The leader of IMPACT Wrestling's newest faction - "The Design" - is currently available for wrestling related bookings. To book Deaner for a wrestling event, wrestling seminar, convention, or autograph signing, visit the bookings page or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Everybody today wants to be an “influencer.”
As I travel across Canada, speaking to youth, I always take time to spend some 1-on-1 moments with the young people I’m about to do a presentation for. During these moments, I often ask them: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The number one answer I get back from them is: “Famous. I want to be famous.”
We live in a world where young people are striving to increase their viewership online. They want more “followers.” They want more “likes.” They want to be seen as an “influencer.”
When I get this answer from young people, I immediately ask, “Famous for doing what?” And, 9 times out of 10, they respond with, “Anything. It doesn’t matter. I just want to be famous.”
I don’t like this response. It goes against everything in my being. I share this feeling with the youth I’m talking to. And I tell them why.
When I was a kid, I dreamt of being a professional wrestler. My idols were guys like Hulk Hogan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. These men were my heroes. These were my “influencers.” The amazing feats of athleticism and charisma they displayed in the wrestling ring inspired me. It developed a passion for performance in me that I never lost. I just knew in my five-year-old childhood brain – “I have to do that.”
I never grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler because I wanted to be rich and famous. I grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler simply because I loved it. I was passionate about it. I found something in wrestling that captivated my attention. And spawned my imagination. I found something I truly loved. And I just had to do it. Being “famous” for doing something I loved never crossed my mind.
Fast forward over thirty years. After years of determination, perseverance, and hardship, I find myself living my dream. I now find myself wrestling on a television show that airs worldwide in 120 countries, in 150 million homes. And, I also find myself getting to share my adventures and lessons I’ve learned along the way with thousands of youth across North America as a professional speaker. A lot of the youth that I speak to are enamoured with the fact that I’m on television because in their eyes, it means that I’m “famous.” I’ve achieved what they desire… to just be famous. It’s in these moments that I find the need to share with them what really matters in life. And it sure isn’t being “famous.”
The truth is… it does matter that we be influencers. But, not the kind that just accrues an online following because of the clothes we wear or the shoes we’re sporting. What matters is that we be a positive influence in this world rather than a negative one. And we all have the power to be a positive influence in this world… if we simply make that choice.
A number of years ago, I started a grassroots charity fundraising campaign called “Giv’er for Charity.” I began partnering with young fans I was meeting at wrestling shows and raising money for different local children’s charities. I was able to recognize the sphere of influence I operated in. Children looked up to me, and I wanted to use that positive influence and be able to spread it to others. Since I started “Giv’er for Charity” in 2018, together with young people I’ve connected with at my wrestling events, we’ve been able to raise over $18,000 for different children’s charities across the country. I don’t tell this fact to youth to brag. I tell them this fact because I want it to inspire them. I want it to teach them a valuable lesson: You don’t have to be in the “big time” to make a big difference.
The fact is… I wasn’t wrestling on national television when I started “Giv’er for Charity.” I wasn’t in the “big time.” I was essentially wrestling in the “minor leagues” of professional wrestling. The shows I wrestled on only had a few hundred people in attendance… not thousands. And the shows were not televised. It was definitely not the “big time.” However, I noticed the small “sphere of influence” I had at these events and capitalized on it. I used that influence to help change the lives of hundreds of young people by working with amazing organizations like the Rumball Camp of the Deaf, the Lansdowne Children’s Centre, and the Special Olympics.
One thing I try to instill in youth who want to “just be famous” is this… quantity follows quality. Many young people today are focused on the quantity of their influence. The quantity of their Instagram likes. The quantity of their so-called “influence.” I strive to change that perspective for them. My story helps them change their perspective. To focus on the quality.
When I started to focus on the quality of my human interactions, rather than the quantity of my digital ones… my influence started to grow. The quantity of my influence grew because I focused on the quality of it. I used my influence with young people to try to help other people and be a light in the world. And guess what happened? A few years after I did that… I signed a contract with a major wrestling company and started wrestling worldwide. And my influence grew exponentially. But that was never the goal. The goal was to simply do what I love. Be a professional wrestler. And help some people along the way. Quantity follows quality.
When our goal becomes to strive for doing whatever we are passionate about… and being a positive influence to others along the way… it changes the world. That sounds like a grandiose claim. But it truly does.
I know that because I’m doing it right now. I’m doing what I love as a professional wrestler and sharing that story with youth across the country. I’m inspiring young people with my stories of working with disadvantaged youth and being a positive influence to them. And in doing so, I’m seeing perspectives change.
When I share these stories with youth, the typical statement of “I just want to be famous” changes. I start to hear from the hearts of young people. I start to hear that they actually desire to make a difference in the world. They want to help people. They want to inspire people to make the world a better place in some way.
