Sharing Happiness with the Ambassador of Happiness Maura Sweeney

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Originally called the “Ambassador of Happiness” when invited to speak at the inaugural Nelson Mandela Day celebrations in 2015, Maura Sweeney has since trademarked the title. A self-styled goodwill diplomat, she has also expanded her influence and turned her vision for world change into a reality.

Maura conveys uplifting, empowering and unifying messages that focus on choosing happiness over victimhood and personal responsibility over blame.

Learn how Maura has leveraged this message to travel to 60 countries and a lifetime of eclectic experience,

Get in touch with Maura Sweeney

Free Book on Influence – write [email protected] and reference Influence Book


Victor Ahipene: Speaking nation, what’s happening? Welcome to another episode of public speaking secrets. I’m your host Victor Ahipene, super excited to have you on here and I know your day is going to be either cause I have Maura Sweeney who is the ambassador of happiness and it’s not just the name thrown around. This is a Trade Mark name that she was, uh, she was first bestowed upon it and Nelson Mandela Day celebrations that she spoke at. And we’re going to go into her speaking and what she’s done. But then also something that I think a lot of you will find benefit of if you’re looking to get more exposure for both your speaking and your business. And that is the media, which is something that I know can massively jumpstart the opportunities you get with speaking in the social proof. But we’ll dive into that and I want to welcome our ambassador of happiness to the show.

Maura Sweeney: Victor, Thanks a lot for having me. I’m thrilled to be with you.

Victor Ahipene: So take us through that. Like, what was weird, this ambassador of happiness come from, I mean, it’s not something you, you, you, how did you become a doctor? It’s a how did you become the ambassador of happiness and I mean, what, what were the kind of things that lead you there?

