Monday Morning Boost: Surrounded By Great Speakers

Monday Morning Boost: Surrounded By Great Speakers

I joined for the connections and knowledge. I was quickly was embraced by the love and hope. And Wednesday I came home with a guitar.

Yep, life doesn’t get much better.

Or does it?

Time for a story!


I have long enjoyed sharing stories, one-on-one, in front of a group, and on a stage. But that wasn’t always the case. While even as a youth I like to share stories and give talks in church, I didn’t feel very confident. I wasn’t sure if my message was connecting. When people would tell me I did a good job, I would silently refute their compliments as obligatory platitudes.

Over the years, I became more comfortable and confident sharing my voice. I began seeking out opportunities to speak in front of groups, non-profit organizations, firesides, and I was always willing to accept an invitation to speak in church.

It was an exciting day when I discovered I loved speaking!

Meet Max Brown ~ Institute for Enterprise Excellence (IEX), Dad, Sheep Farmer, Beekeeper, Executive Coach, Worldwide Speaker

I knew speaking would be an important part of the work I would do when we launched Red Edge Mentoring nearly six years ago. But I thought most of my speaking would be training small groups, which I have done for several companies and organizations, as well as our own Red Edge Strategic Workshops and Mastermind groups.

I knew there was a next step, that of speaking on stages to larger organizations, conferences, and events. I also knew to take the next step I needed to be around people who were already speaking on stages. I needed to surround myself with greatness.

I reached out to Max Brown, a professional speaker I had met briefly at a local conference at Utah State University. Max lived in the area and was very receptive to a conversation and the sharing of ideas and guidance. It wasn’t long before Max introduced me to Ty Bennett.

With Ty Bennett the day we officially met in person and my first gathering with the National Speakers Association Mountain West Chapter.

Ty Bennett ~ Partnership is the New Leadership, Ninja Warrior Father, Certified Speaking Professional

Ty was also a professional speaker doing more of what I wanted to do. Ty and I had a few conversations over the course of a year which led to significant moments.

The first moment came when Ty was my first guest on Red Edge Live, a live podcast-style show that aired weekly on Facebook I launched three years ago. While that must have been a leap of faith on his end, I must have done something right seeing as Ty came back last year to be a guest for the second time.

The second moment came when Ty invited me to join the regional chapter of the NSA – the National Speakers Association.


Ty was actually the presenting speaker at my very first gathering of the Mountain West chapter of the NSA. After his presentation, Ty took me around to meet some of the other speakers. Except he didn’t follow protocol.

When introducing a new person to those you already know, it’s normal to say something like, “Les, I would like you to meet Jason who speaks about the power of promise.”

But that’s not how it went. When Ty introduced me to Jason Hewlett, and many others that night, it went more like this…

“Jason, I’d like you to meet Les. He has this great show called Red Edge Live and you really should be part of it.”

Notice the difference???

Ty was focused on empowering me to see myself in the same category as he, Jason, and the many other speakers he introduced me to that night. Some of those speakers included Clint Pulver, Cheryl Knowlton, Rob Ferre, Kris Barney, Dan Clark, Kathy Loveless, Mark Eaton, and Michelle McCullough. Though these names were once unfamiliar to me, as they may be to you, they are well known in the professional speaking world.

Hanging out with fellow Speakers Spencer Horn, Kimberly Rayburn, and Cheryl Knowlton.


Intentionally surrounding ourselves with those who are already doing what we want to is an investment with huge dividends.

We start to think more they do, seeing opportunities rather than limitations or obstacles. We feed off their energy, their courage, their hope. We see them rise to their challenges which inspires and empowers us to also rise.

We create another chapter in our Story of Love and Greatness.


We gather as the NSA Mountain West chapter monthly in Salt Lake City (during the height of the pandemic we met virtually). At each of these chapter meetings, we are inspired and instructed, encouraged and motivated. I would like to share some personal takeaways from a few recent conversations I have been blessed to have with some of the world’s very best professional speakers.

Enjoyed an evening being mentored by Hall of Fame Speakers Chad Hymas, left, and Sam Silverstein.

Sam Silverstein ~ Champion of Accountability, Hall of Fame Speaker 

  • Be a steward of your message.
  • If you pray, pray big.
  • Ask yourself: What do you believe? focus on? commit to?

Chad Hymas ~ World Safety Expert, Master of the Wheelchair, Father, Elk Farmer, Youngest Person Ever To Be Inducted Into The National Speaker Hall of Fame  

  • Act with urgency, not deadline pressure.
  • Think high level, create a $1M pillar of business
  • Clarify the problem you solve and the focus of your message.

Dino Watt ~ the Relationship Expert, a P.H.D. Passionate Husband Dad

  • It’s not a time focus, it’s a schedule focus. We cannot create time, we can only dedicate time.
  • Focus on the 3 Rules of Business: Profitability, Resources, Scalability
  • Retire Elisa so I can take her on trips and vacations when I keynote in glorious places.
Elisa and I were beautifully blessed by Mike Rayburn’s generous time, thoughts and gifts!

Mike Rayburn ~ Ask Yourself, “What If?”, Guitarist, Comedian, Hall of Fame Speaker

  • Ask What If. About everything. And find the answers.
  • Practice abundance rather than scarcity thinking. Create a bigger pie. Focus on the Spirit of Cavett.
  • Formula for Business Success: Be great at my craft and ask lots of people to buy. Think multiplicity because it’s never about one gig.

Speaking of Mike Rayburn, he’s the one who gave me a book last week. Then gave me his guitar and signed it for me. Yep, that’s him with Elisa and me in the photo. All because I asked, “What If?”

Cheryl Knowlton ~ Distinguished Real Estate Compliance Expert,  Cheerleader, Disney Aficionado, Half-Crazy Runner, Certified Speaking Professional 

If I was to write the complete story of my professional speaking career, I would need to devote an entire chapter to Cheryl’s impact Cheryl. From day one she has been my most passionate cheerleader. She has seen my potential when I could not. She has encouraged, opened doors, and empowered me to shutdown limiting thoughts. Last fall she generously invested 3 hours of her time to help me plan out how incredible this year would be.

I was recently featured on her podcast Magnifying Brilliance. Our conversation is worth the 39 minute investment. Here are some key takeaways Cheryl found in our conversation.

  • Crises and tragic circumstances have the potential to propel us into making a change for the better.
  • Think about who you’re becoming and what legacy you’ll leave. Make a promise to yourself. This promise will help you to get back up no matter what.
  • Reinforce confidence within people. Change the words that you use with others, choose to see them, and empower them even if they reject it.
  • We can find ways to tell someone that we see them and love them. As leaders, we have the incredible opportunity to figure out how to best communicate that with them. It’s both a responsibility and a blessing.
  • Every one of us is a leader regardless of the title we have… if I was gonna lead others with confidence well then I had to lead myself first.” — Les Patterson

Actually, I better devote an entire book to Cheryl’s impact!


Intentionally surrounding yourself with masters who are doing what you want to do and being who you want to be is a crucial step in “Creating Your Story of Love & Greatness.”

Mastering your passion, skillset, and purpose is also a crucial step.

Both are needed to become the best version of yourself.

This is why I am part of the National Speakers Association. It is also why I am working directly with Ty Bennett and Chad Hymas as my personal speaking coaches through their Relevant Speaker program.

What Intentional Steps will you take today to…

  • Surround Yourself With Greatness?
  • Master Your Passion, Skillset, or Purpose?

Have a beautiful Monday! Thanks for letting me share!

Les Patterson

p.s. Take 13 minutes today to surround yourself with GREATNESS!



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