A few months ago, I wrote a post about annoying current expressions like having said that and at the end of the day. That post came up in conversation this past weekend on a long, long trek to Miami and back.
You see, when you spend nine or ten hours in a car with other people in a single day, there’s going to be a lot of conversation. Any parent who has ever made the fatal error of driving cross-country with their kids on a “vacation” (ha ha) knows that.
And so, as part of my latest speaking gig, called On the Road With RRC [Residential Real Estate Council], I got in a car and went from Tampa to St. Pete to Sarasota to Miami in a day. Then, the following day, I got back into that car and drove from Miami to Cocoa Beach, then back to Sarasota and, finally, home to Tampa.
Total mileage in a two-day period: 785 miles. Total time spent in a car: about 15 hours.
Living La Vida Loca
I posted a photo on Facebook that said “Living la vida loca in Miami Beach.” It’s a nice pic of the beach view from the condo where we crashed after the first night’s charity event, Wings for a Cause. But truth be told, the only thing “loca” about that trip was the pace. We just did not stop.
I write all this because it’s instructive to remember that the speaker’s life, like that of the writer, is often not glamorous at all. Grinding out nearly 800 miles in two days. Wolfing down power bars and swilling iced coffee from a gas station. These are not the moments you’ll want to summon up on your death bed.
So why do we do it?
Well, it’s not just because we can get new clients by talking in front of a group of our ideal prospects. It’s also about the payoff of the act itself. In writing, when you’re in the zone, there’s nothing else like it. The star quarterback and the rock star must feel much the same. In speaking, it’s the laugh you get, the look of wonderment on the face of someone in the audience when you take them out of themselves. It’s the person who comes up to you afterwards and thanks you. It’s all that, and more.
Is there money involved? Yeah, there can be, but it’s not about that…at least not for me. The intangibles of speaking – the laughs, the gratitude, the lessons learned – are a lot like the otherworldly intangibles of writing. Different maybe, but similar all the same.