Al Walker’s decades of experience as a consultant, speaker, author and trainer lead him to five things that contribute to success. He presented these five things in a lively and humorous presentation delivered with a thick South Carolina accent and a story-telling style that had the audience roaring.

Walker used his own experience with losing 200 pounds to urge the audience to follow through with what they learned at the conference. He says spending time, effort and money to attend a conference and then doing nothing with the information you learn is like purchasing a NordicTrack and expecting to lose weight. It was a much needed break from a day and a half of informational seminars and gave remodelers an inspiring message to take back to their companies. Walker says successful people embrace these traits:

Authenticity: People want to do business with people that are honest and have integrity. “No one can be me, and I can’t be anyone else,” he says, nothing that this authenticity will draw the right clients to you and your company.

Positive Expectancy: The leaders that he’s met expect to be successful. Even during the recession, these leaders forged ahead. This positive expectancy is also followed up with a positive plan.

Ignorance: Though it sounds counterintuitive, Walker says admitting ignorance about a topic can be a good thing. Once you do, you are open to educating yourself. He himself tackles a new skill (outside of professional training) on an annual basis.

Love: “Love what you do for a living. Love yourself,” he says. Don’t hold back on saying thank you and praising people both in your professional and personal life.

Laughter: This is the “greatest gift we humans were given,” Walker says. He proved to be an adept user of this gift and showed in his own seminar how effective it can be in getting your message across.

Walker is president of Al Walker and Associates, a firm dedicated to helping businesses and individuals solve problems through professional speaking, training and consulting services. They have conducted over 1,400 training programs and workshops for organizations. —Nina Patel is a senior editor at