What’s one thing that stops us from moving forward?
You guessed right.
However, what I’ve found to break me of this dreaded “f” word is this key lesson.
SAY YES and FIGURE IT OUT.
When an opportunity presents itself to you, you really only have two choices – turn it down and spend the rest of your life wondering what if you had gone for it, or say yes, do it scared and learn along the way.
Not sure about you, but that first option doesn’t sound very happy, positive or hopeful.
In summer 2019, I was gearing up to host my Social Connect PHX event in October and had one spot remaining for my Success over Struggle speaker panel.
I was quickly reminded of a rockstar speaker I had seen talk at PHX Startup Week earlier in March that left quite the impression on me. She was dynamic, high energy and had an incredible SoS story. I reached out to Sasha and as we were chatting on the phone, I asked her if she’d like to be on my October panel. She excitedly said yes, then asked me if I could do her a huge favor, too.
She was booked to speak at the USDA Conference in Tucson about communication and professional etiquette on September 17 and had a schedule conflict with another engagement the same day in Florida. When the USDA committee asked if she knew of anyone who could take her spot, she naturally thought of me for the gig as we’re very similar in speaking style. So sweet! Love referrals.
Sasha introduced me via email to her contact and I awaited her call. Her call came when I wasn’t super prepared. In fact, I was on mom duty taking my daughter Ellie to her ukulele class when this important call came through.
As I ran outside to take the call standing in the parking lot of the music store, I was asked two specific questions.
“Tisha, have you ever done a talk on communication and professional etiquette? And do you have a DUNS (Dun and Bradstreet) number? That’s required for all our vendors.”
I paused for a few seconds before answering. Had I ever done this talk before? Nope, but knew I could.
Did I have a DUNS number? No clue.
Rather than tell her no and completely lose the opportunity, I said a resounding, “YES” and asked if she could give me a few days to put my speaker proposal together to include the DUNS number.
Then, I googled “How do I get a DUNS number.”
The response wasn’t what I was expecting. It said to get a DUNS number would take at least a month or more to obtain. Ugh.
I felt a pit in my stomach and the opportunity slip through the cracks and googled one last thing.
“Does Tisha Marie Enterprises have a DUNS number?”
And as the search came up and I crossed my fingers, I saw the light!
I HAD A DUNS NUMBER!
Seriously! I don’t ever remember applying for one, but there it was and it was the only ticket to booking my highest paid speaking gig to date!
Prepping a presentation on communication and professional etiquette was the easy part. If you’re ever given an opportunity to speak on a broad topic like this one, think about it as an essay. Break it up into parts. Do your research and throw your own unique personality and style into it. Then practice until you know it by heart.
I submitted my proposal (thanks to Sasha for sharing her original) and was awarded the contract a week later making my way down to Tucson just two days after I celebrated my 40th birthday.
Quite the experience as I was giving this session three times in one afternoon so I got to know the content really well.
This is my “after the speaking gig” pose as I was heading out once I was through with three hours of pure talking and teaching. Lounging on the sofa with my feet up.
As I wrap up this weekly rule of life lesson, I want you to remember this.
There are so many people out there who would have turned down this amazing opportunity because they didn’t have all the pieces figured out yet.
Don’t be that person. Believe in you. Know you can do whatever you set your mind to. You’re one smart cookie and you will figure this out. It may take some time. It’ll definitely take grit.
All you have to say is “YES” and push GO.
Rule of Life Lesson #119: