Immerse Yourself and Win a Free Kindle

Immerse Yourself Free KindleIf you’ll stick with me through the end of this post, I’ve got an incredible opportunity for you below as well as the chance to win a free Amazon Kindle!

In my former life as a musician, I started my career out very insecure in my skills. Sure, I could sling my guitar pretty well, but I didn’t really feel like I was a professional. To be honest, I really felt like I was an impostor.

Insecure in my own skill set, I was regularly humbled and petrified when put into playing situations with truly talented musicians. (You know; the kids who, at age 2, were able to sit down at the piano and perform the Mozart their parents played for them in the womb.)

Afraid of being revealed as the blithering amateur I perceived myself to be, I hid from these situations. Instead, I purposely sought out “amateur” playing situations. They were safer. When I felt like my playing wasn’t quite up to snuff, I could turn around and look at the shabby bass player and find some comfort. At least I wasn’t as bad as that guy.

(Side-note: Insecurity is toxic. It will lead you to destroy the people around you just so you can feel a little bit better about your situation. That’s beside today’s point, however.)

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

And then a friend flipped my thinking upside down. He showed me that I was going about things all wrong. By avoiding those higher level playing environments, I wasn’t protecting my talent. I was killing it. By purposefully taking myself out of opportunities for growth, I was ensuring that I would always stay an “amateur.”

As I broke out of my previous foolishness and began to surround myself with much more talented players than myself, I learned something invaluable. In spending time with these true professionals, I started to think, behave, and play more like them. My practice habits changed. My repertoire grew. My musicianship flourished.

Shed Your Fears and Dive In

As I continued to grow into the player that I never thought I could be, I learned a lesson that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It was a lesson in immersion.  By immersing myself in a “culture” of musicians whom I respected, I picked up on the things, both tangible and intangible, that made them successful. Sure it was uncomfortable, but it was worth it.

Real Estate pioneer Gary Keller says it like this, “Success leaves clues.” In my own paraphrase, financial guru Dave Ramsey sums it up quite nicely, “If you want to win, find people who are winning. Figure out what they’re doing and then go do it yourself.” Immersion is an incredible way to pick up these clues and figure out how to win.

For me, this lesson has played out invaluably:

  • When starting my real estate business, I sought out and spent time with successful agents, investors, brokers, coaches, and so on. They taught me how to be a successful real estate agent.
  • In my speaking writing career, I’ve built relationships with other writers, authors, and speakers. They’ve helped me to learn what it looks like to be an effective communicator.
  • In my studies and training as an aspiring Bible teacher and minister, I’ve intentionally sought out pastors and mentors to guide me along the long, difficult road and to show me the tricks of their trade.

An Opportunity to Immerse

Odds are that you’re here because you’re interested in leadership and want to grow yourself as a leader. Perhaps you could say you want to “win” as a leader. Well, what better way to do so than by immersing yourself in a culture of great leaders and learning from their success?

If you’ve been with this blog for a while, then I’m sure you’ve seen my previous posts on the Chick fil A Leadercast. Since we’re talking about immersing yourself in an environment of incredibly talented leaders, you should know that this is the place to do it.

I’ve attended the last two events and have been immensely stretched in my own capacity as a leader. I won’t sell you here, but I strongly suggest you check it out.

If you live in Nashville, this year’s Leadercast will be at Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena on May 4,2012. If you’re not in Nashville, you can use this site to find a location near you. Some friends at my favorite Christian radio station were even so generous as to offer everyone who reads this post an amazing discount on ticket prices.

For more about that, check out this link (use the promo “silvagroup”).

Who Wants a Free Kindle?

Leaders are readers and readers are leaders. That said, you should read books… Lots of books. But who wants to carry around those clunky old stacks of paper? What is this? High School… Hmm…

Solution! Thanks again to the wonderful folks at WAY-FM, you’ve got the chance to win a free Amazon Kindle! If you’d like your shot at the free Kindle, follow these 3 steps. (If you want to win, you’ve got to do all 3.)

  1. Share this article. Click one of the links on the sidebar and share this post with your networks.
  2. Leave a comment. Answer the question below and include a working email address in your reply. I’ll be notifying the winner via email, so make sure its an account you actually check!
  3. Relax. I’ll connect with the winner in 7 days. If you don’t hear from me, then no Kindle for you. Better luck next time!

