I’m writing this blog from New York City where my book, The Bounce Back was just awarded 2013 Winner for “Best Career Book’ by the Indie Book Awards (kind of like the Sundance Film Festival but for books! :)) It has been an exhilarating, whirlwind week of awards ceremonies, dinner at The Harvard Club, media interviews and one very cool red carpet event.
The funny thing is, I almost didn’t write the book.
I had no intention of writing a second book until Marcus Buckingham nudged me. I had first met Marcus, author of “First, Break All the Rules,” and “Now Go Discover Your Strengths” a couple of years after I had written my first book. I stood in line to get his autograph at a conference in Orlando, Florida where he spoke. That chance introduction led to a few follow-up conversations and then meeting him at his office in Beverly Hills. It was during that meeting that he graciously offered to give me advice if I ever wrote a 2nd book.
Up until that time, I had never even thought of writing anther book. However, when Marcus said that, it was as if a green light went off inside me. I become super-charged with thoughts and ideas for a 2nd book. Within 48 hours I had the outline for The Bounce Back sketched out, and three months later, the book was written.
I’ve started thinking about the “nudgers” in my life. Those who encouraged me to move in a new direction, take on something big, or stretch outside of my comfort zone.
Once, I had a manager who nudged me from a marketing role into a technical role. He encouraged me in such a supportive way that I embraced the challenge with vigor, and as a result achieved one of the biggest accomplishments in my career. I would never have done that without his support.
Another nudge came from a conference speaker I randomly met at a Project Management conference in Denver, Colorado. I told him how great of a speaker I thought he was, and he encouraged me to become a speaker. At the time, I thought there was no way I could ever get up and speak in front of such a large crowd, but through his mentorship I’ve now spoken at more than 100 conferences.
It helps to have people nudge you, but ultimately, you have to nudge yourself. You have to find the courage to step up and take a risk. I know how scary it can be. I know that it’s so much easier to stay inside your cushy-cozy comfort zone. But if you stay where you are you’ll be missing out on what you could become. You will never experience new highs. The thrill of big wins. The feeling of accomplishment.
And what if they pay-off doesn’t come? Well, then maybe the payoff is simply a development opportunity. A new skill that you learned or strengthened. A new experience that you gained. A new confidence you found in yourself. Never-the-less, you will learn S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G.
So the next time someone tries to nudge you, accept the challenge.
It could be the best thing you ever do for yourself!
Cheers from The Harvard Club in New York City!
Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and award-winning author named 2013 “BEST CAREER BOOK” by Indie Book Awards for independently published book authors for her book “The Bounce Back – personal stories of bouncing back higher and faster after a layoff, re-org or career setback”. She also authored, “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand” – which is on AMAZON’s TOP 50 LIST for personal branding books. Sherri is the President and Founder of Career Coaching 360 which provides resume help, interviewing support, and personal career coaching packages for executives and professionals who want to change their career.
For a limited time, you can download the three FREE chapters of “The Bounce Back” at http://www.MyBounceBack.com