I had a friend who recently suggested that I must be a motivational speaker.
If you don’t know much about who I am or what I do, I’m an author, entrepreneur and musician. I’ve written two music industry books. I founded The Music Entrepreneur HQ. And, I’ve contributed my talents to various music projects.
My involvement with the music business has been far reaching, and I’ve been involved in everything from live sound and session playing to marketing and investing.
I wouldn’t say I’ve “made it”, because there is so much more I plan to achieve in this lifetime. But my lifestyle right now is the best it’s ever been, as I’m spending more time working on projects I enjoy working on, and I have more freedom to do what I want than I can ever remember having.
I certainly don’t think of myself as someone like Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar or Brian Tracy. But to say that they haven’t impacted me would be a lie. I’ve found tremendous value in personal development, especially in the last 10 years.
My personal development journey began when I was 25. I went to see Video Games Live for the first time and came away inspired. I was determined to get an interview with North America’s most prolific video game composer, Tommy Tallarico. And, by the way, I did get the chance to interview him only a couple of months later.
I started reading a lot online and it wasn’t long before I discovered Steve Pavlina, the most known personal development blogger online. Reading his content also led me to dig into the works of Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar, Joe Vitale, and many others.
Since then, I’ve read dozens of books and thousands of articles. I’ve listened to thousands of podcasts and several audio programs and audiobooks. I’ve been to dozens of seminars, courses, and workshops. I’ve even had a few counselors and been to 12-step and grief and loss groups.
And, if that wasn’t enough, I faithfully attended church for the first 30 years of my life. In retrospect, I feel like that may have done more harm than good.
Regardless, it wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that personal development has always been at the heart of the work I do since I started down that path. I believe strongly in the power of personal development.
Perhaps some people are born without any major intellectual, psychological, or emotional challenges. But my dad passed away in a motorcycle accident when I was 14, and since then I feel like I’ve had struggles too numerous to mention. I’m an extremely sensitive and intuitive person, and I’ve been that way for as long as I can remember. Navigating that world without my dad was tough.
I had a hard time making friends. I had bouts with anxiety. I couldn’t talk to girls. I became dependent on others to be my spokesperson because I was too shy and nervous to ask for what I needed. I’m just scratching the surface here.
At first, digging into personal development material was a painful process. I was often forced to look in the mirror only to discover how far removed I was from who I thought I was, and worse yet, who I wanted to become. At times, it was also difficult for those around me to see me grapple and struggle with the material.
But some part of me knew I needed it. I knew that if I stuck with the process, I could get to the root of my dysfunction and unhappiness and come out the other side a stronger person.
Do I hope that others are inspired by my story? Do I hope that my content changes people’s lives?
And, if I was one day invited to create content for Nightingale-Conant, let’s just say I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity.
But am I a motivational speaker? I’ll leave that up to your judgment.