7 Secrets of Old People



Do you remember Statler and Waldorf, the old guys in the balcony of the Muppets shows? I used to wonder why old men were sometimes grumpy. Now I know. I am learning some new things about old people. I am learning because now I am becoming one.

There are some good and bad things that come with age. Before you wish against it, let me caution you that the alternative is death. Live long and prosper.

Here are seven negatives that come with growing old.

1. Your vision starts to fail.
2. your hearing starts to fail
3. folks don’t value your experience
4. you are growing hair everywhere but the top of your head
5. driving is no fun anymore
6. you know what libido is because yours isn’t working like it use to
7. you got friends that are dead on facebook

And to leave you on a good note. Here are seven positive things that come with growing old.

1. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can’t remember them either.
2. You sing along with elevator music.
3. You have a party and the neighbors don’t even realize it.
4. People call at 9 PM and ask, “Did I wake you?”
5. Things you buy now won’t wear out.
6. You can eat dinner at 4 P.M.
7. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.


Live your life, and forget your age. – Norman Vincent Peale



Getting Fit



Encouraging Words Podcast #30

I had a pretty good report from the doctor after my first physical in a long time.  He had one recommendation for me; lose 28 pounds.  That is almost three gallon jugs of bottled water. There is no hurry, however.  Just lose some in the next four months before the next appointment.  It is for my health.  It is to keep me healthy.  It is in my best interest.  It is for me.  So why is it so daunting?


There are a ton of books on diets.  There are DVD’s on weight loss.  There are pills, creams, and clothing created for this market.  We know that not any of them work.  I have heard that foreign visitors come the US to see the fat people.  I am not trying to be one of them.


Going to begin a habit that will help me lose weight.  The pros call it a program.


“We become what we repeatedly do.” Sean Covey

Once upon a time I was a gym rat.  I worked out once six times a week.  That was thirty years ago.  Cue the Rocky music.  Stop the music.

“How do I lose weight,” I asked.  The doctor said “burn more calories than you take in.”   My mind flashed to the Cold Stone “gotta love it” portion of ice cream I ate on Fathers Day.  That didn’t help.

Does that mean I have to eat only lettuce and carrots?  Do I suck down a bunch of vitamins and eat food replacement snacks?

I don’t think so.  What it means is that I need to make a conscious choice on what I eat and need to start to workout in a way that will burn calories.

If I was on television or rich, I would have a personal trainer, and a chef that would fix me 5-6 small meals a day so that my metabolism would change.   But I am neither.  But wait, I do know a good guy that can give me some help.  Charlie Levine is a personal trainer I met online.  We will listen to his recommendations next.

Your beliefs become your thoughts,

Your thoughts become your words,

Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your habits,

Your habits become your values,

Your values become your destiny.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

Conversation with personal trainer and enterprenuer Charlie Levine  http://513fit.com


Charlie says:

  1. Get a program
  2. Get a trainer513 fit
  3. Don’t kill yourself

His home workout recommendations:







I do remember a little about health and fitness and for the next few weeks will be trying to remember, seek advice and learn as much as I can to share with you what works and what is essentially snake oil.

You with me?

“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Ryun


Thomas Smith -Encouraging Words Podcast


This week on Encouraging Words Podcast you’ll be a part of a conversation with a former NFL Football cornerback, Thomas Smith and I. Thomas Smith’s path to success began on the football field. As a walk-on, he competed against top recruits and earned a scholarship at the University of North Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree. His talents took him from the university’s campus to professional football, were he played as a defensive back in the National Football League for the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, and Indianapolis Colts from 1993 to 2001. Today, he is rebranding himself and is blazing a trail as a mentor, speaker, that motivating business owners and professionals to aspire to be their best in the game of life and business.

The coolest part of all of this for me is that this is my first cousin. We grew up together. He looked up to me growing up, like I look up to him now. I am so proud of Thomas.  He is truly “Back In The Game.”

Fifteen years ago he gave me the money that I used to publish my first book, Black Man With A Gun. It was at a time in my life when I didn’t have much success in many things.   He has always been positive.  He has always been there for me. After he left football to pursue other things, life happened for us both. But he is taking charge and plotting his own course, using the gifts and talents he has and showing other people how to do the same.

