#DontBe Fearful – BE BRAVE!

Comfort Zone Picture

#DontBe Fearful – BE BRAVE!

The number one thing that stops people from achieving what they want in life is fear. Fear that we are not enough; fear that we will fail, fear that we will succeed and it will not have been worth it. Use fear. Don’t let fear use you.

 The irony of fear is that usually when we fear failing and let that control our mind, failing is most likely what occurs next. I recently read a great article by the author and speaker Brian Tracy. Tracy eloquently points out that Fear Paralyzes Action. This is so on point! As a high school athlete, the fear of messing up on the field would paralyze me from taking a shot, making a move toward the goal, or even putting myself on the field. Have you ever found yourself on the sideline during a major game and felt more comfortable on the sideline than on the field? This is fear! Have you ever avoiding going to a professors office hours for help or come up with great reasons why you don’t need to apply for that internship or scholarship? This is all fear! Anytime you find yourself paralyzed to take action, this is fear.

Great, so how do we push past fear? For me fear showed up most often on the field. I would get in a game and just not do anything of value other than pass the ball. I was a role player but I didn’t want to be a role player. During my junior year of high school I was introduced to visualization. On the bus ride to games I began visualizing the entire game and my role in it. I would visualize walking off the bus, warming up, the National Anthem, and the opening whistle. I would see myself picking up the first ground ball off the face-off, charging up the field, making a great move, and going toward the goal. I would visualize shutting down my guy on defense, making a huge clear, and making a great assist. Anything and everything that I wanted to do on the field, I would visualize on the bus ride. This made it real for me and made it less intimidating. By the time I got to the field I had already played the game of my life in my own mind. This wasn’t an overnight fix. This took practice. Lots of practice! I bought a CD to listen to that helped me do it. I read books on visualization and mediation. I made it my pre-game ritual. And eventually it began to work. I didn’t always play the game of my life as I had envisioned it in my head, but I played a game of action instead of a game of fear.

Have you ever tried visualization before a big game or big moment in life? Even though I don’t play in big games anymore, I still use visualization before I go out on stage in front of hundreds of people. I use it to curb my fears in that moment so that I can show up for my audience. Where does fear show up in your life?

#DontBe Fearful – BE BRAVE!

Carpe Diem,



#DontBe In Your Own Way


Salisbury head coach Josh Merkel pulls down the net following the Gulls victory against Christopher Newport University in the Capital Athletic Conference finals on Saturday afternoon.

Salisbury head coach Josh Merkel pulls down the net following the Gulls victory against Christopher Newport University in the Capital Athletic Conference finals on Saturday afternoon.

On May 1st I was invited to join a book club with Salisbury University athletic coaches. I am an SU alum, I now live near campus, and I love staying close and involved with higher ed and students. As I walked in to the Breakfast Bum (our wonderful meet up location for an 8am book club) I was greeted by a student-athlete who I had worked with earlier in the year. He is a graduating senior who just finished up his final season as a basketball player for the Sea Gulls. I congratulated him on his terrific season! This past season the SU men’s basketball squad won the programs second ever CAC conference championship and first since the 1995-96 season. This year marked the first 20-win season since the 1996-97 campaign, a program-record 14 conference wins, and they advanced to the NCAA Division III tournament for the first time since 1996-97 before losing in the second round. Quite the senior year!

As I congratulated him he interrupted me to say, “Thank you for speaking to us! Your program was the turning point for our season. We didn’t lose a game until the NCAA tournament after that.” I was really touched by his comments and I quickly shot back, “Oh well you guys are the ones who won the games! You had it in you all along.” To which he quickly shot back, “Exactly. Which is why your program meant so much to us. We had it in us. We just needed you to pull it out. #DontBe in our own way.”

This hit me. I watched with excitement as the Sea Gulls won game after game this season. I felt a connection because I knew the players and I am good friends with Coach Merkel. But I never felt I had anything to do with their success. And to be honest, I still don’t! Coach Merkel is a top notch coach and someone who values building the man as well as the player. This led to their success. The Sea Gull team this past year was committed to success and a talented group of hard working men. This led to their success. Was my #DontBe program the entire reason for their success? Of course not. Did #DontBe serve as a catalyst for SU’s success this past season? I sure hope so and this is always my intent when I work with team of athletes.

I am glad #DontBe allowed the Sea Gulls to play their game, their way, and on their terms. Congratulations again on a record breaking season!

Carpe Diem,



#DontBe Afraid to SUCK!


Ever watched SHARK TANK and thought, “I have a great idea and I am going to get on this show!” Me too! And I am going to get on this show! Well…at least I am going to try 🙂

This Saturday ABC’s SHARK TANK is hosting an Open Casting Call in Salisbury, MD and I have a 9:15am time slot scheduled to give my 1 minute pitch! When this opportunity first came to me my first response was, “Absolutely NOT! I am not ready for this. My business is not ready for this. I will try out next year when I am ‘more’ ready.” My mentor looked at me and said, “That doesn’t matter. Just do it. What’s the worst that could happen?” I thought, “I’ll tell you the worst that could happen! The worst that could happen is I don’t do this and there is no next year. Then what? I just wonder the rest of my life what might have happened?” I answered my own question.

