A True Story About Awkward Silence

She raised her hand and timidly asked, “How did you get confident?  I just don’t think I’ll be confident.”

I stood awkwardly on stage, readjusted my stance (which someone once described as a cowboy on a mission), and cleared my throat.

If I ever gave you the impression that I’m confident, I responded into the microphone, I’m sorry.  That’s just not true.

Last week I spoke at the Showit Spark conference in Phoenix, Arizona.  Hundreds of entrepreneurs crammed into a ballroom and I talked about business and what it takes to be successful.

When the confidence question was asked, I was caught off guard.  She must’ve thought I was a cowboy on a mission.

Earlier that morning, I woke up to pray, workout, make breakfast for Luna, and head to the airport…

In the midst of answering emails, writing video scripts, and reviewing my keynote presentation during the flight, I tried not to wonder where my confidence was.  (It wasn’t stuffed in my pocket or my computer bag.)

I stepped on stage, I gave what I hoped was a riveting presentation (emphasis on hoped), and stood on stage in PAINFULLY AWKWARD SILENCE WHILE NO ONE ASKED A QUESTION DURING Q+A.

Hundreds of people stared at me in silence.  In case you wonder what’s the most awful moment in your professional life, it’s close to standing on a stage in utter silence.

Sweat slowly dripped down my back.  DO COWBOYS EVEN SWEAT?!

Thankfully—after a grueling silence—a brave attendee raised her hand to ask a question.  But it wasn’t what I expected…but it was a perfect question.

It was a question that allowed me to answer truthfully:  I am nobody doing something to help somebody.

I’m not confident, but I’m prepared.  I’m not refined, but I’m experienced.  I’m not beat, but I’m broken in the right places.

If someone looks at me and assumes I’m confident, I’m flattered, but please know I’m simply sharing what I know to help you not make the mistakes I did.  

I hope this note reaches you at a point in your journey when you’re ready to hear the truth of what it means to be confident:  you don’t need confidence to show up, you show up to get the confidence you need.

To the cowboy in us all,


P.S. In a recent episode of my podcast, I answer the question: “Can You Create Demand with Free Content?”  It’s 22-minutes of an action-packed, let’s-get-more-business conversation I know you’ll love.