Barriers, Fear, and guitar

Last week, OnX Enterprise Solutions, the company for whom I work had their annual Sales Kick Off meeting. This time, it was held at a very nice resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. I had a wonderful time, not just meeting or reconnecting with coworkers from across the US, Canada and UK, but also hearing of their successes, looking at some of their solutions, and sharing.

In addition to these, we had the opportunity to hear speakers from all echelons of our organization, and presentations from customers and partners ranging from Cisco to Hewlett Packard, to Splunk, and others.

For me, the highlight of the conference was the gathering on Wednesday night of the OnDemandBand. Essentially, a number of our employees, myself included, were invited to bring their instruments, and perform for the party. The band was led by the amazing Patrick Sites, of the great Bluegrass ensemble, Whitewater Ramble. Patrick is also a fantastic solution architect here at OnX, but plays a mean Mandolin. Such a pleasure to be able to perform with him.

In addition, my boss, Jeff Swann, who specializes in Information Intelligence, also an accomplished drummer, was in the band. Like a metronome with fills, he kept us Rock Steady.

I got a chance to perform on guitar, which is something I love, but rarely do in front of an audience, and was even asked to sing.

All in all, we did get to play for close to an hour and a half, and we were received quite well in our performance. Such a thrill to have this chance.

So why am I writing about this? Well, it’s about facing one’s fears.

While I knew that I’d have no real issues performing on the guitar, I had definite concerns about my voice and singing the two songs that had been chosen for me. Needless to say, my nervousness was palpable. I had the benefit of being in front of our workforce, but still, I was somewhat intimidated.

Once I’d committed to doing this, though, there really wasn’t (at least in my mind) any opportunity to back out.

Now, I’ve done a lot of public speaking in recent years. I’m good in front of an audience, and quite comfortable presenting, of course, if I am confident in my knowledge of the subject. But again, keeping in key, coordinating my singing with the rest of the band, and not embarrassing myself were tops on my list…

Well, I did it. I was so happy to have done it, and spent hours after the show on a complete energy buzz. It was one of the highlights of my year.

Face your fears, because you never know what you can do unless you try to do it.

Thanks to my band mates: Mitch Maghakian, Charles Molinari, AJ Mulvey, Greg Harrison, Jeff Swann, and the amazing Patrick Sites.





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