Get Better

Back in March I delivered my annual sermon on building an Internet Business at

My theme this year was “Concentrate on What Counts” and many audience members – including over ten ETR Virtual Mastermind Members – said this was my best sermon ever.”You get better every time,” they said.

Telling my laser eye surgery story on stage

I am grateful for their comments. I follow the rules of deliberate practice. I spend time learning about good presentations, even drawing from stand-up comedy. I practice my speech, and spend a lot of time organizing the info so that it is delivered in the right way.

Many years back I was a struggling personal trainer/small business owner, just like much of the audience and many of our ETR readers. (According to our recent ETR survey, over 39% of readers are self-employed. We were shocked – and excited – at how many entrepreneurs are among our readership.)

But as a young trainer, I took steps that were different from 99% of my colleagues. I knew that I wanted to have an online business, and so each morning I’d wake up at 4:30am (hard then, but easy now) to write fitness articles for my website. That was before I’d catch a bus downtown to train clients all day.

I struggled. But my writing improved with deliberate practice. A couple of years later I started doing more speaking. I wasn’t terrible, but my energy levels were unacceptable. I’ve worked extremely hard at bringing the energy to my presentations, and polishing my delivery. According to one audience member that counted, he heard only two “Um’s” in my hour-long sermon.

That matters. That’s the type of feedback I’m looking for. I want it to be ZERO next time. And I can practice to consciously be aware of my speech rate so that I avoid those in the future.

Heck, even my jokes worked this time! And this is due to the stand-up comedy acts I studied, plus reading Dan Kennedy’s book about humor in presentations.

During my sermon I also shared my weaknesses and how I was able to overcome them. Despite being introverted, I’ve managed to become a good networker at events (even though I’m no Gary Young, ETR’s copywriter and chief connector).

Gary will strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere, at anytime, and he’ll add value to their life. That’s essential to success. We call it, “Making the Pie Bigger”. You want to go out and add value, turn competitors into co-operators, and make other people better. When you do that, the only thing that can happen is that your life and business will get better.

Get better every time.

Your 10-minute task is to identify the ONE major skill you want to improve in the next four weeks.

From there, schedule a plan of deliberate practice. Spend 30 minutes per day, five days per week, working on challenging yourself to improve in this task. Connect with a mentor (that is also an expert in this skill) that can give you feedback on your deliberate practice.

If you commit to this strategy of Getting Better Every Time, you will truly change your life – no matter what skill it is, you CAN get better.

Keep on pushing,

Craig Ballantyne
You cannot brighten another person’s path without lighting your own. – Frank McKinney