I edited this audio you are about to listen to a little, but there are some real gems here for the Encouraging words audience.

Take what you need and share the rest.



What Is Holding You Back?


Encouraging Words Podcast

You ever sit back and think about was is wrong in your life? Did it bum you out a little? Can I ask you some personal questions?

  1. Do you believe some people are luckier and happier than you?
  2. Do you get mad when people tell you to “suck it up” and take it?
  3. Do you think what has happened to you in your life is your fault?
  4. Have you ever been hurt?
  5. Have you ever been wronged?
  6. Do you feel like you don’t have as many choices as other people?

There is a story about a guy that was visiting a traveling circus. As he was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures where being held by only a single rope tied to their leg. It was obvious the elephants could break the rope and walk away, but for some reason they did not.

He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these gigantic animals just stood there and made no attempt to break way.

“Well”, the trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use a similar size rope to tie them. At that age it is enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to think they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”

The guy was amazed. The elephants could break free at any time, but because they thought they could not, they did not try to break the rope. They were stuck right there! This powerful, gigantic creature has limited it’s present abilities by it’s limitations of the past.

How many of us go through life limiting our abilities based on failures of the past?

I am not sure if this is true or an urban legend. but I do know that if feed the elephant, and provide for it, and give it companionship (other similarly content animals) it will decide to stay there.

We are like that.

We learn from family members and situations to act in certain ways because of the environment, habit and attribution. Most of what keeps us down is negative thinking. We become professional victims. Some call this victimology. We stay angry, sad and afraid. A victim is anyone who experiences injury, loss, or misfortune as a result of some event or series of events. None of us has a perfect life. All of us experience loss, misfortune or some significant emotion event.

The key to surviving is to live in a cesspool of self pity and become extreme sympathy seekers. Do not focus on the bad.

The world is never enough.

A glass that is half full is considered half empty. A person with a high standard of living complains about not having enough money. A healthy person complains of minor health problems that others would ignore. We have first world problems in a community that is trying to find drinking water or shelter. We live in a perpetual funk. We like to put ourselves down. We like to think that we don’t have choices, or no access to the answers we need.

I am here to remind you that this way of thinking is learned not inborn. It is possible to change. The biggest problem is that we don’t like change. We and do get used to anything. We hold on to our hurt. We hold on to our baggage. We beg and pray for release but never walk out the door that is unlocked.

I have seen the enemy and it is us. I have seen the black man who blames the white man or the white woman for their career failures. I have seen the politician and so called “black leader,” or television personality manipulate people. Adolf Hitler used this to create the Nazi party in Germany with Mein Kampf. Cult leaders, race baiters, and ambulance chasers use it every day.

It is effective. You can change. You can come out on top. You can do better. You have to take responsibility for yourself. You have to try. You have to change your operating system. You have to reboot. You have to clean your hard drive. You might have to get a new drive, a new goal. And when you do a new focus.

Otherwise nothing will change for you. You will be a powerful elephant tied to a circus with a piece of twine when a chain wouldn’t even hold you if you wanted to be free.

I don’t care if you are black, poor, brown, sick, weak, female, gay, or have PTSD. You are more than your circumstances. you are not just what happened to you. You can become more. You just have to want it. You just have to fight for it. And most of the fighting comes from within you. The world, family friends, etc can’t stop you if you believed in yourself. The world will always hate you. Haters going to hate. But don’t you hate yourself. You have to start believing you can before anyone else.

What we need to believe is that we are warriors. We have to fight on.


Can You Make Money Podcasting?

You can make money podcasting.  I want to caution you though and give you some background before you jump into the pool. This post will share some things I have learned over the past seven years. I want you to win.

I absolutely love podcasting. I have been podcasting since 2007. Before that, as a kid I used to narrate my comic books. I have always wanted to be a inspirational speaker and actually became a Christian minister.

Podcasting is where a amateur can potentially speak to thousands of people electronically using social media. It is a time shifted choice allowing the audience to choose who, when and what they want to listen to. It supports a loyal following. It is word of mouth advertising on steroids.

It is not really understood by traditional media. You cannot successfully copy a radio program and slice it up for a podcast. You have to talk directly to your audience. If there are too many commercials it turns off a podcast audience.

