Just over a week ago, I climbed my own personal Mount Everest.
Well, not quite, but it was something that just 40 weeks earlier I “knew” I couldn’t do.
It took preparation and courage, and the feeling when I was finished was like being on the summit of a mountain.
*All pics come from the amazing eye and lens of the genius Jason Malouin, the King of the headshot!
I stood in front of a room full of friends and strangers, and Pitched what I stand for, what I believe in, and what I love about my work.
It was a 5 minute presentation. No podium. No cheat sheet. No notes. And yes, I did lose my way a couple of times. But I stood there, took a breath, and kept going.
I “pitched” what I believe we do differently in my business, Integrated Family Law. I also stood there and asked for something that could change my business. Connections and introductions.
Now, I don’t know about you, but that is enough of a challenge.
But let’s just turn that dial up a little more.
There was also a panel of Judges. Real life business success stories, on stage, ready to Judge my performance. The panel included Tom Potter (the founder of Eagle Boys Pizza), Tina Tower (the youngest woman to franchise in Australia, and the owner of Begin Bright Childcare), Skye Anderton (the Chief Dreamer, owner and designer at Ruby Olive Jewellery) and Sam Elam (media Queen at Media Manouvres).
Their job wasn’t to politely listen and then clap with the crowd. Instead, they were actively listening, and preparing to give their feedback. One by one, they critiqued me, all while I stood onstage, and then gave me a score out of 10.
As a private disruptor with a high need for straight As, that was such a challenge.
But I did it!
And I not only did it … I came third!
I woke up the next morning, feeling a little surreal.
It seemed ridiculous that I had done well at Pitchfest, but at the same time I had this whole other set of feelings. The best description I can come up with, is that it was like having a vulnerability hangover.
I had stood on a stage, in public, and declared that I dream of a time when there is less “lawyering” in the family law arena, and that instead there is more people with law degrees helping people.
I explained that I don’t believe that people who are separating end up in Court because they want to be there, but rather that our system sets them up to go there. And that we can change that, by changing the way we work with people going through separation.
Instead of having a quiet rant to my mates, and sharing these things one on one with people, I stood and delivered. And no one laughed or told me I was crazy. Instead, people said “that’s important – go do that”.
Strangely, I think it is time for more of my words to come out of my feet.
To stand and deliver. To walk my talk. To climb more personal mountains.
If you have your own personal Everest in front of you, ask for help from those who have gone before you, put one foot in front of the other, and you can make it to the summit.