Update: It’s November 12, 2019. Quite honestly, I’ve been slacking in the faith in action department.
- 228 days since my first international speaking engagement (Kumasi, Ghana)
- 128 days since the VIP Mastermind Session (London, United Kingdom)
- A business brainstorm event
- 50 days before 2019 is over – Can you believe it?
I confess my actions are still not aligning with what I really want out of life.
Why haven’t I acted on my desires to inspire through public speaking?
What’s holding me back from helping others to overcome their fears?
Why am I not telling the world to go after their personal legend?
The reality of the matter is I have not been adhering to my own advice – putting my faith in action. In the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower,
“Good planning without good working is nothing.”
This is a wakeup call to me (and you) to finish 2019 strong. Yesterday is gone.
…..but we have control over TODAY.
“The best time to start was yesterday the next best time is now.”
[More updates below.]
For a long time, my actions did not align with what I really wanted out of life. The bible passage James 2:14 (Easy to Read Version) speaks volumes to me,
“if a person that claims to have faith
but DOES NOTHING,
that faith is WORTH NOTHING.”
Overcoming my fears, baby-stepping my dreams into reality and doing what I love. All are examples of my faith in action. As I sat on a VIP bus heading to Accra, I felt extremely optimistic about the future. Over a year ago, I included in my Toastmaster’s Bio that I desired to be a sought after international speaker. On Good Friday 2019, the international professional speaker declaration actually came to fruition. My first speaking engagement overseas was to a group of young girls In Kumasi, Ghana. I even had an interpreter.
As the old adage goes – You will reap what you sow. I’m a firm believer in affirmations and declarations. More importantly, I’m learning the principles of applying action to my beliefs. Someone said,
“do what you can do and allow God to do the rest.”
As I expand my thinking about the possibilities in life, I wish I would have taken more action much sooner.
Being married to a West African man, living abroad, speaking professionally, it all began in my imagination. Allow me to give you some insight into my past. I was born to a widowed mother of three children. Daddy died of a cardiac arrest. Then I was a three-month fetus. To this day, I have not seen a decent picture of him. Translation: I do not know what his face looks like. My mother’s line of work consisted of domestic jobs. I had to think differently. I had to narrate the story I wanted for my life. Put action to my words and not just give lip service.
As I evaluated my first 100 days of living a new chapter of my life abroad (which I narrated), I realize the significance of employing practical tactics to achieve objectives I have set for myself. Subconsciously, I was utilizing a version of the S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic, time-based) goal-setting concept to realize my dreams.
Update(11/12/19): It’s time to reassess the goals and take the first step towards success (or failure) and put our faith in action.
Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.
On March 15, 2019, I made a specific goal to obtain a paid speaking engagement by April 15, 2019, and I shared my aspirations with my accountability partner. I clearly defined my objective in precise detail and shared my goal with someone to hold me accountable. Accountability is a key aspect of achieving goals. Make sure the person is not judgemental or a dream killer.
Update(11/12/19): November 2019, I will start working towards submitting an application to Toastmasters International for the Accredited Speaker Program (ASP) Level 1 by February 1, 2020.
Setting a target of one speaking engagement was adequate for me. I did not have any solid contacts internationally. On top of that, I didn’t want to discourage myself.
Update (11/12/19): I will measure the goal by meeting the ASP guidelines of a total of 25 live speaking engagements to non-Toastmaster clubs with a minimum of 20 people in the audience. I have one engagement under my belt. I will need to procure a minimum of 2 speaking gigs per month starting in January 2020 to meet my goal.
On March 31, 2019, I launched my blog www.findingchalandamichelle.com and began making two posts a week on Instagram to direct traffic to my website. My website provides me with an online presence, assisting me in building my audience and directing interested individuals or organizations to my “INSPIRE” page to schedule a consultation. It helped that I lived abroad already. I created a speaker’s packet and started promoting myself as a professional speaker. As I went about my day, I asked individuals did they need or know anyone who could use my services. I started with those close to me (my in-laws). My brother-in-law knew of an upcoming event that could possibly utilize my services.
Update (11/12/19): My contacts are slim in the United Arab Emirates. I will use the same approach as in Ghana. As I go about my day, ask individuals are they or do they know organizations looking for a professional speaker. I will create a 5-minute video of my flagship speech. I will share the video along with the speaker’s packet to social media, immediate contacts, Toastmasters Clubs, speaking organizations, educational institutions, and businesses.
The goal of one speaking engagement was attainable. I should have kept the momentum promoting my services and increasing engagements from 1 to 2 gigs in May. I should have asked the organization for referrals.
Update (11/12/19): Ghana has proven to me completing the ASP is possible. November and December will be focused on prospecting – identifying favorable social media platforms and target clients. I will dedicate a four-hour time slot per week for prospecting via two social media platforms (Linked In, Instagram). I will set up a Linked In account. Keep tally of contacts, consultations accepted, conversion rates, referrals, objections, create a prospect database. At the end of two months, I will decide which one of the two platforms to focus on to procure speaking gigs.
I gave myself 30 days to put my words into action and see the manifestation of my desires. On March 29, 2019, I received an invitation to speak at the 3rd Biannual Ladies Conference for the Historic Adventist National Youth Organization held on April 19, 2019.
Update (11/12/19): My goal is to speak at a minimum of 2 engagements per month starting January 2020. All 24 speaking engagements will be complete by December 2020 (no later than January 2021).
Your turn. What’s your confession? Leave your new S.M.A.R.T. goals in the comment section.
More updates to come……
My new way of thinking has concluded that faith plus action equals results. Now, I just have to keep the momentum. Making S.M.A.R.T. goals and taking practical steps to achieve my goals will aid me in reaching the highest, truest, fullest expression of myself. Join me in “finding yourself”, and discovering new ways of thinking, new ways of working and new ways of living. You’re invited.