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GIVEAWAY: 2-Hour Public Speaking Training

By Motivation 7 Comments

My blog readership has grown and more people are sharing my articles than ever on social media. So for fun, and to say thank you, I want to give something away today!

HOW TO WIN: Those who have signed up for the blog (in the right-hand corner of this webpage) or who sign up in the next 24 hours, will be entered to win a copy of REFLECTIONS: 32 Strategies to Win the World Championship of Public Speaking. I will post the winners names in the comment section below by Sunday!

BONUS: I will pick THREE winners this time instead of one because I really appreciate all of you who have continued to follow me on my journey and support what we are doing! My goal is to continue building up a community of Todayers!

TODAYER: Someone who takes advantage of today, plans for tomorrow and works towards accomplishing their goals!

Thank you again and I hope you have a fantastic weekend! As always…

Dream BIG,

10 Chinese Proverbs to Remember

By Adventure One Comment

We are having a blast in China. People are teaching us so much and I feel like everyone has a proverb, quote and profound answer for every question I ask. It is amazing!

After doing some research here are 10 of my favorite Chinese proverbs and quotes: 

1) When you drink the water, remember the spring.

2) A bad workman blames his tools.

3) A clever person turns great troubles into little ones and little ones into none at all.

4) Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream. – Lao Tzu

5) Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.

6) By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. – Confucius

7) Dig the well before you are thirsty.

8) Never hesitate to ask a lesser person.

9) Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment. – Lao Tzu

10) To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.

Do you have a favorite or one that is not on this list? Share one in the comments below! Hope you are having a great day and as always…

Dream BIG,

3 Things To Avoid When Speaking in China

By Motivation No Comments

China has been a terrific trip so far! We have explored the Great Wall, enjoyed dishes that include jellyfish and pig intestines, scuba dived with whales and met with so many amazing people.

During my first five speeches here I have learned three things you should avoid before, during and after you speak in China!

1) Never sign in red ink – In the United States I sign all of my books with a red Sharpie. Here in China, that is considered bad luck to write in red. Whoops! Luckily someone had a black one near by I could use!

2) Never give a gift wrapped in white – Gift giving and exchanging is common here and Chelsea and I wanted to make sure we brought gifts from Oregon to those who have helped us during our trip. Well, white is a symbol of death here so never wrap your gifts in white paper. Use gold, red or a vibrant color.

3) Never use four when making a point – Four is unlucky as well because the word for “death” in Chinese sounds like “four.” So if you are speaking and have four stories, or four points, or four takeaways, consider making it three, six or eight! (Although I think eight would be too many, eight is a very lucky number in China). 

Avoid these three things when speaking and traveling in China and you will make a lasting impression. For those of you who have been to China or spoken in China, what are other things we should avoid? Remember to keep making things happen and as always…

Dream BIG,

P.S. I still have no access to Facebook, Twitter and any social media while I am here (I get back on November 12th). 

Adventures of Public Speaking: Philadelphia

By Motivation, Videos 4 Comments

What leadership lessons can you learn when the airlines lose your luggage, a creepy guy sleeps next to you on the floor and you have to pay over $1,000 in one-way tickets to make your speech on time? Adventures of public speaking…. oh the places you will go! What was the worst travel experience you had and what lesson did you learn from it? 

4 Things Americans Can Be Reminded of From Malaysians

By Motivation 3 Comments

Chelsea and I had a blast while we were in Malaysia! The people are fantastic, the food is spicy, and the possibilities for adventure and leisure there are endless!

We spent a week in Malaysia during the Toastmasters International Convention. During our time there we were reminded that we, in America, should be doing the same:

1)  Take care of one another: While we were almost three blocks away from our hotel we had a flat tire. We got out of the car, and within minutes we had more than eight guys helping us fix it and get back on the road. Sometimes, I see Americans being fascinated with the thought of going across seas to help others in need, but there are millions of people in our own backyard that need our help. What are you doing to help those in America?

2)  Our way is not the right way: I think for the most part, Americans are really proud to be American, but sometimes we have the view that our way is the right way and the way that works. Our way might be the way that works for us, but not the right way that works for everyone else. Like in most math problems, there are multiple solutions to get the same answer. Same goes for being human!

3)  Embrace diversity: Malaysia has three cultures mixed within its borders including Chinese, Indian and Malay. They embrace it with photos in advertising, restaurants, friends, and language. I feel as though Americans can sometimes get pretty defensive when we “let others into our borders” or what an “American” looks like! Embracing a little more cultural diversity on a larger level would be good for America.

