Last week I gave my first keynote speech in front of almost 300 people for Graceworks ministries. Here’s a short clip:
The next day I was reflecting upon my the moves that helped me get to this point. Here are the five steps I took to manifest my new career:
I am a musician who has played thousands of gigs next to jukeboxes and dart boards. I realized that unless I changed something I would never get out of bars. I heard about Jana Stanfield, who was a Nashville songwriter, like me, struggling to make her way. She started speaking and using her music to convey a positive message. Now she travels the world sharing the stage with Jack Canfield and Wayne Dyer. She made the leap and that became my dream: To travel the world speaking and sharing my music.
2.) Seek Knowledge/Mentorship
Author Dan Miller often says on his podcast, 48 Days To The Work You Love, that one success principle is to seek out others who have done what you want to do and ask them for advice or take them to lunch. His words were on my mind when I bumped into him at the Franklin, TN post office. Somehow I got the courage to ask him to lunch (with his encouragement from the podcast running through my mind).
We met at Wolfgang Pucks and I told him I would like to become a speaker who talks and uses music to inspire and encourage others. Then he asked about my story. I told him about my foreclosure and living in the truck stop parking lot and how I learned to apply gratitude for everything. Dan said, “You should write a book about that”. He said the best way to get into speaking is through writing and the best way to get into writing is through speaking. They both compliment each other. A generous hour and a half later I paid for lunch (always pay if you ask!) and left with all the notes I took and inspired by all his encouragement.
3.) Surround Yourself with Dreamers
Some of the most encouragement I have received is being in the presence of other optimists. The best place to find them is at conferences. I’ve attended Write to the Bank in Franklin *, TN repeatedly for the last year and a half. This conference has show me how to market my book, how to build a platform, what publishers are looking for (they bring in a publisher), the advantages of self-publishing (they bring in Kent Julian, a successful speaker with several self-published books, and the talk about ways to write (they bring in a successful author). They build in plenty of time to network with others and I always come away highly motivated. You are who you surround yourself with.
Also, I got more involved in 48days.net. Check it out for yourself.
4.) Take Action
This trumps everything. You don’t have to dream to write a book, you have to write. When you’re in doubt, write. When tired, write. Do something, move forward. Focus. Don’t ‘build a platform’, don’t tweet, don’t worry about the book cover. A book that is not written does not need a cover. Write. Do what is in front of you that day.
After I wrote my book I went to the newspapers and a got some publicity. Then I started calling around, asking organizations if I could speak for them. The book generated some credibility and shared my story. The newspaper articles helped get the word out. Along with some book signings and giving away many, many free books I started to get a little traction. I will keep that traction by more action! Action is all!
This is the most incredible part. After I spoke to the audience at Graceworks I took the next day off. I looked back at where I began, more than a year and a half ago. I reflected that it all began with an idea and now I am doing it! For the first time I could see what happened. It wasn’t just belief, it was knowing. This is how things get done. Start with an idea, seek knowledge, surround yourself with winners, take massive action and then see it, feel it, and experience it.
What or where will you be 18 months from today? What is your dream or idea?
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