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What does Steve Gamlin do? He works with individuals and organizations…to SEE THEIR GOALS, understand WHY they want them…and build an Action Plan for achievement.

How? With a blend of back-to-basics positivity, engagement, humor…and Visualization.

That is the formula Steve Gamlin has been bringing to stages of all sizes (including VIRTUAL ones) for more than 16 years.

“If you wake up tomorrow and THINK one more positive thought, SPEAK one more kind word or take at least one more positive ACTION…and know what your goals LOOK LIKE…our time together is a massive win.”

This is how Steve opens every event, explaining his mission as “The Motivational Firewood™ Guy”.

Are you looking for a speaker who has created success in his own life and business, yet is still a ‘real’ person with the ability to communicate the steps in simple, actionable terms?

Do you like to laugh while you learn?

Steve Gamlin speaks from the critical space between personal and professional goals, knowing that true success lies in the engagement and integration of the two.

Steve@SteveGamlin.com

He believes this is the only formula you need to know:

Decide exactly what you want. Know what it looks like.

Get to work and take action to make it happen.

Specialties: Vision Board, motivation, humor, storytelling, keynote, seminar, speaking, mentoring

Click To Read The Transcript

Steve Gamlin and His Story as an Underdog

Pamela Bardhi
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of underdog today we have an awesome, guest, Steve Gamlin, how are you?

Steve Gamlin
I’m doing great man. Well, thank you so much for having me on the show. This is looking forward to it.

Pamela Bardhi
Thank you so much for being here. I’m so excited to have you today. And I can’t wait for you to share with the audience your story and sort of where you’re at and all the amazingness that you have a vision board mastery, which you have right behind you. I can’t wait for you to allow on

Steve Gamlin
the chalkboard. Yeah, I got a video shoot this afternoon. So the studio was all set up first thing this morning.

Pamela Bardhi
I love it. Steve, I love it. Well, thank you so much for connecting with me once again. And you know, we talked about quite a few, quite a few things together. And you know, what really brought us together was an underdog, right? The Underdog Story. So I would ask of you, what has been your experience, you know, sort of where you’re at now, where you’ve been, and where you’re going? I think that’s the best starting point. And I always ask people I’m like, which way do you want to start you wanna start where you were, where you’re at where you’re going? Well, however, you feel that it flows best for you can rock and roll.

Steve Gamlin
You got it. I’ve been at the time of this recording 16 years as a professional speaker, published four books in that time, and also been on the radio for 10 years as a morning show producer, 10 years national-level comedy writer for radio service, stand up comedian for 7 years. And that’s kind of all what got me here over the past 20 years now. Prior to that when I was a kid, very shy, introverted, did not want to be the center of attention. shine a spotlight on me I’m like a roach, I go running under the stove. And it’s just funny because when I was nine years old, I saw a TV show called Wk RP in Cincinnati, and there was a character named Dr. Johnny Fever. I looked at this guy, he was nine years old at the time.

Here’s a guy with kind of shaggyish long hair, wears sunglasses indoors, scruff of beard jeans and T-shirts, plays records for a living, and actually gets paid. When I was nine years old, I said, I want to do that someday, I think that would be the greatest thing. And I used to practice this old cassette recorder, this big clunky thing. I would sit there and talk into it and then hold the microphone to the speakers for the songs to play. And then I would talk I’m going back to vinyl here in the grooves between the songs I would talk then and go back and forth.

Well, parenting and reality creep in, you know, my late teen years, my parents had to give the parent speech, wants you to go to a good school, get a good education, get a good job with a good company with good benefits. Basically, put your head down on a desk for the next 45 years and retire with a pension.

Pamela Bardhi
Mm-hmm.

Steve Gamlin
I did go to college. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in business. My dad always called Summa to come this close 60 to 1,000th of a point from not graduating. Just basically broke depressed living on my grandfather’s couch at the time, not quite sure. What I wanted to do. And I had a friend who kept bugging me. Why didn’t you ever pursue being on the radio, you’ve been talking about it for years. You play all the music for the parties. You know more about music than any of us in the circle of friends. And you’re always happy when you talk about it.

And I’m just thinking, I don’t know if I’m good enough, smart enough. I don’t even know what next step to take. So-called a local radio station. And there’s a woman I used to listen to who was doing the midday show. Her name is Cindy and she’s still a dear friend even now. I said hey, Cindy, I’m thinking about getting into radio. What should I do? She told me about a school near Boston. Not a good school of broadcasting because like the commercial said, you don’t have to go to Connecticut to get into the Connecticut School of broadcasting. So I went to Wellesley hills.

Pamela Bardhi
Nice.

Steve Gamlin
Did that eight-week course, I borrowed the money from my grandfather whose couch I was living on. And I got my first internship. A few weeks after graduating, now interns don’t get paid anything but it was a foot in the door. I happen to go to my friend’s house who had urged me to follow my dream. I hadn’t seen him all summer because I was living in Boston. He said Where have you been? I said broadcast school. I said Well, I’m going to internship and it turns out it was a radio station we grew up listening to. He was so happy and so proud. You know you cheer your friends on when they finally do something that you’ve been telling them for years. It was such an amazing feeling. And then three weeks later, that friend passed away.

And it took me a long time, it actually took my whole 10-year radio career to get the lesson. When somebody believes in you, they see something in you that you can’t even see in your own mirror, and they cheer you on and encourage you and they tell you, you’ve got the stuff, you just need to take action and go do something. Listen to those people. Because they see something in you, you don’t see yet. And they already see your finish line, they see you achieving it.

So when I decided to become a speaker 16 years ago, shortly after I left radio, that’s the person I want it to be for other people. So whether I’m on a stage or walking down the street or holding a door or making somebody smile, I want to encourage them to let the best of themselves out at that moment on that day in that year. I want to be my friend to them. And it’s working very, very well.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow. So your friend encouraged you to be on the radio before you ever even thought about it.

Steve Gamlin
Well, before I pulled the trigger, and actually took a step to do it. Yeah.

Pamela Bardhi
It was just like, Hey, man, I believe in you to do this.

