What can make one even more nervous when about to speak to a room full of acclaimed rocket scientists and astronauts (yes, they actually did the round-trip we are all dreaming of)?
Right when I was walking on stage the organizer interrupted to quickly introduce Paul Tompkins to the select group of participants as he joined the Exploration Institute Summit at Caltech a few hours late. His excuse? He was kept busy launching one of (Elon Musk‘s famed) SpaceX rockets in the morning. Yep, we all have our excuses, don’t we? This one felt rather legit and it made my entrance that much less significant and that much more nerve-wrecking as I was about to talk to a group of geniuses on the importance branding plays in the planning stages of their next explorations – explorations they were busy planning over the course of this 2-day summit. To the outside world I was standing tall, on the inside I felt very, very small. Telling myself ‘they’re just people like you and me’ did not do the usual trick to calm my nerves in front of this group.
As so often is the case in midst of an adrenaline rush, it ends up being a whole lot of fun. And may that be one of the few things that I had in common with the group of geniuses in the room of the Keck Institute for Space Studies that sunny April afternoon in Pasadena: We all get extreme personal and professional satisfaction out of uncovering possibilities, planning launches and exploring new frontiers.
Here is a short snippet of that speech (forgive the sound, it may or may not have been aliens listening in), which I felt like sharing as it relates to a new mission to space just as much as it does to your launch of a new company, service or product. And what week would be better suited than the week of 4th of July where many of us in the U.S. are busy launching our own, more approachable, versions of rockets into the sky.
3, 2, 1, 0, all engines running:
(click here if you can not view above video)