Practice Your Face Off (but not literally)

Practice Your Face Off (but not literally)

"Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." – Vince Lombardi



Who's ready to jump into Chapter 7 of the SPEAK With Confidence podcast series?! Did you already finish Chapter 1: Brainstorming Like a Boss, Chapter 2: Just Be Yourself (but better), Chapter 3: Organize Your Talk (for maximum impact) , Chapter 4: Getting It Together (just don’t get too attached), Chapter 5: Memorizing (without memorizing) and Chapter 6: Sell Your Talk (without selling)? (Go listen if you haven't before you jump in here.)


DELIVER YOUR TALK: Practicing Your Talk


THIS EPISODE SIMPLIFIED: We’ve come to the final chapter of the SPEAK With Confidence podcast series. You’ve collected your IP, written and memorized your talk, got all the language to sell yourself and are ready for the final step: Practicing!



Let’s jump into Chapter 7: Practice Your Face Off (but not literally). Just because this is the end, doesn't mean you are done. I know – practice does NOT make perfect – but it sure makes you more comfortable on stage. It’s important that you never stop practicing – even when you’ve given your talk a million times.



I’ll share what I’ve learned over years about stage presence, being an inviting speaker, and how to get your audience engaged. But before we get started on all the things to DO on stage, I have one big DON’T to share.



Listen to the podcast to find out my big DON'T:




You can watch Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on power posing here. And check out how SPEAK With Confidence alumni, AJ Gibson, uses the stage in spite of his height to be more inviting on stage: (also, grab his book: Flipping The Script – I'm in it!)

 




SPEAK With Confidence: Stop wishing you were on that stage & write the dang talk: ispeakwithconfidence.com I'll even send you the fancy-schmancy workbook you're hearing about.



SPEAK With Confidence CLUSTER: Listen to this Cluster of Awesomeness here



Get more podcast fun: brandventurespodcast.com  

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I wanna see you be brave.

I wanna see you be brave.

“Life is tough, my darling, but so are you.”

– Stephanie Bennett-Henry



It’s 6am. I’m doing something I’ve never done before. And I’m noticing a pattern.


Sitting in my house waiting for the sun to come up – and for this day to be over. I’m miserable. My face is swollen from crying all night. I blink away more tears as I stare at my laptop screen. A spreadsheet featuring a colossal mistake. It shows me every reason NOT to do this. It explains why this will never work. I’ve heard these whispers before – those little a$holes in my head – the ones telling me this is going to be too much and not enough all at the same time. Because I’m too much and not enough…


It’s day one of filming my first professionally-created online course. I’m a wreck.


I am going to be on camera with a professional videographer sharing how to show up in their own confidence while doing something terrifying for most people – speaking on a stage. 


I have my outfits ready. My team is setting up the scenes for me. I have every detail outlined in order with all of the specifics so I don’t forget anything. I have been working on this for a year. AN ENTIRE YEAR! And I had NO problem doing this in person – no problem helping people through my methodology and doing the thing that scares most people as much as death – getting on stage. But the idea of doing the same thing in front of a camera is making me break down. It’s not comfortable. It’s totally new and not at all what I want to do. If I just cry hard enough, they can’t film me.


The whispers are coming at me from all angles and I’m listening to them. They’re winning.


All the whispers tell me:


  •     You need to do more research.
  •     No one will sign up for this.
  •     You won’t price it correctly.
  •     You won’t be good on camera.
  •     Too many people will sign up for this & it’ll get out of control.
  •     You won’t find the right software to make it work.
  •     You don’t have enough prepared.
  •     You’ll find out how many haters you actually have.
  •     You won’t deliver it correctly.
  •     You’ll miss too many pieces.
  •     Someone will say you’re competing with them.
  •     Someone will critique you.
  •     Someone will hate you.
  •     You will suck.
  •     You already suck.


I KNOW the whispers mean I’m on the right track. I know this is a HUGE project and it will make a ginormous impact. I know that when something big is about to happen, EVERYTHING will try to prevent it.


Both times we’ve hosted Rock Your Talk, the precursor for this online course, something has come up for almost every speaker the week of the event. A dying family member, a friend going through a rough patch, business getting overwhelming –  they start doubting themselves – those negative whispers get louder- and it’s because they’re on the right track. If they overcome it and get on the stage, they show up even more brilliantly.