Maura Sweeney: Well, how about if I told you that when I was small I was very unhappy. And the reason why I was unhappy was I felt like I could never do what I wanted to do. I couldn’t be who I wanted to be and I couldn’t pursue the things I wanted to pursue. Now you want to think about, imagine a five year old child slow, right? And you think, what does a five year old year old child’s interested in? Well, I was thinking about this is crazy and I’m going to date myself. I was thinking about things like leadership. We had John F. Kennedy in the White House when I was in kindergarten. I loved the form, the style and the spirit of his leadership. I as a little kid felt like I want to be part of what this man is doing and where he’s going. So leadership was big. Number two, I used to, I remember it in my front lawn looking up in the sky, watching your planes fly ahead and all I can imagine, um, was traveling the world, literally traveling the globe to make new friends around the world from every, um, I want to say from every culture and making friends with these people. And the third thing that I was so interested in, which is part of my backstory of not being happy, um, I remember my grandfather’s legal secretary, my grandfather was an attorney and I was supposed to be following in his footsteps as an attorney. This is up in the New York metro area, but instead of being interested in what he was doing, all I was taken up with was his legal secretaries typewriter. And at the time it was an old fashion, um, standard royal typewriter. And I noticed that this woman was creating documents with words on them. I couldn’t even read at the time I was probably preschool. And when I realized through her that these official documents were carrying ideas on them, that we’re going to be disseminated to other people that other people would read about and reconsider their own thoughts and belief systems. Those three things, Victor, great leadership that made everybody feel excited, uplifted, unified, the idea of, of conveying ideas through print or jerk or whatever, and thirdly, traveling the world and make new friends. Do you believe that all three of those things are what I do today? However, when I was small, I was just really unhappy. My mother had me doing everything I didn’t want to do, dressing the way I didn’t want to dress, studying things I wasn’t interested in. You know, I would have rather gone for dance lessons and instead I was in the house learning classical piano and writing thank you notes. And so as a real small child, I was, I felt, I felt very confined and very unhappy. And one day at about nine years old, I thought, well, I was first child who’s followed the rules. I thought, I’m not happy, but I’m a little kid. I can’t take off on my own. So a play by the rules, but I promised myself I’m going to grow up happy, number one. And number two, I’m going to go grow up free to be who I want to be. And here I am. Decades later, I left law school, mid stream. I had a career in corporate management where I really learned how to develop people and, and really create winning cultures. I’ve traveled to 60 countries and after raising a daughter, homeschooling her, sending her away, um, and even helping my husband develop a business, I thought, you know what? If I don’t jump off now and do what I want to do, it’s never going to happen. So I started blogging. I started doing videos. I was an early adopter, traveling, doing videos, interviewing people, asking people reflective questions. Um, I got into Huffington Post. Apparently they were happy to have someone who’s writing about what is it that makes people happy from the inside out. I was always interested in good government, good ideas, and all of these things I kept working on together. Oh. And then I wrote some books about learning, starting with learning how to dance, starting at age 50 and it launched my art of happiness series. So all I did, Victor, I put all the things I was interested in and you want to talk about developing a brand. I put all of the my attention and my efforts into creating thoughts around a better society designed from the inside out rather than from the outside in as most of society does. We follow what we see rather than saying to our souls and ourselves like, what do I really like? What are my values? What’s of interest to me and how could I become my best person? So that’s what I was doing starting at like age 50 which it think, well that takes a lot of nerve. And then ultimately I ended up getting an invitation to speak at the inaugural Nelson Mandela Day celebrations held outside our nation’s capitol a couple of years ago. It was sponsored by the UNESCO Center for peace and they had all of these dignitaries coming in and they said to me, right, so Maura, what is your title? Because they were creating, I guess they’re um, what do you call it? Their, their roster and I didn’t have a title. I had a website called maura for you because I was such an advocate for people and they said we had the perfect title for you. You travel the world, you’re right about what makes people happy. We’re going to call you the ambassador of happiness. And I was like, that’s so fits me. And everybody I knew who was following all of my writing said Maura. That’s right. That’s what you are. And to finish that whole story, Victor, I’m thinking not only is that like a great made up title for me, it suits me to a t by someone from out west here in the U. S contacted me and he runs a radio show. I don’t know if it was out of Las Vegas pit navy. And he said Maura big marketing guy from years ago in Manhattan. And he said to Maura, I have interviewed people all over the place. He said from every background. And he said, but I’ve never interviewed the ambassador of happiness. I want you on the show. After I got off his show, he said to me, well, I hope you got that title trademark. Then I said, well, why? He said more. If you don’t get a trademark, somebody else will go get it trademarked. So now I’m the officially trademarked ambassador of happiness and Victor, if I could add one more thing, I have probably spoke, doesn’t have Ton dozens of times in public and I’ve also been in the media overseas and maybe, I don’t know, 10 12 countries and I had been on places like national news and they introduced me as the ambassador of happiness from the United States of America. So there you go. From dreams to reality. These are the things that make me happy and I hope to inspire other people to find their own happiness and in so doing to really help create a better world. That’s a very long answer to a short question, but there you go.

Victor Ahipene: That’s it. That’s what I love is as you were saying all of that, I was thinking, well how, how would that affect the world? Like as an, I wasn’t thinking that it, that it wouldn’t of course it would. Yeah. You’d think if more people got to know more to more people, more cultures if they did more of what they love. So I was just thinking that, yeah, you are this form five-year-old, you know, curious young girl and they’ll put you into school. Don’t ask questions though. Is they though is they say, hey, stay in the box and you know, follow the routine. And I mean we’ve just said might be living in Australia from New Zealand originally and we’ve just had some pretty tragic stuff that you would have had on. And w the, the big thing that’s come out of it apart from New Zealand staying as a really strong country is the leadership shown by just cinder. I do now prime minister, she’s, you know, the way that she responded and, and things like that. And uh, you know, she’s brought out of something tragic. She’s bought New Zealand closer together. That awesome leadership, you know, she’s inspired people to meet other people. Like a lot of the things that you were talking about, it was just really resonating. Yeah, great leadership spoke from the heart. You brought people together of all different races and religions to be stronger than one gunman, one terrorist. And um, and through that is through that tragedy, there’s been a lot of happiness. So yeah, you see, if everyone in the world, you have to have great leaders who inspired that sort of stuff like yourself and just send a, then it would, uh, yeah, the world is going to be, can only be a bit of place if those sorts of things happen.

