So many times, over the years, people have asked me, “How did you get started in the speaking and writing business.” Many of the younger folks expect me to say something about taking my graduate studies at some famous college, then moving on to a yet more glorious university for my masters and then possibly studying abroad for a few years and returning home to get my doctorate degree at one of the top universities in the world. (Obviously they haven’t read any of my work or heard me speak.) The fact is that I received my high school diplomat from the University of Detroit High and it was conditional. I claim that they gave me the diplomat on the condition that not tell anyone where I got it. I was 31 years old when I finally got serious about writing. I had just completed a comprehensive fourteen year study on the consumption of alcohol and finally decided that I had had my fill. I needed something to do with my hands instead of opening beer bottles and so I bought a ream of paper and an old Underwood upright typewriter. Ten years later I met a fantastic professional speaker and Notre Dame University professor named Herb True. I had enjoyed a tiny bit of success as a part time author and Herb gave me a part time job writing humor for him. Within two years I started doing paid speeches on my own. So I guess the answer about how did I get started is this. I just began writing and seeing myself as an author. I did what I believed authors did and it worked. Same with speaking. I gave some speeches and I was invited to do some more. So my advice for aspiring authors and professional speakers is this. Just Do It!