Daniel Szeremet
Sizzle Reel
Jump Notes

March 11, 2022



Welcome (0:18)

Good Morning/Afternoon Everyone!

I am Grateful for the opportunity to share something important to ALL of us.


I applaud all of YOU…

·         For Shining Your Light.

·         (Transition)
For being here DESPITE Disruptions...




Opening (0:20)

It's CRAZY how Disruptive Disruptions can be.

Disruption doesn’t sound good.

·         So as I share my story, I’ll use the word “Interruption” instead

·         Is that OK with you? (Pause for response.) 

·         Great!





1 – THE CALL (2:38)

My First “Interruption” occurred when I was born.

·         My Mom was moved to a Mental Care Unit of the hospital. (This was 1954 - A Different Time)

·         My Dad was not capable of taking care of a newborn

·         Dad was already raising my 3 year old Brother

·         My 2 Year old Sister was with another family

So Dad brought me straight from the hospital 

·         4 days old

·         To Grandma and Grandpa

·         They were NOT my biological Grandparents

·         They knew my Dad when he was growing up

·         They took me into their home on North Ave.

They were already raising their own Grandson

·         So I had a ready-made family

·         A Brother, 4 years older

·         Hand-me-downs

·         And Grandma… my First Star

Grandma was Scotch-Irish

·         About 5 feet 6 inches tall

·         A simple, humble woman

·         Raised on a Wisconsin Farm

She married Grandpa

·         They moved to Milwaukee

·         Grandpa worked at Schlitz Brewery

·         During World War II, Grandma did too

·         She also raised her children

·         Then her Grandson

·         And me.

Grandma said I was smart.       
                according to my 1st Grade Teacher

Grandma said I was good.
                I tried to prove her right.

Grandma said I was special.
                I AM grateful Grandma believed in me.

Every other Saturday, we would go Up North

- To get eggs from the Farm

- And to visit Grandma and Grandpa's

- family and relatives

- living in the farmland and villages

  about an hour North of Milwaukee

On the way up, I often sat on the front bench seat of the car between Grandpa and Grandma.

Inevitably, Grandma would reach into her purse and pull out a handkerchief

·         Then she’d wet that handkerchief with her tongue,

·         Then she would use that wet handkerchief to   clean out my ears

·         Grandma said my ears were so dirty, I could grow   potatoes in there.

·         As a 6 year old I pictured little potatoes growing in my ears

·         This was one of many memories of a special    person in MY life.

Maybe your memories are with YOUR parents, or YOUR grandparent, or maybe another relative, or non-relative who is special to you.

Perhaps… like me, they were legal guardians, who… for me, will always be Grandpa and Grandma.

And Grandma kept the potatoes out of my ears!




2 – THE JOURNEY (4:00)

Occasionally Dad would send my brother to pick me up on a Saturday,

- After brother watched movies at the Boys' Club        theater.

        - The Boys' Club sounded like fun.

        - But you had to be at least 7½ years old to join.

        - I couldn’t wait to be 7½ years old.

When I turned 7½ years old, my life was interrupted.

During a Summer visit with Dad, I learned I would be living with Dad and Brother from then on.

- Because this was my actual family.

- I wondered when I would see Grandma again?

I got to join the Boys' Club!

- Dad got to enjoy the child care benefits of the
          Boys’ Club.

- Dad drove Cab 6 days a week.

- So on Saturdays, brother and I rode city buses    across town to watch out of date movies on the big screen

We watched:

        - Sci-Fi Movies with alien
                - Black and White Westerns
                - Colorful Swashbucklers
                - Horror Films like Frankenstein
                - Comedies like
                        Abbott & Costello meet Frankenstein

Dad had an uncanny resemblance to... Costello.

Dad also had the only key to the house.

- Which meant, after school we had to wait outside,   for about an hour, before Dad got home.

- So we kicked around the neighborhood.

·         I searched for 

- functional playground equipment,
- and climbable trees.


We were "Free Range".


And that "range" got mighty cold in Wisconsin Winters.


  • I am not saying we walked to school every day through 4 feet of snow.
  • You might have already heard that story.


Our snow was about 2 feet deep

        - I was about 4 feet tall.

        - And School was closed.


  • So we waited outside in subfreezing temperatures that froze every extremity.
  • While blustery winds violently shook my 8 year old body and sudden gusts abruptly stole my breath.


Living with Dad was difficult.

- Grandma provided a home, warm and open.

- With Dad we were shivering in the elements.
              - not JUST LITERALLY
                - ACTUALLY!

- Life was easier with Grandma. I yearned to return.

