Can your character define your success? In this episode, Erik Swanson, Founder of Habitude Warrior Masterminds, talks to Jen Du Plessis about the traits that lead a person to success. As an award-winning International Keynote Speaker, 10 Time #1 Best-Selling Author in 5 different categories of success, Erik “Mr. Awesome” Swanson is in great demand around the world. He has also created his Habitude Warrior Special Edition Book Series called The 13 Steps to Riches, which includes 13 powerhouse, famous celebrity authors, as well as 33 up-and-coming bestselling authors and leaders. Join us and learn more about how gratitude and positivity play important roles in a person’s accomplishments.
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The Success Attitude: Erik Swanson On Being A Habitude Warrior
Welcome back to the show. I am so delighted. We’re going to have a lot of fun. If you’re reading while you’re working out, you might need to stop and choose another time to read and take a lot of notes. We’re going to have so much fun because my guest is Erik Swanson. There’s a fun story behind how I met Erik and we will share that. Erik is the CEO and Founder of Habitude Warrior. We’re going to talk about that as well. He is a thirteen-time number one bestselling author. He’s a TEDx speaker as well and a success attitude coach. That’s unique and different. There are a gazillion other things. He’s an international speaker. There are all kinds of things that Erik does. I want to welcome you to the show. I’m so excited to have you here.
I want to introduce the one and only, the amazing Jen Du Plessis. She is rocking and changing people’s lives. You should read all of her books. She’s amazing. Back to you, Jen.
I love your little microphone. I have a little stuffed microphone so I can do a mic drop without hurting anything.
Do you want to know why I have this? There is a specific reason why I have this. I ended up getting this a while ago. It’s made of pewter and it’s got a little thing where you can plug it into a phone or something. It’s a little microphone, but it’s nice and solid. The thing is, I take this with me everywhere I go. I put it in my pocket. It’s tiny.
This is what I do for a living. How cute.
It’s even more than that. When I go into a Starbucks or anywhere, you’re always putting your hands in your pocket to grab something. This is a constant reminder that I, you, and all of us have a voice. That’s the reason why I have it.
I cut the legs off of mine. His name is Mike. He came with these little stuffed legs. He looked like a shrimp. I cut his little legs off and now he’s a microphone. I had it at Secret Knock with me.
I’ve got these Yetis all over the place. I’m using one. You know how a Yeti looks like a Yeti. A friend of mine is like, “It looks like the bottom of a snowman.” I go, “It looks like a Yeti.” He’s like, “Now I understand.”
This is why this show is going to be so fun. We can’t even get started on the show because we’re just yakking like we always do. One of the things I want everybody to know is that you are known as Mr. Awesome. I know that you did not coin that phrase. Les Brown did that for you. When Les says something, you have to take it on and say, “That’s good.” He said that and I know you know him on a guy. He said that I’m the implementation ninja. I started using that too and said, “I’m the implementation ninja.” If you say, “Go do something,” I’m going to do it.
This is all about you. Let’s talk about you for a little bit. You have Habitude Warrior, the mastermind, and lots of events. You do speaking events and workshops similar to what all of us do, but it’s not those things. What’s great about you and how we met is that I heard all about you, you heard all about me, and we happened to stumble across each other at Secret Knock and said, “Are you him? Are you her?” The rest is history. We couldn’t stop talking. We became great friends.
There’s a story behind all this awesomeness you have and all the things you’re doing. I don’t want to superficially say, “That’s neat. All that stuff is great.” There is a story that I want to pull out of Erik Swanson as to why you have this habitual and incestuous appetite for being positive all the time and having this high energy, awesomeness, and gratitude that you have in your life. It didn’t happen as you came out of the womb. There’s something that happened that made you say, “Enough is enough. I want to be this.” Share with us about that.
I know the month that it happened. It’s called a Satori moment. Satori means instant awakening from a Japanese term or culture. I had this instant awakening. I’ll tell you the backstory. I was blessed with being picked on and bullied throughout my life until I was going from sophomore year to junior year in high school. During that summertime, I ended up growing about another 1.5 feet. I was 6’1 when I was going into junior high school. I was like, “Why am I letting these little people shorter than I bully me and pick on me? Enough is enough.” I made that decision and right then was the Satori moment or the spark of my future to decide, “I’m in charge.”
