Interview with Peter LaPorta – A one time Leader of Walt Disney and Founder of ‘The Peter LaPorta Show’
Interview with Peter LaPorta – A one time Leader of Walt Disney and Founder of ‘The Peter LaPorta Show’
My name is Emenike Emmanuel, the founder and Executive Director of Emchis Consulting, the Business Development segment of Emchis Motivational Network with the responsibility to bring you the best business and career advice that will help to make you an Entrepreneur of distinction.
Today I’m hanging out with one of my senior friends in the speaking profession by name Peter A. LaPorta – a bestselling author, a Business consultant, a one time leader of one of the world’s biggest company that have exceeded its first generation by name Walt Disney, the founder and radio host of The Peter LaPorta Show, and a gifted keynote speaker.
In this interview I took time to ask my guest, Peter LaPorta series of questions, ranging from his professional profile down to his lifestyle and his dreams and expectations for the future – and the replies he gave me was so fantastic which I’d love to share with you.
In appreciation to my interview of him, he promised to feature not only me in his radio show but also my blog – Emchis Consulting.
Emenike: Sir, can you please tell us a brief info about yourself and your background?
LaPorta: My name is Peter LaPorta. I have been a leader for over thirty years and have led some of the top companies in the world, namely Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. I am a four time bestselling author with my first book, Ignite the Passion, being named by Amazon as being one of the top 20 books in print on motivational leadership. My fifth book, Adventures in Leadership was just released. I am also a keynote speaker, seminar host and business consultant. I founded and own LaPorta Enterprises and host my own radio show entitled The Peter LaPorta Show.
Emenike: Of all careers you mentioned, when did you start and how far have you gone?
LaPorta: My first management job was in 1984 and as mentioned has taken my leadership far. My first book came out in 2003 and I have been on the best sellers list four times. I started giving speeches in 2004 and have given keynotes all over the globe. My radio show started in 2012.
Emenike: In your own philosophy, when do you consider someone to be successful?
LaPorta: You are successful if you can spend your days doing exactly what makes you happy. It has nothing to do with wealth or position. If you love to wash dishes, then be a dishwasher. If you love to write books or play music, you are a success if you can do those things and still keep a roof over your head.
Emenike: What was your biggest challenge when you began your career newly as a Writer and a Speaker?
LaPorta: I never set out to be a writer or speaker. They kind of flowed together. In social settings, I would always tell stories about my years in leadership. People started to tell me to write them down, so I did. A few pages turned into a lot of pages and soon I was writing a book. Once my first book came out, people would ask me to speak about it to their group and my speaking career began. Once, I wanted to make a career out of it, however, it was difficult to get out of the gate as people wanted references of places I had spoken and such.
Emenike: What are the things you wish to achieve both as a Writer and a Public Speaker? In other words, why did you finally settle for speaking and writing as a career?
LaPorta: In both writing and speaking, I have the same end result in mind. I want to touch people’s lives. I want them to come away from reading one of my books or seeing me speak with a changed outlook on life and the world. It is for this sole purpose that I continue to give Autism seminars around the world pro bono. I just want to raise awareness and touch lives.
Emenike: How do you measure your worth when it comes to charging clients?
LaPorta: You know, I always look to the audience. I do not have cookie cutter rates. I have spoken at meetings to a group of 5 and to huge convention centers to 5000. Since I want each person to take away a message, I gauge my fee on audience size.
Emenike: What was the biggest platform you’ve spoken on?
LaPorta: I think my largest audience size was close to 6000 people.
Emenike: How do you manage your career with taking care of a family seeing that from your profile so far that you are busy kind of person?
LaPorta: It’s not easy juggling the family and my business but in some ways it is better than you would expect. Since I try not to book more than one gig a week, I’m usually at home for 5 days and travel for two. That’s better than most business people can say.
Emenike: That’s fantastic. I know your family will love you for that. So are your books available for purchase in the open market?
LaPorta: Yes. My books are sold all over the world in the open market. You can access them through Amazon or any other major retailer.
Emenike: What is you like doing outside your professional career?
LaPorta: Hahahaha… Emenike, well besides writing and speaking, I love to do things with my family. We cruise often and travel a lot. Personally, I read a lot and have great passion in music.
Emenike: What’s your biggest motivation? What inspires you the most?
LaPorta: I think my biggest motivation is my family. I work hard to provide for them and make them proud of me. On the flip side of that, I had a death experience years ago and woke up to getting the last rights read to me. Since that day my motivation has been not to waste one moment of any day. I strive to be the best I can be and do as much as I can with my time here on Earth.
Emenike: Who do you consider as your most inspiring mentor?