Maura Sweeney: very true and isn’t it amazing? It’s like instinctively or intuitively know a lot of this, but if you, if you realize it, think about the news, you know, here in the US but I’m calling, I’m like sort of, I don’t want to say a news hound, but I’m very much an observer of what society promotes in the space of ideas. And a lot of the ideas that are out there are polarizing and they’re divisive. Or You could say to visit, how are we going to call it and frightening for people. And all of that is so disempowering. And the more that people focus on the negative, the worst they feel. So I am always out there with the upper level thoughts to bring people together. I’ll tell you what, when I was, um, writing for Huffington Post, I did it for several years as a regular columnist and then I think it was about a year ago, Huffington Post, just discontinue that process for all of the contributors. But I would focus on the things that uplifted and United society rather than depressed and divided them. And I’m telling you, people do not realize. That’s why people have to wake up. If you are listening constantly to people who want to frighten you, and this could be an in these fears of racism, religion, politics, um, you’re in the wrong zone and you know it’s going to happen. The more you stay in the frightened zone, the less creative you’re going to be, the less energetic you’re going to be and the worst you’re going to feel. So my whole thing is just the opposite. And you know what? I should, I should share something with you, Victor. This is really good. We live on opposite sides of the world. But Hey, not only do I write about happiness, but I also been conducting a world happiness survey. So I’ve got people from, you know, as young as age 16 is old as in their nineties not only from many states here in the US but from, Gosh, what am I up to like 28 countries around the world. And they’re from every background, every educational background. And you want to know what I asked everybody? How would you define happiness? Now with all of these hundreds and hundreds of responses, let me tell you what everybody defines happiness is and this has nothing to do with your race, your gender, your age, your income. This is what people want. Ready? They want healthy relationships as in I want less drama. They want peace of mind, they want freedom in life, they want a sense of purpose and fulfillment. And lastly, from all those things, they want to feel personally confident. Now, so think about this. Imagine if that’s a unifying piece of what all people around the world are really looking for, then why do we spend so much of our time in negative space and negative zones that only brings people down. So I’m like the opposite. I’m like the person that’s always out there lobbying for people’s attention to put them in a space and a place where they feel uplifted and whenever people feel uplifted, so many new ideas and collaborations come out of that and I believe right behind it comes a much better society.

Victor Ahipene: I mean, I think you find that the interesting thing is there’s what people think happiness or what they define happiness is what they are willing to do to get happiness and then what they actually do. Yeah, and that’s where they, they feel in their comfort zone. Like what should I do? Should I read thinking, grow rich or show read tabloids about how some famous business relationship isn’t going well or how there’s at war in another country that doesn’t matter to me as much as it is here as I care about or some religion or some races coming into the country as a whole. And I mean, yeah, massively off topic, but I think it’s a very interesting thing. We, yeah, it’s easy to say I want to lose weight or I want to have a better relationship. The actual one of my mentors, he sees the change happens with the pain of staying still or with the painters of moving forward is greater than the pain of staying still. And I don’t know if he coined it or someone else coined it, but yeah, when you actually think about that in a deep way, it’s like we want this, it’s, we know we finally so sick of being in our comfort zone or continually doing what we want and yeah, the same. Yeah, they were actually going to do something to change it. And yeah, that’s where you see these radical transformations of people you haven’t seen for years who have gone and started a successful business or yeah, a starting, starting a and being the ambassador of happier happiness at age 50 or yeah. Uh, losing a hundred kgs of bodyweight or yeah, your dream person. It’s when they’ve got sickles or you know, doing not them to the maximum extreme and that that change happens. And I mean, the exact same thing that I’ve seen with helping people with public speaking is you have these people trained to had a guy come on one of my one day trainings and it started the day he had been, he hadn’t psychologically admitted it out loud subconsciously he knew it. He was middle management at a big four accounting firm and had been avoiding taking presentation opportunities and pitch opportunities and a lot of opportunities to take them to the next level. Cause it wasn’t a confident public speaker. And it wasn’t until, yeah, he pushed himself out of the comfort zone and came to, came to the event. We pushed him out of his comfort zone even further. And by the end of the day, you know, it was like the next week he’s like, Oh yeah, put my hand out for this and this and you know, I’ve, I’ve that I’m doing more speaking and all these different things and everyone thinks it’s this amazing transformation that he’s done. And it was like one day of just being willing to push himself in beast stopped being sick of not taking those opportunities and you know, letting them go.