I have a new passion now. I still have a passion to perform as a professional wrestler. The same passion that I had as a young five-year-old boy. But my passion has evolved. I have a passion to share stories with young people that ignites a newfound passion in them. A passion to be a true positive influencer in this world.
I’m living out this passion every day. And I couldn’t be more grateful.
So yes… it’s true… everybody today wants to be an “influencer.” But I take pride in the fact that I have the ability to change some young people’s perspectives about what this really means. They want to be an influencer. A positive influencer. One that inspires good in those around them. And, in doing so, the cycle of positive influence continues. This is the key to being a TRUE influencer.
Words can’t express how nice it feels to get to do this again…
Whenever I speak to kids… I always love giving some lucky volunteers a chance to come up in front of their peers and hold one of my championship belts. I want to give them the chance to feel like a champion… even if it’s just for a few minutes.
I have them come up to the front and help me show the group some classic wrestler "poses" of a few of my heroes when I was a kid growing and becoming passionate about the world of professional wrestling. The smiles on the kids' faces when I do this is worth it every time.
For the last number of years, I haven't had the chance to speak to youth in-person. All of my speaking has been done virtually. My virtual audience is sometimes very large. But, all I see is a small green light on my computer screen. I didn't get into the business of professional speaking to talk to a green light. I did it because I genuinely love interacting with young people and inspiring them. Words can't describe how awesome it is to get to see smiling faces once again.
I like to bring the kids up to the front to pose and hold my belt because the audience always gets a kick out of it. But that's not the real reason. The real reason is that it's an effective tool for me to share some lessons I've learned in my journey of achieving my childhood dream of becoming a professional wrestling champion.
One main lesson I've learned in my journey is how important it is to focus on the POSITIVE rather than the NEGATIVE. I try to instil in kids the importance of developing a champion’s mentality rather than a victim mentality. If we focus on the negative all the time… we develop a victim mentality. A champion has the ability to focus on the positive and use that to drive them forward in their goals.
We live in a world with a lot of struggle and negativity around us. I take it as a privilege that I get to share some positive stories with kids and help them realize that there are still positive people in this world willing to come alongside them and help them.
We all have the power to be a positive influence to those around us if we simply decide to be. You don’t have to be in the “big time” to make a BIG difference.
Cody Deaner is now taking speaking bookings for the 2022-23 school year.
Cody is back and offering IN-PERSON presentations to schools across North America.
You can read all about the various speaking topics & workshops he offers HERE.
You can also read more testimonials from satisfied clients and inspired youth HERE.
To inquiry about booking a presentation for your school or organization, you can fill in the form on the bookings page, or email Cody directly at BookCody@CodyDeaner.com
For the months of June, July, and August 2002, Cody Deaner did another grassroots "Giv'er for Charity" campaign to help raise awareness and funds for the Rumball Camp of the Deaf.
Cody had this to say about the fundraiser on his social media:
"I have to say THANK YOU…
When I started “Giv’er for Charity” in 2018, I had no idea the places it would take me or the people it would bring into my life. This past summer, my journey brought me back to an amazing place… the Rumball Camp of The Deaf
My most recent fundraiser was done like all my fundraisers… at a very grassroots level. I don’t have a big marketing firm behind me pumping it. It’s literally just me, some merch I was able to print at a discounted rate due to some kind people, and kids that I’ve connected with in my journey. Together we spread the word about amazing places like Rumball… and people give us money.
All this money was literally raised by people looking into my eyes and handing me cash. They buy a shirt at a show knowing where the $ is going… and smile when I tell them that ALL OF IT (I don’t keep any for overhead costs) is going directly to the charity of choice. That’s it. It’s that simple. Just kind people donating cash.
I know the amount isn’t astounding. But the love and kindness shown by strangers truly is. It always blows me away when fans I meet are so generous with their hard-earned money and are willing to help spread awareness to amazing organizations like The Bob Rumball Foundation for the Deaf
So… THANK YOU to everyone, who over the last few months, shared a link, told a friend, or donated their money to this wonderful cause.
On behalf of me, my buddy Christopher, the kids who will now be able to attend camp because of your generosity, and the fine folks at the Rumball Camp of the Deaf… thank you!"
To learn more about "Giv'er for Charity" and how to get involved, click HERE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec 6th, 2021
Cody Deaner is “Inspired to Inspire”
A virtual family event to inspire youth and raise money for an important cause
Port Bruce, ON, Dec 6th, 2021 – Cody Deaner announced today that on Thursday, Jan 13th, 2022 at 6:30pm EST, he will be hosting a special virtual event for families of all ages.
Cody Deaner will be running a virtual event where he will inspire families by sharing the story of his journey of becoming a professional wrestler, despite all the hardships he faced along the way. The virtual event is entitled - "Inspired to Inspire."
