Oct 14, 2019
Have you ever wanted to start something new. But maybe felt paralysis of analysis? Overwhelmed? Scared?
Chris Krimitsos has written the book that is the antidote. It's called Start Ugly and it's available for pre-order right now. Order it here: http://bit.ly/start-ugly
On this episode you'll hear Gabe's foreword that he wrote for the book. It's his origin story of how he became an international speaker, author and podcast host - all because he followed the simple advice inside this book.
Full Transcript of the Foreword:
The lesson in this book just might change your life. It surely changed mine. In fact, if Chris hadn’t pushed me along the way, I’d likely be a lot less happy and certainly less fulfilled. I would have probably given up years ago or, worse yet, never tried.
Change is scary. Most of us are too afraid to step into a new opportunity, innovate or simply change our habits because we’re afraid of failure. That fear is built into our DNA. It’s normal to feel it. In fact, it would be strange if you didn’t. I know I have - many times. Heck, I still do!
About 5 years ago, Chris asked me to present at one of his business symposiums. I had never spoken to an audience for any length of time and I was deathly afraid of public speaking.
I told Chris I didn’t think I had it in me. He knew my content however, and he told me it was so valuable that folks would still embrace the message even if my performance was lacking.
I knew public speaking was the way to get my message out to more folks, build my business and help others. Still mortified, I decided to team up with a co-presenter. It was the only way I could do it!
Over the next few weeks I prepared my content. I also prepared myself. My mirror became my audience. I learned what a power-pose was. I practiced the “calming breath” that I had learned when my wife had our first child to ease my anxiety. Finally, the day came and I felt as prepared as I could be.
There were a few speakers that morning and I studied how smoothly they spoke and carried themselves. I admired that. I told myself over and over in my head that I could do it.
“Just relax,” I told myself. I started to feel relatively confident.
That quickly changed. Between sessions as I was getting mic’d up by the sound guy I saw the camera. I looked at the seats. Suddenly I felt very warm. My mouth dried up. I started to sweat.
I thought to myself, “Oh no, no, no, no. Breathe, just breathe.”
I looked at my co-presenter. She was just as nervous as me and she muttered something to that effect which I barely processed because my body was going into fight or flight mode.
Before I could have an all out panic attack our names were called and we were walking up to the stage. Like it or not, this was happening. My co-presenter started and a few minutes later it was my turn. I barely got the words out. I stumbled multiple times. I completely bombed.
Or so I thought. The thing is, my content was good. In fact, people came up to me afterwards telling me how much they enjoyed it. A friendly guy named Scott told me how much he agreed with my talking points. Chris had been right!
I just needed to start. I could refine it later, but I needed to start.
Chris did it again about a year later. He pulled me aside at a networking event he was running and told me I really needed to consider starting a podcast.
“I don’t think so, Chris,” I told him. “I hate the sound of my voice, I don’t think folks will like it either.”
“Podcasting is going to be big,” he told me. “You need to get in now while the time is right.”
He harped on me for the better part of a year. All the while I made up a lot of excuses about not wanting to figure out the technology, not having the time and how folks would hate my voice.
But I did want to keep speaking. I knew I had to get better at it too. Maybe a podcast would help me find my voice, I thought.
“Just start ugly,” Chris kept telling me. “If it’s not good, you don’t have to put it out.”
Ok I thought. I’ll give it a shot. Maybe it will help me become a better public speaker. Maybe it will help me to cut out my, “ums.”
So I bought a microphone. Being nervous and anxious I wrote out everything I needed to say. Wing it? No way! I scripted out every word.
I hit record and got about four words in before I stumbled. It took me about 25 takes, reading and rereading every line, to get my first 8 minute podcast recorded. It took another 3 hours to edit it!
I released 3 episodes to start. But would anyone really want to listen? Would anyone like what they heard if they did?
I quickly found out folks liked it. I also had a number of people tell me how much they liked my voice.
“It’s so soothing and real” one nice lady told me.
I told her, “Thank you so much,” but I thought to myself, “Soothing? My voice? Soothing? Real? Yeah, maybe that part.”
After 20 episodes or so I started to feel more comfortable. I got better and finally relaxed. I found my voice. Today you can’t shut me up in front of a mic.
The Private Club Radio Show has now reached tens of thousands of private club professionals around the world. It’s the most-listened to podcast on the business of private golf and country clubs. It established me as one of the top experts in the field.
It’s led to speaking engagements all over the world - I’ve spoken on four continents now. It took practice, lots of practice, but now I can finally say that I’m pretty damn good.
It’s led to interviews in the New York Times and other top publications. It’s led to bestselling books. In fact, my books are in 1 out of every 2 clubs in the United States.
It also led to a new fear - the fear of success. The fear of success is just as real as the fear of failure and it can be just as crippling. You might hear the term, “imposter syndrome” used to describe it. It’s when you feel like you got lucky, like you didn’t deserve it or this is going to be temporary.
That’s something you might feel if you do something remarkable and have success you felt was unexpected. It’s a lie and you need to recognize it as such. Because if you did it, you did it. You didn’t get lucky. You won.
If I’m being honest, I still struggle with it occasionally. But with more and more success, and a bit of time, it fades.
Chris was right all along. I just needed to start ugly. You do too.
Most folks don’t try because they’re afraid to fail. They’re paralyzed by it. But some ideas just need to be brought to life. And you are the person that needs to do it. You are their creator. Your ideas need you. Don’t let them down.