Interview

Episode 147 – Getting Motivated with Master Encourager Michael Arterberry

Mark interviews Michael Arterberry, Master Encourager, and Dynamic Motivational Speaker.

Prior to the interview, Mark reads comments from recent episodes, shares a personal update and reads a word from this episode’s sponsor.

You can learn more about how you can get your work distributed to retailers and library systems around the world at starkreflections.ca/Findaway.

In their conversation, Mark and Michael talk about:

  • Where Michael’s title as “Master Encourager” came from, via a story about a farmer and a donkey
  • How this story relates to Michael’s childhood experience in both his home and neighborhood
  • The value of shaking the dirt
  • The way that Michael re-adapted the original donkey story he had heard, added new elements/concepts to it, and made it his own
  • Getting into sports and being gifted as a lead athlete (from the age of 8 until high school graduation)
  • How coaches became parental figures and role models, and his team-mates became his brothers and sisters
  • Michael’s gift of being able to feel the pain of others by tuning into the rhythm of a room
  • The importance of story to Michael in speaking engagements, workshops and social gatherings
  • Helping people manage difficulties, particularly during Covid-19
  • How, since the pandemic, Michael has been a guest on more than 75 podcasts
  • How Covid-19 is not a punishment, but perhaps a gift, and a time for pause and self-reflection
  • The experience of Winning the Characters Unite Award
  • Michael’s experience of speaking to kids in local schools
  • How, despite being an Alpha personality, Michael has found himself in particular situations where he doesn’t have a voice because of the side-effect of being perceived as an “angry black man”
  • Why Michael went with 250 days (rather than 365) for his book and how it came from inspirational and motivation things he’d shared for free daily on his Facebook page
  • Advice that Michael would offer his younger self

After the interview, Mark reflects on Michael’s use of the “donkey” parable and the effectiveness such a story can have on getting an important message across.

He then shares how listeners can win a copy of Michael’s book Be Encouraged: 250 Days of Motivation and Encouragement.

Links of Interest:

As a teenager, Michael Arterberry was fortunate to receive guidance from positive adult role models who helped him overcome adversities and set high expectations for his future. Grateful for the role these mentors played in his own development, Michael decided to dedicate his professional life to helping people navigate the difficulties of life and launch their future into motion. For more than 25 years, he has been helping teens and adults to use what they have gone through as a catalyst for success rather than an obstacle for failure.

Michael received the 2010 USA Network’s Characters Unite Award for exceptional commitment to combating prejudice and discrimination. He is also the recipient of the 2014 100 Men of Color Award for leadership in education, government, mentorship, entrepreneurial success and community service.

In 2008, Michael founded Youth Voices Center, Inc. a non-profit with the mission of helping young people to become active, productive members of society by overcoming their obstacles, their history, stereotypes and even their own self-image and limiting beliefs.


The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of www.incompetech.com and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0


Below is an automated transcription of the interview segment of this episode.

(The transcription has not been human-verified)

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Hey, Michael, thank you so much for hanging out with me here today.

Michael Arterberry: Yeah. Yeah, I’m excited. I’m excited. I, you know, with COVID at any time, you can have interaction with people, you know, you almost break walls down. So, you know, to be able to talk to another individual, I have a busted at the gut you’re in trouble.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Well, let’s go and we’re going, and we’re going to be talking about some really cool stuff. We’re not going to be talking about hair care style, even though we have a lot in common when it comes to grooming and male grooming.

Michael Arterberry: Yeah, definitely.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: But I want to ask, because this is part of your branding and I’m fascinated by it is you’re known as a master encourager.

What is a master encourager?

Michael Arterberry: So check this out. What we’re going to do is you and I talked about another topic I’m going to, we’re going to kind of dive into, so I’m going to tell you a story. That will hit my master coverage, her point, but then segue into our next subject. All right, perfect. So here we go.

Here we go. It’s about a farmer and a donkey Mark. All right now, stay with me. All right. Cause I’m going somewhere with this. Now this donkey is one of his favorite farm animals because once he finishes working with the donkey on the farm, he brings the donkey back to his house and he allows kids to play, wash him and ride him.