LaPorta: I think my most inspiring mentor would have to be Walt Disney. He overcame so much to build his empire. He is a reminder to me daily that you can do anything you set your mind to.
Emenike: What extra effort outside your routine activities have you put in to be where you are today and what more do you think if you do now or continue doing will take you to that level of success you have always dreamt of?
LaPorta: My extra effort is a non-stop marketing of myself. I don’t get sufficed with submitting bids and contacting planners. I shake hands and introduce myself to everyone. I pass out my business cards like candy. And I never skip a beat. This extra mile has eventually got me further.
Emenike: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
LaPorta: I see myself taking on more and more of the “big shows”. I want to headline more and have my name being top of mind as people are looking for speakers. That is where I would like to be in 5 years to come.
Emenike: Sir, this is a great goal but I know you’ve had several plans and charts in the past that didn’t really work out. So what’s it that has being your biggest regret if given an opportunity to correct today will gladden your heart?
LaPorta: Yes. That’s true but I am a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason. My biggest regret is that I gave up my music career to be a businessman. However, if I had not given up that path, I would not have become a writer and speaker and I would not be able to touch lives around the world with my words. Now, I am not certain I would hit that replay button ever.
Emenike: Sir, like I told you earlier, here in Emchis Consulting it is my dream as the founder to bring to the world through the masterpiece of writing the best business and career advice that will make them entrepreneurs of notable profiles, and as it stands now I can’t be truly successful at that if people in my own field of pep talk (especially members of National Speakers Association) don’t get to know your speaking profile. Having said that, can you please tell us about your successes in this fast-evolving industry of speaking profession?
LaPorta: I have spoken to some amazing audiences over the years. Some of my favorites have been non-profits because they see a different value than the businesses or organizations I speak to. I recently had a great measure of success when I met a stranger at my kids new school. He said that he had seen me speak a couple years back in Orlando and it changed his life. To me, that is the greatest measure of a successful speaker.
Emenike: So how do you see the journey so far?
LaPorta: Well, the journey has been rough but rewarding. I love the rush right before going on stage. I love to travel and I love to meet new people. I think the speaking profession was made for me. I cherish it so much now.
Emenike: What was the biggest mistake you ever made on stage and how did you correct it?
LaPorta: The biggest mistake I made was a few years back. The mistake was that I let the client dictate to me an odd speaking time. The group had been in meetings since 8am. They finally had dinner and drinks at 8pm and they had me speak at 10pm. The group was sleeping before I took the stage. I had to jump into the audience and stand next to them to wake them up. Now, I always look at the other events of the day when I set up my time.
Emenike: Oh, I’m sorry about that. I can visualize how stressful such an environment will be to speak fluently, non-stop. I think I’m learning and I wouldn’t allow that happen to me but those challenges notwithstanding, where do you see the Speaking industry in the next 10 years?
LaPorta: I see a lot of the industry changing to online meetings and speeches. I hope this is a fad. There is nothing that can take the place of face to face interaction in a resort location. People always remember you from where they heard you. “Hey,I heard you in Vegas”. “Hey, I caught you in the Caymen Islands last year”. I hope that never changes but it may.
Emenike: That will be a great revolution. So as a world-class Leader, Business Consultant, a highly respected Keynote Speaker, a Motivator and a Pacesetter who has achieved such a huge success at this age, what advice do you have for our audience who are also hoping to make it big in their respective endeavours?
LaPorta: My best advice for young people is that they should not rush life. They should enjoy it; build up their own stories and their repertoire by experiencing life as it comes. I have discovered that people are in too much of a hurry to be rich and famous. I believe if they can become the best they can be it will pay off.
Emenike: Sir, before we wrap up this interview what advice do you have for this organisation of ours, Emchis Consulting?
LaPorta: Be firm in your consulting. I have seen many business consultants fail because they tell the client what they think they want to hear. Sometimes you have to stand firm and tell them their leadership, their organization, or their business plan is wrong.
Emenike: Sir, I am very glad you granted my request to be featured in this Business blog despite the fact that you are always busy with your numerous engagements. This is one of the greatest sacrifices you’ve paid to me and thousands of my numerous audiences. I promise never to forget it in a lifetime but before we go, some of my friends who might be coming across this interview in different countries of the world might want to know what you think about me. So in just a sentence, who do you tell the world Emenike Emmanuel is?
LaPorta: Emenike Emmanuel seems to be an excellent Speaker and Consultant. I’m hopeful the world will embrace talent soonest.
Would you like to connect with Peter A. LaPorta for any professional engagement? Please visit:
Peter A. LaPorta
Author, Leader, Speaker, Consultant
The next to be interviewed on this blog could you if only you can come up with an outstanding profile