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Do you wake up each day feeling energized and ready to take on the day, or do you press snooze several times? Only now you are running late, so you skip breakfast, skip going to the gym, and you are running around the house trying to get out the door, and yet, you are going to be late once again. Why do we do it to ourselves?  Why do we expect the world to treat us with respect, when we can’t do the simple thing like show up on time,be courteous, or just simply smile when we greet others?

It is true that you seldom get a second chance to make an excellent first impression. A wise person will dress and look the part for the job they want, not the job they already have. Respect, confidence, and self-belief start with the choice in how you care for yourself from the inside out. Looking good leads to feeling good, and when you look good and feel good,you become unstoppable.

Ways to make you look & feel good:

1. Take 30-60 minutes a day to exercise

2. Maintain a healthy diet

3. Take time to read daily

4. Keep wardrobe updated

5. Self Reflect

Things you will gain by looking & feeling good

1. Confidence

2. Energy

3. Focus

4. Good Health

5. Drive to succeed

Tips for making a good first impression:

1. Eye Contact

2. Smile

3. Firm Handshake

4. Speak Clearly and Directly to Person

5. Be on time

6. Be aware of your body language

At the beginning of my keynote speaking career, I did not consistently put my best foot forward at times.  I would wear baggy clothes when I would speak places, I would wear these huge earrings in my ear to try and proclaim I was successful, when I was truly struggling down to my core.  I would constantly be inconsistent with how I dressed, which led to my keynote speaking message being unclear,distorted, and inconsistent.

Today, unless the client asked me to dress down, I always wear a suit.  I always am crystal clear in my overall message from the way I dress, to the confidence I have when I’m on stage, to the way I always deliver what the client is looking for with my message.  This did not come easily, it took years of practice,hard work, and most of all learning how to listen to others.  So I challenge you to dress for success at all times, and when you do that you are putting yourself in the best position to succeed in your vision!

Dress in the way that is comfortable to you and in a manner that makes you feel confident, professional, and classy. Make sure you style of dress is fitting to the job you are doing, you don’t want to be overly dressed or under-dressed. The way one dresses and cares for themselves can be a reflection of how they think of themselves.

First Impressions and Image, is your introduction and signature to you and your Brand. Look and feel so good that when you walk into a room, your presence in that room is your introduction.

Marques Ogden, Keynote Speaker

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To achieve success and personal growth has nothing to do with the education, skills or resources but with the willingness, perseverance, and grit to not give up on your visions and aspirations.

If you look at overnight success, you will see that it took time. Many times you will have to sacrifice things to stay goal-oriented. There will be times when others are sleeping, and you are grinding, times when you are asked to do things, and you have turned them down because you have goals to hit, and there will be times when your non-believers will get to you.  However, it’s these times that make you stronger and help achieve the goals you desire.

In 2013 I decided to launch my keynote speaking career, and boy did I “seriously” overvalue myself and services.  I thought because I played in the NFL, failed at business, and wanted to speak I could make a lot of money speaking on stages.  Starting my keynote speaking career, was one of the hardest things I ever did in my entire life.  Trying to “sell” people on the fact I could inspire their audiences was no easy task.  So many times I was told “no” when trying to get jobs as a keynote speaker.

In early 2014 I was approached by a good friend of mine, Mr. Dave Nesvisky who worked for a company called Netapp.  Dave called me and told me his company was having an event and asked me if I like to be the keynote speaker for it.  I remember my immediate response “heck yea Dave; I will be glad to do it!  What are you guys going to pay me for my time?”  Dave’s immediate response was “Marques, and you have no social proof and no real experience.  I’m sorry to tell you we have no money to pay you for this event!  However, we can take care of your travel, lodging, and food!  Would you like this opportunity?”  I remember pausing and thinking to myself ” What?  Get paid nothing for this opportunity, what’s wrong with him, doesn’t he know I played in The NFL?  Doesn’t he know I am worth at least $5,000, I am not going to take this job!”  Then I thought to myself if I tell him “no” he will never ask me again to speak for him, and his Fortune 500 brand.  So I swallowed my pride and said this verbatim, “Dave, I will gladly take this opportunity!  Thank you so much, and what are the next steps?”

I went to Chicago, did the job and got terrific reviews from Netapp.  After the event, I got my very first reference letter, and that was the beginning of my speaking career starting to soar!  I look back now and realize, if I had told Dave “no” to that opportunity, my speaking career would be different today.  Sometimes, you have to swallow your pride and do things you do not want to do, to get to your result.  I was not happy at all that I did not get paid for my first job with Netapp, but I am so glad today that I swallowed my pride, sucked it up, and took that job, as it set the tone for my career!

Successful people find a way, and unsuccessful give up and ask “why me?”, “when am I going to be lucky?” Successful people develop habits the rest of us are not willing to have. Success comes in different forms with each; however, success is adding value to others in your everyday life! Many seek success; however, very few are prepared for the necessary changes to achieve it.  Do you have what it takes to achieve success?  Alternatively, are you waiting your turn patiently for it to “just happen” for you?  Just remember this saying “If you want to achieve success, prosperity, and wealth you have to INVEST the time that is necessary to see your vision all the way to the finish line and beyond!”