(Shala W. Graham rocking the stage at Rock Your Talk – credit: Mary Gardella)


During the week of filming SPEAK With Confidence (launching in Q1 2018),  every bit of negativity I was holding in my body surfaced. The same thing happened to me when I started the podcast. And it’s even showing up doing something I know I’m good at doing – WRITING THIS POST! EVERYTHING has prevented me from starting AND finishing this. Excuses ranging from not being interesting enough for someone to read – to not being able to breathe or focus at altitude. SERIOUSLY?! MELANIE! WTF?!


But guess what? I know exactly what I’m terrified of… and it’s kept me from the success I really want in my life AND my business – and it’s getting ridiculous.


I’m afraid of being… SUCCESSFUL.


And I’m sabotaging the shit out of myself.



Whenever I share my fear of success, someone always says “Oh, wow. I definitely don’t have that. I’m afraid of failure.” I mean, it makes sense. The only fears we’re born with are falling on our faces and loud noises, so a fear of failure is basically innate. If you want to look at it figuratively, failure is a bit like falling on your face. But what I’ve found is the craziest? We actually can’t fall on our faces when we’re standing in our own way.


I am a 6’ tall powerhouse of a woman – and I’m standing in my very own way. I am strong – so dang strong. I know this well because I will fight myself every step of the way to something amazing – with excuse after excuse on why I can’t do it. Anytime someone hears that I’ve had a tough time creating something or doing something, they’re blown away. “You make it looks so easy.” I’m SO glad it looks easy because it was anything but.



Without realizing it, I’m not asking myself “What if I fail?”, I’m really asking “What happens if I make it?” and “What if my excuses don’t work and I end up getting everything I’ve ever wanted?” And my favorite: “What if I don’t have to struggle anymore?”


WHAT?! yeah. Fear of success.


I’ve done this in my career, my business, my relationships, my family – really asking myself “WHAT IF IT IS AMAZING?!”


Ah, but there lies the problem: the struggle is SO GOOD!


Humans thrive for the struggle, the conflict – the certainty AND uncertainty. Tony Robbins talks about the top four Needs of the Personality: certainty, uncertainty, significance, and connection.


Certainty is getting the safety and stability – the comfort we need.

Uncertainty is where we love surprises – the need to shake things up.


When we have too much stability, we crave the variety. When things are unstable for too long, we crave certainty. (Are you feeling it?!)


When I travel too much, I want to be home.

When I’m home too long, I can’t wait to travel.

When I work too much, I want peace.

When I have too much quiet, I crave the busy schedule.

When I am lonely, I crave humans.

When I have too much of the humans, I crave solitude.


The struggle is REAL! And once we accept it, we can finally move on to do the thing we’re meant to do.


Remember, I’m a powerhouse of a woman standing in my own way! This fear of success? It’s WAY harder to get through than the fear of failure. Failure is inevitable. Failure is how we figure out success. Failure isn’t an option. (I know, I know… you’ve heard all of the inspirational quotes.) But it takes bravery – bravery to stand up to your fears and do what is inside of you to be successful – which, in turn, creates impact.


If you’ve been waiting for it, this is your sign.


It’s time to be BRAVE!



The last month of 2017, I had to find my brave. I moved my DC life 2000 miles away to another DC – Denver, Colorado. I did this while recording an entire online course, closing out the end of the year, taking care of clients, rocking a few workshops, speaking in different states, training a new employee, packing boxes and bags, and driving in a MINI with all of the things I’ll need for half a year – including my boyfriend and my dog. No big deal. (Insert wide-eyed emoji)


Rewind to the beginning of that month when I had kickass habits – running, meeting my trainer twice a week, homemade meals, not drinking booze, reading books, meditating, getting to work early, writing at 5am, etc. Everything was simple – I was rocking my business and my life. Until every bit of certainty I had was ready for a big surprise.


I had decided to move from DC to Denver after 11 years – and 11 hours later, I had manifested that shit. With almost zero effort to rent my house and find a furnished house to rent in Colorado – No joke. I know it was a God thing, but I also know that when you’re ready for something, you name it and put in the work, it manifests. I was ready for uncertainty, but I didn’t realize how much I was in for – but then, I’ve always loved the struggle.


