Job Updates

Band Of Brothers: Part II As A Firefighter

Looking outI arrived at the station and met with Battalion Chief Dave Messerschmidt and Captain/Paramedic Shannon Stone. Dave had a serious face and asked me, "Sean, what is your objective here?" I went into a rather long winded answer about the project and what I was hoping to get out of my time at the fire station. His serious face made it difficult to gauge his reaction.

After a slight pause, Dave calmly replied, "Well, that's great. My objective at the moment is to get breakfast." We all laughed and I felt at ease.

A tradition the guys have on weekend is to visit a local diner for breakfast. We didn't want to break tradition, so away we went to start the day off with a good meal. Afterwards we got into some training.

I learned about the use of ropes and harnesses that are used in situations when the fire can't be attacked by ladder. I also got the chance to use the Jaws Of Life. That was an awesome experience, the sheer power of that tool is incredible. It cuts through a car like a knife through butter.

The Crew gives Sean a liftAll the guys at the department are like family - they spend so much time together and their profession demands they work as a team.

It was great that they quickly accepted both Ian and myself into their group even though we were only there for a short while. I have have always been involved in team sports growing up and in College. The comradeship and interaction among them reminded me of that unique team dynamic - working together to achieve a common goal.

Firefighters are tough (some may even say intimidating). Though I must say these guys are extremely good people. They have integrity and a great sense of what is "right."

As the Battalion Chief said, "Yes, we are like family here, all brothers and sisters. That being said, you don't want to screw with us." Though he added, "You must have a sense of humor to be this profession."


If You Can't Take The Heat...

IMG_7127The first of my two 24 hour shifts at the Fort Walton Beach Fire Department started off early morning. There are three shifts at the department, A, B, and C. Each one works 24 hours (7am - 7am) and then has 48 hours off. As I mentioned earlier, we stayed with Ryan and Lacey in Pensacola before heading an hour east to Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Ryan was kind enough to give us a ride. Once there, we decided to go out for dinner and drinks with a couple of his friends. One drink turned into several and we ended up having a late night. Not the best idea when I was set to kick off my Firefighter training early the next day. I guess I didn't realize it would be that challenging.

I suited up with all the gear which weighs about 60lbs. After I put on the gas tank, I thought, "Hey, this isn't so heavy." That obvious mis-conception was soon relinquished after I began some the training exercises.

I took out the fire hose, ran with it pressurized for about 100ft. (when I say "ran" I mean exerting myself as if I was in a full out sprint, though with the weight of the hose, all my effort was translating into a full out crawl). I tried the "Denver Drill" which is a technique used to get an unresponsive firefighter out a window to safety.

I dragged a 180lbs dummy, climbed the 75 ft ladder, and simulated entering a building on my knees with the hose and sprayed the interior. It was a really cool experience, minus the fact that I was pretty close to exhaustion and I thought I was going to vomit. All part of the job I guess.

IMG_7130I felt like a wimp. All the firefighters on duty watching as I struggled to gain my breath trying to appear as if I had everything under control. What made the experience even more humbling was the fact that I knew there were taking it easy on me!

I have a lot of respect for firefighters. Not only do they put their lives at risk for others, but the training and physical shape they must maintain is truly impressive.

Afterwards we headed back to station then out for some lunch at a local BBQ hut called Wilbur's Sauce. It was awesome, we ate ribs, chicken, coleslaw... he just kept bringing us food. I am beginning to see some of the perks of being a firefighter.

We got a few calls that afternoon, a couple of vehicle accidents though nothing serious.

As I discovered when I was a Park Ranger in Week 46, you are always "on-call." In the event of an incident they are able to respond quickly and take the appropriate action, though on slow days there can be a lot of downtime spent at the fire house. I enjoyed this aspect of the job especially after the training that morning and we had a fun time hanging out with the guys and hearing all of their stories over the years.

Fighting fires is easy compared to trying to get 8 guys to agree on what they are going to cook for dinner. It was good decision and we all sat down for spaghetti.

Day 2 would bring more training drills and equal indecisiveness on what to eat for dinner, though I will write a post about it in the next couple of days.


