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Now we can blog on-the-go from our phones. Look for more speaking tips and tricks.

In the meantime you can check out the awesome speaking skills of my son presenting his science fair project.

– Posted by Brad Montgomery from my iPhone

brad-horse-2What’s cooler than being a motivational speaker? Being a customer of the very same people that you motivated.

I had the excellent fortune of speaking to the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association a few months ago. It was a fun gig: we were in the Ritz Carlton in the Colorado Rockies. A great group of people shared motivational laughter and fun.

One thing I love about my job is I get to learn bits and pieces of many industries. In prepping for the Association keynote, I was coached on how ranches work, what the loves and stresses are, and where the industry is headed.

Normally this would be the end of a good story: I love my job and love speaking. But the story is just getting started…

northforkranchMy family and I recently returned from a stay with one of the member dude ranches of the Colorado association. We went to North Folk Ranch, in Shawnee, Colorado. It’s known for fishing and horse riding. And for full-on gourmet food. It was a TOTAL blast being able to see and experience the very same industry I spoke to. I think I would have enjoyed any ranch. But the North Fork in particular was total first-class, top-shelf joy.

Let me qualify the following story by saying that I had an outstanding time. The staff, the brad-on-horsefood, the views, the facilities, and Karen and Dean May (the owners) absolutely rocked. I recommend that all of you pick up your phone now and make a reservation at the North Fork Ranch.

I’d only offer one piece of advice for you, dear readers. Don’t get on a horse. Seriously. Don’t do it. They hurt.

They put me on a horse that was apparently large. (From my perspective, they are all flippin’ huge. I’m a city boy and I’m afraid of big dogs.) I had to get on some ladder thingy to mount my horse. (This is only slightly embarrassing…. none of the real horse people seem to need a boost.)

An hour and a half of bouncy excruciating horsing later, I was convinced that the fine folks at Guantanamo have it wrong: they don’t need water boarding. Just put terrorists on a horse for 90 minutes and bounce them though the Rockies and they will give up their best friend. Seriously, it’s a slow torture.

I couldn’t move. My legs were frozen. My butt hurt more than you can say, “Oh my gosh this saddle is huge.”

The wranglers practically needed a crane to get me off. (Getting off on my own was out of the question: The Abe Lincoln at the Wax Museum could move better than I could at that moment. After I got off I stood very, VERY still. I waited. Some blood came back. In 40 or 50 minutes I was able to walk again. (Ok, maybe not that long. But in Horse Time, it had to be forever.)

The wranglers were kind; they didn’t laugh even a little. (Until I left.) They told me the horse was too with-dude-signbig for me. I’m certain they lied to make me feel less like an idiot. (Nobody else seemed to be in agony. Every other guest seemed to jump right off, pat their horse and head in for lemonade. But try as I might, my legs wouldn’t budge.) My kids thought that the fact that I was stiffer than an I-Beam was hilarious.

dean-karen-mayStill, I had a total ball. Nobody made me go on another ride — though they did take me on a couple of shorter rides on a smaller horse. Yes, it did hurt less. The smaller horse was no longer like being drawn and quartered. It was more like being pulled like a wishbone.

We retreated to fabulous views, gourmet luxury, a wildly unique “Mountain Man,” wonderful company, and even a late night, after-hours-under-the-stars visit to the hot tub.

My wife loved it. My kids loved it. And I loved it. But please, don’t make me go on that big horse again— I’ll say anything. I’ll admit to any crime. I’ll give up any secrets you want. Just don’t make me ride.

Hey North Fork! You guys rock. You made our week. Thanks so much. Keep up the great work. It’s easy to see why you are so successful. Thanks for sharing the love!

Do YOU need a motivational speaker (and promise not to make me ride a horse afterwards?) Contact me now.

Yours,mountainman-ben
Brad Montgomery
Colorado Motivational Speaker, Urban Cowboy, Flexibility-Challenged Dude

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I’ve been on a kick lately of having fun   –  with a purpose.

I tell my audiences  that happiness is an attitude.   It’s a choice.   But an often neglected portion of the happiness equation goes beyond attitude, mind-set and emotion.   To do it right— to be your happiest— you also have to get physically involved with creating some joy for yourself.

In other words, to be happy you’ve got to DO something.  Maybe it’s goof with skate shoes and your kids.  Or play a harmless joke on your work mates.  Or take piano lessons.  Or maybe it’s to take responsibility for making somebody feel like a million bucks and act on it.

I’m lucky because I have a ton of hobbies that bring me passion and joy.  One of my latest is Heelys.   I’m tellin’ ya, put some wheels on your shoes and go shopping and … BAM!  You’re in a great mood.

