By now, any self-respecting freelancer, author, entrepreneur or small business owner should have a website. That’s old news, and there is simply no excuse for not having a clean and functioning website – especially given the DIY tools and services out there and available to everybody. From WordPress and Squarespace to Weebly and Wix, the options abound, to say nothing of the comparative ease and relative economy of having one built now by somebody else. But within the next three to four years, self-publishing expert Ray Brehm predicts that books will be just as important for the same reasons. “You are going to see that having a book is going to be a minimum requirement to be a credible personality or business. You will want to get on this,” he said. Books are quickly becoming the new calling card. Brehm is the coach behind the successful launch of motivational speaker Jeff Yalden’s Amazon bestseller, BOOM! One Word to Instantly Inspire Action, Deliver Rewards, and Positively Affect Your Life Every Day, and his books include three Amazon bestsellers – Author Your Success, The Author Startup and The Soul of Success, Volume 2 with Jack Canfield. He is also the founder of Dauntless Prose – a service that focuses on helping entrepreneurs write and publish their books. Brehm is on deck in episode seven of The BOOM Podcast – speaking to Jeff from his home in Phoenix, Arizona. This episode starts with a discussion of why folks who want and need to write a book are still putting it off. “I think a lot of people have it in their heads that it’s this ultra-complex process or you need a publisher, and all these myths that are out there. Really, we are in this world today where it is easier than ever. If you take, as you say, the BOOM – and go forward and do it, you can get it done,” Brehm said. Brehm added that he wanted to write a book for 20 years, but he kept postponing and procrastinating – telling himself he didn’t have the time to learn about publishing and giving in to the fear of failure, or worse – the fear of becoming successful and others then taking pot shots at him. “All these things are myths,” he said. “A lot of this is just camouflaging this fear of the unknown – and it’s really not that difficult. There are a lot of moving parts and a lot of ways to do things – but in today’s environment, self-publishing is like the Uber of book publishing. You can bypass everybody. There is no middleman. And you can go out there and publish your book this weekend.” In the You Economy, the gatekeepers are gone. The big publishing houses are still there, of course, and many people are still hoping for a traditional book deal. Perhaps that’s because of the notion that making the New York Times Bestseller List is the pinnacle of publishing success. Brehm concedes that there is still some prestige involved – but what’s the trade-off? “There is probably some reach that you could get to on the New York Times Best Seller List, but the truth is that a lot of these publishers now not only want to see your manuscript, but they want to know how many people you can market to. To me – that’s the job of the publisher, right?” The idea, Brehm said, would be that if a person snagged a traditional publisher, it would be on that publisher to spread it out worldwide and get it sold. “No,” he said. “A lot of times, they want your marketing list and they are going to market to your own people. And they are going to take a lot of the money. In my mind, there is really no benefit to it anymore.” He went on to use BOOM as an example. “Let’s say you wanted to change your cover of BOOM to green today. You could do it in 24 hours. If you have a publisher, it might take you 18 months just to do that. In today’s day and age where we are cutting out middlemen – we’re empowering people to do things like this,” he said. It all comes down to control, and for Brehm, there is no better way than self-publishing. In February, Yalden had a dream: He wanted to write an Amazon bestseller. “I’ll never forget that day. I did the work. I was up in Canada and staying in a hotel room. I went to a local Walmart, bought some poster board and started mind mapping,” he said. Mind mapping is a practice where all ideas on a certain subject are thrown onto paper – without thought of any particular order – a mind-dump, per se – a visual record of concepts, thoughts and ideas that can later be organized into a book or a given project. From there, BOOM was born – and after a process of writing, rounds of editing and design, Yalden turned to Brehm for the next step – the successful launch. “You want to write a book? Get off your ass and start writing it,” Yalden said. This episode of The BOOM podcast contains everything you need to know to get started in self-publishing with actionable steps. It doesn’t matter if you feel unqualified. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t an English major. If you have the passion, a story, something to teach or a way to help others – you can be well on your way to becoming an author.
