At 13, Bruce Lee got me in shape and kept me from drinking, drugs and cigarettes. Getting arrested at 17 was one of the best wake-up calls I could have asked for. Turned things around at 19 when Pepper Von invited me to be a member of his Bodytalks dance company. Discovered the secret to getting an A in collage at 22. Changed my life at 31 after reading How to Win Friends & Influence People. Developed a real relationship with my Dad at 32.
Apologized to my amazing ex-wife for being an asshole to her during our divorce.
Completed the 12-week Body-for-Life challenge in 1999 after quitting twice. Sincerely questioned my Web design career path in 2007. Lost all of my Angel investor’s money in a failed startup in 2005. Strengths Finder 2.0 jumpstarted a new focus in 2009. The Lean Startup was the missing startup blueprint that I discovered in 2012. Finished in the top-18 winners, worldwide, in the 2013 Toastmasters International Speech Contest.
Along the way, I’ve discovered that Clarity Trumps Everything!™
Speaking Appearances & Workshops
Association of Environmental Professionals – Annual Board of Directors Summit
Audience: Environmental Professionals
Topic: Joomla website design
Contact: Lynne Bynder, Executive Director
San Diego, CA, Aug 16, 2014
The Historic Monterey Trail District (formerly North Franklin District) – 25th Annual Meeting
Audience: Small business owners
Title: This Economy Needs You (To Stick With It!)
Contact: Kathy Tescher, Executive Director
Sacramento, CA, Sept 16, 2011
P2O Hot Pilates & Fitness
Audience: Pilates instructors
Event: 2-hour hands-on public speaking workshops (bi-annually)
Contact: Lindy Hobbs, Owner
From cry-baby to speaking in front of 500 people
I was always shy and sensitive as a child – definitely a cry-baby. But when I turned 12 I discovered Bruce Lee in a movie theater in Long Beach, CA, screaming and kicking ass in Enter the Dragon. Bruce Lee was pure confidence! I mail-ordered all of Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method books and practiced kicking and punching and screaming on a heavy bag that grandpa bought me. It was Lee’s Tao of Jeet Kune Do that I learned about his overall life and martial arts philosophy, as well as exercise routines, diet and even proper posture. All of this had a huge, positive, impact on me as a teenager. Lee’s smashing the status quo within his own Chinese community by teaching martial arts to non-Chinese also made an impact on me. You really can make a worldwide impact, as long as you break all the rules. This “question authority” attitude was definitely for me – LOL
Dance & Music
The first time I saw the popping dance style I was 16 years old and hanging out at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, CA. I was stunned by how 4 guys could make the human body move in a way that looked like a robot or a wave. I spent the whole summer hanging out with these guys, watching and learning their popping techniques. Shake Your Pants by Cameo is the song they were blasting from their boombox, and is the pivotal song that marks the beginning of dance and dance music in my life.
I went on to teach popping and break dancing at The Broadway Academy of Performing Arts when it was located in Carmichael, CA when I was 18-20; performed twice in The Best of Broadway showcase in Sacramento, CA (1983 & 1984) and eventually become an original member of Pepper Von’s Body Talk Dance Company in Sacramento, CA. During my college years Mozart’s Requiem would have the same overwhelmingly-deep impact on my being and soul!
One book published in 1936 changed my future
Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People taught me how to get my head out of my ass and focus on supporting the success of others, both personally and professionally. This book also gave me the tools to develop a real and meaningful relationship with my Dad, as well as hone productive business relationships. And I guarantee that this book would have saved my failed marriage, if both me and Lisa would have applied its success principles.
Frustration always reveals a deeper truth
2007 saw the height of frustration between my career as a Web designer and what seemed like a galactic-distance from my true calling! Whatever a true calling is. “This cannot be the fucking reason I was born – to code websites,” I screamed over and over at the ceiling, as I shoved myself back from my desk! I love design, but trouble shooting “code” was so outside my technical and emotional “core” that I would explode in a torrent of frustrated cursing and middle-fingered stressification.
It was obvious that I was so far off the mark with code that it lead me to search for “what is a person’s productive calling.” I observed what I love and what frustrated the shit out of me about Web design: I love the supportive client discussion around building their business; I hate certain technical aspects of building their Web site. This investigation lead to life coaching as a possible strength.
The feedback from longtime friends – who could objectively judge my strengths and weaknesses over a 10-15 year period – was overwhelmingly supportive of life coaching as an innate strength of mine. How ironic, because I was “most present” and did my best work in college in Psychology, graduating 3rd in my class! In 2010, I took the Strengths Finder 2.0 test, which lists my Top-5 Strengths. WOW, what a homecoming!
Frustration, properly harnessed, becomes a powerful compass for the best use of your skills, talents and strengths.
Public speaking is a rocket ship to confidence
Public speaking is scarier than death. And after a couple of years of one-on-one life coaching for business owners, I wanted to share my coaching insights in front of a gigantic audience of strangers. Except, I was still too scared to move past one-on-one consultations. So, in January 2010, I forced myself to go to my first Toastmasters meeting.
Toastmasters is like a martial arts dojo or a dance studio: a place to practice, get mentored and get good. Capital City Toastmasters is my home club in Sacramento, CA, where I’m an active member and speaking coach for members.
I know what it’s like to give a butterflies-in-my-stomach, talking-too-fast, nerve-racking, fidgety-handed, dry-mouthed speech. I also know what it’s like to win 2nd-place and come out in the top 18 out of 30,000 speakers world-wide, in front of 500 attendees at the 2013 Toastmasters International Convention in Cincinnati, OH on Aug 22, 2013.