What is the One Decision that Has Changed My Life?

Anna Simpson
5 min readJul 9, 2019
Credit to Buro Millennial

When I first realised I wanted to be a professional speaker, I had no clue where to start. I was inspired by the great talks of successful people and I wanted to spread the message of hope, encouragement and self-belief myself. I had a great life story to share with the world (my transition from poverty in Ukraine to building my life in the USA, the land of opportunities) and I knew it would inspire many to pursue their dreams.

That dream for speaking has been within me since I was a girl of 12. I remember reading “The Art of Public Speaking” by Dale Carnegie in Russian translation. I absolutely loved the content of the book. While reading it, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be amazing if I could speak with such confidence and ease and be able to influence people for positive change.” The idea was uplifting but it was so far-fetched from the reality I lived in. There were no professional speakers in Ukraine.

Little did I know at that time that later in my life I would become a professional speaker myself.

As Steve Jobs wisely said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. But the dots will always connect for you.”

But there was a journey, as you can imagine…

When I got the opportunity to present my speech for the first time at Toastmasters in the USA, I realised that my dream turned out to be everyone’s nightmare! I was absolutely rubbish!

When you try something for the first time, no matter how passionate you are about it, you are going to fail.

I failed miserably. Thankfully, the people in that club were sympathetic towards me; they did not give me any feedback, they just complemented my courage.

I knew I had a long way to go in order to become good. It is not enough just to have something to say. You need to have something to say that people would want to listen to. And that takes personal growth and refinement.

One of the best decisions I made that has improved my life was hiring mentors. People who help me expand my potential and grow in…

Anna Simpson

Helping people discover, articulate, and monetise their messages and stories, so they can get paid for who they are. www.anna-simpson.com/book