Audio quality matters. Podcast listeners use earbuds, and headphones. Poor quality is annoying. Producers that spend the time to learn how to make their shows easy on the ears, succeed. There are some hosting companies that alter the sound of a show to compress it and therefore make it sound horrible.

Podcasting is a new media phenomena that has been evolving since 2005. There are people making thousands of dollars doing it and just as many trying to copy their success. Like any gold rush there are snake oil salesman and charlatans selling methods and equipment to these over optimistic entrepreneurs.

Podcasting is hot right now. Corporations are trying to figure out how to get a hold of the genie that is out of the bottle right now. There are new services like Kaliki.com that are trying to get into the auto market where Spreaker, Stitcher Radio and I-heart radio have started.

Podcasting can be a great hobby if you are not in it for the money. If you want to share a passion, start a conversation or entertain, there is a niche waiting for you to fill.

There is power in niches. There is someone else in the world just like you. In fact, there may be a lot of you. In spite of this not all niches make money. Some audiences you will find don’t have the discretionary income to support your dreams.

I was watching the old Clint Eastwood movie, Outlaw Josey Wales, and it has a Snake Oil Salesman peddling his “magical elixir.” We still have those folks among us. They are big in the podcasting world. They are all over social media. They sell SEO secrets. They are social media “gurus” They make money off of entrepreneurs like you and I. They make a business selling you stuff you don’t need and advice you could get for free. If you are a new podcaster please be careful, of all the offers to make money podcasting.

In the midst of this the Internet has also spawned a new number of digital snake oil salesmen that are promoting that you can get rich from it. Most don’t outwardly say it but they imply that it is very easy and you too can be as successful as they are if you take their courses. I am just suggesting that you be careful.

I said be careful because the money they are making is coming from you. In your hopes to duplicate their success you buy, hook, line and sinker the over priced equipment, hosting, and training classes for knowledge that is often free, and equipment that you may not (yet) need.

As in all things, there are people that are just exceptional salespeople. There are people that are talented entertainers and are just blessed to know the right people, have the income to invest in themselves and get noticed by the “right” people. None of that is transferrable to you no matter what you do.

Can I share some truths with you? We live in a world where just about everything goes. Not every niche is profitable. Not every group you create has the income to support what you do. Musicians and artist for example are often scraping by. A show for them will probably not make you a lot of money. Podcasting for five days in a row will not guarantee that you make more money than one that is uploaded once a week. It all depends on your subject, your niche and your community.

The number of people you have on Twitter or Facebook alone doesn’t equate to success or failure. There are large corporations that have less Twitter followers than you do but are Fortune 100 companies. Don’t get consumed with your statistics. If you don’t know it, you can buy thousands of fake Twitter followers, and Facebook likes online. There are many celebrities “forced” to do it, because the entertainment industry believes in numbers. You can fool and impress future sponsors but you can’t fool yourself. You’ll know how many real people you are influencing. Statistics don’t equate to a payday.

Why am I saying these things? Did I get ripped off, or taken by a digital snake oil salesman promising that I could make money podcasting or get my money back? No, but I for a few minutes I was feeling inadequate because I had been in this arena for a few years and have had over a million downloads of my show but didn’t make five figures. I forgot that was not what I was in it for. I forgot that I use podcasting to preach, teach and reach people. I forgot. I started wondering what I had missed. I had a crisis of analysis. I was looking at all my demographics, and I was getting caught up in the trap of envy. I forgot that maybe it was all just snake oil.

I want to save you from being disappointed when your efforts don’t make you rich. Entrepreneurs suffer from hyper optimism and it can sometimes get the best of us. We will not listen to reason, and think everybody that is telling us to slow down is a naysayer, and a dream stealer.

You do want to do your best. You do want to be found on the Internet. You do want to be professional. You do want to give the best audio services you can. You want to make a difference but do it for the right reasons. Be honest with yourself. Grow organically. Grow your community. It takes time to find your niche. It takes time to discover your community and what they want. It takes time to master your craft.

I have learned that to make money with your podcast is based on relationships, both with your sponsor and your audience. Everything else is affiliate and third party applications. They are few people making money directly from their shows. Most are making money off of products and consulting services.

