- Expert on Overcoming Obstacles & Navigating Change
- Bestselling Author of Vision-Mindset-Grit
- Former Financial Advisor and Member of the Million Dollar Round Table
Scott Burrows is an in-demand Keynote Motivational Speaker who brings the concepts of Vision, Mindset and Grit to life using his life-changing story as the backdrop for organizational success. Three simple, yet powerful words that when put into action can help you and your organization stand up to any challenge, push the limits of what is possible and set goals that stretch the mind—even during times of change, uncertainty and fear.
By the age of 19, Scott was a star athlete and fierce competitor. He excelled in golf and track, was a college wide receiver at Florida State University for legendary coach Bobby Bowden, and a top-ranked kick-boxing Black Belt champion whose last fight was broadcast by ESPN.
During the height of his collegiate career, his life changed dramatically. On November 3rd, 1984, he survived a catastrophic automobile accident as a passenger in a friend’s car and broke two vertebrae in his neck that left him paralyzed from the chest down and diagnosed a quadriplegic. Told he would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, Scott realized his split-second decision to not wear a seat belt altered his course forever.
Despite his grim diagnosis, Scott astounded his doctors and refused to be sidelined. After six months of intense physical therapy at Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado, he fought to stay alive while battling numerous life-threatening complications, including a pulmonary embolism. With the support of his family, friends and his Christian faith, Scott turned an impossible goal into a reality. He returned to college and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance and had some fun along the way—competing again, this time, in a completely different sport. They call it full-contact wheelchair rugby, otherwise known as Murderball, a Paralympic sport that allowed him to compete with the best physically challenged athletes from around the world. Working as one, these people came together to expand their Vision and prevent their Mindset from becoming their biggest handicap.
After graduating from college, Scott’s served as a Financial Advisor in the Insurance and Financial Industry for Northwestern Mutual. He specialized in life and disability insurance planning as well as retirement, estate and wealth planning. In his 5th year, he hit a huge goal and qualified for the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT), the Premiere Association of Financial Professionals, which is a 100% commission-driven sales production award that fewer than 8% of his peers qualify for annually from more than 500 companies in 70 countries around the world.
At the pinnacle of his career, Scott experienced yet another setback, a second automobile accident. Although he was buckled in this time, new injuries forced him to Re-evaluate, RE-invent and once again RE-ignite his life by practicing and executing what he preaches.
During his nine-month recovery, Scott reminisced about the overcoming adversity speakers he heard at sales and leadership conferences. Their life-changing stories inspire others to chase their dreams regardless of obstacles or barriers. That’s when Scott decided he would make the tough decision to leave an industry he had so much passion and success in to pursue a speaking career that has taken him around the world.
Scott also took advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help expand his brother’s golf course fertilizer, chemical and equipment company into Southeast Asia by disrupting an industry and doing what the competition was unwilling to do — offer custom-blended fertilizers designed specifically to meet the needs of golf course fairways and greens based on individual soil tests. This expansion brought in an excess of 1.6 million the first year.
“I wanted to finish on a high note that would tie an inspirational message together with some of the business themes we have been experiencing. Scott, quickly understood the nature of our business and some of the opportunities and challenges we were facing and was able relate that back to his experience recovering from his accident. We had a great conference, but Scott was undoubtedly the highlight as he absolutely captivated the audience and got several standing ovations. I can’t recommend Scott highly enough if you are looking for someone who can motivate your team and help relate your company’s challenges with those he has faced. Truly one of the best speakers I have had the pleasure of working with or listening to.”
VP of Category Strategic Advisory,
The Coca-Cola Company
VISION-MINDSET-GRIT is Scott’s best-selling book detailing his engrossing life story, laying out the roadmap for companies and organizations dealing with catastrophic change and uncertainty. Scott’s book details how to face seemingly unconquerable setbacks by providing readers with practical tools they can put into immediate action to help push them toward exponential growth and personal success.
“I’ve been sourcing speakers for our annual leadership meeting for several years, and this year I believe Scott’s message was one of the most powerful and resonating keynotes witnessed by our attendees. There is a turning point in Scott’s message where I can guarantee your audience will all rise to their feet in thunderous applause, emotionally thunderstruck by the moment. His personal story of tragedy would ultimately prove to be no match for his will to triumph through Vision, Mindset & Grit. I don’t think there is another person out there that truly “walks the talk” as a keynote speaker. If you want to be reassured and inspired that the human will is stronger than life’s setbacks and there really are no limits to your dreams, let it happen with Scott Burrows.”
VP Strategic Sourcing,
“I’ve heard over 100 motivational speakers at various conferences, including speakers such as Pat Riley, Lou Holtz, Chris Gardner, and many, many others. Though I can remember a few of the speakers, it is rare that I can remember what they’ve spoken about – at least not for very long. Your message Vision, Mindset and Grit is simple but so very powerful. It is simple enough that I have thought about it every day since your presentation. It has been a powerful reminder to me of the importance of having a clear vision, a mindset to focus on those things I can control and having enough perseverance – Grit – not to give up too soon.”
“You presented the perfect message following three days of intense human resource management training, instilling within us to believe that we can indeed achieve all that we aspire to do and to be. As you spoke, the participants were deeply captivated; not a whisper was uttered as we intently anticipated your every word. With unparalleled credibility, you taught us how to face our own challenges in our professional and personal lives. You taught us to not resist difficulties; rather to persevere…and you told us how to do it! Your compelling story of tragedy and triumph was the backdrop, providing what is surely to be a lasting memory to inspire and motivate us to also live purposely applying the same timeless principles that enable you to live an abundant life.”
