February 3, 1985

“Life has really been whooping my ass!”


That’s what I said to my wife a few days ago when I read one of my Facebook memories. The quote said: “Bout to be 22 in a couple of days. I’m going to be grown for real. The world doesn’t know what’s going to hit it!” It was dated February 1, 2007, 2 days before my 22nd birthday.


And much like many other times in my life, I was wrong.


The world surely was ready for me.


Since that Facebook status, I have gone bankrupt, been tricked out of thousands of dollars by family members, almost lost my house (a couple, few times), have had to suffer one of the most painful personal experiences outside of death one had to feel, have gone an entire year without health insurance, have owed thousands of dollars in back taxes, have been sued, and a ton of other things I’m saving for my books and my memoir.


But I’m still here, healthy, happy, and whole. (Insert smiley face emoji)


And despite my misfortunes I have had so many more good things happen in my life, including celebrating 34 years of life today.


I’ve lived a charmed life, spoken to over 100,000 live with my speaking business, been married to a phenomenal woman (who still likes me), have had 3 kids, written 6 books, and it’s only getting better.


I don’t want to spend this blog post talking and reflecting too much though: I just want to share 2 quotes that changed my life that I hope will help you have a positive experience as well.


The first quote that stands out to me that I often share during my speeches is from Ben Franklin and it says,

“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon, and wise too late.”


Today I’m 34 years old, but I still have vivid memories of being a 3 year old when my sister Christina was born.


I remember elementary school, middle school, high school, and college well.


But time has flown by so incredibly quick that those memories seem like I watched them on a movie or on a TV show.


This is not a complaint, for many times memories to a sharp mind can be best friends. However, I often ask myself: “What do I need to be learning now, so that my life will be better in the future?”


The second quote that has changed my life I heard 10 years ago in my living room when I was listening to a personal development CD. This quote was by Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones and it goes like this,


“You’re the same person today that you’ll be in 5 years with the exception of 2 things, the books you read and the people you meet.”


I’m totally cool with getting older, but the goal is to get older and get better. This quote helped me see that in order to do that I need to be reading books (and listening to podcasts and other things) by people that have the measure of success I want.


I put this in practice and in a few years I was able to leave my job to become a professional speaker. I love my career and I’ll always speak, but I realize there’s more I need to do which means I need to read higher quality things and meet higher quality people.


As I sit here doing what I love at 12:30am as my 34th birthday comes in I’m grateful, humble, clear about my intentions, and excited about the future.


Every birthday I say: “This is going to be the best year of my life!” And every year thus far I’ve been right.


So let’s do this again world. I’m still here, I’m ready for more lessons, more ass whoopings, and more success.


This is my life, based on a true story.

Episode 37: Creating Culturally Relevant Education w/Trill or Not Trill


In this time of social acceptance your business and your brand has to have some kind of cultural relevance. I had a great time interviewing Mr. Jeff Dess and Lenny Williams from Trill or Not Trill.


Their educational consulting firm is all about creating culturally relevant leadership development programs. Listen in on how you can use some of their ideas to see how you can add cultural relevance to the work you do.


For more information on Jeff and Lenny simply visit: www.TrillOrNotTrill.com.

1 Major Thing Mentorship Teaches

You’ve got to have a mentor to be successful right?


But do you really need a mentor? And if so, how do you find the right one?


My first introduction to mentorship was when I was 19. I was introduced to a man in my community who owned an accounting firm and had invested in a lot of real estate.


I always thought that mentorship was going to catapult me to success fast and since I started with him by the time I was 21 or 22 I would also be a millionaire or at least close to it.


He took me under his wing for 5 years and by 24 I had become bankrupt and buried in debt.


It wasn’t my mentor’s fault. I didn’t listen to what he said. I halfway listened and I paid dearly for it.


Five years after I went bankrupt I was able to rebound and do some pretty cool things professionally and I went back to my mentor to thank him. I remember the conversation clearly.


“I just wanted to thank you for putting up with me all those years I didn’t listen to you,” I said.