Steve Gamlin
Yeah.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow.

Steve Gamlin
It was more of him whining going, boy, your life blows? Why didn’t you ever follow your dream of being on the radio? Because you know, being my friend, he wasn’t exactly like a Hallmark card.

Pamela Bardhi
Right?

Steve Gamlin
Opening it up, though, isn’t a sweet thing. Like you should follow your dreams like, Hey, you big dummy. You’re miserable. And you’re only 22 years old? Well, 23 at the time. And why you should do this? Oh, my God, you’re whining about your life. But you had this thing you wanted to do. So I believed in myself enough to walk in the front door of the broadcast school, then the radio station, and then enjoyed a 10-year career of great success, great joy. Great times.

It was heartbreaking a number of times because I was at the first station for two years, they sold the station, we all get fired. At the next station for three years, they sold the station, we all get fired. And then I was in the last group for four years. And somebody said one day, Hey, do you hear about the owner who’s going through a divorce, you might have to sell the radio station or halfway.

Again, I’m going to go just do whatever it is. I’m just going to go do my own thing. So I’m not at the mercy of anybody else, have anybody else, you know, and I always said, look, I’m gonna make this work. If it kills me, it almost has a couple of times. Financially it did very early on, it was not my best decision because it took out my radio career. My first marriage ended shortly after. And I was $62,000 in debt at age 35. With only a little DJ business that was making about $11,000 a year at the time. Wow, that was it.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow. So you shifted from radio to your DJing career as well.

Steve Gamlin
I had already been DJing for a number of years at that time. But it was very part-time and very small.

Pamela Bardhi
Right. But when you

Steve Gamlin
That was all I had left, it’s like finding a quarter in your pocket when it costs $10 to ride the ride. It’s pretty much what it was like at the time. And I’m just thinking, it can’t get any worse than this. And someday this will be an amazing comeback story. All I have to do now come back. Wow. That’s all?

Pamela Bardhi
Well, first, I mean, what you were mentioning about your friend and validating your dreams, I think that’s so cool. You know, I feel like there’s always that person when you hear these stories, that inspires somebody to do something. For me, it was my dad used to talk, and he’s like, you’re going to be a leader, you’re going to be a rock star, you’re going to do it, and they’re telling you these things and you’re like, somehow it enters your subconscious mind. Then when it actually happens, it gets validated. I think that’s the coolest thing. And that’s what he was doing for you. That’s what your friend did for you. So I think that that’s super important.

So I really wanted to point that out. Because I feel like, That’s such a huge part in helping anybody get over a hump, right? Or somebody who’s trying to take a jump into something new, maybe a business, maybe a new career, or something like that. It’s like, look for those people that are like, hey, you’d be good at this, you know because that that always shines. So it’s amazing that happened and getting into your radio career, and then shifting into the DJ business like what made you decide to make that business I always get intrigued by that story. I just wanted to go back and ask you that question.

Steve Gamlin
Yeah, real simple answer. At the time, I was making a sub. Welfare rate wages working in radio, I was working 5560 hours a week making 12 five a year. So I have to do something to supplement the income and the only available days were the weekends. And a couple of guys from the morning show that I worked on as a producer at the time said You should come to teach weddings with us. You know, it’s pretty good money, it’s decent. I’m thinking, I can’t stand dance music. I don’t like dance music. I don’t want to play dance music, I can’t dance. You know, we’re still shy. And I’m like, I don’t want to be on a microphone and from 250 people at a wedding.

And one of them said, just come hang out, I’ll pay you 10 bucks an hour. And, you know, I did a four-hour wedding with him. Absolutely loved it, loved the energy loved the feel of the room loved everything about it blew half of my $40 on gas and snacks at the 711. On the way home and then figured out, look, he’s gonna pay me 10 bucks an hour stand around and carry all this heavy equipment, I can make a lot more than that. If I go buy some equipment and start-up company, which I did. And it’s been going now for 27 years.

Pamela Bardhi
Super cool. Oh my gosh. So and then invest that you basically made the investment for yourself, and then just that kind of took off on its own. That’s amazing. 27 years in the game.

Steve Gamlin
Crazy. I get the ringing of the ears to prove it. It’s it’ll be retired soon. If people said you’re going to sell it, you’re going to do this. I’m like, no, I’m gonna keep my equipment for parties at my house. But as far as being out there, you know, the biggest reason is looking what’s going on right now, at the time of this recording, I went seven and a half months between events. And if you’ve worked for almost three decades to build something that can be taken out by something as simple as a virus, then it may not be the type of business you want to keep pouring your heart and soul into. So I’m shifting pretty much everything into my speaking and my vision board training and all that because I can do that regardless of virtual or in person.

Pamela Bardhi
Right?

Steve Gamlin
It’s kind of hard to DJ a wedding virtually.

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah, no, totally.

Steve Gamlin
I can tuck it up from the waist up and be on a camera somewhere. But it’s not quite. You know, being there live is such a beautiful experience. Oh, totally. And I’ve really I really missed that this year. But I’ve actually enjoyed having weekends off for the first time in almost 30 years.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow,

Steve Gamlin
I gotta say it. That’s been nice. It’s been really nice.

Pamela Bardhi
There you go. That’s amazing. And especially because you’re a DJ, we talked about this in the past, but I was a DJ too. So I totally get it with you feel the energy in the room, it’s like, then everybody’s rocking with you. And like, there is no better feeling than that. When everybody’s just grooving with you having a good time. Certain things happen when people drink a little too much. But you know, it’s fun. It’s fine. It’s cool.

Steve Gamlin
It happened very recently. Put a kind of a bad ending on a really good day. Oh, gee, what it happens. It happens, you

Pamela Bardhi
Know, but totally. And then. So from your DJ business, how did you shift into and morph into the speaking world? Because I just think it’s, I think it’s funny. I think you’ve just always loved people. So you know, going from radio to DJ to speaking almost feels natural, because you’re engaging all the time. You know, which is cool. I feel like those skill sets and radio and DJ literally built you as a speaker, whether you realize it or not, which is really awesome.

