I live in a very small town in Northern New Mexico. I am a passionate mom and I love being involved in our schools and especially in our sports program. Since our town exists due to the Oil & Gas industry, many people do not have a clue what I do when I get on a plane several times a month. And I am okay with that. My identity in our small town is Mom. Occasionally as I am sitting at games another parent will get that uneasy look and shift a little bit in their seats. I know what is coming. I have actually started to get a little chuckle out of how uncomfortable it makes some people to ask me the question I know is coming. “What DO you do for a living Laci?” The emphasis is always on the first DO. Sometimes that question is followed up by “Some say you are a motivational speaker” Which makes me laugh for two reasons. First I am not motivational, I am pretty funny really! Second, they always sound surprised that I could be motivational. See you just laughed out loud too.
So here is the story of me. I came out of the womb talking! When my parents would have friends over I would entertain them. I would dance, put on a recital, sing, whatever got the attention and the laughs. When I was in the 8th grade I told my parents, If I could get someone to pay me to talk, my life would be complete! In high school I joined FFA, remember I am from a very small farming town in Northern New Mexico. For 4 years in high school FFA, I competed in Prepared Public Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, Parliamentary Procedure and Judging competitions, which also taught me to think quick and speak well. My senior year in high school I was the NM State FFA Vice President. I spent a good part of my year traveling and speaking. It was my passion.
I went to college at NMSU in Las Cruces NM. My major was Communications. The plan was to graduate and move to New York to get my own talk show! I just knew Barbara Walters would love me and mentor me. My dad, a good ole cowboy, thought I had lost my mind.
And then it happened. While attending college I went to work for a dentist as a chairside assistant part time. It was just a job in college…That was 26 years ago this year. I spent the first 14 years in the dental office. I was a chairside assistant (not a great one), I was “promoted” to the business office where they started me as a Greeter. Thank goodness they quickly learned I could do more, and eventually I was a practice administrator in a few high end cosmetic practices. In 2004, I was reminded once again that I was destined for more and I had a vision of the 18-year-old that was going to move to New York and have a talk show. That was the year I started a whole new path to the speaking circuit. I was very fortunate to have some great mentors and to make some great contacts in the industry that saw a little something in me. I have had the pleasure to be speaking to our industry for the past 12 years and in 2012 Bonnie Pugh and I started our consulting firm, Practice Dynamics.
My passion shines bright each time I take stage and I know I have my talk show and you are my audience. I by no means think that is worthy of a motivational speaker title, but it does motivate me to continue to follow my dreams.
Being a booster mom that travels for living is not always easy. I am torn every time I leave my house. I absolutely love what I do, but I do not want to miss a single minute of my kids being the amazing human beings they are. In speaking with my 17-year-old daughter, I have come to realize that my job, my passion and my career have had an effect on her. She wrote me a note one day that I hold in my heart. She said she understands why I do it. She knows it is hard for me to miss important moments but I have taught her to be strong, be determined and to never give up on a dream, no matter what it is. She told me that she understands I have shown her how to be a strong yet loving woman and one that can provide and love all at the same time. She knows I must miss somethings, but she is proud of me each day. That right there is my motivation.
My daughter recently applied to a BA/MD program at UNM to begin her path to become an Orthopedic Surgeon. She had to write an essay about what motivates her, what pushes her. She included me in her essay. I haven’t always done everything right and I will make more mistakes in my life and in my career. Looking on the basketball court or football field to see my son starting his path to play for LSU and looking into my daughters determined eyes, I know I have done 2 things well.
I am not a motivational speaker, but my life is full of motivation every single second.