Are you waiting for someone to finally recognize your talent? The special connection with that powerful person who can promote you and your project? The perfect mentor?
The Waiting Game
Part of my work is to coach CEO’s of $5M-$50M companies, and several years ago I was at a conference hoping to develop some new business. In one of the breakout sessions I was paired with a woman about my age. Oh goodie I thought, she looks like a CEO. When she handed me her business card it said Executive Producer AARP. I sighed to myself. No opportunity here. AARP is way beyond the 50M mark. Nevertheless through the course of the activity we had a wonderful time and agreed to meet for a drink that evening.
Later Kim and I shared more about what we each did. I talked about my strategic work, even helped her move through an issue she was dealing with. And I also told her about developing the whole concept of Discover Your YIPPEE. Kim told me she worked with Jane Pauley, the 14-year host of NBC’s Today show, and Jane had a new gig with AARP, interviewing people who had made dramatic career changes after 50.
One thing led to another and before I knew it I was thrilled to be booked to be on Jane’s show in New York. Jane was lovely and we had a great time. She and Kim told me more about the AARP project and talked about ways to connect Discover Your YIPPEE with AARP’s Life Re-Imagined program. I can see us now on stage at AARP’s big conference with over 7000 attendees, Jane said. We interview someone from the crowd and you do your brilliant mapping of their situations just like you’ve done for Kim and me. People would love it, it would be terrific, we’d have so much fun.
WOW! I thought, this is amazing, AARP is a huge audience. Discover Your YIPPEE will go everywhere. This is my chance!
Jane and I did another show in New York. Jane and Kim were even more enthusiastic although Jane kept saying I’m just the talent, they don’t consult me about the program itself.
After leaving New York, Kim and I stayed in touch. She kept me up to date on what I knew was going to be my BIG BREAKTHROUGH. In fact, after the second show I slowed down my own efforts at building the YIPPEE brand because I just KNEW Jane and AARP would be the ticket to my being recognized as the re-imagination expert that I am.
The next AARP conference came and went and I wasn’t on the program, I rationalized, maybe they had already set the agenda. Surely Jane will get it set up…
The Key to Your Success
With a trip to New York in the offing, Jane and I agreed to meet for lunch. We talked about her book, YOUR LIFE CALLING: REIMAGINING THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, our children and happenings in the world. I didn’t want to push about the AARP connections, but at last I did ask. Do you think something will work out with AARP? Jane looked me in the eye and in her gentle way said, Elizabeth your success doesn’t depend on me.
It was not what I wanted to hear, even though I knew it was true. You are a brilliant woman and there are so many avenues for you. Don’t wait on my being able to make something happen.
As I flew back to Nashville, I reflected on Jane’s words. I also recognized how many times in my life I believed that someone else’s approval, recognition, or connection would be the key to my success. That IF ONLY….
I had a belief that somehow I wasn’t enough and that I needed someone else’s “seal of approval” before I could be recognized for my work. That’s what Jane was telling me. I didn’t have to wait for that, I already had it and YOU DO TOO!
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek mentors, create networks, and make strategic connections? It does mean that YOU ARE THE KEY TO YOUR OWN SUCCESS. To believe otherwise can steal your energy and the belief you deserve to have in yourself.
So don’t wait! You are the key. Believe in yourself, first.
If you’ve learned to believe in yourself, share your story of how you got there in the comments below. If you haven’t, let us give you some support!
Until Tuesday. YIPPEE!