Dec 17, 2018
It is always inspiring to see a couple who share similar interests and use their passion to touch lives.
Ann Sheybani and Walt Hampton, J.D are one such couple.
Ann Sheybani is the author of How to Eat the Elephant: Build Your Book in Bite-Sized Steps. She received her Masters in Creative Writing and Literature from Harvard University.
She's an elite book coach with a sales and marketing bent and also helps successful entrepreneurs create powerful, expert-positioning books.
Her husband, Walt Hampton, J.D. Biography is the Executive Director of Summit Success, LLC, a global personal and professional development firm.
He is a business coach, law firm management consultant, leadership trainer & motivational speaker, also the founder of the Positive Leadership Academy.
Walt is a leading authority on the application of Positive Psychology in the workplace. He is the best-selling author of Journeys on the Edge: Living a Life That Matters, named a Top 10 Non-Fiction Book in 2013, and a 2014 winner of the North American Book Awards. He is also the author of The Power Principles of Time Mastery: Do Less, Make More, Have Fun.
A 1984 graduate of The Cornell Law School, Walt practiced law in the areas of corporate and commercial litigation and criminal defense. He was the managing partner of a law firm for more than 25 years.
Walt's passions are high-altitude mountaineering, ultra-distance running, blue-water sailing & adventure photography. He and Ann Sheybani live in Castletownshend, Ireland and Collinsville, Connecticut.
It is quite interesting to know that a little while after Walt and Ann were married, more than a decade ago, the missus found a way to drag her husband to a Tony Robbins 3-day event: "unleash the power within" – and as Walt explains it; he didn't really want to be there.
However, this was a game-changing event for the couple. They were both engaged in Tony's ‘mastery university,' and later on, Walt was invited by Tony's team to apply for the school of coach training.
Walt would go on to become one of 70 elite results coaches under Tony Robbins at the time, a role that afforded him the opportunity to use his analytical, problem solving and listening skills more frequently.
"It was so much fun, and because I'm entrepreneurial, I thought well; if Tony can do it, I can do it [too]. So Ann I, now more than a decade ago, created Summit Success" Walt said rather enthusiastically
The couple has worked side by side over the last decade, doing the work of consulting and coaching.
What Ann & Walt are grateful for?
"I think we are grateful for the opportunity to work with each
other, that's a great gift," Walt said while treating the topic
with so much emotion.
Looking through the exploits of Ann and Walt, it is easy to detect that being able to reach out to individuals through their work is a thing of pride and fulfillment for the couple.
"I think when we started, we had about two and a half people and I think they were relatives on our list, and now we have tens of thousands of people from all around the world, and it's a great gift to be able to touch so many lives," Walt said.
Ann believes that creating a deep connection with people is vital in their line of business.
She said “When we work with people, we get to know them at such a good level; it’s a very intimate relationship that we have with the folks that we work with. And I think it’s what’s missing in so many people’s lives,”
Summing it up perfectly, Ann put it this way: "It's great to be paid for reading, but it's even better to get really close to the people we work with."
Defining the need for clarity in the message provided to the audience
Ann believes in being known for something in your niche. Knowing who your target market is and what significant result your clients will get out of your work.
She emphasizes that trying to cast your nets wide and speak to the general public, will cause a situation where almost no one identifies with your work, be it a book or any other kind of business.
"The other thing is that there are a lot of folks who just want to sound smart, so they want to put all of their concepts all their big quotes in there, and they don't want to show that they have probably been there first class." She said.
The renowned author is adamant that sharing stories about step by step processes to solving situations, especially stories from your own experience, go a long way in helping people.
"To tell the truth about who you are in your business, in conversations, in a book, it is to make yourself free because you are no longer hiding, you are no longer waiting to be uncovered for who you really are" Ann said.
Issues encountered during work
Walt recalls not being fond of the technical problems that occur with the podcast sessions sometimes, naturally.
And of course, you would expect that the couple gets to be on the road a lot while having to juggle a packed schedule. They enjoy this phase of the business but admit that it can be quite cumbersome.
Managing a family and a business together
Ann and Walt developed ways to work together and achieve the desire always to want to be in charge, over the years.
"Walt and I are used to being in charge and taking the lead, so we had to learn how to balance – and how to dance" Ann recollects.
It is quite interesting that the duo took tango lessons a few years ago, knowing that there has to be just one leader per time while they dance. They gradually developed systems to work as a team and plan everything down to the barest minimum.
The couple seems to have developed mastery in creating time to have fun and relax – fun fact: they are both introverts.
“For both of us, we can be three weeks, five weeks, six weeks on the road doing great events and then we’ve got to come back to our little Irish hillside where we get quiet” Walt said.
Tips for effective in communication
Walt believes that it "makes sense to slow down" when the stakes are high. Slowing the action down is a very important tool in his work, and it aids his message being put across to clients.
Ann, however, speaking off of the experience she gathered during research on negotiations during high-stress situations, concluded that it is important to "feel comfortable" during high stakes communication. She reaches that this habit is learnable.
Walt encourages speakers and writers always to define the journey they want to take their audiences through. He sees this as a sure way to keep engagement at a maximum.