In 1997 I kicked off my speaking career at a conference for business students. I charged exactly zero dollars.

You might be thinking, “Wow, that’s still really great, Jeannette! Way to seize an opportunity.” Not so fast. They didn’t ask me to come.

What really happened is that I called the executive director and asked if I could come. Her name is Glenice, and she took a chance on me by giving me my first shot at professional speaking. I remember feeling incredibly nervous and that I couldn’t possibly prepare enough. I spent hours creating materials with the pixilated free clipart that was popular in the 90s and printing overhead projector slides on acetate transparency sheets. It seems like a lifetime ago, but it was the moment when appreciation change my life

“Glenice not only thanked me with a hug, conversation, and the actual words ‘thank you’, she thanked me with a check. Wow. My first paid gig as a professional speaker.” excerpt from G Factor: 8 Secrets to Increasing Your Gravitational Pull at Work

Twenty-four years later, I reflect on that experience and see how an expression of gratitude played a pivotal role in where I am today.

I continued to volunteer for that student organization for several years all because of the appreciation Glenice showed me. During that time, I came to know many of the college faculty who taught the students who part of the student organization.

In 2003, I was hired to teach beside some of those faculty members, and I experienced what it was like to be part of an incredible, high-performing team.

Last month, the journey came full circle. I returned to that student conference as the keynote speaker; I had the thrill of sharing my story and encouraging these future leaders to maximize their momentum with G Factor.

Who knew a little gratitude 24 years ago would be a catalyst for where I am today?  I am grateful.

If you are a leader who wants to maximize the momentum of your team, take the free G Factor assessmentto see how strong your gravitational pull is.