“Excuse me… would you like to buy a candy bar?”

That was me at age eight after taking my first sales job. The “job” was selling overpriced chocolate bars. The “employer” was St. Mary’s Elementary School. Some parents would have simply written a check to pay for the unwanted merchandise. Not my mom. My mom saw it as a teachable moment.

Selling candy to strangers was a lot to handle for a small, introverted child. Most of my days were spent avoiding dodge balls or hiding from John Powers on the playground. Yet each day after school, I changed into my best outfit and stood in front of the local grocery store to pitch my wares. By the end of the week, I had earned a better understanding of my customer, a deeper knowledge of myself, and a $10 gift card to Showbiz Pizza.

Since those early days of high-pressure candy bar sales, I’ve made a living helping individuals and organizations reach their audiences, from big companies to small businesses, from minor celebrities to major universities. I’ve worked with top recording artists and managed national tours. I’ve consulted on political campaigns and even helped a professional bull ranch. And while each offers something very different, they all have one thing in common: they want to deliver the stuff that customers love.

From writing and speaking to private consulting, I am blessed to be able to help people across the globe capture the hearts of their audience. I am fueled by the belief that business is still about The Golden Rule, that each of us has a story to tell, and that together we can make the world a better place — one happy customer at a time.