As I stepped up to the microphone, I had no idea what I was going to say.
I was at Lisa Sasevich’s Speak to Sell bootcamp. 400 people were in the room. She had asked for volunteers to share about a time when we said “yes” to ourselves. My hand had gone up, and she sent me to the microphone on the right aisle.
Why did my hand go up?
It’s funny. I don’t get nervous when I’m the one on stage. But sharing stories in a room full of strangers sends my heart into my stomach.
It was my turn.
Don’t look at the screen. Don’t forget to say your name.
I stated my name. I had no idea what was going to come out next.
I hear myself share that for the first several years of my business I would often wake up, get dressed for the gym, and then get sucked into email, sometimes for HOURS (all while standing in my foyer, typing on my phone, usually with my jacket on). Then I’d realize the time and either I would need to jump in the shower or I’d go to the gym but I wouldn’t really be present to my workout. And the self-beating would ensue. As it does.
Everyone laughed, including Lisa. It was the familiar laugh of “I’ve been there.” Because this happens to all of us who are human beings.
I shared how I finally had enough, and reached a point where I resolved “that’s it. No more.” And how, in mid-August 2013, I began my “fitness first” streak, which was never about fitness to start but more about ending the Pavlovian habit of grabbing my phone first, and a desire to simply get out of my apartment. What started as an “away from” value—to get away from checking email and social media first thing in the morning—became a “towards” value, as I started to see the benefits of a consistent morning fitness routine.
Those early days were hard. Resisting the temptation of my phone was uncomfortable. Gradually, it has become more comfortable and I’ve slowly expanded my morning routine to create more “white space” for myself.
I shared that this simple act of saying “yes” to myself daily has, over time, created an upward spiral in my life and business. Over two years later, the transformation extends beyond my physical fitness.
I shared how my 2014 fourth quarter income was greater than my income from all of 2013. My fourth quarter of 2015 is on pace to be greater than all of 2014. I check email LESS and yet serve my clients MORE by giving them my complete presence and attention. I’m less reactive in my day and more pro-active. And most important to me, I feel congruent with the message I teach to others.
As I shared this, I could feel the energy of the entire room shift. It was like every person sitting there wanted to know:
How did you do it?
I could feel it: my voice had resonated.
It was so palpable that Lisa used it as a teaching point.
She observed that I never gave an “elevator pitch” or said what I offered. I started with my challenge and shared how I overcame it. And even without making an offer or saying what I do, everyone in the room was hungry for more. It was “the invisible close” in action.
As she cemented that teaching point, I had a breakthrough.
This is huge.
The Power of Vulnerability
For so long, I shied away from being vulnerable because I thought that it would detract from my credibility. I thought that if I shared my stories of struggle and points of pain, people wouldn’t take me seriously. How could I help them if I struggled too? How could I help them if I don’t have all the answers?
These are false assumptions, and in that teaching point, they crumbled.
I realized that I had established credibility through my vulnerability.
I realized that my vulnerability allowed my message to resonate.
My vulnerability is not a weakness; it’s the greatest tool I have. Sharing my struggles and pain points makes me more credible because it shows others that I truly do understand what they are going through. I’ve been through it. I’m going through it.
My message resonated because the people in the room empathized with me.
I made that possible though my willingness to be vulnerable.
To serve effectively I don’t need all the answers; I just need the answers that will help people where they are. As I serve them, I will grow more, and I will grow into the next answers that I need to continue to serve them.
Nobody has it all figured out. We can still help the people who are coming up behind us, even as we continue our journey and seek more answers.
When we are willing to be vulnerable, we open a door to connection with others and we create a space in which our voice can resonate loudly.
I felt it in the room that night. And it’s magic.
I’ll be hosting a free training in the coming weeks to teach the system I implemented to create some major transformations in my life and business. If you want to create similar transformations in your life, please make sure you’re on my list so that you receive the details. You won’t want to miss this!