Steve Gamlin
I wish it actually happened that logically it didn’t.

Pamela Bardhi
I know. But like, looking back on it now, like your skill sets from what you gain there. Yeah, are enhancing what you’re doing now. And the reason I say that is because, you know, oftentimes, in life’s like, people just feel like they’re so far behind. You know, when they’re doing things like an internship or a small job, you know what I mean? Doing something on the side, but what you don’t realize is the magnitude of those skill sets that you start to build. That’s going to benefit you in the future. So I just think I was just an observation that I had, I was like, yeah, is this DJing and his radio career, like, helped him in the speaking world, which is cool. You know, he’s really cool. So what was the major transition point for you in getting into the speaking world?

Steve Gamlin
Add on skills-building to do that, and somebody asked me recently, you know, there’s the thing that goes wrong on Facebook. What did you want to do when you were a kid? And are you doing it now? And when I was a kid, I wanted to be Dr. Johnny fever. Wanted to be DJ, but I also wanted to be a teacher, but not a traditional classroom teacher. I just had no idea what it would look like at the time when I was a kid, but the seed was planted. I do love people and I love making people laugh. And I love making people happy. And shortly after leaving radio, going through my divorce, realizing how broke I was moving back home, and living with the family at age 35, which is humbling in itself.

August 2003. I had $3 left in my pocket on Friday afternoon, and I stopped by a golf driving range. And I’m a horrible golfer. So I just wanted to get some frustrations out. So I went to the farthest tee box on the property and it was right underneath. Some power lines. And of course what happens? a thunderstorm comes through a hot, humid afternoon, and a thunderstorm comes ripping through. So I’m standing barefoot in the wet grass under power lines in the middle of pouring torrential rain and thunder and lightning. And I just took the club and I just looked up. I said I dare you.

And I wasn’t mad. It’s kind of like and I always joke about if you remember the movie, Forrest Gump? When Forrest and Lieutenant Dan were out in the shrimp boat during the hurricane. And Dan is up in the crow’s nest screaming at the storm Come on, is that all you got? blown? I’m just looking. I’m thinking what can be funnier than what’s already happening in my life? Go ahead, I dare you to take me, you know, hit me. If nothing else, I’ll just get shocked into something better.

So I finished my bucket of golf balls, and I’m thinking I’m still frustrated, I’m still in a bad mood. And I looked, there were two full buckets of golf balls sitting there from two guys who ran away from the storm. And I look around, they’re nowhere to be found parking lots empty. I’m the only guy who’s still there. So I hit all their golf balls, too. So at the end of an hour, I can’t even lift my arms anymore. And I gather up all the empty buckets in the golf club and go to my car. And as soon as I open the door, the rain stops in the sun comes out and I just started laughing. I’m like, Alright, well played, you know, now you’re just messing with me.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow.

Steve Gamlin
The very next day, I was talking to my then brand new life coach. I was his first client, he had just gotten certified. He’s test-driving everything on me. And he goes, so how was your week and he’s got his pen and paper, I go put that down. Let me tell you what happened to me yesterday. I just tried to make it sound really funny. And he’s on the other end of the phone cracking up. I’m thinking my life blows and you’re laughing at it because I gotta ask you two questions. Are you this open and honest about your life with everybody? I said, Yeah, usually in a self-deprecating way. But yeah. Then he say, you ever thought of being a stand-up comedian or a motivational speaker? I said, actually, both.

But I have no idea how to do either one. He had a postcard on his desk that he got that week from a local community college that was offering a night class intro to stand-up comedy. He says I’ll send you this like, it was like a door just opened all of a sudden, I’m like, that is so cool. I didn’t know such a class existed. And he asked if you ever heard of Toastmasters? I said, Well, I’ve heard of it. But I don’t know what it’s all about. He says it’s an organization, that they have clubs everywhere, helps you to craft your stories get comfortable on stage, and really polish your skills.

Pamela Bardhi
Right?

Steve Gamlin
You said the best one in the whole state of New Hampshire is right in your backyard in Concord, New Hampshire 12 miles from my house. So within four weeks, I was attending both. And within six months got paid very little money for my first paid speech, and my first paid to stand up comedy. I did stand up for seven years. Then somebody kind of pointed out, you know, Steve, you did these corporate speaking events, and one of them happens to see you in the comedy club, even though we know it’s different.

The viagra song is probably not going to go over very well with your corporate clients and said, You’re right. So I stopped doing stand-up. But took all the clean material and the funny humor and crafted it into my speaking and those are the stories that get requested the most. And those are the lessons that people say they learn the most they remember laughing and learning. So again, comedy had to be a part of that journey to get me to where I am now.

Pamela Bardhi
See, and there was another person who said, Hey, Steve, I think you should do this in a funny how the universe works.

Steve Gamlin
Yeah. And he and my friend from the pre radio days are both named Dan, I think, two Dans that changed my life.

Pamela Bardhi
Really?

Steve Gamlin
They’re both named Dan

Pamela Bardhi
Both named Dan.

Steve Gamlin
Yep.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow.

Steve Gamlin
So I’m waiting for some guy named Dan to come here with a limo a giant check. And some balloons. Pay me a million dollars. I’ll be like, I don’t care what your name is. We’re putting the name tag, Dan. Yeah. That’s so I can complete the damn trilogy.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s insane. See, there are no coincidences. There really isn’t. And like, you know, so see, we talked about, you know, moving back home when you were 35 and all this stuff. Then that day with the golf balls and all of that, you know, I can almost like feel how you were feeling at the time. And it’s like, how did you like what got you past that point where you were like, we just felt like because he was a divorce. You were back home at 35. Like, how? Because the hardest part I find is getting over the hump, that’s part of all of it.

Once you start picking yourself up, you start to crawl, you start to walk in and you hit the ground running, but it’s like that hump. What helped you sort of getting out there and be like, Alright, I just don’t want to do you know, I mean, I just don’t want to do this anymore. I had what, what helped you sort of rising from that?

