The 50 in 50 Challenge

Posted on: Mar 25, 2014

So you wanna be a speaker? Wanna write a book? Change careers? Transition to something new? Well then, JUST START.  Ok, maybe that sounds trite, but don’t stop reading. In all honesty, that’s what you need to do. START.

Planning and analyzing can paralyze and prevent you from moving forward, keeping you stuck in one place. I am no different than you. I am in a transition in my own life. Having spent the last 10 years raising kids and building my husband’s career, I now want something that is uniquely me.

But what does that look like? I am an actress, I love speaking in front of people, I helped publish a couple of books, I have opinions, I am an artist, I have been an entrepreneur my whole life — but how do I put these things together to find my voice, my platform?

I decided to take action, to JUST START, and to give myself a goal, a plan that I just made up.  I call it my 50 in 50.  I will put myself in 50 situations over the next 50 weeks where I force myself to present my opinion, help others, act onstage, coach and teach. I don’t plan on being paid, I just need the opportunity to see how my voice resonates and how I best serves others.

So far, I am at number 8…

I have spoken to 400 fortune 100 corporate women at an event, taught inner city youth how to interview for a job, did leadership training with 100 Procter & Gamble female engineers, played guitar with my son for his school talent show, helped facilitate an all day Academic Leadership Retreat at Savannah College of Art and Design, hosted and spoke at two Pink Chandelier Parties (more on this later), lead a discussion with 500 San Diego County Social Service providers for their annual meeting, and most recently, played Memory Elisabeth in a new play by Elisabeth VonTrapp called My VonTrapp Life.

 “Do one thing everyday that scares you”  – Eleanor Roosevelt

I was scared every single time!!!  At times, really scared! Stepping in front of 400 corporate women… wow! My husband Curtis was hired as the keynote speaker for this annual event and he gave me the first 20 minutes to present something. The announcer read the introduction, “Please welcome Curtis Zimmerman to the stage”  and it was me that took the stage.

“I am not Curtis Zimmerman,” I boldly stated, hoping to get a laugh and engage them for the next 20 minutes. I started talking, and then I had an “out of body” moment where I saw myself onstage in front of all these women and thought,  “Oh my gosh. They are listening, they are laughing. Wow! I think they like me.”  My number 2 of 50 — done!

I don’t know where it’s going to end, but I do know that I am learning through every experience.  Learning where I need to improve, how my words resonate or not, and learning about myself.

I am the swoosh! Just Doing It!

Share with me something you would like to start. Can you take one step today — even if the one step is setting a start date for yourself?