Marques Ogden, Keynote Speaker

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We all will face transitions in our lives, school, professional sports, or work, changing jobs, getting married, and having a family. When out of our comfort zone; we tend to worry about an unknown future. Transitions can be a time when we can find our true passions.

I remember in 2008 I was shortly retired from the National Football League, and I was having an immensely difficult time transitioning.  I was not sure what I wanted to do with my life, as I had been playing football for so long, The only thing I knew I was good with people, and I excel at the art of networking.  After going to a few events I met a guy who had great operations experience in construction, and since I had a great ability to network and build relationships, we decided to go into business together.  We created our brand, and we called it Kayden Premier Enterprises.

Now to be totally honest, I had no experience in construction at the time, and that was one of the largest mistakes I made with my transition after football.  But I did work extremely hard and learned the business of construction.   I grew into my next life transition with hard work, perseverance, and grit.  But the one thing I did build my empire off of, was my ability to network, build relationships, and the excellent skill to market and sell.  Here are things that I think are paramount to help you succeed, as you are going through any type of transition in your life.

1. Know your strengths:

What do you excel at?  What things do you do best?  Identify your strengths and build your foundation from there.

2. Set goals:

Setting goals helps you keep your eye on the prize to achieve greatness.

3. Map out a plan:

You have to have a strategy, and a roadmap to know where you want to go in life.

4. Believe in yourself:

If you do not believe in yourself, don’t expect anyone else to.

5. Trust the process:

Trust you are doing the right thing, and stop second-guessing yourself.

6. Ask for help and guidance when needed:  

We can not build a 6 figure or hire annual empire without help.

7. Be open to change:

Learning how to pivot and adapt is crucial to your brand’s success.

8. Be open to feedback through constructive criticism:

Constructive Criticism is a way you can grow as a person and a leader.

9. Use your failures as a foundation:

Learn from your failures, don’t dwell on them.

10. Celebrate all your successes along the way:  

When you accomplish great things be proud of yourself, and celebrate those accomplishments

Transitions can be a time of when you can grow the most. It’s a time when you are able to see the strengths and weaknesses come out. This is also a time we step entirely out of our comfort zones and into greatness. At the beginning of transitions, it can feel uneasy, but you must trust the process and keep pushing forward. Believe in perseverance.  Believe in your vision.

ABOVE ALL ELSE BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!!

Marques Ogden, Keynote Speaker

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Did you know that the people you spend the most time with have the most influence on your level of success?

Your thought becomes your actions. Your actions become your habits, and your habits become your success.

When I started building my 8 figure business…I hired the wrong people, and I coached them the wrong way.  In 2008 I was 27 years old, and I thought I knew everything there was to know about starting a business.

Looking back on it I didn’t know much of anything about sales, building the power team, how to organize my time, how to delegate tasks, and most of all I did not know how to have healthy dialogue and discussions, to solve issues in my company.  In the summer of 2012, my business was going through some struggling times financially, but we were still able to stay ahead because our bank gave us a nice line of credit to “sustain us.”  I will never forget one of my power team members tried to tell me how we were going to be in MAJOR trouble in a few short months if we did not change the way we conducted business.  Instead of allowing him to express his thoughts and concerns, I shunned him.  I did not allow him to express his concerns regarding the growth of our business.  Two days later he came in and handed me his 2-week resignation papers.

After he left my company, the rest of my power team started to disappear right in front of my eyes!  Six months later, I had to shut my company’s doors and file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  When I stop and look back on my experience as a CEO in my 20’s I realized a few things. Things like I should have been a better listener, I should have treated my power team with the utmost respect at all times, and I should have allowed healthy dialogue and inclusion in my organization.  Today, when I conduct business I am much more mindful of my behavior, and how I treat others.  I LISTEN MORE and talk less; I allow people to express their thoughts and opinions healthily and respectfully.  However, above all else, I always keep my eye on the prize and trust the people that I have around me.  I do not care how hard you work, how much you pour in your blood, sweat, and tears, no one can build a “true empire” without help.  So it is vital that you have a POWER TEAM around you, to help you stay on track so you can achieve the goals you desire!

Things to consider when building your POWER TEAM:

1. Do they have the same work ethic as you?

2. Do they have a passion for your brand?

3. Do they have the brands’ best interest in mind?

4. Are they teachable?

5. Can they handle change?

When building that team, it also takes work on my part. When I have delegated the tasks, I must believe in my trusted team to do the job to the best of their ability, to positively reflect the brand.  However, I also must listen to all suggestions and concerns they have as we are trying to grow the brand and vision together.  I have to realize that I can’t do it all myself and there is no need for me to have control of every situation.  Also, that letting go of control and letting someone else do their job, is a TRUE sign of displaying responsibility as an effective leader!

Two main things you must do to keep a power team:

1. Appreciate them.  

a. Not just professionally but personally too.

b. Express your gratitude towards the team on a consistent basis.

2. Always be present for the team.

a. Communicate promptly with emails, calls, text, etc.

b. Have transparent communication across the board.

c. Listen to them; you don’t always have to have the answers to everything.

So I challenge you to take a look around and evaluate your team.

Remember sometimes letting go of things that do not benefit you is the best thing you can do for the brand, yourself, and your team to elevate to the next level.

Marques Ogden, Keynote Speaker

Marques Ogden

Marques Ogden/Speaker

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