I wasn’t nervous – I had been preparing for this day for the last year – but I had a knot in my stomach and I was sure I was about to have my most mortifying moment of my career.
This was 5 minutes before I was about to present the Elle Bell Sales Co. content for the first time in person. I had been dreaming of an opportunity like this and when the ATB Entrepreneur Centre got in touch with me to book a session, I jumped on it! I had been in their sessions before and they have the most beautiful conference room so I could put myself in the moment almost immediately. I was envisioning all the things I would say, the women I would help and the potential impact I could make. Plus, I always love a good public speaking opportunity and this one was definitely next level for me.
I was prepared.
I had written my presentation a week in advance, printed copies for everyone and made sure to have lots of swag on hand for the attendees. I had practiced and was sure of what I was going to say. I wasn’t overthinking it though because this is the content I have been working on for well over a year. Plus, because it’s MY content, I couldn’t say anything wrong! (As opposed to presenting on insurance where there are lots of rules and regulations so I always need to make sure my details are in check.)
This was a well booked event and out of a possible 40 seats, 34 had been reserved so I knew we’d have a full room. I wasn’t able to see the attendee list in advance so I had no idea who would be there but I was delighted to see a few familiar faces among a majority of women I had yet to meet. I tried to introduce myself to everyone as they came through the door and took their seats. I never miss a chance to network and it was awesome to see the women shaking hands and exchanging cards both before and after.
It was just before noon and the room was full when I quietly said to my friend Jenelle,
“Buddy, I feel like I’m going to throw up.”
“Are you nervous?”
“No, but I’ve got a knot in my stomach that feels like it came out of nowhere.”
Ugh. I sipped back my water. Took 3 deep breaths and after I was introduced, I launched into my presentation on the qualities and traits of successful women in sales.
The energy in the room was amazing!
I could see lots of women taking notes, nodding their heads and being genuinely engaged in what I was saying. I think I had given them an alternative view on sales than they had ever been exposed to before. It doesn’t matter to me what you sell – what matters to me is what kind of saleswoman you are because there’s a foundation that needs to be in place before it ever makes sense to even begin discussing sales strategies and tactics. My goal is to remove the stigma around the word sales and to empower women to seize the benefits and opportunities that a career in sales can bring.
When I received the following note from an attendee that afternoon, I knew my mission had been accomplished:
“Thank YOU for your time & passion. I’ve had a struggling first year in business for many wild reasons. Last week I was committed to pulling the plug and going back to the old career I had for 8 years and only 2 days ago convinced myself – NO. You can’t quit on YOU! The universe works in funny ways, as I seen this seminar posted just last night and signed up knowing it would be empowering & uplifting. Confirming. Which it exactly was! So when I say ‘Thank-you’, I mean it truly!”
This presentation was a special moment for me because it was the confirmation that I myself needed to keep going and her message made it that much more important. Building a business on top of a full-time career and a family is no joke so as much as I preach confidence and perseverance, even I need a little boost from time to time. The response I received from the women in that room meant EVERYTHING to me and gave me that much more drive and ambition.
Back to that knot in my stomach though…
By the time I saw Jenelle give me the ‘5 minute’ signal from the back, I felt like I had almost blacked out for the last hour. How was I already almost done? I could have talked for another hour easily! But I couldn’t deny that growing knot or the fact that I was beginning to sweat profusely! So I wrapped things up, enjoyed a quick visit with the ladies and was relieved to get out into the fresh air.
Then I got sick. Like violently ill…..
I literally just barely made it home before I started throwing up and I didn’t stop for the following 10 hours straight. After a week of sick kids, the stomach flu had taken me over and I was down for the count. I honestly couldn’t stop laughing to myself though because I had made it through that presentation by the skin of my teeth and thankfully did NOT throw up all over the ATB.
Seriously though, could you even imagine?!?!?!
I have been playing the scenario through my head and not sure how I would have carried that one off with some shred of dignity or grace. I’ve had a few mortifying moments along the way in sales but that one could have and would have taken the top spot!
I must have some good karma gods on my side though because everything ran so smoothly and I was even invited back to present again someday. I received a few more notes from attendees who enjoyed it and parlayed their own passion for sales along to me which is just so gratifying.
Days like that are ultimate proof that the hustle is 100% real and sometimes success takes nothing short of true grit.
I realized a dream come true that day and then I puked my guts out.
All my love,