NMX Speaker Proposal Lessons

The New Media Expo aka NMX just wrapped last weekend in Las Vegas. I have to admit it is generating bittersweet emotions. It is sweet because of my fond memories from BlogWorld LA at the end 2011. I really regret not capturing my mindset at that time, but I was so overwhelmed and inspired that I could hardly contain myself.

Year Long Goal

If you have been following my blog, for the past year, you know that I have aspirations to be a speaker at the next NMX event. Since I did not attend, I missed reaching my goal. If I did, I would be reporting my Las Vegas adventures about rubbing elbows with Amy Jo Martin, Dana White, Guy Kawasaki, and all the other incredible thought leaders.

Since I didn’t make it this year, I will rant about my BlogWorld to NMX misadventures. Valuable lesson learned, if something out of this world is happening to you, I suggest you write them down no matter how tired you are. You will capture the raw emotions you’re going through so you will better learn from your experience. You will also better serve your community by sharing your event and lessons learned.

BlogWorld LA 2011

I still recall how exhausted I was when I returned home from that weekend of BlogWorld LA. I may not have been able to capture all my thoughts and emotions in a blog post but I did channel my energy in drafting an impromptu speaker proposal to the Blogworld brain trust. I normally would share my proposal to vent and to heal, but based on Allison Boyer’s advice, Don’t Let Your Speaker Proposal Go to Waste! I’m going to table it so I can re-purpose it at a later time.

Indecent Proposal

Long story short, after firing off my what I thought was a surefire speaker’s proposal I never heard from anyone again. Are you serious? We’re talking Pulitzer Prize material here! Oh well. Fortunately, time heals all wounds, life moved on, and I mapped out my goals for 2012. I put it out there that I wanted to speak somewhere, but my flaw was being too generic. I gave myself wiggle room and a loophole to escape from accountability.

FinCon12 and NMX 2013

Secretly in my mind, I was eying the Financial Blogger Conference and the New Media Expo. With Baby Buck just a few months old, I couldn’t escape for a quick trip to Denver for the Financial Blogger Conference. To be honest, I saw the speaker roster and probably just chickened out.

My next chance was the NMX. Once again I was hesitating and hoping that the NMX would return to Los Angeles. Since the commute would be shorter, it would be not as difficult for me to break away from the family to hit the best new media show in town. However I may have just been making excuses. Did I really want it? If I truly wanted it like I was claiming I did, nothing would have held me back from getting to the New Media Expo, regardless of the location. As I was mentally going through my tug-of-war, a little birdie sent me an email from the NMX. They had saw my speaker’s proposal from a year ago, and wanted to remind me to submit my formal proposal for the upcoming event in Las Vegas.

He’s Alive!

I felt like I had won the lottery! I recall sitting at my desk at work and not being able to do anything. My heart was racing, my adrenaline was pumping, and I could barely breathe. Looking back, it was an insane concoction of excitement, nervousness, and anxiety. When I settled down, fear actually took hold as I wondered what if I actually get selected? Can I step up? What business do I have speaking at the prestigious NMX? It felt like Ramit Sethi and Pat Flynn almost killed Buck Inspire all over again.

I remember yelling and screaming at my loved ones about how excited I was at the opportunity. Everything became clear. I knew this is what I wanted and needed to do. I finally knew wholeheartedly what it feels like when you find your life’s passion. But old habits die hard, and I shriveled up in the moment.

What Do You Have To Lose?

After discussing my dilemma with my brain trust, I decided to push forward and go through the process of submitting a formal speaker’s proposal. Here is a quick breakdown of what I needed to do in Speaker Proposal Resources.

Lessons Learned

Regardless of the outcome, I learned two very important things. From Jen at Master the Art of Saving, I learned the art of self-forgiveness. In the past, if I run into a setback and missed a goal, I would beat myself up like nobody else. Second-guessing, coupled with negative labeling and self-doubt, my mental and emotional state would be even lower than when I first started pursuing my goal. It’s amazing I even attempted anything. In the future, if I’m going to miss a goal, I should take the high road, reassess, learn, and push forward. The second thing I learned is that I actually lack the two pre-requisites for being successful speaker material.

