After giving countless speeches throughout the course of my life for free (not that I minded it, it was always good practice), an opportunity presented itself to be the first graduating class of the DEPTH keynote polishing course in October 2018.
Was it a free course? Nope. It was a good chunk of change for me to the tune of $750, particularly because my business wasn’t making much at the time and and I was still working my part-time job at the City making very little each month. Sacrifices, sacrifices, right?
I knew deep down I WANTED THIS!
I didn’t hesitate. I didn’t procrastinate. Instead I jumped all in and realized that if I want anything to change in my life, it doesn’t come for free. It takes two things – loads of patience and an investment in me.
I signed up right away and started to work on the hard stuff – creating a keynote on the one topic I knew a lot about, “How to Embrace Failure by Rising from the Fall.”
For four weeks right after working a six-hour shift at my JOB, I attended a keynote course for three hours listening to my fellow students (all entrepreneurs) polish and perfect their speeches, and had the opportunity to learn from others who had made speaking and training their business. I practiced, received valuable feedback and kept on keeping on gleaning insight and improving my talk.
When week four rolled around, I was ready. Good thing because our last class required us to deliver our full keynote in front of a live audience, including our class, and several other professional speakers and meeting planners. Mom also came to show her support. Gotta love Mom. Always there to cheer me on when I need it most.
Our class learned that a woman in the audience was watching all of our speeches ready to hire one of us to give a paid speech to her healthcare association. We didn’t know who it was which created even more suspense.
Dressed in my Tisha signature color, a fuschia, fitted dress with pockets borrowed from my dear friend Charissa Dantas of Be Fearless on a Budget, mic’d up and ready to go, I got up on that stage and did my absolute very best. With very little feedback from the judges except for a “nice job, Tish,” I knew deep down I had made the right choice to invest in me, take this next step in my journey and get crystal clear on becoming a “paid” professional speaker.
A few days later, the Universe solidified I was on the right track when the woman who was in the audience contacted me and said she was hiring me to speak to her healthcare association.
So, what happened next?
A whole lot of jumping up and down happy dancing with the kids! My first paid speaking gig in the bag!
The fee? $175 which you may be thinking is a pretty small amount.
But you know what? I didn’t care what the fee was! The fact was I HAD MADE IT after working hard!
Just as I’ve shared countless times, you have to start somewhere and everyone started with #one. This was my one and in the months leading up to it, more and more paid speaking opportunities came as a result, including an incredible opportunity in 2020 to be selected and represented by an international speaking bureau.
I share this story in my life not only because it was a turning point in my professional career where I manifested what I desired, put in the work and went for it, but that in order to get to this point, it took me investing in and believing in me. Knowing that I still had work to do and still do honing my skills. And yes, coming out of pocket knowing that my initial investment would come back tenfold (and it has.)
Just as I share with my kiddos, if you want something badly enough, you’d darn well better go for it. The only thing stopping you sometimes is you!
Rule of Life Lesson #103: