Motivational Speaker Guest Post by Tim Richardson

motivational speakers bucket listToday, we are featuring a guest post from motivational speaker Tim Richardson:

Bucket List…by Tim Richardson

I don’t remember where I first learned of the concept of a bucket list but I started one many years ago. My bucket list is called 100 things I want to do before I turned 100 (any guesses on the first item on my list?) There’s a wide assortment of things on the list – some I have accomplished like visiting all 50 states, catching an Alaskan King Salmon, and dining with a U.S. President. There’s a lot on the list I haven’t accomplished – delivering a college commencement address, giving a jazz piano concert, and learning how to kite surf. Though I have been a professional speaker for nearly half my life, it was item # 17 (perform stand-up at a comedy club), that frightened me the most. I have no illusions about becoming the next Jerry Seinfeld,  Jeff Foxworthy, or Brian Reagan. I thought performing standup would be a lot of fun, a great way to stretch myself, and provide new insights into my speaking. Many of my National Speakers Association colleagues told me that doing standup comedy created more extemporaneous humor in their speaking.

A few years ago, I noticed an ad in the paper for open mic night at Side Splitters, a local comedy club. I clipped the ad and put it on a bulletin board below the shelf that housed my bucket list book. I thought that having it visible MIGHT inspire me to take action. As time passed, the advertisement began to yellow and curl at the edges. Other more pressing items were tacked to the board almost covering the Side Splitters ad.

Several months later, I received the call that so many of us dread. My father had terminal cancer. Much of that week was a blur. One day, about a week after I heard the news, I opened my bucket list book and read item #33 – take dad to theFinal Four. Dad loved basketball, particularly the Duke Blue Devils. Over the years, dad recounted many of his favorite Duke basketball games. His amazing brain held an encyclopedia of facts including names of players, their jersey number, points scored in big games from many years past. It was ironic that his once keen memory now was impeded by a tumor on his brain. Weeks of discouraging news about my father’s decline, affected me greatly. I couldn’t get the Final Four goal out of my mind. It just wasn’t going to happen. During one of these reflective moments, I noticed the stand-up comedy night ad I had saved. Dad’s short life span made me realize the importance of acting with urgency on important things. I decided that I needed to let go of my fear and quit saying I’ll do it “someday”. At that moment, I called the club and booked the next available open mic night. A few weeks later, in front of a crowd of mostly strangers, I walked on stage for my standup comedy debut. It was my own tribute to my father, a man with a great love of the spoken word and an avid joke teller. Today marks the 2nd anniversary of his death, a good reminder to review and act on another bucket list item. How about you? Do you have a goal or a bucket list that is waiting for action? I believe that there is no SOMEDAY like TODAY. After all, life changes not when you begin to act but when you commit to act. Also, your action may inspire someone else. Please share something from your bucket list in the COMMENTS section below.

Note: While I didn’t make it to the Final Four with my dad, I was able to take my dad to a Duke football game three months before he died. He hadn’t been to a game since he attended Duke in the 1950’s.

timrichardsonheadshotTim timrichardsonRichardson has been speaking professionally since 1988. He works with organizations to help them create a create a RICH work environment. To learn more, please visit


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.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
Motivational speaker Kelly Swanson's website

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  1. Shamefully, I don't have a bucket list!!!! I'm sitting here trying to think of what I would want to do if I knew that my time on earth was limited. (Which it might be, for all I know). And I can't think of a single thing! Yikes. But I can say this: If I knew my time were limited, I would spend my hours a LOT differently. I would spend delicious moments doing my favorite things – snuggling with my son, watching funny sitcoms with my family, making people laugh, enjoying chocolate and a good cup of coffee, visiting my extended family, and burning as many scented candles as long as I want.   And you know what I realize? These are things I'm already doing! Wow. Nice to know that even as hard as I work, it's filled with moments of doing the things I love most.  Thanks for sharing Tim! This motivational speaker is inspired.

  2. Hey Tim! Like I've always said, funny motivational speakers frequently have the BEST advice for how to live a joy-filled happy life! And you've done exactly that here.  (See, I know how funny you are on stage!!) I'm like Kelly. I don't have a bucket list. I have another list that's pretty cool, but it's not an actual bucket list – so I am going to make one now!  Thanks for this powerful reminder!

  3. Great post Tim! It was so nice to have you join us on Motivational Speakers Review. You rock.

  4. I'm happy to say that I can cross "stand up" off my bucket list.  Heck, it wasn't actually on my list, I just did it so that a friend of mine would have the courage to do it.  I bombed, he didn't and he's out in L.A. as I write having a bigger go at it!  Thanks to your message, I'll be more contemplative about what's important in my life.

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