Getting outside your comfort zone is always challenging. For starters you are outside you comfort zone!
We keep hearing that starting anything will generally take longer than you expect and be more expensive than you anticipated… But what if it wasn’t? What if we stopped our procrastination? What would it look like to you if you had a process to follow; a step by step guide?
Let me tell you about my last couple of weeks as an example.
I’ve been working with a colleague on presenting a keynote presentation to a Job Service Agency for their annual conference. They were expecting around 150 guests at the conference, easily the largest audience that I’d presented to. The closest would have been approximately 100 a few years back.
Together we’d been working on the presentation. It was designed to show the parallels of business and team culture. Rebecca had been working with Olympic athletes and with my corporate background we saw some great synergies and lessons. We were due to Fly out Monday. On the Thursday prior I realised that Rebecca’s Illness was not receding and that there was a great chance she may not make the flight.
Here was challenge #1. I had only one choice. To rebuild the presentation; presenting the entire content from both viewpoints without her.
With that in mind I had choices… This was new territory remember. I could melt down, wonder how this could happen to me or simply focus on the client and get about practising the presentation. So Practice I did… OK there was a 2 minute mandatory meltdown before I simply got on with it.
Upon recommencing my rehearsal on Friday morning, with my laptop reminding me for the 25th time to upgrade to Windows 8.1, I decided to be obedient. After all I had an hour rehearsal to complete so wouldn’t need to laptop during that time. See… Even boys can multi-task sometimes!
What a great idea… what could go wrong???
I completed my rehearsal and realised that the program was still going, well the laptop was still spinning it wheels anyway, as it did for another 30 minutes. I decided to leave it running and catch up with Rebecca. Check in and get some feedback. A live audience, even of one, could provide some valuable feedback.
So off I went practised the show and made sure that all was good, I had the points covered, clearly knew the content and could make up what I needed along the way. We worked on the slides for the presentation, finalised them and several hours later I returned to my office to see the laptop still spinning its wheels.
Clearly challenge #2 for the last 24 hours had presented itself. I decided to shut it down and try and restart… Nothing… It’s about 5pm on Friday… Rebecca was still to email the slides (version 2) to me and I had no computer. I was heading for the airport 9am Monday.
Saturday Morning, Calls were made to a number of IT friends and suppliers. It was a case of 3rd time lucky. Jeremy, a friend was able to assist and he kindly interrupted his weekend to breathe life back into my laptop. Fortunately my recent backups were all intact and I lost no data. Of course I’d now had no computer since I started practising the presentation around lunchtime Thursday. I only got it back Sunday evening. Jeremy salon suggested that I should copy my key information to Google drive as an extra safety mechanism. And once again I obediently did.
So off I went. Focussed on the client, the presentation was on Tuesday so I practised another couple of times in the Hotel room on Monday. Going through the slides and practising the timing. We’d pulled it all together. On completing I realised I had a message from Telstra. With the Google drive updating in the background I’d managed to upload almost 6Gig of Data in the several hours, over a 4G router. I was almost at the limit and knew I couldn’t download any further for risk of going over.
Challenge #3. Just one last thing to try and knock me off my plan. I copied the presentation over to a memory stick, and used that. Closed down the 4G router and finalised my preparation.
I’m happy to say the presentation went well, I received some great feedback and was even asked for details by one of my fellow presenters. I was surprised how ‘simple’ it was. My focussed remained entirely on the client, providing great value to them and never considered once anything else.
- Be clear on what you want to achieve
- Keep your focus on your mission
- Know what you need to do and break everything down to a process
- Just breathe and take just one step at a time
- Have someone to keep you accountable
- When you do that, you’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in a short amount of time
If you have a project that hasn’t been moving forward maybe you could do with a hand. This Tuesday 9 September 6:00pm I’m running a free networking seminar of Getting Going – It’s a business not a hobby in my office in the Valley. If you interested in coming along please call and organise your ticket. Of click through…