Mark Kowalske’s life was in the dumps, and he didn’t know quite what to do.
It was a beautiful sunny day in May, but the joy of the sunshine was nowhere to be found.
“My father had just passed away, my business wasn’t doing well, Jody and I had been engaged and broke up, and I was really going through a tough time,” said Kowalske.
That all changed unexpectedly when a girl in the eighth grade came down to see him.
“I was asked to be the commencement speaker for a middle school class, and to be honest, I was getting ready to turn them down,” said Kowalske.
According to Kowalske, the girl came down and the conversation kept going back to a girl named Kelli, who had been left paralyzed after a swimming accident at nearby Whiting Park.
Kelli, as it turned out, had two goals: to graduate high school on time (which was deemed unlikely due to the time spent in the hospital) and to walk again (deemed by doctors to be even more unlikely).
“I started to feel inspired,” said Kowalske.
“We talked and laid out the framework for my speech, and five principles came from that discussion.”
Kowalske gave his speech as requested, even handing each student a copy of these five principles for success (including the now-famous Kelli, whose copy was framed).
“After I gave the talk, I used the principles and they turned my life around,” he added.
Kowalske’s life did quickly change.
Within a short number of years, Kowalske found himself married to Jody, recieiving awards for his now-successful sales, and feeling better than ever.
The BOYNE principles kept coming to the surface, and Kowalske promised Kelly that he would one day put them into writing.
Almost a decade later, that promise became a reality when his own reality was checked.
“I gave out “Success in Boyne” plaques for years and gave talks and people kept asking me when I’ll put it into writing,” said Kowalske.
The process came to a head in the fall of 2012 as Kowalske sat at the cemetary.
“I looked over at one grave and saw people I knew who had never missed a day at their child’s grave; and I thought about how sad it must be to lose a child,” said Kowalske.
“I began to count my blessings again, and I made the commitment to put the story in writing,” he added.
The rest of the story will unfold, as a box of new books showed up at Kowalske’s door on April 1st, and already, the effects are visible.
“I was shocked when I ran into a friend with cancer,” said Kowalske.
“I had given her a copy of the book, and she told me how much it had helped her and asked about getting more copies for her family,” he added.
To finish the story, Kelli walked across the stage for the first time to receive her diploma with her original class.
A mixture of hard work, determination, and perhaps a touch of the Boyne Advantage helped her to achieve her goal.
Those wishing to purchase a copy of “The Boyne Advantage” can do so by contacting Kowalske directly at (231) 675-3721.