- Rosa Parks -
It was easy to refuse the offer. It was so easy to say “I’m too busy on that day, sorry maybe next time, I really appreciate the call”. It was last Wednesday, middle of the day. Business at the store is usually slow during the midday. It’s my time to focus on the next week’s event planning. In the store, there only two older people who were drinking their coffees, sharing a slice of a chocolate cake. They were so busy talking with each other that they did not hear the telephone ringing. I picked it up.
The man on the other side said “hello Elizabeth” and told me that he had been reading my blog posts for a few months now. He told me he came to visit my store once or twice and really liked the chocolate cake and my business. I felt so proud. He continued and said he was the organizer of a national small business conference which would take place in one month.
I thought to myself “oh, and now for the sales pitch, would you want to come to the conference”. But instead of this question he asked a very different one, he said “Elizabeth, it will be our pleasure if you can come and present at the conference, there will be about 3,000 people in attendance and I am sure they can learn a lot from your business experience”.
I wanted to laugh “My business experience? Three thousand people, yea right”. I was taken aback, I did not know what to say. I wanted to say “I really have nothing to talk about, I really don’t have time to prepare, you know, the store requires my time”. It was so easy to say “I’m too busy on that day, sorry maybe next time, I really appreciate the call”.
Somehow, I remembered Athena reading me a quote from a Marianne Williamson book:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
I smiled, took a deep breath and told him “I agree, it will be my privilege to come and share my thoughts with my fellow business owners, please send me all the details”.
I was thinking about this call for the entire day, I have no idea what I am going to talk about, I was not sure I had enough to say, there were going to be many successful business people who would speak at the conference, known names, known business success stories. I knew there would be many successful people in the audience. Smart and knowledgeable people, why would they listen to me?
Athena told me more than once that to become a successful person one needs to say “yes” when all her body is shaking and her mind tells her to say “no”.
In life there are few times when one needs to make decisions which might define the success of her business, on these times it will be easier to say “No”, it will be easier to think why saying “No” makes complete sense. You will be afraid to say “Yes” you will be comfortable saying “No”.
I know I can’t convince you to say “yes”. I have said “No” so many times. Who am I to tell you what to do? Who am I to tell you to jump? Who am I to tell you that it is the right way? Who am I to present in front of you? It is you who needs to make the decision. No one else can make it for you.
I made my decision and on July 10th I will present at the conference! I want to share my knowledge. I have a lot to say. I am Liz, a mother, chocolate business owner and a time traveler.
My brilliant yoga teacher always ends her class with a simple quote, “May the light in me, see and honor the light in you”. Let me end this post with my simple variation, may my business experience and wisdom, honor your experience and wisdom.