Even things that I know to be true still amaze me. Like how things really work. Two months ago I found out that I was not chosen to be a speaker at Imaging USA in 2014. My third year of applying and after two years of hard work to gain my Craftsmen degree I was pretty bummed. Actually more than bummed. It brought up so many old, childhood feelings of not being popular, being the last one chosen, not having enough facebook likes….just ridiculous, childish but real feelings. In my moment of drama, across my email comes an invitation to join my coach for a coaching workshop in LA. I thought, this is exactly what I need. So on a whim, I decide to go and leave the next day for LA.
At some point in the 4 day, 12 hours a day workshop, the facilitator Jay Fiset announces we’re going to play a game and be broken up into two teams. Uncontrollably I let out an audible grunt. Jay stops his presentation and asked, “Jeff, what was that all about”. I said, “I hate team games”. “Why?”, Jay asks. “Because somebody always looses”. Fast forward, we play this game called The Game of Life. It’s a long, hard to explain game, but there’s a scoring system and at some point our team realizes there’s no way we can win. However, we can ‘throw’ the game so the other team wins or we can make it so both teams loose. Only I and one other woman advocate to let the other team win. Unfortunately majority wins and we are over-ruled and both teams loose. And this is called The Game of Life.
The big break-through for me comes when we debrief. I realize that I was never the last one chosen. I was never unpopular. It was my choice all along. I never wanted to play the game. Unfortunately most people are geared towards the win-loose or loose-loose. It’s never been a game I wanted to play in sports or in life. I strive for the win-win.
With my renewed enthusiasm and clarity I return home after an intense weekend locked up in a hotel at LAX and put the disappointment of not speaking at Imaging behind me. Last weekend, we head to New Hampshire to speak to the New Hampshire Professional Photographers Association convention. Warren’s driving so I catch up on some videos to watch. Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love perfect lists. A detailed list of what I want to manifest in my life- perfect home, perfect client, etc. In one of these videos, the speaker suggests making a perfect list for your next perfect strategy partner. What an awesome suggestion! Who’s the next perfect person I can meet who I can strategize with to take my career to the next level. I thought, “I’ll have to do this when I get home.”
As I’m breaking down from my speaking engagement, in walks this lovely lady with stunning hair. She introduces herself as the speaker the next morning, Audrey Wancket. I realize now I should have know who she was but honestly I didn’t. We chatted about all sorts of things and somehow the topic comes up about my disappointment about not being chosen to speak at Imaging. Turns out, she’s the liaison for the speaker selection committee. While it seems much two late in the game, she suggests I send her my info, if not for this year perhaps next year. Within two days, Audrey connected with Lori Nordstrom, an angel who had been my original connection to the speaker selection committee, and these two women went to bat for me and got it done. I was invited to be a platform speaker at Imaging 2014.
This is how things really work. I didn’t even have time to make my perfect strategist list but she, Audrey, walked into my life. If I hadn’t gotten the ‘No’ two months earlier I never would have gone to LA to have that break-through moment. Audrey and Lori are not just peers that came through for me. That are, absolutely 100%, GIFTS. I appreciate this opportunity more than I ever would have had it come along more easily. I can use the energy of gratefulness, the respect for their effort, and the responsibility to deliver on my promise to encourage me to be more and do more than I ever have before. This is not a heady experience. It’s a humbling one. It amazes me how life unfolds.