Youth motivational speaker and author Jeff Yalden is heating things up with his BOOM Podcast. The perfect companion to his Amazon bestseller, BOOM! One Word to Instantly Inspire Action, Deliver Rewards, and Positively Affect Your Life Every Day, the BOOM Podcast drills down on principles from the book, but also features folks who have brought the BOOM into their lives – with awesome results. Episode 2 does just that. For the first interview, Jeff welcomes speaker, author, entrepreneur and fellow podcaster Mark Minard. Minard is president and CEO of Dreamshine, an adult day program and facility developed to serve individuals with special needs – including vocational training, life and independent living skills training, social skills coaching and much more. He is the author of the bestselling book, The Story of You: Transforming Adversity into Adventure, Taking Your Dreams to the Next Level and Beyond and co-host of the podcast, Elevating Beyond, which currently boasts more than one million downloads on iTunes. Pretty impressive for a guy who will tell you that he was in jail at 17, the culmination of the choices he made involving hanging with the wrong crowd – using and selling drugs. His transformation has been astounding. “I wanted to reach out to a friend I have great respect for,” said Yalden. The Story of You is all about helping people transform adversity into adventure, and this is because he did that in his own life. When he woke up in a jail cell at 17, his face was smashed in because of a beating he took as a result of an incident in a fast food drive-through where he rear-ended another vehicle. He said he was not only going down the wrong path, but he and his roommates were doing and selling every type of drug. Both of those roommates are now dead. “I didn’t even know how I had gotten there,” he said. “I found out that my blood alcohol was so high that – normally when they read that on a report, they would just assume someone was dead from beyond alcohol poisoning.” He had also been drugging, and the guy who beat the living daylights out of him had priors for assault. Minard said that at the time he was still in a victim mindset, but this was rock-bottom. He was so scared that he really wanted to change his life. Slowly but surely, Minard started associating with positive people. “I realized that I was going to end up dead – or I was going to end up killing somebody else from the way I was living my life.” Jeff often says to his audiences that you don’t do drugs. Drugs do you. In this fast-paced BOOM Podcast, Minard tells the story of his rise, Phoenix-like, from the ashes of failure and into the bright light of service, success and hope – from graduating from high school by the skin of his teeth to successfully completing college – to starting Dreamshine (with sister Amy) – and the eventual publication of his book, his speaking career and the launch of his podcast. Some people think Minard just arrived on the scene as if out of thin air. Nothing could be further from the truth. “The thing about my speaking and the book launch is that a lot of people don’t know that I had ten years before that of building a company from the ground up and starting Dreamshine. They thought I just came out of nowhere,” he said. Minard said he is thankful for the adversity he has encountered in his life precisely because he was able to transform it into what took him on his adventure – and gave him the desire to help change the lives of others. And Yalden notes that nothing changes if nothing changes. “That’s part of the BOOM. It’s like something’s got to go off and you’ve got to suddenly take responsibility. You are not the victim. You are the victor.” Minard said his college experience was not easy because, unlike many people, he did not have a photographic memory and learned differently. But he came away with some awesome revelations. “I learned that the true factors for success were perseverance, determination and grit,” Minard said. Yalden asked Minard why some people call him “the man that never gives up.” “I’m going to go after it harder than anyone else and longer. It’s the long game.” Minard is a big believer in believing in something bigger than ourselves. “That’s really what it’s all about, and so I get fired up my not giving up. I live by actions – and I think your actions speak for you. Your fruits speak for you much louder than words,” he said. There is so much in this podcast: The value of family [Minard is married with 5 kids]. Celebrating small victories. Taking action. The power of purpose. It’s all here, including the story of how Mark met and eventually interviewed serial entrepreneur and four-time New York Times bestselling author, Gary Vaynerchuk. Yalden was also a guest on Minard’s podcast last year. Listen to the BOOM Podcast HERE. For more about Mark Minard, go HERE. Grab your copy of BOOM HERE. Join the BOOM Facebook community HERE.
In tandem with the release of his Amazon bestseller, BOOM! One Word to Instantly Inspire Action, Deliver Rewards, and Positively Affect Your Life Every Day, author and speaker Jeff Yalden has launched his BOOM Podcast – the perfect companion to bring the BOOM into your life, reinforcing the principles laid out in his life-changing book and digs even deeper, featuring people who have implemented the BOOM in their lives as well. A leading youth motivational and mental health speaker for more than two decades, Yalden has addressed more than 4000 teen audiences in all 50 states, every province in Canada and 49 countries including Singapore and Vietnam. His message has always been hard-hitting, bringing a world of actionable principles to the table and inspiring his audiences to take personal responsibility in all areas of their lives. And now he has taken these principles and given them life in his book and in his podcast. In this inaugural episode, Jeff explains with astonishing honesty and self-reflection where the BOOM comes from, what it means to him and why he decided to write the book. “It’s pretty simple,” he said. “In this first episode, I want to come clean and give you guys a sense of where I have come from to where I am now, and how the BOOM really impacts everything I do.” As he talked about in the