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It’s What You Don’t Know You Don’t Know That’s Holding You Back

by | Career in Public Speaking | 3 comments

what you don't know you don't know
Years ago when I started speaking, I was really excited. Maybe too excited. I was taking massive actions!

I paid a bunch of people to coach me. I deprived myself of a lot of time scrambling for enough cash to pay those coaches.

One of those coaches told me to put a brochure and business card inside all the bills I was writing a check for. He said to me since you are paying them, it’s a great idea to sell them as well. I followed his direction precisely as I was instructed.

As soon as I would get out of bed, I would pull my daily goals and start implementing. Someone told me I needed to go and introduce myself to as many people as possible.

Twice a week, I would go to different networking events to introduce myself and pass around my business cards.

I did all of that relentlessly for eight months. Can you guess how many speaking engagements I got after month number eight?

Zero. Zilch. Nada.

In fact, people were not even returning my calls or replying to my emails. I mean, I could not find any speaking engagement. No one would give me a chance. That was so freaking frustrating!

I started doubting myself. I was thinking, “Maybe I’m not qualified. Maybe speaking is not my calling.”

Do you remember how we used to get upset when telemarketers would call to disrupt us? Well, those days, I was happy when a telemarketer would call. At least my phone was ringing. Do you see what I mean.

I was so close to giving up and walking away from all my efforts.

One of the veteran speakers told me I needed to do a lot of unpaid gigs to get to the paid ones. He said in those kinds of audiences, some people would book me for a fee.

That sounded excellent to me. I started knocking on doors for the opportunity to speak for nothing. I got about fifteen of those gigs. Guess how many paid ones I landed from those?

Zero. Zilch. Nada.

I’m not kidding. I was so done with this speaking thing. I was spending all my money to make it work. I maxed out all my credit cards. Later I took a second mortgage on my house.

I attended so many conventions and hired so many speaking coaches. I remember when I paid this guy $10,000 to create a demo video for me. I spent another $12,000 to attend a weekend seminar. That was insane!

By the way, I was doing all of that while keeping my full-time job as a doorman at the hotel. Yep! I used all my tips’ money to finance my speaking business.

Looking back, everything I did that was not working should have worked. Those ideas were all perfect. But, some ingredients were still missing. And I didn’t know what they were.

Have you ever felt that there’s something you need to know so you can have your breakthrough? Well, here’s the real truth:

It’s what you don’t know you don’t know that is holding you back.

Did you get that? Since you don’t know you don’t know, you will never go find and learn it. In fact, you would not even know it even if it were right in front of your face. It’s the invisible success factors even the highly successful people cannot tell you.

I remember a friend of mine telling me to be patient. She said it’s like planting seeds. You can’t expect them to grow overnight.

She was right. Most people never allow enough time to make something work. However, in most cases, it doesn’t matter how patient we are. Because we can do the wrong things patiently for years.

Fortunately, through trial and error, I was able to break the code and access the real and critical ingredients that can make you succeed.

Once you get your hands on those ingredients, you will instantly catapult yourself to the top. And it doesn’t matter if you have terrible stage fright, no experience, or degrees. None of that matters

I will share with you the step-by-step process to catapult your speaking career in another post.


  1. Abe Elijah

    I just came across your video with Pastor Rob Parsley and I feel inspired. I’m an active pastor who wants more, a fairly ok speaker but I have this feeling devouring me within that I have more to give than I currently offer. Ever since, I’ve been looking for what is missing and ways to go about it.

    • Rene Godefroy

      Awesome Abe! That feeling is God nudging you. Take action! Step out on faith. He will guide your steps. If you need coaching, check out my program.

  2. Peter Archangel

    I’m captivated. Send me the steps.


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