So he’s like a worker, but at the same time he gets the benefits of coming home. Uh, right. So. He brings them home. The kids play with them. Didn’t he, when he finishes and he sends them back out to the farm. So one night he brings them home. They come out, they play with them. He leases them back out to the farm.

But during the night he wanders and falls into an empty water Wells. So he, of course he can’t get out. He’s making donkey noises. The farmer comes out the next morning whistles form. He doesn’t show that. Now he’s searching around the farm to try to find he fought highly hears them making noise at the bottom of the empty.

Well, he walks over. He decides he wants to take them, get them out. So he gets six of his friends. They come over to the weld and they decide that they’re going to pull them out with some rope. So all six of them get rope and they start to lasso to donkey. They throw to rope, they miss, they throw the rope.

They missed, they finally dropped by his hind legs. He steps into the rope, they shimmy it up his body and they starting to pull. They pulled the docu moves. They pull the documents, they pull the documents now halfway up to well, they realized that the dock is too heavy. Should they lower them back to the bottom of the Wellmark and now the farmer has to make a grim decision now, see, he can’t feed them food at the bottom of the well, because that wouldn’t make any sense.

He really doesn’t feel like he can starve them. Because like I said, he’s more like a pet. One of his hot headed friends was like, Hey, just shoot me. I can’t do that. So one of his more reasonable friends whispered in his ear and said, listen, you don’t want to kids to fall into the well, so we’re going to have to sacrifice a donkey.

We’re going to cover him with dirt. Get kids will be safe. Donkey is going to be gone. And a farmer said he could deal with that. So they all get shovels and they start shoveling dirt. Every time that dirt hit the donkey, he was screaming. They would cause the farmer, some distress, you got dirt scream, dirt scream, dirt screen.

Then all of a sudden the scream stop. When the screams stopped, they gave them donkey a moment of silence, but then they went back to work more dirt, more dirt, more dirt. The next thing who knows you’re seated. Donkey’s right here. They shovel fast. The next thing you know, walk, you see half his body, they shovel facet.

And next thing you know, that donkey walks right out of the weld that he filament. Now, check this out, Mark. I’m going to tell you what I told you. The story. I’m the donkey. I’m the donkey and the dirt that I’ve had endured in my, to endure my life as this buddy, I grew up in a home with a raging alcoholic dad.

Now, when I say raging, I’m talking about my man raised from the time I was born until the time he died when I was 16. So, I mean, imagine growing up, I could get caught up playing in the streets, playing baseball, but every day of my life, before I was coming home, some of them would tap me on the shoulder and say, Hey buddy, don’t to get too happy because you got to go home and you got to deal with that on top of it.

Living in a home with a raging alcoholic father. I grew up in poverty now. I didn’t have to be that way. Both my parents worked full time. My dad was a bus driver. My mom was a housekeeper. His money went to drinking. My mother raised four kids. What a housekeeping salad. So, bro, we didn’t have much money on top of not having much money, disfunction.

I mean the head of your households and alcoholic. He’s pumping that to my three siblings a month. My oldest siblings are trying to lead me, but they can only lead me as well as they’re being led by a father. So there’s a lot of dysfunction in my home. Not in my neighborhood. It would be nice if you had a few civil linings dad, but everybody’s home was identical to mine.

So you had drug addiction, you had crime new at gangs. And so it wasn’t really a pleasant environment, but you ask me why I’m the master plan coverage. What motivates me to motivate other people is MOC. I was able to go through those wounds and no scars, and I was able to prevail. And that’s what my foundation of why I want to help other people where my energy and my passion is embedded in the fact that I got out, bro.

I broke the cycle.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: I love that. And, and that naturally, because you know, I was going to ask you about shaking the dirt. Obviously, obviously they were throwing it on him, but he would shake in the dirt and that’s, that’s what you’ve done.