Brian Tracy is my main mentor. For years, I’ve worked with Brian Tracy. He would always tell me this. Always wake up in the morning and say, “I am responsible.” I always thought that it was amazing because we are all responsible. We always like to blame other people for different things, but you have to look internally. Jim Rohn used to tell me this personally. He would say, “Erik, all the answers are inside of you already. You have to pull them out and expand on them.” That was my moment. It was between sophomore and junior year. I made that decision and that stuck with me throughout the rest of my years here so far.
I’m pretty high-energy. I vibrate pretty high on my vibration plate, too, because, during COVID, I’ve been standing on that sucker and trying to keep the movement going. It does elevate my vibration and energy level. Imagine being around Erik 365 days out of the year. You have high energy, but there are times when you don’t. Tell us what happens when you aren’t. I imagine at some point, people are going, “Please, calm down for a minute.” What circumstances put you in that? Is there a side of you that is quieter and more intellectual? Tell us a little bit about those situations and what you gained personally from being in those situations because I’m sure there’s some growth there.
As people get to know me more, they realize I’m not doing this big show and being on all the time. It’s not about that, even when I met you at the event Secret Knock with Greg and all the team. It was a three-day conference. You can be on without acting like you’re dancing on chairs or something like that. I’m reserved. When you look at it, you see I’m calculatingly reserved as well. The interesting part is this. I learned this early on. My father told me this. I lost my father years back. He used to tell me this.
He goes, “As human beings, we don’t have to be on all the time. It’s okay to have a bad day.” I was like, “You’re right.” He would teach me to allow myself to have that permission to be human and enjoy not being in a great mood all the time. You have to have the valleys to have the peaks as well. There’s a philosophy that I have and it’s called the power of eight. What I do is this. If something negative or bad happens to me or I stub my toe, I drop my coffee, or somebody feels it necessary to block you in traffic and they wave at you with not all the fingers but maybe one of them, the deal is I use the power of eight.
What that means is I allow myself either 8 seconds, 8 minutes, or 80 minutes. Sometimes I get over something like, “That was a bad email. Let me think about it, not reply right away, and sit with it for 80 minutes or 1.5 hours roughly. I’ll reply when I’m on. I’m level-headed.” Maybe it’s eight hours. It’s like, “I’m going to reply and figure this out tomorrow.” Let’s say I’m not feeling good and I need to give myself a rest for eight hours. That’s great. No worries.People always like to blame others for different things, but you are ultimately responsible for what happens to you. Click To Tweet
I take my dogs for a little hike, enjoy lunch, come back, and then start creating again. It’s all about the power of eight. Sometimes it’s eight days. I give myself that permission. The second part of that, though, is don’t allow other people to see. The problem with complainers is they’re doing it out loud and looking for, “Woe is me.” “Me too.” They’re competing about, “You should have heard my bad day.” “You should hear mine.”
It’s the glorification of it.
If I’m going to be a leader to myself and others, I decided that it’s up to me to handle my attitude on a consistent basis and don’t explain my negative attitudes all the time out there. Let it go. It’s the power of eight. I let it go and you will see me in a great mood because I’m not going to bring the bad mood to the video, stage, or Starbucks. What most people do is they bring it to any stage out there. A stage could be Trader Joe’s, the grocery store, or the parking lot. You’re always on stage. I learned this early on. We are always mentoring someone. How are we monitoring them? That’s my question.
It brings me all the way back to what Jim Rohn said. I love Jim Rohn’s things, “I am responsible.” I do his Best Year Ever. One of the things that always reminds me is that people do a lot of finger-pointing and not a lot of thumb-pointing. People are a lot of that. I’ve heard you say and I read it somewhere. I do a lot of snooping on people. I love the adage of, “Good morning, God,” versus, “Good God, it’s morning.” That’s an indicator of how your day is going to go right on the spot. You had that epiphany or tipping point where you said, “I’ve had enough of this.” It wasn’t that you necessarily had a bad attitude, but you were letting other people reflect and decide how you are going to act all day long or how it was going to affect you.
Deepak Chopra would ask us, “How many of you are allowing other people to rent space in your mind and don’t even charge them rent for it?” You’re allowing people to be in your mind.