You are NEVER ready for your next big opportunity. Let me repeat, NEVER! This morning I was listening to an interview on NPR’s Fresh Air with Louis CK and he spoke about this. He said that when he first started he really sucked. He said he was painfully bad. But he kept going. “I’ve seen guys who from day one are really comfortable up on stage and they usually have quick success and that’s it. It’s the guys who really suck at first but stick with it that really make it some day. They become something special and unique.” That’s my best paraphrasing of what Louis had to say on this radio this morning and I just love it.

Your next level is just a hair outside your comfort zone. Get out there! Stick your neck out. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Admit you don’t know it all. Admit you don’t have all the answers. Admit you have the courage to try and see what happens. You might even surprise yourself.

#DontBe Afraid to SUCK!

Carpe Diem,


If you want to Dance with the Stars #DontBe Nervous.

Bobby on Dancing with the Stars

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a training event in Beverly Hills. Since my sister lives in LA I jumped at the opportunity to spend a week with her! My sister works in television and through a friend was able to score us VIP tickets to a Dancing with the Stars taping. It was awesome! When we got to our seats we learned that not only were we in the front row but we were directly next to the stairs that every star walks up after their routine. Beyond cool!

My family got to see us multiple times on national television, I had a great view of the one and only Bruce Willis (not that I was staring or anything) and I even got to shake the hand of Robert Herjavec from Shark Tank! Considering I am much more of a “business success” fan than a “Hollywood” fan, this was the ultimate for me. I shook the hand of a Shark!

All this was good and great and I will remember it forever. BUT, the best moment for me was just before each routine started. Just before the cameras rolled. During commercial breaks the grips (I think I got that term right??) are super effectively breaking down the last dance and setting up the new one. This was Disney night so there was a LOT to do in a very very short period of time. While this was happening the dance couples were getting set. As they were getting set I noticed that each time the person who looked the most nervous was the professional dancer. Certainly the stars looked nervous but this was more of a giddy nervous excitement for most of them. The professionals on the other hand looked legitimately nervous. Derek Hough before his routine had his head pointed down and was bouncing with what appeared to be…nerves! Then there were the professionals who entertained right after the commercial breaks. Just before the cameras rolled I could see their faces and gestures as if they were saying, “Dear Lord I hope I don’t f@#K this up.”

The reality is this. Too often many of us watch professionals on television or in roles of high performance and we ASSUME that they have got it all figured out and they know exactly what they are doing. We dream of the day when we can feel as cool, calm, and collected as they are when we do our thing. We think someday we will “feel ready” for the next level up.

Wanna know the truth? That day will never come! You will NEVER feel cool, calm, and collected while doing something that you deeply care about and have a passion for. If you do not have nerves or anxieties before performing at a high level then you’re not performing high enough. You need to raise the stakes! Take this assumption out of your life and start living life Outside The Zone!

When I tell people, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone,” this doesn’t mean you should go jump out of a plane or live in a dirt hut for 3 months. If that’s what you’re passionate about then great. But if not, then find that thing you are most passionate about and push yourself to succeed and perform beyond a level that feels comfortable to you. If you play basketball and you shot 10 for 20 last game, shoot 30 shots next game! If you’re in sales and you made 100 calls last week and that really stretched you, make 150 next week! Or perhaps it’s not the number of calls that intimidates you but it’s the title of the person you’re calling. I know I prefer to chat with Student Activities professionals or athletic coaches because I used to serve in those roles at one point in time. Those sales calls don’t intimidate me or make me nervous. But if I have to call a Dean of Students or an Athletic Director, now all of a sudden I feel inadequate. I get intimidated and I get nervous. So how do I respond? I call them! And I learn that it’s not so bad and many times can be really great. That’s living life Outside The Zone. Find that thing in life that energizes you and that you have a knack for. Identify the level at which you feel comfortable playing at. And take it just one level higher. Feel the nerves and keep moving.

So our Tweet for the week is this. “If you want to Dance with the Stars #DontBe Nervous.” It is not that easy but it really is that simple.

If you found this valuable or helpful in any way, please share this with at least one person who might also benefit from it. I really appreciate your support!

Carpe Diem,


Simplicity is Power



albert-einstein-simpleA good friend of mine from growing up recently reached out to share with me the impact that Don’t Be has made in her life.  This was an incredible moment for me.  I was hesitant to start this blog and post these messages on Facebook because I feared Don’t Be was too simple to have an impact in this way.  I thought I needed to explain it as I do in my keynotes and workshops for it to click and make sense.  This moment affirmed my belief in the ripple effect.  The ripple effect is the reality that we are always throwing stones out into the ocean and these stones create ripples.  Most of these ripples go out and never come back to us.  They exist but we never know it.  However, every once in a great while a ripple does come back to us and we are affirmed that the stone we threw out did in fact make a difference.  Most of you who follow my work are educators or students.  I hope this post serves to encourage you that you are creating ripples with the work you do whether you know it or not.  Below is the guest post from my good friend:

“Don’t be.”