Michael Arterberry: Yes, right. That’s right. You know, I, um, you know, it’s funny, the story I saw, uh, on, on, on Facebook, it was a donkey at the bottom of the, well, and then there was a whole story.

Now, it wasn’t nothing like what I just told you, but I, I made it mine, you know, but my life is, is, is, is, and, and, you know, what’s crazy is. When I say, I break the cycle, I still have dirt today. So it’s not like the dirt stops coming. Yeah, you got it. You have to still keep shaking it. But, um, you know, I teach that to people and I use different concepts to teach them how to shake the dirt.

Because bottom line, you don’t shake your dirt, the shake, the dirt will suffocate and take you out. Mark, just like it would have did the doc. So,

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: how did you, so you’re, you’re at the bottom of this? Well, obviously you’re, you know, uh, in, in, in, in a, an oppressed life, as a child, right. An alcoholic father, and just knowing at the end of each day, what you’re going to have to face what you’re going to have to deal with.

What was it that actually inspired you or motivated you? I mean, did you, you didn’t seem to have role models or did you have role models from somewhere in the community? How did, how did you learn how to shake the dirt?

Michael Arterberry: Check this out. Two things, not, not two things there, more than two things, but two paths.

I’m going to tell you the first path, the first first path is, I mean, it was miraculous how I was able to figure this out is that I created my own traditional family. Now I was gifted yet. Check it out. I was gifted to be an elite athlete. My mom got me into sports because counseling for an African American family just say it happen.

So she says I’m going to get him into sports so that I can occupies time. And at the age of eight, I started playing baseball, basketball, football, well, the soccer

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: With all of those sports?

Michael Arterberry: All, all those sports. And I would rotate them by seasons. And I played them from the age of eight until I graduated high school.

Just to fast forward a little bit. I could have gone to college for all four Mark. Really? When I picked, yeah, all four could have went to school, but I picked football because it was my favorite. Now I don’t want to get away from the story. Now I tell you that because what I did is my coach became the parental figures.

Okay. They became my role models. So I would get my guidance from my coaches, my teammates, what become my brothers and sisters, like a traditional family. The accolades that I would get from being good in the sport would be what you would get. If you came home to a normal home that was functional. So as I’m living in the dysfunction, I’m maneuvering through it.

But I’m not feeling it because I’m getting all of that stuff from the outside, but this is the secret sauce. The secret sauce is this in my presentations, I show a picture of my house and do it. It had boards on it. If you saw my house, it looked condemned. Now I’m telling you this because in a winter times, my mom used to heat water in big COSI Turkey basin pants, just to heat my apartment.

We didn’t even have a boiler. No I’m telling you this, because one night when I was 10 years old, I fell asleep, crying, and I’ve made a bet to like, uh, to myself. And I said that if I ever had my own kids, my kids would never have to live like this Mark don’t, you know, whenever life got really tough. My unborn children became the catalyst to my success, bro.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Wow. I love that. So, so it’s obvious then I was going to ask you why you’ve dedicated your professional life to, to encouraging and motivating others and lifting other people up. It’s it’s it seems obvious as to why you’ve done that. Because again, like, like those unborn children that inspired you, you probably saw that there were other people in that situation who maybe didn’t have the encouragement of a coach.

Or, or, or weren’t able to find that internal passion, uh, to, to get through this, is that, is that what motivates you to help?

Michael Arterberry: Yeah. And you know, what, what happens? And I don’t want to get pigeonholed to thinking, I only relate to people that had lives similar to my right. Cause some people, you know, they, they become that, but I have a gift of feeling pain.

Well, you put me in a room, I call it, keeping the rhythm. So what you gotta do is sticky. You’re tapping, right? And you tap your foot to a rhythm and you find the rhythm and you tap it. I quiet my inner self. I’m very spiritual. And what I’m able to do is I’m able to get to the rhythm of the room. Okay. When people are off rhythm, dude, it’s like it just illuminates.

