Tuesday, September 11, 2012


"He is dead in this world who has no belief in another."

- Johan Wolfgang von Goethe

In late 2005 my good friend Kelsey August asked me what I was going to do to promote my book. It was a great question, one that I had no idea how to answer.

"Well now you've got to get out there and speak,"she said with her trademark smile.

Those words still create goose bumps when I think about them. Yes, fear immediately took hold.

"Umm no, I'm a writer, not a speaker," I sheepishly protested.

"Look Steve that isn't going to work. You've got to get out there and tell the world about the book and speaking is the way to do it!" I thought to myself sure I'll find some little group to talk to, I could do that. But not yet. I'm not ready! But before the words could come out, she was already planning out my future.

"I've already lined up a gig for you. You're going to be speaking at the American Marketing Association to about 150 people. Everything is all set."  She kept talking but honestly I don't remember much of what she said after that. 

Me speak? No way. I'm not a speaker. I'm not even a very good writer.  What in the world would these people ever want to hear from me. Little 'ol unimpressive me! Oh things were going horribly out of control and I was going to make a fool of myself and embarrass my friend!  I wanted to scream "No!" but I couldn't.  The wheels of motion were already in progress.

Sometime I'll share my the details of my first speaking experience but not today. No, today is about something else.  It's about finding my belief. Belief I didn't know I had until a good friend shared her's with me.

You see, Kelsey believed in me. She believed in me more than I believed in myself.  That belief came at the exact time that I needed it.  In fact her belief in me, her willingness to put her own reputation on the line and get me that first speaking gig forever changed the course of my life.

The speaking gig went way better than I ever imagined. In fact the rush I got from delivering the message, my message, was paramount to the highest of highs.  The adrenaline of taking on that challenge and coming out the other side largely unscathed was one of the greatest moments of my life.  And when I looked down from my speaker's perch and saw my good friend Kelsey down in front beaming with pride, I knew she had helped put me on a path that I was destined for all along. One I may never have found had it not been for her belief in me and what I had to offer this world.

Belief is a powerful, powerful thing. When you share your behalf in another, there is absolutely no limits to the Ripples you create in that person's life.  It is the fuel that fires the engine, gets them through the fear and reminds them nothing is impossible if they just try.  And if they stumble, you'll be there to pick them up, dust them off and gently push them back out there to try again.

I've spent the last 7 years trying to repay that Ripple that Kelsey started for me by believing in others, fueling their passions and trying to play some role in changing their lives. I wouldn't have that opportunity it wasn't for Kelsey insisting I could face my fear and get out there on that stage. It's led me to some amazing places, introduced me to incredible people and taught me that I had something worth sharing.  Today I believe in myself and the Ripple more than ever and I am grateful for my friend's belief in me all those years ago.

Who needs to know you believe in them? Share your belief in them and help them in whatever way you can and you'll be responsible for creating one of the best Ripples you can create.

Ripple On!!!


Kelsey said...

Steve, you are the greatest of friends (going on 2 decades). I love your energy, I cherish our times together. Thank you for all your support. You too have given me life changing advice, I am still reaping the rewards.
Cheers always,

Juliana said...

What a valuable quote! I totally agree with Johan Wolfgang that belief is the most important part of our life if we want to live peaceful life. Nice article Steve!