How Arnie became mates with Ipswich lad made good
WHEN Glenn Twiddle was a lad he used to get around Bundamba State High impersonating his childhood hero Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Fast forward 25 years and Arnie is headlining Twiddle's Total Success Summit in Sydney this month.
The Ipswich lad turned renegade marketing guru has been to a party at Arnie's California home and is proud to call him a friend.
It is all the stuff dreams are made of but also a lesson in persistence and bloody hard work.
Glenn Twiddle grew up at Lindsay St, Bundamba and attended primary and high school just around the corner.
He got into real estate but soon found he hated cold calling.
So he started attending seminars to find out how to get out of making cold calls and learn more about professional development.
" I'd listen to motivational speakers and when I first started going I'd roll my eyes," he says.
"But I persevered and became a student of professional development and started teaching the marketing stuff that I was learning, and running seminars of my own."
It was at one of those seminars that his life changed when one of the speakers asked 'what would your goals be if you couldn't fail?' and 'what would your goals be if you weren't afraid?'
"I thought 'if that's the 'if', then my goal would be to have my childhood hero Arnold Schwarzenegger as the headliner at one of these things that I do," Twiddle recalls.
"Then I thought that was probably just a dream and not possible for a guy who grew up in Ipswich.
"But I ended up meeting him within two years and having him as a headliner because I had written that goal down."
If you are thinking there must be more to it, there is.
Firstly Twiddle had to ask the right people just to get to Arnie, a quest in itself, but once he did he found a way past the gatekeepers.
"It was a combination of asking with the right humility, a fan asking him to do it and jumping through all the hoops," he says.
"A cheque book alone wouldn't have got him because he has got way more responsibilities to do this sort of thing than he has time to do them.
"So it was a combination of a lot of begging and a little bit of luck."
Initially he was told Arnie didn't come to Australia. But with six months of persistence a "no thanks" became "probably not". Then it was "possibly", "maybe" and, ultimately, a "yes".
Twiddle had to pinch himself when Arnie rocked up in Brisbane in 2015 to headline one of his seminars which help people go to the next level in their business, marketing, sales or entrepreneurship.
"Even though the paperwork had come through with his signature, I still thought I was maybe the victim of a Nigerian scam until I met him on the day," Twiddle grins.
"When I saw him I thought 'my God, dreams do come true'. It wasn't dreams alone, but if you are willing to work sometimes crazy things happen."
It was when Twiddle introduced Arnie to his 11-year-old son that he found out what makes him tick.
"They sat chatting for 10 minutes and I realised that's why Arnold is who he is - because he can make an 11-year-old boy feel like the most important person in the world," he says.
It was then that Arnie invited Twiddle and his partner Naomi Twyford to his house back in Santa Monica, California for a party.
So off he went to California, with a few mates as well, to a gathering at Arnie's place where actors such as Don Cheadle, Jim Caviezel and Joe Manganiello were all on hand.
When Twiddle got out of his Uber cab he was greeted by a real elephant in Arnie's yard.
Twiddle stood out in the crowd, largely because of his loud pink and grey flowery jacket.
"That jacket was the hit of the party. Everyone was asking me where I got it and you won't believe I got it at Lowes," he grins.
"The second year I went back to his place Arnold said 'where is your jacket? That is the best jacket I have ever seen."
"Arnold's place is not a castle, just a lovely place he has raised his family in.
"There was some amazing memorabilia on the walls - a statue of the Terminator and some amazing paintings of him in his body building days.
"What makes it interesting is the Hummer in the backyard.
"I used to be a wrestler when I lived in Ipswich and the first thing that came out of Arnold's mouth was him teasing me about my physique.
"I was talking to a bloke that I met at his house and he said 'that is his way of showing that he likes you'."
Arnie is looking forward to his next trip to Australia for the Total Success Summit on March 21, 22 in Sydney.
He sent Twiddle a message on Facebook saying "Australia, Glenn Twiddle and I can't wait to see you...Glenn, start riding the the exercise bike now."
Twiddle says Arnie will talk about how he has been successful, "but not only as the world's most famous body builder and one of the world's most iconic movie stars".
"The highest office he is able to hold in the US is Governor of California. The only step up is President but he isn't allowed to be because he is not a native born American.
"But he says that at 10 years old he wanted to be the most famous movie star in America.
"He had a goal and applied what he calls his six rules of success.
"His talk is incredible and life changing.
"It is about having a vision and ignoring the naysayers, which are on any road to success. Trust yourself when the naysayers come.
Work your butt off is another rule.
"Or you can't avoid the reps as he calls it," Twiddle says.
"Arnold also says you have to give something back in life.
"So in his tenure as Governor of California he didn't get paid and donated back the wage because he was thankful America had been so good to him."
Twiddle admits he is still awestruck that he counts Arnie as a mate.
"I am 44 now, but so many of my mates at Bundamba High used to walk around impersonating Arnold, because in 1989 when I was a senior Predator was released and it was around the time of Terminator," he says.
"Who would have thought that I would end up not only working with him but socialising with him as well?
"He is definitely a down to earth bloke who makes you feel like you are the only person in the world. That is a mark of his character and the secret to his success.
"So no wonder so many people helped a skinny farm boy from Austria to conquer the world
"He is not only my childhood hero, but my adult hero as well."