What A Speaking Tour Experience is Really Like!
Over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I did something I've never done before. I was invited on a speaking tour in the US and travelled to 4 cities in 5 days. I've always wondered what it would be like to go on a speaking tour and now I have first hand experience. Would I do it again? Stay tuned.....
On paper, the logistics of the tour looked easy enough:
• Sea plane from Nanaimo to Vancouver
• Vancouver to Salt Lake City
• Event at the USANA Home Office 6-8 pm
• Stay overnight nearby
• Visit to USANA Home Office
• Salt Lake City to Seattle
• Dinner with local USANA family
• Stay at the Doubletree
• Event at the Doubletree from 10 - 1 PM
• Seattle to San Francisco
• Stay at the Crowne Plaza
• Morning free for tourist time
• Event from 3 - 5 PM
• San Francisco to Vancouver
• Stay at the Fairmont Airport
• Fly back to Nanaimo via sea plane
Only one time zone change too! And considering my speaking partner for the SLC and San Francisco events flew back and forth from Miami.....my schedule was much more reasonable.
What were the best parts of the tour experience?
The number one thing has to be the connections I made with real human beings.
My workshop has a section on heart-centered leadership. I invite us all to lead with love in every aspect of our lives. Which means that in every interaction we remember that the person in front of us is a human being.
I met so many wonderful people from our USANA family, I learned from other USANA leaders and I met a lot of new people as I traveled through airports and hotels. I chose to make an effort to be kind as much as possible, whenever I met another human.
Also having the opportunity to travel with Nathan from home office and create a stronger friendship was pretty awesome.
Something else that was really special was watching the sunrise in 4 different cities. It's the perfect time of year, as the sun rise is close to 7 am so it's not to early. I captured a stunning Seattle sunrise over a small pond behind our hotel. That was a truly magical gift. And then seeing the sunset and full moon rise from the plane to San Francisco! It's an experience I've never had before and likely never will again.
Sharing my passion for gratitude.
My topic for the first half of the workshop was on creating an exceptional customer experience. For me, that means showing gratitude. I shared my own story of how gratitude has helped me through my struggles and also played a role in my successes. This part of the workshop had an immediate impact on many people. I shared a lot of business strategies and skills too. Yet all the people who approached me after the workshop thanked me for reminding them to be grateful.
I realized what I can do.
For many years, I've wanted to lean into doing more speaking events. Moving to Vancouver Island I thought that doing a tour like this might be logistically hard. And I didn't know if I could handle all the flights and hotels in such a short period of time. I was able to do it and also stay healthy, keep my voice and share my workshop to 3 different audiences in 4 days.
Based on all these amazing things that came out of the tour - yes I would do something like this again. Perhaps not every month but certainly a few times a year.
What about the challenges?
Ah yes. It's all so glamorous on paper. Behind the scenes there were definitely some challenges!
Food and meals were a challenge. We spent a lot of time at airports, at weird times of the day. I ended up not having dinner most nights because we would eat a late lunch and arrive after 7 PM. I prefer not to eat too late so I chose to have a few snacks instead. Also because I cannot eat gluten and choose not to eat meat....often the options were limited. Food is usually stressful for me when travelling. I did bring a lot of snacks and also found that many restaurants had some great options for me.
Unpacking and packing were also a challenge. Thankfully I'm a fairly organized person. Every time I arrived at a hotel, I'd unpack my pjs, get my outfit ready for the next day and had an outfit in my carry on to change into for travel. I thought I might have over packed. In the end I wore everything but one blazer and my bathing suit. No time for the hot tub this trip!
The biggest challenge of this trip was the timing.
I've suffered from endometriosis since I was 15. Which means when I get my period, it's very painful. Usually, I will take up to 3 days to relax and sit with my hot pad and take baths. I knew I would be in the most difficult part of my cycle on this tour. I packed my electric hot pad in my carry on, I had adhesive hot patches for the speaking events and a lot of Advil and Tylenol (my body doesn't tolerate prescription pain meds well). It was hard. And often I was in a lot of pain. What did help was the adrenaline of when I was speaking and sharing my workshop I could almost forget the pain.
The lesson I was given is that being able to complete a successful speaking tour even though I was in my most difficult part of my cycle means that I can just about do anything. I realized that fear of travelling during my period had been holding me back. To be clear, I would not CHOOSE to travel during my period, I'd much rather be at home. However now I know that I CAN do it, if the timing dictates.
I'm stronger than I thought.
In a few days, I'll be sharing my newest project, 30 Days of Self Love. I've been doing interviews with women and men about how their work and businesses see self love and what they choose to do for themselves as acts of self love. I am very excited to share these videos on Facebook. If you're not already following my page, please visit Facebook.com/juliecmboyer.