Kalypsonian Colin Speakman's philosophy on living and traveling well


Here I am, 2633 miles from my loved ones on Thursday night at 11:15pm PST, sitting on a delayed flight that I have no business being on. I hope this red-eye leaves soon. I started this week in Times Square at 9am EST and all I want to do is make it back to Virginia to see the smiling faces of my little guys at home. Life is unpredictable - just ask my family and friends. They struggle to keep up with me as I fly all over the place, helping my clients innovate the way they do business.   

I grew up in what could be the slowest part of rural America: upstate New York, where the nearest traffic light was a 20-minute drive away. Our closest neighbor was a half-mile down the road. Life was slow, but it allowed me to live at my own pace. I learned from watching, from trying and from failing. Living slowly taught me that every moment should be cherished and learned from. I also learned the importance of helping others, and why being a leader behind the leader can be so rewarding. As an adult, I see how my small-town upbringing helped me understand that we should never take anything for granted (this is the secret to becoming a Chief Smiling Officer). 

I have an amazing family at home and an amazing work family on the road. Together they allow me to deliver to my clients the best that I have every day. I probably interact with over 200 different people each week; from clients to co-workers, from flight attendants, to the wife of a sales exec snoring away next to me, it is a never-ending joy ride.

Is my life a challenge? Yes.  Do I love it? YES. 

What advice would I give someone who has a packed travel schedule, challenging client demands and family priorities to balance all at the same time? I’d say keep on smiling. I’d say maintain a perspective on what is really important. I’d say focus on people more than problems.

But that’s about all I’d have time for. Now you’ll have to #catchmeifyoucan.

Follow Colin: @Speakman_1

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About the Author

Colin Speakman

Colin Speakman

Colin has been advising leaders on the power of innovation for 15 years. Colin enjoys golf, cheering on his University of Virginia alma mater, and is a Cleveland Browns season ticket holder.
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