20 May, 2014 15:57

Athletes who become authors

Who doesn’t want to be an athlete?

We all love adventure but Athletes live the ultimate adventure from the time they decide to embark upon the challenge. There’s the daily grind, the discipline and sweat, and the mental challenges.

My most recent athlete client lives in Florida. And this was my evening view writing his story.

Q was drafted to the NBA as a teenager and has an incredible story. Writing books for athletes is always an adventure. I learn about the things they’ve learned along the journey.

Q played for the Knicks and LA and a host of other teams. It required being in elite physical condition, and having the mindset of a navy seal. Along the way, there were victories and adversities. Some unthinkable.

He lost his role model at 12 to breast cancer. His mother had taught him how the play basketball. And yet he continued the dream. He was on the Lakers bus when he got the call that his brother had been shot and killed in his driveway, by thieves stealing a car Q had given him.

How do you rise up after that?

You make a choice.
To live, or look back.
Life is a series of heartbreaks, and setbacks and victories.

But Life is also an adventure. Q decided to live. To get married and have a child of his own. And after years of playing in the NBA, raising this little girl, in memory of his mother who gave him so much, might just be the greatest adventure of all.

Tammy Kling is a best selling author, adventure travel writer, TEDx speaker, and the ghost writer of 107 books. Her work in the jungle of Colombia working airplane crashes in crisis management led to her desire to use words to change lives.


Time is currency!

Guard your Time

3 ways to increase in profits, reduce stress, and build closer relationships today

There are three things everyone can do to grow their time. Yes, grow. I often say that words are currency. In my Tedx talk the topic was that every word we say has impact – and therefore we should consider that our words are currency. But time is currency too. That Ted talk got me thinking about the various currencies we have in our lives. Time is an asset. Ask anyone who is dying of cancer what they wish they had more of, and it is time. Not to sound morbid here but each one of us has a limited amount of time. However are we actually taking care of it? I propose that each one of us can create and grow more time. It’s popular for people to say “well we only have 24 hours in the day.” But what if you actually could grow more time? What if you could live as if you had 26 hours in a day? Think of how much more you could accomplish. Think of how much time you would have to spend face-to-face with the ones you love. Think of that new business venture, or the book you started writing but never finished. Increase your time today. It will increase your income reduce stress and help you bond with your loved ones. Here are three ways: 1. Guard your Time like the Hope diamond Envision your time as an asset. Secure it, and then place security guards around it. This is almost completely opposite the way 99% of the world lives. Look at your day, and your schedule, and be intentional about what you do. That doesn’t mean you can’t respond to wonderful people, or unexpected opportunities. 2. Audit your Time Look at your last month and examine each day. Make a quick list of all the friends that you met with, or the meetings that did not amount to anything tangible, or the lazy activities you participated in, when you could have focused on that project on your back burner, or your important business dream. When you do this quick list, you’ll see that it adds up to several hours each week. You’ll see that you actually have much more time than you think. When I did this, I saw that I was spending a lot of my time saying yes to casual lunches with friends and business contacts. I could still stay in touch with friends, by scheduling one big lunch or one big dinner party at my house where I invited all of them instead of scattering my time throughout the week. 3. Utilize the third watch The third watch are those hours in the night, that in ancient times soldiers would utilize. Guarding the post, is a 24 hour job, and no matter what your working hours are, someone else has working hours that are opposite yours. Find hours in the night that you are not currently utilizing. Even if it’s for a short period of time, like a season of productivity, set your alarm to wake up at 4 AM instead of seven and do it two days a week. Or, if you work better late into the night, plan to stay up late a couple of nights a week to focus on that important project. You did it in college and you can do it now. Push! Even just 3 extra hours a night (or day) three days a week equals 36 extra hours a month! What could you do with 36 extra hours a month? – email prospective clients – create a business marketing plan – write a letter of gratitude to everyone you love (including business and life mentors) – start writing your book – workout at home with weights, or run around the block and lose 5 pounds – focus on helping someone else – de clutter your home and office – fill in the blank… Take time, to create margin time – today!

1 September, 2014 15:52


Anyone who has ever labored over a project at midnight for a work deadline, or squinted over a laptop into the wee hours will understand the feeling of exhaustion. As a writer who spends a great amount of time sedentary, when I stop – I find myself yearning for movement.

What about you? What are the surprising things you’ve learned about yourself and your need for movement or adventure, as a result of managing the stress at work? How do you counteract the hours and days in front of a computer?

I love my career.
I was born to be a writer. And when I sent my first manuscript to the fabulous Dominique Raccah at Sourcebooks, I never imagined I’d look back a decade later with a New York Times bestseller, books auctioned and sold to publishers all over the world and in the MBA program in China at the University of Bejing, and 108 books under my belt. She gave me my first start.

Dominique, thanks for being a mentor early on, and giving a new author a start.

