How was your weekend? Mine was spent in a yurt in the English countryside, with 150 entrepreneurs talking and dancing long into the night! I was invited to The Happy Startup Summercamp to talk about what it really means to do what you love in business, but feel like I came away with so much more than I gave. It was one of those very special meetings of very lovely humans, which included a lot of laughter, deep thinking, new friends, early morning secret adventures in the woods, late night disco dancing and much more besides. If this is the life of a speaker I am keen for more!

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Public speaking is one of those things that so many of us are afraid of, but I know is in my future a lot next year with the launch of my book Freedom Seeker. Rather than getting scared about it, I decided to embrace it with the largest hug that I could. And so I did the only thing there is to do – I flew to Santa Fe, New Mexico a few weeks ago, and took a class in transformational speaking from the one and only Gail Larsen. Gail has trained most of the most inspiring speakers I know – from Gabby Bernstein and Danielle LaPorte, to Kris Carr and Rebecca Campbell – so I knew it was going to be an important experience, but I had no idea just how transformational it would be.

When we arrived Gail asked us what would be a breakthrough for us. I have a good memory and like to be prepared, so although public speaking itself isn’t such a scary thing for me, speaking without a script was HUGE. As in, I-can’t-imagine-ever-speaking-unscripted-HUGE. So that would be my breakthrough. To stand up on the last day and give a 15 minute talk unscripted. And somehow, with Gail’s masterful coaching and brilliant approach, I did it. Not only did I do it, but I LOVED it. Now that’s what I call a breakthrough.I will be forever grateful to Gail and the angels who shared the experience. (I could tell you so much about the precious women who went through the breakthrough process with me, but I’m going to save that for another day, because I have so much to say… not least that we are going to be speaking together in New York in October. Stay tuned!)

But doing something in a workshop and doing it for real are two different things, right? So this weekend I tried it out for the first time at a proper event. In front of 150 people. On a stage made of hay bales, in a beautiful barn draped with fairy lights and bunting. To be honest, it couldn’t really have been more of a perfect place to learn to fly as an unscripted speaker. But I did it, and thanks to the soul-nourishing energy of the lovely people gathered there, I loved it again. It wasn’t easy. I still got nervous. I might do some things differently next time. But I got up on that stage and danced around in my cowboy boots and told some stories and had a bunch of people come up afterwards and look into my eyes and say thank you. So it was absolutely worth it.

That’s what happens when we do the hard things. And that’s why we do the hard things. Because it makes a difference to someone. Even if that person is just you.

This week I challenge you to do a hard thing, and notice what happens. And if you want to try public speaking in a soulful, story-based, self-inspiring way, talk to Gail, go visit her in Santa Fe or take the online version of her class, because she is the master.

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And finally… Turning 40 this year? Know any awesome women who are?

I am working on a very cool (currently top secret) thing to celebrate turning 40 myself in 2017, and would love suggestions for people to get involved. Only requirements are: (1) To be female (2) To be turning 40 anytime between now and the end of 2017 (3) To be a lovely human being who wants to connect with other lovely human beings.

Please email me suggestions (name/email/one sentence about them) to [email protected]. It’s totally fine to suggest yourself too, if you fit the bill!

I THANK YOU AND THEY WILL THANK YOU!

PS: Please share with a friend if they might know some awesome 40s!

Have a great week.

Beth