Had an idea for a workshop and uncomfortabled myself into making it happen.
What's the secret? JUST START.
A few weeks ago on a Wednesday – well it was the 26th of June 2019 if we want to get all technical like – I facilitated a workshop that saw attendees break bread and share invisible gifts with each other.
You provided a great safe place to get uncomfortable! By the end of the night we all felt connected and comfortable enough to get a little more out of our comfort zone! Very inspiring. Thank you!Katie Doherty
That’s just the kind of workshop that I run I suppose.
It was called Speaking & Grazing and the evening started with a bunch of strangers coming together over olives and raw cauliflower, and ended with them being comfortable enough to make loud noises and do strange moves with their bodies. The true indicators of connection!
Wait, wait, wait. No, no, no.
They weren’t comfortable enough to make loud noises and do strange moves with their bodies, they were just comfortable being uncomfortable.
Kinda like what Katie said up there 👆.
Which is great because that’s what I trying to do.
Now I don’t want to toot my own trumpet, so I’ll just blow my own horn instead.
GUYS, THE NIGHT WAS A RAGING SUCCESS.
You have a unique style at interaction with a group of people and used a variety of great techniques.Todd Mackie
The emotional and comfort zone breaching journey to make this all happen.
I came up with the idea to do this last year when I completed my own public speaking course and wondered how I might find more opportunities to stand up and talk in front of groups of people who would listen to me. I decided that the best way for me to fulfil this desire to hold more rooms was to create my own space and manage it myself.
In addition to this, I was also pat-myself-on-the-back proud of how quickly my confidence levels had spiked, so I wondered how I might be able to pass all this sass on to others.
💡THEN I HAD IDEA
💡I KNOW, OPEN MIC NIGHT… BUT FOR SPEAKERS.
And the baby was born.
Initially I imagined like a dinner and show setting. All cool and posh with round tables, three-course vegetarian meals, waiters, wine… all packed into a jazzy little ballroom.
It was sexy and slick. Dim lighting with spot-lit stage. That was the dream.
But I soon learnt that turning water into wine (like an idea into reality) takes flexibility and raw cauliflower.
The trick to turning ideas into real life.
- Allow your three-course meal to turn into a grazing platter with raw cauliflower that may potentially stink out the room.
- Let your 80 highly engaged guests in pearls and tuxedos turn into 12 comfort-zone breaching drop-ins straight from work.
- Don’t expect to make $ straight up and be okay with taking risks that could leave you making -$
Risks? Yeah, gotta take ’em.
I had no idea if I was going to be able to attract a handsomely paying audience when I lay down $$ to secure my venue. But I leaped with faith in my feet and booked Bustle Studios for THREE evenings so I could hold THREE groovy events.
Part of my strategy was to get my lovely and supportive friend Maha, her sister Sal and their awesome business, SWIISH to help me promote the event to their large number of Insta followers.
In return I would promote their great brand and their delicious cookbooks (the food I served were some delicious and nutritious recipes from there).
It’s hard to know how effective this strategy was exactly but even just having the support of clever people who believed in me, well that kept me pushing through times when I was like OH MY GOD I’VE NOT SOLD ANY TICKETS.
Laura from Bustle Studios was an amazing bomb diggidy fresh help too.
I spent ages creating all sorts of marketing materials (like this one), which I’m still not sure I actually needed. But I guess it kept me focussed, visualising, creating. Kind of like when the government gives us stupid policies. Just keeps ’em busy and in the game. But um, same same but different.
I almost cancelled it all.
The self-doubt became too hot to handle at one stage and I almost pulled the plug entirely. But right before the last bit of bath water ran out of the bath, I made the call to simply change from THREE events to ONE.
It’s okay to start small and bite size, guys.
I only saved the bath water because the universe came at me last minute and said YOU’VE GOT MAIL.
I’d sold two tickets.
Jess is fab! She’s so easy and has the perfect teaching manner.Lucy Whirledge
Thanks! But I fakededed it.
I basically taught people how to be vulnerable, authentic and silly by biting the bullet and being all those things myself first.
We embraced drama techniques, played speaking games and stared at each other for four minutes flat without breaking eyeball contact. We laughed, we almost cried and we all had garlic breath from the dip.
All this happened with us as sober as sally, right up until I cracked a red right at the end for the final talks anyway.
People were nervous but I endeavoured to make people okay with being nervous. Nervous is normal. Nervous gives us what we need to be good at things. You just gotta understand how it works.
I’m no master, but I’m okay with just trying.
You gotta go in a little blind & naive & gung-ho to make sh!t happen.
I truly believe that this is how most successful people make things happen. You just gotta run at your idea with arms spinning and see what comes of it.
Talk to people. Make the bookings. Spend the money. Talk yourself up. Fake it a little. Fake it a lot. Be yourself. Be someone you’re not. Cry sometimes. Embrace the doubt. Kick the doubt. Stay up late. Get up early. Sleep through your alarm. Don’t beat yourself up. Beat yourself up. Get back into action. Ask questions. Make up answers. Use your imagination. And don’t worry about failing.
FAILING IS COOL.
I totally failed at different points of this journey. But as a whole I succeeded. I now need to strip out the components that didn’t work and figure out how to make things better.
But I just wish there was more tiiiiiiime. More money. And more people who appreciated raw cauliflower.
Any questions? I really like when people leave comments, so keep that in mind please.