Kevin L. McCruddenI’m the only motivational and leadership speaker in America to ever have a day of recognition passed by The United States Congress. After the tragic events of 9-11, I worked to have Congress acknowledge January 2nd as National Motivation & Inspiration Day! I also founded Motivate America, Inc. and created The American Motivation Awards, which lead me to coin the moniker of “Mr. Motivation”and later “America’s CMO ~ Chief Motivation Officer.”
What’s with all the patriotism? Yeah, I know.
Well, I’m the son of Irish immigrants! That might explain part of it. I am the 7th of 8 children, actually, my twin sister and I are #’s 7 and 8, so it’s actually a tie. She was born with a strain of German Measles and became “Hard of Hearing”or Deaf.
I have spent most of my life being an over achiever, because I was the youngest of 5 boys that were all professional athletes! A little intimidating. However, it has also lead me to be the person I am today. People ask me how I became a “motivational speaker,”which I laugh about, because I always get the picture of Chris Farley’s, Saturday Night Live skit in my head. I never actually intended to be a “motivational speaker,”but if the shoe fits, as they say. I tell people, I got my ass kicked! That’s right, life kicked my ass and I was faced with quitting or persevering through all of it. And well, I did.
I married my college sweetheart and we had our son right away. Neither one of us was mature enough to handle the pressure associated with being married and having a child at 24. I was working in New York City at a major law firm as a legal assistant trying to determine if I wanted to be a lawyer and was working 70 to 90 hour work weeks, which didn’t help. We lasted 8 months and were divorced 2 years later.
Along comes the younger, sexy, ex model with an MBA and a powerful father with political connections all the way to the White House. She convinces me that we should get married and we did. After a tumultuous 5 years together, on the night of my mother’s wake, she admits to having an affair. I later uncover it was with a friend for about half of our marriage.
I was in the middle of running for public office and had my own PR and Marketing Firm. I tried for a year to forgive her. I couldn’t. The politicians that were in power at the time also lied to me and didn’t have my back the last weeks of the election. I lost the election in a recount and everything fell apart from there. At 34, I was twice divorced and had lost my mother, an election, my wife and my business was going under. Yep. Life kicked my ass!
So, I had to make a choice. Quit (suicide) or keep pushing.
My client and friend Peter, introduced me to Brian Tracy. I then began to listen and read Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Zig Ziglar and all the great motivational and inspirational speakers. It turned my life around. I began to attract people that were a positive impact on my life. I still had to fight the instinct of attracting women that were not good for me, nor would be good partners, but I did attract powerful, intelligent and beautiful people that impacted my development.
Fast forward to 2006, about 10 years of being single.
She sparkled! I don’t know if it was the dress, her eyes, her teeth or a glow from inside her, but when she turned and smiled at me, it was over before it began. She was Cinderella and Snow White wrapped into one. It was Alicia! We went to a castle, yes, literally a castle for an event. Standing next to each other, under the stars with a cool breeze, I wrapped my arm around her and asked if she was cold. She looked up and the moment happened… I have never been loved and supported so much in my life. Unconditional love is what Ali has shown me and our kids. She has an endless supply of cheer, energy, enthusiasm and loves to give.
So, naturally, who should “Mr. Motivation”be connected to, but none other than “Mrs. Motivation!”