"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pen & Prosper Welcomes Motivational Speaker, T.V. Personality and Poet-*Sporty King*

Please join me in welcoming award-winning Motivational Speaker, T.V. personality, and Poet, Sporty King. He's someone I think you should know...

Hello, Sporty. Thanks for your time. Can you tell us a little about who you are and your background?
I am a former Wall Street Journal executive turned Motivational Speaker through my gift and love for writing poetry. My poetry has evolved from its aim to inspire people, to the use of positive words to empower people.

Describe your creative process. Owl or lark? Do you write every day?
No and yes! I do not consciously seek to put pen to paper every day. However through conversation I am constantly inspired to jot down thoughts. I keep categories in my iPhone that relate to the topics I most like to share (family, Tweetables, laughter…) and add to or update until it’s time to take the thought/blurb and expand.

How would you define success professionally or personally?
I believe they’re both personal and can best be defined as a spiritual concept connected to the individual needs of your relationships. How you answer each call shapes your relationship with God, where the true definition lies.

What has been your most rewarding accomplishment thus far?
Becoming the Patriarch of my family. With that title came the reward of being a good Uncle and brother. When my mother died my calm leadership and strength took me to a higher level and understanding of myself and my responsibility. The greatest inspirations in my writing are somehow linked to my family legacy.

What would it surprise others to know about you?
When I worked at the Journal I was once responsible for editing advertising copy. In the process of speeding through copy, I became adept at just catching typos and punctuation errors, even grammatical miscues. I diminished my ability to retain content. Because authenticity is important to me I don’t read others’ poetry, and risk using their idea or scrapping one of mine to avoid that perception.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received about your career?
When I told myself to follow my dreams. Others can suggest paths and procedures. However, until you tell yourself to put the plan into effect your career has not started.

Do you think that the economy has had an adverse effect on the bottom line of today‘s entrepreneur?
No and yes! Everything and everyone is connected. Adverse or robust conditions are the extremes that entrepreneurs work within to get an idea for creating their magic.

Who are some of your favorite authors and/or bloggers?
James Baldwin, James Joyce, John Jakes, Jennifer Brown Banks, Marcie Hill (“Shorty”)

What‘s your take on social media?
I call it the Necessary Evil. I choose to use it because of the marketing impact. However I see so many people hiding behind it, by using it in lieu of upgrading their interpersonal skills. Some would not be able to have a substantive conversation in person. I really dislike how it seems to diminish literary concerns. The acceptance of abbreviations and misspellings cripple individual progress. These habits can show up in school work or resumes, job applications (or entrepreneurial business proposals), and give the writer the appearance of being under-educated.

If you had not chosen speaking and writing, what other career might you have pursued?
I was a very successful sales manager, and my gift for multitasking and leading has many options. With the work I’m doing with the military now, I can see enjoying being surrounded by the pride, discipline and commitment it takes to serve our country.

If you could be a literary “super-hero” what would your power be?
Literary Man, going beyond the call of duty to save people from their comfort with writing like they speak. There is no such word as “alot” and if you say you want to be “apart” of a successful venture, it means you want to be disconnected from it….

Tell us a little about your upcoming projects or books.
I am putting the final touch on "a poet in every PrOphET,” a contrast of my poetry to Biblical scripture.

To learn more about Sporty's success story, or to order his books and products, visit: www.Sportyking.com

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net
Stock photo


  1. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 11, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    A special thanks to Sporty for sharing his creative process and his personal philosphies.

    B/T/W/, Sporty, is there a range that speakers charge? What's typical?

  2. OOPS, that should read "philosophies". Sorry, folks. :-)

  3. It's great to meet you, Sporty! Thanks for the intro, Jen. :) I love the career advice. I agree, a plan is not worth much if it is not implemented, and no one "size" fits all. We each must trust to find what's right for us.

    BTW, I'd be interested in the speaking fee info as well. Was just thinking about that the other day, actually.

    Thanks to both of you for a great post.

    Happy weekend,

    1. Hate to sound evasive, but there is no 'typical' fee. I've spoken from for free to $3000. What's typical is that you'll get asked to speak for less than your original quote, depending upon the market (ie: non profits, schools, friends). Still, I've never quoted something knowing that I'd "... at least get $xxx..."

      Fee integrity is important in the speaking industry, and word WILL get out that you quoted a different price than you post. There's nothing wrong with stating discounts for non profits, schools, etc. and the Bible principle shows its truth of a wise man being honored everywhere but in his home town....

      Friends frequently want a huge discount, and you want to give it to them. However, you eventually learn that you are in business, not friendship, and your needs help you shape your fee structure.

      Meanwhile, as excited as people get about saying, "You get paid all that money for 1 hour" ... the truth is that you get paid for preparing for that hour. You're usually booked to speak a month or more in advance. From the moment you agree, you start thinking about what you'll deliver. You're on the clock. Your senses start looking for analogies to connect with your anticipated audience while you're driving, walking, eating, showering, watching TV, sleeping.... Can you see how your "hourly" fee is deminishing? Believe me, it's worth it.

