Monday, February 28, 2011

More behind the scenes

I'm sitting in Starbucks working and decided to type a new blog. I still haven't found a name for my new behind the scenes blogs. It's exciting to think about sharing the fun and not so fun details about what happens off stage.

Today is a crazy one because I have to work on my business and craft, but I also have to "work" so I can pay the bills.

This past December I made the decision to part ways with my long time and only speaking agent. My business partner/speaking partner/friend Rodger Campbell also made the same decision. We started 2011 with a fresh start, but also put EVERYTHING on our shoulders. No agent to make calls for us, or set up speaking dates.

We've spent the last couple of months laying out plans and reorganizing. We've learned a lot about what we can do, who we know and what we need to do. I put a great quote on my twitter page this morning, "We all have strengths and opportunities." The quote means, we have things in life we are really good at and opportunities to improve on all the things we are not good at; have limited knowledge or experience with or just don't know how to do.

Speaking is my passion and now its my business. This will be what I do to live my life and pay my bills. I had to take a step back in 2011 to take a HUGE step forward in the future. Part of the experience has been living the life of a struggling artist. When I don't speak, I don't make any money, which means I have to find ways to bring in income.

In between speaking opportunities, I'm working two part-time jobs. I work at the Phoenix Zoo and I work for Bed, Bath and Beyond. Yep, pretty glamorous for someone with the goal to be an International Speaker. I would love to do more, but this economy has led to many of us checking our ego at the door. I'll admit that neither job pays all the bills. Definitely in survival mode. It helps to have a loving wife to assist me with the pursuit of my and now "our" dream.

I have to work 60+ hours a week at both jobs and any spare time is spent working on speaking. That leads me to Starbucks. Today I made a call to Rodger while driving to work at the zoo. The call was to discuss our "Things to do" for the week. I also needed to check his calendar to set up a conference call with a possible business client later this week.

Once I got to the Zoo it was time to do my work, but on lunch break I was able to confirm two speaking dates for August and talk to a friend about performing some consulting work as a speech coach. Now I'm in Starbucks, typing this blog and typing up some of the brainstorming ideas I shared with Rodger this morning. I'm using this hour to work, because I could be stuck in rush hour traffic. I'm just making the most of my time.

I'm going to get going. It's time for me to jump in the car to go spend some quality time with my wife who has been very patient with my "business." After that, I'll get ready for a 6:30 AM meeting I have Tuesday morning with two friends who I'm pursuing a business partnership with. Then I'll be off to the zoo for another full day of work, before I return to Starbucks again tomorrow to avoid traffic.

I hope you enjoyed this entry. I'll be sure to add some pictures, videos and more in the future.

If anyone is interested in having "The BAD BAD Apples" pay you a visit, please contact me. In the last week, I've confirmed dates in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Virginia this coming August and September.

Until next time, "Find people to work with versus working for!"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What it takes to run a business

My beautiful wife is always giving me great ideas for speeches, marketing materials, finances, life and what to wear. Her latest "plan" was about my blog. She came up with the great idea of me sharing the details of what it takes to be a Professional Speaker.

Many of you only get to see what happens on stage for my shows and performances, but that is only a part of the story.

Prepare yourself for some funny stories and a lot of information on what it "really" takes to get a business off the ground.

I'm looking for a name for these entries, so if you have any ideas, please send them to me. Until the next behind the scenes post, I leave you with this.

I was up at 6:00 AM this morning to start my work. Today's list of things to do included the following:

- Manage my database of current and potential clients
- Made several phone calls to past clients to let them know I'll be in their areas this fall. I have a lot of long standing relationships and I like to hold dates on my calendar just for them. I like to treat anyone I work with like family.
- Paid a few bills
- I had a phone call with my insurance agent to discuss my business insurance
- Had a call with my "Bad Bad Apples" business partner to discuss future opportunities. We talk, text or skype daily
- I posted new blogs
- I'm about to call the accountant to discuss my companies taxes. Have to get everything taken care of by March 15th.

I did manage to have breakfast. Eggs, pancakes and chicken sausage with OJ and my daily vitamin.

I love speaking, but the one thing I've learned over the years is - Speaking is only a small part of being a speaker.

