How an awkward kid from the Nevada desert climbed the tallest mountain on every continent and started empowering student leaders around the world.

John Beede is a '7 Summits' climber, keynote speaker, author, entrepreneur, and global adventurer.

Downloadable Bio for Meeting Planners

Who is this Youth Motivational Speaker?

I grew up in a small desert suburb of the Las Vegas valley. I never dreamed I'd climb the world's tallest mountains; nobody from my entire state had ever done such a thing.

I DEFINITELY didn't think I'd give motivational presentations to hundreds of thousands of young people around the world; my first speech was supposed to be for 5 minutes. I stumbled and stuttered incoherently for 119 seconds, then sat down in embarrassment.

So what happened?

At the start of my sophomore year of high school, I received a phone call: "John, your friend has been killed." 

I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I listened in shock and learned that, in the middle of the night, a group of friends snuck out of their homes to go snowboarding. On the way to the mountain, their van went off a cliff, killing the three passengers who weren't wearing seatbelts. My closest friend was one them.

Throughout the school year, I was numb, lonely, and in a depression. I couldn't understand why something so terrible happened to such a wonderful person and his family... let alone how anything at school mattered. I desperately wanted to bring my friend back.

The Turning Point

The following summer, my dad signed me up to go to a summer camp. I was supposed to be a camper, but the director needed another staff member for his "high adventure" program. He told me that if I wanted the job, I had a week to learn how to safely teach rock climbing.

Some part of me heard the calling and was up for the challenge, so I took the job... I learned safety systems and climbing techniques, then then began teaching others how to ascend vertical cliff faces, rappel down hundreds of feet, handle ice axes, and reach literal mountaintops.

Surprisingly, the campers I guided started thanking me for helping them to find hope in their difficult times.

My intense desire to breathe life back into my deceased friend resulted in something unexpected: I discovered that through climbing, I had an ability to inspire others in need. I discovered a tool for offering healing and growth to others... and in turn, myself. 

7 Summits Climber

As my climbs increased in size, so did the audiences I shared my stories with. In turn, my impact increased. By 2008, I had climbed all over the contiguous USA and was telling the stories at schools, student councils, and BPA, DECA, FBLA, and HOSA conferences. After 'bagging' three mountains in one day, I realized I was ready to start climbing larger mountains, internationally. That started a 10-year adventure to the top of the tallest mountain on every continent, including Mount Everest. Along the way, I survived avalanches, pulmonary edema, tribal warfare, and a whole lot of Clif bars.

The Mountains:
South America - Aconcagua
North America - Denali
Europe - Elbrus
Africa - Kilimanjaro
Australasia - Carstensz Pyramid
Asia - Everest
Antarctica - Vinson Massif

Keynote Speaker

I use my worldwide adventure stories to teach high-altitude success principles to teenagers. In 20+ years of delivering motivational presentations and trainings, I've influenced nearly 1 million live audience members. 

The goal-setting, resilience, and leadership strategies I've learned in the mountains aren't hair-brained ideas thought up by some random mountain man; every principle and concept I teach is supported by the latest peer-reviewed research and/or psychological studies. 

The adventure stories are simply the attention-getter for the more important messages of success, motivation, and resilience principles.

Speaking Career Hilights:
Largest Audience: 11,500
Smallest Audience: 3
National keynote for every major youth organization
Presentations in 7 countries
49 US States
Hundreds of personal 'thanks' from students

Author of 3 Books

My books are about: 
Goal setting
Living by one's values
Self-care and fun
Choosing quality friends
Discovering purpose
Self-defined success

The Warrior Challenge

Develop Kindness, Courage, and Grit

The Mini Manual

for Becoming Super-Awesome

Climb On!

Success Strategies for Teens


I have traveled to 67 countries and every continent. I compete in international kitesurfing events, was struck by lighting, attacked by a 5-foot iguana, and once did the hokey-pokey in the eye of a hurricane. I've been swimming with Hammerhead, Great White, and Whale sharks. I was even trapped in the Indonesian jungle between warring tribes and the world’s largest goldmine. I don't know how I keep getting in these situations, but they sure make for great stories in speeches!

Upcoming adventures include:
Sail around the world
Climb Mt. Cook, NZ
Give 1 million to charity
Write NYT Bestseller
Get 'barreled' surfing
Family & kids


No, I'm not sponsored and didn't inherit a trust fund. Rather, along with speaking and writing, I'm a business builder, investor, and web marketer. I currently operate from Henderson, Nevada, USA, in order to be close to family (and great access to climbing!)

Previous business projects:
5 membership websites
Vehicle rental business
Speaking & writing
Diversified investments
Real estate fix & flips


John Beede is a keynote speaker who has given motivational presentations in 49 states and 7 countries. His presentations are based on his climbs to the tops of the tallest mountain on every continent, including Mount Everest. The success principles he teaches are based on real-life experiences.


© Copyright John Beede International, Inc.  |  All rights reserved

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