Remember: If you live in Nashville, make sure you check out the Chick-fil-a Leadercast. If you use the “silvagroup” promo code, you’ll save $20 a ticket! Click here for the details. I’ll see you on May 4th!

Question: What will you do to immerse yourself in an environment that can stimulate growth in your own life?

Psst… If you want more than one chance to win the Kindle, check out this similar post on leadership by Jeff Goins.

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  • Jon Hansen

    Great thoughts. I’m discovering these truths as I step out into living my dreams.

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Great stuff to discover, Jon!

  • James

    Dead right… I’ve always tried to get into situations where I’m the worst/most inexperienced in the room. The fear of falling on my face raises my game. Good stuff.

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Absolutely. I find I do my best when I’m consistently faced with the prospect of falling down and looking like an idiot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jenna.dewitt Jenna DeWitt

    good thoughts here. I think the key to “immersion” is to surround yourself with all skill levels. We all need someone wiser and more experienced, someone who can relate to this specific season and “level” and someone who we can pour into. Like the cliche goes, it’s the teacher that often learns the most, so this last one is vital. It takes all three to grow ourselves and ensure that our work isn’t just temporary, but goes on to influence others who influence others who influence… etc. :)

    Thanks for all you do!

    Jenna DeWitt
    jennadewitt (at) gmail.com

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Great stuff, Jenna. Thank you!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Ken! To immerse myself in an environment, I begin from within. I try to ignite the fire within. This assists in creating purpose to the process which we  intend to set our hands upon.

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      That passion is so important. Thanks, Uma.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    I’m going to immerse myself more by getting out of my comfort zone more often. It’s something I love to do and it creates lots of immersion. I’m also going to put myself out there more. To connect with others. To share what I know. To show them I care.

     drawing_black_lines (at) hotmail (dot) com

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      That’s great, Joe. Get out of your comfort zone until it grows. Then, get out of it again. Keep on repeating for the rest of your life… That’s how I’m trying to play it.

  • Tammyhelfrich

    Immersing myself with writers, bloggers, and people who help make others realize ther dreams.

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Those are some great people to surround yourself with, Tammy!

  • Hannahjvitkus

    For me, immersion isn’t a choice, but a lifestyle, be it with fellow entrepreneurs, writers, or creatives. Thank you for the encouraging posts! 

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      That’s a great way to look at it, Hannah.

  • http://ayearinthespirituallife.blogspot.com/ Dayna Renee Hackett Bickham

    I battle insecurities everyday but when I am weak I always find strength in God.

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Yes and amen.

  • Sarah

     I will immerse myself in the art world by.. creating art! And not being lazy and procrastinating because I’m scared.

    And I will get more involved with my church, even though I fear judgment, because community is worth it.

    aaand my email is adorkable_88@ymail.com :)

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      That’s awesome, Sarah. I love that you’re going to learn how to create art by creating art, not by learning about, studying, or listening to what people say about art. Those things are all great, but worthless without the actual creation. Good on you!

  • Austin Evans

    I will grow personally by surrounding myself with people who are on fire for what they do.  Be it music, their faith or whatever.  Enthusiasm is incredibly contagious and I always find myself energized when I come into contact with people love what they are doing.  Hopefully, I can transfer that into my own life and inspire others in the same way!

    And you can reach me at austinwrites@gmail:disqus.com

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Awesome, Austin. Enthusiasm is contagious!

  • RJ Clarke

    I think a distraction-free environment would be ideal for me. Pushing some distractions aside would free up time and energy to pursue some more personal goals of mine. If I could just relocate some of my efforts, I might be able to knockout a few things I’d really like to accomplish :)

    RJ
    RJClarke4@gmail.com

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      I can’t tell you how much I can relate with that, RJ. Focus is a powerful thing.

  • Brenda Mikec

    I will continue to be more intentional about immersing myself into different environments  and surrounding myself with positive and encouraging people that will help stimulate growth in all aspects of my life. I tend to fall into the trap of negative thinking when I’m surrounded by negative people, but I am very encouraged and inspired by those with a positive attitude and am more likely to remain positive myself. Having worked in a Corporate environment, full of negative and/or bitter attitudes, I began experiencing the same attitude and ultimately experiencing burnout. Today, I work in an environment that is very fun, encouraging and challenging. I enjoy what I do and that passion is ultimately displayed in my work and hopefully encourages others around me as well. Thank you for your transparency, Kenny. I always enjoy reading your posts! My e-mail is bmmikec16@hotmail.com.

