In Which I Get Told Off

Last week, I decided to visit a Toastmasters meeting.

After all, if I’m going to have a public speaking career, it’s pretty useful to be good at, you know, public speaking.

And much like the National Speaker’s Association, Toastmasters makes you get better.

Plus, it’s a nice way to meet interesting and ambitious people.

It was a nice event, I quite enjoyed it.

Except at the end, when the meeting was done and everyone was standing around in little clusters, chatting.

Moments like that, I just don’t know what to do with myself.

Yes, insecurities and shyness are part of Martin’s psyche too, just like with most people.

I looked around the room, and the only choice I saw was to make a quiet escape.

Grabbed my coat, my helmet, my rucksack, and sidled out of the room.

At that point, I started to enjoy the evening even less, because the event organiser collared me.

Telling me that it’s not done to sneak off like a thief in the night.

That, despite my protestations to the contrary, most all of those people didn’t know each other either, prior to the meeting.

So there’s nothing unique about me, I’m just like one of the others: new here.

And then (gotta hand it to ballsy Spanish women) she practically grabbed me by the ear and pulled me up:

“And the thing to do, Martin, when you’re in a situation like that, is you go up to a group of people and you say hello.


I’m trying to think of the last time a stranger told me off… can’t remember when that was.

Not that I mind: she was, of course, completely right.

Does that mean I’ll have it easier, next time around?

Maybe, maybe not.

But I’ll definitely go back and put myself in similar situations, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far, it’s that difficult things get easier if you keep running into them.

And I’d much rather run headlong into something difficult, instead of running away from it.

Same with you and your business, now that I think of it:

Maybe you want to run away from the marketing side, the business activities, the communication of it all…

But you know as well as I do that doing so will only make it more difficult.

We’re not ostriches, even if half the time we try to act like we are.

So here’s my challenge for you today:

What’s the thing you’re afraid of, the one thing you pretend doesn’t exist?

What would life be like if it were no longer a problem or obstacle?

What if… you’d just go do it?

I dare you…

If you are up for it, if you do take the challenge, write back and let me know how it went…



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