      For the key is that you have to be worth more than whatever you agreed to get paid. You have to know where you'll be, and who you'll be speaking to 30 days from now. And you have to be good! Repeat business and referrals are riding on EVERY speech or performance.

      Don't be intimidated. It's just the process, and you will get through it. A good mindset is to quote amounts that end in 50 ($150, 450, 950)... they're easier to say than 200, 500, 1000 as you're getting comfortable putting a price tag on your passion.

      Good to meet you Karen. Keep trusting yourself. And thanks for trusting me a little. "-)


    2. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 13, 2012 at 8:27 AM


      Thanks so much. Your response was very candid and helpful. Which do you find more difficult from a creative perspective--writing or speaking?

    3. Neither one on a conscious level. In retrospect it would be writing, because that's planning and rewriting. When you're speaking you're in the moment, and it either happens or not. I don't dread either one. I know I will deliver "Sporty." You can't have a mindset of regret. You have to maintain a spirit of focus and authenticity.

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 11, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Thanks, Karen. I enjoyed conducting his interview as well. :-)
    B/T/W/ I think you'll like his poetry books...

  5. Interesting, - a part - of or - apart - from a successful venture. That's an interesting example for showing how Syntax can determine Semantics.

    Pffff..., it ain't easy to constantly find
    the 'Rtigh Wrods'

    1. Priceless and thanks. LOL

      There are also times where lyrics in songs throw the listener off. "Conversate" is also not a word... but it has a rhyme and rhythm better than its properly used "converse."

      And have you met anyone using 'pacific' words to get their point across, when 'satistics' show that specific words can harmfully make one a statistic of perceived miseducation?

      I'm not trying to ridicule. I teach a Life Skills class and we go over a list of words such as these, stressing the use of consonants and clarity. The majority of the students in my classes (sometimes adults) had never been corrected toward the proper use. As I say to them, if I hear you misuse a word once I'm willing to believe you're being cute. If I hear you say it twice I have to believe you don't know, and I will offer the correction. If you choose not to use it, I'm also ok with that....

      Stay 'kreative' HP

  6. H.P.,

    Thanks for adding to the mix here. I appreciate your comment.

  7. Jennifer Brown BanksAugust 13, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    On a final note...
    I admit that there might be a bit of a bias here.
    I have known Sporty for years.

    He is, in my opinion, one of the most captivating, colorful, charismatic speakers you will encounter. I saw him "perform" just once, and was truly mesmerized. You will be too. :-)

    For booking info, visit his site.

  8. I already did have a visit to the site and the Speaker info, because I do find the whole 'Speaking Arena' interesting and as you can see on my Upcomming Events Page on my blog, it can also have all kinds of interesting extra benefits.

    I have been thinking about possibly becomming a speaker myself only I am thinking about first possibly do things like
    Podcasting (also see Podcast for your home business)
    because I do have more micophone experience with things like recording than with actually speaking on stage. Also with recording you can - edit - (do you believe that comming from me ;))

    1. HP - your blog suggestion to check out Ted.com is a good one. Deeper into the insight of those who are showcased there is the fact that they are not always polished professional speakers. They are also a dose of people with a passion for a cause, and thus their message comes across very clearly. This should empower those visiting the site to take the first step. Know that you have something to say, and share it.

      They might also do well to visit and join a Toastmasters club to polish presentation skills. That is a self-paced venture that takes members through the process of focusing on a different aspect each time (voice, tone, gestures...). Toastmasters.org would be your connect for that.

      Ongoing blessings and thanks,

  9. Yes, I read about things like doing voice overs, (also script writing with writing dialogues is something that I find interesting) and I also read about Speaking on stage, Speaking for Associations etc. etc. (or speaking on Cruise Ships) and read about Speakers Agencies, Toastmasters is also an organisation that came up while reading about it.

    Since the Speakers Agencies probably only want the polished professional speakers that already have a certain 'Celebrity Status', Toastmasters definitely looks like an interesting 'Play Ground' for developing Speaking Skills,

    1. (Btw. you can find some truly amazing and interesing info about Speaking on Cruise Ships at: Upcomming Events)

  10. Heavy traveling right now. Didn't have chance to check thread...
    You're right about Speaker Agencies. They're called Bureaus and since work on commission the saying is that they don't need you until you don't need them.

    Flight taking off now. More later. Didn't want to lose this.

  11. Speakers' Bureaus usually get 25-30% commission for booking speakers, so it's to their advantage to rep someone who commands $5K and above. Yet that is not etched in stone. Most things are negotiable. I am not a member of a bureau, so can't give much inside scoop.

    Toastmasters will give you the chance to present during local conventions and meetings as a part of your growth... with everything starting in club activity. You also get to see several other styles.

  12. Yes, those people usually speak on stage for large crowds, Since I have worked in the Music Business I already am somewhat familiar with large crowds...,

    As a matter of a fact I actually once have been invited to come to the Arena in Amsterdam, there was a whole stadium full of people. There you had lot's of people cheering, clapping their hands etc. etc. When looking at all those people standing up and cheering, I was pretty impressed, almost making me bow and saying thanks to all those people.

    Only I wonder if the fact that - Mick Jagger - came on stage behind me might have had something to do
    with my standing ovation :)

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