Me and My Nine Iron

February 18, 2010

Get Motivated!

Filed under: For your pleasure — BJ @ 3:19 pm

I went to the Get Motivated! seminar, the world’s largest business seminar, yesterday at the Honda Center and was rather skeptical at first. It was a low-cost, all-day event (as low as $5 for individuals) and featured a star-studded lineup that included a footnote that appearances were subject to significant change. Well, with the exception of former college basketball coach Lou Holtz, everyone showed up, and while not all of the speakers stayed true to the theme of the seminar, it’s always pleasant to hear such iconic figures be candid for a change.

Michael Phelps was the only speaker not to be alone on stage, lacking such

"Sponsors drop Tiger for Michael."

speaking skills that he required a Q&A interview format, which was uninspiring and trite (although, he did get the only shout-out from a girl who screamed, “I love you, Michael”). He said that he’d be the first to admit he’s had his fair share of problems – both in the pool and out. (I know you’re thinking the same thing I am. Man loves his greens. And I don’t mean vegetables.) But do know that he had one hell of a work ethic and pushed himself immensely to be as prepared as one could possibly be, working out an unconventional eight days in a row for five years straight with no breaks. He went off to Vancouver to check out the Olympics later that night, and I just read today that he signed a multimillion dollar endorsement deal with Under Armour. Good for you, Michael. Good for you.

Colin Powell won the day’s award for Most Different Personality From the Public’s Perception of Him. The 72-year-old was visibly out of breath by the time he got up on stage and was humorous throughout his speech, complaining that the thing he misses most is his private plane. Imagine how funny it’d be for the four-star general to make pouty faces and say “Papi” in his grandson’s voice. It’s even funnier.

Rudy Giuliani gave the day’s snoozer, but I blame that more on my lunch coma. His theme was us in the Information Age and said boneheaded things like “If you don’t know how to use a computer, learn. Take a two-day workshop if you have to.” You’re at a business seminar, Rudy. I doubt there’s a single person out of the 15,000 in attendance that doesn’t know how to use a freaking computer.

The awesomest success story belonged to Phil Town, a guy who played Into the Wild for a bit before hitting it big off of stock trading, making his first million in five years and retiring at the age of 31. I was tempted to sign up for his $99 two-day workshop, but I showed some self-control.

“Hollywood legend” Rob Lowe (I didn’t know he was a legend) was a late fill-in and maybe surprisingly, was the one who I was able to relate to the most. He told a great story of when he was doing a horrible song-and-dance with Snow White on the Oscars and caught big-time director Barry Levinson in his seat clearly say to his date, “What the fuck is Rob Lowe doing?” To bounce back from that on one of TV’s biggest events, that’s a winner in my book.

Condoleezza Rice, or Condee, as the other speakers referred to her, gave an impressive talk, as former Microsoft President and COO Rick Belluzzo and 83-year-old Zig Ziglar, who’s so old his birthday comes before his birthmonth on his Wiki, rounded out the rest of the big names.

For a more detailed read on the event, check out The OC Register’s article.




  1. Oh, Michael Phelps. Has there ever been a worse example of a dork-turned-famous now attempting (or being forced by sponsors) to be cool?

    But the event sounds dope. I’ve been going to a lot of lectures too — mainly science talks and discussions with authors. I’m always the youngest person by at least 15 years.

    Comment by Chris — February 18, 2010 @ 6:54 pm | Reply

  2. I went with a school friend who actually signed us up.

    Comment by Bryan — February 18, 2010 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  3. That sounds pretty awesome. Did you go by yourself?

    Comment by djkimsby — February 18, 2010 @ 4:47 pm | Reply

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