OK, I have been absent for a bit on my blog postings. Of course, I could have asked ChatGPT to fill in for me while I was out, but that’s not the way I roll (at least not yet). I don’t think ChatGPT understands my style but I’m sure after a few previews, it can learn them. I feel like I’m in an “I Mudd” episode of Star Trek where Harry Mudd created Androids to take over the Enterprise. But that’s a post for another day.

No posts for the last few weeks? Because I’ve been really busy and had to prioritize. I know that some of us can easily slap together a blog post just because it was due. But I feel my readers deserve great content rather than mediocre writing just to meet a deadline. I chose to work hard on projects and talk later.

First, I had a keynote and workshop in Perryton, Texas. I spoke to Leadership Perryton and had a fantastic time. There are Leadership programs throughout the US and this one is quite unique as they bring in speakers from other parts of the country to help in the development of their future leaders.

I flew out on a Monday so I could have dinner with the event planner. It was a great dinner as I learned about the rich history of the area and how they are MOVING FORWARD today. Up early the next morning for an interview at the local radio station which began broadcasting in 1948. Being in advertising all these years, I have always enjoyed radio. Again, a treat to hear about the history of the station and the area where cattle ranching was king.

Next up was the Lion’s Club lunch meeting where I got to speak to an awesome group. This chapter does so much for the youth of the city will a multitude of projects throughout the year. They meet every week and I know why, country fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, and ice cream for dessert.

That evening, I presented my MOVING FORWARD keynote speech to the city at the local college. I delivered a successful keynote speech and then had dinner with some of the attendees. The next day was a half-day workshop on communication within the generations. The Leadership attendees were very attentive. We had a good time. I gave away prizes of CDs, LPs, cassette tapes, and 8-track tapes to highlight how things have changed over the years.

When I got back, I had an engagement to speak in Fayetteville, NC to a group of Toastmasters Youth Leaders. This program took the Toastmasters curriculum and applied it to middle schoolers. The speeches and impromptu speeches they delivered were phenomenal. I spoke to them about not being mediocre, but being extraordinary.

After that, I was accepted to the Main Street Entrepreneurial Accelerator program. A three-week Shark Tank-like competition with a grand prize of a $25,000 grant. It was a combination of classes and deliverables. The deliverables were videos and pitch decks about our business. There were 54 contestants.

After week one, they cut 30 contestants and I received my Golden Ticket to the quarter-finals. It was some hard work but week two was worse. Get a final 3-minute video and revised pitch deck done to be submitted by Thursday night at 11:59 pm. I said, piece of cake. Turns out, I kept mixing and throwing away batter. This was a very difficult project. Try to get all the important elements of your business and why you need $25K all into three minutes! 

I submitted my pitch at 11:47 pm. I received my “Unfortunately” email the next morning. Last night I went to attend the finals to see what the finalist had created. I might try again next year.

Finally, I’ve been working on a speech for tonight’s Toastmasters Division E International Speech Contest. It’s virtual and I’m more of an in-person speaker. Just another opportunity to hone my virtual skills. Hopefully, I’ll get the opportunity to move on to the District 117 Finals.

That’s a lot in a few short weeks. It’s the reason the blog was MIA. I hope you understand. However, I have learned that we have to prioritize every day. We have to take care of the important stuff first. I know the blog is important to get out, but sometimes, not the most important. If you want the ChatGPT fill-in, let me know.

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