Meet a man who has turned personal tragedy into triumph.
When Gus speaks, he shares a humorous, heart-touching message you'll find unforgettable and life-changing.


So many people have been touched, encouraged and motivated by Ron “Gus” Gustafson, it would be impossible to list them all.

Here is a sample of what others have said…

Dear Gus,
Thank you VERY much for the wonderful presentation you delivered at my recent conference in Washington D.C. The Seaboard VPA All-Stars event has historically been the most well received function of the year by the qualifying agents. Your presence elevated the meeting to a level of quality that we had not seen before. Your talk was entertaining, inspirational motivational and humbling. You are a person who truly practices what you preach. It is obvious the word ‘surrender’ is not part of your vocabulary.

Gus, I am convinced all the attendees that were in your session will become better people in some way through their life because of your message. Once I am settled in Pittsburgh next year, I look forward to contacting you and hopefully working with you again with my new group of agents.

Best regards,
Ray Melcher
Vice President Agency
State Farm Insurance

Dear Gus,
Thank you for your outstanding presentation recently to several of our agents and Agency Field Office team members. Of all the speakers who have addressed our group over the years, none have had the immediate and string impact as you. Your enthusiasm, passion for people and the way you challenged all of us has left its mark on each and everyone.

You brought focus to the important things of life and hit on the value of thinking about what we do have as opposed to what we don’t have. Yes, we now know how to turn our setbacks into comebacks as a result of the time you spent with us.

I want to thank you for giving so much of yourself and the long lasting impact you have made. We are better for knowing you and having you as a part of our meeting.

All the best,
Joe Neely
Vice President – Agency
State Farm Insurance

Dear Gus:

Thank you for your outstanding presentation to First PREMIER Bank’s staff last week. Your inspiring story and powerful message to never give up, to reach even higher, sets a standard for all of us to strive for!

In my 20 years of banking, I have never experienced a speaker who touched an audience in such a positive and personal way. Thank you! We look forward to hearing from you again soon.


What an inspirational book…thanks so much for dedicating years of your life to write it.

Your courage, determination, and ability to encourage and motivate others is remarkable. Everyone who reads your book will be inspired by the extraordinary individual you are.


Dear Ron:

Thank you so much for attending our meeting and for the inspiring message you gave to our group on Sunday morning. I have heard so many positive comments from many different people, including staff members and board members and their spouses. You are a tremendous example for all of us to look up to.

In Christ,

Dear Ron:

The true mark of a champion is when a player in the game of life looks at loss and challenges all odds, and turns it into a victory.

“Fully Armed” is a true victory.

Your personality, motivation and strong belief in God and family have made you the envy of those searching for answers. We know your book will enlighten and inspire.

Kay and Lee


It has been almost a year since we first met and you spoke to our group. I wanted to drop you a quick note of follow up. As we go about our daily activities, it is often easy to lose focus of the important things in life – religion, family, friends, community and business. As we put our various hats on each day, we come across all kinds of people. Some of these experiences mean more than others. Occasionally, and I mean rarely, do we have an experience that changes us significantly. Noticeably. Overnight.

I wanted to thank you for giving that to me and my team. We all attend functions and hear speakers but rarely do they do anything that has any lasting impact. Well…here it is almost a year later and we still find ourselves talking about “Gus”. You have a staying power. More than that you have changed us…just a little…but permanently. We are better people for knowing you. More productive. More focused. Thanks.


Dear Ron:

You have made an impact on my family, and we have used it to talk about the positive things that can come from something so tragic. Ron, it has been a pleasure to get to know and work with you. I really enjoy and value your professionalism and sincerity. Always remember the positive impact that you can have on people. I know I will never forget your story.

God Bless,

Dear Ron:

WOW! Great job on the fantastic presentation — It was a huge success. I’ve never attended a school assembly where the students actually stayed quiet. They were quite impressed! Thank you so much for making that day possible.

WPHS Student Council


Thanks so much for your wonderful presentation — you really made a difference in my life, as well as all of my friends and family members who have viewed your video. You are very special to me.

Take care!


Congratulations, Ron and Julie, for your successes, your influence, and your precious children.

As everyone was, Ron, my wife Bernice and I were extremely moved and appreciative of the inspiration and motivation of your Sunday morning presentation at the National Young Farmers Educational Institute in Omaha. We want to repeat our appreciation of your testimony about the grace of God in your life. I am showing your video today at a men’s luncheon at our church in Sterling, CO.


Oh that all kids could be raised and encouraged as Gus was and as his kids are!! WOW!!!

Gus was one of the best I have ever had the opportunity to listen to. He made a great impact in my life! Gus is a tremendously inspiring person. His presentation really spoke to my heart with some challenges that have come into my life recently. Thanks!

Gus, you are very much admired. Gus makes a person feel that anything you desire can be accomplished by ‘never giving up’. Gus sends us bridges when we need them the most.

Thank you, Gus.

On March 29, 30, 2000 Avera McKennan hospital and University Health Center contracted with Mr. Gustafson to do four presentations for our bi-annual CARE Days for employees. CARE Days are special times set-aside for renewal and inspiration for employees.

A total of 1000 employees attended the four sessions over the two days. During the presentations one could ‘hear a pin drop’ to quote an old phrase to describe the attention of the participants focused on Mr. Gustafson’s story of his life in ‘turning setbacks into comebacks’. The verbal and written evaluations were 100% positive with statements like ‘the best CARE Days ever’, ‘well worth the time spent’, ‘ a message of life for everyone’, and ‘ wow, what more can one say’.

These days exceeded our expectations for providing a day of refreshment and renewal for our most important resource, our employees. Many commented that Gus’ presentation would be very good for youth groups and I agree. Again thank you, Gus for your time with us and sharing your story.

Sister Mary Jaeger
Vice President of Mission
Avera McKennan Hospital