Do what you do best

Do what you do best

January 28, 2021

Video killed the radio star until Clubhouse appeared out of nowhere.


The past few weeks have been absolutely wild when it comes to Clubhouse. First, there was a discussion about San Francisco’s future where the District Attorney showed up to defend his policies, decisions, and most of all results. Then there was the session with the mayors of San Francisco, Austin, and Miami. 


Next came the news of a possible $1 Billion valuation. The best part is that most people thought that was way too low. Finally, came the Naval tweet about Clubhouse tonight.


The app has found a way to be exclusive, cool, and a place for interesting conversations among tech leaders and politicians as well as friends and so much more.


Clubhouse took an old technology in the phone and mixed it with social media to create a unicorn. 

Photo by Matt Artz on Unsplash


It’s crazy how much life is about being in the right place in the right time. Empires have been built on such luck. They have also been destroyed.


For most of 2020, I spent my time building an audience on Twitter. This is the place where creators and founders live. This is where the ambitious and interesting people thrive. The place for ideas and clear thinking. 


Yet, it is not the natural home for what I do best. It reminds me of why I ended up playing college baseball.


In high school, all I wanted to do was play basketball. I wanted to break ankles like the players on the And1 Mixtape tour and drop buckets like Big Shot Bob when the game was on the line. When I chose my high school, I made sure that I could be a two-sport athlete. Basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring. 


My coaches told me no problem.


My entire life I spent significantly more time playing basketball. I would practice in our driveway all afternoon. We had a floodlight to help me stay outside longer. The kitchen windows had to be strengthened to withstand the daily onslaught of long rebounds.


I played and captained the team every single day of elementary school. I took my basketball every day. Backpack and basketball.


But when I got to my sophomore year of high school I faced a difficult decision. Basketball was not my best sport. 


I loved it the most. But we don’t always get to do the thing we love most.


So I quit basketball to focus on baseball. We lost in the state championship my sophomore year as I started every game. 


The next year we won.


Scouts started noticing. Colleges reached out and all of a sudden I had plenty of opportunities. I made the right choice because I was much better at baseball and ultimately played at Haverford College.

Photo by Pierre-Etienne Vachon on Unsplash


Twitter is my basketball. I love it the most. 


But it’s not my best. Because I’m a speaker. I’ve developed that skill set over the past 10 years in law school and as a trial lawyer. I’ve honed it teaching students in the classroom and mastered it coaching the national mock trial team. 


So in 2020, I tried to find my baseball. Where could I capitalize on my speaking? 


I tried Instagram Stories. They are fine but nothing special.


I tried IGTV. Those are fun but are full of friction.


I tried fleets. They feel wasted.


I tried YouTube shorts. Not the right market.


I tried YouTube. I like it but it takes time, editing, and a lot of effort. This is a long term project that will take years to build out as I publish two videos each week all of 2021.


TikTok...I like to dance but not like that.


I needed a Twitter for my speaking.


That’s what Clubhouse gives me. A place to schedule a talk on some topic around public speaking, being a creator, the future of education, the first cohort-based course to be acquired, and so much more. And I can also just drop into rooms and start talking on topics I know about. 


The first time I realized I was in the right place at the right time is when I hosted an event on Tuesday. Titled “How to become a better public speaker”, I expected maybe 10-20 people.


At one point I looked up and saw a number that blew my mind. 998.


2 shy of 1000 just to listen to a talk about public speaking. And then the DMs came. What an absolutely mind-boggling 90 minutes. 


It felt a little bit like that moment in The King’s Speech when he finally pushes back and answers the question of why he should be listened to with “I have a voice.” On Tuesday I finally found a place on social media that wanted to hear it.


And tonight on the Naval tweet, I saw my name immediately get tagged and then also Quote Tweeted. 


So when all the signs line up there is only one real option.


Embrace it and execute.


I think I just found my baseball.


I'm the Founder of Performative Speaking. In December, On Deck acquired my startup and I now serve as the Program Director for On Deck Performative Speaking.

Applications for cohort 1 are now open. Email me for more information Robbie@beondeck.com

Follow me on Twitter and Clubhouse @robbiecrab

Cover Photo by Paul Green on Unsplash

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Performative Speaking uses storytelling ideas that incorporate other forms of art, culture, media, and pop culture to create the mood, feeling, or vibe in the audience to convince them of a position.

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