The Early Turtles Get the Rock!


Every morning as I drive to the recording studio, I cast a quick glance to the small pond I pass along the way. In the middle, a smooth angled rock juts from the surface. As the Spring weather (finally) kicks in here in New England, I am smiling more often as I spy the ambitious turtles who crawl to its peak each morning to catch the first warm rays of the sun.

Now please don’t think that this article is a shout from the mountaintops that we should all set our alarm clocks for the deep dark hours of 5am because that’s the hour that millionaires wake up every day, blah blah blah.

I’ve been an early riser all my life and I’m not a millionaire…yet.

For some people, mornings ARE the sweet spot.

For others, the silent hours of night bring combustible energy.

We’re all different.

What I am talking about is seizing opportunity to carve out the best spots we can on our journey. There is only so much room in the sunshine, only so much space on that rock.

What I’ve discovered over the years is that not everyone needs to be number-one to enjoy the sun.

Speaking only for myself: I have no desire to be the BIGGEST speaker in the world, eclipsing everyone in my path to get to the top.

Some people will say that is a failure on my part.

As always, people are entitled to their opinions.

I am happy creating my messages, speaking from every stage (for which I am a good fit) and getting my name out there as best I can by busting my butt, every day.

With this attitude, I have met some pretty amazing people on my way up the speaking world’s rock.

I help others, and I have been helped by many who’ve guided me.

The beauty of this view: those who work hardest to make the climb get to enjoy their time in the sun.

In my case, the sun is a warm light washing over the stage at a conference or corporate event.

Not everyone wants to do what I do.

This is the rock I choose to climb, and I put in effort every day to take another step. They may not all be in the right direction. Sometimes I slip and fall back into the water. Sometimes I don’t get selected for a conference and miss the sunshine that day…but I’ll never stop trying to climb.

What rock are YOU climbing?

Do you know where to go to catch the warm rays of sunny success on your journey?

If you’re not sure what to do or where to go, identify your heroes (who are where you’d like to be).

Watch what they do, where they climb and with whom they climb.

If you find yourself currently trying to climb while other turtles are trying to drag you back down…find another rock.

The sun will rise every day and shine its light somewhere.

If you want to be somewhere in its glow, start climbing.


Now in his 12th year as The Motivational Firewood™ Guy, Steve Gamlin continues to share his back-to-basics blend of motivation and humor with corporate and conference audiences. Drawing from a decade in the radio industry, 7 years of stand-up comedy and his lifelong personal development journey, Steve has designed ‘real’ messages for ‘real’ people with his unique engaging and humorous style. 


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