How Keynoting for Keynote Speakers Almost Killed Me

  “You think you’re a ‘Speaker’?  You think you’re a ‘Keynoter’?  I’m sorry to break it to you, but you have no content, no message, and no one considers you a Speaker from what I just heard you do up there.  You are an ‘Entertainer’, you are ‘After Dinner Entertainment’, that’s it!  Don’t try and be anything else, because you have nothing we want to hear but your entertainment, singing, and funny stuff. Now, if you want to become a Speaker someday, if you really want to invest in yourself and become a true Keynoter, well then here’s my card, I am a Speaker Coach, call me when you’re ready to make this happen.”  This was the comment on the furthest, most hurtful side of the spectrum, in the hallway surrounded by my speaking peers following my Saturday Evening Keynote Presentation at the NSA National Speakers Association Influence Conference in Phoenix, AZ, July 23, 2016. The speaker coach’s business card sits here on my desk, right next to the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame statue I received 2 days later. I can only imagine what this speaker coach thought watching me accept that award on Monday night, since it was a big
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Why You Want Recommendations Before You Buy

  Before you head out to grab a bite to eat at a new place you probably, like me, Google reviews, ask your trusted network on Facebook to see if it’s worth it, and whatever you read is generally what you’ll do.  Good Review: Let’s Go!  Bad Review: Send the In-Laws. Having an Event Planner say a few nice things backstage about your Speech, Show, or Emcee work is really fulfilling.  Sadly, that’s usually where it ends, as asking them to say it in the camera can turn awkward and brutal as they struggle to recreate the magic of what they just eloquently said.  But having them actually write it down, send it to you, and then verify it on the eSpeakers Marketplace, now that’s what I’m talking about! Last week I had the privilege of doing what I do best: Opening Keynote Speaker in the morning and Evening Entertainment to close the event.  The group was ecstatic.  Said it was the best convention in 35 years. Not because of me, but because it was in Clearwater, FL.  But maybe I had a little to do with it turning out good. I have been told by event planners that it
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A Day in the Life: A Non-Gig Day

  Last night at a movie premiere of a classic remake my friends have been working on for years, I was approached by multiple people in the foyer with a look of surprise on their face to see me.  In essence they all said how they were surprised to even see me in public, as I’ve seemingly disappeared to the public in their opinion, yet they were so inspired and grateful for my blogs and social media posts. This was surprising as I know a few people who like what I write but didn’t realize the effect it has on a person’s every day life.  For example one person said, “I go to your Facebook page at night before bed, in case I haven’t seen what you’ve said for the day, as it is kind of like my surrogate family, it brings me comfort to see you with your family, or on stage, or just living your dreams.  Thank you for being there for me without even knowing you are.” Woah.  I didn’t know that was happening. And where plenty of people still come up and say I’m funny, ask for a picture with my silly faces, and that’s great, a
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A Goodbye to Ashlee Smoot

Dear Friends~ It is with extreme sorrow that we say goodbye to the amazing, beautiful, athletic, incredible Ashlee Smoot.  She passed on Saturday night, March 12, 2016, surrounded by her family, children, and husband. We found out she had Stage 4 Cancer 17 months ago.  Pretty weird diagnosis for the embodiment of health, physical fitness, mountain biking fanatic, and young mother of 3.  At 32 she was given little chance to survive even 6 months. Since she’s a fighter, she lasted nearly triple that.  No one was surprised. You supported Ashlee even if you didn’t know Ashlee. You supported this young mother either by attending the unbelievably powerful event we held in her honor in April 2015 at Salt Lake Community College’s Grand Theater, or perhaps just by wishing her well on her blog or in Facebook comments, or perhaps sending a prayer to heaven for her health to be sustained, or for a miracle. And the miracles did happen – constantly. She lived, she loved, was and is loved. She changed the lives of all around her just by helping us realize we all have a mortal clock, to hold our families closer, to give more than we receive,
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Dear Mother

  My Mom turns a certain age tomorrow, the kind The Beatles sang about, “….would you still need me, would you still feed me, when I’m….” yeah, that age. I still see her as mid-twenties, as that was the first face of my childhood, the one I longed to see every waking moment, the one I reached for each morning and kissed every night. Searching back in my memory, and attempting to navigate past the photos that make up the pathway, I attempt to recall the first true moments that shaped my life.  Indelibly, there is always Mother. Sadly, I can’t recall the the earliest every day moments that make up a life, such as the tears from scraping my knee, the spilled juice box, nor the first words attempted.  All I can see is her, holding and cradling me, smiling and talking and softly singing to me, giving me everything I would ever need to grow, learn, and succeed.  And that’s all that matters when you’re little, to know you are loved and cared for.  In reality, I guess that’s all that really matters in life at all, is that maybe someone still loves you like a Mother once did
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America’s Got Talent: My Audition