And so I’m able to get around other people. And that’s why I do workshops. Um, even, you know, it happens, it’s a little freaky, but when I’m at a podium, I get it. I’ll get it. I won’t know who it is in the audience, but I’ll get something that’ll slip to me. That’s not all my paper and I’ll just drift it out to the audience because I’ve just got, you know, when you come from something like that, man, you know, there’s, there’s just something about it that creates this being that, um, you know, um, you know, it’s not supernatural, but that’s, I was under there from, from resilience.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Oh, wow. Wow. So I want to go back to you used a music analogy and previous you, you shared a, a parable, like basically a story, the donkey story, which obviously you had adapted for your own purposes based on something you had heard, how important. Is that the stories that you tell is it as a motivational speaker in your books, any of those, how important are those stories?

Michael Arterberry: Okay. Some bro, I am, you know, the master storyteller, like you get me out of Barb barbecue. And my wife gets mad because by the end of the barbecue, this is a circle around me, dude. And I’m talking about when you live a life that I live. I got them. I got them, man. And they’re not made up. It’s not like I go to a book.

I mean, you know, to the point, which is a low scary, is that the stories that my home life, even my family life we’d get together like Easter or Christmas. Now, my dad was, he wasn’t abusive to his kids, so he physically did beat us verbally. He was very harsh when he physically beat my mom. So as a man child, it was hard to see that.

And not only did he physically beat her, some of the crap that he put us through in the house was lifetime movie type stuff. So there’s times where we’re having a meal and we start going through stories and do we got to stop? We’ll stop my siblings and I, and my mother, and look at each other and say, Whoa, did we really live that?

Because he did some really, I mean, some off the wall stuff. So when you say stories and what I do when I, when I run a workshop, I have activities, but I always have a story to debrief in the activity to make it real for participants so that they can touch it.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Right. Well, I mean, they can visualize, right.

They can if, um, and maybe they can, I guess maybe the other thing too, is. Uh, you have had a particular experience in someone else’s had another experience, but through the story, you can kind of come together and see that, see the commonalities

Michael Arterberry: Probably. Right, right. Yeah. Definitely. Definitely. Difficulties

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: helping people manage difficulties.

Now we’re living in interesting times for lack of a better phrase where there’s a lot of challenges out there. And I’m not just talking about, um, sociopolitical challenges. I’m not talking about economic challenges. I’m talking about, about a global pandemic that is affecting people’s health. Affecting relationships affecting work ability to, I mean, people’s access to, to services and other people, you know, we joked about we’re so happy to see one another and chat.

Um, how has that changed for you in terms of the people that are reaching out for help and, and, and, and what sort of, sort of advice that you have for people who are struggling with the difficulties of like a COVID-19 world that we’re in.

Michael Arterberry: So, so let me start by saying that, um, the craziest thing, not crazy, again, not, you know, spiritual that I am, but we don’t have to get into that.

Um, right before COVID I went to a conference about branding your business. Okay. And the, and the guy that brought me to the conference, he found my stuff online. He says, do you understand how much stuff you give away for free? No, I’m not. You know, I’m, I’m just, you see who I am. So I, I, I’m not about making money.

I just want to help people, but he saw my stuff. He said, come on down. I mean, he gave me like a great price on a conference, but what he drove home at the conference is that you have to be known globally. So when I left, it was in LA. When I left LA podcasts was the first thing on my list. And I started just blast and just sending emails.

And since the start of COVID, I’ve been on over 75 podcasts, 75, 75. And, and what’s beautiful about it. It’s the platforms. So some people, I sent it to them. I’ve got a few emails where they were mad at me. Like you didn’t listen to my podcast. I could do to say that it was connected, bro. I was sending it to anyone that I felt could grab something from my message and bring it to the audience.

So I say that to you because I’ve been on, um, blended family. I’ve been on, um, a guy that trains dogs. I mean, people that can see some work in my message, they pull me off because like you said, this is a time where anybody can benefit from it. So, you know, my time is, and then, then all my work was face to face.

So now that I’m in COVID, I’ve created a, um, a virtual course doing the podcast. Um, my programs are in schools, so I’ve now had to create a rule way to be able to speak to students, do to compete shooter. I mean, so it’s made me. Um, you know, I was dynamic before now. I’m super dynamic after COVID, you know what I’m saying?

