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What is Your Word of The… QUARTER?

By Communication, Family & Personal Life, Motivation No Comments

For the past 5+ years, I have chosen a word for the year that helps guide my decisions and keeps me on track for my goals.

This year was the first year in which I felt like I wanted more than one word as 2020 has been… well a year!

So with that, I am challenging myself (and us) to look at the word for the next QUARTER instead of the entire year. What word do you want to focus on for Q1 of 2021 that will keep you motived, get you going and help you reach your goals?

My word for Q1 2021 will be:  REACH!

To me, this word means many things:
I want to reach new heights.
I want to reach out.
I want to reach for things I usually wouldn’t try.
I want to reach new levels of speaking.

My word is going to be REACH. What is your word going to be?

The 2020 Photo Challenge

By Communication, Family & Personal Life, Motivation No Comments

Every year my family and I select the number of photos that correlate with the last two numbers of the year. This year we will select 20 (for 2020). Last year we selected 19 (for 2019) and so on.

We select the photos from our cameras that best represent the year for us and we share them with each other. This is a very fun and eye-opening experience to see what your year was all about and hear from your family about how they saw the same year.

My challenge to you starting this week is to select the 20 photos that best represent your 2020 and share them with your family and friends.

Ready… set… go!

Adventures of Public Speaking: Morocco

By Motivation, Videos One Comment

We had a stop in Casablanca, Morocco for our Map to Dreaming BIG tour and we have learned a few things along the way! What has been one thing you have learned this week that others can benefit from?

Definition of Leadership

What’s The Definition of a Leader?

By Motivation 2 Comments

Here is my definition of a leader:

Leader: Someone whose actions, inspire others to take action. 

You don’t need a title, money or power to be a leader. When you do something, say something or share something that gets someone else to take action, in my book you are a leader!

The world needs more leaders now than ever. Take time this week to take action on something you have been wanting to do and see who you inspire, motivate and lead!

What is your definition? Share, like or comment to get the conversation started! As always…

Dream BIG,

Why Leaders Should Be Adventure Seekers

By Adventure No Comments

I recently had the opportunity to go scuba diving at Ocean Park in Hong Kong. When you visit, I highly recommend you go and be prepared to spend the entire day there because it has a lot to offer!

I was giving a couple speeches in Hong Kong and instead of hopping from hotel to hotel I thought I would be adventurous in-between speeches.

You are 2 feet away from hammer head sharks and hundreds of other fish!

You are 2 feet away from hammer head sharks and hundreds of other fish!

I knew Ocean Park was one of the top rated tourist attractions in the world, so I reached out to the theme park’s PR department to ask if I could scuba dive with the hammerhead sharks, manta rays and more than 5,000 other fish they have in their 2.5 million gallon grand aquarium.

A week later, they said yes and granted me access to a behind-the-scene tour of how the aquarium works and an up close and personal experience with the animals.

Just in case you want to know what a manta ray eats.

Just in case you want to know what a manta ray eats.

Wherever I go, I enjoy doing adventurous things (skydiving, white water rafting or rock climbing) for a variety of reasons. When we as leaders and speakers become adventure seekers it allows us to:

Meet New People: As leaders, the more people we know, the more people we can help. Being a good leader means you are good at building relationships. I think if more people traveled, the world would be a better place because you learn that your way is not the right way or the only way, rather it is the way that works for you. As leaders we need to meet more people so we can make better decisions, expand our thinking and continue to learn.

Create New Stories: There are people who think that your life is what it is and you can’t do much to change it; you have to play the cards that you are dealt. Well I say, if you don’t like your cards, play a different card game. A card game that allows you to have the winning hand! We can create our own stories, we don’t have to wait for them to come to us! What story have you been waiting to create? Go out there and make it happen!

Enjoy New Experiences: Sometimes we get stuck in routine. That is where boredom can sink in. We as leaders need to be trying, exploring and having new experiences on a regular basis to keep our minds fresh, our perspective open and to see all the world has to offer outside of our own little bubble. What is one experience you can create for yourself this week that will let you grow as a leader?

My friends at D89 joined us on the adventure and they were so amazing. They showed Chelsea and I around the entire city after we got done. They hosted one of our events, took us to a party and were so gracious to host us while we were in Hong Kong (Thank you Derek)! All of D89 is amazing and I learned a lot from them.

So the next time you are feeling less than motivated or you feel like you are searching for something to do in life, instead of drowning in self doubt, build up the courage to ask, do and try! Who knows where it will take you?