In 2007 my office received the first of many calls from America’s Got Talent to request I come perform on their show as a contestant. My fellow corporate performer acquaintance, Terry Fator, singing impressionist and master ventriloquist, had just won, receiving a multi-million dollar Las Vegas headlining contract, ultimately replacing the legendary Danny Gans at The Mirage a year later. I was in the midst of doing corporate events in place of Terry that he could no longer fulfill due to his change in life, finances, and schedule. Always rough replacing such a great act, but by the time I acknowledged the fact they were disappointed I was there and Terry wasn’t, I sat on the floor of the stage, took my shoe off, put my sock on my hand, and sang Kermit’s “Rainbow Connection” as good as Terry, the miffed corporate buyers were laughing so hard at my impression of Terry I had them in my hand by the 2nd minute and was requested back the next year. The work and pay was great, and I guess AGT considered me next in line of the entertainers they wanted to feature. Along with my management and advisors at the time,
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Day 1 of Homeschool

Day 1 of Homeschool. Reflections on this day: 1. Excited to see how this goes 2. Scared out of my mind 3. Hope I have the right lesson plans and haven’t over-scheduled, or possibly under-prepared 4. Praying I can keep running my business properly, respond to all the needs, emails, and continue to create, all while teaching the young lady beside me in my office the essentials of elementary school life I just pulled her from 5. Reading scriptures, setting goals and understanding her interests for what to learn, the assigned novels, and the writing assignment together was magical 6. Eating lunch, smiling, laughing, holding hands, hugging – this is amazing 7. 2 business calls, 20 emails responded to, all while setting up my daughter’s online business of sewing and cooking treats 8. Listening to her shriek with joy as she progressed rapidly at learning typing on the keyboard 9. Dropping her off at Math tutor – I’m not touching that subject with an x+y=Daddy has no idea, sorry kids 10. Stopping at Maverik for a celebratory treat in accomplishing our first homeschool day. Yes, my friends, for those of you that have followed my hopes and dreams, today was
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3 Speaker Tips: How to Follow on Stage Marie Osmond & Olivia Newton-John

  Recently I had the horrific job of following on stage two legends of music, Marie Osmond & Olivia Newton-John, who were busy singing a duet to a media heavy audience. Backstage I could see everyone looking at me as if to say, “And what do you think you’re going to do to follow this?”  It was almost a dare from the AV team and other performers waiting to see how I could go on stage after two of the most accomplished, acclaimed, and beloved performers of all-time. Having been a performer and speaker for over 15 years this kind of thing is where I thrive.  I don’t want to sound cocky, however I have ultimate confidence in my ability to follow anything, and it makes me better to have to follow the best.  So I welcomed the challenge, and in all honesty, had no idea what I should do.  But that doesn’t mean I’m not completely unprepared – as a Speaker I have 25 different directions I can take the next story, point, or piece – I just have to know how to use what has just happened to my advantage. So I’ll take you to the moment. Everyone
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The First of Many Trainings to Come!

It is hard to describe how amazing this past weekend was with the people pictured here. Friday & Saturday, January 22 & 23, 2016 was my first official JHE Training on How to Make a Career From The Stage and it went far better than I imagined it would, according to the feedback of the incredible attendees who said it was as good as anything they’ve ever been a part of in the training world for building your business as a Speaker and/or Entertainer.  Just listen to what attendees had to say about it HERE. I can’t wait for the next one, which we are actually doing on May 27-28, 2016, and already have attendees signed up. I hope you’ll join us, as it will be transformational, educational, will allow you to cut years off the acceleration of your business success as you’ll learn my systems for running your business, CRM, marketing & follow up, message and show creation, Celebrity Creation, Mimic Masters & Mentors, Quadrant jumping, the 7-Layer DIP of Message, The Cycle of Success in Showbiz, and learn from the many mistakes I’ve made, no holds barred, as I share so many of my secrets that you will never hear
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Commitment to Joy: My Wife Approves of My Wandering Eye

My wife has encouraged my wandering eye for years. Yes, I admit it, I am constantly checking out other women as they pass by, and even once in a while mistaken my wife for someone I didn’t recognize (as you may have read what I wrote a few weeks ago, that went viral and was completely a surprise to us – you can read it HERE). I’m surprised people are shocked by this fact, as I think every man in the world does this, but perhaps in a different way. It all started when my wife and I first got married, she really began noticing that I did this, and then saw the profound result of it. For example, I remember the first time she caught me giving a compliment to a pregnant mother-to-be at Church. I told this woman how beautiful she looked as an angel bearing a heaven sent child, as I could tell she didn’t feel as such that day, and how this brightened her eyes and made her smile. My wife at first said I can’t say those things to married women, and then she realized it was my way of making others feel better about
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