Are You Hungry?

Today your friendly motivational speaker asks:  “Are you hungry?”

It’s obvious that I’m not walking around hungry. But that’s not the kind of hungry I’m talking about. I’m talking about a different kind.

When I was a new speaker, I remember asking a mentor if I should take that job even though it wasn’t the best opportunity in the world. And she said, “You will if you’re hungry.” And so began the starving stage of my dream – that place where you will take anything, even the scraps, because you need every open door you can find. I remember laying awake night after night wondering how I was going to get that next job. I remember all the times I bombed on stage. I remember all the times I got paid in chicken. All the times I took the wrong gig. All the times I wondered if this was all worth it. All the horrible experiences that stacked up just like the unpaid bills. And I should remember, because I was hungry for years.

Well now I’m not so hungry. Now the seeds I planted are sprouting. Now I’m actually seeing what I have had to imagine for so long. And not a day goes by that I don’t remember where I came from. And with this new experience brings something even more scary than the hunger stage – the complacent stage. Here is the moment when I can coast. Here is the moment when I get to ride that magic carpet. Here is the moment when I can soar. And here is the moment that I can lose it all if I’m not careful. Because once I lose my hunger, I start to lose my drive. I start to ease up on the pedal. And when this happens, I start to lose momentum, and others start to pass me  – others more hungry – others more driven.

And so today, while I reap what I have sown, I will also do what it takes to become hungry again. Because while it may not be pleasant, it’s in the hunger stage where we truly grow and come out stronger.

And so I ask myself, and in turn ask you: ARE YOU HUNGRY?



Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
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  1. Oh my goodness yes, Kelly. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.  A powerful reminder for every single person, both personally and professionally – in ALL areas of their life.   So thank YOU for just the reminder that I need to hear!

  2. Keep your eyes on the rear view mirror, Kelly Swanson!  I’m “closer than I appear”!  I must say, ever since NSA I’ve gotten hungrier and determined to speak locally as often as possible and it’s happening so easily.  A couple of companies have great potential for annual conference gigs.  Starving, I tell you!!!!

  3. You made me hungry reading your post! Incredible truth and I’m joining you in the Hunger Games! But the game where we support each other, rather than believe there’s only one winner. Looking forward to staying hungry with all my fellow motivational bloggers!

  4. So true Colette! There is never just one winner in this game. I am working on a new blog post about how life isn’t a race – where one person wins, another comes in second – it’s a web. And we all are tangled up together, with lines that sometimes intersect. But we need to get rid of this image that women are racing each other and someone is ahead of us. There is no “ahead” in a web – only times when we meet in passing. Polly – I love your line about being closer than you appear. Rock on sister. 

  5. I love remembering where you came from – the gigs you took, being paid in chicken!  Hey, I remember speaking for Rubio’s and was paid in Fish Taco gift certificates!  And, trust me when I say, I appreciated those certificates!  Thanks for another great post and sincerely congrats on your success – you continue to work hard and stay hungry and it’s wonderful to see all that hard work pay off!!!


  1. […] wrote a blog post on my motivational speaker site ( about the hungry stage […]

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