It’s Not Time Yet

blog Jul 25, 2014

I am always thinking about what I’m going to write next. I have ideas for about five different books.  I also am focused on getting out there speaking again.  The process of booking me is long and takes time to build a machine that will fill my schedule with paying gigs. In the past I have not fully committed the resources or the time into this task. Over the years, one thing I learned is patience. If you asked me about patience a decade ago, I would have said, “Why be patient? I can’t wait!”  Part of being patient is knowing when to let life’s ebb and flow take over.

What I’ve learned about success is not running to a safe haven when things don’t happen right away. In the past, I ran to marketing when things were not happening as quickly as I wanted them to. Or, I would say to myself, “I need to write another book. That will do it.” I love writing and I love marketing but that’s only two pieces of the...

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Reality

blog Jul 18, 2014

For this blog, I am going to take a quote from my brand new book, Big Dreams Take Small Sacrifices. Today’s quote is “Work with reality, because when you fight reality, you always lose.”

We all wish that life was a little bit easier, traffic in Los Angeles was not as bad, or that the boss was not an idiot, etc. There’s not a day that goes by where I wished I was not disabled. I’m surrounded by non-disabled people every day, I mean, they are all over the place: on TV, at the store, they’re everywhere! They kind of freak me out! Jokes aside, writing Big Dreams helped me realize that if I want success, I have to make sacrifices as a handicapped man and often times I feel that I am forced to pay a handicapped tax on my dreams. Like any tax, I hate to pay it but I do because I know if I pay it, then I’m closer to my dream. If I fight reality and don’t pay the handicapped tax, then the only person losing out is me.

Your reality is your...

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Fundamentals

blog Jul 10, 2014

This week I’m doing something a little bit different. I’m shooting videos with various people to add more substance to my blog. This week I uploaded a video with my buddy Chris Stevenson about the fundamentals of life. One of the overarching themes of my book is focusing on the little fundamental tasks to achieve success. Often times, we assume that it’s the big things that cause success but it really is the little things that we do every single day that lead to our big dreams.

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4th of July Weekend

blog Jul 03, 2014

There have been many memorable 4th of July weekends like watching fireworks on a boat in Lake Tahoe or in 1994 hanging out with friends before my senior year in high school, but nothing compares to my 4th of July weekend last year. It all started at 1:30 in the morning when my pregnant wife woke me up and told me it’s time. Twelve hours later, we had a beautiful baby boy named Andrew. It was a moment that I never thought would come. The wonderful nurse put Andrew in my arms and with tears coming down my face I met my boy. It’s been an incredible year and I can’t believe he’s here.

A couple of words about the United States.

Where else but America could a kid from Iran who has a speech impediment and cannot hold a pen become a writer and a speaker? Only in America. If I was in Iran, my parents told me that I could not even go out of the house. People would stare at me and I would not have any kind of life. When I go out, one of the things I don’t have to...

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I Might Be Here To Inspire You

blog Jun 26, 2014

Anything that can cause a person to take positive action is inspiring. It can be a book, it can be being in awe of a successful person, it can be a vacation that makes you say, “you know if I was working harder, I could take more vacations.”

Last week I received an email from my manager Linda about a TED talk entitled, “I’m Not Here to Inspire You, Thank You Very Much,” and when I clicked on it, I saw a women in a wheelchair come out.  I said to myself, “here we go again, disabled person saying I’m not handicapped.”

By the way, I am not the most PC person even though I have CP. But when I started listening to her I became intrigued because she didn’t want to be inspiring just because she was in a wheelchair. I admire that a lot. One of the things I try to do in my career is not rely on my handicap for sympathy or a leg up (unless that sympathy leads to book sales!)  I feel that the ideas in my book can stand alone but...

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Earning Amazing

blog Jun 20, 2014

My manager Linda emails me articles every day to comment on and to post on social media. Last week, she emailed me an article on how a woman started an ad campaign with the words, “You are amazing” on public billboards.

