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Hey - You still have 20%

The past 12 months have been a journey of highly intense experiences. A year ago, a deepfake attack tore my family apart and I lost contact to most of my blood. My son, my sister and my mother kept in touch and gave me support, trust and energy to rebuild. After four almost paralysed months of grief, in which sometimes I did not even realise, how much support I had, I managed to bring my business back to running. 


The tours where back in full swing, I had a small six figure booking for the tours. Early March, this year, 100% of the bookings cancelled. Non mission critical travel bans were the first consequence enrolled for what was very soon to become the toughest year for many industries. I realised that the core of the program were the deep conversations and converted the program to online, launched the virtual Silicon Valley Inspiration Tours, three weeks later. Today kicks off the 8th virtual Inspiration Tour, we had six of them with amazing personalities in Silicon Valley and this is the 2nd virtual Global Inspiration Tour, with meetings in New York, London, Tel Aviv, Mumbai and Hongkong.


In the past years, I made some reputation as a speaker coach. Working with the TEDx community as TEDxAmbassador exposed me to this global tribe with 4000 TEDx events per year, being involved in over 100 TEDx events. It was an activity that happened 80% virtually, anyways because you cannot travel to 2-3 coachees per day, when they are distributed all over the world. In addition to the virtual tours, I prepared 8 different webinars and gave about 50 talks and webinars since lockdown.


Last week, my left thyroid and 4 tumors got removed and I have lost 80% of my voice. Hopefully not for ever, at least for the next 6-10 months. The surgery was during a virtual tour and my co-founder jumped-in to guest-host the day of the intervention. With whats left from my voice, I hosted the rest of the week and thanks fo the friendly and positive participants, we had a lot of fun, joking around my inability to speak properly. You just have to imagine Louis Armstrong after a heavy night. Thats my current voice. (unfortunately I am a terrible singer, so that will not make a business).


I am tempted to say that I feel like a pianist whose fingers got hit by a truck, but thats not the case. The pianist would not be able to play, anymore. I still have 20%.

I am sharing all of this with you, not to make you feel worried about me and neither to make a the-glass-is-half-full case. I am sharing this with you, because after all, I still call 2020 one of the best years of my life.


Limitations forced me to focus and spotlight the strength to stripe-off the unnecessary. 


People who know me hear a lot about exponential change from me, and that 2020 is the preview of hyper-acceleration. When you imagine an exponential curve, you will see a hockey-shift in front of you. A function that begins almost flat - for sure like a line - curves up and feels like a straight line up, after it has passed the "knee". My dear friends, we have hit the knee of the curve and this straight line up is just ahead of us. 

The next 3-5 years will reinvent our behaviour, our belief-system, our life. It will disrupt, destroy and reshape our routines and processes. You will not only have a different job in 5 years from today, you will also be a different person. 


I was lucky. I had to streamline, I had to focus, I had to spotlight on the strengths and on the core. I know it is a lot easier, if you do not have the choice. But seeing, what will be coming, I know that before trying to make plans for the future, this is a good time to get away from everything that makes you slow. As much as you cannot walk fast with a heavy backpack, you also cannot think fast and act fast when your life is overloaded with things you might not even need.


Close your eyes, look around you with closed eyes. Be conscious about everything from the room that you can still see around in 5 years with your eyes shut. And then open your eyes and remove everything you have not seen. If you know it will not be there in 5 years, why wait. Get rid of it today. It is a good practise to make yourself future fit

There is no happy-end epiphany to share about my lost voice. It's not necessary. The only thing I know for sure is it will help me focus and spotlight on the 20% - they have always been the soil of something bigger to grow.


Have a great week :-)


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Niki Ernst

The Businesstherapist.

Founder and CEO of IACy e.U.
The Innovationagencynetwork

Arnethgasse 44/26

1160 Vienna

Austria

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