Week #47 Announced - Firefighter

Ian, Lacy, and Sean1:30pm - we're in New York City, a car will take us to the airport at 4:30pm with our plane set to leave for Pensacola, Florida at 7pm. The only problem? We have no idea what we are going to do once we get to Pensacola at 11pm that night. The town of Fort Walton Beach is an hour away and there is no bus that runs that late. No better time than the last minute. We checked out and sent out some requests. Within 15 minutes I received a call from Lacey and Ryan who said although they have two guests (who are biking across the US for charity) already spending the night, they are more than willing to welcome us in. She even said they would pick us up at the airport. (How's that for southern hospitality!)

Off to Fort Walton Beach, FL where I will working as a Firefighter for Week #47. Captain Danny Fureigh from the City of Fort Walton Beach Fire Department emailed me in November and I was scheduled to head down here a few weeks before Christmas. Though, if you recall, we never got there due the incident at the airport in New York.

As with most weeks, I am not exactly sure what to expect going into this next job, though as Captain Fureigh said, "You better be ready we have some cool stuff ready for you!!"

Job Sampling At The Rachael Ray Show

Rachel RayIt was a busy day at the Rachael Ray Show on Monday. I visited several different departments at the studio: in the Prep kitchen, post production department, props, web, and finished by helping choose the "snack of the day." Along with me was a director, a camera guy, and a sound guy. I felt like a host, trying out different roles, asking questions of the employees, and reporting on what goes on behind the scenes of the show.

I guess you could say I have experience with hosting: in our web episodes of One Week Job, I sort of act like a host; trying out different jobs, relating my experience and giving my thoughts. Though, in this case, it's different.

There is a sense of familiarity when Ian is behind the camera. After all, he's been my best friend for years. Ever since Elementary school, we would make short videos for fun, or if there was a school project assigned, we would always ask to make a video (so much easier than writing a paper).

It was an interesting experience having a professional crew follow me around at Rachael Ray. I enjoyed it. It felt like what Ian and I would do, though just on a different scale. I even received a compliment: the camera man has been in the business for 15 years and he thought I was a natural.

Who knows, perhaps what we used to do for fun could turn into a viable career?

There is so much organization that goes into a talk show. All of the departments must collaborate in order to bring it together - though each employee must remain focused on their specific part of the wheel in order for it to roll smoothly. I was lucky to experience it from an outsiders' perspective and see how it all comes together.

Everyone that I met seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs and were more than happy to share their time with me. Thanks a lot!

The interview portion of the show is shot live to tape, so I don't know when my interview and segment will be aired. I'll be sure to post it to the blog when I hear!


New York City, NY - On Route To Week # 47

rachael ray logoMy job this week doesn't start for a few days and will continue through the weekend. It will be in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, and I will announce it on Thursday. On route, I have stopped in New York City to do an interview with The Rachael Ray Show. Before the interview, I will get to try out all sorts of different jobs around the studio to see what goes on behind the scenes of a television talk show. It's going to be a lot of fun - I only hope that if at some point I find myself in the prep kitchen my past experience as a Baker in Week #34 comes back to me quickly!


Aloha & Mahalo Hawaii, Until Next Time!

In order to fully immerse myself in the culture of island life, I appropriately adopted the island pace (well demonstrated by my lack of updates this past week). I am now back on the mainland, so perhaps a bit closer to reality... well as close as I would like to get anyways. Week 46 - Park Ranger 159My last couple of days at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park were a lot of fun. All the Park Rangers I had the opportunity to work with were very accommodating and more than happy to share their knowledge as we explored the park. It was evident they love what they do. And how couldn't you - the majority of time is spent outside, the people are kind and enjoy being there, and the landscape is incredible with a vastness that is difficult for your eyes to grasp. Ian says that he could see himself as a Park Ranger for a time being in the future, I concur.

I was first emailed by Tammy in October 2007 about the possibility of doing a couple of One Week Jobs in Hawaii. I am happy that she did. I had a great time and am really glad that I went.

Week 45 - Astronomer 112Recently, Tammy once again set her sights on pursuing her passions in life. After ignoring them for sometime, she could not be happier she did and credits it to listening to herself. Tammy heard about One Week Job and felt inspired to get involved. One of the reasons she wanted to bring me to Hawaii was that she believes the project symbolizes an important message she wanted Hawaiian youth to hear. As a result, she organized several talks at High Schools in the area.

As the presentations progressed, I felt that I got more comfortable. I thought back to when I was working with Eric Chester, the motivational speaker in Week 44. He had said that the platform is a privilege and you better be giving them something useful. A few times during one of my talks, I thought, "Are they really listening? How can I get through to them? Is all that I am saying trite and just a bunch of rhetoric?"

