Message for Your Younger Self


Around the time I gave this talk, some 30 years ago, I had a realization at work one day that I wanted to be a presentation coach.  I was  helping another coach prepare for a speaker training when it  hit me — I wanted to  help people show up in front of a crowd  as their full  selves and  connect with their  audience.  

I carried  my little epiphany around with me until one day, I shared it with an older, trusted colleague  and… he crushed it. That’s right. He said, “It’s a very competitive field.  Too many people are doing it.  I would find something else.”  

So, I ended up becoming a film/video producer because everyone knows that’s way less competitive, right? (It’s not, but that escaped me.) 

I wish I could time travel into that conference room where I huddled with the colleague  thinking he would help me plan my next career move and  say to my younger self, “Most things worth doing are competitive. Don’t listen to him. He  doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”  

Although  my route was more circuitous than it might have been, I ended up becoming a  presentation coach  anyway! So, he didn’t keep me from my dream, just hindered it for a few years, and I learned about film and video in the interim. 

 What desire has someone crushed in you that you could still pursue? Do you need to time travel and say to your younger self  what you couldn’t say then? Or,  pay it forward and  encourage someone else?  Sometimes all it takes are a few words of appreciation when someone reaches out for advice about how to take the next step in the direction of a dream career or project.  

 If you time travel this week, I’d love to hear what you say to your younger self. Please comment  here 



Gigi Rosenberg is an author, artist coach and editor of Professional Artist. She wrote The Artist’s Guide to Grant Writing (Watson-Guptill) and coaches artists to help them find funding, blast through creative blocks and launch vibrant marketing plans. To download “5 Steps to Your Artist Statement, visit