Right after making that decision, I was told to slow down.

In a SUPER painful way.


With WAY too much on my mind, I went for a run. It’s the only way I know to clear my mind. Within 3 minutes of starting, I tripped and fell – skinning both knees and both hands – OUCH! I limped home and shook it off. Three days later, I went for a run again to clear my head. At the end of 5 miles, I tripped and fell on the same spots – ripping off all of my scabs. (shudder) I cried. I bawled. I sobbed the half mile home with blood dripping down my knees and hands. I screamed in the shower. I felt like a huge failure. I couldn’t wear pants for weeks. I was a mess. (Don't worry, I won't share the photos.) And it took me some time to realize that I had too much on my mind to go for a run… Even if that’s what helps me clear my head. Then… my habit disappeared. As quickly as I fell.


For the next few weeks, it took every bit of effort to talk myself into getting out of bed each morning. To workout. To meditate. To not lay on the floor of my bedroom scrolling through my social media feeds trying not to think about everything else I have to do. To not just pour myself a glass of wine. To not just go pick up something to eat. To not find another distraction. And I found them all. My habits broke down quicker than I ever imagined they could. Because I let them.


BECAUSE I LET THEM.


I had all of these certain habits that helped me be successful and as soon as uncertainty showed up, I broke down. Without my routine, the feelings of utter failure showed up in my chest every time I was a little behind. The anxiety wells up and I start shutting down. Without my routines and habits, I lose sight of what really needs to happen in my life and my eyes glaze over – literally and figuratively – giving me every excuse not to do what I KNOW I’m meant to do.

 


This is where I was at 6am the first day of the filming. I hadn’t run in 3 weeks. I hadn’t been eating super healthy. I hadn’t been sleeping well. My calendar kept getting moved around. I had more on my plate than I could handle. I woke up every day with mounting anxiety. Everyone forgave me for canceling because they knew what was going on. Yes, I had people to help – but my mind was set that I couldn’t possibly succeed at everything.


So, that morning I decided I wasn’t willing to do the filming. I was ready to call everyone and tell them I was canceling the shoot and we’d have to wait until later in the year. Until Gisell, my Helpful Human, walked into my bedroom to find me crying and asked my puffy face the question that changed everything.


“What are you really afraid of?”


The word walked out of my mouth as if I had known it all along: Mediocrity.


I was standing in my own way with my hands on my hips worrying about being MEDIOCRE. Mediocre is something I don’t understand. I’ve never done anything mediocre in my life. It’s against everything in my nature to do anything half-assed or crap.


I was making more work for myself because I was worried that I wouldn’t do my best. I wasted hours and hours worrying instead of doing – when I had ALL of the information already inside of me. I was deciding NOT to do ANYTHING because I was worried it wouldn’t be perfect – or enough… those negative voices had ended up making me believe I wasn’t enough. So, I sat there crying and deciding nothing was better than something.


Wasn’t I the one who says “Do epic shit” and “Manifest that shit” and “Wear your awesome” when people are having a tough time? And I was the one sitting on my bed crying about doing a video shoot!? WHO AM I?!


  


Oh yeah, I’m the woman going through a laundry list of the most stressful situations ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I needed encouragement – the same kind I send to so many. The same kind people reach out to me to give them. And I had NO idea how to ask. So I posted a note on my FB wall saying that I was struggling. I got a TON of incredible response to motivate me as I got in front of the camera, but one sweet woman sent this to me offline:


“There are so many perfectly boring, uncreative, uninspired people who make changes, are affiliated with good products, etc.  It's almost embarrassing how much mediocrity succeeds in our society. YOU ARE NOT MEDIOCRE.  You are exceptional, you have a vision, energy and intelligence to do what want to do.  And you have a thoughtfulness and intention . . . so don't waste your damn time on self doubt.


Think of all the crap out there —  even if you don't complete something to your vision of excellence — you know it is going to be 10 times better than all the mediocrity.  And remember, we learn by upgrading our models — so put your stuff out there, test it, upgrade it and move forward.  Don't doubt — it's a waste of time.  Just talk to yourself as if you were talking to a client.”



Every time you doubt yourself, read that.


