Cooksey Connects at Child Care Mini-Conference

This past weekend, I had the honor of delivering the opening keynote presentation for the Child Care Mini-Conference in Miami, OK.  I wish to publicly thank the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma and the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma for sponsoring me to speak.  These two fine groups are doing great work in support of the development of young people within their tribal communities!

Following the general session, attendees then came back for more in the breakout session “The Way You’ve Always Done It Doesn’t Work Anymore”- where we discussed some practical tools, tips and techniques for breaking the cycle of being “stuck” in the highly regulated world of child care.  In short, it became clear that Child Care professionals do not need to ask permission to act with compassion and care.  What an impact these amazing people at the conference make every day in their jobs!

During the keynote, I mentioned a couple of videos and promised a link to those, so here they are:

  • The Carolina Abacedarian Project – This groundbreaking study which began in 1972 gave the world proof that by providing consistent, age-appropriate, structured child care in the first five years of life can set a child on a path toward adult success and better chance for lesser mental health challenges later in life.  Here’s a clip from the study’s website to explain more.  CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO
  • Also, we took some time to watch Dalton Sherman’s 2008 speech to educators in Dallas ISD in Texas.  If you are an educator or care about the future of education and our young people in America, this is 9 minutes of reminder you MUST SEE:

During the day, over 200 child care professionals were not only inspired to continue making a difference in the lives of each young person with whom they interact each day, but also were encouraged to look beyond the walls of their own Child Care centers to build a community within they could network, share best practices, and encourage one another to stay consistent, upbeat, and enthusiastic in the face of each day’s routine.

Child care professionals, I applaud EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU for the tireless service you provide every day.  It was an honor to speak at your mini-conference, and I look forward to seeing you again, soon!

Stop FreeCreditReport.com!

A while ago, I authored a post to remind the you (my loyal readers) that there were some misleading practices being offered by some VERY visible companies regarding access to your credit reports.  This morning, @andreamyers re-tweeted a post from another well known Twitter-hero (@skydiver) who found this little ditty below:

Please allow me to add my wave of gratitude to the Federal Trade Commission for taking on these other “knuckleheads” who claim to be doing the general public a favor, when in fact, they are selling them an unnecessary product by taking advantage of their fears.

Next, let’s fight back against those “companies” who want to charge parents to fill out the FREE Application for Federal Student Aid! (Goodness, people!  It’s in the title of the document, FREE!)  [HINT: For info you can completely trust about the College Financial Aid process, check out this site from Making It Count!

Not Quite Bear Grylls or Steve Irwin…More Like Kevin Costner…sort of.

Today I:
(a) Woke up in a hotel room and realized I’d forgotten dress shoes and belt
(b) Went to WalMart before 7AM in slacks and running shoes while holding up my dress pants
(c) Spoke to students from 4 different High Schools (they all came over to Frederick High School to hear me)
(d) Hiked within 100 yards of an American Bison…in the same field….with NO FENCE between us
(e) Stood atop a dam built in 1933
(f) All of the above.

For those of us who stay on the go (like Peter Shankman), you have to take your recreation time when you can (Shankman skydives, I hike and run). Today, I had a few extra hours to burn in the afternoon, so I went exploring at the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.

This place is REALLY COOL! There’s a few nights sleeping in my tent to happen here real soon.

Enjoy the footage!

The next time you hit the road for work….steal some time and visit a museum, take a hike, or…reenact the “tatonka” scene from Dances with Wolves!


Why I Don't Like Suze Orman's Advice (Or, Why Variable Annuities CAN Work)

My speaker’s intro includes something about my self-description of being a “recovering financial advisor”. It’s true. I was in the business of giving financial advice for over 8 years, during which I saw some amazingly interesting market events – good and bad.

One of the most consistent things I saw, though, was a number of media-described “experts” on financial matters, who often gave blanket, broad-brushed advice that didn’t always tell the entire story. While I can’t say that everything she has ever said is bad, generally speaking, I don’t care too much for the scrubbed-for-the-lowest-common-denominator-sound-bite-media advice dished out by people like Suze Orman.

First here’s a clip of her somewhat infamous bad call from a show on CNBC from a few years ago. Before the days of YouTube, it circulated among emails of many financial pros as a laughable example of her being called out by a viewer….just note how angry her face gets when she realizes what the screener didn’t screen out….

Then, today, I received an email from an industry trade group with further proof that NO SINGLE INVESTMENT is ALWAYS BAD (or good) – see this article. As the old saying goes, I guess “Every Dog (truly) Has His Day”. Go figure – then, get with a true financial pro to find a plan that works for YOU.

Bueller…..Bueller…… Ben Stein Got THIS One Right!

Yeah, I’m of the age that first remembers Ben Stein as the teacher who droned over and over while calling roll in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – one of my favorite teen movies of all times.

Well, here’s a recent clip he delivered for CBS on what President Obama REALLY meant about meetings…something I REALLY care about, since I’m a corporate trainer and speaking professional.

What do you think? Watch the video and reply with your thoughts. I’d like to hear your opinions. Go ahead!


Watch CBS Videos Online



Popular Music and Senior Citizens…Yep, They ROCK!

This blog features a number of outstanding individuals who have dared to defined their own success. As I’ve been saying a lot lately, these are people who have chosen to “Own it!” in their own lives.

My brother found an amazing bit of footage from a group suspiciously like the one featured in the 2007 documentary Young at Heart. I hope you’ll enjoy. OH, the last song they cover is worth the watch. Old people rock!





Re-wiring the Communication Gap

I don’t know anything about the company whose logo appears on this video, so this is NOT an endorsement. As a speaking professional (and a man), however, this presentation is pretty well delivered. OH, and I think you’ll get a kick out of his message.

Question you can answer in the comment section:

Please share a story about a time when a simple communication issue kept you from achieving a desired result.

The Ultimate Video Resume

If you haven’t heard, Journey is back with a brand new lead singer. Sure, you die hard fans (Hi, Terry and Shanna!) find this news to be “old”….but for people thinking they could be at the bottom, here’s a great story of what happened to a kid living on the streets in the Philippines was able to achieve.

Congratulations, Arnel, on living your dream!