Jeff Zelaya

One Year Old Counting

It makes me so happy to see my son’s love for learning. It’s inspiring to see how hungry he is to learn and fun to watch his insatiable curiosity as he reads, counts and explores the world around him. He’s not even two yet but already he’s surpassing my expectations by learning how to count in English, Spanish, French, Japanese and Indonesian. He’s also reading books, pronouncing new words phonetically, knows his shapes, colors (in English & Spanish), animals, opposites and is starting to learn basic math. I’m confident he’ll be able to do some elementary mathematical operations by his 2nd birthday this summer. As a first time dad it’s a little scary to see how fast kids can learn but it’s also encouraging and it inspires you to devote more time to teaching them and challenging them, in my case my son is challenging me right back. Watch Eli count in 5 different languages in the now viral video.

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My baby reads his first book

My baby reads his very first book all by himself. At only 16 months Elijah has done a fantastic job of learning his ABC’s, 123’s, shapes and words. Yesterday, he surprised me my reading word for word Karen Katz’s book: “Where is baby’s belly button?” Watch him in action below:

where is baby's belly button

How To Get Your 1 Year Old Baby Reading

My son Elijah Zelaya is already beginning to read at the age of 16 months. So far he’s learned his colors, his numbers (up to 13), the ABCs and Helper Words. Watch this video of him in action below:

If you’re interested in learning how we were able to teach our son to read at an early age check out our free Smart Baby Lessons Program.

I wanted a pat on the back but instead my wife gave me this:

A few weeks ago I spoke at the TRSA Marketing and Sales Summit in Baltimore. I presented on the topic of LinkedIn and Social Selling to a group of about 50 people. During my presentation I got a lot of great engagement from the audience and overall felt very good about how things went, a couple of audience members came up to talk to me after my presentation and one even extended an invitation for me to speak at another conference that he’s organizing. 

On my way out the door the organizer of the conference promised to share with me any feedback they received about my presentation. She mentioned that  they were passing out a survey after every speaker and attendees would be filling them out providing comments and ranking the speaker’s overall performance on a scale from 1 to 5. I thanked her, left the event and didn’t think much of it till today.

This morning as promised I received an email from the event organizer with a note explaining that I had received the highest marks of all the speakers at the conference and that they would be interested in booking me again for a future event. She also attached an excel spreadsheet with the survey results of my presentation. 

I was happy to read all the great comments and forwarded the email to my wife to share the good news with her

…what happens next I will never forget. 

LinkedIn Training Reviews for Jeff Zelaya

Within minutes of forwarding my wife the email, my phone rings and it’s her, I pick up the phone expecting a pat on the back, a “Congratulations!”, “Great job honey!” or praise along those lines. 

But instead our conversation went something like this:

Wife: Good speaker? Just good? They gave you a 3? and what’s with the 4’s?

Me: Babe, what do you mean? Didn’t you see all the great things they said?

Wife: Didn’t you tell me that you want to be the best? 

Me: Well yes, yes I do

Wife: Could you have done a better job? 

Me: umm….yes

Wife: This is your bread and butter, this is your craft…

Me: Yes…

Wife: Well then there should be no doubt in everyone’s mind when you finish your speech that you were great…you got that! You know you’re fully capable of that, you know your potential. Don’t settle for 3 or 4….keep working till you’re the best. 

{Awkward Silence}

Wife: But I just want you to know that I’m very proud of you honey…keep it up and kill your presentation tomorrow. 

We hung up shortly after that and I was reminded why I love my wife so much. 

My wife doesn’t let me settle for good because she knows I could be great. 

I came looking for a pat on the back and instead I got a kick in the butt….

a kick in the butt that I needed. My wife was not satisfied in hearing that I was good when she knows in her heart that I have potential for greatness. 

It’s true that behind every great man there is a great woman. If it wasn’t for my wife I wouldn’t be the successful man that I am today. My wife has been my inspiration, my rock, my biggest critic but also my biggest fan. She isn’t afraid to tell me the truth and knows how to light a fire under my butt when I need it. 

I still remember ten years ago celebrating our anniversary eating mcdonald’s, sitting on the floor, in a bare apartment,  in the dark (because we were past due on our electric bill). We were broke and barely living paycheck to paycheck but she stood by my side. She knew we had something money couldn’t buy….

We had love and we had ambition. 

Fast forward ten years later and we are no longer broke…we are not wealthy either but we are rich with love and ambition. No matter how much we accomplish together…we both know that there is more still left for us to do. Our work isn’t finished, as long as our hearts beat and there is air flowing through our lungs, we will keep striving do more and be more. We will never settle for a “4” when we know our life was meant to be a “5”….I had almost forgotten that until Emma gave me a gentle reminder this morning :-) 

Thank you babe for not letting me forget that there is greatness within us.

I love you and thank you for always pushing me towards my God potential!


Zelaya Family