This space is no different than the late night infomercials. Beware of the virtual wrinkle creams, the diet pills, the stuff that grows hair, and the juice that will bring back your youth. Keep your podcasting goals in mind when you start and if it is to make thousands of dollars a month like the host of the fill-in-the-blank podcast, then good luck on that.

Some podcast are popular not for their content but from the personalities in front of the tent. Don’t get caught up in that and think you can do it too.

Be careful out there.

Kenn Blanchard, podcast producer.

Woodrow Parfrey

Encouraging Words Podcast 3


Family isn’t always blood.

Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones you accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you you no matter what.

Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” – Dalai Lama

Human beings are social creatures. We are social not just in the trivial sense that we like company, and not just in the obvious sense that we each depend on others. We are social in a more elemental way: simply to exist as a normal human being requires interaction with other people.

Almost all of us desire the company of others on a regular basis. And others, we hope, desire ours. We (mostly) enjoy the company we keep and we tend to see the same lovely folks on a regular basis. We get used to them and they get used to us.

New Podcast and Blog About Motorcycles

MotorcycleRadio.us is a new blog and podcast celebrating the people that love riding motorcycles, trikes and quads.  It will cover mostly street bikes and traveling the open road.  It will share events, sales, new products, safety, and the interesting people that ride.


If you have a story you want to share, feel free to contact the host Kenn Blanchard.



Podcast Tips From The Black Man With A Gun On Interviewing

The Black Man With A Gun Show is a seven year old podcast that talks about gun rights, history, and to interesting people in the firearms community.  The host, Kenn Blanchard has interviewed and had on his show, close to 100 guest like the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, politicians, Ed Reilly, Francis Becker, EW Jackson, and even actors like Ernie Hudson, Tim Abell, and R. Lee Ermey.  He has had notable trainers, bloggers, podcasters and You Tubers on the show.


You’ve heard tons of interviews on the radio and on other podcasts.  You know that not all host do it well.  Many fail to ask the right questions.  I can think of one successful podcaster that never fails to talk over his guest and make sure that he shares how much he knows.  There is another guy that rattles through his questions but  never allows his guests to respond past a quick response.  On a podcast or radio show, the host (you) should remember that the audience is the focus and not you.  You are talking as an interpreter.  Everybody has a great story to tell and it’s your fault if you don’t allow him or her to get to it.


Build rapport. One of the ways to help them is to begin the conversation before you record it.  Allow them to get the feel of how you speak.  Ask the demographic questions (name age, favorite colors, etc) and exchange the pleasantries.  After your rapport is built, let them know that you are going to ask them a few personal questions as well as their take on a number of subjects.  If you know the questions ahead of time, either send it to them or tell them then.  This will save them time thinking and lessen the number of pauses, “umms” and other sounds.  It will also make your show smoother.


Ask “open ended” questions. An open-ended question are those are questions that do not end in one-word responses.  Questions that begin with “how”, and “what” are some of the strongest open ended quesitons.  As the interviewer, fight the urge to tell your viewpoint while you have them online.  Your responses can limit what they will say.


Your silence is golden. People have a tendency to fill blank space with noise.  If its good stuff, keep it.  If you don’t say anything, they usually will.


Listen and Follow up. You will know you are doing great when they tell things that you didn’t ask.  Make sure you listen so that you can follow up and dig deeper for your listener.


Skype.   If you are using Skype for your audio interview, I suggest you turn off the camera feature.  The nuances of body languages and facial expressions that acknowledge you understood the subject being interviewed will not be transferred in audio.


Smile.  Be respectful, be honest, and smile when you are talking.  Even through a telephone or microphone, I think, humans can tell when you are paying attention, interested, and in a good mood.


You’ll know when you are doing well because your subject will be chattering and you’ll more information than you can use.  You can then use close-ended questions to stop the flow of info and turn off the “faucet.”


Here is the recap:

  1. Be Respectful
  2. Be Honest
  3. Smile
  4. Be attentive
  5. Turn off the camera on Skype when interviewing.
  6. Ask “open ended” questions
  7. Wait for the response
  8. Build rapport early
  9. Know that the audience is the focus and not you.

10. Everybody has a story to tell.  It’s your job to find it.



As it is with everything, practice can make you better.  We talk all the time, be an active listener and think of your audience.

