Sometimes what happens in Vegas can’t stay in Vegas. Especially if the story will help you build your business and resilience.
1:15 – How I got the invite to present at the Berkshire Hathaway conference
It actually started with my LinkedIn content. A podcast producer saw my content, invited me on the show, and I felt like I totally bombed. I felt like I mumbled, lost my train of thought, and didn’t get my points across effectively (I can’t even bring myself to listen to the episode). One of the organizers from the Berkshire Hathaway event heard the interview, and invited me to speak.
Your takeaway: Don’t judge the outcome of any piece of work by the immediate results. I’ve been creating content for LinkedIn for years; this is the first year it started a domino effect that landed me on this exact stage.
1:50 – Plans go awry
After a late flight and catching up with an old college friend in the airport, I arrived at my hotel in the wee hours of the morning. When I tried to check in, I found out that they’d given my room away because I technically did not check in for the first day of my stay.
I asked to speak to her manager, there was more back and forth, and eventually they found a room for me to stay in. At the end, I asked the manager one simple question: “Why was this so hard?”
Your takeaway: As you conduct your business, you may find yourself asking the question, “why is this so hard?” Maybe a client is late in paying their invoice, maybe you have to push your payment processing company for lower fees. You’re going to want to give up – don’t. Advocate fiercely for yourself. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who will look out for your interests.
4:25 – The power of being yourself
Before I arrived at the conference, I saw that my friend Kim Rittberg had posted a video from the conference. It was a great video, but what worried me was that every guy there seemed to be wearing a blazer or suit.
I was planning on wearing sneakers and a hoodie, and I was tempted to go out and buy a suit (it’s Vegas – with all the last-minute weddings, surely there was a place open for suit shopping at 1 AM). But then I remembered: All of these people paid to see me on stage. I’m a keynote speaker, and I deserve to be here – and I can’t deliver well if I’m not comfortable.
Your takeaway: There are going to be times when you feel like you have to change who you are (the way you dress, how you do your hair, or how you talk) to fit in. The best version of yourself is who you really are. And you can’t be that person when you’re pretending to be someone else.
5:44 – Why you should challenge yourself
After my talk, a guy in a fancy suit walked up to me and told me how much he’d enjoyed the session, and looked forward to sharing key takeaways with his team. Normally at this point, I’d say something innocuous like,
“That’s so good to hear, glad you enjoyed it!”
But then I thought to myself: Why not pitch my LinkedIn training program. So I pitched it, and he only had one question – could I run remote trainings?
He didn’t have a single question about pricing or references, because I’d already shown the value I bring to the table on the stage.
Your takeaway: At times, you’ll be afraid to pitch a prospect. Don’t let the fear hold you back. If you ask, you’ll either get a yes or a no. If you don’t ask, you’ve delivered the no to yourself.