We can look at the COVID pandemic and question why, or we can look at it and see the mountain of new possibilities it brings. Possibilities we didn’t even consider.

On April 1, 2020, Ellie was prepped and ready to perform in her school’s talent show for the third time. If you remember back from my story in Rule of Life Lesson #110, Ellie learned a hard lesson – that you are your only competition when another girl from her school performed the same song just a few moments before she hit the stage.

Definitely my daughter, she didn’t take this experience as defeat but more so a chance to do better the next time around. Last summer, she enrolled in music lessons taking ukulele to challenge herself and level up her game by singing and playing an instrument. Sadly, with COVID, schools were shut down as were all live events, including the talent show she worked all year to prepare for.

Not letting this opportunity go to waste, I told Ellie to come outside with me to the front porch. I pulled out my camera and told her to sing a song that embodied how she was feeling throughout this entire experience and to spread hope and light to others. She chose Andra Day’s RISE UP (one of my favorites) and she sang it beautifully at eight years old. Gave this mom goosebumps and made her cry!

I posted it to LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and saw the comments and hearts rushing in. I saved this as a featured post so Ellie would always have this to remember the moment by. Here’s the original post on LinkedIn the day of.

Her talent show audience would have had 100 people in the auditorium at best. By presenting Ellie with this new possibility, she gained an audience of several thousands worldwide, restored her lost confidence, lifted her spirits on a gloomy day, and turned complete strangers into raving fans. Some even asked when she would hit The Voice soon. We’re working on it!

The next time you feel like the opportunity is lost, it’s not. Create your own stage to shine. Be you, do your thing, don’t forget to smile and watch how the world takes notice.

Rule of Life Lesson #127: