On What's Your Excuse I interview people who have overcome adversity or thrived in spite of difficult life circumstances, people who have struck out on their own to build a successful business, experts who share actionable tips and suggestions that have been used by real people in the real world, and people who I like, admire, and am inspired by. By the end of the show I want you asking yourself if they can do it then what is my excuse. Please subscribe to my email list at http://www.theblindblogger.net Also please follow me on Face Book at https://www.facebook.com/maxwellivey or on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/maxwellivey You can also invite me to connect on Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/in/maxwellivey and please join the What's Your Excuse? Face Book group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheBlindBlogger If you have any questions, then write to firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks, Max
Giving My first Nepris Industry Talk On Building Community and Asking for Help
I'm writing this while many of my fellow Texans are having it much worse than I am.
While we are still drinking bottled water, we do have electricity, plenty of food, and a plumber working to repair our plumbing.
We are on a well, so we will have running water again as soon as the pipes in our shower have been repaired.
But I do feel a little guilty to actually be working on my website, blog, or podcast at a time like this.
I hope my friends and followers realize that I'm sharing this as a way of encouraging and inspiring others even while things are difficult here in Houston.
Today, I'm writing about my first Industry talk on Nepris Learning Platform.
Here is a bit about Nepris.
Nepris connects educators and learners with a network of industry professionals, virtually, bringing real-world relevance and career exposure to all students.
Nepris also provides a skills-based volunteering platform for organizations to extend education outreach, and build their brand among the future workforce.
I first learned about them about two years ago. And I gave my first talk on the platform in September of 2019.
You can read more about that experience and watch a video of my presentation by going to the post titled: The Blind Blogger Sharing with Special Needs School Kids.
I booked the time for this talk before finding out for sure that I would be able to attend the Independent Podcasters Conference in Atlantic City hosted by my good friend Super Joe Pardo.
So, I ended up giving my Nepris talk in the morning, and speaking to the attendees at IndiePodCon that afternoon.
I remember being more nervous about talking to the school kids than I was about my upcoming talk to a much larger crowd at the conference.
And no offense to Joe or those gathered there, I felt more satisfied from speaking with those school kids.
Recently, I began a much closer relationship with the people at Nepris. Becoming a Partner, giving a talk to the Texas School for the Blind over their platform, and helping to spread the word about Nepris especially among institutions serving the blind or others with disabilities.
As part of that they encouraged me to offer an industry talk.
That is where you announce that you will be giving a talk on a given subject and classrooms all over the country can sign up to watch live.
I took part in a brain storming session, and it was determined that I should give a talk on what else but interdependence?
We scheduled the talk and agreed I would speak on the power of building a community and how asking for help and accepting help when offered can help you achieve your goals more quickly and with more joy.
The day finally arrived, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I was nervous.
While I generally prefer not to know the size of my audience, I was informed that fifteen classrooms had signed up in advance.
And when you watch the video or listen to the audio; you will hear me sing before my talk starts in earnest.
I mentioned to the lady helping me with the technical aspects of the talk that I usually relax by singing while I wait to go live.
I said I probably couldn't do that. She said why not, so I got to share the second verse of the River by Garth Brooks.
I hope you enjoy my talk.
I think I did a great job.
The kids had some great questions.
I got the opportunity to mention my books, their titles, descriptions, and where people could buy them.
And it felt good sharing my important message about interdependence with these you...
It is all about our attitudes, Are you starting 2021 celebrating your past successes or blaming yourself for not having accomplished more
I’m trying to write a post that will share my own accomplishments in a way that will help you achieve those goals that have alluded you.
This isn’t easy because for so many years I have been one of those people who believes that waiting for a specific day is not the answer.
I’ve talked with podcast hosts about how I’d rather work throughout the year to have something to celebrate than to wait until the ball drops to start that new journey.
I’ve written often about taking action today instead of waiting until tomorrow, next week, next month, or that mythical day of someday that never comes.
And I firmly believe that the only perfect time is the time we feel in our hearts and minds.
So, writing this time of year my goal is to try to share something that will help you keep going when you hit that wall that most people run into about the third week of January.
Maybe sharing my journey concerning how I feel about my voice and my singing ability might be the best way to share my thoughts.
In 2015 I wrote a post called Why I Sing, and How I Can Help You Free the Song in Your Own Heart.
I chronicled how I overcame the fear of singing in public out of the necessity to have an intro for videos I was recording for my amusement equipment brokering site www.midwaymarketplace.com
I talked about how people had made fun of me as my voice was changing in junior high school.. And that those feelings were aggravated by the loss of confidence from also losing a big chunk of my vision at about the same time.
And how the more I sang the more people that were impressed by my singing and the more who asked me to sing even more.
That lead to recording myself singing full-length songs and posting them to youtube.
Then in April of 2017 I was invited to take part in a family night at my church. The rehearsals didn’t go well, and I thought about saying no.
But we finally found three others for me to sing with, and we did a credible job of I wonder Why.
You can read more about that experience and watch the video by reading What I Learned From a Successful Church Talent Show Appearance.
In spite of a problem with some microphones that disappeared and then reappeared half-way through our song it was a great night. And it probably gave me the confidence to want to sing more.
Later that spring I traveled to Philadelphia to give my first public talk at an event called Dreamcon.
After the event was over I was emboldened to ask if I could sing in front of the event banner. The other speakers were taking selfies and group photos and I thought what the heck.
I was overcome with emotion while doing that. And one of the other speakers, Azuka Zuke,
was so impressed that he challenged me to make singing part of all my future public speaking events.
If you want to hear more about that experience or watch the video, then you can read The Blind Blogger Is Profoundly Effected By Singing the River at End of Dreamcon.
Later on during that first speaking adventure I would also sing at Niagara Falls and record some sample versions of a future talk titled Music and Motivation.
Music and Motivation is one of those crazy ideas that became a reality in 2020.
The idea is that I would sing some songs, tell some stories, and teach some life lessons.
You can watch the full presentation here.
Or listen to it on one of the podcast players listed below.
The first virtual presentation went well, but we did learn some valuable lessons.
We heard from the audience that online talks should be shorter. So,
Beep Baseball Champ and Orcam Dream Team Ambassador Visits What’s Your Excuse
I'm back with another great interview from The What's Your Excuse? Show.
This time I'm speaking with Kalari Girtley a wife, mother, writer, author, beep baseball champ, and much more who happens to be blind.
And if that isn't enough for you, then you should know that her husband is also blind. Yes two visually impaired parents raising three sighted active kids in South Chicago, Illinois.
We talked about all aspects of life. How she lost her vision, how she met her husband, how they manage kids, how they manage household chores, and yes how are they dealing with corona.
I loved her sense of humor and zest for life. And I was impressed with the big lesson her dad taught her once the family knew she was losing her vision.
She and her family are the true embodiment of the What's Your Excuse approach to life. And I hope you will take the time to watch or listen. Because even I felt inspired after this talk.
Please Visit My Sponsor
Chip and Pam Edwards at www.createmyvoice.com
Chip is "The Expert" on voice branding to grow and protect your brand on Alexa, Google, and their related apps.
He is the reason You can find my blog and podcast on those platforms. I trust him, and can highly recommend him.
Most importantly if you aren't on these platforms, then literally millions of people don't know you exist.
Not having a place on Alexa and Google is no longer an option. And Chip will help you reach these growing new audiences.
I hope you will also consider purchasing one of my inspirational motivational books. You can check them out, read a little bit of one, and then buy it from My Amazon Author's Page.
She is a Chicago-based, 36-year-old mother of three, whose husband is also blind.
She is also an ESPY-winning Beep Baseball champion (baseball for people who are visually impaired)
She works at The Chicago Lighthouse, a service organization that supports those who are blind or visually impaired, as well as veterans.
I was truly blessed to get to spend this time with Kalari. We laughed, and she showed me and anyone who watches or listens that there is a way if you choose to find it.
Kalari's passion about her family, beep baseball, writing, having meaningful work, and so much more are great reminders. And when I say that I include myself.
Sharing Is Caring
I have often told you that the best way to say thank you is to put feet on the ground, butts in the seats, or faces behind the screens.
Please help me say thank you by sharing this post or the direct link to the video or audio with your friends, family members, coworkers, and social media networks.
People need to hear messages of hope like this especially now. So, please help me.
I also want to thank you in advance for continuing to support me by watching or listening to my work.
I was recently asked what my top motivation is for continuing to show up and do the work.
My answer was and still is that I feel a sense of obligation to you.
Since finding out the power I have to inspire others I felt a responsibility to continue working hard because I just don't want to let you down.
I look forward to your comments or to your emails if you prefer privacy.
Until next time take care out there, Max
Aimee Eddy Gross has survived and thrived over childhood bullying, mental illness, and breast cancer
I am honored to be able to share a truly inspirational story with you on this episode of The What’s Your Excuse? Show.
I am blessed to be joined by Aimee Eddy Gross.
She has overcome so much in her lifetime. And she has come through her trials without losing her joy.
Yes, like most of us, she still has a long way to go. That’s why I decided to sing Buckaroo in the beginning of the show instead of the River like I usually do.
She will still have bad days and dark times, but she doesn’t let that keep her from enjoying the moment and seeing an even better future for herself and people suffering through similar trials.
I must admit that by the end of this show I was both inspired and worn out.
Hearing Aimee tell her story made me feel like I have had it pretty easy in my life.
So, I hope you listen to it all the way through.
We talked about her being bullied in elementary school, high school, and even into college.
We talked about how she survived by escaping to the family garage.
She shared about her struggles with mental illness and finding a great doctor who helped her balance her prescriptions and manage her mental illness.
And she shared about having contracted breast cancer and how she delt with that.
At a time in her life when she thought she had things under control here comes cancer.
I know I ask y’all to share every one of my interviews. And while I don’t like to play favorites, this one is important.
If you have never shared an interview before or even listened all the way to the end; then please listen and share Aimee’s conversation with me.
Please visit my sponsor
Chip Edwards at Create My Voice.