Maura Sweeney: I’m so glad you brought this up. First of all, tell you the first book I ever wrote was called exiting the comfort zone, learning how to dance at age 50 and I had so much mental baggage. I was the worst dance student. But you know what I knew behind that Victor, I knew as a child I wanted to learn how to dance, to me it was like just this great way of feeling happy, feeling free, being creative. But I was carrying so much fearful mental baggage that always said Maura you’re smart but you have no rhythm or no you, whatever. And you know what? I kept doing it because I knew I was going to feel better at the end of it. And I called the book exiting the comfort zone, dance or die. Most people, and this goes right back to my po, my original point, most people know intuitively, intrinsically those things that feel inspiring for them that they’re really curious about or they want to express, but their fears and phobias heap them contained. So what happens is that most of us never become all that we want to be. We don’t arise into to our very best version of self, whatever that, whatever that best may be, because we’re unwilling to step out of the comfort zone. We’re unwilling, let’s say, to let our ego be bruised for a little bit, or to go into an area where maybe we don’t know all the rules or we have to learn something new, you know, in adulthood. But the thing is when we do, we gained so much confidence. Look at the example you just shared. We become a person of influence. And what I look to do is inspire other people to remember. They can be a great person. I don’t care if it means around the block, around the neighborhood, around the country or around the world. But you can take whatever that concept is and become a person who’s influenced, can ripple and really impact the lives and thoughts and worlds of other people. And I’m so passionate about it that what happened at Victor’s, I became the embodiment of the very belief systems I always had. And um, and it’s amazing how many of these thoughts are so universal. And I might, with my background, about 10 years, I worked in two major corporations and I was in management sales management and I learned how to seek people’s excellence or let’s say diamonds in the rough. And I would always be that person helping to nurture those abilities and give people those opportunities to go and shine. And I looked be that and do that everywhere I go. Because I think we live in such a frightened, contained, and disempowered world. And as I think as people get out there and just step out of their own comfort zones, we can literally transform not only our local societies, but a global society.

Victor Ahipene: It was funny because when you were saying like starting starting this, your most recent journey at the age of 50 it something that doesn’t interest me in the best way. And what I mean by that is the amount of people, you know, my, my previous show prior to this was I interviewed inspiring young entrepreneurs under the age of 35 I interviewed a couple of hundred of them and I don’t see too many people use age as a barrier and I love the inspiration that you get from it. I don’t, I don’t mean to take anything away from what you do, but the transformations that I can see and people that you know you can do in one in one day, you can transform your public speaking and six months. You can transform your health and a year. You can learn so many different things. You can learn online marketing or you can learn, uh, you know, so whatever it may be, you can learn how to start and grow a business or the numbers behind it or whatever it may be. Like in the space of a year. Yeah. So many people think that it takes 20 years. Like, sure, you’re going to keep developing skills and you’re going to get better at things. But yeah, I’ve spoken to 14 year olds on my show who are running successful businesses and then then, yeah, the other end of it, there’s, yeah. Ray KROC and you know, he started Mcdonald’s or yes, started the Fred growing it into a franchise and Colonel Sanders that they were in their fifties and sixties when they were doing that. And so it’s, yeah, it’s just the self limiting belief that many of us have. And I applaud you for not letting that be a self limiting belief. Um, and it’s going to hopefully inspire other people. Why know it’ll inspire other people and yeah. So I don’t mean to take, when I say it was an increasingly, I mean it doesn’t impress me because I know that you, you don’t sound like the first one who would lit self limiting beliefs be the reason. But if you can break that excuse down for other people, you’re going to inspire a lot of other people deliver. Awesome. Second half. Yeah.

