Growing Up Jewish

Old Dog ~ New Trick ~ What’s Your Formula?

Time and time again – with clients, workshop participants and students – I witness their personal transformation. Whether it’s a new skill, a personal revelation or a professional “ah ha!” the old cliche you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is simply not true.

Take my client, Joe Kaplan. At 72 years old, he co-owns The Cheerful Word, published a memoir, You Can’t Coach Height and is a go getter! Recently, having received two speaking invitations, he came to me.

“At age 72,” he said,
“This old dog needs to learn some new tricks.”


We immediately dove in. I assisted him with writing the presentation, and 5 training sessions later, he was ready to roll. After our time together, Joe wrote to me:

“You were able to take my writing and turn it into language that made for a strong and effective speech while maintaining a strong sense of who I am and the message I wanted to present.”

Joe presented for 3 organizations and received high praise.

“Another success! Over 100 people!” he wrote. “Everyone said they loved both the content anddelivery. Sold a few books. Will get invitation to do workshop and possibly another speaking opportunity.”

Here’s Joe’s formula:

A Proud Beginner- Humility at its Finest!
Joe fully lives the adage, “Start Where You Are!” With a smile and zero embarrassment, Joe admits, “I’ve never done anything like this before.” If you are learning a new skill, bring this kind of pride-less curiosity and interest into your learning process. With this attitude, you’ll learn more quickly and with more fun.  For Joe, he moved from “never done this” to – “I want more of this!”

Where in your life can you claim proudly and humbly, “I’m a beginner.” And when you feel like a goof-ball doing something new and unfamiliar remember….. smile with zero embarrassment!

An Appetite to Learn – A Reason to Follow Through
I met Joe in August. He had a speaking date in October. Remember, this is the man with no presentation training. That’s an appetite for learning and accomplishing. By committing to a speaking engagement before he was ready, Joe turned the heat up! If there is something you want to accomplish, set an accountability deadline. Your focus is fine tuned and your practice is purposeful.

Can you set an accountability date? Tell some or many people (chose good friends and kind family)  a deadline for a project or goal. Give yourself enough time, but not too much!

If a public presentation, team building, developing more confidence and presence is on your “try something new list,” contact me: