Tag Archives: story telling

They Laughed, I Gave Up!

12 Feb

Many great ideas have been lost because people who had them could not stand being laughed at. –Unknown

I believe that the only thing that prevents us from achieving our Greatness is fear. Just crazy delusional fear. I also know that American employers lose billions of dollars a year because of employee fear. Often employees are afraid to speak up to their bosses and co-workers with a better or more efficient idea, or a warning when they see their department going down a wrong path. Is their fear real? To them it is.

It’s hard to comprehend that as adults we should fear being laughed at, but this is a very real fear for many people. And we know where it comes from, our childhood. We weren’t born with this fear. We learned it in grammar school when we became the center of attention. You know those times. You were asked by the teacher to step up to the front of the room and read aloud your paper on how you spent your winter break.

There you were standing in front of all your classmates. Your young body was filled with fear, bordering on terror. You prayed that you wouldn’t make a mistake, that your nervousness would not be detected in your voice, that your face wouldn’t turn bright red.

But then it happened, you mispronounced a word and Mrs. Crotchety corrected you. The kids giggled. Then you tried the new pronunciation but you missed the mark once again and Mrs. Crotchety corrected you for the second time. Now all the kids are laughing and they’re laughing at you. You were made to feel like a fool, a dummy, stupid, and you swore then that you would never again put yourself in a position where others could laugh at you. Of course that meant never sharing your ideas, thoughts or opinions to anyone but those closest to you that you could trust. And, of course that meant giving up a whole lot of things; like friends, joy, a sense of accomplishment, pride, pay raises, promotions, recognition and hundreds of other things you’d like in your life.

Look, we can’t go back and change the fact that we suffered embarrassment at the hands of our classmates, but we can overpower that fear. The next time you have an idea, thought or opinion that you’d like to share with others, say this to your higher power first:

Infinite Spirit, it is my desire to share my ideas with others. Thank you for the courage to overpower my fear and say exactly what is on my mind.

To the new more powerful you,

Michael

Advertisements

Giving Your Own Eulogy!

30 Jan

Studies have shown that people’s #1 fear is speaking in public. Fortunately you won’t have to give the eulogy at your own funeral. ~Michael Luckman

As many of you know, I closed my sales training business several years ago to follow my passion. For the past twenty plus years I have been studying why we as human beings experience fear when faced with a threat of bodily harm. Well that’s an easy one to answer, survival. Okay, that’s not the question. The real question I have been trying to answer is; why do we experience the same fear, the same physiological responses when facing an imaginary fear, like walking up to a complete stranger or getting up front of a group of people to share with them something that is important? Unless you’re in the wrong neighborhood, why do we tremble at introducing ourselves to a stranger? Or, why do we fear our mind will go blank when we get up to speak?

The reason I have made a study of fear is that fear has been my nemesis since I was a child. Not a day went by that I didn’t experience fear. As I looked back on my life I realized that although I felt fear almost constantly, I had this ability to push through my fears and do what was necessary, whether it was walking onto a sports field, or knocking on a neighbor’s door to sell them something.

But I didn’t always overpower my fears. There were many times I gave into fear and allowed fear to win. And when fear won, I lost. It could have been closing a large account or failing to take advantage of a new opportunity. As a sales trainer I recognized myself in most of my students. Typically they were afraid to use all that I taught them because fear stood in their way.

After ten years of this I felt it was time to write my book Overpowering Fear – Defeating the #1 Challenge in Sales and Life. The book opened up for me the opportunity to fulfill my real passion, and that is to travel the world doing corporate keynotes and workshops. Overpowering fear was not only for salespeople, but for every employee in an organization who let’s their fears stand in the way of their success.

This has led to a second passion, speaking to college students. I have always believed a degree will get you a job, but it is these five life skills that will get you a successful career.

  • Learn How to Sell – Even Rich-Dad Robert Kiyosaki said everyone needs this skill.
  • Learn How to Network – Not on the internet, but in person. The stronger your network the greater the chances for success.
  • Learn How to Speak in Public – Nothing will get you noticed in your industry quicker than public speaking.
  • Understand Cause and Effect – Knowing this universal law will keep you out of trouble and if you’re lucky, put you in the right place at the right time.
  • Learn to Tell Stories – From our tribal past people love to learn through stories.

If you know a college looking for a speaker with a different message I would appreciate an introduction to the right person. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and know a high school that would like me to speak about Overpowering Fear and learning these five life skills, please let me know that too. Colleges are fee based. High schools are free.

My best to you always,

Michael

Even God Loves Stories

11 Jan

God made man because He loves stories. ~Elie Wiesel

Elie Wiesel, a Nobel laureate, is a holocaust survivor. Those who doubt that the holocaust ever happened should read his bestselling memoir Night, about his experience with his father in the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945. Everyone in his family perished except Elie.

I particularly like this quote because stories are how God first communicated to us. The Old Testament is filled with stories, from tragedies to triumphs. 6,000 years ago most ancient people were illiterate and they learned about our one God from stories that were passed down from one generation to another.

Even to this day we love stories. Going to the movies is analogous to sitting around an evening campfire and hearing an elder tell us the history of our people. It’s the same with reading a fictional novel. I’m sure there were books that you’ve read that you couldn’t put down. Books that had you totally mesmerized.

Now let me ask you this. Do you think that becoming a great storyteller would help you in your career and your everyday life? My answer is a resounding yes. Think about it. If you’re a salesperson you could tell a prospective prospect that you have a client that had a similar problem as them and they started using your product, and within three weeks the problem was reduced by 50%. These are what are called third party stories. And believe me they work.

They work with family, friends, customers, and employees, practically everyone. And they’re easy to do. Now I know that a number of you are saying, “I’m just terrible at telling stories. I don’t even know how to put a story together. Let alone tell one.” And I know that it is fear that stops you from even trying.

Do you remember learning how to drive? It was scary at first, but as you became more comfortable at driving it became easier and easier. Today, you get in your car and go without even a second thought. Learning to tell good stories is just a matter of learning how. Go to your local Learning Annex or community college and see what story telling classes they offer. If there are no classes offered for telling a story then look for classes about writing a story. Once you learn the basic outline it’s just a matter of filling in the words.

I guarantee you that learning this skill will change your career and your life forever.

To telling great stories,

Michael