“I love sharing my story with young people,” Cody says. “I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere. But, despite growing up in a small town, I had a big dream. I wanted to be a professional wrestler and wrestle in the same ring as my childhood heroes – guys like Hulk Hogan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. And despite all of the obstacles I faced in my journey, I was able to overcome them. And I achieved my dream. I think right now, more than ever, young people need to hear messages of hope and positivity. I feel inspired to inspire young people right now. And if my story can inspire just one young kid who is struggling right now… then that would make me very happy.”
Cody is also a professional motivational speaker, and one of the key themes he tries to instil in youth is the idea of “Focus on the Positive.”
“For many years, I’ve travelled across the country sharing my story in elementary schools and high schools. Since the pandemic, I haven’t been able to travel into schools to do in-person presentations. So, I’ve been travelling ‘virtually’ into schools via live streams to deliver my message,” Cody says. “One thing I’ve had to do over the last number of years is practice what I preach – FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE, rather than the negative. I decided that I want to bring these positive and hopeful messages to young people and families alike in a fun, inspiring, interactive, and affordable way.”
In 2018, Cody Deaner decided he wanted to give back to his community by starting a charity fundraising campaign entitled “Giv’er for Charity.” During these campaigns, Cody partners with young wrestling fans he has met in his life, and together they raise money for different children’s charities across the country. One of those charities is the Lansdowne Children’s Centre. The Lansdowne Children’s Centre's mission is to support children and youth with physical, developmental or communication needs, and their families. Cody has done various fundraisers in the past with the Lansdowne Children’s Centre alongside a very special friend of his – a young girl named Regan.
You can read about the special bond between Cody and his friend Regan (aka “Rags”) here.
“I’ve had the honour and privilege of working with the Lansdowne Children’s Centre in various fundraisers over the years,” says Cody. “I learned about this wonderful place through my friend Rags, who benefitted greatly from their programs for autistic children when she was younger. I got to visit the Centre with Rags to see first-hand the amazing and loving staff at Lansdowne. It’s truly a remarkable place. I’m excited to donate a portion of the proceeds from this Inspired to Inspire event to the awesome team at Lansdowne.”
A portion of all ticket sales for the “Inspire to Inspire” virtual event will go the Lansdowne Children’s Centre and their children’s programs. There will also be a prize raffle and other opportunities for donations.
How to attend this special virtual event:
Visit CodyDeaner.com, to purchase a virtual ticket for the event. Tickets start at just $9.99 for the entire family.
“I wanted to make this event very affordable for families,” Cody says. “My hope is that entire families will gather in front of their computer or television to participate in this live event with me. It will very much be a fun, family-friendly event, that is suitable for young children, older teens, and adults alike. The messages I share are universal and I'm certain that people of all ages will take away something positive from this event.”
When you purchase your ticket, you’ll be asked to give your email. Once you purchase your ticket, you’ll receive an email with confirmation of your purchase. And you’ll be sent the exclusive live link to the stream that will go LIVE on YouTube at 6:30pm EST on Thursday, January 13th, 2022.
What’s happening at the event:
- The event will be approximately 1 hour in length
- Cody will share his exciting and inspiring journey of being a young wrestling fan with a dream of being a professional wrestler, and share how he achieved his goal and eventually became a professional wrestling champion
- There will be a LIVE and interactive Q&A where families can ASK CODY ANYTHING and he’ll answer it live during the event!
- There will be opportunities to WIN EXCLUSIVE PRIZES!
- There will be an opportunity to have a private ZOOM meeting with Cody and your family, as well as get a personal video message from Cody
- There might even be a special guest or two during the event
“I can’t wait to see all the families that attend this special event. And I can’t wait to see how much money we can raise for the Lansdowne Children’s Centre,” Cody says. “Regardless of how many families attend, or how much money we raise, I know that we are going to be bringing awareness to an amazing children’s foundation, and inspiring families during these difficult times. I’m feeling inspired to inspire!”
Cody Deaner is a Canadian professional wrestler who has been wrestling for over 20 years. He currently wrestles for Impact Wrestling, which is seen in 150 million homes in 120 countries worldwide. Cody Deaner is also a professional speaker who dares youth to “Dream BIG” and speaks to young people about perseverance, being a positive influence in your community, and following your dreams. Cody Deaner can be reached for wrestling bookings and speaking engagements at BookCody@CodyDeaner.com. To learn more about Cody Deaner and his career, visit www.CodyDeaner.com
Cody Deaner is currently offering a unique virtual experience to all libraries. It's called the "Read with a Wrestler" program.
Cody shares his love of storytelling, tells his own personal story of his journey of becoming a professional wrestler, does a live Q&A with participants, reads a fun wrestling-related book to the kids, and then shares a wrestling-related craft too!
If you think your local library would like to take part in this special virtual program, have them contact Cody at email@example.com
Cody Deaner is now offering completely customizable and personalized virtual presentations for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.
To learn more about booking a virtual presentation at your school or event, click HERE.
Cody Deaner & "Giv'er for Charity" raising money for multi-sensory room at Community Living Oshawa/Clarington
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