Don't let this cheeky picture of a younger version of me fool you - I was terrified to speak publicly.
Yesterday marked the 16th anniversary of my first paid speaking engagement - thanks to Rick Lambert who mentored me and invited me to speak for an hour at one of his gigs.
December 1st, 2006, I gave my second paid speech. Jeff Page of Investors Group hired me to speak to his entire team about business networking. That was the day my coaching/consulting/speaking business - Elevate Seminars + Strategic Development Inc. - was incorporated.
No wonder I was scared. Months before that, I didn't even understand that people got paid to speak. Given I was absolutely terrified of public speaking, choosing to serve audiences was not the logical career choice. Even so, I felt a tug on my soul that I needed to overcome that fear. It took years, but now I absolutely love sharing my message with audiences. I want to do that even more.
Since 2006, I've had the privilege to speak in front of tens of thousands of audience members. As I sit here with the sun shining through my window - I'm basking in absolute gratitude for the experience.
There have been MANY ups and downs - a lot of struggles behind the scenes and celebrations too. Everyone of them has been a lesson and led me to where I am today.
It would have been unfathomable to the young woman in this picture that so many people would honour me with the opportunity to touch their lives. 16 years - it's surreal.
From the bottom of my heart - if you have ever hired me to speak, gave your attention as I shared from stage, been a coaching client, or even liked or shared a social media post. THANK YOU - it's because of you that I get to do what I believe I was born to do -inspire others with a twist on typical advice.
I am so beyond grateful. And I'm just getting started...