Gun Podcaster Finds 3 Things More Important Than His Audio Equipment

You want to create a podcast. That is great. You heard from somebody that all you need is a microphone and “x” and you are ready to go. I am here to tell you that you need a little bit more than that if you want to succeed at it.

The Black Man With A Gun Show is a gun podcast. It is hosted by an African American gun rights activist with an eclectic background. The show is almost seven years old but just recently started doing things so that it could be found in search engines and blog directories. There are several things it has done that helped it get over a million downloads. With over three hundred episodes it has a lot of great content. It has been produced regularly. It is produced with professional equipment and the audio quality is good. But, that wasn’t enough to get it to rank high on Google or to be found when someone was looking for a gun podcast. There are at least three things that are better than an expensive microphone and good software.

The first is a purpose. You need to ask yourself a few questions. Why are you podcasting? What do you hope to accomplish? Who do you think is going to be your audience? While that sounds really easy you would be surprised to realize how much we all do without asking ourselves the reason we are doing things. We “Just Do It,” like Nike told us and then wonder why we fall short. It is like preparing for a party and forgetting to send out the invitations. Nobody came to your party because the people you wanted to come didn’t know you were talking to them. As Seth Godin says, “your tribe is waiting for you to lead them.” You are the new kid in school and although you are the “next big thing;” who knows? Knowing your purpose is what will save you in the long run. It’s OK if you are not sure right now but if you want to affect change, make a difference or money you will have to have a goal. If you can “solve a problem,” you’ll have an easier road to travel because your purpose is defined.

The second thing you’ll need is a name. What’s in a name? Whatever reason you decided to start podcasting should be consistent with the name of the show. Your choice of name is important for branding, search ability and ultimately its success. One of my three shows is a gun podcast. I didn’t know which name that I used would be best for me. I have changed the name of the show three times. The Black Man with A Gun Show was originally the Urban Shooter Podcast. Both of the names made some people think it was only for black people in the shooting community. The “Black Man With A Gun” was more defined. I had been using that off and on since my first website in 2000. I registered the name as a trademarked and decided to use it since my latest book is also named after that. It’s controversial to some but memorable.

Choosing the right name early can save you time and money. It will also help potential listeners find you in the din, which is social media. A good name also helps keep you focused. King Solomon said

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, …. Proverbs 22:1

I wish parents took more care when choosing a name for their children. Your “baby” or creation in this podcast needs the same care. I would advise against trying to be creative or cute by making up a word. Forgive me, but describe to me what you think a teenager named “Mercedeesha” would look like and work? Whatever you come up with it is probably not where she would want to be perceived as. But we do it all the time. Resist the impulse to create a name that has to be explained or distracts from your goal. Make it easy for people to find and define you.

It takes effort to make things easy. You have to think ahead (plan). Don’t make all the mistakes I made. I successfully used the “throw it all on the wall, and see what sticks,” method. The result is that I learned a lot but didn’t make any money. Making money wasn’t my goal seven years ago although I had hoped it would just happen. I am here to tell you, not to use that method or ‘Just hope” you will be successful. You can actually be successful if you use tried and proven methodology.

The final thing that I think is more important than what microphone you buy is the result of your purpose and your focus. As a result of your audience listening to you, what do you want them to do? Do you want them to be entertained? Do you want them to cry, laugh with you or join your email list? Do you want them to buy your e-book? Whatever it is, make sure it is easy for them to do and all your efforts point them to do that at the end of the broadcast. Its’ known as the CTA. The call-to-action, is important even if all it is, is for them to share your show on social media. Whatever it is, you have to be succinct and deliberate. It is really easy to put too many things into a show. It is true that without any directions, any road will get you there. I did that basically for six years. My “throw it on the wall” resulting in more misses than hits. I have had many people just roll through but not stop. I have gained in notoriety but not where I wanted to go. As my wife reminds me after decades of TV and radio appearances, that I am the most famous broke guy she knows. You can do better if you plan, beginning with the name, focus and then work your plan.

Here’s a sample of what I mean about “extra” I used to sing on this podcast. It was one of those things that I “threw on the wall.” It had nothing to do with “guns.”

Kenn Blanchard