Just after completing what felt like my best-ever speech last week, I was on top of the world, giving thanks and letting my colleagues in on the good news. Just four weeks prior I was hardly able to look myself in the mirror, fearing I had let my audience down. Yet, it was the lessons learned during my speech four weeks earlier that prepared me for the speech I gave last week.

My speaking career, along with my writing and consulting work, continue to evolve — get better. Sure, I`ve had big opportunities with the media that presented themselves at the perfect time, which ultimately sky-rocketed the success of my first book (“From Boomers To Bloggers”), making it a best-seller in the first three months it was out. But, ultimately, had I written a terrible book, no media would have made it into a success.

Just like Danny Espinosa consistently practices and strengthens himself both mentally and physically, I consistently read, write, speak, coach, consult, receive feedback and ultimately get better. That way, when the big opportunities come, I`m ready for them.

One of my favorite quotes on this top is by Zig Ziglar:

“While the hurricanes and tornadoes get all the publicity, did you know it`s the termites that do the most damage?”

It`s the insane amount of preparation that makes the big opportunities both possible and successful. A great friend of mine, Jacob, said to me recently, “Someday I want to be the kind of speaker that doesn`t have to memorize anymore, just has the message and keeps it fresh by grooving with the tempo and the audience. In the meantime, it`s `Practice, write, practice, speak!` And keep going, keep breathing. The work is worth it.”

This is true regardless of what industry or passion. We all have to start somewhere — and, ultimately it`s continual practice and feedback that prepare us for home runs.

— Misti Burmeister, www.InspirionLLC.com

Original Post: https://views.washingtonpost.com/on-success/panelists/misti_burmeister/2010/09/pratice_practice_practice.html