They’re squatting in your mind. Don’t let them squat in your mind. I want to continue along this linear path. You had this change that happened in your life. You went to college and had the best attitude you could possibly have every day. I already asked you this question, so I already know the answer. What brought you into the world of self-improvement, speaking, coaching, and that type of thing?
College is fun or university. I went to university and then they asked me to leave. I left because that was a lot of fun. It’s interesting because I never finished my college education, but I’ve had more education than most people. I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to Harvard University and a lot of different universities on the attitude and habits that it takes to be successful. It’s interesting how you cannot finish school yet you’re still speaking to schools.
Here’s a little background on me. My anniversary is coming up when I first started in the sales and training arena. I worked with Brian Tracy and he’s the guru of sales and management training. He’s amazing. I’ve got tons of books of his. Advanced Selling Strategies is one of his books and Maximum Achievement is another one. I harnessed getting great at selling skills and teaching people how to close, overcome objections, prospect the best way, market themselves, and be amazing at sales.
I was sitting in Houston, Texas, one time at an event of ours. Brian was going on stage and this gentleman in the corner, one of the other speakers, called me over and said, “Son, come here.” I go over there, “Sir, can I get you a cup of coffee or something? What can I do for you?” He’s like, “What do you do for Brian?” I said, “I’m the best salesperson ever.” I was all excited about it. He’s got his legs crossed. He’s like the tea kettle.
If you know who I’m talking about, you can imagine exactly the way he’s sitting. He was about 74 at this time. He looks at me and goes, “What do you want to do?” That’s what he asked me after I was like, “I’m the best salesperson ever.” I thought about it and I went away. After a couple of different breaks and lunch, I came back and said, “Mr. Jim Rohn, I figured it out.” He goes, “What’s that?” I said, “I want to help people and myself with my habits and attitude.”
He said, “You should put that together.” I put the word habitude together. That was the genesis and start of Habitude Warrior. Enough is enough. I’m teaching people how to sell, close, and all that stuff. That’s easy. What about teaching people how to be a better human being and Habitude Warrior, which is the art of your habits and attitude put together? Everything else goes down easier. It’s like Eat That Frog. I have a constant reminder right there.
It’s all about bite-sizing. If you’re going to eat a frog, eat the biggest one first, and then the rest will go down easier. I decided to better myself. There was a study years ago. We’re in December 2021 and we’ve got New Year’s resolutions coming up. Everyone writes down the top ten New Year’s resolutions and I had these listed down. You could guess a few of them like lose weight and stop smoking. Quit your job was in there and all these different things. Number ten was to be a better person. I was thinking, “If you do number ten, then all the rest go down easier.”All the answers are inside of you already. You just have to pull them out and expand on them. Click To Tweet
Reverse engineer. In my office, before I left lending, and now I have my office here, I had a stuffed frog on my desk. He sat on my desk and that was my Eat The Frog. Every day, it’s reminding me to eat the frog. I gave it to my grandson, so now he has it. He’s having fun with it. Let’s talk about habits. You know my specialty and my expertise is priority management, time-blocking, and making sure you create habits. For so many people, it’s like a prison. Creating habits is a prison, “Why would I want to do that at the same time every day?”
Success is not sexy. Underneath all of it is a lot of work. How does someone start developing habits? We’ve heard 21, 13, and 28 days. There are all kinds of numbers out there. How does one start developing habits? You will answer this too, but in my opinion, it starts with mindset because you can’t have a habit and say, “I’ll have the habit. I’m going to stop drinking, stop smoking, lose weight, or whatever the case may be.” Where do we start in creating good habits?
I’m going to call you out on two words that you used. This hopefully will answer part of your question. It all does start with your mindset, but it also starts with the linguistics of how you’re talking to yourself and other people. You had mentioned prison. I would turn it into pleasure. That’s one phrase. You said it’s not sexy. I would say success is sexy. It’s almost like training your brain to decide that these words are excellent. These are accepting and abundance words.
I’m such a mindset geek about abundance. I love the abundance theory and it’s all about welcoming. I’m physically doing this. I’m allowing myself to allow the universe to come into abundance. You are going to laugh at me, but I have a stack of $100 bills sitting on my desk. I throw these around on Zoom calls and it’s funny because I get them back. It’s all about abundance. It doesn’t matter about the money. It matters about your mindset. With the stack of $100, I have thousands right here.