When I complained to Dad about the cold, he put me to work selling door-to-door,

        - to "keep me busy".

- It kept me busy, NOT warm.

I sold greeting cards, candy, flower seeds, and garden seeds from Winter to late Spring.

My efforts paid off!

        - I earned 2 weeks of summer camp

        - I learned that work has its rewards

        - I survived Winter.

I also learned that life is an adventure.

- We rode the Greyhound Bus to Horse Tracks in Illinois, when Dad got a tip.


        - Once Dad walked 3 miles with us, each way, to
           Jackson Park, to see the swans in the park lagoon.


                - Dad barbequed on a park grill

- I got bit by a swan.


One morning, we discovered Dad lying on the couch. His eyes were glazed, he was unable to speak.

        - We called for help.

        - An ambulance took Dad to the Hospital.

        - Within the week, Dad died.

- At Dad’s funeral, I felt numb. I wished I could bring
          him back.

- Grandma showed up all 4 days of Dad's wake/burial
                - This meant everything to me.
                - I wanted to go home with Grandma.

But Life was being INTERRUPTED again.



3 - THE PIT (2:25)

As I turned 9 years old, Brother and I, plus sister, moved in with an aunt and uncle, half brother to Dad.

In that household:

The slightest provocation could trigger a swift reaction: 

        - a sharp tongue, 
        - a harsh scolding,
        - a long browbeating lecture.

Usually over a misunderstanding.

For example, when I attempted to stop my young cousin from putting a butterknife in a wall socket, I was accused and scolded for telling her child what to do.

When he then put the knife in the wall socket, and felt the electrical shock, I was accused and scolded again for “kicking” him.

When we first moved in, we were promised an allowance and chores.

My DAILY Chores were:

  • Walking ¾ of a mile, to bring groceries home, regardless of weather.
  • Washing dishes, pot and pans for a family of 8
  • Walking and cleaning up after the family dog, a Mastiff twice my weight.
  • More chores on weekends and Summer.

However, allowance never happened.

When I asked about the allowance, my aunt would snap:

“You should be happy to have a roof over your head.”

“You could be living in an orphanage, where you have no family."

"The County isn't giving us enough money for you anyway.” 

I got the message.

I would have been happier living with Grandma.

My aunt said I could never live with Grandma.

        - Because Grandma was not actual family.
        - Because Grandma was too old to have foster 
        - Because I had no choice.
        - I had to be a "certain age" before a judge would
          even hear me.

The following year, I was banned from visiting Grandma.

My aunt said she could NOT imagine how someone could love a child who was NOT related by blood.

- Our aunt was NOT related by blood.

But I knew... Grandma loved me.



4 - THE QUEST (0:56)

When I earned a wage in a summer work program, my aunt made me use my entire summer earnings to pay for high school books. While my aunt received a government voucher for the purpose of my school books.

At the age of 13, I found myself at greater odds with my aunt.

- When I objected to unfair treatment I was

- No worries, I blocked her attempted blows to my

Then I remembered, from ALL those lectures, I had no choice... until I reached "a certain age".




Thirteen must have been “a certain age”.

I spoke to my social worker and requested removal from the household.

- With insistence, I landed in the county orphanage.

- Where I felt isolated, abandoned, lonely and scared 

        - I was separated from my brother, my sister, my
          friends, my girlfriend, family.

- Except this time it was MY choice, MY doing.

- NOW I had NO family.

- This time, “I” INTERRUPTED my life.

But I had NOT interrupted my faith.

        - My hope continued
        - My prayers continued
        - And I had Grandma’s phone number,
          memorized since First Grade.

Once I got in contact with Grandma, she requested to bring me home. (Sigh of relief) 

It felt good to be wanted, to feel Loved, to return home.



6 - THE ASCENSION (1:59)

As I approached my 14th Birthday,

- I returned to North Avenue where Grandma,                             and Grandpa lived (with my original brother).

        - I resumed those trips up North, and I                                 was reacquainted with aunts and uncles and                        cousins near and far.

    I caught up with my brother, sister, friends, and girlfriend. 

    • I was happy to introduce them to Grandma.
    • I cherished Grandma.
    • I listened to her advice.

Grandma encouraged me to forgive.

I made peace with my aunt and uncle, and keep in touch with their children, my cousins.

Grandma encouraged me to visit my mother.

        - Which I did… for Mom’s sake.

Over time, I realized this was for BOTH our sakes. 

Mom was warm, intelligent, articulate, and caring.

I could tell she loved me.

Mom's life improved.

- Mom went from a boarding house situation to her own apartment, with her own phone.

