As the Zoom meeting closed, I smiled into the camera until all had for sure ended, and click – it was over.
I had been staring into the ring light and camera lens for 6 hours straight, as Emcee for a multi-day virtual conference, and this was the 3rd and final day.
Holding myself up from collapse, I quickly disconnected the microphone, shut the computer down, hurriedly unbuttoned my shirt, stripped off my SPANX (yeah I wear the shirt for men, so what), and stumbled 12 steps down the hall and into my bed.
I fell sound asleep for 3 hours.
“THIS IS THE LIFE OF THE RICH AND FAMOUS!” (say that in the immortal voice of Robin Leach)
Upon waking, I took the rest of the day to walk around the lake by our home, played basketball with my sons, let my daughter drive around the empty church parking lot, took my wife out for a quick dinner date, and read my youngest child a story as he fell asleep.
This is the new life of the Virtual Speaker, and because of the taxing nature of these Zoom events, I am learning a valuable lesson I never really gave myself permission to experience for nearly 2 decades of being on stages around the world:
I Now Celebrate The Wins
I consider a multi-day emcee job, virtual or in-person, a BIG WIN.
I consider a Keynote Speech, virtual or in-person, a BIG WIN.
I consider even just making it through yet another Virtual Call, Podcast Interview, or Livestream a BIG WIN.
For 20 YEARS I never celebrated the wins.
Before 2020, I would drive from my home in SLC, UT, 6 hours to Las Vegas, do the sound check, perform for 90-minutes, standing ovation, adulation, selfies and high fives, sign autographs…and race back to my room and –
Responding to emails, generating invoices, updating spreadsheets and CRMs, posting to social media, and continue deep into the night…sometimes not even going to sleep – and driving home another 6 hours.
This is a true story and it was the story I lived, over and over, night after night, BIG WIN after BIG WIN.
I told myself after every event, no matter how great or poorly it went, that I HAD to work 24/7.
The second the event was over, I was back at the computer, working, getting things done, lining up the next event.
NEVER celebrating the wins.
Occasionally I might go to dinner with The Band (if I had worked with one that event), or with a client or friend if they insisted….
But I rarely celebrated the WINS.
Why this confession?
Because it just dawned on me that 2020, perhaps the most un-celebrate-able year in the history of the world, has taught me to celebrate.
This is the ultimate story of how I broke The Promise To The One – to myself – over and over, leading to a constant level of burn-out.
Was I happy after a great event?
I actually began to be annoyed that I had an event that was in my way of working…
How backwards is that thinking?
That’s called burnout. That’s called breaking promises to yourself. Living your dream and being mad about it.
How do I look at events now? With EXTREME gratitude, it feels like a MILESTONE and is a literal BLESSING!
My friend, as you read, I hope you think about your celebration of the wins when it is deserved.
YOU deserve to celebrate…even just making it through yet another daily ZOOM call.
You may think that never stopping, never resting, never feeling happiness, your self-righteous flagellation is necessary to yet suffer through another day’s work – and trust me, I would understand your reasoning, as I’ve been there – but I would implore you to begin, if you haven’t before, to CELEBRATE THE WINS.
Most importantly, perhaps, also –
Cut yourself a break.
Especially in 2020. Holy cow, man, do we need to give ourselves ANY REASON to Celebrate!
As we enter Q4 and Holiday Party Season, I would love to be the guy you bring to your company event, whether in-person or virtual, to bring much needed laughs, music, and perspective. It is needed now more than ever, this awesome thing I get to do for a living, that is essential to your company’s needs.
I’d love to help make that happen.
And I’m going to make you, and me, a Promise as well – I have had it with the SPANX. Seriously, the SPANX doesn’t deserve a place in my closet, nor my subconscious.
(Socially Distanced Pantomime High-Five!)
~ jason hewlett
Leadership Coach * Virtual Keynote Speaker * Speaker Hall of Fame
The Promise To The One