Thank you for reading. I have more work to do. I'm off to finish editing my book "Fresh from the Kitchen"

"Normally This Weird"

A photo from the set of "Normally This Weird"

On Monday, I was given the opportunity to dust off my acting skills. Rusty is a better way to describe my skills. I was asked by my friend Nathan to play a role in his web series "Normally This Weird." I was asked to play the part of a special agent. Imagine the agents from the movie "Men in Black."

It's always fun to act, but I'll admit to being rusty and nervous. I have to thank Nathan and the other actors for not laughing when I started speaking my line before the words "action" were said. I learned a lot and I hope I get the opportunity to work with Nathan and his crew again.

For everyone reading this, I offer this piece of advice. If you want to improve your people skills and communication skills, TAKE AN ACTING CLASS. Acting classes give you a great opportunity to explore your emotions, body language and communicating abilities. You may think you're expressing one thing and discover people are reading you completely different. The acting classes and workshops I've participated with in the past really helped me with my soft skills. The classes were also a good way to relieve stress. After a long hard day, it's great to play the part of a jerk or villain and get all your anger out without upsetting someone.

When I get more photos from my day as a special agent, I'll be sure to post them.

For more information on the web series, please click the link below:
"Normally This Weird"

What are you communicating?

I was driving home yesterday and saw this sign. It made me think...."What is this company communicating?" I didn't hide the phone number on the truck, maybe I should have.

The business wants people to buy vehicles from them. They also offer auto service. They have a big problem before the even work on your vehicle. Look at the sign. Would you trust this business if they don't take the time to spell check their signage?

The sign represents how we communicate. We may want to communicate one thing, but we may communicate another by our actions. The next time you have to communicate something really important, make sure your acting match your words.

Smooth Criminal

It's amazing how talented people are. A friend sent me this video. I thought I'd share it with all of you. Enjoy!

Thank you Denny!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Amazing Video

Just had a friend e-mail me this amazing video. I had to share it with all of you. Enjoy!

Thank you Wolf~

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Kelly!

My wife celebrated her birthday this week. We like to keep things private, so I'll keep what we did to the two of us.

I will take this time and space to say "Happy Birthday Kelly! I love you! I'm happy to have you in my life!"


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teachers in Space!

My best friend is participating in NASA's Teacher in space program. Next month they're going to cut the candidates down from over 200 to 16! Watch this video from the "Today Show" to learn more about what he's been doing. He'll be the guy holding the camera next to the reporter at the end of the video.

Good Luck Scott!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Video Blogs are coming!

I'm learning new technologies! I'm working on doing weekly video blogs so you can hear me speak my mind as well as read what's on my mind.

Be on the look out for my first V-Blog soon!


My Twitter Page

If you miss my constant blogs of the past, be sure to follow me on twitter. I am constantly posting links and quotes daily. All you have to do is click the link below to find me.

You can also follow me on Facebook! I have room for 4,000 more friends! =0 )

Thank you again for reading!


Follow Your Passion

Tonight I was invited by a new friend to speak to a group of Marketing Students at Arizona State University. I was the Master of Ceremonies for a program on the Elements of Effective Speaking.
During the program I had endless energy. Why? Because speaking and entertaining people is a passion of mine.

As the end of the program, my friends and I were on "Cloud 9." The four of us have a passion for speaking and the ASU students allowed us to pursue our passion. We got a high that we don't want to go away.

Wouldn't it be great if life were like that? On my way home I talked to a friend. I discussed how it's great to do something you are truly passionate about. It's even better when people appreciate and acknowledge your passion. Thank you ASU for your time and the "fellowship" after wards at dinner.

Back to my life comment. Society is teaching us that we have to get a job and that's what life is about. Life is about living! Living is about doing what you are passionate about. The thing that keeps you awake at night. The thing that puts a smile on your face. The thing that makes you loose time because you work on it for hours without realizing it.

The people who have left a legacy on society and a mark on history are passionate people. We are not taught to pursue our passions. We must be adults and mature. Kids are some of the most passionate people alive. They are full of energy and passion. What happens to us as adults.

Working with the college students tonight, we talked about how fun it is to be on a campus because everyone is pursing a dream or a passion. Then they graduate and get into "the real world." We get hired to help someone else to accomplish their passions and dreams and forget about ours.

The best part about my passion is, I'm helping meeting accomplish their passion while I'm living mine. For everyone reading this. Pursue your dreams now or you'll spend your life wishing you did. Work to do something you are passionate about and it won't feel like work at all. You will have a constant high and a huge smile!

Good Luck and thank you for reading!