photo credit : Armosa Studios for WDS.
Remember this?! DOESN'T IT FEEL LIKE 100 YEARS AGO that I was chatting about WDS? You may have watched my speech last week or read the first three parts of this story, but if not you can see it here and catch up with part one & part two & part three.
Today I wanted to answer a few questions and wrap this up for good. (Whew.)
In part three, I had mentioned that I went on day two of the conference.
I did not mention that on day one we heard from best selling authors. We heard from CEOs. We heard from people who grew their business over 18 months to bringing in $30,000 a month. We heard from people making a real difference in other corners of the world.
No pressure, Blaha.
I found myself totally inspired and totally panicked after listening to a day of speeches. Part of me wanted to figure out what I could invent or who would give me piles of cash or what sort of non-profit I could start in the 12 hours before I took the stage (turns out, there were not a lot of options).
I was terrified on Sunday morning. I got chills and my teeth were chattering. The low-grade headache I had had for a week was intensifying. Worst of all, I was in one of the greatest food cities in the US and the flips my stomach was doing made it impossible to eat more than a dry bagel for breakfast. My mind was blank. I did the thing that I often do when I'm stressed: started to list other crazy things I would rather be doing (running a marathon, coding archive pages, flying in heavy turbulance) BESIDES what I actually have to do.
But I knew that if I somehow started talking a reflex would click in and the speech would tumble out. And as for the topic, there was nothing to be done. I only have one story.
Once I got on stage, thankfully, the nerves cleared a bit. The 30 minute speech I had repeated at least 40 times did indeed roll out. A lot of people asked me if I was really scared to do this and the answer is absolutely YES and also no. Once I was actually doing it it was okay. But all the moments and minutes leading up to getting on stage? Those were terrifying. It was infinitely harder to wait in the wings than it was to stand on stage.
I am lucky that my first big speech was at WDS. This was a friendly and forgiving crowd. They want you to succeed. They want you to get the laugh. There is little worse than watching someone bomb in real life and in real time and because of this, the audience is always on your side. At WDS, I really felt that.
A few people asked how I remembered the whole thing.
Part of it is that I really believe all this stuff. It wasn't like I had to share facts or figures or data. I just had to share my story. Another part of it is that I had said this thing from start to finish so many times it was like saying the alphabet. I probably could have done it backwards. While intoxicated. (Next time, I might try that.)
And the third part (the major part) is that I had what they call "confidence monitors" right in front of me. You can see them in the screenshot above. The one on the right (my left) displayed my current slide that the audience was seeing and the one on the right displayed the next slide (that the audience would see). I used both to know where I was and where I was heading. I just had to fill in the gap between the two slides to stay on track.
I had 88 slides total. Some were photos of projects. Some were key points from the presentation (just short and simple phrases). All of them were like giant flags that guided me and helped me remember what to say.
And as I said last week, IT WAS SO FUN TO SAY IT. I love that I was able to share my bold statement.
After day one I really questioned why I had been asked to join these great and talented folks to share my story. But after day two, I think I figured it out. I am on the bridge. I am on the bridge between A) thinking about your dream and Z) being in People magazine and on Good Morning America.
I honestly don't know that I'll ever get off this bridge. A lot of people live on this bridge. It's a HUGE bridge. We're all here. In our little section, staying above water, searching through our 99 bad ideas to find the single good one and hoping people don't ask us what we do for a living.
We are looking ahead and thinking, "Dude, how cool will it be if I get to go forward to there?" but also looking behind and thinking "Dude, how cool is it that I am no longer back there?"
It's a honor to be on the bridge. It's an honor to be here (at my computer, at my desk, working the middle of the day from my home). It was an honor to speak to a crowd that didn't know me but was so absurdly welcoming and kind anyway.
What I learned at WDS is that now is a really great time to be an unconventional person. It was was amazing to meet and talk with so many in Portland last July.
So, months later, I'd like to send a huge thank you to Chris and the World Domination Summit team. You are truly making magic and it was a thrill to get a peek inside your hat.