On June 20th, I received a notification that my friend, Jenny, left a post on my Facebook page. I am not on Facebook much these days, so when I finally opened it I was equal parts flattered and excited to see what she had shared:
Jenny has been a wonderful and encouraging voice throughout my journey to building and growing Chapter BE. For example: she connected me to some of her friends and colleagues while I was traveling across the country on my road trip, The Being of a Nation, last year, and when I wrote her to thank her, her response to me was, “I am so happy to help. And I am even happier you are living your dream!” This moment has stayed with me as a beautiful example of how you show up for another person, and here she was doing it again.
Sometimes it takes a nudge from someone else to give you the courage to take the next step, make a leap of faith, or apply for a TEDx Talk! The truth is that last spring, I realized that I needed to start sharing what I learned while traveling across the country and talking to almost 400 strangers along the way. The stories I collected were not meant to live and die with me, but to be shared with others. They were not mine to own. So, this encouragement from Jenny landed in my inbox at just the right time, because TEDxCherryCreekWomen felt like the perfect community to start the sharing process.
So…I applied. The application was extensive, but I found it helpful because it forced me to articulate my thoughts, goals, and bigger message to someone else. I pressed send on the application, telling myself that the process of applying was a good exercise – whether I was accepted to speak or not. Working as a small business, you learn to be okay with rejection. It is a part of an entrepreneur’s story, and it is better to try than to wonder and have regret.
And then summer happened. I somewhat lost track of time, so when I received the email that said, “I am excited to be able to offer you the attached invitation letter to present at this year’s TEDxCherryCreekWomen2018 event,” it was a bit of a shock. I have been working on Chapter BE as a labor of love for five years, and to have an organization like TEDx believe that your message and work is worth sharing feels incredibly rewarding. The first thing I did was reply with an affirmative confirmation. The next? An email to Jenny to say, “THANK YOU!”
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