The Next Big Reveal

Yeah, you heard me right, I entered another contest.  After I told myself I was done, I went and did it again.

And since I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat in suspense, I’ll cut straight to it… I finally won!

I’ll get to the actual contest in a minute.  First, the journey to get there is fresh on my mind.  A while back I discovered a book called The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson.  I loved it so much that I dedicated a blog post to it.  I’ve never read another book that so convincingly and simply breaks down the philosophy of how success truly happens… or doesn’t happen.

The Slight Edge helped me win this contest.

In that blog post, I summarized what the slight edge is to me:

It’s the knowledge that success doesn’t miraculously appear out of nowhere but instead it comes after continuous, repeated efforts.  It’s the idea that the little, simple actions that you take on a daily basis will compound over time and eventually lead you to success.  It’s choosing a small simple action that is easy to do but that might not create an immediate result.  And because of the lack of immediate result, it also makes it easy not to do.  But the slight edge is doing it, even when it doesn’t create instant measurable results.  It’s the constant follow-through with the small tasks that eventually builds up and leads us to where we want to go.  And if we choose not to do the right small tasks, it leads us to where we don’t want to go.  It’s taking responsibility for yourself.   It’s willing to take certain risks.  It’s willing to fail.  It’s not only willing to fail, but also willing to learn from your failures and keep showing up.

You might be wondering how that applies to being a video contest junkie?


I practiced the slight edge every time I entered a contest.  Although I knew I had a very slim chance of winning, I entered anyway.  I didn’t do it just because I was guaranteed a win.  I did it because I knew it stretched me, and I knew it would open a door for me.  I didn’t know what, but I knew it would somehow open up my world.  I was up against professionals with years of experience, but I did it anyway.  I made my amateur videos, and I studied my competition.  I learned what I liked and didn’t like in a video.  I learned that I think my voice always sounds more tolerable when there’s music in the background.  I learned that sometimes my eyes are a little closed when I talk on camera making me look as if I’m drugged.  I also learned that being bug-eyed isn’t a great way to counteract the drugged look.  I learned how to tell a story.  Even though my efforts never lead to an immediate success right in that moment, each time it was a small step that lead me to this win.  Each time I learned a little more and practiced a little more, and that made it easier the next time around.

In fact, had I never entered that very first contest, I would have never even entered this contest (or had this blog!)

Back when I started, I couldn’t even fathom making a video of myself, but I was desperate, and I knew I had to do something, anything to spark change in my life.  I didn’t really want to be seen.  I was scared of being judged, thought I would make a fool of myself.  I also had no belief in my creativity or ability to be on camera.  Once I faced that fear, no matter how awkward I felt, I realized I could push past it.  The best reward has been the growth and the confidence that I can do something I used to deem as impossible.  This moves beyond making a video and entering a contest.  It’s about everything we do in life.

Sometimes taking small risks can open up our world to things we never envisioned for ourselves.

When I tell you that it was easy this last time, I’m not exaggerating.  I almost forgot about the contest.  In the rules, they said we didn’t need to have professional video footage, and that we could even sit in front of our computer and use a webcam.  So that’s what I did.  I listened and didn’t try to do anything fancy.  I didn’t tell anyone about it, unlike every other contest.  I didn’t study my competition, unlike every other contest.  I just sat in front of my computer and told my story.  It took me about 30 minutes to prepare and get it done.  I even tried to re-record that final submission because I wanted it to be better.  After one try that was worse, I gave up.  This was good enough.  And then I moved on and forgot about the contest.

Here was my entry:

Here is the result:

Three years ago I revealed to the world (okay, more like the 15 people who read my blog,) that I was leaving dentistry for a different career.  It was so liberating!  I could finally expose the truth of what I had experienced for so long.  Now you know something else I’ve kept hidden for a while on this blog.

I just can’t keep it a secret anymore.


30 thoughts on “The Next Big Reveal

  1. Congrats on winning this contest you junkie! I am so happy for you! Celebrating? And what a cool product for you to be pushing. Speaking from experience, you need more of the skin helpers as you get older.. Your eyes may thank you a few years from now. Congrats again Lora! Proud of you…And 40 is nothing but a number as your video shows

    1. Thanks, Andy! I’m pretty picky about endorsing just any product. It has to work– in fact, I used this for 3 months before I became convinced. And when I started, I didn’t think I needed it. 😉

  2. Laura ! Well done !

    You naturally have a very youthful and pretty face but you look stunning in the video .
    More importantly well done for doing so well – keep it up , you’re always inspiring 🙂
    … Now for my little fine lines …

  3. Just… bloody-well outstanding. Um… wow. I’m turning 32 in a couple of weeks (Dec 9th. Presents are welcome), and maybe I need some of this miracle forehead salve. Isn’t that what it’s called?
    So, the videos are great, and you deserve this huge congratulations. Way to make it happen, and way to stay young.

    I hope you’re enjoying the hell out of this fanfare and fame. I would be eating it up!

    1. Thanks, dink! Much appreciated. I’m serious when I say this– send me your address, and I’ll send you a b-day present… you might just have to share it with your wife though. 😉

      1. Oh, geez. I’m really hung up here. How do I know you’re not some old, creepy guy just preTENDing to be you? You’re probably adding grease to your comb over even as you read this, you!
        I’ll tell you what, because presents are on the line, I’m going to risk it.
        Here’s my company address,

        Lol. This is too much fun! Presents? 🙂 Really?

        1. Haha! I just saw the view from your office, and this is a pretty valuable gift I’m sending, so I hope it doesn’t end up there. 😉 BTW– I deleted the address so I’m the only crazy who has access to it.

        2. Dink!!! Oh no! I sent you a private message but didn’t hear back, so I never sent it! I will message you again… I’m thinking maybe you never got it!!

  4. Hi, I just came across your blog and it really comforted me to know that other people also feel like dentistry isn’t a good fit for them and that there is life afterwards! I’m a UK dentist who just turned 30, and last year I finally managed to make a shift toward a career in research. Things have stalled a bit in the last couple of months but I’m determined to make it work and find something I’m really passionate about. I found your story really inspiring as I know how difficult leaving the clinical environment can be, so all the best with your new life.

    1. Great to hear from you. There is life afterwards! Congrats to you for taking the leap. Are you doing research in the dental field, or are you leaving dentistry altogether? One thing I can tell you is that things do stall, but if you are determined (and you are,) you can keep going and pushing through the stalls, and eventually you will come out on the other side. Thanks for reaching out and wishing you all the best too! Keep me posted on your journey.

      1. Hi again, that’s for that nice message. Yes I’m trying to get into dental research, but it’s looking like I might have to do a short stint back in clinical dentistry before I’m able to (maybe) do the research thing full time. I’m hoping to do something within oral cancer or caries research, but it all depends on funding. Anyway, really enjoyed reading your blog and best wishes for Christmas/New Year 🙂

  5. Congratulations on the contest. Also another thoughtful and insightful blog. It’s so true that taking small risks can open up a world never envisioned for ourselves. One thing I have learned is that there is no set path to life anymore after taking the decision to leave dentistry. But this is a very good thing! Leaving behind a career which for me had become predictable has opened my eyes to many opportunities.
    The break from dentistry for me so far has been refreshing and enabled me to take a much better balanced view on life.

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