“What are you doing that for? You’re already a great speaker!”, asked/exclaimed my mom, when I told her about it during a recent visit. (She's supposed to say that, right?)
“Who told you that you needed coaching!?” said another friend after he heard me speak.
1- “If you’re not getting smarter, yer gettin’ dummer.” or "If you're not getting better, you're getting worser."
I work for me now...having transitioned from the C-suite (ok...it was more like a standard room with a city-view than a suite) to the speaking & teaching world. The point is, I friggin’ love what I’m doing now. I want this to last!
Here’s the rub: I’ve seen all-stars get complacent through (a) great results, and (b) great feedback. They feel like they’ve cracked the code on success, have it figured it, and ride the wave. And in more cases than I can count, that success was followed by stunted growth.
The idea of complacency terrifies me. The minute you think you’ve mastered what you do is the minute the phone stops ringing, the books stop selling and the bank account starts echoing.
You must keep growing in your role. If your company isn’t doing making that investment in you, I’m tellin’ ya, make the investment in yourself. Own it. I work for myself. The ROI is infinite.
2 - Focus on your strengths
If you're good at something, why not try to be the best? That's where differentiation comes from. That's where longevity comes from. That's where stability comes from.
There are lots of people who are "good at" things. There are a very small percentage who are truly great. Double down on the things you're good at...and become the best.
3-Knowledge is the treasure that can’t be stolen
At least it was for me. In 2018, I left my CRO role to write a book. I threw myself into the research - reading research reports, 20+ behavioral science books and scanning about 30 others. I even hung out with a neuroscientist to ensure I wasn’t writing complete nonsense. I also had to learn a whole new industry - non-fiction publishing.
It turns out that 2018 was hands-down my favorite year in my professional career, while also having the least income in my last twelve.
I also just finished an archery class with my kids - where I was the only adult in the class. It was a blast! I now have an entirely new skill.
Learning has become almost an addiction that I hope you either have or find. I rediscovered it, and now I'm hooked.
I'll leave you with this - Would you have a good answer if asked this question?
“If you were placed on stage in front of 500 people right now, what subject or topic would you be able to speak about where you would undoubtedly know more about than anyone in the audience?”
Find your answer. Double down on your strengths.