Sometimes it's difficult to gauge at that age. It's a sea of blank faces staring back at you, though when I finished, many would often come up to meet me and ask more questions. As Tammy said, "when it comes time to make big decisions in their life, if only one in each class remembers your talk and is inspired not to settle, then it was worth it." I sure hope so.

- Sean

Forward Looking On The Trail Of Life

IMG_6923The scenery here at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is absolutely gorgeous. After being introduced to my boss for the week and getting settled into our housing, I spent Monday with the Eruption Crew. They were great company; a lot of fun and very knowledgeable with many interesting stories to tell and random facts about pretty much everything. We were positioned down at the coastline where lava has covered the roadway as a result of various eruptions since 1984 to 2003. Until June of last year lava was flowing directly into the ocean. Visitors can walk down the road until it meets lava rock. There is even a no parking sign still visible that was caught in the lava.

It's really beautiful to see the dark lava rock stretching to the edge of the ocean then dropping off as a steep cliff in the bright blue water below. Looking back towards the gradually tiered mountainside, it's incredible to see the various lava flows throughout the years and what path they took.

One thing that keeps amazing me is the sheer amount of lava that is around the park. It is literally everywhere. Yesterday, we surveyed a hiking trail. At times, there were lava rocks from previous eruptions as far as the eye could see. Then, in the middle of what seemed like a barren landscape, there was a rain forest of lush vegetation. A sign of what the landscape was like before any of the eruptions.

IMG_6906On the hike yesterday, I accompanied Rob, a Park Ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park since 2001. During lunch in the forest, I asked about his previous time in the Navy and years leading up to being a Park Ranger.

Reflecting back on it, he said there were things that he would have changed if he knew then what he knew now, as I am sure we all would given the gift of foresight, though he offered his perception on our tendency to be critical of past decisions. He said that he views life as if it were a trail. You must keep looking forward down the trail and can only deal with what is in front of you. There is no use thinking about what you should have done or what would have happened if you had chosen another trail. The best you can do is cope with the conditions in front of you and if you are lucky, you may have come well enough prepared.

IMG_6889At this time, it's difficult for me to be looking anywhere else but forward. I am constantly thinking about my upcoming weeks, where I will be working, how I will be getting there, where am I going to stay when I get there. Though wherever this trail leads I am certain that when it is time to look back, I will reflect fondly on all that I have learned, everyone that I have met, and all the wonderful experiences I have had. And of course, I will be excited for the next trail head.


Week #46 Announced - Park Ranger

IMG_6847This week I am working as a Park Ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island. I will get to experience the various duties of a Park Ranger, such as park maintenance, conservation, incident relief, and interacting with visitors.

The park was officially founded in 1916, though native Hawaiians have known about it for centuries. They regard the park as a sacred location where the deity Pele lives, the goddess of fire.

Hawaii Volcanoes extends from sea level to 13,677 ft (4,169m) and encompasses the summits and rift zones of two of the world's most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Kilauea has been in nearly continuous eruption since 1983; Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984.

The forecast looks great for the week, so we might finally get to experience some sunny Hawaii weather!


A Different Perspective - Mauna Kea Summit Tour

1WJ-panoFriday morning I gave a presentation to two groups at a local High School about One Week Job. It was the first time I had given a formal presentation about One Week Job. The first group went okay, though the second was 10 times better as I picked up my energy and felt more comfortable with the presentation. The kids responded really well and I was happy to do it. During the second presentation I was keeping an eye on the weather outside as we were slated to make our way up to the summit of Mauna Kea early afternoon. It didn't look very promising, though it was our last opportunity so we went ahead.

As we arrived at the visitor center, located 9,200 ft above sea level, I hopped out of the truck and walked quickly across the the parking lot. Perhaps a little too quickly. I forgot that you must take things slowly up there as the air is much thinner. I got a slight headache, though it was a good warning before ascending to the summit.

While spending about a half hour at the visitor center in order to acclimate, we walked for 2 minutes up hill. It didn't take much to begin breathing heavily. You can really feel the lack of oxygen when exerting yourself.

1WJ16There was a break in the clouds and the road to the top was open, so our guide Kenyan thought we should get going while we had the chance. So up to the summit we went. Only two hours earlier we were at sea level, now at at 13,796 ft we felt on top of the world. A few of the observatories were open so we got to see close up just how massive these telescopes are. They are quite remarkable and I am really glad that we got the opportunity to experience it first hand.