4)  Speak another language: As the saying overseas goes, “If you know three languages you are trilingual. If you know two languages you are bilingual, and if you know one language you are

Take time this year to interact with more people who are outside your borders of comfort. Get to know them. Who knows? They might teach you something you like and remind you how much we have and how much we can improve! As always…

Dream BIG,

5 Entrepreneurial Traits Demonstrated in Thailand

By Motivation No Comments

Every year Chelsea and I take a honeymoon to relax, rejuvenate and relish in the life we are building together. This year we chose Phuket, Thailand and what an experience it has been! We have enjoyed scuba diving adventures, $8 (one-hour) massages and a guy snot rocketing all over my shoeless feet!

Overall, this trip has been one that will be remembered for a lifetime. Throughout our adventures here, I have been reminded of a few things that entrepreneurs do that others do not.

Here are 5 entrepreneurial traits learned in Thailand: 

1) All entrepreneurs need a break and time to relax: Even when I have been “on vacation,” I was still checking emails, social media and planning for what my 2014 Q3 and Q4 would look like. This trip was different. I turned off my phone, didn’t check emails and had my posts automatically scheduled for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I have not felt this recharged in a very long time. Take time to take a break and disconnect for a while. It will be good for your soul, mind and spirit! When is the last time you have done this?
Ryan and Chelsea Avery

2) Jump in head first: I went scuba diving off the islands of Ko Phi Phi and while we were waiting to go on our second dive, they let you jump off the side of the boat. The boat rocked back and forth and you had to jump at just the right time. If you put your foot in the wrong place or jumped the wrong way you could seriously hurt yourself. To be an entrepreneur, you need an adventurous spirit and to be smart about the choices you make. Once you decide to jump, do it with everything you have and make a splash.

Ryan Avery Diving

3) Shortcuts are short-lived: We took several “shortcuts” to get to beaches while we were here that led to bug-bites, scratches and a muddy hill that almost killed us (A shot of Chelsea before we climbed the hill. We both were not smiling after we climbed to the top). If you want to be truly successful, there are no shortcuts and even if they do work, half the time they cost you more pain than if you took the long way. What shortcuts should you be avoiding and what ways should you really be going to get to your goals?
Ryan Avery and Chelsea Avery in Thialnd

4) Little things make a big difference: Right now, we are staying at the JW Marriott in Phuket and let me tell you these people have thought of every little detail for their guests. From an upgraded room because they knew it was our anniversary to a personalized note with my name on it hand delivered with fresh cold fruit for us to enjoy. These little things are the reason why I stay at the Marriott. What little things are you doing to make a BIG difference for your customers? Trust me, they count and keep them coming back for more! Ryan Avery at the JW Marriott

5) People don’t pay for the product, they pay for what the product gives them: Since I have been here, I have paid $3 and $20 for Chicken Pad Thai. Both delicious with each being surrounded by different atmospheres. One I got at a street vendor and the other I got at the JW Marriott. As I noticed people lining up for both the $3 street option and the $20 sit-down option, I realized people weren’t paying for the taste, they were paying for the experience. I felt like a million dollars eating the $20 Pad Thai and a local eating the $3 option. Both are great but what experience do you offer with your product? What do you want to be, the $3 option or the $20 price point?
travel phucket thailand pad thai

Take time this weekend to think about these tips and traits. Discover what you are doing to grow as a leader and entrepreneur. I hope you are enjoying your day! As much fun as I have had here in Thailand, I am looking forward to coming back home. As always…

Dream BIG,

Share, comment or subscribe! 

Dananjaya Hettiarachchi

The 2014 World Champion of Public Speaking is…

By Motivation One Comment

We have a new World Champion of Public Speaking for Toastmasters International. They just crowned this year’s World Champion of Public Speaking in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and it was an amazing contest!

Every year thousands of people across the globe watch live to see who will be crowned the World Champion of Public Speaking. With a speech titled, I See Something, Dananjaya Hettiarachchi took the stage and came out victorious!

More than 30,000+ people from 126 countries compete each year for the World Championship of Public Speaking and now Toastmasters has a new reigning Champion.

Congratulations Dananjaya! Get ready for the ride of your life this next year and enjoy visiting Toastmasters 

From all of your Toastmasters peers and friends, we wish you the best of luck on your new journey as the 2014 World Champion of Public Speaking. We all see something in you so represent us well, help grow our organization and keep using your voice to make a difference! As always…

Dream BIG,

Let the world know about the new World Champion! Spread the news by click on a social media button below! Want to learn more about the new 2014 World Championship of Public Speaking? Sign up to receive blog articles at the right hand corner of this page and stay tuned for an in-depth and upcoming blog article about the reigning WCPS.

