Last week I had a coaching session with Adam Harris. If you don’t know Adam he’s a kickass coach known for asking the most difficult questions!
To my surprise over the last year I’ve found I really enjoy speaking and I’d love to get better at it, so I wanted to find out from Adam how I could build up my speaking opportunities and how far away he thought I was from getting on a big stage.
Even though the thought of getting on big stage frightens the life out of me and makes my stomach clench in fear.
Now, Adam’s a pure coach so there were no easy answers forthcoming; more a series of challenging questions. It went something like this:
Me: So how can I can I find out how the great speakers broke through and became successful?
Adam: How do you think you can find out?
Me: Well, I believe in modelling success, so I guess I could research what they do, and how they built their speaking up
Adam: What else could you do?
Me: Well, I could watch their videos
Adam: What else?
Me: Well……….. I suppose I could see if I could ask them if they would possibly consider giving me some advice, possibly, but they’re really busy and they don’t know me from Adam (ha ha!)
Adam: And …
Me: Well, yes, I guess I could do that (very scared now)
I’ve always been a sucker for getting a pat on the head for doing my homework, so I felt motivated to get over my considerable fear. I contacted two of the business speaker greats who I particularly admire– Nigel Risner and Geoff Ramm, both highly successful international speakers ( it helped that Adam knows them well) – just messaged them on Facebook and to my total shock they both said they’d be delighted to help and gave me their mobile phone numbers!
That was a good day!
And in the last couple of days I’ve had really amazing conversations with them both; they generously gave me a chunk of their time and shared their journey, advice and top tips.
Fuelled by theirs and Adam’s advice, I then applied to the Professional Speakers Association to become a full-on professional member. Expecting to get laughed out, I had to find two members willing to endorse my application. Getting a bit confident about this ‘asking for help’ lark, I put a note out on Facebook and Linkedin, and ended up with several offers of help, including 4 international speakers!
Long story short, I applied and have already been accepted as a professional member and so I’m sitting here on Thursday night more than a little bit shell-shocked, with me and Geoff Ramm being bestie mates! (maybe slightly stretching reality…)
And your point is what?
And I know this sounds a bit “all about me” this week, but here’s the thing. We all have opportunities sitting there in our businesses that we’re at least a bit scared by – what if they say no, what if it doesn’t work, what if they don’t like me, what if they laugh at me, what if I can’t follow through, what if I don’t know what to say? And this can paralyse us into not taking action at all, so we get busy with all the things that “must” be done but don’t really move us forward.
And when we do get outside our comfort zone, do something difficult and it works, we strengthen the “doing difficult things” muscle and it gets easier and easier.
Well, I’ve paid my membership subs, and purposefully decided to make this public so I have to step up and can’t quietly retreat back my desk wondering what on earth I’ve done!
I’d also say, if you’ve ever wondered about the benefit of having a great business coach, someone who can support and inspire you, all this has happened because of just one session!
Oh, and if you need a speaker for an event, I know someone who needs the practice!