I learned so much this week. I was humbled on many occasions trying to wrap my mind around the enormity of our Universe and the implications of cause and effect. Definitely makes for some thought provoking discussion. The study of the Universe is an amazing thing; to one astronomer he/she may be seeking to discover the answer of our very existence, how it all came to be, and the inter-connectedness of everything, while another may simply like to study the composition of rocks.

Coming out of this week, two things become very clear to me, one, my view of the Universe has forever been altered, and two... I am without a doubt buying myself a telescope when I get home.

Heading Up The Hill At Last?

Sean and KenyanYesterday we were unable to go up to the summit of Mauna Kea because of the weather. Apparently it was white-out conditions at the top. Then today, for the first time since we arrived, the sun made an appearance. It is supposed to be good weather again tomorrow so hopefully we can re-schedule our visit to the observatories. With the clouds lifting today we finally got our first glimpse of the enormous snow capped mountain... not the typical sight you expect to see in Hawaii. We saw some live pictures taken at the top this morning and it looks beautiful!

Today we were back in schools delivering presentations with the Journey Through The Universe program. After which we headed to a pot luck dinner with all the scientists who are involved in the program this week. We met some really nice people and have an open invitation to visit an observatory tomorrow night. Let's hope the weather will hold out this time!


My Journey Through The Universe

He's got the whole world, in his hands...I was scheduled to speak to a couple of classes on Monday morning about One Week Job, though because of the tropical storm bringing a non-stop torrential down pour throughout the night, all of the schools were closed. I have heard of "snow days" before, though this was my first experience of a "rain day." Although I prepared the night before and felt ready for the presentation, I was a bit nervous. It has been re-scheduled for next week Friday and I have three other presentations this Friday. You would think, great, now I have more time to prepare - let's be honest, I will be equally prepared as I was on Monday morning. I guess this is what keeps life interesting though; stepping outside of our comfort zone and continuing to challenge ourselves.

Yesterday, we visited an Elementary school as this week is the Journey Through The Universe program. Astronomers and local scientists are going into schools through the district educating the kids about the cosmos. It is Hawaiian custom to welcome guests into their school with a chant, so upon our arrival we were welcomed by the 6th grade class singing to us and were presented with flower leis - a very cool experience.

The presentation was about the history of astronomy. The kids responded well, were very attentive, and asked lots of questions. We built telescopes out of cardboard tubing, lenses and some foam. I think I learned just as much as the kids did.

1WJ03My boss this week, Gary Fujihara, is incredibly intelligent. If you don't follow very closely to what he is saying, you will quickly be lost in his immense vocabulary and vast knowledge... and I am sure that is with him trying to simplify things for us too.

Trying to wrap my head around some of the facts is a difficult undertaking. For example, light travels at the speed of 186,000 miles per second. To get to the edge of the Universe, it would take 14 billion years traveling at the speed of light. Wow, difficult to comprehend. Makes you realize how small we really are. My question is, well suppose you could go to the edge of the Universe, what would you see when you got there?

waiting for the 3d show to startWe also visited the planetarium at 'Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaii, currently the only one of its kind in the world, and watched a presentation about space exploration. It gave the impression that there is no reason why we can't inhabit Mars or Space at this time. We have the knowledge, it's just a question of cost. Pretty crazy to think that one day human beings may inhabit planet Mars. Gary tells us they predict the high school students of today will be the astronauts of tomorrow who walk on Mars for the first time. Perhaps we will be vacationing to Mars much sooner than we think.

We are still hoping that the weather will co-operate for our trip to the summit of Mauna Kea today. It's not looking too good though as the rain has not let up for the past two days. Fingers crossed!


Week #45 Announced - Astronomer

AstronomerThis week I am in Hilo, Hawaii working as an Astronomer with the Institute For Astronomy at the University of Hawaii. Whenever I think of Hawaii, I tend to daydream with thoughts of white sand beaches, beautiful sunsets, and warm weather usually flooding my mind. Well, it was far from that when we arrived last night as we were welcomed by a thunderous tropical storm.

