10 coolest entrepreneurs: Ty Bennett

Now he's talking

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SOCKSTARS: Ty Bennett is wearing socks in honor of his alma mater, BYU, where he studied entrepreneurship. (Photo by Dave Blackhurst/UVBizQ)

Leadership Inc.: Ty Bennett, 36

Ty Bennett is the talk of the town. Well, the talk of many towns, to be exact. His life as an author and public speaker has led to more than 100 keynote speaking engagements a year in cities all over the world. His clients include the likes of Coca-Cola, AT&T, Delta Airlines, Subway and Home Depot. And Bennett has written four leadership books, including his latest, “Partnership is the New Leadership.”

BABY STEPS When I was a kid I thought I’d play in the NBA, but I never grew past 5’11’’.

FOOT IN THE DOOR I wrote my first book in 2010 and one of the first clients who hired me to speak was a group that puts on conferences for restaurant chains. The speech went well and they booked me for their largest conference where I shared the stage with President Bush and President Clinton. From that event I was hired by nearly every state in the U.S. for their own state conferences.

SPRING IN YOUR STEP I love the growth entrepreneurship requires. I wouldn’t have learned or grown at the same rate if I never started a business — and I’ve seen that with every entrepreneur I’ve met. Equally it allows me to give back as a philanthropist, whether assisting worthy causes, being a board member, or mentoring others, which is one of the main benefits of being self employed.

WHAT’S COOL TO YOU?

Interacting with people in a way that makes them feel better about themselves.

PUT YOUR FEET UP My unwind time is on an airplane as I fly home after a speech. I watch movies, read or listen to podcasts, and get ready to be present when I get home for my wife and kids.

PUT A SOCK IN IT I work with leaders in some of the biggest companies in the world and EGO is my biggest pet peeve. Too many people put themselves above others, and the sad part is they stifle their potential to connect and impact people as a leader.

COLD FEET As much as I love speaking in front of big groups, if they ask me to sing, I’m out!

HOT FEET Give me an audience and a stage and I am at home. I’m weird.

SOCK IT TO ‘EM Action is the key to combating naysayers. Even the littlest step forward changes your mindset and acts as a distraction. When I sold my first business to my brother and set out to become an author and a speaker, I had a mentor tell me, “No one will ever pay you to speak to them.” It stung, but I went to work and hundreds of clients and millions of audience members have now proven him wrong.

BEST FOOT FORWARD I am most proud of the reputation I have built. All the accomplishments in the world can’t change who you are as a person and a leader.

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