Motivational Speaker’s Traveling Truths: Taxi Cab Helen

Womens-leadership-speaker-Colette-CarlsonWaiting for a taxi at the airport curb, I recalled saying goodbye to my youngest daughter days earlier. Casey was so excited to be going off to college for the first time, and yet disappointed I wouldn’t be moving her in to the dorms given my speaking schedule.  My sweetheart and I were also going to be in different places for the next 10 days as well.

“Where are you going?” My female driver spoke crystal clear English, though she was from the Philippines.  Happy to have my thoughts interrupted by her welcoming smile, I struck up a conversation with Helen. 

In our 15-minute ride we shared rapid-fire conversation as if we were long-lost friends with only seconds to catch up. Helen, who works seven days a week, has been the bread-winner over the last 20 years for her family of three children (now 27, 25 and 23) and aging parents back in her homeland. She became a widow when her children were only 7, 5 and 3. When I complimented her on her perfect English, she laughed and said, “It’s because of my first nanny job when I arrived in the States. Those children were relentless about correcting my English!” Helen worked hard and even became a medical assistant, but given lay-offs, has driven the yellow taxi for the past three years.

Only moments before exiting the taxi I asked, “When did you last visit your family?”  “Oh, I haven’t been able to see them since I left the Philippines 20 years ago as there just isn’t enough money left over to travel after sending home money to get the kids through college and now support my aging parents. I am so proud of my children, and now with Skype we get to talk all the time. In fact, when I get off my shift the first thing I do is call my daughter. I’m so lucky.”

“Wow. So am I to have met you, Helen.”


Step into the Truth Booth, improve your life, and laugh along the way with funny motivational speaker Colette Carlson. How did she go from emotional coward and the Pizza Delivery’s favorite customer to #1 sales producer for sales legend Tom Hopkins and Brian Tracy, featured in Success Magazine, a 50 lb. weight loss, and inspiring audiences at Microsoft, Accenture, Pepsi, Boeing, and organizations worldwide? Visit her at or call 760-230-1212.

Colette founded Speak Your Truth, Inc. to share her success systems and inspire others to Think It! Speak It! Live It! Her tools and takeaways create authentic, long-lasting change in every aspect of your life. With a MA in human behavior, a successful business and 2 teenage daughters, Colette provides a unique combination of education, research, real-life experience, and heartfelt humor to motivate you with her high content programs. Improve your Communication Skills, Work-Life Balance, Sales, Leadership, Assertiveness, Negotiation…all wrapped in the genuine power of Speaking Your Truth.

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  1. And how lucky we are, Colette, that you shared this experience with us. It's women like Helen who remind us that we can do anything – and even when life doesn't go way the way we planned – we still choose how we see it. Way to go Helen! And way to go Colette! No wonder you are one of my favorite motivational speakers. You don't just talk this stuff – you live it. 

  2. Wow, working moms like Helen instantly make me grateful for the easier road I've travelled.  More importantly, Helen sets the bar higher to selflessly do what it takes to support your loved ones.  Thank you for sharing this encounter, Colette!

  3. Oh I like Ms. Helen. I LOVE her! And YOU for sharing this phenomenal story with us. Also, thank you for being the kind of person, Colette, who takes the time to get to know someone like Helen. There would have been a whole lot of people (even a few motivational speakers) who would have not taken the time to engage her in a conversation. You are awesome.

  4. AWESOME Colette!  I know as a motivational speaker, my job is to change perspectives and help people see that we have it so good.  It sounds like Helen helped you put your situation in perspective. You are separated from your family for 10 days…try 20 years!  Brilliant! Thanks for sharing this and being such a nice person to everyone you meet.

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