6 Reasons You Should Participate in 31 Days of Kindness

By Motivation 6 Comments

I posted on my personal Facebook page last month hoping to entice a few of my friends to join in on a kindness challenge.

Little did I know this challenge would draw such a huge response. Within an hour, we had more than 100 people ready to participate. I remember saying, “Oh, wow! I need to put something together!”

Chelsea and I brainstormed ideas and designed the branding elements utilizing Canva. Within 48 hours, we had a team of more than 500 people ready to be part of the first ever #31DaysofKindness.

Ultimately, more than 725 people participated in this year’s #31DaysofKindness. What an experience it was! But it shouldn’t stop there. We should continue to perform acts of kindness every day. More importantly, we should encourage others to initiate their own #31DaysofKindness campaign.

Here are 6 reasons you should participate– and invite others to participate– in 31 Days of Kindness:

Click image to download the 31 days of Kindness collage!

Click here to download the 31 days of Kindness collage!

Makes you aware – You begin to understand how much you really have to give and what abundance we all have. If we all gave a little more, all smiled a little more, and all helped a little more, how much better the world would be!

Makes you care – It really gets you thinking about your fellow human beings. You can do simple things every day to make a big difference in other peoples’ lives. It doesn’t require a million dollar donation or starting your own foundation to make a difference. We are talking about doing little things that make a big difference and show others you care about them.

Makes you happy – I cannot tell you how happy I am having completed this challenge. Think of the last time you did something nice for someone. How did you feel? I felt like I was on cloud nine, everyday! Selfish it may be, but being kind also makes you more happy!

Makes you appreciative – You start to look at the world differently and understand how much you really have in life. Take a look at what we can be thankful for, and appreciate, everyday.

Makes you feel connected – There is strength in numbers. When you see others using the #31DaysofKindness hashtag and connect with them, it makes you feel amazing! You feel like you are doing even more, because you are part of a larger group!

Makes you dream – You dream constantly of what else you can do, what the world would be like if more people did kind things every day, and how you can make a difference one kind act at a time.

I have some big goals for us next year. If you want to be part of the planning committee, or have ideas of how we can improve to get more people to join in this effort, email me at!

Either way, start today being more kind and adding value to the world with what you already have! Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s #31DaysofKindness. I’m looking forward to continuing the tradition in 2015 and the rest of this year! As always…

Dream BIG,

If you were part of this year’s #31DaysofKindness, share this with your friends and family. Let’s get more people performing acts of kindness around the world!

Correcting My Mistakes

By Leadership, Motivation 8 Comments

In the survey I sent out a few weeks ago, several of you asked me to share personal stories and mistakes I have made and what I learned from them. So here is an update!

In the the past few weeks I have had multiple people reach out to me, letting me know I have had grammar and spelling errors in my blog posts.

I will admit I am not the best speller, nor did I do the best in my English classes (C-). Even with the easy to remember rules, it is hard for me to distinguish the simple things like… then and than or their and there. I can’t remember if I put the quotation marks before the punctuation or after? I still have trouble with grammar and spelling but that is not an excuse.

This is embarrassing for me because I am a professional speaker and published author. Some people might wonder how I can be a published author and not know these skills? Well I have a lot of help from copy-editors, line-editors, managing-editors, a co-author and team of people helping me.

Until recently, that is the biggest mistake I have made with my blog. I have not had the proper team helping me deliver you the highest quality content and I have been treating this blog as a hobby and not a business (which is not a good thing as this website is where a majority of my speaking leads are generated).

I have also not wanted to spend money on an editor. Instead I have been asking my friends, family and Chelsea to look at articles on a occasion, but that is no more. Starting next week, I will have a managing editor to work on to proof-read all pages and posts before they go out.

I will deliver you quality content that is geared towards helping you be a better speaker and leader. I made a mistake. I took for granted that this blog is not a place for me to share my stories or ideas but rather a place people come to learn and if there are mistakes in my writing, that does not produce a conducive atmosphere for learning.

I needed to ask myself, “Do I want this to be a hobby, or a business?” If you say business, are you treating it like one? The answer as no so I am ready to do something about it.

Thank you to those who have reached out to let me know about my grammar/spelling mistakes. Thank you to those who have stuck around, subscribed to the blog and shared an article. I know many people can leave a blog once they see one or even two mistakes and I appreciate you following me along this journey. I write for you. I would hate to know you leave because of my inability to catch simple mistakes.

Let’s keep making things happen and work towards reaching our goals! As always…

Dream BIG,

10 Questions You Should Be Asking to Grow Your Blog

By Motivation, Productivity No Comments

Last month I sent out a survey to my friends and followers to see how I can improve the experience on and ways I can add the most value to you as a reader.