SONJA STANCHINA, MBA, IPMA-SCP, SHRM-SCP, CLRM –
Western Regional IPMA-HR 2nd Vice President
“I want to thank you for your impactful presentation at our U.S. Wealth National Sales Meeting. The current severe economic downturn has created great trepidation for our sales associates regarding what the future holds for them. Your personal story of success, overcoming unfathomable challenges, opened their minds to new possibilities. This is exactly what the doctor ordered to maintain our motivation and momentum. Your professional delivery and your ability to make your story relevant to our company was extremely well done. No doubt, the two standing ovations your received indicated the intensity of your talk and how you impacted the audience.”
HUGH McHAFFIE, President, John Hancock Financial Services
“I had the pleasure of seeing Bobby Bowden speak several years ago at a Fellowship for Christian Athletes breakfast several years ago. He had me from the first sentence and energized me and helped restore my positive energy. After watching you this morning with Kemper Life, you have renewed that energy to the next level. After working here for 33 years, the last 19 as a District Manager, I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. You have given me strength to renew my vision and carry it on with the grit and determination needed. Thank you for your inspirational message, and maybe one day we can all meet in person at another event.”
DANIEL DENTON, District Manager
“The Carestream experience with Scott Burrows was nothing short of extraordinary. He transformed the way we think, and challenged us to reframe and purposefully examine where we are and where we want to be. Scott connected with our group at a deep and meaningful level. From my 40 years of experience in this business, I place Scott among the giants in this field. Tactically, Scott was diligent and invested in preparing for our group, professional and proactive in all communications with us, genuine and personal in his delivery, and masterful in working our reality into his message. We are better people and professionals having experienced his presence.”
NEIL BRYANT, Vice President, Sales Development, US&C
“We recently launched a new division and were facing challenges and growing pains common in the start-up phase of many organizations; basic operational and support challenges as well as the challenge of being ‘first’ and having to establish a successful culture and foundation with limited bench strength to draw upon. Scott Burrows was definitely the right choice, and his personal story touched everyone. Scott worked with my management team and me to understand our business goals and challenges, and effectively paralleled these with his own experiences to illustrate how his approach could be applied to their personal challenges. He was effective in his delivery, and he provided them with the inspiration and motivation to continue breaking new ground, while establishing a winning culture in the process.”
“Sometimes the last speaker at a conference is faced with everyone looking at their watches and wondering about their flights to get back home. Scott Burrows changes that equation in every way. Not only are people glued to their seats, they are hanging on every word. His passionate story about overcoming the most difficult of life’s challenges is a must-see and must-hear for anyone that believes in ascending to the highest of mountains or reaching for the moon and the stars. There were few dry eyes in our audience when Scott was done, but there were many hearts and minds opened to the possibilities of what perseverance and belief in oneself can achieve. Scott Burrows delivers more than a speech about what he has overcome in his life, he brings a mindset that can change your life.”
“This keynote sets the tone and stage for the entire convention. We look for someone who can inspire us, has a message that ties to our convention theme & industry, and who would motivate us. Scott delivered on these three key points and more! Scott was able to weave his personal story with lessons learned, strategies to overcome obstacles that come your way, and encourage all to never to quit because success can be just around the corner. Our audience was clearly captivated. A measure of success was that he received two standing ovations. Standing ovations rarely happen in our keynotes, and two have never happened before Scott. Working with Scott was a pleasure. He was available, communicative and generous with his time. He made sure he delivered what we were looking for in a keynote. I highly recommend him as a keynote speaker and would be happy to talk with you personally about our experience.”
LIZ WHITNEY, Director, Education & Meetings,
International Warehouse Logistics Association
“I could say that Scott Burrows simply ‘spoke’ to our buying group organization’s owners and senior partners, but actually, it would be better stated that Scott mesmerized this group of hard-to-impress folks on these topics that day! By diligently researching SMA before his speech, learning in-depth our purpose, practices, challenges and opportunities, and precisely aligning these with the myriad relevant aspects of his amazing life’s story, Scott drove home to all a message of seeing what is possible and good, overcoming all obstacles to get there, and winning! He left our audience standing, clapping and deeply wishing that he would stay with us a whole lot longer!”
CHRIS ROWE, Director of Marketing Services,
Strategic Marketing Alliance
“Scott Burrows did an excellent job delivering a very powerful and motivating keynote presentation at our global Finance & Operations team meeting in Bermuda. His message of Vision, Mindset and Grit resonated with our team in a tremendous way as Scott did an excellent job at not only speaking from his heart but also personalizing his message to touch on various challenges and initiatives that our team has been facing or focusing on. Scott’s story about how he has overcome tremendous challenges in life to achieve enormous success is relevant at both a personal and professional level and we all walked away with a greater sense of belief in ourselves as individuals and as a team.”
JAMIE FRASER, Chief Accounting Officer,
RENAISSANCE RE SERVICES, Ltd
“Scott Burrows has a story to tell. A moving story, one that will make your eyes well up, will make you come to your feet in support and will leave you with a message forever implanted in your brain. I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Scott in the hours leading up to his presentations to two different groups that we were hosting over a weekend conference. Both groups have a slightly different vision and purpose. This is where he has exceeded any speaker I have ever dealt with. He “listened” to me over the conversations that we had and wove our message, our story into his presentation with a masterful way that one would have thought it was the only message he ever presents. The following day to a different cohort, he accomplished the same feat. It was a joy to listen to him, a greater joy to get to know him.”