It reminds me, “You are an abundant individual. Anyone who surrounds themselves with me will reap those awesome borrowed benefits.” That’s what the mastermind talks about. Getting back to your other question about habits, here’s the first thing you have to do. Decide what you want. Number two is to decide what you don’t want to have and correlate those. That’s the key. A lot of people say, “I don’t want to have this anymore,” but you don’t replace it with a positive.
If you’re trying to get rid of the negative, you’re going to still come into that trap because it’s a comfort zone. It’s a known zone, as somebody else called it. A known zone is it might not be comfortable, but it’s all you know. You’re constantly having that even though it’s not comfortable. You’re hurting yourself and breaking your back every day. You’re in a negative mood all the time. That’s your known zone. You want to change it into an unknown zone and it’s going to open up so many more worlds.
Think about this when we tell our children, “Don’t hang out with that crowd.” We don’t give them another crowd to hang out with. What happens? They gravitate towards that negative crowd again. Number one is what you’re looking for. Number two is what you’re not looking for and correlate those. What I do is this. I’ll grab a blank piece of paper and write down ten things that I don’t want. On the other side, I’ll write down ten things I do want and start correlating those.
Do you know what the friend cleanse is? That’s fun. Twice a year, I look at this and say, “I’m going to put ten names that don’t serve me anymore.” They’re only calling me to borrow something or whenever it’s convenient for them. I put them on a list. On the other side, I put the elephant list. That’s the elephant list of who I want to talk to, meet, and invite to my life.
You and I know so many of the same individuals that are top-notch and amazing. A lot of them are in my book. There’s a lot of great leaders. I had no idea I was going to be best friends with all these people. I invited that in because I had their names on the list and I said, “I’m looking forward to meeting them sometime soon.” The universe gives you what you’re looking for.
One of the people I wanted to meet was Mike Huckabee. Some people have a fab 50 or fab 10. For some reason, my list had a bunch of Ms on it. I was writing down who I wanted to meet and said, “They’re all Ms.” Everywhere I looked, I would find an M. I would see Ms everywhere. I’m like, “What the heck are all these Ms coming into my life for?” The next thing I know, someone says, “I know Mike Huckabee. I can introduce you.” It is interesting. I do remember reading that someplace, not necessarily in your work but in others. It‘s a replacement. If you’re going to stop smoking, then start doing something else. You don’t stop smoking and start chewing tobacco. You don’t replace it with another bad habit.
You don’t stop betting on the horses and then go to Vegas.
“I’m going to stop betting on the horses and go to the slots.” That’s interesting too. There’s another acronym that I stumbled across that you have that I would like for you to talk about before we talk about the three-letter acronym. This acronym is NDSO. Tell us about this acronym.As a human being, you don't have to be on all the time. It's okay to have a bad day. Click To Tweet
Here’s a dog tag that I have an NDSO written on there. NDSO stands for No Drama – Serve Others. The reason why I have this is my father passed years back. Before he passed, this started coming into my mind. When he did pass, I started dreaming about this and these initials kept on showing up. NDSO was all about No Drama – Serve Others. There are a lot of people that are out there to better themselves, which is great, but they’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
It’s all about the significance for other people and helping other people. I love the fact that my whole life revolves around helping other people. I’m successful in certain ways. I’m growing and moving to the next level. The only reason why I’m successful that way is because I’m helping other people. What I did was I ended up putting these together. My father has one and I have one at all times. I wear it 24/7. I ended up getting these made and started giving them out to people because it is a great reminder of why you’re doing certain things.
If you don’t mind, I want to break it down. What’s the no drama, no complaining, and no whining? I’m good there. Let’s talk about serving others. A lot of people use this lightly, “I love to serve others. I want to help others. That’s why I’m in sales. That’s why I have a business. I’m an entrepreneur. I want to help others.” Let’s go deep with this. What does it mean to help others? People are superficial with serving others. There‘s a big talk, but there’s not a lot of action behind it.
It’s weird, but it’s cool because you know me as the dude who’s coming in and going to rile up the crowd. You called me always on. Serving others is a reminder to be the person behind the scenes. You don’t have to be the person that gets the credit for it or gets credit for anything. It doesn’t have to be donating to charity. Do that as well, but is there a way that you can mentor somebody? For instance, people ask me to mention them.
