Seven Questions with Jon Waldman

1. Why are you excited to speak at TEDx Winnipeg?

I’ve long been a fan of TED, usually listening to the Talks when I’m making brunch for my family or cleaning dishes afterward. I put giving a Talk on my bucket list and I’m thrilled to mark it off.

2. How did you come up with your idea, and how did you develop it into something shareable?

Having gone through infertility issues with my wife and not finding support that easy to reach out for, let alone to find, I felt that it was time to do it on my own. I started by going very public – going on radio and later television – and sharing my story through social media. In doing so, I had numerous people who previously suffered in silence open up and those who were currently battling issues either approached my wife and I directly for advice or through friends.

3. Who inspires you, and why?

My daughter, first and foremost. To have come into the world so small (3 lbs. 13 oz), let alone being an IVF baby, and seeing her push and fight to grow as much as she has in less than two years is amazing to watch.

4. What accomplishment are you most proud of?

The success of my most recent book, 100 Things Jets Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die. Many years ago I was called upon to update a book on the Jets, which, as a lifelong hockey fan, was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. Unfortunately, the publisher closed one edit away from production. Rather than let this childhood dream project die, I kept gathering up interviews and parables and later pitched to Triumph Books (Chicago). After a market study, I was off and running. I’ve been able to share the book since with so many die-hard Jets fans, friends, current and former players and personalities from around the game. I hesitate to say it but I imagine it will be hard to top this.

5. Who’s going to play you in the movie of your life?

If generational difference wasn’t a thing, it’d probably be Steve Martin. I think our delivery is much the same in terms of wit and being able to switch to seriousness and deliver heavy topics in digestible fashion.

6. The last time you wanted to give up on something, what made you keep going?

I’d be lying if I didn’t say my TEDx Talk. I think people take for granted just how much work goes into them. At a certain point it was that question of, “is this really worth it?” and my answer to myself was absolutely.

7. What TED Talk do you think everyone should see?

Kevin Bacon’s Talk on the Six Degree Project. It’s the perfect example of how you can turn a running joke into a positive piece in the world.

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