Some months ago, I was excited to attend a networking event that is famous for bringing in a well known speaker each month. The organizer and I are friends, so we arranged to get together to catch up a few hours before the event.
When we met up, my first question for him was, “So who’s tonight’s speaker?”
Without missing a beat, he said, “YOU ARE!”
Since my dream is to speak to over ten million people live in my lifetime, hearing what my friend said felt like my ship coming in. Sometimes, a speaking engagement takes months or even years to book. On other occasions, it’s as simple as the organizer having confidence in you and saying “YOU ARE!” My friend offered me an opportunity to take another step towards my dreams.
The opportunity came….in an instant.
I could have come up with many reasons to tell my friend, “Thanks, but no thanks”. These reasons could have included:
1. I’m not prepared.
2. I haven’t had time to practice.
3. I’m not mentally in “the zone” to speak tonight.
4. Today is one of my days off from speaking.
5. There was a time years ago when I filled in for someone at a speaking engagement and wasn’t, at all, pleased with the speech I delivered. I don’t want that to happen again.
6. Sorry, this is all just too last minute for me. I simply don’t operate this way.
7. This month won’t work for me. How about next month?
I’ve used plenty of excuses to refuse sudden opportunities in the past. But luckily this time, I simply said, “Yes, I would love to speak tonight”.
The evening was a huge success. The group loved the talk I gave and I was living and breathing my dream. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
Is there an opportunity you have been waiting for?
The followup question is just as important, if not, more so:
Are you prepared to say “YES!” with confidence when your ship comes in?
If your answer is “No.”, what steps can you start taking today in order to row out to meet it?
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