Rene Godefroy Profile

When Rene Godefroy found himself unhappy with his life, he decided to do something about it. His perseverance and resourcefulness led him from an impoverished Haitian village to the U.S. corporate stage where he is now one of the nation’s most reputable speakers on embracing change.

As a child Rene battled various diseases and poverty alone; his father had abandoned him and his mother had left for Port-Au-Prince in hope of finding work to support her children. As a young man he made his way to the United States with two shirts and $5.00 on his person. When no one would give him a job, he invented one for himself washing cars. Gradually he taught himself English focusing on three words per day that he would write on his hand.

While working as a doorman in a luxurious hotel he learned about being a motivational speaker, getting to know many speakers who stayed at the hotel. Believing that he could inspire people with his personal story, he saved up his tips to attend a NSA (National Speaker’s Association) event. Today he has been a professional speaker for nearly 20 years and has fired up audiences at Coca-Cola, AFLAC, AT&T, Marriott Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, and the U.S. Military, among many other organizations. He has appeared on countless national television and radio shows such as ABC, CBS, Trinity Broadcasting Network, and NPR.

Rene is the author of Kick Your Excuses Goodbye!: No Condition is Permanent. As a humanitarian, he works with orphanages and health clinics in Haiti. A portion of all his program fees is donated to help transform Haitian children’s lives and create a better tomorrow for them.

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    Meet Rene Godefroy
    Every now and then you come across an individual who lives a humble life. Yet, his very presence strikes a chord within you. This is who you are about to meet right here.

    Rene Godefroy’s story is one that moves, touches and inspires. It’s a story about determination and personal accountability. It’s the story about a poor Haitian immigrant living the America Dream.

    Although he has risen to the high levels of success as an acclaimed author and keynote speaker, it’s his down-to-earth personality that endears him to those that come across his path. His message is very simple… Change Is A Gift!

    Rene defines change for his audiences this way: “Change is innovation crying for attention. It is not a stress generator. It’s how it occurs to us that makes it so.”

    Born in a tiny and impoverished village on the Island of Haiti, Rene’s early years were dismal. When he was only nine months old, his mother left him behind hoping she could find a better way to provide for her infant boy. Right after she left, several lethal diseases pounded Rene and vowed to end his existence.

    Many of the people in his village wrote him off. They predicted he would not survive. They teased him. They called him names. They called him “kokobay”—A Creole word that means crippled.

    A loner in the village, young Rene spent his days on the dirt floor fanning flies off his face. At nights, he would shoe away the mosquitoes while crying for his mother’s presence.

    As a child, his toys came from the ocean. The plastic toys that the waves would wash ashore along with the seaweeds are what Rene used to create his little amusement park in the back of the hut he lived in.

    It’s where he draws insights and innovative ideas to do more with less. In fact, he reminds us, “The problem with doing more with less is more. The more we have, the more we want. That takes away our power to innovate.”

    From His Village To Port-Au-Prince
    At the age of seven, Rene arrived in Port-Au-Prince to reunite with his mother. He met his sister and brother for the first time. Together they lived in a tiny one-room basement infested with rats and roaches.

    Most of the people in his circle lived a life of resignation. But Rene never gave up. Something on the inside of him made him feel there was more to life than what meets the eye.

    While walking behind the American tourists in Port-Au-Prince begging for spare change, he saw a new possibility. An American couple gave him a dime and they touched him compassionately.

    As a result, a dream was born in Rene’s heart. He said, “One day, I want to go to the United States to eat lots of rice and chickens.” He jokes about it in his keynote speeches. “I’m sick of rice and chickens now. I want the fillet mignon. Life is good in America for me.” Rene would say.

    Rene Arrives In The United States
    At the age of 21, Rene entered the United States. His only personal possessions were one pair of pants, two shirts, five dollars, and he didn’t speak any English. Without any resources or connections, the road to success seemed a very long way.Most people would see an opportunity to quit or settle for a meager living. Rene saw an opportunity to seize the American Dream.

    Whatever the price, he was ready and willing to pay it. Every day, Rene would drill his tongue and rehearse the three English words. When he realized that no one would give him a job, he decided to create his own. With three dollars in his pocket, Rene did just that.

    He bought two used towels, a bucket and one bottle of liquid soap. Then he began to pound the pavements of Miami looking for some cars to wash.

    His first stop was Total Bank in South Miami. Persistently, he asked the bank’s employees to let him wash their cars. He got one rejection after another. But he did not give up until he got his first yes.

    Sheer Determination
    Years later, after spinning his wheels in Miami trying to make ends meet, Rene journeyed to Atlanta, Georgia. He took a job at a warehouse to load trucks. Then, he became an elderly caretaker. And finally, he landed a doorman job at a luxurious hotel.

    Rene continued to see the possibility to seize and live the American Dream. But something was missing. He needed to reinvent and educate himself in order to have access to the dream.

    He began to notice books in the back seats of the cars he was parking at the hotel. He jotted down every title and bought them all. He devoured every word on the pages. He says, “I didn’t read those books. I studied them.”