Today, I travel the world from Europe to Argentina and love helping others fulfill their book dreams. Virgin.com just called me one of the worlds TOP ghostwriters! And it has all been a wonderful surprise to me, because I followed my dream and would’ve written that first book for free. But, dreams come at a price.

When you work hard, your body and mind get fatigued. Stress can set in, and you’ve got to manage it in order to be your best. You’ve got to create space.

How about you? How will you manage your time, body, and mind, to grow your life and business into this next decade? What blind spots do you have that could prevent you from achieving all you want to do? Examine, unearth, detox from negative people, places and things, and prepare yourself for the magic moments ahead.

Because they’re right around the corner!

I didn’t envision a TED talk, but I’ve got one. I didn’t plan to be on the Discovery Channel, but it was an adventure when they asked to do a segment on my book. Just following my dream in itself, has been an adventure. But, it’s also a life that requires solitude and focus.

Before I discovered my need for adrenaline, as a counter active effect to the sedentary writers life, I spent days and months writing, sinking deeper into solitude of my books and thoughts.

But then a book client invited me to the trail.
I discovered the magic of endorphins and trail running that day,
and it changed my body and mind. The first thing trail running did for me is take me into a world inside the forest, over roots and rocks and magnificent green leaves, into moving solitude.

As a writer, I need adventure, nature, and fresh air to counter balance my body and mind.

And you do, too.

What’s your escape? Plan it, today. Be intentional, and choose intentionally healthy escapes.

When a book client ordered me a Ducati, I learned to race it around a track, and that love turned into days of adrenaline filled rush where I suited up in leather, and felt total freedom.

A year into my Ducati adventure the news station asked to do a segment on me and my client, a gentlemen I had helped write and edit a book for. It was a great moment where my passion for my career as a writer, ghostwriter and author, intersected with my passion for racing my motorcycle. And to top it all off, my kids were with me enjoying the day. This is what life’s about. One big, excellent, adventure that you can take your family on too. But it doesn’t happen by accident.

If you’re feeling sad or depressed, it’s a trigger that something needs to change.
If you are scattered, disorganized, or losing sleep, it’s time to find something to manage your stress. Not someone, and not a substance. I’m not talking mid life crisis or unhealthy escape here. Make a list. A list of the top ten things you’d like to try, create, or achieve.

It could be a hobby, like trail running, learning to fly, or something simpler. It could be a stress reliever like a new workout, fishing, camping, or even making a book list of success books to educate yourself on a subject that would contribute to your growth. (Or writing your own book.)

For me, it’s adventures like weekends in a city hotel, or a cabin in the woods, or mountain running, travel, or simply dropping the canoe in a nearby lake and swimming with the kids.

The point is, adventure should be intentionally woven into your life, so that you don’t have to escape your life.

The beautiful news professional Tracy Kornet is featured in this photo, interviewing me. When we met I discovered that we shared a zest for life, family, and adventure. She decided recently to give up her coveted spot in one of the nations top ranked news cities, to make a move across the nation to be where her son is attending college. That, is a big adventure.

What about you? Look at the next five years. Escape. Start planning your adventure, and integrate it into your life today.


31 August, 2014 15:08

Standing Room Only

I ran the annual Creede Mountain Run, which is a magnificent trek up the infamous bachelor loop mountain, in Colorado.

Creede is a miner town of 400 or so set into a box canyon.

It’s a majestic place,
one of the last undiscovered jewels surrounded by incredible mountain peaks. It’s the place I escape to write books.

As I raced back down the mountain wearing my Reebok trail shoes, (I am an avid adventurer, trail runner and mountain runner and Reebok asked me to blog about their shoes) I was looking forward to celebrating my victory in only one place: Far Dog.

Far Dog is the best restaurant in the world. #1 for mountain ambience and magnificent, intimate homemade comfort food. The number 2 in my opinion is Sketch, in London.

After the mountain run
I stripped off my race shirt and placed it on the table, and ordered an epic reward breakfast of biscuits and gravy.

After the endorphins and adrenalin of a high elevation run, the magic of having a mimosa with loved ones and a five star meal in a mountain town, made it the perfect day.

But I’m a writer, and an observer of people. And whether I’ve got my travel writer hat on, or restaurant or hotel review, or just simply an author writing a book, I’m always observing humanity. So I couldn’t help But notice how the inside of Far Dog was standing room only.

It had emerged as a new entrepreneurial venture run by
Creede newcomers
Jess and Erin, that offered baked specialties, wines, and menu offerings as elegant as the restaurants in London and Paris.

Every visit to Far Dog, Jess and Erin were hands on in all aspects of the business from the
kitchen, to the front of the house, showing no signs of the stress that most restaurant owners do.

Yet on this visit, Jess told me that they were re evaluating their location.

They had a limited number of tables, a packed dinner hour, and no room for growth.

