BS: There are a number of motives for writing this book and the first is my desire to share a life philosophy I learned late in life. I wish I had more wisdom shared with me as a young adult. Yet another reason for my writing is catharsis. The catharsis reason is that I coached football and basketball from grammar school to high school for over twenty years. I am a coach and a leader. I develop, motivate and inspire. I need a venue other than the football field, basketball court or office to coach, lead, inspire and develop people. Also through the years numerous people have told me i should write a book about my life, that it would help and motivate people.
BS: The word UP resonates in my head, and in my vocabulary. Spending so many years playing sports and hearing coaches tell you to "get up" or "stay up" has stayed with me. Spending 20 years coaching football myself and soon realizing the words get up came out of my mouth so often, UP became a part of me. Then I found myself using the words UP with my own kids in numerous citations. Finally it is what my dad used to tell me when I first got hurt. He used to tell me in private, "YOU NEED TO STAY UP" that what keeps us all going.
BBB: Tell us about your main character, Brian.
BS: I am the main character. I was born in 1962 in the city of Chicago. After living in the city of Chicago for six years we move right outside the city to the suburbs. I attended parochial grammar and high school. Growing up sports and outdoor activities like hunting and fishing were a big part of my activities. The day after Christmas my senior year of high school I broke my neck playing football. I broke my neck at the C6 level making me a quadriplegic.
I graduated from St. Xavier College with a degree in criminal justice and a business minor. While in college I started coaching football and basketball at the grammar school I played at and attended. After college I went on to DePaul Law School. I was the Regional Negotiating Winner, representing DePaul University, College of Law, in the National competition.
Physical therapy continued through all of my educational endeavors. Near the end of law school I started playing wheelchair sports. I played wheelchair rugby for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and I swam for Marian joy Rehabilitation Institute.
I worked for a law firm for several years before getting a job in large sales company.
The first year I was awarded the rookie of the year for new sales and exceeding my objective. After 4 years of exceeding objectives and being in the top 10% d sales professionals I was promoted into the training department.
I got married in 1989. I continued to play wheelchair sports, coach and work full time. In 1994 we adopted our first son. We have three adopted children, one locally, one from China and one from Guatemala.
While in the training department I hired, trained, and developed a central telephone sales unit consisting of sixty Sales professionals and achieved a 16% net gain on a traditional “flat gain Market”. I finished the number one telephone area in the company. I was asked to be a member of the Executive Development Program.
I was soon promoted to a district manager. I developed and lead 10 to15 account
executives responsible for 12 million dollars of annual revenue I won the
Distinguished Sales Performance Club (Top 10% of managers). The following year
I assumed the leadership role for one of the poorest performing telephone districts.
In one year the area achieved quota. I was awarded the high performance award
for “Strategic Focus”. I assumed the leadership role for one of the poorest performing premise sales areas in the company. Within the year, the area finished the number one premise team.
After 16 years of successful corporate sales, training and leadership I stepped
away from my division managers position. I have been blessed to be a part of several
extremely successful start up small businesses. I am always looking for opportunities
to challenge me. I enjoy my ability to volunteer time to several non profit organizations that are doing wonderful things for less fortunate people. The organizations are My Angles with Paws, they train service dogs for the disabled.
The Christopher & Dana Reeves foundation. I continue to coach and I have time to
invest into my family creating a better relationship with God. I finished writing my first book and had it published.
BBB: What do you think readers will find most appealing about, Up Getting UP is the Key to Life?
BS: It is a real story about a real person that readers can relate to. UP gives you great ideas on how to approach life in a positive way and to never give up. This is not a "how to" list it is a real story on how to be positive and get through the trials life throws at you.
BS: I am working on two different books. One is a going to be several short stories. The stories will be fictional but based on life experiences. The other book is going to be motivational in describing the character traits of what it takes to be extra ordinary.
You can find out more about Brian Swift and his book by visiting brianpswift.com.