Leaving My Comfort Zone

19 November 2008 · 8 comments

As many of you know, I’ve begun to push myself in new directions. My personal finance blog has been wildly successful, and because of this I’ve been presented with new opportunities.

Public speaking

For one, I’ve been offered some speaking engagements. I spoke to graduating students at Western Oregon University last spring, and last weekend I gave a talk at the Multnomah County Library. Though I was one course shy of a speech communication minor, making presentations to groups right now scares the hell out of me. It’s tough.

I console myself with the knowledge that I will get better with practice. It used to be that I was very nervous when I met “imaginary friends” for coffee or lunch or dinner. (“Imaginary friends” being Paul J.’s term for internet-only friends, a term that has found common usage in our house.) But now I’m very comfortable meeting these folks, and even look forward to it.

Might it be possible that I’ll eventually feel the same way about speaking to groups?

Media appearances

Even more intimidating than public speaking are the occasional media appearances I make. Since my disastrous first live radio interview, I’ve had a couple of other television and radio appearances. These have been of mixed quality. In all cases, I was tense tense tense tense tense. And in one case — the series of interviews being broadcast this week on KPTV-12 — I really think I did a poor job. (It makes me sick to watch these.) But, in general, I think I’m improving.

The real test will come tonight. I’m scheduled to appear on KGW-8’s “Live at 7” program to speak about frugal Christmas gifts. Once again, I am tense tense tense tense tense. After speaking with friends and family, though, I have some goals. Paul H. suggested that I try to speak more slowly, and so I will. I’m also going to try to take a moment to compose my thoughts before answering questions.

Again, I’m hoping that by continuing to do these things that I hate, I’ll actually get better at them.

Book deal!

Okay, so that subheading is premature. I don’t have a book deal. I haven’t even completed a proposal. However, I have agreed to work with an agent from Waxman Literary Agency. Next up: a book proposal, which we hope to have done in a couple of months. Then, assuming it gets picked up, an actual book. Who woulda thunk it?

This, too, is scary, but in a better way than the previous two things I listed. I know how to write. I feel confident in my abilities. I’m not worried about my ability to create a quality book.

However, each of those first two things I listed — public speaking and media appearances — will be critical to the success of my book. I’ll need to be able to present myself in a variety of situations if I want to promote the book and encourage its success.

Building confidence, destroying fear

It seems strange to me that little foldedspace has led me to so much more. I know that many of you long for the days when I wrote about comic books and cats and computers. I miss those days, too. But I’m not sure that they’ll ever return.

In the meantime, the seeds I planted here have grown into something amazing, something that has let me climb higher than I thought possible. I’m well on the way to achieving my dreams.

1 pam November 19, 2008 at 20:34

Your wife rocks!

2 Tiffany November 20, 2008 at 09:53

I just watched the Hot Box story, you did GREAT.

3 Mom November 20, 2008 at 10:35

I thought you did an excellent job, J.D. You’re getting in practice for those book tours you’ll be doing! ;-)

4 Courtney November 21, 2008 at 10:20

J.D.,

A friend recently emailed me and suggested I check out this really awesome finance blog (yours of course!) When I told her I know you, she couldn’t believe it and asked if I would introduce you sometime. So, see, your fame is growing! I admire you for following and achieving your dreams!

p.s. I ditto Pam’s comment!

5 pam November 21, 2008 at 16:34

we thought you did great…though I can’t believe they have a show called the hot box…that’s a terrible name for many reasons

6 Denise November 23, 2008 at 23:06

I can’t wait until you get really famous and then I can say I have the distinction of being the only girl you ever dumped. AND I remember when you spelled your name Jay Dee. Woo Hoo!

I am so happy for you, JD. That is AWESOME about the book deal. I’ll definitely come to your signing – I can’t wait! So are you going to pen as John Roth, or as JD Roth?

7 Jeremy November 25, 2008 at 15:19

Congrats on your continued success JD!

BTW, I made your wifes baked potato soup last night. It was delicious!

8 Yur biggest fan November 26, 2008 at 06:32

zomg i cant believe i found yur site!!!!!111 i used to watch you all the time on fun house. you are teh totally awsomest. except for yur feelings on pocket bikes… they are teh shiznit.

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