Thurston Economic Development Council Board Member Tony Taylor Inspires Others to Find Their Voice Through Business and Entrepreneurship

wwords are powerful, and each of us has a unique voice and story to tell. Tony Taylor, owner of Speak University and co-founder of the Leaders Lead podcast, embarked on a mission to help fellow entrepreneurs and professionals find their voice and discover the confidence to share it with the world. As a new board member of the Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC) Board of Directors, he looks forward to supporting their efforts to strengthen Washington’s small and large businesses so they too can ignite their passions in life.

Tony Taylor stands at the head
Tony joins the Thurston EDC Board in 2022 and is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. His vision is to spread the EDC message to help bring needed resources to fellow business owners. Image courtesy: Tony Taylor

Thurston EDC Board Member Turns Fear of Public Speaking into Passion

Tony was not always a famous and brilliant public speaker. For years, he was afraid of the spotlight and dreaded public presentations in his early career. “It was so bad to the point that I would sweat before meetings because of social anxiety,” Tony recalled. “I finally realized that I have a lot to say, and it’s not good to keep it in my mind.” For Tony, it’s about overcoming this fear for the greater good and bringing important ideas and conversations to life with his voice.

As she works through this anxiety, she learns how empowering it can be to use your voice with confidence and ignite a fire within those around you. “I overcame my fear of public speaking, and now I love it,” she said. “I like to teach entrepreneurs how to speak in public as well as how to speak and speak when working in a company or trying to create a brand.”

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Tony’s desire to educate others in this newfound skill led him to start his own education business Speak University. “We go in and do workshops, classes, experiences, the whole nine,” Tony shared. “Today people realize that communication is very important, not only in public speaking, but in writing, sending things to the public and using your voice. That’s what it’s all about.” In his work, Tony admires and fulfills the dreams of his students and finds great meaning in empowering them to reveal their own individual voices in their professional lives. The impact that each story can have grows even more. as more and more people begin to understand how to successfully use their voice and words to promote change and progress.

‘Leaders Lead’ Podcast

In addition to Speak University, Tony co-founded a podcast called “Leaders Lead” with his wife Jenny. Together they have devoted countless hours and endless energy to this project, and have found the rewards to be enormous. Through their hard work and tenacity, their podcast has hit the top 3% in the world and is now streaming in 63 countries on major platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Audible. Their hope is that their message can continue to reach more people and spread the importance of developing strong communication and open dialogues on critical topics for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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Tony also wrote and published the national #1 bestseller on Amazon “A Lion’s Pride: The scars hat silenced kings,” which is an anthology of men – called Lions – who continue to share their individual struggles and journeys in these movements. and powerful stories. “It’s great,” he said. “There is a stigma that talks about men who say they are in pain and hurt, but here everyone tells their story and the truth of what hurts them.” This passion project developed through Tony’s professional network through LinkedIn, where more than 1,000 people responded to his request to gather and present these untold stories. The final story of the book comes from Tony himself, who reflects and shares his own personal truth of suffering, struggle and overcoming in the course of his life.

Tony Taylor Helps Build Business Owners

Tony Taylor sitting on a wooden platform outside
Tony is passionate about helping entrepreneurs find their voice. Through Speak University, he seeks to inspire by helping business owners learn important communication and public speaking skills. Image courtesy: Tony Taylor

As Tony’s business and following continued to grow, he began to develop deeper connections in the business community. Many people in his professional network encouraged him to join the Thurston Economic Development board of directors. “I’m not sure because I’m not really the board type,” he said. “I’ve turned down a lot of boards and I’ve never been to one until now. I had no idea the impact the Thurston EDC made, so now I want to take what they’re doing and blow it. Tony attended his first retreat with the board and even in this short time he quickly discovered how valuable their work is in helping new and established businesses succeed.

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“I think everyone should know what EDC is doing in this community,” Tony shared. “I had very little resources when I first started and still suffer today because of information I didn’t know I was missing. It’s about community, communication, and letting people know what they’re doing. Many businesses can struggle at any stage of their development, whether at the start-up stage or when accelerating growth. For Tony, there is endless opportunity to build the local and surrounding business communities and support fellow entrepreneurs in any area of ​​need through Thurston EDC and his own professional endeavors.

Tony is excited to work with professionals who want to break through communication barriers to grow their careers and businesses. Speak University offers three different packages, each including a range of coaching content and modules to help aspiring speakers develop important skills to take into their professional lives. to the next level. Through inspiring leaders like Tony, our business community continues to grow stronger.

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