A friend told me, “Derek, I have to apologize.”

I said, “Why?”

“Well, I always thought things came easy for you. And I didn’t think you worked that hard.”

I laughed…

Nothing comes easy. And if it’s worth having, you’ll have to wade through a moat filled with alligators, garbage and feces to get it.

I’ll explain…

People often think I’m a “natural” at speaking and at “being on video.”


That couldn’t be further from the truth.

You see, I became great at speaking and being on video because I wanted to become great at it.

I’d buy educational material to help me get better… including online courses, books, and workshops.

I’d practice regularly… including filming the same video over and over and over again until I got it right.

And most important: I gave myself permission to be bad because I knew if I kept at it eventually I’d get good.

To prove it, here’s a video of my first ever speaking engagement at an industry conference.

I did this BEFORE I launched Social Triggers. I did this BEFORE I launched a web tv show. I did this BEFORE I became the guy you know today.

I. was. horrible.

I’m monotonous. I’m boring. I have verbal tics. My neck is super red. And I just look uncomfortable.

Now compare that to a speaking engagement I did just a few months later at the same conference.

Notice how I came out from behind the podium? And how I’m a little more comfortable speaking? I’m cracking jokes. I’m a little more animated.

There was a drastic improvement in a very short amount of time… just a few months… but there was still work to do.

A few years later, I now look like a natural.

Maybe you’ve seen my newer YouTube videos… or maybe you’ve seen me at an event… but I’m pretty good.

I’m emphatic. I talk with my hands. I raise my voice. I lower my voice. I pause. I do everything a good speaker should do… and it shows.

But getting there wasn’t easy.

I remember calling a friend before a speaking engagement and rehearsing my opening to my speech 57 times.

I also remember filming the SAME video over and over and over again until I got it right.

And I kept working at it.

The best part?

I’ve done this in many areas of my life.

I used to be awkward in social situations… and now I can walk into any room and own it.

I used to be bad at public speaking… and now I command $20,000 for a keynote.

I used to be a bad writer… and now my writing is great.

And the list goes on.

The secret to greatness? It’s easier than you think…

I’d buy educational material. I’d practice. And most important, I’d give myself permission to be bad.


No matter what you’re trying to accomplish: invest in yourself, practice regularly, and give yourself permission to be bad.

And you’ll thank me later.

Now what I’d love to hear from you is this:

– What’s one thing you used to be bad at that you’re now GREAT at?

– What did you do to go from “bad” to “great?”

Leave a comment right here and be as specific as possible.

This is your chance to brag. So I want to hear all sorts of things!

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