Photo by J. Alan Paul Photography
Mark J. Lindquist is a Fargo-based, nationally recognized motivational speaker and highly-sought-after National Anthem singer who’s performed “The Star-spangled Banner” for some of the largest crowds in America for teams such as the Minnesota Vikings, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Duke Blue Devils, among many others.
The Ortonville, Minnesota, native and former U.S. Air Force sergeant and Afghanistan War veteran has performed live for more than 2 million people in more than 20 countries and nearly 45 states throughout his career and has also appeared in a number of well-known TV shows and movies such as “Lost,” “Hawaii Five-O” and “Battleship.”
When you travel more than 200 days out of the year and perform live every third day, though, there’s no such thing as a typical schedule. So instead, Lindquist gave us a snapshot—a look at a recent two-day stretch in Orlando, where he was for a keynote address.
The Night Before
Uber from the airport, get checked into the hotel, iron my shirt, jacket and pants for the next morning with the iron I packed in my suitcase. You can never trust a hotel iron! Text and call the conference planner and let them know I got into town safe and sound.
Do a final rehearsal of the next day’s keynote in the hotel room. Amateurs rehearse until they get it right. Professionals rehearse until they never get it wrong.
Set five to seven alarms on my phone, call for my 5 a.m. wake-up call, plug in my backup alarm clock I packed in my suitcase and set alarm for 5 a.m. You can never trust a hotel alarm clock because you probably don’t know how to set it correctly (You’re probably sensing a theme here).
Lay out clothes for next day. Pack everything back in suitcase for departure next morning.
Fire up Netflix and unwind to “House of Cards.” Typical bedtime for me is 1 a.m. so when I’m on the road, this is still the case.
Groan audibly as I do the math in my head and realize that, tonight, my maximum amount of sleep will be four hours and 15 minutes. Assume fetal position. Fall asleep.
The Day Of
Wake up. Start warming up voice. Go to the hotel gym. Wake up body with some cardio and lifting. Listen to ESPN’s “Mike and Mike.” Return to room and make coffee. Eat a granola bar and enjoy my coffee while going over my keynote in my head as I get ready.
Arrive at hotel conference-center ballroom one hour prior to the opening session. Perform A/V and sound check. Set up gear and book table. Meet conference planner. Start shaking hands of attendees slowly filing in for breakfast.
It’s showtime! I deliver my signature keynote titled, “Passion! 8 Steps to Reignite Yours” to an audience of 600 attendees. Begin keynote with an Asian joke. They love me. End keynote with the National Anthem, hit the high “A” at 10:29 a.m. Smile because … America.
Sell books, shake hands, take selfies, sign autographs for the next hour. Thank conference planner. They tell me I didn’t suck. High five everyone.
Grab lunch and take an Uber back to the airport because I have a gig tomorrow in another state.
Flight leaves Orlando for the next stop.
Arrive in (fill in the blank) for my gig the next day.
Mark J. Lindquist Consulting