He told me this as he happily juggled food and navigated a long line of hungry customers.

Growth is a great thing. But there comes a point when you have to stop, and evaluate your five year plan.

It made me think of all the small businesses including mine, that had reached a point of standing room only. It’s a great place to be.

When you become in such demand that people all over the world recognize your value, it’s the dream of every entrepreneur.

As an entrepreneur,
I’m in the space of implementing processes that will support additional growth. To continue living this dream into the next decade.

Most people spend years to get to standing room only. Others, like Far Dog, accomplish it in just a few.

What about you?

You can stay small, or grow bigger. It’s up to you. Sky’s the limit. Or, you can start over, find a new location and even do something different and be just as successful as you were before.

Standing room only occurs when you use your gifts.

Like Far Dog, it’s really who you are – that is the core of your business.

I love them more for who they are, joyful entrepreneurs who decided to set up shop in a tiny mountain town, and didn’t sacrifice quality.

The adventure of the next five years awaits. Who do you want to be?


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The cost of adventure

No one knows what happened to Wesley Hixson.

He disappeared on my favorite biking trail, and today when I ran it I searched for him, scanning the ravines.

He went riding with his friends, and somehow got separated. They found his body today, on a scary stretch of trail I’ve run at least fifty times. Scary, because it’s abandoned, the home of campers and vagrants and wanderers. When I’ve run there, I’ve often changed my mind. Got back in the car. That strange intuition that says stop and turn back.

It’s possible Wesley had a head injury from a crash. The autopsy report will explain more.

This photo was taken at the trail he lost his life on. He left his kids and family behind.

When I drove past after my run today this was the scene. News cameras everywhere. Not how you think your adventure will end.

A reminder – to be cautious when you’re adventuring. Have fun, but be aware.

Rest in peace Wesley.


Where’s your heart leading you?

I’ve been thinking about setting off on a mission, again.

My heart is stirring to take the kids with me this time on an adventure of a lifetime – serving the lost.

But where to? There’s the dump, where the children live in Latin America. There’s the children in India or Africa. And then there’s my favorite mission field of all in Brasov, Romania.

At the orphanage there, I saw an old man. He stood outside in the courtyard mainly, watching while we built the swing set. It was a two am dream. Let’s build swing sets for the orphans who don’t even know what one is. So we did.

The playgrounds were bare. We’d been traveling in romania for days, holding babies, playing with older toddlers who slept in the same cramped cribs, and my heart was raw.
When we built the swing sets some kids screamed and panicked, scared of the big wooden monstrosity.

The orphanages had no mirrors. They took them down to prevent the kids from seeing themselves. In the bathrooms there were no mirrors. In The wash room area you could see holes in the concrete wall where they’d been removed. This struck like an arrow in my heart.

A child who is given up by his parents doesn’t know himself anyways.

The indignity of the shaved heads, identical clothing and mirror less world served to strip their identity further.

They all had been given the same hair cut. You couldn’t tell the girls from the boys. Elena stood out though. Large, wise eyes. Wise beyond her little years. Each day if she saw us building or painting, she came in to help. I named our organization Elena’s wish.

And then there was Michael. He pulled my hair roughly and wouldn’t let go in a hug. Giving a hate hug.

I understood that kind of affection because it was the only kind I had ever given a mate.

I changed, inside. My heart started defrosting and I
wept every time I had to leave.

Abandonment is a city
I understand.

That year changed my heart. We went back again and again. We considered property in the country there. And w met Anca, a young girl we grew to love who came to America to stay with us. She had helped us on our trips to Brasov, by guiding us through the town and culture.

Orphans in orphanages have unique traits. Too long to go into here. But I was built with a heart for kids like that.
Why couldn’t we take them home?

We discussed this each night and decided that we would. We formulated a plan to adopt Elena, and then the twin boys too.

The old man with the sunny smile drove us around each day. Cornell was a ray of sunshine. He chatted gleefully and animatedly with his hands in romanian and we pretended to understand. We grew to love him.

We flew to romania time and again to see him and his family. Words cannot describe how we grew to love him.

The day his wife called, distraught, she said he had fallen. Cornell had a brain tumor. I searched airfare and it was six thousand dollars to fly back. I said: will you ever regret this expense? The answer was no.

I met Cornell in a concrete block hospital without windows. When he saw us his eyes widened, and his
face lit up. The next few days transformed his ending as we shaved him, prayed for him, eased his fears, and stashed cash under his pillow to give him the security he needed to feel for his family. We talked by his bedside for hours. He sailed into heaven peacefully.

I want to show my kids the world and how God can lead to somewhere distant, that becomes a part of your heart. They’ve worked with homeless people for ten years.

Where’s my heart leading me this time? I don’t know. I’m in search of that place.

The one that needs us. Where we can serve and deliver truth and change lives in an instant.

Where’s your heart leading you?