Steve Gamlin
Yeah, when you elect yourself as the mayor. And your term is unlimited. When you start to throw stones at yourself like that it’s not a good place to be. But what happens within a couple of months and moving up to my dad’s was we had built a recording studio in his basement because I was kind of starting another business of doing voiceover work in audio production, which is what I love most about radio. So we had built a studio there. So he says, Hey, bud, you hear every day anyway, why don’t you just move in, stay here as long as you need to. And we’re clear, we’re even because I did a lot to help them around the house with stuff my dad couldn’t do.

Within a year, my dad’s health started to go downhill in a couple of ways. My stepmom pulled me aside one day and said, Look, I know you’re not happy with the reason why you’re here. But please don’t feel as though there’s any shame in it or that you have to move out anytime soon. She said, because, you know, your dad built this house. He can’t take care of it all anymore. And if you leave, we’ll have to sell the house now. It’ll break his heart.

That was her way of saying, You’re good. Stop beating yourself up over this whole situation. Use it to the best, you have this opportunity to live here, with your studio in the basement to work 24 hours a day if you want in your studio and on your business. And we expect nothing. Just do what you keep doing to help us out and keep your dad in this house. That was it. And she’s still one of my dearest friends. We lost my dad about two years ago. Right about some six months after my wife Tina and I bought this house; it’s eight miles from my dad’s. And I built this recording studio. It was the first thing I ever built in my life carpentry-wise, without him.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow.

Steve Gamlin
But it wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t built that one together at his house if it hadn’t been there for it turned out to be 10 years.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow.

Steve Gamlin
And I used to joke with him. I said remember that day you said I could stay as long as I wanted. He goes Christ. I didn’t think it would last 10 years. But I’m glad you’re here. So it took the loser this out of it early on because we just found the good. I mean, if you just say sit there keep throwing rocks at yourself. You’re never going to climb out of the ashes. And so many people always look back now that broad brush and they go, Steve, you were like the Phoenix that rose from the ashes of failure.

I’m like, dude, my Phoenix runs a pogo stick. It was not one beautiful flight out of the ashes gloriously. Oh my god. No. I have crashed back into the fire so many times. Try something fail learn something. Jump again. I said I wrote a pogo stick. I just tried to bounce higher every time. That’s all. I said. There’s no parting of the clouds. There’s no Oh, of the angels like in the movies and the music comes up in the hero. No, come on. This is real life. I’m still even now all these years into my life and 52 years old. I’m still trying new things and learning and failing. I mean, I’ve published four books, every single one has had mistakes in it.

Pamela Bardhi
Hmm.

Steve Gamlin
At 1000 copies printed of my second book with eight chapters missing. Right around 2005 or six, eight chapters are missing 1000 books I couldn’t sell. I had used my estimated quarterly tax payment money to pay cash for the printing. Oh no, 1000 books I couldn’t sell. So I couldn’t put the tax money back in. So I had to pay my taxes on a credit card that quarter. It was just this huge mess. And it was supposed to be my first great thing as in my speaking career was publishing my first book and I completely screwed it up. Oh, it was my fault. Because when they sent me the proof I didn’t scroll down the whole way to see that eight chapters were missing.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh my dear,

Steve Gamlin
My editor almost killed me. She goes, it would have taken me 30 seconds to realize that. Like what was taking me five minutes to find your email address. So do it.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh my gosh, wow. And I love your perspective on things. You’re just you’re right in the post and you’re just trying to get hired. You know, sometimes there are ups sometimes there are downs and yeah, that was the whole reason I started this show is like, you should get this like you’re saying people are like it’s this glorious rise from the ashes Phoenix. It’s like, no, this is life. It’s a process and then you have up downside down again up. You’re constantly moving with the motion. So I love that you know you found you found the good, right yeah.

Steve Gamlin
If there’s anybody out there you see saying you know I did all this and put my life back together all in one. They are lying. Nobody gets it right on the first try. Nobody bounces back on the first try and has 100% success. And I think there’s not enough transparency and vulnerability and authenticity out there in the speaking world. That’s part of why I became a speaker. I get tired of the rah-rah-rah by my stuff. Speakers out there. And you know, have I put my life in a really good place? Is my business successful? Yes, they are. But I’m real enough to know that it took all of these little, crash and burn and learning experiences.

Here’s the thing about being a Phoenix and falling back into the fire. Every time you fall in, you look over and your tail feathers are gone. When they grow back, the colors are brighter, they’re stronger, they’re more beautiful. And you’re more confident because you’ve walked through. And you survived. I used to have a speech or speaking story called some days your Phoenix writes a pogo stick. If you’re struggling in business right now, it just means that there’s something great on the other side, but you have to learn this lesson first.

And that was one of the ones that used to get requested a lot, because so many, especially newer entrepreneurs, or people new to a field, they walk in, I don’t know anything yet. I might make a mistake. Well, you can endure. You can run out all the golden years of your life and still have the original tail feathers. You were born with me because you weren’t brave enough to risk burning them off. But if you’re sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair next to somebody who tried and failed and tried and failed and tried and failed, their feathers are gonna outshine yours. Because they learned they get those scars and scars are a badass testimonial to the fact that you tried.

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah. Yeah. And you got to be proud of them, too. Don’t hide them be like, Hey, this is what made me. This is what made me who I am. That’s amazing. So your shift into the speaking world? What was your aha moment and being like, I want to just be a speaker like, this is awesome.

Steve Gamlin
The day that it was very early on, and I was not very good. I was hired to speak at an annual awards dinner for women in business here in New Hampshire. And it went okay, there was a very forgiving audience because I was not exactly dynamic yet at the time. I wasn’t wearing my cape yet put it that way. I didn’t have all of the confidence yet had the stories. But I was. I was kind of in place behind a lectern at the time. And now I if they’re on wheels, they’re gone by the time I hit the stage because I want to come in that area.

But at the end of this event, the organizer came up and said, Steve, come over here for a second. She said without looking for pointing. See that woman in the red dress way in the back of the room? said, Yeah. Because she’s going to tear up the job application she had filled out, she’s going to give her business another shot. She just invited one of us to help her, make her business succeed. She was going to quit and shut her business down. But she came here tonight. She heard you speak.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh, man, I just got chills. That’s it.

