Last night my wife and I attended the Holiday Party for the National Speakers Association – Georgia chapter. As always, it was a great time, with non-stop enjoyable conversations. I really am thankful to have that group of people, and the NSA organization, in my life.
When I joined NSA more than fifteen years ago, I was a wide-eyed twenty something with abundant excitement and little real knowledge about the profession of “Speaking.” Going to those first meetings, I was a little intimidated but mostly curious and awed by the talent and variety of interesting characters … some of which are still members today.
NSA is a remarkable group. People openly share all of their information, business practices, and trade secrets with one another. The support is heartfelt and genuine. After I got over the initial shock and suspicion, I’m convinced that NSA cut my learning curve by several years. But, more importantly, it gave me a group of people to consider colleagues, as well as friends, as we all seek to become better over time and help others to do the same. In many ways, although I am one of the group’s veterans now, I feel that I am still that beginning student. There is no end to learning in this remarkable, ever changing profession. Learning, in any meaningful endeavor, is a lifelong process.
I’m hopeful that you have an association of people like this in your life, too. That’s how we stay connected, accountable, and motivated to continue past our discouragements and challenges. We can’t do it alone.