I have a $10,000 a day deal where I coach people for one day, but I’m opening this up where people can come over and meet me. I’ve been doing Chick-fil-A. I love Chick-fil-A. I said, “You can’t afford that. Meet me at Chick-fil-A at whatever time.” They meet me at 12:00 on Saturday afternoon. I say, “Let’s go through the line and the drive-through. Do you have $50?” They say yes. I go, “Get $50 worth of Number 1 and 2 and make sure they’re separate bags.”
They get theirs and I get mine. We go find people to give out this food to and then that person and I sit down for our 1 to 2-hour coaching. I do it for free at that point because they’re donating back. It’s little things that we can do to serve others and be significant in the world. For me, the no drama and serving others is helping people get to the next level. For instance, I have a lot of coauthors, as you do too, that come into your book series, bestsellers, and so forth. We’re creating the opportunity for them to be bestsellers.
It’s not even bestsellers. It’s just being an author, finally.
We’re not serving those authors who are in your book or my book. We’re serving the people that they’re serving. That’s what it’s all about for me. It’s leaving a legacy, but nobody even knows who started it. That’s what I want to do.
Thank you for going deeper into that. If I left that up there, we wouldn’t know about this thing that you’re doing and demonstrating how to serve others. If you can’t serve yourself, how can you demonstrate? One of the things that I’ve told my clients is that if you don’t have the money to do marketing, then use the time to do your marketing. It’s the same thing. If you don’t have the money to give to charity, then donate your time to charity.
It’s a reverse engineer of that. That’s beautiful and what you’re doing, but I don’t think everyone understands what serving is. That’s why I wanted to go a little deeper with that to make sure that people understood what that meant. It’s having a servant’s heart and asking, “How can I help, serve, and give?” I have a little quote every morning that I say, “God, somewhere, someone is looking for me. Help me find them so that I can serve them.”
I want to dive a little deeper into that. We know a lot of the same people. Jen and I are invited to go speak at different conferences throughout the world. You could always tell who is there to serve and who is there to serve themselves. You can see that. That’s why I was drawn to you right away because I’m like, “I see the value of working with her. She’s out there to serve others.”
Thank you very much. I appreciate that. Let’s move into the three-letter word that I’m not afraid to say. I want you to be the shocker of it. I want you to be able to present the shock and awe.
To all the readers, you have to PEA every day. That’s my saying. You have to PEA every day. There are three initials. Here’s the acronym. You have to be positive, energetic, and awesome. That’s a reminder for me. I have it on the other side. NDSO is on one side and PEA is on the other side. You have to PEA every day. It’s a constant reminder. Before I leave my home, I know that I’m going to help people because I’m going to stay focused and positive and bring some energy.Allow yourself to have that permission to really be human. Click To Tweet
The energy could be a nice gesture of opening a door or a smile. It shows that energy and uplifting people. Be awesome, meaning be kind, nice, and generous. What is awesome to you? Decide what your awesome is and start harnessing that. At the end of the day, I know for a fact that when people are like, “You can meet Erik,” they know they’re going to have energy, positive notions, and an awesome time no matter what. What are you doing? Bring that to the next level.
Let’s end our time. You’ve got a series of books coming out. Tell us a little bit about the series.
It’s called Impact. That’s the book you need to be in. This is the one.
We have Volume 2 coming out in 2022.
I want to look like a supermodel. That’s what’s happening. What I did was this. Based on Think and Grow Rich, I decided to start a series. It’s not just 1 book but 13 books. We have 33 authors and 13 celebrity authors. We all contribute to this book. That’s the first volume, which is on Desire. It is the first step in The 13 Steps to Riches and Think and Grow Rich. What we did was we went through the thirteen philosophies of Think and Grow Rich. Number one is Desire. Number two is Faith, featuring my great friend, Sharon Lechter. Number three came out.
These are all number one bestsellers. We’re pumping out a new bestselling book every two months for the next two years for all 33 authors. This one’s Auto-Suggestion featuring Jim Cathcart and our buddy Greg Reed did the foreword. It’s cool stuff. This one’s already sold out. We’ve got a new series, which I’m super excited about. It’s called The 13 Principles of David & Goliath. It’s awesome. We’re going to have you as a special guest in that.
I don’t know what I’m going to be doing, but I’m excited about it.