After that teary-eyed morning, I filmed the course. And guess what?! It was all inside of me. EVERY SINGLE BIT OF IT! All I had to do was show up and start. I haven’t even seen the videos yet, but I know it’s going to be amazing – because I’ve already done the hardest part – I had to stop sabotaging myself. And I could have done that WAY quicker had I kept up my good habits – my routine. It was there to support me and I abandoned it along with myself. Until I was forced to show up.



I don’t want to think of what would have happened if I hadn’t walked downstairs and made it happen – because I did it. And I’m already successful, even if the course doesn’t go the way I expect. Even if it’s not perfect. Even if I need to upgrade it later. It’s perfectly imperfect just as it is. And SO many people will be able to benefit from my own bravery.


That pattern I was talking about – the one where I stand in my way – this is me admitting I have a pattern and it’s time to break it. By publishing this post, I’m breaking it. I almost threw it out but realized that meant I was doing something that would be impactful by sharing. I almost quit the filming but I know it’s the first step of many to give others a way to share their story. 


But this post isn’t about me. This is about you. I’m only sharing my shit so you can see how f*ing hard this is for me. The behind-the-scenes is never easy. And the smoother something looks, the harder it was. You’re reading it because you needed to hear this – so you could stop standing in your own way. Step aside, you have big things to do!


I want you to know that you are already successful – just because you showed up for yourself. I am proud of you for being ready for what’s next. It’s up to you to make shit happen. So…


What does your brave look like?


And when are you going to #manifestthatshit?


 




 



DO THE THING:


  1. Download the Manifest That Shit worksheet.
  2. Jump into the Kickass Humans Club and let’s do it together.
  3. Make sure you’re on the list to find out when SPEAK With Confidence launches


 


**How to get organized… ENOUGH**

**How to get organized… ENOUGH**

"There’s something to be said about starting and committing – Let’s finish this first."


– Kacy Paide



Have you ever met someone who lives their brand so well that no matter when you catch up with them, you feel like you jumped in right where you left off and everything is just as wonderful as it's always been? That's how I feel with Kacy.


Kacy is the master organizer who focuses on all things paper – and she runs The Inspired Office. She’s been organizing since she was a kid but started a business instead of getting a job in 2001. She knows that organizing can change lives (truly) and bring calm in ways you wouldn’t expect – she's even done it for me.



In this week’s podcast episode, Kacy Paide let us in on her affinity for dusty hands, being covered in someone else's cat hair and why clients take photos of her while she's organizing their lives. Even though things have changed in her industry, she's really focused on the people she's helping and how to help them best.



Think you’re the only one who hasn’t gone digital with with your documents? Kacy has seen it all and has proof that humans of all ages and sizes collect paper – even in this digital age. We shouldn't have shame around our things – and there's a big loneliness of being trapped by our stuff. Kacy is ready to let you off the hook whenever you're ready to let go – without all the guilt that comes along with it.


“Organizing is choose your own adventure.” – Kacy Paide


 


Want to know how to start getting organized?

Kacy has the answer:




I've known Kacy's love for Evernote for years and FINALLY got a chance to ask her how I can use it better – now that I have her captive on the podcast. Want Kacy's ten-minute organization method to determine how hectic your life really is? Press that play button and get inspired to pull your paper together!

 


Listen to get the whole conversation here:



 


 



CONNECT WITH HER: 


Join the Kickass Humans Club



In her words: Happy, calm, positive, savor, and always looking for "diamonds in the rough."


Instagram: @kpaide


Twitter: @kacypaide


Facebook: The Inspired Office


LinkedIn: Kacy Paide


Website: www.theinspiredoffice.com




Find out more: http://brandventurespodcast.com  

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Kickass Humans Club: http://bit.ly/KHCgroup

What do meditation, dogs, & the Oscars have in common?

What do meditation, dogs, & the Oscars have in common?

“Where you are is the best place to start.”


– Holly Gerberich


Holly Gerberich is one of us.


She’s a Kickass Human who is ROCKING her brand, taking names, and leading a kickass life.


As the head of strategic marketing at Gerberich Growth Strategies, Holly is focused on helping businesses grow and creating tailor-made strategies to get them to the next level. A DCer of over 15 years, she connected marketing and growth before big brands like Coca-Cola even realized they were related.


