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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Aug 13, 2020

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


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 and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0