Apparently it has been raining here for a whole month. I grew up in Vancouver, Canada so I always thought that I had seen my fair share of rainstorms - I was humbled last night. Luckily, we were also welcomed by Tammy and her son Judah, who greeted us with big hugs, smiles and flower leis. Tammy heard about One Week Job a couple of months ago and has been awesome to organize our entire stay here. I will be working closely this week with Gary Fujihara who heads the Science Education & Public Outreach programs at the Institute. I will be accompanying him into various classrooms around the island educating students about the stars, planets and galaxies that make up our Universe and introduce them to a profession they may not have ever considered otherwise.

Also this week, depending if the weather co-operates, I will be visiting Mauna Kea Observatory. Mauna Kea is both a sacred and historical site in the Hawaiian culture and one of the most important land-based astronomy sites in the world with a summit located almost 14, 000 feet above sea level. The location is ideal because of its dark skies, good astronomical seeing, low humidity, clean air, good weather and almost equatorial location.

The accommodation for research astronomers is located below the summit at 9300 feet (2835 meters) above sea level, and a visitor information station is located at 9200 feet (2775 meters). The summit of Mauna Kea is so high that scientists and other visitors are advised to stay at the lower level for 30 minutes to acclimate to atmospheric conditions before reaching the summit.

I will also be speaking at several high schools around the island this week, sharing my experiences with One Week Job and all that I have learned over the last year.

Should be an awesome week!


Finding Happiness Through Helping Others

Meridian, Idaho - Pre-School Teacher 019I never before realized the extent a day care is involved in a child's upbringing. Some of the kids spend close to 12 hours a day there, five days a week. It is safe to say that in many cases the teachers know the child better than their parents. By the time some parents pick up their kids at the end of the day, there is enough time to have dinner, spend a couple of hours together and then put them to bed, only to drive them to day care the next morning. The teachers I worked with this week, realize how crucial their role is and take it very seriously. Ken, the director at Nature's Childcare has an amazing vision for the center - he wants to bring attention to the importance of providing quality childcare, positive role models, and wants to make Nature's Childcare the best childcare facility in the state of Idaho. I have no doubt he will.

Meridian, Idaho - Pre-School Teacher 080There are not many male figures in childcare as it is generally characterized as a female dominated industry and Ken has been discriminated in the past as a result. This is also something he intends to change as it is so important that children have positive male role models in their life as well as female. Although at first he may seem a bit intimidating in his 6'6", 300 pound frame, he is the coolest guy, and extremely kind and gentle. The center is lucky to have him there.

One thing I realized recently is that the jobs I have found my co-workers to be the most happy and passionate were the ones where they believe they are positively impacting others, making a meaningful contribution to society, and held a clear vision of how they are making the world a better place. They are making a difference and know how important their role is. Working at Dojang Martial Arts Studio, they focused on developing a strong sense of community, getting the kids active, and leading a healthy lifestyle. It was evident in my week as a Cancer Fundraiser with Princess Margaret Foundation and I saw it again this week at Nature's Childcare.

It reminded me that in many instances the best way to help yourself is to focus on what you can to do help others.


Childcare Fun - Smiles And Laughter All Around

Meridian, Idaho - Pre-School Teacher 029I must say there is no end to the excitement when you are working with kids. It's difficult not to love a job where your main requirement is to ensure that the kids are having fun and learning. Although my opinion may change by the end of the week - so far I have somehow managed to avoid diaper changing duties. Not sure if I will be able to keep that up! As soon as I arrived at Nature's Childcare I felt comfortable. The staff are awesome and the kids have been so welcoming. I think I knew that everyone working there would be great people before I arrived. One, because you have to be in order to love working with kids. And two, because when I arrived I saw they went to the trouble to paint a welcoming picture on the front window, complete with a drawing of me. Very cool!

Meridian, Idaho - Pre-School Teacher 003After getting a tour of the center, I was thrown right into it because a local news crew came by and wanted to get some footage of me with the kids for their story. So, within 15 minutes I was in front of a class reading a book to the kids I had just been introduced to. The kids took it easy on me responding well to my attempt at matching voices to the various characters and it was fun.

Kids are great. They are scared, shy, and stare at you with a blank face when they first meet you, then five minutes later they are your best friend and want to talk to you about everything. It's amazing some of the random things they say. After a few days at the center, I can imagine that it must be difficult to start the day in a bad mood. The kids are always so happy to see you. How can you not help but smile when as you enter a room, your adoring five year olds fans run toward you, shout your name with excitement and give you a big hug?

