Category Archives: Business

I suck, I lost

Ok not really; especially on the post directly after talking about the power of words to build us up.

The results came in and the winner was not me…or the guy I thought should have won…or any of the other speeches/speakers that I really liked.  But I also was not the judge nor was I offering a scholarship so needless to say it wasn’t my call.

It is very hard to get better with victory.  Sports illustrates this so well in that there are so few professional teams that repeat and win championships in consecutive years.  It is through loss and defeat that teams get better, grow, and ultimately learn how to win.  It is a process that has been repeated in sports, business, love, and politics.  So I’ll take my setback and build from it, but what did I learn?

I’m still pretty good

i am far, far from being good-good, but I’ve still got some talent when the lights are turned on.  I’m seriously not polished and that’s ok, because I haven’t been working on it in years, but with limited time I put something together that resonated with people.  Ultimately speakers have to do just that, we will always be hyper critical of each other and ourselves, but when your 9th grade history teacher hears it and likes it, you know you’ve done something right.

I can reach people

Three minutes is an impossibly short amount of time to craft a message.  Eight days to create said message is also incredibly short.  I wish I could publish some of the things that were sent to me privately about the speech.  You can see the response on my Facebook wall.  It is a very small sample size and most of the people who viewed it know me and care about me, but they were not required to give input.  The best part is the people who don’t already love me, that found a way to reach out to me and say a kind word.

I’ve got to be my number one fan

I have a ton of people who love me and support me.  It is impossible to succeed at anything without support.  But I’m not going to be able to convince people who don’t love me to love me until I love me…the most.  I’ve never lacked in confidence, but conviction and belief are a different part of the equation.  The fan line has to begin directly behind me.

Keep writing

I’ve got to keep at it, it is an art.  Writing blog posts, writing short speeches, and writing bigger things.  I’ve got to use the inspiration in my mind and put it out there.  As a 1b to this, I’ve got to produce stuff and put it on social media.  People that don’t love me aren’t going to find me if I just sit in my living room talking to myself.

Find a mentor

This is old business logic.  Find someone who is further along than you and learn from them.  If I actually want to do something with this little bit of skill I have, I’m going to have to have someone directly help me.  There are no shortcuts to the top.

I’ve got a ton of ideas.  Some are motivational, some are about fitness and weight loss, some are directional, and some are just fun.  I really don’t know what to do next…but I’ll do something; I promise.



Ps…Here’s the winner


Flying high!

There are few things quite as awesome as coming off the platform.  Tonight was a good night.  Preparing, practicing, and delivering a good speech is an amazing process.  Sometimes it goes well and sometimes its just ok.  There are no guarantees.  Sometimes an audience gets your humor and sometimes they don’t.  Stories that hot home with one group fall on deaf ears at another locations.  As a science it is inexact at best.

I put the work in though, with no guarantees that it will work out.  Every once in a while though I hit a home run.  So I’ll just enjoy the trip around the bases.  And I’ll try to remember this the next time it’s not too good.





Speaker dude

I was sitting with some friends the other day and the topic of careers came up.  One friend is being coveting for his skills and another is very successful in his business.  As the discussion shifted to me it was directed to what I want to be doing.  As I explained my background, success, and desire to be a speaker I could see the confusion on their faces.

“People actually do this for a living?”

“Can you make any money doing this?”

“Who would you work for?”

“What do you talk about?”

“Where would you speak?”

Luckily for me I had answers for most of these questions.  Over the past six weeks I have pulled out all my “speaking business” materials.  The stacks of books, pdfs, e-courses, contacts, notes, and youtube clips that I have collected over the past few years.  The speaking profession is a noble one.  In your back yard there are probably more than a few professional speakers in your community.  In a college town many professors and researchers  travel the world sharing their expertise.  Many business people speak at local community organizations for small fees to help promote their business.  Numerous churches have guest speakers come in every Sunday to give their pastors a week off.  There are thousands of working speakers in the US.  Though it is a business that few people rarely think of as viable.

As I look at my resume I see several jobs.  Most of them in sales or something similar.  Many times I’ve been some type of manager or supervisor.  And many of those times it ends up not working out.  A lot of times I moved up the ladder or took some type of promotion, but some times I was just tired of doing what I was doing.  The beauty of life is that wherever you go you are always with you.  I’m the common denominator in both the good and the bad career transitions.

I have several super successful friends from my childhood.  One of the common denominators is that most of them have always known what they wanted to do, whether it was being a doctor, lawyer, film maker, or educator.  I remember being five or six years old coming home from church and preaching away.  I participated in my first speech contest in the third grade (it was a complete disaster).  I always enjoyed getting up in front of classes and doing presentations and book reports.  But just like my friends, I didn’t realize that there was actually a job associated with giving speeches.  So as a middle-aged salesman trying to support his young son, I am trying to make an intentional change in my professional direction.

If you haven’t recently tried to learn a business from scratch go to the library and read a few books.  Talent is far from enough to make it in any business.  There are probably thousands of bands touring Georgia right now that are talented enough to have a record deal but the music business is about more but talent.  So as I try to polish my talent and learn the business side of speaking I move forward with optimism I look forward to writing and posting more speaking highlights.  But for now it is off to work on a speech for a campus ministry group.

Wish me luck!