After that, we talked at least 5 times a week, and I’d see Mom multiple times during my visits to Milwaukee.

·         I got to Know and Love my Mom!

Mom introduced me to her large (and pretty amazing) family… relatives I didn’t know I had, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, even a half-brother, 6 years older.

All this by following Grandma’s advice of Love and forgiveness.

There was a time, when it seemed, I had NO family.

Now when I visit home, I am welcomed by 3 families and a lot of relatives. [  :  ]



MESSAGE (0:41)

You see, in the face of difficult times and INTERRUPTIONS, there IS ALWAYS HOPE.


We also have POWER, each one of us.

- We can think of Power as Physical Strength

- We can think of Power as Position or Authority

- We can think of Power as Money.

- We can also think of Power as Love.

    Strength, Position, Authority, Money can be INTERRUPTED at any time.

Your Love can ONLY be INTERRUPTED if you allow it. 
YOU make that decision.




LOVE can be applied anywhere, anytime.

        - Love can be shared as a kind word, a helping 
         hand, a smile.

        - Love can be felt as goodwill toward your
         neighbors, friends, co-workers,

        - Even those you don't know, yet.

Love can even be as BIG as a BIG OLD HUG from Grandma.

Feel free to give yourself a BIG OLD HUG. 
It's your choice.

        - Love heals.

        - Love grows.

        - Love brings us together.

        - Love makes us stronger in more ways    than you might think.

You can point yourself towards Love… anytime.



Grandma pointed me towards Love,

- A direction as steady as “North”.

- It was the direction we traveled together: Up North

- It's the name of the street where we lived: North Ave.

I use this metaphor, 

- like a compass,

- to check my bearing.

- to verify: I am aligning with Love.

This has given me a better world.

How does one align with Love?

In any situation I might ask myself:

        "Am I seeing Love?"

        "Am I giving Love?" 

        "Am I moving towards a higher Love?"


You're thinking about Love right now, aren't you?

When you... move TOWARDS Loveyou are moving AWAY from fear.




Grandma was an inspiring example of Love.

- So I wrote a Song for Grandma

Would you like to hear it?

(Audience: Yes) Great!

Before I sing... I invite you... to take a moment to... think about WHO that special person is for YOU.

        Is it YOUR Grandma or YOUR Grandpa?

        Is it YOUR Mom or YOUR Dad?

        Perhaps it's a special relative, 

        Maybe it’s a non-relative who is special to you.

        That special person could be anyone who has shined
        light in your life.

That special person could even be YOU. You may never know to what extent... you inspire others.

Who do you inspire? Who inspires you?

This song is for someone who inspired me.

Are you ready to hear the song?
(Audience: Yes)

Ladies and Gentleman: (15:46)




A Song for Grandma - North (20:46)




Love brought us into this World.
At birth, WE bought Love into the World
Love is our essence.
Sometimes we forget that.
I forgot for a while.

Then in 1994, I experienced an epiphany, an awakening, a change of state, a release. 

Whatever it was, I placed this bow on my guitar that year to celebrate that event.

Because with this guitar, I wrote:

  • A song that led me to that epiphany.
  • Then I wrote another song that shares what I learned.

In my Keynote Concert, I share that incredible story with those songs, a roadmap, and examples.

Then I remembered...

And when you... remember... 
I think you will find that you can enjoy some amazing results.

Here’s an example:



For nearly 3 decades, I worked in electronics, software development, systems engineering, and other highly concentrative work.

I was ready for a change.

So in 2002, I interviewed for a Sales Position at a Timeshare company.

Talking with people about vacations sounded like fun.

I interviewed with The Boss, Freddy McElroy, a proud Irishman.

After a pleasant interview, Freddy hired me.

Freddy was a bit short, a bit stout. 

On the sales floor, Freddy had a bit of a scrappy attitude that reminded me of a Leprechaun guarding his gold.

Freddy gave every salesperson a nickname that appeared in the company wide sales report.

Freddy nicknamed me “Danny Boy”, like the name of that famous Irish Ballad.

I thought, how fun it would be to have an Irishman like Freddy sing an Irish Song at work on Saint Patty’s Day, next Sunday.

It might energize the sales team.

I wondered if Freddy would do it.




Wednesday was the start of our workweek.
Freddy ran the meeting that day.

Near the end of the meeting, Freddy casually pointed to me and asked what I did on my days off.

I didn’t want to say that I was planning to ask him to sing on Saint Patrick’s Day.

So I shared the next thought in my mind.

I had finalized work on an e-commerce website for a corporate client.

Suddenly, in front of the entire sales team, Freddy erupted!

