The Origin of BigSpeak, from Founder and CEO, Jonathan Wygant

Originally posted on the Esalen website, April 2016

In 1995, I had just sold my first company and needed to recharge and renew myself. I decided to attend a workshop at Esalen with Dr. Joan Borysenko, the noted brain scientist. The first evening of her workshop, Joan asked each of us to state our intention for the weekend. I shared with the group that I had several things I wished to accomplish, one of which was greater clarity on what my new work or calling was to be. I had been doing a lot of inner searching, but still hadn’t hit on the right fit for my next endeavor.

At the end of the evening, Joan mentioned that there was wonderful early morning singing that took place at the New Camaldoli Hermitage just down Hwy 1. Five of us got up at around 5 a.m. and headed for the seminary. When we got there, the monks were singing beautiful a cappella hymns in a small chapel with great acoustics. We joined in and felt the power of our voices in this resonant chamber. At one point, we stopped singing and a young monk read a passage from scripture that said, “Whenever you ask for something in life, ask for it in the name of Spirit or the Christ.” Then we went back to singing again.

After the service was over and we were winding our way down the hill and back towards Esalen, I said to myself, “Christ, would you please look in on the following things that I would like to take place?” And I proceeded to list my intentions from the night before, including wanting clarification on my new calling.

The rest of the day went nicely. Little did I know what was in store for me when I went to sleep that evening. I had an incredible dream where I was providing the finest transformational educators to people, making it easy for anyone who wanted greater self understanding to find in one location all the resources they would need to better themselves. People were growing and healing, they were happier, relationships were joyful and meaningful, and I was providing a worthwhile and profound service. I woke up with this vision emblazoned on my mind. I felt like I had received a vision directly from God!

That morning I had breakfast with Joan and shared my vision of this new service. She loved the idea and said that she wanted to be the first person on my team. Furthermore, she said that she would help me to sign up other personal development experts whom she knew worked with integrity and heart. I was overjoyed with the wonderful support I was receiving for this divinely bestowed idea.

Twenty years later, BigSpeak is working with over two-thirds of the Fortune 1000 and many midsize corporations helping them deal with the critical issues of business, such as leadership, teambuilding, managing change, communication, innovation and living lives of balance and contribution. Personally, I am extremely fulfilled and am in the process of writing about the various factors that lead to successful personal and professional growth as well as organizational transformation. I am extremely grateful to Esalen for contributing an environment where I was able to receive such a profound vision. Providing individuals with the tools to help them develop as leaders while transforming their organizations into places where the human spirit soars gives me and our entire team the greatest satisfaction and joy.

Jonathan Wygant is CEO and founder of BigSpeak, Inc. the largest business-oriented agency/consultancy in North America focused on serving the Fortune 1000 and multinational companies worldwide.  Jonathan draws on his more than 30 years of hands-on business experience and extensive research into the best practices of visionary leaders and successful companies. His expertise is in understanding his client’s needs and matching them with speakers and trainers who will best deliver inspirational messages and support lasting positive organizational change.