Ryan Avery's posting scheduleThe answers you provided blew my mind! I was posting mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays but you wanted Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I was posting blog articles but you wanted to see more videos!

I was thinking you wanted a newsletter only once a month, but you said send it out every week!

After I got the results I have started implementing what you want (still working to incorporate more videos and the weekly newsletter). By listening to my readers and giving them what they want, the page views on my blog almost tripled in one month (photo above is a screenshot of my WordPress stats)! Thank you to everyone who took that survey. My hope is to make this the best blog you visit and that adds the most value to your life!

So what should we do to grow our blogs? Create your own survey this week and listen to what your friends and followers tell you. Once they tell you, give them the information they want, how they want it and when! It will help grow your blog and in turn help you produce stronger, more sharable, content.

Here are the 10 questions I sent in the survey that you can copy or modify to make your own:

What type of content would you like to see more of on (Select all that apply)
a) leadership  b) communication  c) public speaking  d) INSERT YOUR OWN CATEGORIES

What type of content do you enjoy most?
a) educational-based  b) entertainment-based  c) BLOGGER’s personal life  d) interviews

If you wanted to sign up for INSERT BLOGGER HERE newsletter, how often would you like to receive an email-based newsletter that offers valuable content?

a) daily  b) weekly  c) monthly  d) I would prefer to receive text updates

How do you like your content presented (please select all that apply).
a) blogs  b) videos  c) podcast

How often would you like content to be posted on (Select all that apply)

What is the best time of day for you to read/watch/listen to your favorite blog?
a) morning  b) afternoon  c) night d) what time zone are you in?

What one thing could INSERT BLOGGER HERE do online to help you in your life? Or what/how can INSERT BLOGGER HERE improve in order to add more value to you?
Left this field empty for them to fill in

Would you pay $XX.XX a month to be part of an exclusive group were you learn BLANK every week and hear BLANK on how to BLANK?
a) absolutely  b) maybe  c) no  d) if maybe, why?

When you think of THE BLOG what comes to mind?
Left this field empty for them to fill in

What tagline resonates with you more when you think of INSERT BLOGGER HERE?
Pick your top three tag lines and see what resonates with your readers

Copy these questions and use them in your survey to survey your following. Make it a priority this week because the quicker you give your audience what they want, the faster your blog will grow and the more value you will add to others. Keep using your voice to make a difference and as always…

Dream BIG,

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The 5 Types of Mentors Everybody Needs

By Leadership One Comment

One of the most significant ways to succeed is to surround yourself with those who are more successful than you. Les Brown says, “If you are the smartest person in your group, you need a different group.” 

Who do you have in your life who has been where you want to go? I am not talking about someone who is only supportive of you getting what you want (that is a friend). I am talking about someone who has already been where you want to go and is supportive of helping you get there (that is a mentor).

Here are 5 types of mentors everybody needs:

Life Mentor: Someone you can trust who lives a life similar to what your are looking to accomplish. Someone who in balanced, present and all-around happy. They have had ups and downs, twists and turns and can help motivate and inspire you when you feel down or hungry for more.

Money Mentor: Someone who knows about money, how to invest it and what to do with it. Someone who is financially stable enough to spend time where they want, when they want and with who they want. Someone who considers themselves to be financially successful but still wants to do more. Someone who has lost a lot of money (so you can learn from their mistakes) and someone who has made a lot of money (so you can learn from their successes).

Family Mentor: Someone who is driven by their heart and focuses on their family first. Someone who can give you sound relationship advice and you can talk to openly about your relationship struggles and family ambitions. Someone who believes family is the most important thing and someone who can help you make your family stronger.

Business Mentor: Someone who is business savvy. They know how to start a business, what type of business you should own and have started a couple themselves. Someone who has tried and failed (so you can learn from their mistakes) and someone who has tried and succeeded in business (so you can learn from their successes). Someone who is connected in the business world, who reads, studies, thinks, lives and breaths business.

Expert Mentor: Someone in your specific field. Someone who knows more about the subject you are passionate about than any other person. Someone who is considered to be an expert in their field and knows what happened, what is happening and what will happen in your industry!

Meet with these mentors on a regular basis. I usually meet with mine monthly and check in every so often with a question or an update with my life.

Take them out to lunch, write then hand-written letters, show them what you are doing with what they taught you and be appreciative. Mentors can help you accomplish your big goals and connect you with the right people. I know for a fact I would not be where I am today without mine!

Go out and find these five mentors to help you succeed in the areas that matter most to you! As always…

Dream BIG,

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