, Italy, Russia and Austria that would eat their lunch if they didn’t work together. Ruben also shares the story about how after the Berlin Wall came down, the East and West German luge teams, who were bitter rivals made a decision to work together and create an even better team than the sum of its parts. A great story for merging companies or merging segments of a company to hear. Your people will learn: How to create a high performance team. How to develop mutual respect amongst teammates. How by focusing on that’s best for their team they can be their best. How to stop making excuses and start taking responsibility and accountability. How to get themselves to focus on exceeding expectations. Ruben promises not to say that there is no “I” in TEAM, or tell any other worn out stories like the one about throwing the starfish back into the water.

Customer Service – Secrets of a Four-Time Olympian Ruben’s first job in high school was working at Chick-fil-A, where he worked for four years. During that time he was part of a crew that was selected to help train and open other stores. Incredibly, the members of his crew had no turnover in four years and they still keep in touch 40 years later. Ruben actually got to spend valuable time with Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A. Working at Chick-fil-A was an incredible opportunity to learn about customer service, leadership and teamwork. Ruben went on to work at other restaurants for six years before getting into copier sales. In his customer service presentations Ruben also shares things the different Olympic Villages have done to create an “Olympic Experience” for the athletes. Your people will learn: How to connect with customers in a meaningful way. How to deliver exceptional service by taking personal responsibility. How to become creative and proactive in anticipating customer’s needs. How to create an exceptional experience for customers. How to achieve maximum positive impact with customers. How to develop loyal relationships with customers.


Ruben Gonzalez's Books