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Thank you so much for the thoughtful comment, Brenda. You’re absolutely right. I’m very glad you’ve found a more positive environment and are enjoying what you do!

  • Lesleyrebecca

    This couldn’t have come at a better moment for me. Thank you, Kenny.

  • Melinda Lancaster

    I really needed to be reminded of this, Kenny.

    Thanks.

  • Rebecca Hibbs

    I usually don’t click on links, but for some reason I did today.  Your words are straight from our father to me.  I’ve been insecure in myself and my music since I moved to Nashville, thinking maybe God doesn’t want me to pursue it…I have been listening to the lies.  I have been avoiding the very people I need to surround myself with.  Thank you Kenny, for being a leader and encouraging me.  rebeccahibbs@gmail.com

  • http://www.timbiden.com/ Tim Biden

    Unfortunately I don’t know any authors in the offline world and those that I interact with in the online world, for the most part, simply want to sell me a course or eBook. They don’t seem to be interested in connecting or really sharing. Maybe I am misinterpreting their intent. Maybe that is my own insecurity talking… Who knows?
    But I definitely want to take both my writing and my relationship with Christ to the next level so I guess I have to seek out the people who can help me do that.

    Thank you for the encouraging kick in the pants. =)

  • http://twitter.com/brweiss Benjamin Weiss

    Meditation… to help remind me that every moment can (and will) stimulate growth! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffling Jeff Ling

    People who teach languages will tell you that this is a key way to learning any language well - 
     immersion in the culture. Thanks!

  • Jessica K. Sullivan

    I will keep learning from leaders like Jasmine Star, Zach and Jody and continue attending events. jksullivan@gmx.com

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    Awesome! I blogged this post over here: http://bigb94.info/2012/04/04/wanna-win-a-free-kindle/

    Also, my email is bigb94@afo.net. Thanks again for putting out great content here!

  • http://www.bigb94.wordpress.com Brandon

    Awesome! I blogged this post over here: http://bigb94.info/2012/04/04/wanna-win-a-free-kindle/

    Also, my email is bigb94@afo.net. Thanks again for putting out great content here!

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Glad to find you.  Sounds like you have a great blog. 

    I try to surround myself with Christians who are striving to serve the Lord with all their heart. I continually read (which having a Kindle would really help) and I like to spend time with God.

    Going to tweet this now!
    tnc.avey@gmail.com

  • Jennirobbins

    Hi Kenny, like a few of the comments below, you got me interested in this particular post by the initial music example. It was exactly what I needed to hear – so hard to not let insecurity get the better of me when I’m playing with musos better than me. But you are exactly right – it’s the only way I’m going to grow. I put myself in Cambodia, teaching at a music school for this exact reason. 
    Side note: after bible college, got sick of all the leadership material out there. Your post about Resolutions was also very God-timed – thanks.

  • http://twitter.com/ChadwickRay Chad Ray

    Dude!
    Great post. And actually something I need to do more of. I find myself constantly hiding my real talents for things I know how to do okay, but don’t let what I”m passionate about learning shine forth for a constant fear of failure and of messing up in front of everyone. There are so many things I want to excel in but keep pushing myself down to what i know and what is comfortable instead of stepping out and being the Creative Leader that I want to be, and to let the ideas I have shine. Thanks for this post man. I need to surround myself with more people like you who can pull the best of me out and make me quit doubting myself so much!!

  • http://twitter.com/joelsoutherland Joel Southerland

    I think you have to immerse yourself in several ways. You can immerse yourself in good books and writings. You can get mentored from afar that way. And, definitely you should immerse yourself in face to face interactions and situations. If you look around and you are the “best” of your peers then you need to take a step “up” in who you hang around with. We all need people in our lives who challenge us. joel@joelsoutherland.com

  • Cshultz

    I’ve heard this conference is great.
     

  • http://TheInvisibleOffice.com Erica Cosminsky

    So glad I clicked over on this post. I got tickets to the leadercast last year and for some reason wasn’t able to go. Definitely trying harder to get there this year. 

  • Sprunka

     I plan on surrounding myself with open minded persons, who support personal freedoms and rights. If I can help others to grow, then by extension, I help myself grow too.

  • Angela Bullock

    My husband and I just immersed ourselves with a leadership team planting a new church in the Austin, TX area. First official service is next weekend! We’ve never been part of a church plant before, and I am confident this experience is going to stretch and grow us like never before!

