Today on Business Rockstars, Ken Rutkowski talks with motivational speaker and former radio broadcast, Alvin Law. Born without arms, Law learned to perform routine activities using his feet alone. Based on his extraordinary experiences, he has written the book, Alvin’s Laws of Life: 5 Steps To Successfully Overcome Anything.
Alvin Law, (CSP, HoF) is someone hard to define. It seems obvious when you see him, but when you experience his program, something indescribable takes place. He has no arms, so his program must be yet another example of someone overcoming a handicap. But ask Alvin and he’d say it’s that very perception that has been his biggest obstacle. He never had arms so he never “overcame” anything. But his insights from living almost fifty years through such a dynamic period in history has made him one of the foremeost experts on adaptation, change and perspective. This is more than just marketing hype. Alvin’s story is real and one that is impossible to forget. Alvin was born in 1960 and very quickly became a celebrity. He was one of Canada’s first “Thalidomide Babies,” known for bodies deformed due to the infamous morning sickness drug. Not only was Alvin born without arms, before he was a week old he was left at the hospital by young and terrified parents who were convinced by experts that he would be nothing but a burden, never be independent and if he reached adulthood his quality of life would be negligible. They promised his birth family he would be taken care of. What they meant and didn’t say was that he would be institutionalized.
Then, Alvin’s tragic beginning took a profound fork in the road of life. He was adopted by idealistic and incredible foster-parents who simply said, “We don’t believe that his fate is sealed” and proceeded to prove every expert and critic wrong. They tauight him to use his feet for hands and with the help of a handfull of equally amazing mentors produced one of the most inspiring true stories you will ever witness.
This story is documented in Alvin’s first book, Alvin’s Laws of Life… 5 Steps to Successfully Overcome Anything, (a Canadian Best-Seller) and provides the foundation for all of Alvin’s programs. But Alvin wants all his clients to know that his keynotes and follow-up workshops are not just about “him”, but what his experiences can contribute to the learning objectives of any meeting attendee. In other words, if the new face of the meetings industry is about content, Alvin Law can deliver.
Here’s a few highlights on his resume of life: Alvin is an award-winning musician playing trombone, drums and piano and received his high school graduation class “Medal of Excellence.” His awards include Saskatchewan Junior Citizen of the Year (1978), George Vanier Award for Outstanding Young Canadians (1982), Mount Royal College Most Distinguished Alumni (1983), Canadian Progress Club Canadian of the Year (1989), and numerous other distinctions. He has also been profiled on several television documentaries, one of which won an Emmy Award (ABS-TV “Frontrunners,” 1993). Alvin has even played a credited role on FOX Television’s hit series, “X-Files” (1995). In 2003, Alvin was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee Medal. In 2004, he was honored with “Presenter of the Year/ Mastery Award” by the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS). In 2005, he received his Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation from the National Speakers Association (NSA). In 2009, he was the sole inductee into the CAPS Hall of Fame (HoF). Alvin has been sharing his incredible life with groups since 1981 and for 15 years, worked almost exclusively with school students and teachers. But that training proved to him that this was a universal message and since then he has presented on five continents to over 2,000,000 in over 7,500 shows. Indeed, it is a show…Alvin plays piano and a drum during his keynote, but it’s also an almost perfect program that meeting planners and clients all agree is a complete package that delievers on it’s promise; the unforgettable Alvin Law Experience!
Alvin is married to Darlene, who also runs their speaking enterprise, and is father to Vance (born in ’85) and other assorted pets. They all live in beautiful Calgary, Alberta, Canada.