The thing that most readily comes to mind is that walk around competition. It was something that was so terrifying to me initially that I didn’t even want to participate in the dealership event. I almost choked in the first minute doing that one, but I pulled myself together and finished it, knowing it was sub par, but that I had done what I set out to do.
Of course, when I won, I had to move on to the semi finals in D.C. which required a herculean effort, leaving after a dealer event late to drive straight through the night to get to D.C., sleep and study at the hotel, and then be the last person to compete the next afternoon. Again, I felt like it was sub par, but I checked all the boxes I set out to check. Again, I won that one, too.
Finally, in Miami, I had a better time of studying, as I had developed a system, and I knew how I could best approach it. I was the last person to go, again. I had to overcome the nerves of being video taped–from multiple angles–despite what we were told ahead of time. I knew I hit all my topics, and was more confident that I came closer to performing at my peak. To then hear my name called as the winner was one of the biggest delights of my life, because I felt I had not only surprised all those around me (I had no right to do that having only been a part of the brand for 4 months at that point) but I also surprised myself. And I saw then that I had once again touched the ceiling of my once intimidating new venture.
I keep coming back to it because I think that it illustrates a number of important skills and abilities I have. It also gave me great recognition professionally, which led to new opportunities and experiences.
I learned that I am good at understanding the “game,” seeing what is really at stake, and positioning myself to win. The competition could not really prove who was best in principle, only award a winner based on points, and I made sure I got the most points possible. I also developed a system for ensuring my performance within the limits I was given. Finally, I was able to accomplish my goal, and so forever keep this big confidence booster that I have done something which once seemed highly unlikely, and did it with little external support save my wife.