The question I get asked perhaps more than any is, "How did you transfer into the business world?" "How did you find this career?" and "How did you find a way to take your love of performing and make a living doing it?"
The fact of the matter is, the path to where I am now was fraught with moments of confusion, anguish and doubt. The beginning wasn't easy, but as my mother so wisely said when I dissolved into tears one day back in my 20s, "Your gifts will bring you home."
I believe it's true for everyone if you have the courage and the patience to stay with it; if you keep your eyes open; and if you keep coming back to what it is that lights you up.
When I was ultimately inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame last August, I decided to share the story of this struggle. Not surprisingly, a lot of people related. We all somehow think it's wrong to be a bit lost for a while. There is so much pressure to decide and to be clear. But the truth is, it sometimes takes a little time.
The organic path includes uncertainty and doubt; twists and turns; stops and starts. These are part of the whole. But if you persist through the muck, if you keep listening and looking and experimenting, you will -- I believe -- find an extraordinary new world of possibility.
The video of my Hall of Fame acceptance speech and my story -- how I got to where I am -- is posted here and made public for the first time.
Please share this with your kids if they're in their 20s, starting to panic about their lives. (They are the ones who often need to hear this the most.) Please share this with your friends who are seemingly lost. And please take comfort if you are the one looking. You will find your way. Like the north star, your gifts will bring you home.
(One small caveat: I was a bit freaked out during my speech. Giving an acceptance speech before 1,500 professional speakers -- your peers -- in honor of being inducted into the Speaker Hall of Fame is a wee bit of pressure. Speaking from a place of gratitude and humility, also, is very different than speaking from a place of authority, confidence and command. So you'll hear my voice wavering a bit. Despite my embarrassment of various errors throughout the speech, I'm posting the video here. Enjoy.)
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