720. 17 Years Ago He Left the U.S. for a Sabbatical to Europe, and Never Returned
“We were working in Botswana and the Okavango Delta with top producers from Ford Motor Company at the time. It was a really amazing opportunity and it helped shape the way I see the world today.”
In the last 17 years Billy Keels has had the opportunity to work in 86 countries and learn to speak 5 languages fluently. With myriad personal growth experiences, he has also developed professionally by leading multi-disciplined teams and managing businesses in the application software sector. Billy has earned his stripes as a true problem-solver, a skill he has carried into his new entrepreneurial life. He is also a long-distance real estate entrepreneur, author, coach, public speaker and mentor.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“I ended up falling in love with languages early on. In the 5th grade I had an opportunity to take an 18-week course: 6 weeks of Spanish, followed by 6 weeks of Italian, then 6 weeks of German. Languages continued to play a powerful role in my life and career as I received my second degree in Spanish via a program from the University of Virginia, which took me to Valencia, Spain. My business career led me abroad in 2001, where I have now worked in 86 different countries and can fluently speak 5 languages.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“Everything in my life really started with my closeness to my family. When I was seven years old my parents separated, then got a divorce. The pain I felt was profound, but I began to realize that their divorce was not about me or my brother or sister, but about a relationship that just didn’t work any longer. And in spite of their rift, we continued to receive so much love from each of them. They always let us know how important we each were to them, their top priorities. This truly was a defining turning point in my life and shaped my relationships going forward.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“Great opportunities can come from nowhere, when you least expect them. When I returned from my semester abroad I began thinking about my first real job opportunity: Did I want to go work at brand giant, Proctor & Gamble, 45 minutes down the road or another Fortune 500 company? I was clueless about next steps, then out of the blue an amazing friend of mine told me about an opportunity with a company that had pioneered employee recognition and rewards programs, working with the top companies in the country like American Express and the Ford Motor Company. I was one of the few selected from a large list of candidates, and for the next 5 years I travelled 25 days a month around the country, working with top CEOs and their executives, providing the highest possible value, staying in 5-star hotels and honing my business skills.”
Steps to Success from Billy Keels
Every day presents an amazing opportunity to make a positive impact on your own life, those you love and the world at large, by simply following a few basic principles:
1. Do whatever it is you can do every day to learn to improve.
2. Truly connect with people—with your staff, your clients, and of course with your family.
3. Be a force for positive change on every level of your life.
Connecting With Billy Keels
FreeDownload of his e-Book:Grow Your Money the Smart Way, by Billy Keels
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