24 Questions with Steve Gamlin

Speaker. Author. Grateful Giver.

If there is a more rewarding way to live his life, Steve Gamlin hasn’t discovered it yet.

At the moment, he has no interest in changing course. He’s enjoying his time as The Motivational Firewood™ Guy and founder of the giving mission known as BeachBum Philanthropy.

After enjoying a successful decade in the radio industry, a series of life-decisions led to shifting gears from dark broadcast studios to the bright stage lights of business events and conferences.

Blending humor and motivation, Steve’s programs deliver lessons directly from his own life with frequent trips to the humor bank. His message and style have created solid results for sales teams, managers and association audiences as they target the sweet spot of engagement between personal and professional aspirations.

Steve’s credo “that which doesn’t kill me gives me a heck of a story to share from the stage” has already guided him through driving golf balls in a thunderstorm, jumping out of three perfectly good airplanes, leaping off a 108-story building and plunging into the ice-cold Atlantic Ocean to raise money for charity.

In his journey as an entrepreneur, award-winning Toastmaster and member of the National Speakers Association, he remains a student of life at heart.

As long as life continues to teach him lessons, Steve will continue to share them in the most ‘real’ ways possible.


1. What doesthriving  mean to you?

Going to sleep each night knowing I created something of value that day, especially if it helped someone, and that I can make a living doing what makes me happy.

2. What’s the one domino that moves you toward thriving?

Knowing that someone out there, hiding (or stuck) in the shadows of life, may be secretly hoping for a message that inspires them to take action and have the self-confidence to make *something* in their lives better.

3. What was or is your favourite way to sabotage yourself?

Letting my fears and insecurities take control of my brain…instead of leading with my heart.

4. What gets you back on track?

The daily entries in my Gratitude Journal. About 90% of mornings since 2012, I’ve started my day by jotting my 3 favorite ‘moments’ from the previous day in a journal. Great way to start the day, acknowledging positive things for which I am grateful. That means I already have things in the ‘win’ column before I leave the house.

5. What was an embarrassing/painful moment you can share?

Very early in my speaking career, I said ‘yes’ to an event I had no business speaking at (it was a small audience of aeronautical engineers…not my crowd). Our communication and behaviors did not match. Our senses of humor did not mesh. The person who introduced me crumbled up my intro (which contained a closing which led to my opening lines), threw it over his shoulder and said: “Well, I Googled this guy, he seems okay. Come on in, Steve!” The HR Manager who hired me was very disappointed and asked for her money back. Other than all that…it went great!
This nearly ended my speaking career, by the way, just as it was beginning.

6. What did you learn recently?

That I absolutely love cheering on my Vision Board Coaching Clients as they take the lessons I share and make them part of their Action Plans.

7. Divide your age by half, who were you then?

I was 2 years into my radio career, completely broke and working for (considering the hours I put in) less than minimum wage. I had very little confidence, but busted my butt (as a Morning Show Producer) to make everyone else look like rock stars. Slowly, my confidence grew. I survived 10 years in radio, became a freelance comedy writer and producer for a national-level radio comedy service, later a stand-up comic and, for the past 15 years, a Humorous Keynote Speaker.

8. Think back 5-10 years, what moved the needle in your success?

Two very important words: Honor Yourself.
I began to assess the people with whom I surrounded myself, taking note of who was contributing to my confidence and success versus dragging me down (literally and energy-wise). Making decision to extricate myself from certain relationships has had a massive positive impact on my life and businesses.
I finally realized that kicking toxic people out of my life is like taking Legos® off the floor *before* running around barefoot!

9. What’s the one resource you would recommend?

Pick your heroes wisely and observe them closely. All the clues you need to succeed are there in the resources they leave behind (live events, interviews, video, books, articles, etc). If you’re not sure, ask.

10. What is your favourite quote?

I am going to share one which came to me at a pretty low point in my life: “Just when you think you have nothing left to offer the world…smile.” (SG)

11. What are your top VALUES?

Optimism, integrity, compassion and vision.

12. What is your focus over the next 12 months?

Taking the past 13 months of work leading up to the digital re-launch of my Vision Board Mastery program and ensuring that we deliver the most incredible content as we continue to grow our worldwide audience.

13. You write a book for your great grandkids, what principles do you want to pass on?
I have no kids, but I’ll share this lesson (taught to me by my grandfather) for someone else’s great-grandkids: “Leave at least one situation a day better than you found it, even with the smallest acts of kindness.”

14. Who is one of the people that made an impact on your life?

My friend Danny, whose questions of “Why didn’t you follow your dream of being on the radio?” finally got me to pursue it in Summer 1992. He died of cancer at age 23, just a few weeks after I got my first radio job. Lesson: when someone else believes in you, especially when you don’t…listen to that person!

15. What are you thankful for?

My wife Tina. On June 16, 2007 she showed up in my life from 1300 miles away, via an e-mail, after 21 years of zero contact (we graduated high school together)…10 days after I wrote in my journal: “I am ready to fall in love”. We’ve been together ever since.

16. If someone grew up in a dysfunctional/chaotic home what advice would you give them going forward?

Understand that most people are doing the best they can with what they’ve got, or at least with what they were taught. Do your best to find positive role models who are living the type of life you wish to live, and pay attention, ask questions, emulate.

17. What is your favourite memory of the last 12 months?

I built my new recording studio in the home Tina and I bought last year, using the tools and knowledge my Dad (we lost him in October 2018) had shared with me.

18. Do you have a favourite joke or a funny moment?

I believe that life is a caption contest. I am always trying to bring the humor, wherever I’m at. Sometimes it is fun just making strangers laugh at the grocery store while I reach items on the top shelf (I’m 6’2”) for them.

19. What do you need to have LESS of in your life?

Chronically negative people (I’ve done a pretty good job of eliminating most of them), and also less stress over the opinions of others.

20. What rule should we be breaking?

The rules which say (and there are some on the books in some states) that we cannot feed or help the homeless in public. We need better programs, which exist on a foundation of compassion.

21. What’s the one thing you want to do before you die?

Go skydiving at least one more time, or two…or ten.

22. What is one small step you would recommend one take to improve their life?

To start your day the way I start mine, jotting down your 3 favorite ‘moments’ from the previous day. It’ll let you re-live some really good emotions before the rest of the world gets to see you for the day. Find the good before the bad tries to drag you down!

23. Who is the PERSON(S) you would like to acknowledge by nominating them to be showcased @ THRIVEMASTERS?

Kris Whitehead

24. How can people connect with you?
E-mail: Steve@SteveGamlin.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Steve.Gamlin.Author.Speaker.Motivationalist/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/stevegamlin