I Hate Motivation Too: My review of the Rich Hopkins podcast “Win Anyways” Podcast

I am a big fan of podcasts. I am sure it stems from pretty much being raised on talk radio, but I have a wide array of podcasts available on my smartphone for listening on my commute, at work, doing chores around the house and running.

I became familiar with Rich Hopkins through the Speak documentary. Rich is a two-time finalist in the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking, taking third in 2006. The documentary puts heavy focus on Rich’s second trip to the finals (as well as the nine other finalists) in 2008.

As I have also wrote about previously, Speak and the 2008 Toastmasters International speech contest hold a special significance to me because I remember the documentary cameras at the District conference I attended in Williston, North Dakota. That third place finish in District 78 remains my best placing in an International contest (a fact that depresses me when I see it in writing).

After my viewing of the documentary, I was not a huge fan of Rich. While I can’t say I was truly moved by any of the contestants, it seemed like Hopkins was trying to play up the fact that everyone thought he was crazy to dedicating himself to this speech contest. He just seems to infer that his life will be in absolute shambles if he does not win this speech contest. It got old.

On the other hand, I know how easy it is to edit a documentary to make someone look bad. I also know that Rich is not the same person or speaker that he was in 2008 (I certainly am not the same person or speaker I was six years ago). A recent discovery of him on Twitter, led me to his blog and more recently his podcast.

I should also note that Rich does not meet the typical stereotype of of podcasts that I listen to. The feeds which I frequent are dominated by 1. standup comedians or people who were accomplished radio hosts and 2. shows dominated by interviews. Rich’s podcast is certainly neither. But I don’t want to let that cloud my perception of the podcast.

So far Rich has spent the half dozen or so episodes talking about himself and his brand that he is centering his public speaking engagements: “Win Anyways”. However the title of episode 7 really grabbed me, “I Hate Motivation”.

The more I get involved in Toastmasters, it often seems like the more jaded I get. I listen to the motivational speakers and I grow tired of their platitudes or I can see right through the schtick. Rich basically complains that he is tired of just listening to talk, because it is only through action are you ever going to get anything done. He then says that he is much more in favor of “being motivated”. Part of me likes that I have finally found a motivational speaker who just cuts through the BS and says that you need to work hard to get what you want.

I would really like it if Rich would focus more on the public speaking side of his expertise, not only because I continue to struggle with what I want my “message” to be as a speaker, but because I am little worried he is going to run out of material for his “Rich’s Rants” sessions (his description) pretty quickly.

This podcast hasn’t figured out its identity yet, but I am very interested in seeing if Rich is able to get there. And I am even happier that he isn’t going to try to “motivate” me along the way.

Image credit: Tom Hobbs, 2011

Question: How do you get motivated?

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