How I Ended Up Traveling The U.S. Getting Paid To Draw, Write & Teach: Part 11

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The truth is I love my job. I love teaching the class and the classes I teach now are “truly stunning” - I’m just quoting a student there. But it took months to go from ‘What the hell right do I have to teach this?’ to ‘If only I had more time. This is a blast, and I’m changing every student’s life.’ I’ve never been one to shy from public speaking. Or private speaking. Or speaking in general. What I’m saying is I like to talk. And write. As long as I’m the center of attention, I’m happy. I mean, let’s face it - I’m fascinating. We’re 5,000 words in to a story about me - and you’re still reading it. But enough about how great I am - where was I? I’ve never been one to shy from public speaking.

When I first got in front of the room to teach Photoshop I felt like a 24 year old kid with no right to be teaching these adults in front of me. Three years had gone by since then, and at 27 I was an adult. But with Photoshop I was an expert. I could do things - I’d done things - that none of my students were close to capable of. I’d gone to school for Illustration. I had a second job where I painted backgrounds for movies. I had 1,000’s of people online who considered me the go-to expert on the subject. With Social Media Marketing what had I done? Read a few books? Done some research? Basically nothing. Here I was going in front of a room of people who had done this professionally for years.

I’d like to put yourself in my shoes. I was going in front of a room of 60 people, many of whom were doing marketing full time - had master’s degrees in communication - almost all of whom were older than me, most with more hands on experience, and trying to tell them that I was worth listening to. For five hours.

It’s possible that first day, that first moment, is the most nervous I’ve been in my life. At least in a professional context. I didn’t have a choice but to give my all. 60 people had paid $200 to listen to my expertise for 5 hours. I thought I was close to ready that first day. I was not.

Next Week: Part 12. Trial by Fire

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Featured Image via ToGa Wanderings