Posts Tagged ‘entertainer’

How the ‘L’ Word can Supercharge your Success

September 10, 2015

As a professional motivational speaker at corporate and association meetings, I hear a lot about challenges between the generations in the workforce today. From the Millennials who think they rule technology to the Boomers who think they’ve been there done that, each generation seems to have a “know-it-all” attitude, resulting in poor communications, tense work environment, lack of cohesive teamwork and decreased productivity.

Super stressful. SO not fun.

Recently I spoke to a group of franchisees for a national chain of dance studios and their conference theme was “Back to Basics”. It was about using a more human aspect in marketing, managing and working together to attract more customers, boost teamwork and thrive as a small business owner. We talked about building great relationships as a way to personalize business and maximize employee potential. Gershwin photo at piano Since my background consists of many years in the entertainment industry, I made an example of what Lady Gaga, Fred Astaire and George Gershwin have in common as successful entertainers………

Likability.

Even with her super star status Lady Gaga still personally connects with fans, Fred Astaire always had a smile on his face, George GershLady Gaga in white costume CROPPED (173x260)win was humble about his talents as a pianist/composer.

When people like you they’re willing to help, do business with you, hire you, follow  you, be influenced by you, recommend you, buy your stuff, listen to your opinion, learn from you, bring you purple M & M’s.

In today’s marketplace we all have to learn new ways of working to stay ahead of the competition whether you’re 24 or 64 but, it takes humility to be teachable and it’s easier to play the “know-it-all” game. The problem is – no one likes a Know-It-All.

Get with the program and get back to basics.

Be the ‘L’ word.

Advertisements

From Fired To Fearless: Use This to Boost your Biz!

June 17, 2015

Have you ever had things go so wrong you couldn’t see straight? Did you wonder “Why me?” “What did I do to deserve this?”

As an entertaining motivational speaker I recently spoke to a group of 700 small business owners at their awards luncheon in Texas. Their theme was ‘Fearless’. It was a perfect fit for the story about the worst day of my life…

Laid off during a recession from an office job I loved 30+ years ago, I still remember how devastated and utterly terrified I felt not knowing how on earth I was going to pay rent and bills. With no college degree and no network support, opportunities were scarce. Plus – I was 1,000 miles away from home.

Theresa at piano blue sequin jkt croppedAlthough I’d had a passion for playing piano since age five I was always told you could never earn a living with music so no hope there. What to do? It seemed the world was totally against me as I knocked on doors, made cold calls and was rejected over and over again.

One day a man called desperately looking for a piano player in a hotel for two weeks and asked if I could do it. “Yes!” said I, without thinking. Immediately I was consumed with fear. What if I wasn’t good enough? What if I made a fool of myself in front of people? After all, I’d never played in public before and I only knew 50 songs – mostly Beatles. Eeeeks!

Use the fear of failure to propel you forward and take risks rather than paralyze you into a rut. Remember most people FAIL their way to success because mistakes are opportunities to learn and you don’t learn anything sitting in your comfort zone.

Olympic Rings smallLong story short: I ended up becoming a professional piano entertainer who not only toured the world but got to perform at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino. Who would have thunk it?

The worst day of my life became the best thing that ever happened.

Fear and passion are great motivators. Find things you love about your work and let the fear of unemployment motivate you to do a GREAT job vs just a good one. 

People are influenced by people with passion. 

Passion gets you noticed by customers and bosses.

Cha ching!

How People Are Like Penguins

June 24, 2014

As a professional piano entertainer in Houston for  20+ years it struck me how much  sense of community one can build around a piano…….Up until recently many people gathered each week wherever I was performing and caught up on each others lives and activities. Friendships formed, relationships flourished.

Now that I’m working more as a motivational speaker and not playing in a piano bar,  no one sees anyone.That is, up until last week.

Thursday’s girls night out was a huge success on many levels…connecting with fab femmes that have supported my work for so many years was a special treat since I could actually sit and visit instead of having to play it again Sam.

Everyone was so delighted to see each other there were many hugs and stories exchanged…..kinda sorta like a family reunion (except everyone likes each other).

Just like penguins.
Penguins form large groups, stay socially interactive and look after each other for life. The more I mature (ahem!) the more I realize the importance of people to connect with – not just in times of sickness but to build a network of support and fun to enjoy them while we can.

Be sure to nurture your nest of birds of a feather….you never know when you’ll need a fish for dinner.

Change your Tune, Change your Life!

