InspiratiON. DeterminatiON. DedicatiON. It’s ON!

Jeff Stibel, Vice Chairman of Dun & Bradstreet, was recently recognized for his many accomplishments with an Honorary Doctorate of Business Degree by Pepperdine University. In addition to serving on the boards of numerous organizations, writing two books (Wired For Thought and Breakpoint, a New York Time’s Best Seller), he is a brain scientist.  President Andrew Benton shared in his introduction, “Jeff is a modern Renaissance man: an author, a business entrepreneur, a scientist.”

During the ceremony, Mr. Stibel was recognized for his role in developing a partnership between Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet that is dedicated to the “study, funding, and encouragement of small and medium sized American business”.  President Benton referred to Dun & Bradstreet as “one of our nation’s most staunch advocates of free enterprise”.  Mr. Stibel then shared heartwarming stories of personal failure and the lessons he learned as a result.

In his speech to Pepperdine students graduating in the winter of 2015, Mr. Stibel drew from his diverse experiences to deliver a highly entertaining, deeply inspiring message. In it, he lays the claim that “‘no’ is the most important word in the English language” and challenges people to use “no” as fuel for inspiration.

He shared his insight that “when someone says something negative to you, it is nothing more than an opinion, even if it does happen to come from an expert” and revealed that “people have been telling [him] what [he] can’t do for years.” But for Mr. Stibel, the impossible has become a rally call.  “Impossible means make it happen” should serve as encouragement to the new graduates to explore their professional limits and be the arbiters of their own destiny.

Mr. Stibel recognizes that “Negative words are daggers in this world. They cut away people’s ambitions, passions, their spirits.” He inspires people to “start small, but don’t stop thinking big.”  As a current student, his speech is entertaining, relatable, and extremely motivating.  If you are, or desire to be, the type of person that “hears the word impossible and thinks maybe,” Mr. Stibel’s speech will deeply resonate with you and inspire you to turn “it” on – whatever “it” is to you.

You can watch Mr. Stibel’s speech here:

Photo Credit: Jason Bache, Flicker