Passion or Preparation

I have always ascribed to Zig Ziglar's belief that “Success happens when preparation meets opportunity.”

It was only the other day that I was forced to consider what role passion plays.

I was explaining to someone the painstaking process I go through to prepare for a keynote:

Write the keynote in my head over the course of months

Type it out in full sentences.

Study the speech while taking walks, getting comfortable with the flow and making mental notes about necessary changes.

Convert my type-written pages into a set of 4″x6″ note cards.

Study them for days ahead of time while walking or sitting on a stationary bike.

Finally reduce the set of index cards down to one card bearing a single word representing each key point I intend to make.

Even after all of that the “achiever” in me wonders if I am prepared enough, always worrying there is something more I could have done.

Then the other night someone challenged me to consider what people were really responding to was not how practiced I was, but rather how passionate I was about the topic. She said she liked to listen to me talk about Shine, not because every word was perfectly in place, but because I was clearly passionate about igniting the power within each man, woman, and child in order to change the world for the better.

I believed her.

The next day my eleven year old son packed his briefcase and announced to me that we needed to load into my car, because he had plans to meet with the owner of a local store called Sassy Flamingo.

He was tired of watching me sit on the sidelines of life when it came to pushing and promoting House of Shine t-shirts and he was ready to take matters into his own hands. He wanted to meet with the owner and pitch the idea that she start selling them for a piece of the profits.

No practice.

No notecards.

No forethought what's so ever.

My instinct was to say, “No, another day”, but I recognized his request as an opportunity for me to cultivate Matthew's shine – his love of sales. So, I bit my tongue and we loaded into the car.

Of course, as Matthew's luck would have it, she as there. In the store. Alone. With no customers, demanding that we come back later.

So he started talking. Off the cuff. With no real preparation. But with a lot of passion for what I do. And with a lot of passion for how helping me will help him launch his dream of starting a clothing line for college kids.

Shirley didn't say “yes” off the bat, but she did give Matthew forty minutes of her time and filled him with invaluable lessons about life, leadership, and business.

And, she didn't say “no” either.

So he returned the next day with all the same amounts of passion and a touch more preparation, by way of a follow-up proposal.

He is scheduled to follow up with her again today. If the owner Shirley says “yes” it will have everything to do with the passion she sees in Matthew and nothing to do wit the preparation of his handwritten, paragraph-long proposal.

It's an interesting thing to contemplate: the role that passion versus preparation plays in our being successful.

When you consider your own life, which do see yourself relying on more – passion or preparation?

Claudia Beeny

Founder and Executive Director

Posted on 8/18/15 2:00 pm by Claudia Beeny in: Miscellaneous,Personal Development
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