Some years ago I gave two presentations in the same week. On the Wednesday I presented to my medical billing group, more specifically about the relationship between CPT-4 codes and revenue codes. It was a fairly short presentation, about an hour, but it was well received.

multiple skill sets
I can hold babies!

It was also planned. I say that because when I got home later in the afternoon, while catching up on my email, I learned that a speaker I'd scheduled to speak to my consultant's group on Friday had to cancel because her father had been rushed to a hospital out of town. The president of the organization had gotten the news since I hadn't been home, and sent out an email saying we had to scramble for a speaker for Friday morning. 

No one had any idea what to do, and it looked like our meeting would turn into an impromptu roundtable discussion. The thing about roundtable meetings is that, if planned in advance, people come ready to talk and share ideas. However, when you spring something like that on people at the last minute, more members decide not to show up unless they've already got something to share on the topic, which many figure they need time to think about. Few people like surprises, especially when they're going to be part of the surprise.

Being a board memberof the group, I had an idea of the types of topics membership would be interested in learning about. Out of the blue, and without thinking it through first, I sent out an email offering to do a presentation on website optimization. It's something I'd been working on in regards to my own websites. I'd done the research, I'd had some pretty good results, and I thought the membership might be interested. Within an hour I'd received thanks for agreeing to do this in such a short period of time.

Now I had to put it together. Obviously I'd spoken in front of people before, but I considered myself an expert in my field (even if people hate saying it). This was something new and different, something I hadn't considered myself as an expert in; where do I begin? What do I say? How do I present it, as far as visuals; handouts, powerpoint, slides? 

I spent the rest of Wednesday trying to figure out what I was going to do. I spent some time writing a couple of paragraphs in Word, hoping for an idea, because I've found that sometimes if I just start writing, ideas will come to me.

The idea came around 2:45 in the morning, which used to be my normal bedtime. I knew what I was going to do, knew it was going to take some time. I wrote a few things down and went to bed, knowing I had my work cut out when I awoke.

I got up around 9:15 Thursday morning and went to work. Digital cutting, pasting, copying, and writing, and a lot of thinking. Seven hours later I'd finished putting together my presentation.

I thought it looked pretty good, but how would these people respond to what I was going to show them? They knew me for the other things I did; leadership, management, diversity, healthcare. Would they question my knowledge, ask me how I knew anything about websites, let alone how to help increase their online presence? I wondered What credibility I'd built that led me to think I could pull this off?

Friday morning came and I gave the presentation; it actually went very well. I gave them information they never had before; in their eyes I was an expert on more than my norms at the time. They were not only impressed with the presentation, but stunned that I could put it together in such a short time.

I was able to answer every question as though I had been the one who invented the concept. After the meeting, a couple of people said they'd like to talk to me about possibly helping them to optimize their sites, and pay me for it; amazing! It was a side hustle I did for the next four years when I wasn't off somewhere consulting. As Brandon Burchard said in the Millionaire Messenger, people are seen as experts when they know more about something than everyone else does. I hadn't thought about that at the time, but I was certainly living that life.

When I had time to look back on it, I realized I'd done the same thing when I was an every day employee. I might have officially been the director of patient accounting, but what I did was so much more. Outside of the job I was supposed to do, I was: corporate compliance office; charge master coordinator; revenue cycle manager; cash and receivables auditor; contract manager for local businesses; minority recruiter; leadership mentor; and many, many other things. I had a well rounded set of both health care finance and business skills I'd never thought of previously; I'm not a one trick pony! 🙂

There are always new opportunities of success for those of who are not only willing to step outside their comfort zone and tap into something else, but are open enough to realize their potential. Everyone is more than their title; they just have to see themselves that way.

Have you thought much about your all of your skill sets? What else can you do besides what you actually get paid for? How many skills can lead you into growth in your present career, or an entirely different career?

Something to think about.