So business-wise, it expanded my mind to a level that’s beyond, but check this out. This is the advice that I have for your listeners and for people in COVID. Let me tell you something. Everything in life happens for a reason and what COVID is for the world. It’s self reflection time, Mark. You know what I’m saying?

Like, like sometimes when people get too busy, sometimes a sickness has to stop them to be able to look over their life and see it from what it really is. So for me, and yeah, what I tell the world is stop taking this as a punishment. This saying, this is not a punishment. You know, I’ve read a book called the dream giver.

By Bruce Wilkinson. And it talked about how we’re all boys, what a dream to be something in life. But we ended up getting bullied out of becoming that because people say you can’t make enough money. You really can’t be successful. And we abandoned it and we go off and we create these professions that make money, but they don’t make us happy.

What I’m telling the world is listen Colvin for some people, you may not go back to your job and job may be gone. Do you know what this time is about is to get in touch and see that little cop that, that, that fireman, you know what I’m saying? That architect, you know what, go back and get him go back and get him.

Don’t live a life of just collecting money, go back. You know, I laugh when I leave one of my gigs and they hand me a check. I’m laughing my butt off. Cause you know what, they don’t know, but I would have did it for free. I would’ve, I would have came in if I could feed my family, bro. You know what I’m saying?

If I have to legitimately put gas in my car, feed my family. I would never collect checks. So they give me the money. I get my car and I’m laughing my butt off because they have no idea. I enjoy myself and I would have come there and did the venue free of charge.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: That spoke directly to my heart.

Exactly. And I, and I know it will speak to my audience in a really powerful way, because I think that’s why. Writers, storytellers, creators. Those that, that’s why they do it. They would do it anyways, but it’s nice to make a living off of it too. Yeah.

Michael Arterberry: Yeah. Oh yeah, it definitely is. And I’m a poor businessman because of that.

That’s why my wife is my balance she’s business. Cause if I didn’t have her forget about it, I would probably be on the streets. So, you know, every, so often she tugs my chain and she says, listen, we, you know, we got the lights, the no, you know what I’m saying? So, you know, we’re able to balance each other.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: So I’m going to ask a, I want to talk about, uh, your new book, uh, as well, but before we get there, there’s an award you won in 2010. Uh, can you tell us a little bit about

Michael Arterberry: that characters unite? Um, it was, it was, it was on television. It was one of those things where, you know, you say, you know what, I’m going to drop my hat in the bucket.

Um, and I sure did man, and I, and I won it because the work that I do, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s, what’s going on in society now. With, uh, black lives matter and, and systemic racism. Um, the work that I do, I’ve been doing it. And so I was doing it then when I got the award. But even when this stuff came about, I’m already in the trenches.

So you’ve got a vision when I go into a high school. I asked for, um, I got a program that I do, um, it’s called power of peace. I have my own nonprofit, but I go in and if your principal asked for a cross section of students, so I want 30 students that make up your entire building and I run them through a two day experience interactive.

Um, And, and, and so they come in the room, I have the jock have the white student, the black student. And through this experience, I want them to be able to self reflect. But at the same time, I want them to be, be able to build unity with people they don’t normally build community with. And what I’m able to do through this experience is allow these young people to come in a room, see everybody as a face.

But at the it’s, the experience realized that all those faces are actually people, you know what I’m saying? And so, you know, that’s, that’s part of my, my thought process. Um, but, uh, wow. I forgot. What was the question you asked me? Cause I got up. I I, I get, I get passionate. Yeah.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: I’ve gotten sidetracked too.

What was the question I asked? I think the question was about the award

Michael Arterberry: when you, right. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You go, there you go. There you go. So, so tell him about the students. You know, the award was the fact that that’s what I do, you know,

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: it was based on your work with the students that you’ve gone in.

Is it high schools? Is it elementary school?

