I am on the phone pitching a client to book me as a speaker and they say in a snotty voice “so what makes you so special?” They interrogate my every accomplishment by practically yawning over the phone and saying on three separate occasions “so what, I am not impressed.”
I find myself getting defensive and thinking “who is this person?” I just listed off my World Championship, my published book, me speaking 50+ times a year, my 100+ testimonials from audience members and major corporations and my ability to relate to the Y Generation (their client)! What else do they want from a speaker?
“I don’t care what you have done, you have only been doing it for less than two years, what makes you think you have the credibility to teach our people?” they say in another snotty tone!
This is when my vocal variety starts to have more than a hint of an irritated voice and I give them a little more than I should.
Then I hear something that makes my stomach feel like I ate a bowling ball and a load of embarrassment runs through my body. In a normal voice over the phone I hear, “I don’t care about your accomplishments, I wanted to learn about your character, and you just showed me.”
They were testing me. They were seeing how I would react under pressure and I failed. I failed miserably and hate even writing this article but I had to share it with you. I wanted to share it with you because I want to remind us that our character is more important than our accomplishments. Who we are is better than what we have done.
I am thankful I went though that phone conversation. They taught me a valuable lesson and reminded me of who I am and what I want to be about. I want my character to shine through, not my accomplishments.
It was challenging for me to write this article but I hope it was a reminder to lead with character and live life making lessons you can learn from. As always…