Greg Smith Keynote Speaker

Leadership Expert on Resiliency and Inner Strength – Greg helps leaders and teams “Go Full-Strength!” for maximum productivity.

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Inner Strength insights from the world of sports, disability, entertainment, business, politics and everything else I’d like to share with you.

Monthly Archives: March 2014

At 50: Shooting for Happiness

Here is My 50th Birthday Wish:  To Change Lives on a Mass Scale!

cool the big 50

By Greg Smith

My sister,  Tonya, just came in the room to wish me a happy birthday and asked me a question.

“Are you happy?”

I answered honestly, immediately, and with a smile.

“No.  I don’t have abundance,” I responded.  “I don’t have prosperity.  As a result, I can’t give enough of my gift to the world because of lack of resources.  I live paycheck to paycheck.  I don’t have a romantic soulmate.  And the Cubs are gonna suck again!”

“Are you unhappy?”

“No.  I have a wonderful family.  I have a few good friends and an army of supporters and ‘fans.’  I have a God-given talent for helping people discover an incredible feeling of self-empowerment and inner strength.  I think I still look pretty good for a 50-year-old dude.  I can still sit upright in my power chair and drive my modified van and fly in airplanes.  And the Bears offense looks Super Bowl ready next year!”

In my 50th year, I plan to go for true happiness!  True happiness means abundance.  I want to be financially secure enough to make decisions without money being the deciding factor.  I want to be able to afford to do things to elevate the impact of my message so I can exponentially help more people discover their inner strength.

To not have prosperity and abundance in my life would be a true waste of the gift which I have been bestowed.  I believe I’m destined to help a great mass of people from all walks of life.  It is my responsibility to figure it out.  I’m proud of what I have accomplished and grateful for being blessed to have such an impact.  But I believe what I have done so far is a mere drop in the bucket of what I’m capable of.

Here’s my plan.  Starting today, my 50th birthday, I have taken on the liberating belief that my gift to society is extremely valuable!  If I focus exclusively on delivering that gift, the abundance will come as a byproduct.  No longer will I be “selling” speaking engagements.  From now on, I will be “offering” the incredible feeling a person experiences when he or she discovers their inner strength!

I was supposed to be dead at 15.  There has to be a reason why I’m still around.

Why are you still around?  What is your destiny?  What do you believe about your prosperity, abundance and true happiness?

Today, my 50th birthday, I appreciate all your “happy birthday” messages.  I appreciate you for believing in me.  My request for you today is to tell someone about “The Strength Coach.”  Share me with someone who can introduce my work to hundreds, thousands or millions, and move it forward in the direction of prosperity and abundance.

You could also give me the “hookup” on a lady you think might enjoy meeting me!  Maybe I can one day take her to a Cubs World Series game!  A Bears Super Bowl is more realistic.

 

Earn Your Standing O!

Are you performing well enough to earn a standing ovation?

This is about you, not me.  But I need to use myself as an example to make this point.  When I’m in front of an audience, my goal is to connect on a personal level with everyone in the room.  I want to offer them the gift of my expertise and I strive to do so in a way that it is well received.  So I do my absolute best.

I prepare myself and develop content that is customized for each specific audience.  I rehearse to the point where I am comfortable with the message.  I get plenty of rest the night before.  I visualize the successful outcome.  I’m introduced and I roll out into the bright lights!

When I am done, the crowd reacts.  The standing ovation never surprises me.  I know whether I am connecting during the presentation.  Are heads nodding?  Are there interruptions for applause at the right moments?  Are all eyes on me?  There’s always that one guy in every crowd who seems to care only about sending me vibes that he doesn’t care.  For a split second, he distracts me, but I block him out and proceed.

When I am finished, the crowd rises to their feet.  They clap, whistle and yell, “Wooooh!”  I nod my head, smile and wave.  This extended moment is when I get my charge.  The thrill continues when I am escorted to a table to sell and autograph my books and a line of enthusiastic new friends develops.  And the first one in line is “that one guy” I thought wasn’t listening!

The energy I get from the standing ovation is a thrilling sensation.  I’d like to experience that feeling every day.  As much as I’d like to, I’m not speaking every day but I’ve figured out a way to use the concept to propel myself forward.

I look at my objectives for each day as a performance.  If I’ve prepared myself, concentrated on doing my best and complete the goals for the day, I present that to my imaginary audience.  And in my silence, I listen for the imaginary roar of the crowd.

You can go through your day and achieve just enough to get a round of applause.  Or you can seize the day and earn the exciting thrill of a standing ovation for your performance.  Prepare yourself for tomorrow.  Plan your activities.  Plan the words you will say in key conversations.  Rehearse.  Get a good night’s sleep.  Visualize a triumphant day.  Roll (or walk) out onto the stage of life and earn the roar of the crowd!

Connecting the Divide between Motivational Speakers and People who Need Them Most!

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Conference Attendees are Usually Already Motivated.

Most speakers are hired by professional associations or companies.  The people in these audiences, for the most part, are attending because they want to strengthen their position in an already existing, often thriving career.

Employees sent on the company’s dime to improve their skills and gain knowledge are usually doing pretty well to justify such a big corporate investment.  And if the attendee is a professional entrepreneur, he or she is doing well enough to afford to pay hundreds of dollars (if not thousands) for registration, travel and purchases at these events on their own.