Check it out. It’s The 13 Principles of David & Goliath, meaning we all have a David and a Goliath in our lives. We have all been there and had stories of being the David of other people’s Goliath. What is David? Being the David means being awesome, positive, and successful and having a system to beat whatever the Goliath is at the time. What’s a Goliath? It’s the obstacle and challenge in life. It’s a three-book series. Book 1 is all on mindset and belief systems, Book 2 is on strategy and goal, and Book 3 is on implementation and action.
Are you selling that in a three-pack? That’s what Jim Rohn would do. He would do three at once.
Absolutely. Readers can buy them separately because they are stand-alone as well. They can also buy the series together.
That will be powerful. When is that all going to come out?
April 5th is Book 1, August 5th is Book 2, and December 5th is Book 3.
That’s all in 2022. There’s plenty of time to follow Erik and these other books coming out. That’s awesome. I find myself using the word.
You should see my awesome board back here. It says, “Things to do. Monday: Be awesome. Tuesday: Be awesome. Wednesday: Be awesome.”
Be awesome. How hard is that?
It says, “Sunday: Take a break.”
Take a break from awesomeness. Erik, it has been such a pleasure. There are so many more things that I wanted to talk about. I wanted to talk about your 60-second morning and high five, but we don’t have all the time in the world. I’m going to have to bring you back again, which I sure will do. I can’t wait to share that with you. You’re going to be a guest on my mastermind.
It has been a pleasure chatting with you and getting to know you even better. I know that you have served in the way that you want to serve. For those that are reading, what do you want to leave us with? If there’s one thing that you can leave us with and you say, “To be awesome and have this beautiful and great life that you‘re seeking to do,” give us some words of wisdom as we leave here.You have to experience the valleys before you can enjoy the peaks. Click To Tweet
It’s simple. Decide to be awesome. Make the decision. I always leave everyone with, “Decide to be awesome.” You have the decision-making power. Don’t allow other people to decide your thoughts and actions. You decide. Make it a decision to be amazing, awesome, and exciting for yourself so that it can expand to the people around you.
It’s a choice and we have that choice to make. Thank you so much for being with us. I appreciate it very much. Everyone, thank you so much for reading. We hope that you took a couple of more nuggets here. I don’t know if you have any availability in your mastermind. If you do, they can inquire about all of that and hopefully, you will have the opportunity.
I’ll give all of them a free pass to check it out for one session if you want. Go to RideAlongGuestPass.com and make sure you put that you were referred by Jen Du Plessis. We will go ahead and give you one session for free.
Erik, thank you so much. Everyone, thank you. We will catch you on the next episode.
- Habitude Warrior
- Brian Tracy
- Best Year Ever
- Advanced Selling Strategies
- Maximum Achievement
- Eat That Frog
- The 13 Steps to Riches
- Think and Grow Rich
- The 13 Principles of David & Goliath
About Erik Swanson
As an award winning International Keynote Speaker, 10 Time #1 Best-Selling Author in 5 different categories of success, Erik “Mr. Awesome” Swanson is in great demand around the world! Speaking on average to more than one million people per year, and honored to be invited to speak to Business and Entrepreneurial school of Harvard University as well as joining the Ted Talk Family with his latest Tedx speech called “A Dose of Awesome.”
You can easily find Erik sharing stages with some of the most talented and famous speakers of the world, such as Brian Tracy, Nasa’s Performance Coach Dr. Denis Waitley, from the book & movie ‘The Secret,’ Bob Proctor, Jack Canfield, John Assaraf, Millionaire Maker Loral Langemeier, Co-Author of ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’, Outwitting the Devil, Three Feet from Gold, and Exit Rich, Sharon Lechter, Legendary Motivator Les Brown, among many others!
Mr. Swanson has created and developed the super popular Habitude Warrior Conference which has a 2-year waiting list and includes 33 top named speakers, all in a ‘Ted Talk’ style event which has quickly climbed as one of the top 10 events not to miss in the United States! Erik’s motto is clear: “NDSO!” No Drama – Serve Others! He has also created his Habitude Warrior Special Edition Book Series called 13 Steps to Riches which includes 13 powerhouse, famous celebrity authors as well as 33 up-and-coming bestselling authors and leaders.
QUOTE: Say “Good Morning God instead of Good God, it’s morning!”