Maura Sweeney: Yes. But you wonder the IRA, this is what’s kind of, I think it’s pretty neat. My prime, I would say my prime audiences are university students, graduate students throughout the world or young national leadership organizations. And so here I am at my age talking to students that are in universities. Um, but the whole idea is who do you want to be? And that’s what I look to do is to remind people to go within, find that light within them that says, you know, this is something I always wanted to do, but maybe I need somebody to give me permission to her to remind me. Yes, I can. And um, so, and the thing is, let me tell you this too, Victor. I knew always that at some point in my life I was gone, going to be a person, great influence in the marketplace of ideas internationally. But I also knew that my time had not yet come and I didn’t want to be a 23 year olds or even a 30 year olds or 35 year olds telling people this is the way you could live when I did not have sufficient life experience or travel experience or whatever it may have been. But do you know how many people there are today? Um, and I see this all the time in the US and overseas. They follow the path that’s in front of them. They go to university, they work really hard and they’re hoping somebody out. There’s going to give them a job, somebody is going to fit them in their box somewhere and then they realize all the education they have, all the work they did isn’t going to guarantee them a career. So they are the same young people that are thinking, I waited my whole life to be prepared to go out there and make my mark and I don’t know what to do next. And I bring them right into that space. Who Do you want to be and take off those limitations that the world’s imposes on you. And a lot of them are old paradigms and sometimes you just need to say, guess what? This paradigm is working for me. I need to step out of it. So whether you are 20 30 40 50 60 whatever, you are, step out. And if you don’t step out, don’t wait for the world to do it for you. So that’s basically my message and I think that we can literally transform all of society and government and even the educational system, we can transform so much as people do step out.

Victor Ahipene: I think that’s the important message. You’ve been able to amplify your message by. Yeah. You’ve been on what, 400 different media outlet? It’s podcasts, TV shows, radio, print media, digital print media. What are some of the strategies that you’ve employed that you found effective or you know, any kind of frameworks that you’ve found that aspiring speakers out there who have that message, who are the game changers but uh, playing too small at the moment can use to start getting some exposure.

Maura Sweeney: All right. First of all, I wanted to go travel the world and make new friends. So I do travel the world and you know, what I started doing when I originally was video taking, doing video interviews are really quick little videos. I would go out and interview people or I would write and I would make the piece about somebody else. But in the process with all of my inquiring questions, with all of my personal research, with all the things I liked and I was following somewhere along the line, the paradigm, it’s sort of shifted and all of a sudden then I became a person of interest that other people wanted to speak to because I had already been out there and was learning things on my own. So let me say this, first of all, you need to go out and do the work yourself. You know, there’s some people that think they don’t want to work. They just want to be this instant, overnight success. What people don’t realize is by putting in the time, the effort, but let’s say the passion into what you want to do, you literally and attention, you literally transform yourself into that very person you want it to be. So I’ll tell you a case in point. I travel, I interview, I research, I write, I make contacts, I make friends. I’ll give you one of my best stories. I was away several years ago in England. Um, and while I was there, I wanted to go to Liverpool. Now I already dated myself. I was a little kid when JFK was in the White House, but I was also a little kid when the Beatles came out of Liverpool, some in Liverpool. And I thought I was writing for Huffington Post. And I thought, you know what, I want to do a backstory on where did the Beatles come from? You know, we know they were huge, but what was their backstory? Where did they get started from? How did they step out of the box? So as I’m walking around Liverpool and doing my own research and inquiry, I walked past the BBC studios. I go in, I show them my business card. I said, I know it’s really late. I said that, is there anybody here working at BBC that would possibly remember the beetles that I could ask some questions and do some research with? And the woman went up into the, into the high rise. She came back down, she said, I’m sorry, the one guy who I’d love to connect you with already left. And somebody else meanwhile came down. Well he was the, um, he was running one of their talk shows daily on the BBC. And he to me Maura, I’m sorry, I’m too young to know the Beatles. He said, but can I interview you? So Victor here, I was doing research on the Beatles overseas and I ended up putting that, that article in the Huffington Post. But I ended up with a nearly half hour prime interview on BBC radio and I got to talk about all the things I was interested in. So I would say follow what you love. Get out there, step out of your comfort zone, use every opportunity you can to connect with people, do the work. And then I will also say that what I now help people with specially authors or people who want to raise their, their influence level is I give them various resources. One of the ways I found you was either through Andrew almonds, guest lists or I found you through radio guest list. Correct? I don’t remember which one it was. You were busy looking for people and I pitched you, right? Yep. So I teach people how to do that and also how to take what they’re interested in and help someone else’s mission advance. And I’m a great connector that way. So does that help answer the question, every resource and you maximize it and leverage it and repeat it.