Meridian, Idaho - Pre-School Teacher 039I have spent most of time this week playing games with the kids, reading stories, coloring, dancing... on Tuesday we braved the snow storm and took some of the kids on a field trip to Boondocks, a fun park nearby the center. We ate pizza and played in the huge indoor jungle gym. Although the sign said, maximum height 48", I couldn't help but join them.

It's been awesome this week working in an environment where everyone loves what they are doing and are clearly in the profession for the right reasons. As the director of Nature's Childcare keeps re-affirming: "We are poor in our pockets, yet rich in our hearts."


Week #44 Announced - Pre-School Teacher

Natures Childcare 1This week I am working as a Pre-School Teacher at Nature's Childcare in the small town of Meridian, Idaho. Nature's Childcare opened a year and a half ago and has about 150 children. I will be working and teaching 4-5 year old children, along with another teacher, hands on educational projects such as art, cooking, reading, and math.

Today I arrived just in time for nap-time, followed by snack-time, and I was able to spend the afternoon meeting the different age groups, reading stories, coloring, and of course a tea-time was in order.

Though I haven't had much experience with children this young, I have really enjoyed the opportunities I have had to work with kids over the past year. I have always thought that I would be happy as a teacher and think that it would really suit my lifestyle - I am sure I will have a lot fun this week!


Finding Balance In Our Time

IMG_6403When I first learned about the possibilities of being a full-time paid Motivational Speaker , I thought, wow, now that's an easy gig!... deliver 65 or so one hour presentations around the country each year and get paid pretty penny to do so. Ask Eric what he thinks about this, and he will tell you a whole different story. He would say that with all the organization, negotiating, writing, preparing and following-up with clients for these 65 or so presentations, he is oftentimes working 60+ hours a week. All of a sudden, it doesn't sound as appealing.

On top of this, he has all of the other administrative tasks that comes with running a small business. If clients have never heard of him or don't know how to find him, they are not going to hire him and he will be out of business.

Before this week, I never realized how much work it actually is. I must say, I have a new found appreciation.

In the past 43 weeks I have had the opportunity to work with many people who own their own business. Most of them say they wish they had done it sooner, that they would never again work for someone else, and that they love the freedom. I can appreciate that, though, my one observation is I found most of these people work crazy hours each week and don't have much time to take for themselves. Yes, you do make your own schedule, leave when you want, and work when you want, yet, when you are aware that the extent of your input is directly related to your bottom line, it appears challenging to ever stop thinking about work. I imagine it can be difficult to simply relax, take a vacation, enjoy a movie or a good book, because there is always something that could be done.

I think it would take a lot of discipline to say, "Well, that's it, I am done for the day" and to make sure you budget enough time to do the other things you love doing. Or more importantly, the things that you may not like doing though have to get done anyways. This must become even more difficult when you actually love your job.

Growing up I often heard that life has a lot to do with balance. I think it's a difficult idea for many in my generation to deal with - sometimes you simply have to do what you don't want to do in order to allow time for what you do want to do. I have certainly never been a fan of that, though as I get older and supposedly more mature, I begin to realize there just might be some truth to that.

I really enjoyed my week with Eric. We had many interesting talks about life, careers, my generation, and he was able to provide a lot of great insights causing myself to ask some very important questions. On my last day Eric received an email from a client who is interested in having both Eric and I speak at a presentation in the summer in Dallas. Could be fun!


The Privilege Of The Platform

Denver, CO - Motivational Speaker 002Eric had a presentation yesterday in Boulder, Colorado. It was in front of about 200 teens from 14 different high schools in the area, all members of their respective student councils. (He doesn't speak to youth very often any more, so this was a rare opportunity for them, and for me) Although it may seem at the time that our high school years last forever, he demonstrated how quickly they pass by and how precious that time really is. He spoke about the importance of making the most out of these influential years as they help form the foundation of your future.

Eric told these teens about how Visions, Decisions, and Collisions impact their lives. We first must develop a vision for what we want to achieve. This causes us to make decisions, or the choices that provide the means to achieve that vision. But it's those collisions with other people that really count.

About half way through his program, he surprised the audience and introduced me as the one week job guy. I was then given the chance to share my story with the students and to experience first hand what it's like to be a motivational speaker - standing in front of a large group, all eyes directed at you, feeling the nervous rush, sweaty palms... and deliver a meaningful message; something that they would take away and hopefully make them think and act slightly different from when they first walked in the room.