Half Man, Half Amazing

First of all, speakers do amazing things that many of the general public sees as amazing too. Secondly, they are experts in sought-after niches. In terms of blogging and writing, I’m doing okay, but nothing close to amazing. On the second point, I’m more of a jack of all trades with a little bit of blogging, a little bit of podcasting, a little bit of personal finance mixed in with some travel and parenting. I can’t really say I’m an expert in a sought-after niche. In the past I would naively allow myself to squeak by by projecting that one day I will be an expert in a niche and I will do something amazing.

Master Of None

To make myself more accountable I am going to be realistic and accept my jack-of-all-trades personality. If this is the case, my best shot of being a successful speaker is to continually look for ways to do amazing things. Last year, I was too easy-going and free flowing because I convinced myself I always had two viable paths to go. I figured I would eventually get there so don’t sweat it. We can see how effective that was. I don’t have this plan worked out quite yet, but at least through the process of elimination, I can now focus on the amazing part, which is a step in the right direction.

However, I am not ready to be a speaker due to my problems exposed in my first video interview. On top of that, I have not found my amazing topic yet so I’m putting the cart in front of the horse. Also I now realize I was cutting corners. I wanted the rewards, status, and prestige of a speaker without putting in the work. Shame on me.

Final Thoughts

Thank you NMX for passing on my proposal. I was not ready for prime time and I would’ve embarrassed myself. I will practice my presentation skills and focus on doing more amazing things. In the future when you do accept my proposal, my presentation and performance will be worthy of the NMX stage.

If you have a goal, don’t take shortcuts and shortchange everyone in the process. Put in the time and effort, and your achievement will be that much more sweeter. Just do me one favor, tell me all the juicy details when you finally do get there. I know you can do it.

For more information on the New Media Expo, visit http://nmxlive.com today.

Stay Inspired!
Buck

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4 Responses

  1. krantcents says:

    Keep trying and it will happen! There are millions of stories how the next time someone tried it worked. Sometimes you have just play the numbers because eventually it happens!

  2. Arlee Bird says:

    This is the post I’ve been waiting for. I’ve been waiting to hear about your NMX experiences and now I see that like me, you didn’t go either. You’ve expressed some of my own thoughts, excitements, and apprehensions. I can’t believe what a parallel road we’re on concerning this.

    BlogWorld fired me up too. But 2012 wore me down a bit and the fire cooled. The event being in Las Vegas didn’t help much. My lack of income meant Las Vegas would be unlikely and the time of year didn’t help much either.

    Sometime when I was traveling over the past year I too received an email from one of the BlogWorld big shots requesting more information about my proposal to them in 2011 before the L.A. show. They indicated that they were reviewing those emails and told me they were interested in knowing more about the A to Z Challenge to see if it would be a good fit for one of their presentations.

    I didn’t see the email until several weeks after I had received it–so many emails had stacked up while I was traveling even though I was trying to stay on top of them every day. I didn’t bother answering, mostly because I was still so busy, and also I just plain kept forgetting.

    Talk about missed opportunities. Maybe I can go back and recapture something here. I still think the A to Z topic is a hot one for NMX, especially if this years 4th is at least a as big of a success as last year. I’ve kept the email and I’ll go back later and try to sheepishly make amends and see what the future holds.

    In case you think A to Z could benefit your blog (and it could!) be sure to check out the event info at http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com . A to Z can really gain your blog a lot of exposure and hone your blogging chops. It can work for any blog–believe me, I’ve seen it working and many will attest to it.

    Good luck with your future proposals and events. I know you can do it. NMX here we come!

    • Buck Inspire says:

      What a coincidence we met at BlogWorld LA and we are now on a parallel path. It’s great the NMX big wigs were interested in your A to Z Challenge. I’m sure they would still be interested as it does generate a lot of buzz. I’m really strapped for time, but see how beneficial it is. I actually still owe you a guest post. Good Luck to you on your future proposals and events as well. Yes, NMX HERE WE COME!

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