Today I woke up in my own bed and my own home for the first time in a long time! I have slept in more than 100 hotels this year. I spoke more than seventy times in twenty-seven states and three countries.
I have made new friends and accidently burnt bridges between colleagues. I have driven more than 10,000 miles across America and flown on more airplanes than I chose to count. I have made money, lost money and made simple mistakes that made a big difference where I look back and think, “Why did I do that?”
This year was all about memories for me. I did more this year than I have my entire life. More travel. More mistakes. More laughter. More friendship. All across the board… more! There were more ups and downs, twists and turns than I can count, but I like to remember what one of my friends always tells me “no one rides a roller coaster to get to the end, enjoy the ride.”
My Top Ten Moments of 2013:
Leaving Special Olympics Oregon: Making the decision to be a full time speaker and leave the organization and co-workers/friends that have supported me through the past couple of years was one of the hardest decisions I had to make this year. Event though it was the right one to make, it still was difficult to leave the people that made work so fun for so long! I think of them all of the time! “The hardest thing about the road not taken is that you never know where it might have led.” – Lisa Wingate
Speaking in the Bahamas: This was my first international speech and memory I will always cherish because of the people, the event and the experiences I shared with Chelsea. I got to learn about a new culture, visit friends who I still talk with today and even got some time to sit on the beach!
The North American Tour: From getting to work with John Hastie and all of my new Toastmaster friends, seeing family and friends I have not seen in years, from the local food, being on a billboard in Phoenix, sitting on the Lincoln Steps with Chelsea, the private tour of the Pentagon, the long hours in the car, the hotel nights, the photos, the tourists stops like Niagara Falls and the Golden Gate Bridge, without a doubt this tour has been life changing!
Eating Dinner with Jeremey in NYC: After almost two years of working with Jeremey Donovan, my co-author of our new book, we finally met in person. Not only did he treat me to one of the best meals I have ever had in my life after we met with our Publisher but we got to connect on a personal level. He is a phenomenal writer and an even better person! He is a great mentor to have and I am lucky to call him my colleague and friend.
Scuba Diving in Hawaii: Ever since I was a little kid I dreamed about being able to breath underwater. At the age of 26 I got to live my dream and swim with sharks, sea turtles and eels. The ocean world is just opening up for me and now my sister is getting certified so we can go together! I recommend everyone who is able to get certified to spend the money and make this happen in your lifetime. It is worth every hour spent studying and every dollar spent.
Joined National Speakers Association: I finally was able to join NSA! I have been able to meet some fantastic and quality people who love what they do and people I am going to learn a lot from about speaking and the business of speaking.
Wrote My First Book: This has been a goal of mine for several years but it was only a dream until I met Jeremey Donovan. With Jackie Meyer as our fantastic agent and McGraw-Hill as our amazing publisher we have produced a book that will help you advance in your career through the power of public speaking. I can’t wait to share this with you when it comes out in April!
“Hubbing” With My Parents: While on tour and before we left for our six month journey, we moved all of our possessions to Texas to live with my parents so we didn’t have major expenses while we were on the road. In this time I got to spend quality time with my family plus they really got to know Chelsea. This was one of the best memories of the year for me because family time is a great time anytime you can get it nowadays.
First Magazine Cover: I made a goal when I was in college that one day I wanted to be on the front cover of a magazine. This year was extra special because it was my college that put me on my first front page! Colorado State University and their faculty are fantastic and I think how lucky I am that I was able to attended CSU and receive an education, gain life-long friends and of course meeting my future wife! Plus, we also had the first magazine cover that Chelsea and I were on together thanks to Life’s Journey Magazine!
Launched HTBAS with Dr. Harvey: Ever since I started learning from Dr. Harvey I wanted his teachings to be spread and for people to have access to his brilliant mind. Together we created How to Be a Speaker, LLC and now we help speakers develop and deliver their message to use their voice to make a difference. We have coached some wonderful people, had fantastic guest bloggers join us to create content and because of you we have more than 10,000 people a month enjoying our articles! We can’t wait to see what 2014 brings and remember what Dr. Harvey always says “Speak from your heart and the world will listen.”
I want to thank you for an amazing year! You have read and commented on articles, or attended my workshops and because of you I get to do what I love to do. I wish I could tell you thank you more than one thousand times!
Let’s continue to work together to help people use their voice to make a difference. Let’s continue to work together to motivate each other to reach our goals and let’s continue to work together to #MakeThingsHappen in 2014! Happy New Year and as always…
GIVEAWAY QUESTION: What was one of you top memories of 2013? Post your comment below two lucky people will receive a signed copy of my new book!