“There are two types of speakers: Those who get nervous and liars."
- Mark Twain
In 2013, I took a chance on adding the moniker of public speaker to my recently earned “Author” status. With a Dream! Hope! Believe! message, I began speaking to small service organizations, libraries, schools, and even a university. Things were going surprisingly well. Then, that branched out quicker than I ever dreamed. It was not long after starting, in fact, that I was booked for a date in Arkansas and a few engagements in Texas. Everything seemed to be moving in fast forward, especially considering a few months earlier I did not have a clue nor plans about what I was getting into. Regardless, public speaking was awesome. Even that mini-D!H!B! Tour went very well, especially for a newbie…until I left the Longhorn State.
I let internal chatter and self-doubt creep between my ears. After hours of driving, I found myself making what some would consider to be an abrupt decision by the time I reached my home in Michigan. I had convinced myself that I was not ready financially or personally. So, I completely removed myself from any possible speaking opportunities. However, I did vow to return, soon, “when I was in a better position.”
“According to most studies, people's number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two.”
- Jerry Seinfeld
Eventually, I came to understand that all the self-doubt I had invented in my head was just me making excuses to justify my fear--yes, fear. I ignored all the successful possibilities because I was afraid of failure.
Subsequently, my Return-Soon Theory did not pan out like I originally planned. First, a few months turned into a year. Then, a year turned into a few years, which became nearly a decade. Finally, without even realizing how much time had passed, the calendar read 2021.
Looking back, fear is a nasty, four-letter word. After all, taking the stage and sharing ideas while engaging with audiences is absolutely magical. That is the feeling that has pulled me back to stages. Knowing, that my words positively impacted a person’s life is, well, just, wow... For instance, hearing someone come up after a speech and say something like, “I’ve always wanted to ????, but I never have tried. I’m going to, now,” is the best feeling, ever.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
- Maya Angelou
I like to speak about enduring and overcoming adversity, using my life and the lives of others as inspirational material. Adversity, unfortunately, is much like death and taxes. We are all going to taste adversity. It can create obstacles, failures, and dead-ends (H-E-L-L-O). Large or small, it will happen. As long as you don’t stop believing in yourself, though, your dreams are never out of reach; it is never too late. That may sound like a simple enough message but when presented with passion and humor, it is both powerful and motivating.
The late, great Zig Ziglar summed it up best by saying, “Motivation is like showering. The effects are not long term – but that’s why it’s recommend that you do it daily." Whether it be reading books, browsing quotes, listening to speeches, or watching videos--whatever works for you--the positive inspiration is bound to wear off. Therefore, we all should recharge our motivational batteries, daily. When life get too busy, and we do not have time, we need to be able rely on motivational material previously picked up, aka, "Motivation to go...."
Are you living your dreams?
CONTACT Mark Elswick for booking information.