Gail Davis is an experienced corporate marketer and events strategist. She is the President and Founder of GDA Speakers, a global speakers bureau that helps experts and life champions who have the ability to impact audiences from all walks of life be able to share their motivational stories and experiential journeys. Davis’s passionate leadership has lead GDA to become a top-tier speaker’s bureau representing more than 3,500 speakers in business, politics, government, entertainment, and media.
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
Altus, OK I loved growing up in the community. I still refer to it as home. I always felt safe and like I had tons of opportunities and support. I was highly influenced by Mrs. Ruth Ferris who provided so many opportunities for those of us interested in journalism. I hosted a morning radio show called Today at Altus Schools. I also was a part of ACTV which was a full television studio where we were able to not only produce live TV but to host guest speakers.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
The importance of having a coach. Think about it. Every athlete has a coach. I hired a business coach about five years ago. I have had a consistent ongoing relationship with her. She has helped me fine-tune my desire to be a better leader and a better parent. No one has to do it alone. Having this support has really helped me up my game and be the best version of myself. All the while realizing that I am still a work in progress.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
Nothing replaces a live in-person event. During the global pandemic, I realized that there are aspects of a virtual event that might even be better than in person. It was not the time to compare but rather the time to be innovative and maximize the opportunities with virtual as it was the only certain solution.
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
The darkest point for me was facing the decision that my marriage was dissolving. It was the first time I had to really accept the way things were vs. the way I wanted them to be.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
I am a very resilient person. I am always open to reinventing myself. I don’t dwell on what isn’t working but am always brewing up the next idea or the perfect solution.
What is your morning routine?
One of the luxuries in this stage of my life is not setting an alarm. I wake up when I wake up. That can be anywhere from 5-7 am.
Each morning I weigh and check in with my nutritionist. I lost over 55 pounds and have kept it off for over two years. This daily accountability is a key ingredient in my success.
I enjoy coffee and quiet time. I like to plan my day and my specific intentions.
I also write down a list of 10 things for which I am grateful.
I walk to my office.
I am fully engaged with my team and our clients.
The days fly because I love what I do.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
The gratitude list is a game-changer.
Intermittent fasting, drinking 100 oz. of water and eating meals that consist of protein and a vegetable resolved my previous yoyo dieting.
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
I plan each week.
I review each meeting before the week begins.
I give myself plenty of whitespaces so that I am not overscheduled.
I build in the scheduled time for things that come up that I was not expecting.
I am a better version of myself when I am prepared.
I do not approach my schedule on the fly.
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
Alive by Piers Paul Read. This book became a movie in 1992. Ethan Hawke portrayed Nando Parrado. I was so inspired by Nando that I tracked him down (pre-Google). I eventually left a 20-year corporate career and started my own company. Nando was my first speaker and we are close family friends today.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Clear is Kind” — Brene Brown.