He smiled and said,


“Sometimes we need life to teach us better than a person. It just takes longer.”


I shook my head and for a moment we sat there silently, then he asked, “What would you say is the one major thing you learned from our time together?”


I gathered my thoughts and came up with an answer, “I think the major thing I’ve learned is how to ask better questions.”


He stood up and started clapping, “Bravo Odell. That’s the best answer I’ve ever heard. Mentorship is hard for the mentor because most people don’t follow advice well. You can’t give most adults the answers to life’s toughest questions, but you can give people questions to answer for themselves. Because honestly, most of the answers are within.”


The quality of your life is determined by the quality of questions you ask yourself. Tony Robbins


I’ve still got a ton to learn and a lot more questions to ask and answer, but I’m on the right path. And to be honest that’s the best most people will be able to say.


Remember as you’re seeking a mentor, seek out someone who won’t just give you answers, but seek out someone that will get you asking and answering tough questions.


I mentor writers and speakers to speak their story and write their story. If you’re interested in being mentored in either of those things, let me know.


This is my life, based on a true story.

Episode 36: How I Got on 50 Podcasts in 2018

In this interview I sat down with podcast host, military vet, and professional speaker Sean Douglas. Sean and I discuss how being selected to be on 50+ podcasts in 2018 helped his speaking business soar to new heights.


In this episode we discuss:

– How to reach out to podcast hosts the right way to increase chances on being invited on their show.

– Resources you can tap into to better understand the podcasting world.

– And more!


If you want to be on more podcast episodes you won’t want to miss the nuggets and jewels that are shared on this interview.


For more information on Sean, his podcast, and his products check out:



Episode 35: How to Work with Credit Unions w/Andrea Ashcraft


This episode is for small business owners who want to partner with credit unions in their community and beyond. Business strategist and consultant Andrea Ashcraft shares her insight as a credit union professional.


In this interview Andrea dives deep into:

– Who to contact and how to contact them.

– How to align your products and services with the credit union’s motto.

– What types of businesses they partner with.

– And more!

The Greatest

What does it take to be the greatest of all time?


I’m a basketball and football enthusiast. Yesterday Thomas Edward Patrick Brady and the New England Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs to go to their 9th Super Bowl.


This is not a sports post, but if you halfway pay attention to sports all that’s in the headlines is Tom Brady this and Tom Brady that.


Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time and here’s why this should matter to you.


Appreciating Greatness Helps You Become Greater

You don’t have to be a fan of a certain team, athlete, celebrity, or anything to appreciate and respect greatness. You don’t have to like the water to appreciate the scenery at the beach. You don’t have to like the mountains to appreciate the views. When you see someone doing something at a high level. Don’t call them lucky, because in the future you’ll want luck. Don’t hate on them because holding hate in your blood can cut off your progress. Just call it like it is, great. Cutting off someone’s light, doesn’t help you shine.


What about luck?

People often call the greats in any field or arena: lucky. Here’s a spoiler alert. The greatest ones are the luckiest ones. To be great at anything you need some luck. People often say, “Such and such was lucky.” That is correct, they are lucky, and that’s a part of greatness. The greatest show up consistently and good fortune comes their way more often than their less consistent counterparts. So the question we should be asking ourselves is:


How do I become luckier in the field that I want to be successful in?


Keep showing up every single day in what you want to do. People get “lucky breaks” because they keep showing up. And every opportunity that comes their way, they make it count.


What are you trying to be the greatest at?

Oprah. Brady. Jordan. Gretzky. Michael Jackson. Jay-Z. All of these names bring out images in your head about what these individuals do. Like them or not, to many they are considered the greatest of all time.


Instead of asking why they’re so great, ask yourself: What am I going to be the greatest at?



This is my life, based on a true story.

Make It Plain

“Write the vision, make it plain…” is a paraphrased part of a famous bible verse that is often quoted from Habbakkuk.


But when I read the bible I try to read around and beyond the highlighted verses to gain greater context to the content.


