Welcome past and future friends! Here, I’ll tell you about myself in greater detail. If you wish to read my blog, you can find it on the menu at the top of your screen.
“I’d rather live a life of little and give a lot than to live a life of abundance and seldom give.“Chance Ragan
I was raised in the southern part of Louisiana. There is a special flavor of beauty down there. The university I attended in my early 20s is breath-taking during the Summer. There were giant trees over a hundred years old that stood in the middle of the campus. I would sit under one in particular called,”The Friendship Oak”. This tree was older and larger than any other tree in the area. It was big enough for a small party underneath its sagging branches. However, I would sit alone and journal about what I learned that day. It was typically about an interaction I had with a colleague. I spent a bunch of time in my academic career learning about people first hand. I spent more time on music though. That was my major in school, Music Performance. That’s right, before I was a writer and before I was even a speaker, I had become a wildly passionate and involved musician.
I had explored possibilities in music for many years. I’m happy to say that almost every dream I’d ever dreamed became reality. I performed in recitals with world-class musicians including Durand Jones, Benjamin Livingston, and Zakary Garner. I’ve been under the baton of many distinguished conductors like Johan De Meij, Craig Millet, and Col. John R. Bourgeois. I’ve performed in great venues such as Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Carnegie Hall in New York, and even the streets of New Orleans with a great gypsy jazz group called Carter Patrick and The Telegraph Salesmen. I spent exactly 10 years in Hammond, LA making friends, building things, and creating a life filled with happiness.
During those 10 years, I co-created an organization called The Hammond GSG (Goal-Setting Group). There’s a beautiful story as to how it came into being, but I’ll just provide the big details (full story here). We started what was basically a mastermind at our local university. It began to gain appeal to like-minded folks through sheer coincidence. Later, it grew to over 100 members and created a profound impact in people’s lives. I’m so proud of this group of amazing individuals. They’ve formed a great collective which provides growers and givers alike the opportunity to more effectively band together and live the hell out of life!
Moving forward, I want to talk about my passion for speaking. Why speaking? Why Colorado? Why trust, personal development, emotional intelligence, romantic relationships, and leadership? Sure, I’d love to answer these questions here because many people asked these questions over and over again whenever I was leaving my home state. I’ll start near the beginning….
I had studied music for almost 20 years when I decided I wanted to be a speaker. I was suspended from the university I was attending because of my grades, and I had started working for a company out of New Jersey called Spectra Laboratories. This job required me to do a lot of driving (over 300 miles every day). So, I started listening to my friend’s podcast, which was coincidentally created for people in traffic.
This particular podcast is designed to provide listeners with powerful messages that help you discover your inner greatness. It’s a wonderful podcast; in the ocean of podcasts that now exist, his has continued to be ranked in Apple’s top 100 podcasts in the world every single month for the past 7 or 8 years. It’s incredible. I’m actually listening to it right now as I write. I talk more in detail about the podcast in my first blog post. Check it out here!
The inspiration I received from my friends, family, and this podcast pushed me to make a half-hearted decision to pursue speaking. I believe speaking is one of the most powerful ways for me to create an impact on the people of this planet. At the same time, I heard a friend say that he charges $35,000 per speech. I thought, ‘I CAN DO THAT!!’ Thirty-five THOUSAND for an hour on stage? Hell yeah, I can do that. What really put me 100% emotionally invested in creating this opportunity for myself was what I found in Canada.
I attended an event over in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in September 2017 at 27 years old. It was an incredible experience. A powerful friend, Giovanni Marsico, put together an incredible experience called Archangel Summit. It was absolutely life-changing for me. I watched my buddy come out on stage in front of over 2,000 people and just yell, “WHAT’S UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUP?!?” I had a smile from ear to ear screaming at the top of my lungs in excitement for him. After this experience, I was totally sold on the idea of being a speaker. I watched this kid get on stage and just be himself while telling his story. I told myself again, ‘I can do that.’
I know that this sounds like everyone else who has ever done anything big, but once I committed to that decision, everything started to line up for me. Opportunities were thrown in my face for months. Before I knew it, there I was on my way out west to pursue my dreams. I just happen to have a friend that was moving out here for grad school. The perfect circumstances seemed to fall into my lap all at once. Everything that happened leading up to the team actually arriving in Colorado during the move happened only through overwhelming difficulty. That’s a story in itself that I will tell for various reasons in a later post. The way we see it is since we saw what the extreme low quality experience looks like, every move to follow will seem like a breeze. Here’s to making things seem easy by doing in life what is hard.