Before I became a full-time freelancer, I worked in the communications department at a large non-profit.
We didn't have to step up and put ourselves in an uncomfortable position, so we didn't. As long as we kept a low profile, we were safe until the next request for speakers…Or were we? I was avoiding a nerve-racking situation and getting to stay inside my warm and fuzzy comfort zone, but that actually came at a cost. First, my bosses couldn't have seen me as much of a leader. I was just one of the nervous herd. That might not seem like a huge deal, until you want to move up the ladder or need a glowing recommendation letter, that is. And second, I was missing out on a big opportunity to beef up my resume and to learn and practice a new skill. And when we avoid making presentations or decide to skip a networking event, who knows how much we're losing in terms of valuable relationships and future income? Whether you avoid these activities altogether or you seldom do them (and therefore probably do them poorly), there's no telling how much that costs you over a lifetime. That's not an earth-shattering revelation. We all know that relationships and exposure are important. So if we know how important a cold call or networking event can be, why do we do everything we can to avoid them?