Do you dream about being on stage, sharing your truths with an audience? Do you think about it on a regular basis? Have people come up to you and said, “You should be a speaker – you’d be great!” And, secretly, you know that’s true. Or maybe your supervisor, or agent, or spouse is telling you to get some skills training. (Other people can sometimes be the catalyst to introduce us to a whole new opportunity.)
These are a few of the things that can happen to let you know it’s time to become the speaker you’ve always wanted to be.
It’s been about 15 years since I opened the door to speaking as a profession. That was the time I decided I’d had enough of living a divided life.
I was juggling several balls – my work as a contracted nonprofit executive director, writer and marketing communications consultant; my singing and acting gigs; and my heartfelt yearning to make a difference by assisting others to find and follow their authentic
voice . . . to be true to themselves.
So, I looked at investing in two professional growth opportunities – a storytelling retreat, and an intensive with a branding expert. I wanted to bring these “separate selves” together into one vision. To say this scared me is an understatement. First of all, I was investing quite a bit of change, hoping I wasn’t making a mistake. Second, I knew doing this kind of work, or any personal or professional development, would put me face to face with my fears. What if I failed? Would I be humiliated? Would some of those naysayers be right? How might my life change? Could I still take care of my responsibilities?
But when it’s time, it’s time. So, I put on my big girl pants and took the plunge. You know what? The voices in my head were far scarier than the actual process. I faced those feelings. I learned new skills. I discovered new strengths. And perhaps most importantly, I found my own voice and began to set it free.
Practically speaking, I walked away with a new brand I later trademarked, Your Authentic Voice®, and a decision to become a professional speaker and write a book about my experiences. As a result of this leap of faith, I began sharing my expertise and theatrical and musical gifts, and endeavored to make a difference by helping others find and follow their authentic voice. I had a new vision that would bring my separate selves together, and I was excited!
Looking back, I had no idea how this journey would unfold. (Do we ever?) It’s hard to believe, but coaching wasn’t even on my radar. Now, coaching is where I make one of my greatest contributions, and it is so deeply fulfilling.
It all started with a decision. No longer would I “wait and wonder.” I chose to take the chance and see what happened.
I cannot put into words the richness I have experienced and continue to experience every day. I like knowing I’m making a difference in the lives of others. Loving what I do for a living is a real gift.
I share this because I want to encourage you to give yourself that gift. If you want to share your authentic voice and speak in a more compelling, heartfelt and powerful way, I urge you to say yes to that call. One of my coaches once said, “Nothing ever goes to waste.” It’s true. The investments I’ve made in my professional and personal growth have not only endured, but emerged in new and different capacities as I’ve progressed. And, if you’re like me and get nervous, choosing to move forward will give you a sense of freedom you didn’t even know you lacked.
If this all reads as self-serving pap because this is my business, I understand. But, truly, I’m sharing from my heart. This has been my journey and I know how I’ve benefitted from the value I’ve received in all areas of my life. The fact that I get to support others and am lucky enough to get paid for it is, to me, the result of making the journey. This is my purpose – to encourage everyone to find and follow their authentic voice. If this is what you desire, I hope you will give yourself that gift, and if I can support you, please contact me at Andrea@AndreaBeaulieu.com.
Remember, all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players, so make sure your play is authentically yours!
Happy New Year!