No need to recognize this Motivational Speaker

Back when I graduated from high school, I was voted “most inspirational’.  At our recent 30-year class reunion, when people found out I’ve been a motivational speaker for the last 18 years, they weren’t surprised.  But, my blog post isn’t about my award, it’s actually about what happened afterwards, that gave me a lesson.  I was hanging out with some acquaintances talking about graduation.  One of them told me that there was an article in the newspaper ‘Local Girl Makes It Big’.  I got all excited, ran and bought the paper, came back and scanned the whole thing looking for my name in print.  My so called ‘friends’ just sat back and snickered.  You see, there was no article in the paper, they were just trying to ‘put me in my place’.

Don’t get me wrong, I know it was kind of a cruel joke to play, and not particularly funny. But what I learned was a lesson that at times, I need to re-learn.  It’s not about the recognition or the accolades that makes me do what I do.  I have dedicated my life to helping other people feel good about who they are so they could do better work and lead a life of their dreams.  Once in awhile my ego gets really caught up with recognition as if I am still searching for that article about me!  Can you imagine?  So for today, I am going to focus on what I do, the people I serve, and the impact I can make.  If that results in some form of recognition, that’s a bonus, not my focus.


Marilyn Sherman, CSP is a Front-Row Leadership Expert helping people get out of the balcony and get a front-row seat in life. For over 20 years she has inspired audiences with topics on Visioning, Goal Achievement and having a No More Excuses attitude! Check out her fun, dynamic style at

Marilyn Sherman, Owner UpFront Presentations - Helping people get a Front-Row seat in their life!
9030 W. Sahara Ave #444
Las Vegas, NV 89117

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  1. Right on, Motivational Speaker Sister!!! Thanks for the reminder that we ALL need in this business! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  2. There’s nothing wrong with getting excited about seeing your name in the paper. I’m sure your mom loves it. For motivational speakers (especially), you’re right that your focus can’t be ME ME ME. Audiences can smell the narcissism a mile away. Audiences become raving fans when you make it clear that you TRULY care about them and their success. Realistically, caring for your customer and putting your customer above self leads to success and accolades in any business.

  3. Amen sister! I struggle with this too. Hard not to when you are a motivational speaker and you make your living waiting for people to clap for you. But the trap is that once you start measuring your worth in terms of who is talking about you, writing about you, printing about you – then it never stops. You suddenly crave that spotlight and if you don’t have it, you are miserable. Just look at what it has done for so many celebrities. They get in that spotlight and then spend the rest their life trying to stay in it. And we’ve all seen that being a celebrity must not be all it’s cracked up to be.

    But I will say – it’s neat to see yourself in the paper – even if it’s only one line in between the tractor that turned over on route 29 and Erma’s 100th birthday party. If I heard I was in it, I would run to get a copy too. And so would most everybody else.

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