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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It’s Been A Journey

blog May 07, 2014

One year ago, I was decorating the baby room, watching my baby grow in his mom’s stomach and thinking about my next step regarding my career. I was having casual conversations with consultants and editing my autobiography. I was eager to get my message out there, market it and start speaking again. I miss this stage. I had started a book called Big Dreams Take Big Sacrifices back in 2010. Halfway through the book, I had some family events that gave me the opportunity to take a three-year sabbatical and live life. There was something about my autobiography that bothered me, though. Nobody knew me and publishing an autobiography didn’t seem right. In late May of last year, I was scheduled to go to a conference in Dallas. A day before I took off, I was at the gym and it hit me. I needed to publish Big Dreams. The last night I was at the conference, I started talking to the organizer and he asked me what I did. I said, “I’m a writer and I have a book coming...

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Bigger Than Me

blog Apr 29, 2014

Earlier this week, I took a quick trip to San Diego with my family and friends. It’s the calm before the storm. On the last day we were there, I was at the pool and I saw a four-year-old girl in a wheelchair with her family. I introduced myself and befriended the father. We talked for a half an hour about life and I offered my friendship and my help. It turns out that we live half an hour away from each other.

One of the concepts I talk about in my new book is define your “why.” I have many selfish and unselfish “whys.” One of my unselfish “whys” is to create a platform so I can better help the disabled community. There are so many unique challenges that come as a result of my disability. Heck! Even non-disabled people have their own challenges! If you compound that with having a disability, then it’s an uphill battle. My goal is to make it somewhat easier. On a personal note, speaking and writing is like a big toy for me but I...

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