In my mind, the word amazing is special and should not be thrown around lightly. I am constantly striving for “amazing” and don’t want anybody to tell me I am amazing until I earn it or else the word loses its cache. Amazing is the last step not the first. I always surround myself with amazing people. One characteristic they all had is they do not care about praise.  My mother and father are amazing because they dedicated their life to my sister’s and my happiness. My best friend Patrick is amazing because he gives me what my disability robs me of. My mentors are amazing because they give me lots of tools so I can strive. Most of all, my mentors don’t let me believe I am amazing when I’m not.

At some time or...

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The Pursuit of Your Big Dream Does Not End

blog Jun 13, 2014

Before my book launch event, my office was in full marketing mode. We were trying to get people to the event, which is always the hardest part of putting on an event. I am looking forward to the day where I get an email with an itinerary that says I am speaking at the Bellagio in front of a thousand people and the meeting planner bought books for all the attendees. That’s the dream. That’s my dream. But, remember, a payment for a dream is sacrifice.

My book launch event was a significant part of my sacrifice to make my dream come true. Although I took off to Lake Tahoe with the boys for a little R&R (Who am I kidding? There is never R&R in a city that has casinos!)

When I got back from Lake Tahoe, there was a litany of ordinary, not so exciting, activities that I was still doing. I had to ship out books to my Indiegogo supporters, I had to communicate with my marketing team and I had to drive to Hollywood to get the files for my video. Most people think writing a...

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Two Amazing Events

blog Jun 04, 2014

Last time on my blog I talked about how amazing my book launch was but I didn’t mention two big things that happened to me.

In 2004, I went to my first meeting of the National Speakers Association in Arizona and before attending, I only knew one speaker, my mentor, Frank Miles.  When I got to the event in Arizona there were about 100 people and being the networker that I am, I tried to meet all of them. On my nametag, it had the city that I’m from.  When I met a speaker, everyone would ask me if  I knew Terry Paulson. I think I was asked that question at least 25 times. It turns out that Terry Paulson lives in the same city I do. I returned home and looked Terry up. It turns out that he was the former president of the National Speakers’ Association. I emailed Terry and asked him if he could meet at Starbucks. He replied and we began a relationship. A week before the event I sent Terry a note inviting him to my book launch and half way through my...

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Next Steps

blog Jun 02, 2014

One of the critical aspects to launching my book PR campaign and the second leg of my speaking career was to produce a high end video so I could better demonstrate what I can offer. I decided to have a book launch event which is a lot of work including coordinating with the hotel and my  various vendors. However, the hardest part of putting on the event was getting people there. I was on the phone, using social media, delivering flyers and rehearsing the speech. The night turned out AMAZING! I gave the best speech I have ever given and I could not be more happy, aside from the fact that my stupid legs could not stop shaking from pure joy.

Speaking gives me such a sense of euphoria, power and control. There’s a few things that give me a sense of the ordinary like speaking. Let me share a little secret. The reason I like speaking is because I miss not being able to go up to a stranger and start rapping. Not many people say “I can’t do this, why not make a career...

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Anticipation

blog May 15, 2014

This morning I woke up and I wondered what I would write today for my blog. I opened my email and clicked on a GoPro Video that was automatically sent to me by Youtube. One of the topics that I discuss in my book is the fact that speaking and writing give me a sort of high that I can’t get anywhere else. I can imagine that it would be really fun to strap a GoPro to my head and Zipline through the jungles, but I understand that  would never be my reality.

As I eagerly anticipate next week to take the stage at the Sheraton, I am reminded that I absolutely love speaking and it’s my way to give back, to entertain and to receive a adrenaline rush. I simply can’t wait!

Join me next week as I exercise my craft, make you laugh, make you think and give you some ideas on how to make your life amazing and, in the meantime, I will be having the time of life!

Please RSVP at www.bigdreamsbook.com

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