Tucker Bearden is an inspiration not just to people with Asperger’s, but to the world. He created systems and rituals for people with Asperger’s to build a successful business despite the interpersonal issues that come with the syndrome. Imagine having a neurological abnormality that hinders your natural abilities to understand social cues and emotional response. The biggest problem with Asperger’s is that the more people are around, the harder it is to sustain your composure and to even breathe correctly. Tucker Bearden inspires people to step out, be a part of society, and function normally.
Listen to the podcast here:
Business Systems For Aspergers With Tucker Bearden
I have the good fortune to be joined by my new friend, Tucker Bearden. I was a speaker at the Authority Maker Bootcamp. Out of all the speakers I saw there, and there were quite a few, I got to admit the most inspiring story I heard came from Tucker. After he spoke, there’s a line of people wanting to talk to him and a number of people wanting to hug this young man for what he is, what he went through, and what the empowering, inspiring messages he’s sharing. I was super excited to get him on the show. Tucker, thanks so much for joining us.
It’s a pleasure. I’m so honored to get to come on here. I’m a big fan of yours. I was happy to get on your show.
That is very nice of you. I appreciate it. Let’s go back in time a little bit. Let’s tell folks where you came from and what you’ve overcome to get to where you are now.
Where I come from is a little place on the side of the Arkansas river. It’s hard to find on Google Maps and the only way you’re going to find it is if you know where you’re going. It’s called Rising Star. It’s exactly 52 miles from the closest town. We grew up hunting, just living the real life in the woods. Finally, I come to the city and there are all these people and it’s an overwhelming experience. At first, it was nearly impossible to handle and put me in a hospital on multiple occasions because I have Asperger’s, which is a neurological abnormality that hinders one’s natural abilities to understand social cues and emotional response. The biggest problem is that the more people that are around, the harder it is to sustain your composure and to even breathe correctly. It’s hard to explain. Your body begins to shut down and all your muscles contract and your heart will actually stop at a certain point. It becomes overwhelming.
I wanted to step out and I wanted to be a part of society and function like normal people, so it took me going to places and forcing myself to interact with people, force myself to talk to others, just talk to strangers. Whether it’d be a compliment, walk a mile, are walking up and shaking their hand, introducing myself and having a conversation. That was required over and over again. On many occasions, I’m out by myself, which was really stupid. I shouldn’t have done it, but I’d go out by myself in doing this. I hospitalized myself over and over again trying to overcome that. One of the biggest things that helped me was I started working on race horses. There’s something about working on a horse. I can’t really explain. It’s something you have to live it to understand it. Being around a horse is not like being around a person. They have a sixth sense that is astronomically more intuitive than ours.
When you’re around them every single day, there’s a connection that grows between you and that animal and it forces you to be a better person. It forced me to be a better version of myself because if I came to work in a bad mood and I was aggravated and everything, especially back when I was a green horn, they would push you around. They’ll bully you. They’ll pick on you like they know that you’re aggravated, and they will aggravate the hell out of you. I noticed when I work in a good mood and just excited for no reason, they were more cooperative, and I had a good experience with them. It wasn’t so bad. That process of realizing that and then attempting to recreate that every single day was what led me to being so comfortable out in public. It was a connection to something for the first time.
How has having Asperger’s and dealing with those issues and then working with horses, which ultimately makes you more comfortable around people, how has that informed you know who you are and what you’re trying to do with your message.
My message is I’m living proof that a diagnosis doesn’t define who you are. It doesn’t define what you’re capable of. It shouldn’t hold you back from doing anything that you dream about doing. The first time that I saw a TED Talk, the first time I saw somebody stand up there, share an idea that opened up people’s eyes and you could see the spark in their eye whenever they walked up and were like wow. To me, that lit a fire in my soul. I just knew. I was like, “That’s what I’m supposed to do.” The definition of my diagnosis is that I can’t do that or anybody with not only disabilities, but simply fears. Social anxiety is not something that’s just a neurological abnormality in people. It’s a fear that people have to overcome and I want to show people and prove to people that if you do certain practices, neurological practices every single day, and you do little tiny steps towards what it is that you’re trying to do, that even with doctors and psychiatrists trying to feed you expensive medications and telling you that it’s safer to stay inside, you can go out there and do what it is that you want to do. I’m proof of that. I stood on that stage in Vegas and I spoke in front of those people. If you would’ve asked a psychiatrist if I could’ve done that, they would’ve have told you no.
