I’d given that keynote everything. I took the time to speak with 3 audience members weeks before my talk to get a feel for what would be value-adding for attendees. Months before my speech I interviewed 2 experts in the field so that I could provide field-tested and proven strategies in my key points. I was prayed up.

On the big day, my keynote was good, but it was not great. I know great. I can see great in the eyes of my audience. I can feel it. I didn’t make an emotional connection. Maybe I didn’t establish my credibility right up front. Was this African American woman with edgy, kinky hair just too much for this all-white, all male audience? Continue reading “Empty”

Five Minute Friday: On Distance

It’s my pleasure to once again be participating in Five Minute Friday…a simple 5-minute writing exercise. This week’s topic is “On Distance.” Enjoy. Participate. Learn more about Five Minute Friday.

On Distance…

I covered a lot of distance this week. On Monday morning I traveled 1700 miles to Monterey, California where I delivered a keynote presentation to a fabulous repeat client. I loved Monterey! My hotel room had a balcony that opened up to a meticulously landscaped garden. When I finally took my eyes off of the gardens and looked out straight ahead, all I could see was mountains and the Bay. So peaceful, still and really breathtaking. While there I enjoyed amazing food and great people. I even went for a 2-mile run in the gardens, inhaling and exhaling the crisp Monterey air. That 2-mile distance was the highlight of my Monterey trip.

But the Monterey bliss had to end because I had more distance to travel. On Wednesday morning I arouse at 2:30am to catch a flight to Little Rock to speak at a client’s conference…a grueling distance of 1900 miles.

My hotel in Little Rock was a wonderful surprise and delight. Service was friendly and attentive. The hotel restaurant served up some mouth-watering delicacies. I recall cleaning my plate at each meal and feeling a little embarrassed about eating so completely.

But the biggest delight of my stay at the Peabody in Little Rock wasn’t the food or the service. Right behind my hotel was the Arkansas River and a beautiful running trail. I had no idea such a beautiful treasure was within a few yards of my room. I couldn’t wait to get out there and add miles to my running log…more beautiful distance! But running had to wait. I was in Little Rock to speak.

After visiting with attendees for a few minutes after my morning session, I ran upstairs, got out of my suit, makeup and jewelry and put on my Nike running gear. I felt like Clark Kent going into a phone booth. Skipping the conference lunch, I hit the running trail where I ran a nice 3 mile distance. I returned to my room, showered and got all professional again and returned to the conference to deliver an afternoon session. No one would have guessed that I spent lunch running the Arkansas River!

I had been on the road for 4 days. That’s a long trip for me. While I was having a great time, I missed my family and it was time to go home. But before making the 267 mile trek home, I had to go to the river just one more time. The trail looked and felt a lot different from yesterday. It was cool this morning and tree branches were everywhere. A brisk storm tore through Little Rock last night. It was bad. Six people were killed. My heart was sad. As I ran, I prayed for the families that were devastated by the damage and death.

I ran 5 miles and it felt amazing. An exhilarating distance for me. Then I showered and headed home. I thought I’d rest when I got home. But instead, I shot hoops with my husband and kids and then my daughter and I went for a 5 mile bike ride. This was a long amazing week. I covered 3600 miles of distance by plane, 10 miles by foot and 5 miles on my bike. A beautiful distance I traveled this week.

Five Minute Friday – Waking up

Today I’m joining others in a five minute writing exercise called Five Minute Fridays. It’s simply an exercise of writing for 5 minutes every Friday on a presented subject. I hope you’ll play along, too. This has nothing to do with customer service. But it is an exciting exercise that I enjoy sharing with you, my clients, readers and friends.

Waking up

The day started off as good as any Professional Speaker could ask for. I had no conference calls, no event to speak at and no plane to board. A treasured break after the 3-day business trip I just returned from last night. I awoke with a smile as I thought about the easy day I would have.

As soon as my husband left to take the kids to school, I set my scene. I brewed a cappuccino, lit my gas fireplace, picked up my brown suede journal, and grabbed the very-worn sage throw from the couch. Within 10 minutes of my husband and kids walking out the door, I was nestled in front of the fireplace and journalling. I start most mornings by turning on my iPhone and iPad. But not this morning. This morning I’m totally unplugged.

After journaling my gratitude, gripes, and goals for 30 minutes or so, I got up and went out to my patio. It was gray, cool, windy and drizzling out. I stood still and watched the leaves of my neighbor’s Bradford Pear trees blowing in the wind. Above my head on the powerlines, a row of birds sang. Though it didn’t look like it or feel like it this morning, spring had just sprung. I stepped off the patio and walked barefoot in the grass, still sipping my white mocha cappuccino.

The spirit of gratitude I began on my journal pages continued in the form of spoken-out-loud praise as I walked along the north side of my house. I settled on my kids’ swing set. Mom always says it’s safe to start planting herbs and vegetables after April 15th because the last potential day for frost has passed. In three weeks I’ll plant Basil, Rosemary, Thyme, and Parsley. Still thinking about cucumbers. They didn’t do well last year. I sat on the swing a few minutes longer, sipping my cappuccino and feeling so grateful for this day; my life.

Five Minute Friday: When I look in the mirror I see…

Today, I discovered Five Minute Fridays on my friend’s blog. I’m joining her and others in a five minute writing exercise called Five Minute Fridays. I hope you’ll play along, too. What does this post have to do with customer service? Nothing. But I’m taking the risk to be vulnerable with you, my readers, clients and friends, as I explore my writing. I hope you’ll enjoy this journey with me.

When I look in the mirror I see…

When I look in my full-length mirror, my eyes immediately swoop down to my legs. I see hard, well-shaped quads, calves that stand out proudly, and developing hamstrings. I’m proud of my legs. I love my legs.

I remember looking at these same legs in a department store dressing room mirror in the fall of last year. I cursed my legs, calling them “thunder thighs.” I immediately recognized my dangerous negative thoughts. The very next second I repented and began thanking God that I had legs; fully functioning legs.

Later that month I took up running. Today these legs can easily run 6 miles and these legs are now training for a marathon.  Instead of cursing my legs, I chose to love and nourish my legs.  As I stand here in the mirror today admiring my shapely legs, I am grateful for the feedback and motivation the department store mirror gave me. When I look in the mirror I see my strong shapely legs. I love what I see.

Check out the “Five Minute Friday” writing of the friend who inspired me. Jen’s Five Minute Friday made me smile, think, and laugh.