I’m not knocking the conferences at all.  I love them!  I want to be chosen to “rock the house” at all of them!  There is a need for them.  Wonderful information is shared.  Strong connections are made.  I love conferences!

I can’t ignore, however, the fact that for every person who attends a conference, there are thousands of people who can’t afford a hotel room, much less afford airfare and a registration fee.  And these people really need the expertise, encouragement and “life skills” training that we provide.

Announcing the Weekly Power Lunch!

I’m excited to announce that I’ve teamed up with radio host and speaker Sugar Stallings to introduce the “Power Lunch Series” to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Sugar is one of the most dynamic young speakers I have met in recent years who just happened to move into my own back yard on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Each Thursday at noon (if we are in town), we will present strategies in personal development, career growth and self development.  For $5, anyone can show up and get the same level of empowerment and expertise that conference attendees get.  The $5.00 is for pizza and soft drinks.  The presentation is one hour.

The first “Power Lunch” is this Thursday, March 13 at Demiller Hall, 610 Water Street, Biloxi, MS 39530.

I’m doing this for a few reasons.  First, I want to give the opportunity for people in my community who really need the information, expertise and encouragement.  Another reason is that I love to speak.  I love seeing the look on people’s faces when I say something that registers in their mind as “good stuff.”  The more I speak, the better I will get.  And I am looking forward to working more closely with, and learning from the amazing Sugar Stallings!

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About Sugar Stallings, Esq.

As one of 22 children, native Ethiopian and Trinidadian speaker Sugar Stallings had to speak up loud to be heard.  Her powerful voice has projected her to the realization of many dreams.  Dreams like coming to the U.S. on a full scholarship, earning a law degree from the University of Maryland, working with mayors, governors, political organizations, lobbying on Capitol Hill and working at the White House on the Health Care bill.  As host of “A Call to Action Talk Show,” she blends politics, economic news, community events and a motivational message Saturdays at 10 am on WQFX – 1130 AM.  Her “Power Lunch” presentation will give you actionable advice to improve your current situation.  Her email is sugarstallingsradioshow@gmail.com

Friends on the Gulf Coast: Come out and support us and bring friends and family members who need encouragement.  You will be glad you did.  Here’s a map.  See you at noon on Thursday!


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Celebrating 50 Years of Living and Laughing!

 

Laughing

Laughter is my first lesson in longevity!

Well, it’s not my birthday yet (March 25), but I’m going to go ahead and start the celebration. It is a special one this year. 50! Time to rejoice. I made it. As a matter of fact, I’m going to celebrate it for a whole year. From March 2014 though March 2015, I will be having my own personal “Year of the Greg” right here on this blog.

I think I deserve it. When I was three years old and still not able to walk, my parents were told by doctors that I had Muscular Dystrophy and would not live much more than another decade.

As it turns out, to those doctors credit, they were right about the length of time my spine would hold up. But medical advances in orthopedic surgery gave me a lifeline at age 13 when I had spinal fusion surgery to straighten and support my back. This meant that I could take deep, full breaths and live without the chronic pain of a twisted spine. It also meant that I could no longer walk. That’s when I got the power wheelchair, right before high school. Right before the adventure began.

As I celebrate the “Year of the Greg,” I will be giving credit to people who have been pillars of support my whole life. I will also be passing along tidbits of knowledge that you may find useful in your own life.

Losing it in Laughter!

The first piece of knowledge that leads to longevity is understanding the power of a good laugh.  Laughter strengthens us by giving us energy. It removes our focus from physical and psychological pain and takes us away to a place of bliss. Laughter removes us from negative effects of stress. It gives us immediate energy.

Think back to the moments of the single greatest laugh in your life. You remember it. What was so funny? As you remember it, I bet you’ll laugh again.

For me, I was a senior in college at ASU. My cousin, Ron Pope was visiting. We, along with a couple of my frat brothers, went to the mall to try to find some new shirts for me to wear. Finding fashionable clothes that fit me has always been a problem. Because I am so small, I have to always look in the boys section. We went from store to store and found nothing. It became frustrating. Every time someone found something that might fit me, I rejected it because it didn’t look good.

“How about this Smitty?”

dinosaur tee shirt

My frat brother, Darrin Bumpus, held up a shirt for us to see. He had this stupid look on his face while presenting us a toddler sized t-shirt featuring a little dinosaur wearing a baseball cap swinging a bat!!

And then it started.

We all lost it! Ron started laughing so hard he fell to his knees, started rolling on the floor, slapping the ground with the palm of his hand! I was cracking up, having difficulty sitting upright in my chair!  Darren kept trying to get up but would start laughing again he would fall back down to the department store floor. Security came and they smirked too at the sight of the hysterical scene. We managed to regroup and then Darren grabbed another shirt and it all happened again.  We just couldn’t stop laughing.

Thinking about that as I write this puts me in a great mood. As I think about it, I feel no frustration. No pressure from my problems. No stress. It feels good to remember that brief moment in 50 years of life. And feeling good is good for your health.

What was the single greatest laugh you’ve ever had. Share it here. Write about it. You’ll feel great as you live those moments again through reflection. Use the “comments” section below.