book, coming to his BOOM moment involved a series of major setbacks that could have stopped him in his tracks, or worse. About four years ago, Jeff went through a divorce which ended a 14-year marriage. Instead of placing the blame on anybody else, he went straight to the mirror and asked himself tough questions, coming to the realization that his mental health issues were much more severe than he thought them to be at the time. Jeff was pre-diabetic and putting on weight. He said he knew what to do and what to eat, but was basically ignoring the warning signs. “All of a sudden I was a full-fledged diabetic, but I still didn’t pay attention,” he said. He vividly recalls the time he went to his parents’ house, physically exhausted and mentally drained and with his diabetes flaring up. “I told them I felt like I was going to die and I didn’t want to die alone. They gave me some orange juice and something to eat, and I went home a few hours later.” But his parents intervened that night. Jeff’s dad came to his house, woke him up, and called an ambulance for him. Jeff was a mess. His triglycerides were a jaw-dropping 2784, his blood sugar over 500 and his A1C level was 15.5. “My endocrinologist said to me that at any moment something catastrophic was going to happen,” he said, adding that even despite these serious warning signs, he still didn’t make the necessary changes, citing his grueling speaking and travel schedule as a deterrent to a healthy lifestyle. And that’s not all by any means. He endured a spinal cord fusion because of a CrossFit injury and was immobilized for six weeks. “I couldn’t speak for almost four months and I ended up having a mental breakdown. My diabetes was flaring up and my depression got worse. I wanted to give up, and I did,” he said. He quit speaking and got a 9-to-5 job, thinking at the time that he just wanted to have what he calls a normal job. He packed up his office – his life – into cardboard boxes: Computer, fax machine, mementos, awards – even his varsity letters and photos – essentially getting rid of everything near and dear. But something awesome began to happen when he started going back to counseling once a week. “When I walked in there, I was emotionally broken. I was not the Jeff Yalden that many of you know. We started at the beginning and built a toolbox, and I began rewarding myself for small victories.” As a result of building this toolbox, Jeff eventually made the decision to go home and restore his office and get back to doing what he loves. This was his first BOOM moment. Jeff also started taking care of himself – including a gastric sleeve surgery that might well have saved his life. “That was something I needed to do for me, and when I did do it – it was like – BOOM! That was the reward. I don’t have to let my weight be something that monopolizes my every waking thought anymore. I am down 80 pounds. I am free of diabetes. I brought the BOOM into my life. I celebrate with the BOOM every single day.” Jeff Yalden has come back stronger than ever, reestablishing his place among the best of the best. “The BOOM is about you taking responsibility. The BOOM is about you saying, ‘I can do this.’ And the BOOM is about rewarding yourself for your accomplishments and little victories. Remember: Nothing changes if nothing changes.” To listen to the BOOM Podcast, click HERE. The BOOM will change your life. Grab this Amazon bestseller now by clicking HERE. Join the BOOM Facebook community HERE.
Integrity of the True Professional Speaker My first speaking experience was back in 1992 when, as a United States Marine, I was invited to speak to a high school audience. I will never forget the rush it gave me—what a fantastic feeling! The opportunity presented itself several more times before my honorable discharge in 1994, and I was able to speak at other high schools in Florida. I hadn’t even realized that being a speaker could be a profession at that point. Following my discharge, I moved back to New Hampshire and began a career as a high school teacher and coach at Hollis-Brookline High School making forty-one dollars a day and loving it. But when our school invited a speaker one day, I was surprised to hear that they received payment for their services. What a great profession to be in! I pursued this new endeavor wholeheartedly. Filling my free time with listening to and observing speakers such as Les Brown, Lou Holtz, Jimmy Valvano, and Tony Robbins, I studied their techniques. I became a source of amusement to my roommates as I ironed my shirts while listening to these speakers on the VCR in my single room. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, I knew that I wanted to be a professional speaker. Learning about Toastmasters, I joined that group. Then I became aware of the New England Speakers Association and attended a meeting where the speakers were Ray Pellatier and W. Mitchell. I was totally intrigued. I remember being overcome with emotion when I heard those two speakers and my eyes filling with tears as I became even more convinced that this was where I was supposed to be. That same year, the New England Speakers Association awarded me an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Speakers Convention in Anaheim, California. This amazing experience left me determined to earn my CSP—and I achieved it, walking across the stage in 2002 in Dallas, Texas, to receive my CSP designation. Then I was able to start giving back to New England Speakers and the National Speakers Association. It was a privilege to give back for all those that had given to me. As a success story within the National Speakers Association, I had earned the respect and friendship of many. My career blossomed as I spoke at every opportunity to audiences in any part of the United States and Canada—150 days a year. Nothing was going to hold me back from reaching my goal of being the very best. I wanted to be the best storyteller, funniest speaker, most compassionate and passionate speaker ever — absolutely ever! No one could tell me that education and schools didn’t pay because I could prove otherwise. They paid me and I loved it. But then my ego got the best of me, and my life came crashing down around me in the year of 2004. Feeling my