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Midweek Motivation is a weekly episode featuring the wisdom and stories of host Tommy Cakes. This episode of Midweek Motivation is all about the lessons learned from the life of PT Barnum and the movie “The Greatest Showman.” There are some great lessons learned about friends, creativity and unstoppable drive from the life of PT Barnum, and Tommy Cakes tells you some of those lessons in his own unique way. In case you are having trouble understanding the audio file, the following is a translation of the audio file from host Tommy Cakes.

Who is Tommy Cakes?

Live on the Small Scale Life Podcast, it is Midweek Motivation featuring Tommy Cakes.

Hey, how are you?  I am Tommy Cakes.  Who am I?  I’m a guy from someplace, friends with some people and doing some things.  Don’t worry about it!

What I can tell you is that I am in the import and export business.

  • I import knowledge
  • I export that information at premium prices!

I will give you a little coastal cosmopolitan insight and motivation weekly on Small Scale Life

Introduction – The Greatest Showman

In case you haven’t noticed, Midweek Motivation is a little different than your typical Small Scale Life post.  We get into some social and cultural commentary while I try to motivate you with some of that knowledge.

In this show, we are going to focus on a movie that everyone is talking about.  The movie is good entertainment with some life lessons buried inside it.

As you know, movies have depicted some interesting and uplifting characters that have done some truly remarkable things beyond wearing fancy clothes and impressive hats!

Story Time

The hero of this story started from humble beginnings as the son of a son of innkeeper, tailor and store-keeper.  Our hero was excellent at math but didn’t like physical work!

From his first job as a shopkeeper, he moved up and eventually purchased a museum.  He added new attractions and transformed it to include:

  • A lighthouse lamp that shown light down Broadway
  • A strolling garden on the roof with a view of the city
  • Giant animal paintings from the windows and
  • Hot-air balloon rides that launched from the showplace daily.

Over time and by adding exotic acts to his show, our hero met with the Queen of England, Czar of Russia and royalty across Europe. In just a few years, he owned several museums and had a draw of 400,000 people a year!

Our hero lost his wealth in some bad business and real estate deals, and he spent four long years in litigation and public humiliation. His friends stood by his side and supported him, and eventually he gained momentum and created the United State’s first aquarium and met with the President of the United States.

Even after his museums burned down, our hero once again connected with friends and started a circus in Delevan, Wisconsin.  He had the first circus to move from town to town and across the country by train (and the first circus to own a train).  It was billed as the Greatest Show on Earth!

After leaving the circus, our hero wrote books and became a politician, serving as a State Representative for four terms and later served the mayor of his town.

Midweek Motivation Lesson: Friends, Creativity and Drive

So what is the point of all this?

Life is hard, and it knocks you down.  Things happen that don’t seem fair, and the odds can be stacked against you. We can learn from Phineas Taylor Barnum, the hero of our story and a distant relative of Julie Taylor Domres.


When times were tough, PT Barnum’s friends supported and helped him.  Even when the chips were down, PT Barnum used his creativity and relentless drive to push himself to new limits and new successes.

What’s holding you back? 


Get started making good friends and using your creativity and drive today.  We are waiting to help you, friend.  Reach out and take my hand.

That’s all I got this week.  This is Tommy Cakes, and I’ll see you next week!  Bada boom, bada bing!

“The Greatest Showman”

Recently Hollywood released a movie about PT Barnum called “The Greatest Showman.”  While there are a lot of things that are Hollywood fiction and narratives, it is an uplifting movie.  Tommy Cakes gives it two thumbs up, so go see it. After all, it takes an Upcoming Showman to know the Greatest Showman!

For a taste of the energy of this movie, watch this pre-production video from “The Greatest Showman.”  Throughout the movie and this clip, I kept waiting for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine moment, but we got something completely different and inspiring!

I have to give my wife Julie credit, it was a good movie and had great energy (even though it did not match historical accounts).  By the way, my wife Julie IS a distant relative of PT Barnum (that is true), so you can see why she puts up with an amateur showman like yours truly.


Special Thanks from Tommy Cakes

I would like to thank Greg Burns from Natures Image Farm and Doneil Freeman from Freeman Family Farms for the INSPIRATION to do this Midweek Motivation Podcast.  You two ARE the wind beneath my wings!

Also I would like to thank Kevin MacLeod ( for the “Kool Kats” theme music. Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Badda boom, badda bing!  Dat’s how we do it!