Hey, You’re a Natural!

I recently got the opportunity to present an “Ignite” style presentation at our annual Texas Relocation Conference in Carrollton, Texas. It was called “The High Cost of a Low-Cost Move”. Ignite presentations are short five-minute presentations that have 20 slides with each slide rotating every 15 seconds. The idea is to share a relevant topic to give the audience a “sneak peek” or summary of an idea to see if they have interest for a deeper dive or follow up in the future. I love this presentation format because it allows you to see as many as 10 different speakers within an hour timeframe. It is both educational and entertaining seeing the speakers share their expertise and passion during the presentations. It is also very challenging as a speaker to stay on timing and takes lots of practice to deliver the presentation with excellence!

After I finished my presentation, an industry colleague congratulated me and said “Bruce, You’re a natural.” It was such a kind thing to say and was very appreciative. Actually, it made me feel great! As I continued to think about the comment, I started reflecting on all of the times I wasn’t so much of a natural… I remember the time:

  • When I was required to give a speech as a freshman in college and was so nervous, I could hardly breathe,
  • Or when I was asked to share my business plan in front of all of our management team including the CEO in my first real job after college,
  • Or when I committed to giving my personal testimony at church… When the pastor asked me to come up to share, I thought I was going to fall down because my legs were trembling as I walked up to the podium,
  • Or the time I decided to join toastmasters so I could get better at communicating in my profession and decided to participate in “table topics”. During the meeting, I was given a topic and had one minute to share my thoughts — all I said was “um, um, um. um, um” …. then I sat down! It was a complete failure!
  • Or the time after I published my 1st book and was asked to speak and carried/looked at my notes during the entire presentation.

Have you ever experienced any of these moments?

It’s so much easier to look back and see what it takes to have success than it is to look ahead to see what it will take to have success.

You see, when we choose to take action and put in the work, we gain confidence from failure, from feedback, and from having success too. I started taking piano lessons almost two years ago and recently thought about giving it up because it is so difficult and takes time to practice. However, the more I practice, the better I get. Every time I learn a new song, I progress to a new level. It’s hard, it’s challenging, and difficult to become an expert or obtain mastery in anything. In fact, Malcolm Gladwell shared in his book “Outliers”, the 10,000-Hour Rule is the key to success in any field. It is practicing a specific task that can be accomplished with 20 hours of work a week for 10 years. Wow – 10 years? That’s a lot of practice!  

It’s hard to put ourselves out there too… to be vulnerable, and willing to let people know we are a work in progress. We want to be accepted and validated early and often. But it is when we are challenged, that we see real change! So today, I want to challenge you!

Earlier in my career, I was sitting around the table with the sales leadership team when I first joined Armstrong Relocation thinking “how do these men and women know so much about a company, or how to solve so many problems?”. I wondered how they have so much knowledge – then 15 years later I now see how this happens… It happens through our experiences. It happens when we have the courage to choose to the pain of discomfort to try to get better in our careers. When we choose to go through the process of learning, we will grow through our experiences.

We are currently reading the book “The Power of Moments” in our Facebook Group called CLIMB! In the group, my friend Krystal Yates posted this excerpt “To live a longer life, scare the hell out of yourself regularly. Everyone go out and do something scary this week.”

When I think about this, I think about how much we grow when we make the decision to get better in our role, or change a policy, or even a career. The only way we get better is to go through the process and experience life. It will take time. It will take practice. It will take failure. But mostly, it will take help from others. Once we go through the process, we will one day be “a natural” and be able to share this knowledge for others looking to elevate their career and their life.

Quote of the week:“I start early and I stay late, day after day, year after year, it took me 17 years and 114 days to become an overnight success.” -Lionel Messi

Call to Action: Decide something you want to get better at… Is it speaking, is it growing in your current role, or making a change your career? Once you decide, write down different things you can do to get you where you need to go and share with others. Send me an email if you would like to collaborate on some ideas. Before long, you will be a natural!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “You’re a Natural ” with Bruce Waller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page. Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com to review my leadership book “Find Your Lane” or leadership journal “Milemarkers” both available on amazon.

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