BY ALYSSA MAHADEO
“When you are born to fly, nothing less will satisfy.”
From humble beginnings to internationally renowned author, speaker and executive business coach Alvin Day is a simple man, a little boy from Jamaica, with dreams to touch the sky.
Before he was born in Kingston, Jamaica, Alvin was already at a high risk of not surviving this life. His mother, sixteen and unwed was advised against the pregnancy, told to abort, as her circumstances were less than ideal to have a child. Born fatherless, the man who he could have considered a parent made a brief appearance into his life at the age of six. He put fifty cents in his hand and then disappeared from his life forever. At eight years old, his mother packed him up with his two sisters and took them to an airport where she abandoned them and they were split up and sent to live with other relatives. He went to live with his aunt and uncle, however his uncle was a cruel man and beat him mercilessly, to the point that he almost neared his death. When he was around ten years of age his grandmother took him in where she was living in the countryside of Jamaica in Frankfield, Clarendon. Alvin recalls, “She was very wise despite not having an education, she always told me that if I studied hard, respected my teachers and trusted in God, I would be a wonderful man someday and I believed her.”
He took her advice and listened carefully to the wise words of his grandmother. She was his greatest inspiration and she put him through school on her last penny. Where they were living in the Jamaican countryside there was no running water or electricity, Alvin used to do everything by candlelight, but not once did he believe that they were poor. He kept the words of his grandmother close to his heart in everything he did and she told him he was like a caterpillar, soon his wings would come out and he would be able to fly!
Suddenly just as he was finishing his high school exams his grandmother passed away. His teachers didn’t bother with him, to motivate or encourage him to go further as they didn’t think he would amount to much.
Alvin couldn’t imagine life without his grandmother and so after he left high school he realized he was once again homeless. He couldn’t live there without his grandmother. Unsure of where to turn next, he did the only thing that seemed logical at the time. He heard that his mother was living in Wisconsin and so he traveled there to reconnect with her after all of those years. While living in Wisconsin he attended college there and obtained two degrees in Business and Spanish. Soon after he began his first job at Procter & Gamble where he worked for ten years in sales management. After working there for so many years, Alvin became hungry for independence. He decided to branch off and do his own thing, establishing his own business. God was good to Alvin, business was good and it only continued to grow and since then he has never looked back, moving forward and helping to transform the lives of others so that they too can share in the success that the world has to offer.
Today, Alvin Day coaches senior executives and middle managers to go from millions to billions. He has over thirty years experience helping people and businesses grow in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and the Caribbean. He is known internationally as a Transformational Leadership Coach & Management Consultant as well as Keynote Speaker & Author of the bestselling book, If Caterpillars Can Fly – So Can I, plus Persuasion Power and more. The inspiration for his book came from the wise words of his grandmother that he still carries with him to this day.
Alvin attributes much of his success to his grandmother, as she helped to shape the man he became today. Her wisdom ignited within him dreams and expectations for the future while also keeping him grounded and humble, a little boy from Jamaica excited to breath free oxygen and have the opportunity to travel to places all over the world.
Through his years of work and experience Alvin has helped his clients with coaching and training comprised of strategies for self-management and personal development, leadership competencies that drive excellence through people, productivity, performance, tools and processes that build collaboration between suppliers, distributors and customers.
His hope is that the words he shares will touch the lives of people that are willing to listen. Alvin delivers powerful messages of leadership, personal empowerment and sales strategies at corporations and educational institutions around the world.
Through his speeches, seminars, workshops and executive coaching sessions, Alvin shares the challenges and transformational experiences of his own life and connects directly with people’s heads and hearts, touching them on a level that few speakers ever reach.
His own desire to learn and even stronger desire to succeed is what drives him. He is passionate first and foremost about helping others reach that same level of success. With every coaching session, Alvin says that he hopes to “ignite a fire within his clients, to shake them up and disturb them, disrupting their normal patterns of thinking to get them to a place where they will grow and promote dramatic change in their lives.”
Alvin explains, “By challenging their intellect and making them uncomfortable about what they don’t know it gives them an awakening that will help to unlock their higher potential.” He compares his methods to that of a wise farmer, breaking up the ground, cultivating the land before he can sow the seed and they can reap the benefits of the teachings he has to offer. By disconnecting them from what they already know, it will present an open platform for them to accept the knowledge he has to share. “These people are still in an embryotic state, not at their full potential” he shares, “My job is to revive the creative magic and innocence of childhood, to connect with people so they can reflect and discover what changed. He explains how people become detached from their dreams and what they really what want to achieve because the get caught up in the other responsibilities of life. “To achieve more and earn more, you must become more.”
This year Alvin Day will be the featured keynote speaker at the Toronto Caribbean Business Expo in April. For years his compelling story of rising from an abandoned childhood to a prominent, successful businessman, has inspired countless people around the world, as it models their path to success. At the expo his keynote address will touch on the power of collaboration, community and working and coming together to aid in the development of the community. In sharing his knowledge he says that it is important for everyone to know that regardless of his or her background use your strengths to find something in which you will thrive. “If you find someone who is good at everything then you’ve found someone good at nothing.” He commends humanity on their strength and also on their fear of being different. Alvin encourages people to embrace their differences and use it to their advantage especially those who immigrate to or are born here in Canada. Alvin is a down to earth, regular, goofy and relatable guy. He does not seek to intimidate, he only wishes to give people the tools to spread their wings and fly. “I master my expectations. You can’t disappoint me.”
Be sure to catch Alvin’s keynote address on April 24th, 2016 at the Toronto Caribbean Business Expo, come out and discover how we can work together sharing in the tools and resources to help our businesses flourish!