  • http://www.twitter.com/erikjfisher/ Erik Fisher

    I’m constantly looking for people that are doing what I want to be doing, or who are succeeding to see if I can figure out how to do what they do. 

  • Kristi

    I immerse myself by talking with other leaders, with my “elders” so to speak. Those who have been in the game for years have lots to share and are usually more than willing to talk. Networking is a characteristic that I find valuable to leaders and therefore I try to do just that!

  • Pab

    I want to win.

  • Brandon Daniel

    I have set a goal to read at least one book a month after I finish my Master’s and I will continually meet and seek the counsel of older, wiser leaders to help develop more the thoughts I have on leadership.

    • Brandon Daniel

      And I meant to add…invest in developing other leaders because I believe that is an important part of the leadership equation

  • Trishtrout

    I will be “attending” leadercast this year with an amazing group of people in Tampa!
    one of my many goals is to dive deeper into the Bible and spending more intimate tine with our God. surrounding myself with people who are strong in faith has helped me on thus journey!

  • Anne

    I will dine alone ;)  Kidding.  I will take time to interact with people more and learn from others.

  • http://twitter.com/amberweinberg Amber Weinberg

    I’m planning to speak at a bunch of different conferences to get out of my comfort zone and be able to teach others. They say you learn best by teaching!

  • Brittany

    For starters, I’ll continue to pray.  Also, I’m finding that it’s really beneficial to surround myself with people (and resources like books, podcasts, artwork etc.) who actually believe growth is possible…and encourage me to “keep on keeping on”.  Also, I will set better boundaries for the amount of time I allow myself to spend with people who are negative and discouraging.

  • http://beunfallen.wordpress.com/ Brian

    Great post. I’ve found that to be true with music, as a skateboarder/snowborder, as a graphic designer, and even as a leader. That is the heart of discipleship, really. Pass on what you know by 90% absorption through proximity, and 10% direct teaching. 

  • Jay

    I like to learn from those who have been where I want to be. This includes mentoring relationship

  • Jude

    I am making it an effort to participate more with my small group. Oddly enough we are going through very similar life situations so it’s encouraging!

  • http://www.NestingInNashville.com/ Stephanie Crawford @AgentSteph

    Slightly off topic, but I have a bad habit of doing too much research before diving into something new – at least if it’s going to cost me money. If it’s free, I’ll try anything – LOL. I run into this with real estate ALL the time…. shiny object syndrome.  Currently I’m debating a new CRM. I’ve been having this debate with myself for weeks now, possibly months. I’m frozen with too many choices. Why can’t I just dive in? 

    You going to RETSO?

  • http://www.NestingInNashville.com/ Stephanie Crawford @AgentSteph

    Slightly off topic, but I have a bad habit of doing too much research before diving into something new – at least if it’s going to cost me money. If it’s free, I’ll try anything – LOL. I run into this with real estate ALL the time…. shiny object syndrome.  Currently I’m debating a new CRM. I’ve been having this debate with myself for weeks now, possibly months. I’m frozen with too many choices. Why can’t I just dive in? 

    You going to RETSO?

  • http://www.NestingInNashville.com/ Stephanie Crawford @AgentSteph

    Slightly off topic, but I have a bad habit of doing too much research before diving into something new – at least if it’s going to cost me money. If it’s free, I’ll try anything – LOL. I run into this with real estate ALL the time…. shiny object syndrome.  Currently I’m debating a new CRM. I’ve been having this debate with myself for weeks now, possibly months. I’m frozen with too many choices. Why can’t I just dive in? 

    You going to RETSO?

  • Anonymous

    The environment that stimulates growth in my life is simply the Bible.  I am absolutely amazed at how it seems to say something about every day issues. Reading a psalm a day has been a great blessing and inspiration to personal growth!

  • Chris Troxel

    Wow.  My initial reaction is that this post nails me, the note on insecurity in particular.  I’m heading to place to do, God-willing, just that: be immersed in the prescence of students, families, professors, churches, and the community of St. Louis to train and work to become an ordained minister. Prayers and more blogs like this will be helpful.  A new kindle wouldn’t hurt either :)

    • http://kennysilva.net Kenny Silva

      Thank you for reading, Chris! I’m sorry to say you missed out on the Kindle contest. Are you going to Covenant in St. Louis?

  • Nikkieyknives

    I hope i get one!!!

  • T.

    I will immerse myself in an entrepreneur’s environment. Iwill step out of my comfort zone and stop being afraid of success.