Michael Arterberry: No, I, I do a middle school and high schools, but what I, what, I’ve what I’ve done over the last couple years. Is I’ve realized that the younger that you can get to them the better off it is. So I’ve, I’ve created an elementary school. Well, that’s good. That’s good.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: I think I was going to ask you a little bit about, I mean, what’s been going on the last couple months, um, black lives matter movement. I mean, there’s been some positive movement. There’s been some negative movement. There’s been all kinds of stuff. And when I think back to my own son, Who is 16 now. And I remember the  born prejudice.

We’re not born with biases against other people, other cultures, other belief systems. We learn those. And I remember at it sustained for such a long time that. He treated everyone equally, uh, you know, males, females, different races, different, different religions. Well, I mean, he wasn’t a, in a Catholic school, but there were still, you know, he was interacting and, and, and I, and I wonder what I mean.

So working with a younger child children before they develop these really hateful, you know, misunderstandings about one another. Isn’t that a really valuable way to, to, to get in there before they become, I mean, corrupted by hate and prejudice.

Michael Arterberry: Yeah, it is. But, you know, can I tell you something, bro? Ah, man, I hate talking about the, the, the, the.

What’s going on in the community. Can I, I mean, as a 52 year old, man, I’m going to, I’m going to give it up to your audience, bro. Um, it’s been hurtful man. Cause you know what? I drank the Koolaid. I’m 52 years old. I drank the Koolaid Mark. I realized during this time that. I was quiet in my voice. I’m a big dude.

I’m, I’m an alpha, but I realized that there were environments, bro, that I was trained, that you don’t say anything that even if you see it, you could see something happening. I could, I could be in a school and watch a school. Actually treat a black student different than a white student know that it’s happening and be fearful, not fearful, not say anything.

Be angry. Be angry. You know what I’m saying? And leave angry and maybe call someone on the phone and tell them, but not saying anything

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: now, is that a, is that because you’re a black man and, and that you’ve been prevented from doing that or you’re preventing yourself, if would I be able to say something?

Michael Arterberry: Oh, but see you, you would, and see you, you would say it and you wouldn’t have a problem, you know, when you, when you’re, when you’re to not get too deep in it being an African American man, And a big at that. I have to find a file balance because see, if you be, if you come off too aggressive, you get labeled an angry black man, no matter what the subject is, one I’m fired up about it.

I can’t really shoot from where I’m feeling, because then the whole room looks at me and says, Oh my gosh, he’s angry. And so I don’t want to give them the opportunity to call me angry. So you have to, you have to find this, this, this balance, you know, but I’ll tell you this. And then we, we got to get off it, but you know, this is crazy mom.

I saw an article on, on Facebook and it was, uh, uh, AP history teacher was going against people that were standing on Confederacy. So he was trying to dispel everything that they felt was valuable in it. And he did it line by line. And, and he, he destroyed it. He dismantled everything that they believed in, but you know, what part got me marked is that he was table two at each subject.

He could line up a black history person. So he’s talking about, what’s taught in the schools, right? A black history person that did something at the same era. And then I started thinking about what was taught to me in school. I was never taught about a black person that was an innovator and a vendor, a successful.

And then people are upset about black on black crime. These young black boys and girls were never taught to be Kings Queen’s Mark. They would never know taught that why they shooting and killing, killing each other in their communities because they don’t know anything better. And so, you know, getting this stuff now, it’s just, it’s it’s revolutionary.

I will teach differently once I get back out after COVID, but it’s an entire podcast on its own.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know what I’m saying?

Michael Arterberry: Yeah, yeah, yeah,

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: No, I, I appreciate, uh, I appreciate, uh, going there and chatting. Uh, I wanted to, um, I wanted to get your perspective. I thought that would be valuable.

So thank you. My apologies for steering us off. Yeah. But I want to get to, uh, you know, so that people, obviously people can book you as a, as a speaker, as a consultant, as a coach, as a motivator. Um, but they can also access your, your brilliance and your, your geniusness through books as well. So let’s, let’s talk about the, is it the 365?

Michael Arterberry: 250

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Take a day off once in a while. Right?

