Out of your comfort zone? Wear a hardhat.



So, I think most of you know that I own an online business.  See www.babygiftsandgoodies.com if this is news to you and for the love of all that is sacred and holy, please send me an email because clearly my marketing plan has some major holes in it.

Recently, I was invited to participate in an online panel for  DIY Site Customization hosted by the company that hosts my website.  I was super flattered that they chose me–think Sally Field and her “you like me…you really like me” speech, but with a bunch of snarkiness tossed in there. Before I let myself create a bunch of hurdles, I said yes, and agreed to participate.  This was out of my comfort zone in more ways than I was aware.

For starters, I make no secret of the fact that I am picture averse, let alone a fan of video.  Couple that with the fact that I had never participated in anything using this particular type of technology and I probably should have seen some level of disaster on the horizon.

I got down to business thinking over some of the potential questions I would be asked. I downloaded the necessary App and was ready for the trial run the evening before the live event. The trial was a little bumpy for me, I arrived to the group with my camera positioned in a way that it cut part of my head from the video.  My 90+ year old grandma may have logged in with less distraction.

Remaining optimistic and task focused, I told myself that I could manage these little snafus in the 24 hours between the trial and actual event.  Being outside my comfort zone even gave me the confidence to ask for help. I asked not one, but two people for favors to help me be prepared.  In response, the generous moderator offered to bring me in a few minutes early to help me get settled and make sure I didn’t deliver a repeat performance as a woman incapable of aiming a camera at my own head.

The event went well. It was a knowledgeable and easy going panel of business owners. I would rate my contributions as okay.  Aiming for a happy marriage of not a genius and not a moron, I thought I had attained my goal.  That was until I saw the recording of the event. 

It was painful to watch. At first, I was only able to sit through about 10 seconds of myself. (If you are expecting a link here–think again. I may have the guts or lack of brains to write about my missteps, but that is a giant leap from handing over a link pointing you to them.)

I should add that before the live discussion began I was informed that my internet connection was a little slow and that some of my words were being cut off. The suggested remedy with zero time to properly fix this was to speak at a slower pace. I was very supported by the interviewer and moderator, but there was little they could do.

What followed was me chirping on about the importance of a professional and cohesive website while streaming at a rate that seemed like it was delivered by a dial up modem powered by a middle aged hamster on a wheel. My contributions were reminiscent of an old Kung Fu movie, where the audio and video are so mismatched that they look like they were filmed on two separate days.

It seemed like I was trying to slow my pace, but what resulted could not have been less fluid. Technologically speaking, the other participants were sporting Harleys while I pedaled away on barely a Schwinn.

I bungled it.  It was out there.  And there was nothing I could do about it.

Now you may be asking if there is a lesson or moral to this story…let alone an end to this never ending tale.

Yes, there is a lesson.

First, test, test and test again before you get in front of a group and try something new–unless of course you’re chosen to do the half court shot during half time at a Knicks game.  That would be the only exception.  Second, look for a do-over if you can find one, then pour yourself into it and make it great.   Lastly, and probably most important, if there is nothing you can do to remedy an error–learn from it, let it go and move on!

In the spirit of finding a remedy, I’ve recorded a do-over.  I wouldn’t call it great.   It’s a one-take wonder that I recorded after a long night in the office, but I think it works.  Click my picture below if you’d like to check it out.

And now I’m letting it go!


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