This is not a religious post, but rather it is wisdom taken from a religious text (big difference). Here is a screen grab from Habbakuk 2:2-4 (New Living Translation)



I’m an amateur on the bible and religion as a whole, but I just want to pull out a couple of things from this. First, in this text the GOD of the Universe is telling Habakkuk to make his instructions clear so that a “runner” can carry the correct message to other people.


That message had to be plain and clear. So ask yourself this question: “Is my message plain and clear?” Your life is a message, but you have to craft it in a way so that anybody can pick up the message and take to others who need it.


The last thing I will pull out from this is where it says,

“the vision is for a future time, it describes the end and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently for it will surely take place…” 


You should write down your goals. You should make them plain, but more than that you should have faith that even though they may be delayed they will not be denied.


Again, this isn’t religious, this is wisdom.


Write down what message you want your life to give. Write down your future goals. Put them into motion and be diligent in your patience.


This is my life, based on a true story.

Write Your Story

Everyone is the author of their own success story, most people just never take the time to write it.


Here’s where I want to help.


Taking thoughts from our heads and putting them down on paper (or in this day and age on a screen) is easy for some and hard for others, but it’s critical if you want to become successful.


Goal setting at it’s core is creating a story of achievement.


So how do we do it in a way that helps us create the story in real life.


Start at the beginning and go to the end. The story is about filling in the middle.


All good stories begin with a main character. This is easy, in the story of your life, you are the main character.


When developing your main character keep this in mind,

You are two people, the person that you are today and the person you’re destined to become. Your story is all about making those two people meet.


Then we’ve got to take this character on a journey. Odds are you aren’t where you want to be right now. So where would you like to be? That’s the end of the story.


You don’t have to write a true story. It can be inspired by true events or told from a different perspective. Do your best to outline steps that the main character should take to get to the end of their story.


Your mind doesn’t understand the difference between fantasy and reality so when you begin writing your story your subconscious will start working unbeknownst to you.


If you’re interested I am developing a program called: “Write your story!” where I teach how to write your story. I will take you through my process of how I start from a blank page into creating a book. If you’re interested sign up below.


This is my life, based on a true story.

How Do You Guarantee Yourself Success?

Success, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. How do you know when you’re successful? How do you know when you’ve failed?


I was faced with these questions and many more a few years ago.


I always wanted to be a rich entrepreneur. I wanted to have lots of money so I could do things for my family, but a few years ago back in 2014 I was super broke.


In 2013 I left my job to become a professional speaker. For a few months things were good. I was living off of savings and I had even coordinated a speaking tour all throughout the midwest, Texas, and Florida.


But then the savings ran out, the speech contracts were not what I thought they’d be, and the bills grew with more business and life expenses to pay for. And soon I had no money.


I started applying to jobs and every time I looked in the mirror I felt like a failure. I would give speeches to hundreds of college students and feel like a hero. Then on the plane ride back I would feel like a failure because sometimes if I didn’t get paid right away I could barely afford to get my car from the parking lot at the airport.


I didn’t know what to do.


Then I started doing something that I had always done when life got tough for me, I started writing.


But this time it was different.


I read a quote by the late great Norman Vincent Peale that said,

What the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve.


So I thought to myself, “What would life look like if I was a successful speaker and author?”


But I took it a step further, I created a successful version of myself through a story.


It was short at first, then I expanded it. Then I told my wife about it and she said,

You should just write about you and what you want, you’ll probably make it happen that way.


That’s what I did. That book has now turned into a series of books. You can read the first one for free by putting in your name and email address below.


So I said all of that to say this,

You are the author of your success story. You control the outcome more than you think. You just have to write it and make it plain.


How do you guarantee yourself success?


Define success for yourself, write a story about it, and it will happen.


That’s what I did. After I finished my first short book The Time in Between, my speaking career took off and things have grown ever since.


I am starting a class in February for all that want to join me on this journey. If you want more information, put your name and email in the boxes below!


This is my life, based on a true story.