Michael Arterberry: You know what? I did check this out, bro. What I did was is I didn’t want to make it three 65 and put dates because whenever I bought a devotional, if I, if it was April 9th and I missed a day, I wouldn’t read it.

I didn’t want people to feel like, Oh man, I’ve missed yesterday. So I can’t read today. So I said, okay, that makes it out. But this is what motivated me to write my book. Now I would, in my book, it’s a page. Read it. You get motivated for the day. But I would put it on my Facebook page. So I would have my quiet time, write something to the world, put it on my Facebook page and then that’s how I would do it.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: And how you originally wrote those?

Michael Arterberry:  Again, giving stuff away, giving it away. Now, check this out. The story gets better. A woman was dying of cancer. And she said, Michael, I would love to be able to get all your stuff in one place, bro. I went back in, I started pulling them off, picking out my favorites. I put it in the book. I dedicated it to her and she is the reason why my book is now published.

And now for people to read it.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Oh, my God. That is, that is fantastic. Um, well, what I’m going to do for the episode that this airs in, and I’ll, I’ll, I’ll give the full details at the end of this interview is I’m going to give my listeners a chance to win a copy of the book in the format of their choice, whether they want the printed copy or the ebook copy, and we’ll figure out the best way to get that to them.

Michael Arterberry: I have audio as well.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Audio too, better yet. And I’ll be able to figure out a way to purchase the, uh, audio to, to, to give the it’ll be from a random draw, probably from comments, which I’ll, I’ll explain after the interview. So, cause I think that can maybe help some other people out there too.

Michael Arterberry: Yeah. Yeah. Listen, this is, I’ve got one better for them. If they go to shake the dirt experience.com Mark, they can get a free copy.  

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Oh, even better.

Michael Arterberry: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Shape the dote experience.com and they can get a free copy. Of the book. So we’ll put that in the show notes for them and they can go there and get a free copy.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Or if they want a chance to end maybe a print copy or a audio book version, then they’ll have that opportunity as well. Why not give them choices and opportunities. Cool. So, Michael, thank you. It was so great chatting with you. I want sort of one last question, but before we

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: get to the last question I would do want to, uh, well, actually the, the last question is this.

Knowing where you are today and all the things that you’ve overcome to get where you are to inspire, motivate, and empower other people. What’s something that you would have told young, Michael, who was down in that hole. What’s one thing that you would go back in time to tell him

Michael Arterberry: That there’s no rush with living life.

You know what I’ve realized. And fortunately, I had some thoughts of it is the fact that cherish your moments rather than trying to swallow up the entire day in life in general. Life is about moments. Now that I’m older. You know what I’m saying? If I’m in a moment that’s real sweet, bro. I stop. I cut. Just stop, man.

You know, I drive, um, I have, uh, a motorcycle with the two wheel can am Spyder. So no, and, and, you know, you just get on a roll man and you’re just cruising and I’ll just hit that, that, that place of peace man. And for that moment, because I’ve trained myself, I’m like, yo, how beautiful is this? I’m looking down at the pavement and I’m watching the street pass by as I drive.

And I believe that we have two Chevys moments, man, Jarvis moments, you know what I’m saying? Because we don’t know.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Awesome. That’s great advice for young Michael, and it’s great advice for all of us. So thank you. So the last question is where can people find out more about you online?

Michael Arterberry: Okay. So they can go to MichaelArterberry dot com.

That’s my public speaking platform. You know, motivational speaking, they can go to youth voices sent to.org. That’s the nonprofit. If they want to go there they go. There, there’s a video there. Check it out. You can see me in action. Um, they can follow me on all my social media, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram.

We’ll put that in the show notes. Um, I’m the type of guy like to interact with my followers. So, you know, once you follow me, come on in, you know, you send me a comment, a question, I answer them. Um, and I do have a Facebook group called be encouraged, which is the same as the title of my book. Awesome.

Mark Leslie Lefebvre: Michael, thank you so much for hanging out with me.

Michael Arterberry: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

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