I have been given the opportunity to speak to youth a couple times over the past 43 weeks about my experience and all that I have learned throughout the past year as a result. Eric gave me that opportunity yesterday in front of 200 student council leaders from 14 large high schools throughout Colorado, and I realized yet again how much I enjoy doing it.

It went really well and I received a very positive response with the kids. Many of them came up afterwards to meet me and ask questions about my different jobs. It was really special to see their faces light up with excitement and to hear that sharing my story had a positive impact and resonated with so many of them.

We often don't realize the impact we have on others. I think this becomes even more true as a motivational speaker. There is a lot of responsibility. The stakes are high and you never know how someone is going to be impacted by your presentation. What you are saying better be true and be something practical that they can incorporate into their own life no matter what background or home situation they are coming from.

As Eric said, standing up and speaking to a group is a privilege, not a right and I can see how much pride he takes in this role and realizes it's importance.

I am often asked, "Sean, you are 43 weeks in, what do you think you will end up doing?" I don't know I can put a definitive title on it, though I want to affect change in some capacity, I want to know that what I am doing means something, makes a difference and has a positive impact on others.

Yesterday, I accomplished this.

Week #43 Announced - Motivational Speaker

Sean and EricThis week I am working with Eric Chester, America's Premier Expert on Generation Why (Y), in fact, he coined the term. Eric is the founder & President of Generation Why, Inc., a training and consulting firm helping companies and organizations recruit, train, manage, motivate, and retain the emerging workforce [Funny that I am doing exactly what Eric is coaching companies on how to prevent].

He delivers around 75 keynote presentations and training seminars on Employing Generation Why to major companies and organizations throughout the US and Canada and has also written two of the best-selling books on the subject. In 2004 he was inducted into the International Professional Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor shared by less than 2% of all professional speakers in the world.

Eric has 3 presentations this week, of which he will be passing the microphone over to me in 2 of them so that I can experience first hand the thrill of what it's like to speak in front of hundreds of people. Sharing my experiences and all that I have learned over the past year is definitely something that I would like to do in the future, so I am really happy that I get to give it a try!


Lights, Camera, Action: A Peek At Studio Life

IMG_6560Randy Emmett embodies exactly what I thought a Hollywood Producer would be like. He is a great character, so much so that a new reality TV show starts shooting this weekend about his life. He has tons of energy - and never content doing one thing at time; one minute he is on the phone pacing the room, arms flailing with excitement, pitching a new concept for a television show, and the next he is giving his assistant heck with equal amount of volume for forgetting to remind him of an appointment.

It is quite a different reality. Some of the conversations seem to be straight out of a movie - talking about celebrities on a first name basis, organizing top directors and actors for a new feature film, discussing a new production company that he will be starting with rap star 50 Cent. At one point yesterday he was getting quotes for flying Sylvester Stallone around the world for premieres of Rambo premiering next week. With stops in four cities, the final quote for the private jet came out to $500,000. A different reality indeed.

IMG_6555The production company receives about 50 - 70 film scripts every week. I was able to read through some of them as a large part of a producers job is to decide what would make a great movie and something they would like to purchase.

They are also in the process of starting up a television division. Yesterday I sat in on a meeting with another producer who will partner with Randall in a new reality show. It's interesting to see how much goes into making a television show: fine tuning the concept, selling it to a network, setting up all the paper work, casting, shooting the pilot, then seeing if the network will purchase the series.

Today I am going to the casting agency where they are auditioning roles for a forthcoming reality series. In the afternoon I will visit the editing studios where they are in post production for the feature film The Righteous Kill with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.


Week #42 Announced - Hollywood Producer

Sean and Randall EmmettThis week I am working with one of the top Producers in Hollywood. His name is Randall Emmett and he is the owner of Emmet/Furla Films. They have over 40 movie titles to their credit including the new Rambo starring Sylvester Stallone, and The Righteous Kill starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and 50 cent to be released later this year. They currently have numerous film and television titles in production so this week I will be learning all about the industry and what it's like to be a Producer in Hollywood. I spoke with Randall on Friday afternoon and he seemed like a really great guy with lot's of energy and lot's of things on the go - should make for a pretty exciting week.

I think many would love to be a Hollywood Producer - the flash bulbs of the cameras, rubbing shoulders with the stars - I guess I will find out and be sure to report back!