SPECIAL CONTRIBUTOR: Drew Dudley, Past Speaker & Conference Host of TEDxToronto
Hours before my first TEDxToronto talk in 2010, I destroyed my only decent pair of shoes. A few weeks earlier I had quit my job, and sunk every penny I had (and that VISA would allow me to pretend to have) into my start-up. So, when the heel tore off my left shoe, I didn’t have much of a choice – I found a stapler and MacGyver’d up the best solution I could.
My students in the Leadership Program at the University of Toronto had pushed me into applying to be a speaker. I resisted, intimidated by those three big red letters. I told them that TED stages were for the “big timers”, and I was, after all, just “a part-time speaker”.
Ironically, I had also told them that I would never accept them using the word “just” to describe themselves. “Every time you say you’re ‘just’ something, you give everyone, including yourself, permission to expect less from you,” I said. They were quick to remind me of that.