Thank you to the team at Ocean Park for the awesome experience and to Donna for making it happen! I can’t wait to come back and visit and to see what my next adventure will be.

Remember it’s the dreamers who take action that change our world. Take advantage of today, plan for tomorrow and always…

Dream BIG,

INFOGRAPHIC: Where Do You Sit in The Leadership Lunchroom?

By Motivation No Comments

Because you enjoyed last week’s infographic and because my high school reunion is a week away, I thought I would share another infographic today by MBC! This time, it helps us identify what type of leadership style we are drawn too more! Which one are you?

11 Killer Tips to Stop Saying “Um” Forever

By Communication One Comment

Do you use filler words like “um,” “so,” and “like” when you speak? Check out this infographic from


A Quick Reminder

By Motivation 2 Comments

I have been moving at what feels like 1,000 miles per hour this past week while speaking in Australia for the first time!

We have had a blast while being here in D17; gambling, brothels, creating new friendships and more! (Photos and lessons learned along the way to come next week. Oh and yes, I said brothels)! 

I woke up feeling so stressed this morning as I had four talks to give today and I wanted to make sure I was ready for them all!

Having a mini-freak out, Chelsea reminds me to: Pause (breathe). Remind myself where I am (Australia). Remember time will pass (True).

This week: Pause. Remind yourself where you are. Remember time passes.

What I am upset about today is that although I feel like I did my best, I didn’t do the best job of being in the moment to enjoy it. I stressed about going from one speech to the next and now it is 10pm in Australia and my day is over. The speeches are over and I never get this day back.

I am in a new place, enjoying great conversations with awesome people and I’m with my wife! I love having days where I get to speak, teach and meet new people! So I (we) should enjoy every moment we get like this. Don’t you think?

A quick reminder for us all: Enjoy the moment. 

Can’t wait to share with you what else I have learned while being in Australia (great group of people these Aussies are)! Remember to keep taking advantage of today (enjoy the moment), plan for tomorrow and as always…

Dream BIG,

The Five Ps To a Perfect Proposal

By Motivation, Uncategorized 2 Comments

Starting out I wasn’t getting the results I wanted nor the revenue a full-time speaker really needed to make ends meet. I had proposals in the hands of the right people, but nothing was popping up. I knew my content was valuable to professionals, but those who were buying weren’t biting.

I had to be doing something wrong when writing or delivering proposals to potential clients.

I dove in. I asked questions. I researched, read, wrote and re-wrote my proposals. After weeks of formulating a formula, I tested it on my first client. The next week I landed my first BIG five-figure contract.

How did this proposal differ from the others I was sending? It was a formula you can use that I like to call the 5 Ps To a Perfect Proposal:

State Your Position: What is your take on an issue, a problem, or a belief you have? What experience do you have with it? Why does it matter to you?

Identify The Problem: What problem is your target audience facing that they need help solving?

Give a Process: What process will you take them through to fix this problem?

Offer a Product: What do they need to buy in order to fix this? A keynote, a training, a book, a six-week course?

Illustrate the Priority: What happens if they don’t fix this problem? What will their business look like, and why does it need to happen now? Why are you the one they should go with versus someone else?

This simple formula has helped me land larger clients and get more ‘yeses’. This simple to use, simple to read, and simple to understand formula has resonated with several of my clients and created significant income for my business.

So, the next time you write a proposal state your position, identify the problem, give a process, offer a product, and let them know why this is a priority. Hope that helps. Keep using your voice to make a difference! As always…

Dream BIG,


Can Kids Get In The Way of Your BIG Dreams?

By Motivation 4 Comments

This week, I have a guest post written by Joe Shaw; a fellow blogger, Map to Dreaming BIG member and all around good guy!

It’s 3:42am. I’ve been pacing around the living room with our one-month-old for the last hour and a half (3.2 miles of walking, according to the phone’s pedometer), thinking about an article I’m working on about parents with small kids and full time jobs and how they still find time to chase their dreams.

Time to chase dreams. That’s funny.

A few minutes later, the baby dozes off. There’s a noise upstairs that sounds like a ten gallon bucket of pasta dumped on the floor, followed by a scream and the megaphone voice of my three-year-old son.

“DAAAAD! Eliott just threw up on me!”

The screaming wakes the baby, who wakes up my wife and the rest of our four kids. I leave the baby wailing in his crib and run upstairs to keep the badness from spreading. Halfway up, my phone says I’ve made four miles. “Great,” I think. “At least I’m getting exercise.”

This is how Saturday ends and Sunday begins.

