I spoke today at a church in Spokane, Branches. I noticed how at ease I felt. I remembered when I was twenty-five I worked at a radio station selling sixty-second commercials. I believed that I deserved the corner office. I knew I was gifted at crafting words and giving speeches. I remember telling my boss, I could totally run this place. He was gracious in his silent smiling response.
Instead of being ushered in as the new general manager, I worked live broadcasts on Saturdays at car dealerships. I had a couple of important duties. I helped the DJ setup the 10 x 10 tent, hung the MAGIC FM vinyl banners and gave away free slices of pizza to radio station listeners. I actually liked running the prize wheel “10 free CD’s”.
Deep down, I hoped it was just a matter of time before they called me out of the bullpen and put me in the role I was made for-Professional speech giver. You laugh, but I genuinely believed I was destined for the fast track to the top.
Twenty years later, I am so grateful that the bullpen phone never rang for me. Instead, like you, I’ve earned my stripes the long arduous way. What I underestimated then was the amount of time it takes to become the kind of person who has something meaningful to say.
Now when I speak in front of people, I’m always grateful that it took this long to get here.