    Soon he was reading some of the great minds of this country such as Peter Singe, Edward Deming, Peter Drucker, Tom Peters, and the likes. He also read countless biographies.

    Then he stumbled upon a book talked about speaking for a living as a motivational speaker. “That’s what I want to do. I want to be a keynote speaker in this country.” Said Rene.

    He jotted down the names of the speakers on the agendas. He would then meet and greet them at the door by their names. “Sir, I’m your doorman. I’m carrying your bags now. But my dream is to become a keynote speaker just like you. You will see me on a stage.” He would say to them.

    On his breaks, he would sneak into the back of the hotel’s ballrooms and listen to the speakers. He took great notes and reviewed them often.

    A year later, Rene saved all his tip money and attended his first annual conference for the National Speakers Association—NSA. He would re-introduce himself to the speakers he had met. “Hi, sir! This is Rene-your doorman. It’s good to see you again. I told you I wanted to become a speaker. I am determined, sir. Here I am!

    Rene is Living The American Dream
    Today, Rene is a highly sought-after keynote speaker on change. He has shared the platform for some of the biggest names in the speaking industry. He commands big fees for his “Change Is A Gift!” message.

    The City of Smyrna, Georgia where he now resides declares a day as “The Rene Godefroy Day.” The Mayor of Fort-Lauderdale, Florida honored him with a Key To The City.

    He has appeared on CBS 60 minutes along with Colin Powell, Anthony Robins and Zig Zigglar. The Atlanta Journal Constitution calls him a “motivational hit.” And the Miami Times calls him a “motivational guru.”

    Successful companies such as AT&T, Aflac, Coca Cola, Verizon, and Hyatt Hotels are among the many companies that brings him in to help inspire their employees to embrace change and do more with less. His award-winning book Kick Your Excuses Goodbye is transforming lives the world over.

    Meet Rene The Humanitarian
    Rene never forgets where he came from. He reaches out to his fellow Haitians. He is the CEO and founder of The Rene Godefroy Foundation—A non-profit 501c3 company dedicated to improving living conditions for poor children in Haiti.

    He is aligned with orphanages and health clinics in Haiti to help transform children’s lives and create a better tomorrow for them. He is indeed the light at the end of the tunnel for many Haitians.

    When you book Rene to speak at your conference, you are also helping Haitian kids in Haiti. A portion of his fee goes to the foundation to help fund his projects in Haiti.

    Hopefully, one day you can take a trip to Haiti with Rene to help him rebuild his country and rekindle the spirit of the people.

    “When all your wanting is about edifying and uplifting others, all your wants beg to come to you.” That is what Rene often tells the people who are associated with his projects in Haiti.

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Rene Godefroy's Speech Descriptions

Rene Godefroy uses his extraordinary life experience to help people rethink their priorities and put their own challenges into perspective. A dynamic interactive speaker, Rene customizes his personal story of triumph over extreme adversity to meet event themes and redefine how audiences approach change and hardship. Listeners will be hooked to his message as he engages and entertains with original stories that will move the audience and enable them to go from being change-resistant to change-resilient.

Change is a Gift
No Condition Is Permanent!™

In this fun and interactive presentation, Rene awakens the spirit of the audience members to embrace change and become true learners in order to thrive in the new normal world. Most people are afraid of change because they lack sufficient knowledge to deal with it.

Rene brings a rare combination of insights and humor to motivate audiences to see all changes as gifts. Our greatest opportunities in life lie in the mist of our challenges and obstacles. He shows them how to find the gift in the change they are dealing with instead of being stressed and discouraged.

Some speakers talk about change. But Rene lives the change message he shares on change. After many battles with poverty and diseases in a tiny Haitian village, he arrives in the US with with $5, two shirts, one pair of pants and unable to speak any English.

Today, Rene travels all over North America to share with people how they can win big in spite of their daily challenges. His message is very simple: Embrace change, become a true learner and you will soar to new heights of success.

What They Will Take Away:

    • Why facing and embracing change is their ONLY option if they want to stay relevant and succeed in the new economy
    • Why they must say goodbye to the past and get comfortable in the NEW NORMAL world in order to thrive in the workplace
    • How to reset their mind and nurture a positive attitude in order to creatively do more with less
    • How to get rid of stresses and boost morale so they can function better and achieve more
    • Why self-help is an illusion because teamwork is their biggest leverage during these highly competitive times
    • How to be and stay motivated in spite of the problems they face every day
    • Why quitting should NEVER be an option during turbulent changes

As an experienced speaker with over fifteen years and countless hours on the platform, Rene knows how to engage and interact with audiences while sharing solid takeaways they can use to improve their condition.

This presentation is not a one-size-fill-all keynote. Behind the scene, Rene spends hours researching and learning about your company in order to customize his keynote just for you.

When possible, Rene interviews key team players within the company to uncover what’s important to them. He wants to know their successes, challenges and concerns.

As you can tell, Rene doesn’t take his audiences for granted. That’s the secret to his success as an in-demand motivational keynote speaker. That’s why he gets repeat bookings from his clients.