Steve Gamlin
That was a free event. I didn’t get paid for that event. That was the moment that I knew, even though I wasn’t really confident yet hadn’t really fleshed out and found myself yet. That I had to do this and just keep doing it better. That was I just got goosebumps too. I did. Yeah, I did. Tina always says you get goosebumps because you realize you’re the chick in this relationship, right? Yeah, I do. Because I get so emotional about that stuff.

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah,

Steve Gamlin
I mean, I’ve cried with coaching clients before we’ve laughed. We’ve hug we’ve cried. We’ve danced. We’ve run around just going Yes, and celebrating it in those moments. And man, I haven’t thought about that one in so long. So thank you. That was a gift you just gave me. Yeah, the woman in the red dress. I don’t even know what her name was. I never even spoke with her.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow.

Steve Gamlin
But the woman who invited me to speak said I couldn’t let you leave. Without telling you that.

Pamela Bardhi
Isn’t that amazing?

Steve Gamlin
That meant the world to me. That was in my first year of speaking. When I was begging to be on a stage anywhere. You know, it’s during the rotary circuit, you know, scrambled eggs and sausage or bacon, cold in a heat tray without heat. No will give you breakfast. If you speak for 15 minutes, or do you want to talk about we don’t care. We just need somebody to go blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, 15 minutes. That’s the level of speaking gigs I was doing at the time. And then this woman invited me to be part of the night that had a woman in the red dress.

Pamela Bardhi
Woman in the red dress. I’ll forever remember that. I love that, Steve. And sort of So you started in the beginning, obviously the speaking career. It was slow gigs in this episode. I know there’s a lot of people listening who are entrepreneurs who might just be at the startup phase. What sort of helped you be like, all right. This is just your one like, let’s just keep a groove and like what was sort of your mindset and your mentality behind that because it startup entrepreneurial world is so tricky, you know, everyone paints the castles and all these, the lambos and all that stuff, you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you’re gonna be super successful.

But the reality when you start, you know what it is, I know what it is I maxed out credit cards messed up my credit when I first started, big time, that still affecting me now, you know, it takes time. So I’d love to know, sort of what propelled you during, those early years of that.

Steve Gamlin
Yeah, it’s funny now, because the gentleman I work with, who’s my business mentor and business coach Lonnie Robinson, always says, If you can do one, you can do another one. So the first program for $1,000, you can sell another one for $1,000. So if you go to a speaking event, and you get a really great testimonial out of it, which that woman gave me because I asked for one. I said that’s amazing. Could you write it down that because I said this and that she made a decision that changed her life? She was Oh, yeah, I’ll write that for you. That became my first testimonial.

Every time you impact someone in a positive way. Just say, look, would you put that in writing? Would you do that in a video? Could I record you saying that always ask permission? Because that tells the world that somebody just like them got value from you. I get one testimonial, you can get two testimonials, and three and four. And the ones I get now. Some of them because I let my mom see them all. She’ll say how’s your event? Go? Let me send you the testimonial I got. And we have this thing called the MMC rating that made mama cry. Things my clients have said I’ve actually made my mom weep. Oh, because she says oh, my God, my kid not only loves what he does, I mean, who wouldn’t want this for the kid.

If you have a son or a daughter, you want them to succeed. You want them to be filled with joy. You want them to find their purpose and their passion and all this and that? Well, I did and my mom still loves that she always calls herself shows, you know, I’m still your biggest fan. And she’s still like that. Every time she says that it just reminds me that I’m in such a good place in my life, despite what’s going on in the world, despite what’s going on all around us. When you figure out something that makes you happy, and you can figure out a way to make money at it because some people just say, find your passion. And if you do something you’ll love you’ll never work a day in your life. That is the biggest steaming pile of crap.

Pamela Bardhi
Yep,

Steve Gamlin
Because this past Saturday was a 16 hour day, between being an event being here in the studio, setting up equipment, checking equipment that hadn’t been used in seven and a half months. And being rusty from what you’re used to doing every day. It’s kind of like going to the gym for the first time in seven months when you haven’t gone. I tried to do the exercises you get seven and a half months ago and you’re thinking with these weights is heavy. Is that seven and a half months ago? Oh, they were Yeah. Okay. But it’s keeping going. If you can do one day, you can do two days. If you can do one speaking event, you can do two speaking events. If you can write one book, you can write five books.

It’s not letting the little speed bumps deter you. The biggest thing you can the biggest gift you can ever give yourself is to know exactly why you do what you do. At a heart-wrenching, emotional emotionally connected level. I was the lead trainer for an organization called BNI Business Networking International. Here in New Hampshire, I taught 52 of their basically networking basic training sessions. And we were doing a little bit of a shift. So we met at headquarters with the owners of the region. And he said, What do you do? I said I’m a speaker. He says Why? Because I want to help people. Why? Because I want their lives to be better. Why? He would not stop asking me why.

Finally, I stopped and I put my head down and I thought about it. I said because I had a friend who believed in me when I was 23 years old, who got me to follow my passion to be on the radio when my life sucked. I did it. And he died three weeks later. I always said I’m going to be that person for other people to get them to believe in themselves. By then I get tears coming down my face. And he goes don’t ever forget that.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow.

Steve Gamlin
And I haven’t. So when people you know say well, Steve, I don’t know why we start asking questions.

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah.

Steve Gamlin
What do you want this to turn into for you? How do you want this to make you feel? What is your life going to look like? Feel like that? Sound like smell like? Because smell is the most powerful of the senses. So what do you want it to smell like? Like when you smell like what’s your dream vacation to go to Hawaii, okay. Coconut, pineapple, no Hawaiian Tropic, whatever, you know, the scent of sunscreen you want, the sound of waves hitting the beach, start to move all the emotional connection to what you want, figure out why you want it. And that is such a powerful thing. Because if you don’t have your why the littlest thing is going to divert your attention. Because when it just when it gets really hard all of sudden, which is an entrepreneur that’s 99% of your life.

