Thursday, January 26, 2012

O.W.N. your Pursuit.

Would you want to be a part of 34,999 losers? That's what I belonged to when I fell short as a quarterfinal's runner-up in Toastmaster's International World Championship of Public Speaking in 2010; a contest where usually 35,000 Toastmaster members, compete but only one will be crowned the World Champion.

I was devastated knowing I was that close to moving on to the next level; however, when I found out that there were 34,998 others who fell short of winning the crown it made me feel just a bit....worse. Urghh, I'm so competitive.

Nonetheless, time allowed me to discover that the whole experience was a win because I truly came out a better speaker, leader, and person. 'How did that happen,' you ask? Well, while every experience grows us, I believe I got the most out of mine by 'O.W.N.' ing mine- and you can too.

Own-(verb) to acknowledge as one's own, to fully engage with.

By O.W.N., I mean that we don't just go through the motion, but we engage and:

Observe and learn
Write notes and ideas
Network with people

My experience was going through a speech contest, but for you it may be trying to start your own business, pursue a new career, or write your own book. You can carry this desire and leave it to luck whether you will achieve it or not, or you can engage and O.W.N. your journey.

Observe and Learn- means you have to show up. If you want to be a writer- start reading books that are selling off the shelf- follow popular bloggers and authors. If you want to be a speaker, attend seminars where great speakers are presenting.

Observe what these icons do best. Participate actively by analyzing their techniques. Don't just accept that they are good; identify and specify what makes them sizzle. Ask yourself, 'what can I learn and incorporate into my own art to make me better?'

Write notes and ideas- We all have great ideas- in fact ideas are constantly oozing in and out of our minds; however, we can never hold on to them long enough to act. Why? Because we don't write them down. Writing is the first step of taking action. When you write down ideas and take notes, you make a greater commitment to follow up on those ideas and note. Is there really power in writing? Yes, that's why less than 5% of people reach their goals, and these people have one thing in common- they wrote down their goals. Start writing!!

Network with people- If talent can take you one mile, people will take you ten. People may be hard to deal with at times and sometimes you may not know who you can trust; however, every decision that has been made on earth has been made by a human. A person decided who got hired, what book to buy, and which speaker to book. Because people are subjects they make subjective decisions. If people know you and feel comfortable with you they will make favorable decisions towards you.

You are not going to make it without people- you will need them to market your book, to give a you a favorable recommendation, or to make you a loan. Start networking and building mutually edifying relationships. It's been said that “your network is your net worth.” There is a lot to be said about that.

I continue to pursue a career in bettering the lives of people through speaking. You too have your own longing desires. The fear of falling into the group of the 34,999 losers keeps us on the sideline and reluctant to try; however, I believe that anyone who engages in the process will come out a winner. The true prize is not a trophy, a big salary, or fame. The true prize is a better polished YOU. You will achieve that by 'O.W.N.'ing the experience.

Continue on your PASSIONATE PURSUIT.

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