From going broke to becoming a messenger of hope: Filipino motivational speaker inspires SIBF crowd

Bestselling author Lloyd Luna imparts valuable lesson of learning from one’s mistakes during talk at Sharjah Book Fair

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 9 Nov 2022, 5:16 PM

Filipino motivational speaker, leadership coach, and author took the audience on a journey of discovery, through the ups and downs of charting his successful growth, during an inspiring talk at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF).

Lloyd Luna, who was addressing a large gathering at the Expo Centre Sharjah ballroom, opened his talk in a jovial fashion, saying: “I am from The Philippines - for those unfamiliar with what that is, it’s a country!”

To break the ice in the room, Luna then started clapping for himself and encouraged people to cheer him, eliciting a big round of laughter and enthusiastic cheers among the crowd.

Explaining that he had been a motivational speaker and author for the past 17 years, he let the audience know that when he started, he would never have believed that he would be able to travel to the “beautiful nation of the UAE” and other countries around the world in a professional capacity.

As the first and only Filipino to represent his country at a Global Speakers Summit, Luna has achieved a great deal in his career but explained that he had never originally planned to be a public speaker and would have dreaded the thought back in the day.

“My first experience of public speaking was while working for the presidency of the Philippines at one of my first jobs. My manager at the time, who was meant to be speaking at a big event, ended up being stuck in traffic and instructed me to speak on his behalf. So I had to do it. I was terrible and the crowd hated me and once again, I ran away from my failures,” he explained.

Lloyd spoke about his hardships after leaving his job and remembered how while sitting at a mall one day - unemployed and broke, he wondered how he could help himself and others in a similar position. “Sitting at this mall and looking around, I noticed people, mostly students who were just as jobless as I was, and I asked myself, how can I help these people?”

He revealed that he had a passion for writing and thought that maybe he could help himself and others if he just wrote about something useful, asking himself, “What can I write about?”

Expanding on his story he said: “Interestingly I had an idea and maybe it was to answer the question at the top of the mind especially of young graduates: ‘Is there a job waiting for me when I graduate?’”

The motivational speaker continued: “So I got to work and started writing in the tiny apartment we were renting and after about 14 days, I was ready to finish the last pages of my book titled, ‘Is there a job waiting for you?’”

He described how he approached publishing companies and was repeatedly rejected by all. “I lost count of how many publishing houses rejected my work until I realised, there is nobody that is going to help me but myself. So, when nobody published the book, I did it myself,” he told the audience.

He added: “After publishing that very first book, just 7 years later, I was able to write more than 15 books! That experience taught me one of the most important lessons in my life: just because you are rejected, it doesn’t mean you will always lose - even rejection can help you reach your destination.”


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