Yesterday was TEDxNashville. TED and TEDx events are always a great time to expand our thinking, but for the last two years, they have taken on a different meaning for me. They represent a breakthrough, when I conquered the fear of sharing my idea about hustling to over 1000 people. It’s impossible to disconnect that TEDx talk with everything I’m doing now with The Unlikely Company.

But what always comes back to me when I go to TEDxNashville now is how incredibly uncomfortable and downright scared I was before I hit the stage. In fact, when I first walk on the stage after greeting the crowd, I turn around for about 4 seconds to try to manage the panic attack that was hitting me like a tidal wave. No kidding, just watch the first ten seconds of the talk from this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVNF5kfddZc&feature=youtu.be&t=11s

When I was done, I walked off the stage and was soooo happy to be done with it, and Ross the host grabbed me and said “Dude, get back out there, they are standing up for you.”. I couldn’t believe it. I quickly walked back out to thank the crowd and got off stage. During the intermission, I was out in the hallway and I still didn’t believe that it was any good. Not kidding. This young lady walked up and said “I’m going to paint your words on my ceiling so I can see them everyday when I wake up. Believe, Partner Up, Orchestrate.” I lost my breath.

That day changed my life. I spent 40 hours practicing for that moment when I got on stage, but I was still so scared to get out there. But I did it. And so a public speaker was born.

The point is, almost nothing life altering will happen when you are comfortable. It’s ok to have a comfortable week. Maybe even a comfortable month. But to have an entire season, or worse a year where you are just going through the motions, with nothing you’ve signed up for that scares you to death, is an exercise in talent atrophy. You will never know what you can do if you don’t push yourself to the point of discomfort regularly. You may also never find your purpose.

I now seek discomfort. I try to do one thing every year that is VERY uncomfortable. Because when I look back a year or so from that moment, it always represents a time of transformation and growth. I hope you’re trying to do something you have no business doing.

To your discomfort… and the Grind,

Marcus

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