Pamela Bardhi
Basically, Yes.

Steve Gamlin
Is the world throwing things in your way saying, you know, I don’t think you’re going to be successful at this? And if you remember why you’re doing it, say hashtag Up yours? Yes, I am and you just keep going and fighting. And that’s the fuel in your tank.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow. And that’s your why.

Steve Gamlin
And my why still. That’s what propels everything moving forward. Going every day, I’ve had 100 women in a red dress. Since then, who said, Steve, do you remember when you said this? I just say yes. Now, patients are people who say, Steve, remember the day you said this to me? Oh my gosh, that changed my life. And I’m thinking, I say that to everybody. I don’t want to in my head. I would say that, but I never want to demean their experience always. As you said that it impacted my life.

And I live for those because it just it’s not that I want the glory. I don’t want a one-note that something I said or did had an impact on somebody because and I opened up when I get on stage, I tell people I said Look, my name is Steve Gamlin, I am known as the Motivational Firewood guy. Here’s what that means. If you wake up tomorrow morning and think one more positive thought speak one more kind word, especially to yourself, and take one more positive action then our time together is a massive win. And that goes for people listening to your show as well. It’s a massive win.

And I said the seeds get planted and you never know where they’re going. I was at a grocery store about eight years ago. And I wasn’t planning to be there. Had 20 extra minutes because one meeting ended shortly and I was driving to the next one. I saw the grocery store and said, okay, I gotta get some cereal. So I was walking down the captain crunch aisle, which is my favorite cereal crunch berries.

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah.

Steve Gamlin
A person walks past me and then I hear a voice in Hey, man, you’re that speaker, right? We’re the only two people in the aisle and I look over my shoulder. I said, Yes, sir. I’m a speaker. Where did you hear me? He said act in Massachusetts, the unemployment networking group. I said, Oh, my gosh, that was a big group is 85 people. And I spoke there three times. And I said, All right, what do you remember? He described the picture that was on the screen.

He described the story I told. And he told me what the lesson from it was. I said, All right, what do you do with it? He says the very next week I had a job interview, didn’t look at the ceiling, didn’t stare at my shoes, didn’t stare at my resume, look them right in the eye and engage their energy level. He said and within two questions I figured out because the story was about some people in like stadium seating.

Pamela Bardhi
Hmm.

Steve Gamlin
And there were two people down in the bottom like this. Who doesn’t look real happy to be there? There were some empty seats up top for people who never even showed up. But then there was a man and a woman who had their arms up and they were like, yeah. So I called them my monster truck Couple said wherever you are, you find your monster truck people, you find the people who are excited that you’re there and you engage them at their level of energy. He said, within two questions in a three-person panel, I figured out who my monster truck person was.

Pamela Bardhi
Hmm, nice.

Steve Gamlin
I said What happened? He goes up, dude, I got the job. So thank you. And he holds out his hand. And he shook my hand and I’m thinking I did the math after I said one was that it was three years prior for another free speech, didn’t get paid for it an hour from home. Three years later, this guy sees me in a grocery store and the captain crunch dial-in says thank you.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow,

Steve Gamlin
That still again. That’ll make me emotional when I’m 90 years old.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. Absolutely. That’s amazing Steve

Steve Gamlin
I love those. I live for those moments. They’re the best.

Pamela Bardhi
Well, if the purpose you know and what you’re here to do, you know when you feel that validated, it’s like oh my gosh, yes. It’s working, you know, because you see it and you work on it for so long. And you’re like, I don’t know how it’s gonna be interpreted. But when you have people come back to you and be like, Oh my gosh, yeah, kind of like, Alright, this is what I meant to do.

Steve Gamlin
Oh, gosh, I walk away two inches taller every single time something like that happens even if I was having a not great day or, or whatever, you know, things were frustrating a piece of studio equipment broke or something I was down a couple of days this week. It’s all working now, but the last couple of days’ worth of production. But that’s when someone reaches out to say, Hey, Steve, you know, I never got a chance to say thank you for this. Here’s what being with you being coached by you is. Some people have said, you know, you won’t even know who I am. I sat way in the back. And speaking of that you did. But I just want to say when you said this, oh my god, I felt like you’re talking right to me.

Pamela Bardhi
Wow.

Steve Gamlin
And other people have asked me, who’s the most important person in the room? I’m like, well, who’s the most important person? You the person with my check? Like, okay, that’s not my answer. That’s a good answer. It’s not. I mean, it’s always good to get paid so you can pay your bills and keep doing this. I said, you know, the most important person in the room is for me, is the person who came in late, because they might have been in the lobby or in their car, even crying, wondering if they’re worthy to even be there. And somebody has told me in the past that they did that.

They sat in the car for 10 minutes and just cried, thinking, I really need this. But I’m afraid to walk in late and be embarrassed and be that so it’s those people who walk in late, who just sit there with their arms crossed probably won’t even take any notes. won’t look at me in the eye won’t come to talk to me afterward. But they need it the most. Like you have people say all the people in the front clap insurance standing ovation. I don’t care about standing ovations. I care about impact. The reason I focus on that person in the back who’s too shy to come up to me who wants it in the light, they’ll sit in the shadows in the dark is because I used to be that person.

So I need to always shine a little light, even a little sliver light into that darkness. And when I’m gesturing from the stage, even if the lights are so bright, I can’t see it. I just point towards the back of the room. I just point Hi, huh, say you know what, maybe you can relate to that. I’m pointing right over the heads of the people in the front row, just pointing towards the back. Wow, I want that person to be back there. nodding their head a little bit thinking, Oh, my gosh, he’s talking to me. That’s nice to be that person.

And on the subject of standing ovations, I saw one speaker one time part of his marketing was, I’ve got more than 500 standing ovations. nominee, I’ve gotten one. You know how I got it and I cheated. I was at a speaking event. This is like 12 years ago now. It was a group of people I’d never spoken to before. I was added on at the last second, friend of a friend said, Hey, this guy Steve. I was delivering the Phoenix rides a pogo stick keynote that night, one of my dearest friends set right in the front row. And I said I bet you five bucks and get a standing ovation tonight.