Six letters, two and a half words, two syllables. One seemingly small and simple phrase that has the power to make a tremendous impact in your life. For me, this phrase has been a powerful force of positive change in my life since I took the time to reflect on its message and allow it to really sink in. “Don’t be” is a belief and way of thinking that everyone can use.   I’m here to talk about a few of the major ways that “don’t be” has helped me change my life for the better.

Don’t be self-conscious.

One way that is hard for me to discuss, but I think is important for other people to hear, is “don’t be” is helping me make some healthy lifestyle changes. I had two difficult pregnancies, and between the two of them, I spent 40 weeks on bed rest, resulting in me gaining a lot of weight. This had major negative impacts on my self-esteem. I was able to lose some weight between my first and second pregnancy, but not nearly as much as I would have liked to, and I ended up gaining some weight back during my second pregnancy. Shortly after I had my second child, I was feeling very self-conscious about myself. Then I came across Bobby’s message of “don’t be.” I stopped hating how I looked so much. I realized that while yes, I gained a lot of weight, my body, my wonderful human body, created these two amazing human beings who were perfect in every way. I stopped hiding from pictures, and avoiding pictures playing at the beach or in the pool with my kids. I even began asking for more pictures to be taken of me with my kids because years from now, I want them to be able to look back on these pictures and know that I was there and playing with them, not just taking pictures of other people playing with them. I also don’t want my kids to grow up being afraid of having their picture taken over what they consider to be a physical flaw.

Don’t be complacent.

While I was no longer nearly as self-conscious, I still kept thinking to myself that I don’t want to be overweight and not in shape for the rest of my life. Then, one day I remember thinking, “so, don’t be. Do something about it.” I took this new motivation and began putting it into action. I have now reached a weight loss total of forty pounds, and I’m still losing. I still have a long way to go, but I realize how far I have come and I know that I have the power and the motivation to continue on this weight loss journey to become a healthier, more in shape me.

Don’t be afraid.

I very recently scheduled an interview for a position working with very challenging students. After hearing from the director of the charter school how intense the job can be and that these students are capable physically violent outbursts, I began to worry that I’m not cut out for the job, and that I should try finding a job at an easier school. Then, Bobby’s message of “don’t be” popped into my head. It completely changed my view of viewing this challenging job. I now see it as this amazing learning and growing opportunity for me.

Don’t be someone who gives up on his or her dreams.

“Don’t be” has the power to change all of us, and help us become who we really want to be in life. Too often people let fears and negative thoughts prevent them from achieving everything they want to achieve. It’s time to stop letting these negative thoughts hold us back. The human mind is an amazing thing, and I truly believe that every one of us has the ability to accomplish anything we put our minds to. We just have to remember and recall the saying “don’t be” whenever a negative thought or action is standing in our way.

What’s the worst that could happen??

Behold-the-turtle.-He-makes-progress-only-when-he-sticks-his-neck-out.-Step-out-of-your-comfort-zoneI received the following email after my keynote address at the Vector Marketing sales training. Vector trains thousands of college students every summer to sell.  I was humbled to be asked to present and of course nervous about stepping into a new environment!  This email made it all worth it: 

Hey Bobby!

I wanted to reach out and give a HUGE thank you for your talk today. It got me so fired up for what is in store. I loved your message, it was so simple, yet meant so much.

I wanted to share a quick #dontbe story with you, it also ties in with my “what’s the worst that could happen” theme.

So as you know, we are in this huge push period right now and I’m working down in Delaware, so I am working off of minimal leads, since the majority of my referrals are people in Pennsylvania. Anyways, I had a demo yesterday at 11:30 AM and then one at 2:30, I finished my 11:30 pretty quickly, so I had about an hour and a half break before I had to head over to my next one. I decided to go grab coffee at a local coffee shop. As I was sitting there, minding my own business, I noticed there were 3 women having a conversation in regards to a business that one of them owns…my ears popped up a little and I began to eavesdrop, only because I was curious about this woman’s business. I figured 2/3 of these woman would be FANTASTIC customers to sit down with, so I patiently waited an hour until they were done their conversation and then introduced myself and approached them about doing a presentation. They both said yes! I would have NEVER done that in the past because I was always super nervous, and trust me I was really nervous when I approached them, but i figured, what’s the worst that could happen?  #dontbenervous

This is what #dontbe and #outsidethezone is all about!  Notice that this student never got over being nervous, she just did not let being nervous hold her back from what she desires and deserves.  What is your next #dontbe story?  Get #outsidethezone TODAY!!  

Carpe Diem,