Freddy said, if I wanted to work here, I should “stop playing around on the websites and start learning how to do my job".

I was a bit taken back.

·         HAD been studying and practicing every day for the 2 weeks I’ve been there, including days off!

·         My numbers were good.

But I gave the wrong answer.

This must be the HARSH side of the SALES BUSINESS.

Have you noticed?

There’s always a BUSINESS side to BUSINESS.


Freddy went to BUSINESS on me, like a Marine Corps Drill Instructor.

I was NO LONGER at Grandma’s house.

And I was NO LONGER in the Marine Corps.


  • How would you feel, if your boss did that to you?
  • What would you do?

My first thought was,
NOW how will I get Freddy to sing?”

A better time to ask might be when Freddy was NOT berating me in front of everybody.



First, I calibrated my compass to LOVE.

I could see Freddy needed help from us, in the worst way. So I didn’t 

·         object, 

·         defend, 

·         or explain. 

I didn’t want to interrupt his point.

I became an example.

After putting me on “blast” for quite some time, Freddy asked other reps the same question.

They all assured Freddy of their diligence.

So Freddy summarized with me:

“If you want to make it in this business, get off the computer, and learn how to sell this product.”

I accepted Freddy’s advice, which I HAD been doing. Because I intended to succeed.

I also intended to maintain dignity amongst my peers.
So I made a decision: Now... Freddy HAD to sing.

After the meeting, some of the sales reps gathered around me.

One rep said. “Wow! He really gave it to you!”

I smiled.

·         I would let the results do the speaking. 

·         And let Freddy do the singing.




The following day, Freddy was out of the office.
Freddy was back for Friday’s sales meeting.

This time Freddy was giving a pep talk, telling us how busy we were going to be over the weekend, and how we needed to get the numbers to make this weekend great!

After Freddy’s call to action. I raised my hand.

Freddy planted his fists on his hips, leaned towards me with an intimidating scowl and stared me down.

Looks like Freddy believed his assumptions the other day.

But I couldn’t tell if he was daring me TO speak or NOT to speak. That was MY question.

Freddy WAS definitely addressing me. So I addressed Freddy.

After all, Courage ALIGNS with Love.

I said, “Freddy, you say you want these numbers from us, How about we make a deal.”

“If we get the numbers you need, up to Saturday, YOU sing an Irish Song on Sunday, Saint Patrick’s Day.

Freddy pulled back like a stallion rearing its front legs. Freddy shuffled, and fidgeted. HIs eyes darted around the room.

I could see the confusion coursing through his body.

After a momentary sputter, Freddy stepped forward and accepted the challenge.

So... when we get the numbers, Freddy sings.




On Friday our sales were 50% higher than projected. We were already ahead of the game for Saturday.

Saturday was a big day. We were very busy!

There was a lot of excitement, and a lot of people were becoming owners.

Before our final presentation, I asked Freddy if he wanted me to bring my guitar to accompany him.

"We don't know yet." Freddy said.

"I saw a lot of deals going down." I added.

"Bring it... just in case." Freddy confirmed.

On Sunday morning, we learned we had already made our weekend numbers  by Saturday. Which meant every deal on Sunday was “icing on the cake”.

On that Saint Patrick’s Day, Freddy announced in our morning meeting, this was history in the making.

Because this was the first time this song has ever been sung... sober.

Then Freddy sang Danny Boy to the entire team as I accompanied on guitar.

At the end of the day, Freddy told me “You did good.”
I suppose that’s all any of us could hope to do.

The next week, our Regional Manager Rick Recania appeared in our sales meeting and asked the team.

“What happened?”
“This was the best weekend we've had since this office opened.”
“What did you do differently?”

“Danny Boy”, one rep yelled out.

I looked right at Freddy, and said “Luck of the Irish”.
I wanted to see Freddy sing every year.

Freddy was smiling as wide as I had ever seen.

We had started the previous week a bit harsh.
We ended the week with Freddy singing a different tune.

This was the outcome of meeting Intimidation with Love.

It’s a choice we ALL HAVE, everyday in every situation.

You can meet Life with Love wherever you are.

Not long after, Freddy moved on to a sales office in Las Vegas.

But wait, there’s more:




Nine years later, at the same company, I met Sam, a longtime friend of Freddy's.

Sam told me that Freddy has made it a tradition to sing Danny Boy to his sales team every Saint Patrick’s Day.

We had both moved through what could have been a tough moment, a bad day, a lost sale, a damaged career.

Aligning with Love made it a “healing moment” that was carried on as a legacy of goodwill.

Ladies and Gentleman, THAT is the power of Love!

Thank you for your Love.