In this week’s podcast episode, Holly Gerberich lets us in on working with crazy human beings who feel things, taking a step back to see where you are, and the importance of having business goals. Holly drops some truthbombs for business owners who are trying to grow and goes through how marketing can light a business on fire- or make it fizzle.


Listen in to find out the secret of Holly’s master growth strategy superpower, how she brainstorms crazy into tangible in her business, and where her ideas come to her. Also, Holly and I dig deep into how the universe can take charge – bring you to places that you never thought you would end up, and sometimes name your dog FOR you. Ernie and Bailey – thank you, Universe.


“I wanna blow doors off for my clients.” – Holly Gerberich


 


Want to kickstart a brainstorming session, but feel stuck in a rut?

Holly has the answer:




If you want to know how NINE dogs, meditation, and TEN Oscars events have changed Holly’s life, you’ve got to listen in. [HINT: It’s the plot of a Seinfeld episode and a life exercise of knowing how to be in front of the right person at the right time.]


You need this wisdom in your week today – your brain and your business will love you for it. Get her wisdom in your ears – HIT PLAY.


Listen to get the whole conversation here:



 


 



CONNECT WITH HER: 


Join the Kickass Humans Club



In her words: Holly is adventurous, curious, compassionate, wolfmother, and honest to a fault.


Instagram: @hopejoypeacelove


Twitter: @hollygerberich


Facebook: Holly Gerberich


LinkedIn: Holly Gerberich




Find out more: http://brandventurespodcast.com  

Subscribe on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/brandventures

Subscribe on iTunes: http://bit.ly/brandventures

Kickass Humans Club: http://bit.ly/KHCgroup

Glittering Beards & How to Network Without Being an A$$hole

Glittering Beards & How to Network Without Being an A$$hole

“I have too much to worry about to not be myself.” – Strother Gaines


Strother Gaines is full of glitter and wisdom.


He’s the head unicorn of But I’m a Unicorn, Dammit, LLC an entrepreneurial coaching company helping humans who want to build their next step. When I asked the Kickass Humans Club who should be on the podcast, Sarai Johnson, one of our recent Rock Your Talk-ers put her hand way up and suggested Strother saying “He’s AMAZING!” spoiler: she was right.


Strother is a Kentucky-born triple threat who is keeping busy as an entrepreneur, artistic director for TBD Immersive – a new theater company in DC, and the event director for Network Under Forty.


Oh – and one of his drag queen names is Joann Fabrics. (Like, the fabric store… Yeah, I love him.)


In this week’s podcast episode, Strother Gaines lets us in on the phone call from the IRS about his LLC’s name, But I’m a Unicorn, Dammit, LLC and how to network without being an asshole (this was fun). His bits about growing up in the rural south, coming into his own, and the glory of Southern Queens are what make Strother such a fabulous human being. He shares HIS story, which helps others share theirs. BRILLIANT!


“I get a lot of feedback on the beard.” – Strother Gaines





Looking to channel the magic in your career or business?

The next step is simple and the fabulous beard himself can let you in on the secret.

Watch here:



Ever wonder what the difference is between  jackhammer careers and hummingbird careers? Maybe you’ve wondered how a career trajectory of cross pollination led him from being segway tour guide to entrepreneurial coach? Well, you get all of that and more – right here on the podcast.


My favorite part? Strother brings Joann Fabrics to the podcast – including the family inspiration for her and how he gets himself into character. (HINT: It’s a very specific swear word with southern flair.)


Why aren’t you listening yet?! This man has GLITTER IN HIS BEARD! Stop reading, start listening


Listen to get the whole conversation here:



Watch his TED talk is here:



 



CONNECT WITH HIM: 


Join the Kickass Humans Club



In his words: Strother is creative, a unicorn, authentic, a storyteller and Beardo.


Instagram: @Stronicorn


Twitter: @UnicornDammit


Facebook: Strother Gaines


LinkedIn: Strother Gaines


Website: www.unicorndammit.com & www.tbdimmersive.com




Find out more: http://brandventurespodcast.com  

Subscribe on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/brandventures

Subscribe on iTunes: http://bit.ly/brandventures

Kickass Humans Club: http://bit.ly/KHCgroup