Proof? I’ve got it baby!  Check out this short video of my kids and I breaking every rule in the how-to-behave-in-a-store book.

I challenge you:  find something today that gets YOU involved in creating your own joy.  Build something. Plant something. Play with something.  heelysAnd then…. Do it.  Notice your mood change?  Guaranteed or your money back.

Leave a comment and let me know if you agree.

Do you agree with me that happiness at work is related to excellence at work?  Do you need a speaker to help your organization to get there too?  I’d love to work with you.  It will be fun.   Promise.  Heelys optional.  Go to the contact page now.

Cheers.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Passionate Player, Adult Fan of Heelys

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I love halloween…. it’s about the only time of the year that we, as adults, can dress up and act weird and not get fired.  And we can do it sober.

Besides dressing up — this year I’m gonna dress as a rock star — I love to kid around with the little trick or treaters that come by the house: They say “trick or treat!”  I answer, “Ok, I pick Trick.”  They are dumbfounded.  I explain.  I’ll take the trick.   They are dumfounded.  

“Ok, here’s a treat for you.”  I get out a box of dental floss, and pull off a 7″ piece, cut it off, and give it to one kid in his plastic pumpkin.   “Here’s some floss for you.”   And again… “And here’s some for you.”  They never complain, but they are clearly confused.  I think it is hilarious.  (I’m also a tad sugared up by then on the candy I stole from my kids’ bags.)

Another fun idea is to get out a pack of (for example) Starbursts.  Instead of giving them the pack — which is what they expect — I open the pack and give ONE Starburst to each kiddo.   (This is more fun for us as adults than it is to them as kids.)

I eventually give all the kids real candy of course.  But this time of year is a great time to goof.

LaffyTaffy is a crappy, horrible, nasty candy. And I love it.

Let me explain:

I was goofing with my kids lately, and they were eating LaffyTaffy. (In case you don’t know it, this is a chewy candy that adults generally hate and kids generally love.)laffytaffy

The interesting thing about LaffyTaffy is that it makes my kids laugh. Really. They believe that when you eat it, you laugh. Seriously; they eat some, and they laugh.

So, what’s this got to do for the rest of us? My point is that sometimes laughter is a decision. Sometimes laughter is a choice. Sometimes being in a giggly, laughing mood is as simple as DECIDING that you’re gonna be in a good mood.

I know that it isn’t always that easy.  Simple yes.  Easy, no. I know that with the genuine and frequent stressors we face as adults it isn’t always EASY to just drop things and giggle. But kids and LaffyTaffy prove that laughter is a state of mind.

laffytaffy candyMy point? Next time you’re in a lousy mood see if you can talk yourself out of it intoand into a good mood. It’s possible, and kids prove it. And if that fails, and as a last resort, have some of that LaffyTaffy.

Hate LaffyTaffy and prefer to bring in a funny motivational comedian speaker to cheer up your troops? Click here for more info.

Cheers,

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Humorist, and Lover of LaffyTaffy

I don’t do it enough. I’m like the rest of us in that I get too wrapped up in work, too focused on my over–full email inbox, and too freaked about the dishes I should be doing, the lawn that needs mowing, …. you get the drill.

Check out this cool photo of…. ME! skateboardingI’m really proud of something I’m trying to do more lately, play with my kids. Recently my two oldest got interested in skateboarding. Nope, they aren’t that good yet. But they love it.

Well, as bad as they are, I’m worse. I never skateboarded as a kid, and haven’t really had much interest in it.

But when they enrolled in a skateboarding clinic, I tagged along… with my helmet and pads. :) And when I asked the teachers if I could tag along during the lessons, they were psyched… “We’re all good, bro! Skate away!”

So now I’ve been to the skate park with my kids a couple of times, and plan to keep going. They love it. I love it. And we all love that we are doing it together.

What’s the lesson? Playing with the kids accomplishes so many things:
1. When we play we are “in the moment.” How cool is that?!
2. Your kids will love you for playing with them. And you’ll love the connection you create with them through play.
3. It’s fun! It’ll keep you young at heart… and increase your Humor Quotient.

I just plain don’t play enough; none of us do. But this skateboard thing has been a good reminder for me.

So shut down your computer, pick up you toy, or your skates, or your bike, or your…. skateboard, and play.

Brad Montgomery
Motivational Keynote Speaker, Humor in the Workplace Expert, Advocate of Play

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“I’m the proud husband of woman who is both author and lawyer. And my three kids are easily the best “magic” I’ve ever done. (Aw shucks, ain’t that cute!) You need to meet these people, because in my keynotes and seminars I refer to them at least once. Turns out that often kids have the best business advice out there.” — Brad Montgomery

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