I don't remember the date. I don't remember the person's name. I don't remember much about what she looked like. I don't even remember the topic of the breakout session. But I'll never forget that brief conversation.
We were attending a session at the Women's Foodservice Forum Leadership Conference. (I'm guessing it was 2009?)
The speaker must have asked us to share a goal or dream. I remember leaning in toward my partner and saying, practically in a whisper, petrified, "I think I want to be a speaker."
She leaned in and said, "I think you should."
And that was the beginning. Eventually, a while later, I told another person. And then another. And then another. Some were supportive. Some were skeptical. It took a lot of whispering before I was able to say it in full voice, but eventually, it got to the point that I'd be happy to share with anyone willing to listen.
Ten years ago, I didn't know what "Be a speaker" would look like. I could hardly dare to believe it was even a remote possibility. But now I can't be more thrilled at how it turned out. In a world of side hustles and social media, you don't have to quit your day job to pursue your passion. You just have to be creative and persistent.
Dare to dream. Then dare to speak that dream.