Attitude Is A Choice... Choose Yours Well
Everyday team members in the workplace have the power to choose what kind of day they will have. However, very few exercises that power. Instead, they allow the circumstances to determine their attitude. They continue to react to events. Simply put, they are reactive instead of proactive.

In this presentation, Rene Godefroy ignites the spirit of his audience so they can serve their customers with enthusiasm. He reminds them that the only way to rise above their challenges is to have a positive attitude.

As the saying goes, we can’t stop a bird from landing on our head. But we can stop it from building a nest. Positive self-talk is how we can stop the bird from building a nest on our head.

Rene masterfully weaves your challenges with powerful stories in order to help your team shift their attitude. The end result is a powerful team working together in harmony and a can-do-attitude!

They will learn...

    • How to make the most out of every day in spite of their challenges
    • How to condition their brain for success and win
    • How to use the power of a smile to impact those they serve and work with
    • Why an attitude of gratitude is the gateway to abundance
    • Why rephrasing their questions can turn negative situations into positive ones
    • How to tactfully stop negative people from spoiling their day
    • How to turn their fears and uncertainties into fuel to propel them forward
    • How to manage their moods and attitude

This is a high energy, fun, and an interactive keynote presentation designed to inspire your team to win BIG in any economy.

Rene will take the time to research and truly understand your audience and what they do. He wants to know their challenges. But more importantly, he wants to know their successes and accomplishments in order to celebrate them and make them feel good about their contribution.

The Secret to Wow and Amazing Customer Service

Rene Godefroy draws from his 14 years as a doorman in a luxurious hotel in Atlanta to deliver powerful advice on how to wow customers and leave them with an extraordinary experience.

What People are Saying about Seeing Rene Speak

Rating Entries

    Partial Client List:

    Albany State University
    US Military
    Bell South
    Charles Schwab
    Cox Enterprise, Inc.
    Marriott International
    Napoleon Hill Foundation

    “Rene was a big hit at the ISNA Conference. ISNA has had a few good speakers in the past but Rene tops them all. The members are still talking about him. Members clearly left the conference encouraged, inspired and uplifted. Renee was just we needed for a fantastic end to the conference.”
    (Event Booked by Speakers Platform)

    “Your fascinating story was not only inspiring, it provided a great foundation for our mentors and mentees as they begin setting goals and establishing expectations for their new partnerships.”
    Jerry S. Wilson
    Vice President
    North America The Coca-Cola Company

    “Rene, I have heard many fantastic speakers including Les Brown, Brian Tracy, Tom Hopkins, Zig Ziglar, and Jim Rohn. They have helped me in many ways, however I have never been so deeply moved as I was during your presentation. It was the most productive thirty minutes I have ever Spent.”
    Jeffrey B. Reed, Branch Sales Supervisor

    “Rene brought an energy to our conference which both moved and motivated our participants. His story inspires, his sincerity impresses, and his humor entertains. Rene took time after his address to meet people and sign books. The fact that he sold out of the books he brought is an acknowledgment to how well received he was. People wanted to learn more!”
    Peg Connell
    Conference Coordinator
    St. Petersburg College

    “Your presentation was a masterpiece of motivation. It is so easy in a service profession to get into a rut and to take for granted all the things we ‘are’ and ‘have.’ Our staff tend to get burn out and need someone to give them the boost to start fresh and to ‘feel’ again. You have accomplished that for them and I am truly grateful.”
    Donna K. Wilson
    Transition/Career Development Specialist
    Family Resource Agency of North Georgia

    “Our conference evaluations suggest that this might have been the best event we have ever offered…I believe that this is more than a statement about the overall depth and substance of our program; it′s a direct reflection of your individual talent…NAPT members have seen and heard some terrific speakers–like Roger Crawford, Charlie Plumb, Jeanne Robertson–so it′s high praise when they give a standing ovation, much less for two!”
    Michael J. Martin, Executive Director
    National Association For Pupil Transportation

    “You were truly a big hit! Your message ‘No Condition is Permanent!’ was very timely in light of the changes we are experiencing. You challenged us to focus on what is really important. Thanks for making us laugh, too!”
    Jan Toles
    Applause Awards Program Co-Coordinator
    AT&T Broadband – Call Center Operations

    “Everyone is still talking about the outstanding presentation, the personal passion and compassion shown, and the inspiration shown throughout the entire presentation. Your charm just overflowed and oozed through the hearts of even our most critical co-workers to a point that they had no choice but to give outstanding evaluation scores and complimentary comments for your performance.”
    Pearl Gibson
    Quality and Professional Development
    City of Memphis

    “You hit the heart of how we think, believe and behave and I for one know I think about one or two of your strategies or philosophies each day.”
    Julie Fox
    Attendee of Sales & Marketing Magic Brainstorm

    “What a SUPER FANTASTIC program you presented! My staff is still talking about how much they enjoyed your presentation.”
    Gay S. Scott
    Piedmont Surgical Associates, LLC

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Books by Rene Godefroy:

Kick Your Excuses Goodbye!: No Condition is Permanent
Enough thinking about it. Enough excuses. If you are not happy with the way things are for you, do something about it. Thousands the world over have already benefited from this life-changing and heart-tugging book.

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