She’s like, these people don’t know you’re not even on the sign. You were like a last-minute addition, I said, 5 bucks. Just you’re on, you know because we just have to buy her a drink upstairs in the bar afterward. So I do my hour and a quarter and we’re rocking and rolling. Have a great time. Amazing audience. They were so good.

And I was kind of wrapping up talking about the Phoenix in the feathers and all that I said, tell you why to do me a favor I want you all to please stand up. I say once you look over your right shoulder. Now look over your left shoulder. Now look down at your butt. How are your tail feathers doing? They’re the ones you started with? Because maybe you weren’t afraid to risk and try something different? Are they completely singed off because you recently had a learning experience in your life? Or have they already grown back bigger, stronger, and more beautiful than they were before? Because you were willing to try.

Thank you very much. Have a good night and I’ll start clapping coz they’re all already standing up. As I scan down I saw my friend in the front row giving me the finger. So she just shaking. She’s going, you got me.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh my God. Oh,

Steve Gamlin
My only standing ovation.

Pamela Bardhi
That’s amazing.

Steve Gamlin
Actually, I’ve gotten a couple but that’s my favorite one

Steve On The Bravest Thing He Has Ever Done

Pamela Bardhi
And I have another question for you, Steve. As we talked about this before we came on the air. What was the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

Steve Gamlin
Bravest thing I’ve ever done and I get asked that a lot. And people know that I used to go skydiving. So they think it’s that and some people know because it’s a stage story that I jumped off the 108th floor of the stratosphere Hotel in Las Vegas with just a Metal cable holding me attached to the building. The bravest thing I ever did was to answer an email on June 16, 2007. That just said, Hey, how’s it going? We haven’t talked in a while. I thought it was spam because I didn’t recognize the email address. I got distracted and I saw it again the next day and open it up. And it was from someone named Tina.

And then when I read it, I realized it was one of my best friends from high school girl named Tina that I sat next to math class for three years and was so shy, and so introverted, and so not confident. That had a crush on her. I never asked her out. graduated in June of 1986 21 years later, I get an email from her says, Oh, I live in Florida now haven’t talked to you in so long, we should keep in touch. The bravest thing I ever did was answer that email. Because the feelings and this is actually here’s the best part. It was 10 days after I wrote it down in my journal, I am ready to fall in love.

Because I had been divorced for almost three years at the time. And I wrote it down and literally an email from a woman I hadn’t seen or spoken to in 21 years, who at that point was living 1300 miles away, shoots me a message. Now she would not send me a picture of herself. She did not have a social media footprint. So over the next few weeks, phone calls, emails, texting, we’re talking and talking and all of a sudden, I realized that I still really liked her, and mercifully, I gotta give her credit on this. She is 1% braver than I am.

Four weeks later, I was DJing a wedding role isn’t even supposed to be the other DJ who got sick. And at the last second, I took over the event and she sent me a message. Can I tell you something? If you promise not to freak out, I typed back. Sure. Here’s how I really felt about you in high school. Here’s how I felt the day I saw your name on classmates. Here’s how I felt when you answered my email. I love you. Right then the banquet manager comes over this Hey, we have to go cut the cake. Oh, crap. very emotionally vulnerable woman, you know, 1300 miles away. And I came back and I said, You know what? I love you too.

So the bravest thing ever did was be vulnerable and authentic enough. After having zero confidence in dating and relationships for most of my life, to say that this is really something important to me and that I do love you. And we celebrated our 30th anniversary this past June. We’ve been together ever since.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that story. That was another goosebump on when she when you were talking about that? Oh my.

Steve Gamlin
I tell her all the time Hon, look if you ever end our relationship, you’re going to demolish my speaking career. She goes, you better behave then, shouldn’t you? I’m like, Yes, dear, love you. And we both laugh all the time. But it’s just I couldn’t even if you put for me personally, what is the perfect relationship? It’s ours is no BS, there’s no drama, there’s nothing other than the fact that every single morning and every single night and probably a few more times during the day, we tell each other that we love each other. And there’s just it’s 100% effort from both sides. There’s no BS. I wish more people could be that authentic and vulnerable and trusting.

I know that a lot of people have scar tissue and damage. But I wish people could just find that person. The biggest thing was I became the person I needed to be to attract someone like her. I spent three years working on myself. And that was the early stages of the vision board program because that January, I’d built a vision board. And I put pictures with people representing the type of relationship I wanted. Walking our beach, holding hands standing at the rolling bishop at sunset piggyback and a guy piggybacks in his girlfriend through a brook so she doesn’t get wet in there laughing other than the piggybacking, which she won’t let me do. We’ve done everything else that was on that board.

We’ve gone on cruises together, walked on the beach, and just love each other all the time kind words kind feelings 100% trust in first thing in the morning, every single day. My foot finds hers or her foot finds mine. And that’s the first just that’s the most beautiful first moment of every single day. But here’s the thing I saw all first and I became the person I felt I needed to be So that when she showed up in my life, she’d recognize that. So it wasn’t just luck. It wasn’t just oh, you’re so fortunate, oh, my fortune cookie says I’m gonna find my dream relationship too.

Pamela Bardhi
what I love is that you wrote it down and you made it happen. So, visualization, and that’s your thing. So, I would love it if you could talk about that a little bit more and that you have a whole program because I think it’s going to help so many people.

Steve Gamlin
Yeah.

Pamela Bardhi
You saw it literally come to life, in your own life.

Steve Gamlin
Yeah,

Pamela Bardhi
Days after you wrote it down in your journal and visualized it and created this board. She came, which is insane. Like, that’s when I got goosebumps. I’m like, that’s so powerful. That relation doesn’t speak volumes. I don’t know what.

Steve Gamlin
In the early 2000s, the secret came out, which you know, book and I got the DVD because I really enjoyed watching it. I think the secret was extremely well produced. It was a little genie in the magic lamp for me, though, Like people saying, Oh, I wish for this, Your wish is my command. And it just delivers. In the 98 minutes of the DVD, about two-thirds of the way through, there was a gentleman named John Assaraf.

