Starting out “small” is part of the process. Everyone has been there.
After taking a hiatus last week for Thanksgiving (I hope you had a great one!), I’m going back to a speaking engagement I had before the holiday…
I was the opening keynote speaker for a conference in Vancouver, BC.
As a native Minnesotan, most people couldn't believe that this was my FIRST time in Canada! It's a longer story as to why but I did have many Canadians tell me that they consider Minnesota "southern Canada" anyway 🙂
But, more notably, this was my FIRST in-person, international speaking engagement.
It's true. I had a couple international engagements pending when the pandemic hit that got cancelled and never came back. So this was the first one.
I always try to keep it real with you here. You want to know what the primary emotion was when I thought about Vancouver?
Not pride or joy or satisfaction or elation.
Frustration that I'm not further along. Frustration that I haven't done more.
Really, Scott, you've been speaking for 8 YEARS and this is your FIRST international speaking engagement?
It feels like I'm small and others are big. Mostly because the other speakers I compare myself to have been speaking much, much longer than I have and have spoken on most continents dozens, if not hundreds, of times.
But you cannot cheat the process and the process knows no definitive time frame.
I have zero doubt that I will speak internationally dozens, if not hundreds, of times. I don't say that to be cocky - I simply believe in my message and that I'm playing the game the right way.
I just feel like it should have happened already.
C'mon, Scott, why it is taking so long?
Many of my coaching clients experience similar emotions.
To a degree, they're beneficial. They keep you working and moving forward. But they can also be disempowering and self-defeating.
Yes, it IS possible to be proud of your accomplishments and not become complacent. The former doesn't negate the latter.
More importantly as you read this right now, recognize that your small is someone else's big.
Where you ARE is where they would love to BE.
I think it's essential for all of us to honor this part of the journey.
Whether it's running 1 block, 1 mile, 1 marathon, or 100 miles, it's small for someone and big for someone else.
'Small' doesn't mean you stop. Small means you had the courage to START.
And assuming you keep doing the right things it will one day be BIG...whatever that looks like for you.