Victor Ahipene: And when you have pitch, say TV media or print media or are there any, uh, strategies that you’ve, like, things that have worked effectively for you from a few say cold emailing or warm emailing somebody or you just do, do you go on the respond to what they want leads, like you finding it on PR web and things like that? Or are you reaching out to people and saying, Hey, yeah, I think I’d be, this would be a great piece for your, uh, your newspaper or your magazine or whatever it may be.

Maura Sweeney: Very good question. Let me give you one that just comes to mind. Now we have NBC TV here in the United States and I was following, this is probably two years ago. I don’t know. I was following what was going on with our presidential campaign and at the time people, you know this, you’re laughing cause everybody knows US news. They know Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton and Hillary versus Donald. It’s continues to years after the election and very attuned to the culture and to, I would say the emotional health of where people are in society. And I realized people were getting so upset. So one day I just thought to myself, remember, I don’t know if you recall this, but Hillary Clinton must have gone to Vladimir Putin one day and she delivered to him his giant red plastic button and it was called the reset button because something had gone wrong and she wanted a reset, US Soviet relations. So I thought, you know what, I am going to offer to NBC TV and we have a syndicated show right out of Tampa. The idea of a happiness reset. People were really upset. I used to Hillary Clinton, I no sooner had the idea. I got the name of the, uh, the name and the email of the producer at this NBC studios. Not only did I just come up with this concept of I think your people would be interested in to happiness reset because people are very upset now. I Know sooner sent out the email and three minutes later the producer said to me, can you give me a little three minute idea as to how you think this would work? And the next week I was on the show. So it’s, so it’s a combination of a multitude of things. But I’m always out there. My antennas are always working very creatively. So, and here’s another thing. I’ve always been interested in, um, foreign relations, goodwill. And you know, if I could have, I probably would have been a goodwill ambassador down to Latin America. So even when I travel, I will get in touch with the American embassies in foreign countries. Three of those American embassies have had me in speaking at the American corridors. And so wherever I am, I’m literally thinking what are some of the avenues? They’re not always the traditional avenues, but they’re things that are of interest to me. Now what they happen, what if I right, 50 letters and two of those letters, uh, letters, emails come back. Well guess what? Nothing ventured, nothing gained. And then I ended up creating a resume unlike anybody else’s. And one of my other things is I don’t believe in competition. I don’t believe in trying to best you at what you’re doing or put a nail in your coffin to drive you down into the ground. So I could walk over you when I look at is what am I interested in, what we’re my interested in being? Excellent. Now I’m going to pursue those things and I become uniquely me and I will teach and train and let’s say help other people decide and discover what their best assets are and help them brand themselves in a way that’s your main and very authentic for them. And then that’s really what helps create a personality and an idea person that other people want to hear. And I’m telling you, there’s something so freeing about that when you know, you walk through life and you have never bad mouth anybody, but you’ve literally created your own, your own pathway to success. It is very, it’s empowering and it’s uplifting. And um, I wanna say it literally creates a wider path for you the farther out you go because you never have to worry who’s behind you that you bad mouth or harmed on your way up, up the ladder.

Victor Ahipene: Yeah. And I think these very few companies that truly have competition. I mean, if you don’t have market saturation in the whole world, like you haven’t got like apple versus uh, versus Samsung, you’re fighting for your, you’re basically two of the companies fighting for everybody’s phone. There’s not necessarily abundance there, but for the majority of us who are speakers who are trainers, there’s going to be another hundred or another thousand people doing somewhat similar things to you and you can only give so many talks per day or get so many people into your trainings or even if you’ve got trainers that are doing this stuff for you, there’s only so many people in the world that you’re probably going to get to no matter how big your dreams and aspirations. So many people, I’ve been to Tony Robbins and gone back to like a workplace that I was working at a time and 90% of the people that never heard of him and he’s like, you’re sitting there going, what do you mean? Like he’s one of the, yeah, he’s the biggest name and mindset and motivations for a whatever you want to call it, peak performance. He and I never heard of him. Like he’s, he’s not even an an a … yeah. Well it’s not even an a scarcity, a scarcity place where he’s oversaturated. Yeah. There’s very, it’s petrol companies in supermarkets and you know, large chunks. Now the only places that have got like direct competition, I feel uh, you know, one versus the other. Yeah. If some of all of them go to the other place, they go out of business.