He talks about visualization and vision boards, how he had described what his goals would look like, and put them on a board. And he had moved and bought a new house. And he was unpacking his boxes one day, and one of the sons was like, well, what’s in that box? Dad? He says those, those are my vision boards, what’s a vision board? So he opened it up, looked at one of his boards, and realise he had bought the exact house that had been one of his boards for five years prior.

Pamela Bardhi
Oh my gosh.

Steve Gamlin
And some people say, Oh, that’s lucky. That’s this, that’s that? Well, you’re not necessarily going to land the thing you want. But here’s the way I teach it. See it, be it do it. three basic steps, know exactly what you want. And what it looks like feels like sounds like smells like you put every sense you can to describe it. So that when it shows up, or when you have the opportunity to get closer, those little warning flags go up. So let’s see it, then be it you have to become the type of person who’s going to be able to recognize and walk into the opportunities for it to even happen.

Pamela Bardhi
Mm-hmm.

Steve Gamlin
Somebody at one of my events said I’ve got a friend who is dying for her next relationship. All right, what does she want? Well, she wants a nice guy who’s close with his family who goes to church and volunteers. I said, Okay, here’s the question where she looking, she’s at the bars getting hammered every single day. Like, okay, she’s not she’s failing on the B part here. She’s not going to church, if her faith is important to her, she’s not out volunteering, she’s not putting herself in the place, she’s not being the type of person who’s going to be in the right place to find and attract the person she says she’s looking for. And then do it take consistent action because too many people are out there.

There was a graphic I created a number of years ago, it was a skeleton sitting at a desk like this.
And I captioned it waiting for my vision board to work. Is that so many people do that, oh, I went to a vision board party. First up, I can’t stand those. They’re a mess actually made a T-shirt line that says friends, don’t let friends attend vision board parties don’t do this. Because they don’t do enough of the digging. It’s a start. I can’t say they’re 100% useless. It’s something but it’s not doing enough.

To learn about who you are, where you want to go see it via doing it comes down to the three steps. But then, also when you’re creating the actions, keep an eye on your results, what’s working, what’s not working great who you’re hanging with? You know, I created a whole slide the other day for presentation, I called it negative jeopardy. And the categories were things that suck why you’ll fail. You know, all these categories of things that negative people have said to me over the years when I shared my goals.

So if you’re hanging out with people, when you’re talking about what’s going on in your life, and all you’re getting is that negativity, you got to stop hanging out with those people even if you physically have to be near them checkout emotionally, you got to see them with your eyes and hear them with your ears. You don’t have to let them get your mind or your heart. Yeah, so that’s an important thing is to honor yourself on the way you see it, be it, do it, but honor yourself along the way and celebrate everyone, every victory celebrated.

It’s like if you’re climbing a mountain, I used to do some hiking up in the Lakes Region in New Hampshire. The higher I climbed, the cooler The view was. what I also found was the higher I climbed, the cooler the people were that I was meeting along the way. Yeah, you know, some people say you’re gonna create massive action at once you got to go. Well, you know what, it’s okay. Every once in a while to sit on a rock in the sun. Take your boots off. Let your feet breathe a little bit need a damn sandwich? Because you might just see somebody 20-30 yards away doing the same thing on another rock. They’ve already climbed as high as you have. Maybe they’ve been up that mountain before. Maybe they can say, you know what, when you get to the top, go to the left.

Because it’s a prettier view or hey, watch out for this. I heard it was raining and muddy and slippery over there. say why don’t we climb together? Because then when you get to the top with people like that, you get to share that amazing view. And that really cool victory. I’m not a loner by any chance. I don’t like to work alone and I don’t like to be. People say, solopreneur and all that. I got a tribe that rivals the greatest tribes on Earth. Of the people that I celebrate every single victory with they pick me up when I fall down. And they celebrate with me when I win because they’re a part of it. There’s no such thing as 100% self-made. I never claim that.

Pamela Bardhi
Right. Absolutely. I agree with that. Man, Steve, you have so much awesome advice. I was gonna ask you what your biggest piece of advice is that you already answered that question, which is awesome. But I think you need to let everyone know sort of where to find you and where to find your course. Because I think it’s so powerful. And it’s applicable, I was telling you, I thought it was amazing. I was like, ah, I didn’t think about that. Let me try this a little differently as well. So definitely thank you audience definitely you for that.

Steve Gamlin
You can find me and all my stuff at motivationalfirewood.com. The program and all the other stuff is in the products area. But we also just created it, I think yours is going to be the first show that airs that even shares this because it is brand new, we have a brand new webinar. It’s about 30 minutes long, and we crafted it just a couple of weeks ago, it just finished being produced. So that’s up there as well.

So for people who’ve never really heard of visualization, or you don’t quite know what it’s all about, or you went to a vision board party, and nothing happens. Go watch that. But for anybody that has any questions or wants to have a conversation about it, if you go to you set up a free call. And that’s where most of my clients, actually become my clients. We get on a call, and then you understand that this is not just some guy who’s trying to pimp his programs or sell.

I genuinely come from a loving, caring and want to help you place and if I can, I will, if I’m not the right fit, we part as friends. And we’re good and maybe just maybe like conversation you and I had prior to coming on today. I can connect you with somebody who’s helped me to get where I am. And my return on that is I know I just got to help a friend, two friends, actually, to cross paths.

Pamela Bardhi
I love it. Steve, thank you so so much for being here today. You are a total rock star. And I love it. I know there are probably more interviews coming up as well with you. And of course, we’re going to stay connected in many other ways. I can already see it. But thank you so much for being here today. You’re amazing.

Steve Gamlin
My pleasure. This has been an absolute blast. And when you describe your style, I said that’s my style too, two friends hanging out on the front porch with a microphone and anybody who cares to hear is camped out in the front lawn, just digging on the conversation.

Pamela Bardhi
That is amazing. You are awesome. Steve. Thank you.

Steve Gamlin
Thank you so much pleasure and I look forward to catching up with you soon.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely.

Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Steve Gamlin.