He is "The Expert" on voice branding by leveraging the growing audiences on Alexa, Google, etc.
Because of him I now understand the importance of claiming my invocation name. That's the name or string of words people will use to ask for your content.
Chip will help you create a total voice branding strategy that will help you to grow and protect your brand.
He's the reason people can find my podcast by asking Google or Alexa for What's Your Excuse.
I hope you will visit his site and use the contact form to schedule a call to learn more.
She is an insightful overcomer who advocates for other strugglers.
After conquering mental illness, bullying, cancer, and more, she has the life experience to encourage others.
She serves as assistant to the director for the National Youth Internet Safety and Cyberbullying Task Force.
Aimee loves to woodburn, write, and spend time with her family.
Message From Aimee
I’d like to take you out of darkness and point you towards the light: the light of change, the light of recovery and the light of rising above. There is no room for defeat or giving up on this journey. Only fighters can move forward. Are you a fighter? Will you fight to rise above bullying, reach recovery from mental illness and face life’s challenges head on?
Bullying happens every day in our schools and online. It is a big problem that needs to be addressed. Many children fall into depression and other mental illnesses. Some go as far as committing suicide. The effect of bullying reaches into adulthood leaving them with wounds that take years to heal. Those who are bullied also struggle with self-esteem and other psychological issues. It takes years of therapy and hard work to heal those wounds. Are you willing to fight past the pain to find the light?
Are you one of those who are struggling to face another day of school?
Craig Lewis recovered from mental illness to become a bestselling author workshop presenter and world traveler
This week we are going to start off your Monday with an amazingly inspirational interview on The What's Your Excuse? Show.
Craig Lewis was rescued from his mental illness. In fact, thanks to his parents, he was forced to take psychotropic drugs for years. And he had to deal with the physical, mental, and emotional effects of being misdiagnosed.
Eventually, two brave young doctors would recognize his situation and would fight for his freedom from the drugs and from being controlled by others.
Since then, he has truly lived the What's Your Excuse lifestyle.
He has written two books about his experiences and the lessons people can learn from them.
Better Days being his first.
You can buy it at the link above.
He has created a life-changing workshop, which he has delivered all over the world. In fact, he has traveled to over forty countries so far.
I'm not going to spoil it, but let's just say that he is now my travel hero, living the "why wait for things to be perfect" approach to life and travel.
Just one other thing about Craig before we get to the show. When we met and discussed having him on the show, he didn't have a website. He still didn't by the time we recorded. He has one now. But for all those people waiting for their website to be perfect, they should take yet another lesson from Craig.
Now, on to the show!
book cover for my fourth book titled THE BLIND BLOGGER'S FIRST SPEAKING AND SIGNING ADVENTURES
My fourth self-help book and the second in my fearless travel series is now available on Amazon.
You can buy your copy here.
And I hope you will visit my sponsor Chip and Pam Edwards at www.createmyvoice.com
While they don't figure in this book, their support has allowed me to continue to travel to events. They have even helped me book my travel plans.
You will get to know them a lot better in my next book.
For now, just know that Chip is "The Expert" on voice branding through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
He can make the case that being on these platforms is no longer desired but is now an absolute necessity.
This is because the search engines are pushing people to find and consume their content through these wireless voice speakers and their related smart-Phone apps.
And your invocation name is critical to your future success. You have to claim it, protect it, and use it to grow your brand.
With millions of people getting their content by saying, "Alexa, play Create My Voice" or Google Talk to Create My Voice, can you really afford not to be on these platforms?
Well, I told you Craig started sharing his story before he had a site.I'm still working on an actual bio for him. But in the meantime, you can learn all you need to know about him and reach out to him by going to www.punksinrecovery.com.
I do hope you have enjoyed this interview. I feel that Craig taught me so much. I also know that he reaffirmed some of the things I have believed about myself and used on my own journey.
He did invite me to visit him in Mexico, once Corona is behind us. I'm looking forward to that.
And if you learned something today, then please say thanks by sharing the link to this post or the link directly to our conversation.
Perhaps Craig is the perfect person to coach you or put on a workshop for your group.
Perhaps you know people struggling with mental illness or fighting against the medical profession that he could help.
Lets spread the word about Craig, his story, and his message.
Until next time thanks and take care out there, Max
Podcaster Win Charles who has cerebral palsy on a mission to help others with disabilities find their voice
Hello; I'm posting this latest interview while doing interviews myself today.
I will provide more information about Win, the interview, her links, and my sponsor as the day goes along.
For now I wanted you to have the opportunity to listen to this inspiring interview as soon as possible.
I hope you enjoy it.
Max is a wonderful example of overcoming adversity. I love his laughter and no problem attitude
Ryan Narus here from MHP_IRL to say I thoroughly enjoy listening to Max. I’m excited he’s cranking out more episodes too! Keep them coming Max!!
Time to get motivated!
Max is an innovative and motivational speaker bringing creative individuals to his podcast.
If you are seeking out a way to eliminate any excuse you might have come tune into this weekly podcast and enjoy the amazing content he brings.