Maura Sweeney: You know Victor, this is interesting. A lot of what I do, I have learned through life experience and I mentioned to you, I had a corporate career in management and we were selling what I would consider vaporware. There’s a lot of people out there. They sell daper where we were in a long distance communications. So basically it was something you couldn’t even see. And I would also call it, back then it was a commodity item, just like coffee’s a commodity, right? How many people are out there selling coffee? How many brands are there? But here’s what I learned back in the day when I’m thinking how do we identify ourselves? Let’s say we were the number three corporation in the United States, but we had no marketing and we could not, how do I say this? We could not compare ourselves with the big guys. I remember thinking to myself as the manager can’t sell against these people with their big names, their big marketing, they’re big advertising dollars. But you know what? I used to think about what do we have that other people don’t? And I started capitalizing on those things. And that was where I learned the fine art of creating personal brands around your own flavor. Now you don’t, my flavor is okay, I’m the ambassador of happiness. I speak about things that uplift the human spirit. Um, but I’m also a person that’s constantly inquiring. I love to answer, ask reflective questions. And number two, I’d love to tell stories. These are things that are really of interest to me. What most people try to do is they try to absolutely duplicate somebody else’s success. And in the process, they are always going to be number two or number three or number 15 or number 1500. But when people learn to take their commodity, let’s say it’s a skillset, right? But they add to it their own spice. And it could be something like, listen, this is might sound crazy, but how many people could become famous as a public speaker because they have a list or because they liked to tell jokes or because they can, they have a way of twisting or shifting the viewpoint in a way that nobody else ever heard of it. We don’t need to capture the entire world. What we want is public speakers are those individuals and those markets that we want to have an influence and impact over so that we can change something maybe for the better, hopefully for the brighter. And I think we’re always taught to be like, you know, years ago we had Elvis Presley. You didn’t have any Elvis impersonators. There are, but there was only one Elvis. And I’ll tell you something, Elvis was, he was such a weird kid. Nobody knew what to do with them. But Elvis learned to be Elvis. And that’s why my message for everybody is learning to be your best self. And oftentimes it’s the process that gets you there and why not learn to find out what makes you unique and capitalize on those things. And that’s where you get to stand out from the rest without having to negatively compete.

Victor Ahipene: That’s brilliant. And so I think that’s an awesome place to, to finish that. Find your unique selling point. Fine. What your unique speaking point, what, what makes you different and then figuring out how you can amplify it, whether that be speaking, getting in front of media, branding yourself, which is yeah, obviously of the utmost importance and all of those things. Yet if you work back on the super side, I’d probably start at the end, find out what, what makes you unique and then then work your way back on the things we talked about. Cause this is a ton of golden there and on there I just want to welcome you to our speaker nation family. And uh, if people want to find out more about you, uh, find out what you’ve been doing or get in touch, where can they go and what can they do?

Maura Sweeney: The easiest way to reach me is through my website. It’s my name, Maura M as in Mary, A, U R A followed by the number four and the letter U, Maura4u. I am like the advocate for you, whoever you might be and they could write to me more at the other thing, since you’ve got a group of listeners, I have a podcast out and it’s Maurare Sweeney Living Happy Inside Out. And for people who just need a quick pick me up a shift in their mindset, my podcasts are usually tended, it’s long, they open up with a reflective question, they tell a story, they give a quick call to action. So you know, sometimes you’re in a negative space and you need to feel more empowered and uplifted, subscribe more morphine, Maura Sweeney Living Happy Inside Out. So thanks, Victor.

Victor Ahipene: No, it’s my pleasure. We’ll link all of [email protected] and uh, yeah, I’d highly recommend jump on and get your audio coffee in the morning, your 10 minutes of inspiration and story from the uh, the happiness queen herself. So thanks a lot and I look forward to hopefully catching you on the side of the world or seeing you on your side in the near future.

Maura Sweeney: I would love it. I’ve been to 60 odd countries and I have not yet been to New Zealand or Australia, so I’ll be sure to remember you. Thanks Victor.