life was ruined, I wanted to give up on speaking and nearly gave up on life itself. And what had brought me to that point of despair? I had done the unspeakable; I had broken the code. It’s an unspoken code of ethics; never steal another person’s story—not even part of it. That is the fear that every professional speaker has after they’ve worked so hard crafting their brand and delivering their message using stories that have become their signature stories—the stories they’re known for. But I did exactly that, and I’ve paid the price losing many friendships and much respect from many of the professional speakers in NSA. Like an unwelcome recording, that dreaded phone call replays through my mind. I was in Rapid City, South Dakota, ready to catch a flight home when my cell phone rang. My stomach sank as Mark Scharenbroich rebuked me, telling me how I had wronged him, his family, and his clients and how disappointed he was in me. I didn’t deny it—didn’t even have the chance. I was honest and truthful, but there was no good reason to justify my actions. That flight home seemed never ending. I had done someone a terrible wrong, and I had been caught. I was ready to quit, to just walk away. I had done the unthinkable, not just stealing another speaker’s story, but stealing his signature story and making it my own. That’s what every speaker fears someone will do! The integrity of my CSP, which I had worked so hard to earn, was now something I no longer felt I deserved. My hope in sharing this story is that it will spare others from making the same mistake. I cannot stress enough the responsibility we all have for the integrity of our professions. Consequences follow every action, and sometimes they are huge and irreversible. Years of hard work put into crafting my message and brand were wasted by my thoughtless action towards another speaker. I have never felt so rejected and alone. Repeatedly, other speakers called asking if it was true, and I never tried to deny it. Unsure of my welcome there, I’ve never returned to NSA. Mark Scharenbroich was the greatest speaker I’d ever heard. In my desire to be him—funny, real, and compassionate—I lost sight of the integrity of my profession. I wanted to be the one that can stand in one spot and move an audience from laughter to tears with just a couple of words or gestures. I wanted to be “that guy!” Lacking confidence in myself and my own abilities, I decided that I needed to become Mark because he was that guy that I longed to be. Being the epitome of what this profession is all about, he is a gentleman and a professional, a man’s man, father, husband, and legend in his profession and the one we all look up to and admire for his hard work and brilliance on the platform. So I thought I needed to become Mark. Instead, I became the one that many talk about, but unfavorably; it was hardly what I had hoped for. I had done something wrong and thought I could get away with it. I was not where I needed to be in a profession of true professionals. Ignored were the character and integrity that the United States Marine Corps had instilled in me while serving my country. Because I faced the truth with myself and made every effort to right the wrong, my career has continued to be a blessing. But although my career and I as a speaker have changed for the better, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have to deal with an everlasting pain in my heart from the disservice I’ve done Mark, the profession, and NSA. When I humbly asked for forgiveness, Mark Scharenbroich, like the gentleman that he is, not only extended forgiveness but gave me his blessings. Ten years later, even though Mark and I have both moved on, my past action continues to have an impact on my life. There are still many who won’t talk to me. The emotional pain and the loss of friendships are not worth the few moments of victory that come with stealing another man’s glory. By trying to become Mark, I failed at becoming the very thing I wanted to be. I couldn’t be the best by parroting someone else. We can never step into another person’s shoes and truly become them. By attempting to become someone that we are not, we dishonor that person and our profession. We can strive to improve and be our very best, but we lose when we try to become someone other than who we were meant to be. Even though God has granted me forgiveness and I’ve forgiven myself and have made it right with Mark, there are still consequences from my actions that I am suffering. Despite being truly sorry, some mistakes cannot be undone. As a group of professionals, we need to listen to our own words and “Learn to forgive as quickly as we judge!” But, in reality, that doesn’t happen so easily. Being part of a small network of speaking professionals, there is a code of honor to follow and respect to be given which should never be broken. Stepping across that line brings pain and loss of friends and relationships—sometimes even career loss. A person may find himself looking back regretfully on a pointless mistake. Forever, I will regret what I did. Once again, I apologize with all sincerity to Mr. Scharenbroich, his family, his clients, to all professional speakers, and to NSA. I pray for forgiveness and hope that I could be welcomed back to NSA, and I pray that others can learn from my mistake and move forward in the speaking profession with the utmost integrity. * Jeff Yalden for 23 years has been a Youth Motivational Speaker, A Family & Teen Communicator, a Teen Author, and hosts his own Radio Show – The Jeff Yalden Show. He has traveled the world speaking to teenagers, families, communities and has helped millions of people with his simple, yet profound message of life, love, and self respect. Jeff is a Mental Health Expert and passionate about helping teens, parents, families, and educators deal with teen depression, teen mental health, and teen suicide. Contact Jeff at www.JeffYalden.com. You can also visit his website for teens who are depressed and considering suicide at www.NotTheSolution.com. ** If you are interested in pursuing a career in the Speaking Profession, please visit www.SpeakFullTime.com and consider working with Jeff – Earn $2,000 to $10,000 a Day as a Professional Speaker.