TIP #1: Nothing Ever Happens Like It’s Supposed To.

“Life is what happens when stuff gets in the way of your plans,” my Grandma used to say, and I think that’s true. I had always planned on publishing a book by the time I was 35. I’ll be 38 this year and I’m about as close to publishing as I was a decade ago.

Life gets busy. When I was 25, all I had was a job and a bunch of free time. Now I have a wife, a mortgage, and the responsibility of raising four kids into respectable adults who, we hope, won’t accidentally set the house on fire when we’re not looking.

None of this was planned, but all of it has been good. It’s been great, actually. When you chase your dream, you’ll more than likely find that things don’t always go as planned, but the off roads are often what make things worthwhile.

Tip #2: Find A Routine. Stick To it.

We get everything cleaned up, and fall into our weekend routine: kids playing games and watching cartoons, breakfast on the stove, a few cups of coffee brewing in the pot.

Things have calmed down. Time for that article.

I try to write each morning, even if it’s just a few minutes. If you find a routine that works, stick to it as best you can. Do it long enough and you can fall back into it without even thinking, like muscle memory, when the world throws you a curve ball.

Tip #3: Don’t Forget The Milk.

I get two sentences done when my phone beeps. My To-Do list tells me we have to be at church in ten minutes. I grab the non-sick kids, toss them in the car and get moving. After church, my phone sends us on a wild goose chase of tasks: library, grocery store, gas station and bank. I’m on autopilot. My mind is on the article the whole time. I unload the groceries when we get home and, of course, forgot the milk.

This happens to me a lot. I get distracted, thinking about a story I’m working on or a big project at my day job, and I miss small but important parts of the day. Sometimes it’s milk. Other times I don’t hear my kids or my wife when they speak to me. They think I’m listening, but my mind is really off someplace else.

Your dream will seep in and ruin everything else if you let it. Do too much and nothing gets your full attention. That might be okay if all you missed was the milk, but it doesn’t work well with loved ones. If you want to build full, rich relationships, you need to flip the dream switch to OFF once in a while.

Tip #4: Prioritize.

The rest of the day goes well. We watch some television, and play some games. The kids are feeling well enough for dinner. We bathe them, put them to bed, and I settle in to finally get some work done on this article I’m supposed to write.

A door creaks. My three-year-old can’t sleep. “Can you tell me another story, Daddy?”

I want to finish this article. There are other responsibilities, too; things like laundry and dishes and, of course, my favorite television shows. Then I remember an old boss who took less challenging jobs early in his career so he could spend time playing with his kids. “Our dreams are a support structure for our lives,” he said. “Not the other way ‘round.”

Sometimes chasing a dream means putting it on hold when other, more important, things take precedence. It’s not always an easy choice to make but, if we make our dreams the focus of our lives instead of merely a part of our lives, we’ll end up losing out on both.

I want to write. I want to tell stories. I want to share ideas that will move people and change the world. What better audience could I hope for than a three year old in dinosaur pajamas?

“Sure, buddy,” I say, and we spend the next two hours building a story together about a little boy who found a portal to another world under his bed.

I didn’t make it to bed myself until after midnight. That wasn’t part of my plan when I started my morning, but it was still a good ending to the day. The article had to wait till I fell into my routine the next day. I finished both the article and a big project the following day.

The next night, all four kids listened to a re-telling of the adventures of the magical world of Underbed. There may or may not have been a gigantic pasta monster and a giant, beeping robot that looked like a phone.

It is a strange and unexpected way to chase my dream, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Shaw Family

The Shaw Family

How to Create An Elevator Pitch They’ll Remember

How to Create An Elevator Pitch They’ll Remember

By Motivation 2 Comments

You know that person who, when you ask them, “What do you do?” they ramble on for five minutes? Please don’t be that person!

Here is how you can create an 8-second elevator pitch they will remember, they will like, and that will give them clarity on what you do.

Plug in this formula:

I work with… (who)
Who want to/are looking to… (do what)

By… (how)

For example:
I work with high-level executives
Who want to win high-stake presentations
By teaching them the strategies I used to win the World Championship of Public Speaking

My wife’s elevator pitch is:
I work with wives
Who want to have a good relationship with their spouse
By sharing stories, strategies, and insights on my blog at

What’s yours?

People remember things that are simple! The simpler you make it, the better chance you have they will remember you and what you do! Use this formula the next time someone asks you, “What do you do?” and see the response you get and the conversation that begins! As always…

Dream BIG,

P.S. We are going to share how you can take this formula to the next level with the members of The Map to Dreaming BIG.

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