May 19, 2014
Speaking in Chicago last week made me grateful
for the four seasons in Texas: Nearly summer, summer, still summer, Christmas.
Lady Gaga with her foot on piano?
No, me.
The people up there have had six months of horrific winter that left them stir crazy and ready to laugh ‘n’ learn from my program on Change. 300 ladies attended the annual Women’s Initiative Forum hosted by Itasca Bank and they were a hoot!

We talked about discovering your passion to live life on purpose; to view change as opportunity and grab it fearlessly; to learn new things,

Theresa Behenna?
 No, Lady Gaga..

to persevere and connect with other people to help realize your goals/dreams.

I demonstrated how I’ve had to keep current to stay employed as an entertainer…..learning to play music by Lady Gaga copying her style with one foot up on the piano was a bituva stretch – in more ways than one (aaaargh!)

NSA logoUpon deciding to become a professional speaker back in 1998 it was a HUGE change that I knew I couldn’t do by myself so I joined the Houston chapter of the National Speakers Association where I met people that became my mentors, coaches and teachers.     

In order to make changes in your life, ignore the negative tune in your head that says “You’re not good enough” and replace it with an “I can do that!” attitude. Surround yourself with people that can help you take one small step at a time.

What’s the song in YOUR head? Is it “Crazy” (Patsy Cline) or the theme from “Rocky?”

How To Stay Forever Young

April 22, 2014

Easter bunny with little girl Variety is the spice of life and I’m   
convinced it helps slow the aging process … if only mentally. As both a motivational speaker & piano entertainer I get to wear different hats that keeps life interesting. I hope you gain inspiration from this blog to keep trying new things to live healthier & happier…..and look good too!

Easter Sunday saw me and a large rabbit entertain 500+ people at the Sugar Creek Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas where in between sets I lunched on lobster, oysters, smoked salmon & cheese cake (not at the same time). Think I’m born to live in luxury ‘coz it feels natural. Yeah Baby.

Sure. This is me in a bikini………………not !!!!Cartoon - frisbee throwing girl in bikini
However I did learn how to play frisbee golf last Saturday. Having never thrown a frisbee in my life this was a totally new experience and a whole new way to have fun and be frustrated. Who knew there was an actual art to tossing a flying saucer thingy?

Another first comes up this weekend when I attend a tennis boot camp at the ranch of famous Aussie champion John Newcombe in New Braunfels, Texas.We’re in for a heckuva time with tennis drills, cocktails, karaoke (no kidding!) and people from all over the USA participating. Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire!

Chicago city skyline

Chicago city skyline

Next month I’m off to speak in Chicago, Austin and Indiana so I’m busy customizing speeches for Itasca Bank, Texas Electric Cooperatives & yet another program for The American Heart Association in the mid west. Busy bee!

With the news of two friends  funerals in a week, the one year anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing and hearing of yet another acquaintance with cancer, I’m wondering how much time any of us have.

Get out your bucket list. What’s the next new thing you’re going to cross off? Tick tock.

Hmmmmm……where do I sign up for sky diving?

Facing Your Fear Factor

March 27, 2013

What’s your biggest fear?                                man afraid                                                                        According to numerous studies the #1 fear of most people is public speaking. Is that you?

It used to be me.

Having been in the entertainment business as a pianist for many years, when I transitioned over to become a motivational speaker people said “that must have been easy for you because you’ve worked on a stage all your life”.

Not so much.

The truth is I had a fear of microphones. Since I played piano without singing, there was no need for a microphone when I worked. For 20+ years it was easy to talk to people from behind the piano. BUT………without the piano was like being without my blankie.     The piano was my crutch.

One day a friend took me to a Toastmasters meeting. Toastmasters is an international club that teaches people how to give speeches. For me this was big time scary stuff. How not to look like an idiot in front of a group of strangers without my blankie?

Much to my surprise I got hooked on the whole process of speaking in public and like anything else, the more I spoke the calmer my nerves. Don’t get me wrong, twelve years later I still get nervous before giving an inspirational speech on moving through fear to success, but nowadays that gives me the edge to do a great job.

Woman motivational speaker Theresa Behenna: Fail your way to Success!
Motivational speaker Theresa Behenna:
Fail your way to Success!

Whatever you’re afraid of, it’s probably not as bad as you imagine. We tend to exaggerate perceptions to the worst possible scenario. Most of our anxieties are over things that never happen.

Facing your fear is half the battle. Doing something about it is the other half. Whether it’s learning new technology, tackling an exercise program or signing up for online dating. Like Nike says: Just do it.

Gimme that microphone!