You created systems and rituals to help you deal with your situation and those that have set you up for success. You built a successful business. Are you now sharing what you learned in those systems and rituals that helped you with your issues with other folks who may have different issues, may have the same issue, may have issues that are not as significant or more so, and then they can learn from your trial and error and shortcut that process and improve their lives faster?
Yes, that is the ultimate goal of what I want to end up doing with my public speaking. Many people call it motivational speaking. I call it inspirational speaking because motivation lasts a day and inspiration last a lifetime. I want to teach people not only people on the spectrum but people off the spectrum the little tricks and processes that I went through that worked for me personally and have worked for other people like how to overcome these situations, whether it be social anxiety or fears or other ways. It’s little things you would never think of like when whenever you’re in public and you all of a sudden feel like everybody is staring at you and judging you all at one time and it comes from every angle, literally laughing and talking trash. The exact opposite of what people tell you to do. People tell you to empower yourself, but you’re laughing at yourself and talking trash being like, “What are you doing? You’re being stupid right now. What is the problem with you?” Little stuff like that and there’s a lot of those. But if you practice it, you can overcome nearly anything when it comes to anxiety. It’s crazy.
First, I’ll sign you up for the program. I’d love to learn from you. Second, you said something that really resonated with me. I first started in marketing because I was a magician and I wanted to do more shows and get paid better for it when I was much younger. When I first started working, learning from Dan Kennedy, the first lead generation report I ever wrote for magic was I build myself as an inspirational speaker and literally the tagline of that report was “Motivation is temporary. Inspiration radiates from within.” Twenty plus years later, you’ve literally written and said the same exact message. I got goosebumps.
I believe that. If you teach people it’s like, “If you give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, they’ll eat for a lifetime.” The goal with all of this is to be able to teach people these little bitty processes. It’s not even overwhelming. It’s not like handing someone a Bible and saying here’s how you be a good person. It’s these little tiny processes that people can do throughout their day that help you overcome these things in that same light. Sometimes, it seems like a whole army coming at you.
What we didn’t get to see on the business card is the rest of the information so for folks who are resonating with what you’re saying, who are inspired by you as I am, what is the best way for them to get in contact with you? What’s the best way for them to learn more and learn more about the programs and speaking that you offer so that they can benefit from this, too?
I am still in the process of setting up programs, but you can contact me through Facebook. I’m on Facebook it would be just Tucker Bearden, but if you want them to see my Facebook page, it’s Tucker Bearden Inspiring the World. If you want to get in touch with me personally, my personal number is 501-625-2342. My email address is TuckerBearden4321@Gmail.com. You can contact me at any one of these. I generally get back pretty quickly. If I don’t, I will get back as quick as I can.
That’s a rarity. Someone sharing their personal phone, cell phone, and direct email on the show. We greatly appreciate that, Tucker. You are and will continue to be an inspiration. I know I’m looking forward to learning from you. Thank you so much for being on.
Not a problem, anytime. Much obliged. It has been a blessing.
Thank you for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.
About Tucker Bearden
Tucker Bearden, a self-proclaimed “farm boy from the sticks of Ark,” was born with Asperger’s, a neurological abnormality that hinders the natural ability to understand social queues as well as emotional responses.
Tucker shares his experiences living on the spectrum and the lessons he has learned along the way. He helps others to live a fuller and more meaningful life.
He fought bullying, addiction, homelessness, and even several suicide attempts. Through it all he learned that a diagnosis does not define who you are or what you are capable of achieving. He stands as living proof of this fact.
Tucker stands out because there is a distinct difference between listening to a motivational speaker and being INSPIRED by someone to whom you feel a connection. Tucker says, “Motivation lasts a day, Inspiration lasts a lifetime.”