Changing the world by focusing on changing yourself is the “positive” mission of Gregory Balteff, also known as “Mr. Positive,” featured on 95.5 FM and nationally as the “Inspirational Poet” on the syndicated Tom Kent Radio Network. Balteff embraces dreams and goals through the delivery of poetry, and he reaches his audience through motivational speaking. “I have this ability of making people react and making people realize dreams can come true,” he said. “Acting follows thought and if you reflect on what I say, perhaps you can stay on track and do a little more to improve your life.”
His signature phrase, “Warrior,” speaks to the fighter in everyone. “Don’t give up. Stay steadfast and strong, because if you stop dreaming, you die,” Balteff explains. Balteff has virtually worked at every radio station in the Detroit area since he was 18, including WRIF on the Doug Podell show for four years. Apart from his speaking engagements, Balteff manages the Anytime Fitness gym in Commerce Township. He said he believes a healthy lifestyle is integrally linked to a positive perspective.
SCN: You have said you want to change the world. How does one achieve that goal, in your opinion?
GB: By becoming the best you can become. What happens is that people see it and it reflects on them. It rubs off on them. If I’m upbeat and positive, then they in turn will be upbeat and positive and it will be a domino effect.
SCN: Tell us how a speech impediment changed your life and directed your path.
GB: Basically it just made me realize and convince me that I’m going to show the speech pathologist — that I’m going to show the world — you can overcome obstacles, that you can win, that you can conquer, that you can make your dreams come true. It’s got to be visceral. It’s got to be within you. There’s a lot of outside stimuli that we see and hear everyday, but if it’s not within you, then no matter what stimuli hits you, your dreams won’t come to fruition. It has to be deep embedded in you.
SCN: What prompted you to begin motivational speaking and how did you get noticed?
GB: Because I wanted to change the world like Elvis and Ayn Rand and I was told I had a nice voice. I wanted to take what I learned and convey it to the world using radio as my medium to articulate my message. About 25 years ago, I called Power 96 FM and talked to Sonny Joe Harris and said, “I have the ability to change people’s lives. Can I say something?” He said to go ahead. That’s how (my) history all started.
SCN: Give us an example of how you motivate your audience.
GB: I use poetry in concert with my writer, Robert Balch of Macomb Township, to convey a positive message. We’ve done many of them. For instance, this would be one of many we would use. I always start my poetry with the word “Warriors” and then:
Remember the door’s always open, the way is always clear,
Desire left unspoken rings like thunder in your ear.
But your passion must be controlled and your vision must be true,
Still a future for those pure in heart will awaken yet in you.
Climbing higher, ever higher to a place you’ve never been,
Reach the summit, stand up tall and let your dream begin.
That’s how I convey positivity to the world. I want to change the world desperately. It’s the very core of my being.
SCN: What can you say to our readers who are going through difficult economic times?
GB: Hang in there. There’s always tomorrow. Each and every day brings a new beginning. Become the best you can become day to day. You’ve persevered in the past. Take that same experience, that same situation, and apply it to tomorrow. You will always come out ahead. I would ask the (SCN) readers to think about the difficulties you’ve had in the past, and there they are today. They’ve overcome them, they’ve won, and the challenge has been overcome.
SCN: Explain the “Warrior” message that you are known for.
GB: Basically I use the word “warrior” because it’s something that is within everybody. A warrior can be applicable to men and women. All it’s saying is that you’re a fighter, you’re a winner. You will overcome the obstacles. You will give it your very last ounce of energy to win, overcome and achieve what you want to achieve.
SCN: How do you stay positive yourself, what’s the secret?
GB: For my listenership — I’m on 95.5 and known as Mr. Positive. Each and every day, I have to be up for my positive warriors on 95.5 with Jag and Goose. I have to up for them. I use the mentality that I have to be up for my audience. I always keep in mind what Elvis, one of my heroes, says. There are three things in this life people have to realize — one, to be loved, to love somebody, and to look forward to something. I look forward and am blessed to have all three. I look forward each day to inspire my positive warriors. It gives me a reason for living.
SCN: Do you write your own poetry?
GB: Basically I am the conduit. I am the presenter. Robert Balch, who I’ve known for 30 years, is a singer/songwriter in Macomb County. He and I met at the YMCA in Utica when it was around. I told him who I was and he asked if he could write something. He’s fantastic. He is my Lennon and McCartney and I’m Elvis. He is the writer and I am the presenter in a nutshell.
SCN: You are also a philosopher of sorts. Explain how so and how that ties into your positive message.
GB: Great question. Because I believe in the philosophy of Ayn Rand, it showed me that using her philosophy and Aristotle’s — if I understood philosophy and I understood the nature of my being, it would give me an advantage or help me understand what it takes to succeed. With my speech impediment, I felt that because I had a hearing problem and it caused the speech impediment, philosophy gave me an outlet to become the best that Gregory Balteff could become. I love knowledge. Using those tools — knowledge, learning, and philosophy, like I said — it makes me understand, ergo, therefore, I can achieve my goals.
SCN: How long has fitness been an integral part of your life?
GB: Twenty years. I love it, and love the challenge. The world would become a better place if the world was more fit because, if you’re more fit, your acuity, mental state, is greatly enhanced. If you’re physically fit, your physical well-being is greatly enhanced. The mind and body work as one. They make life what it is. Knowledge follows thought, action thought. If you are working out, it gives you a better sense of well-being.
SCN: Tell us why you manage a gym and what are its “strengths,” so to speak?
GB: Managing a gym is in a sense a presentation — it is who and what I am. I am the extension of what things can be. I like helping people. I do it in many different ways. I like to bring smiles to people’s faces because, if I bring a smile to someone’s face, they feel better about themselves and they’re happier and then it becomes infectious. As soon as they walk out of the gym, they’re radiating happiness, positivity. I just like the environment of health.
SCN: How does fitness tie into your positive message?
GB: What it does is it all acts in concert. Using my philosophy, my mind, the process of reason, I am bringing forth what I’ve learned and what I know and using it in a practical sense and reaching my goals. Working out and working at a gym makes me realize that I have a challenge each and everyday, and because of the tools I have learned through the philosophy of objectivism and Aristotelianism, it makes me successful in the endeavor that I so choose. My endeavor is health, fitness, and positivity.