A friend of mine recently posted a video clip of an old Johnny Carson show where the scheduled virtuoso pianist was unable to fulfill their obligations to the Tonight Show. Johnny took the nontraditional, and certainly risky, approach of taking a few volunteers from the audience to see if they could fill the spot.
The requirement Johnny put forth was that volunteers needed to have played piano for at least five years. Of course, the most daunting, unspoken requirement was that you had to have the guts to get up in front of a live studio audience and play the piano on the Johnny Carson Show! Crazy!
Sure enough, two individuals volunteered to come down and give it a shot. One of them did a very nice job. The other, knocked it out of the park both in his ability as well as his style while wearing a T-shirt, jeans, and flip-flops!
It was very cool and incredibly enjoyable to watch. There was no doubt that this young man who had studied piano at Ohio State and journeyed to California to work in the music industry was prepared for that opportunity when the bright lights might shine upon him.
And he killed it! So much so it launched his career, including at least one return visit to visit with Johnny and Ed on the Tonight Show.
So what’s the relevance?
Many of you reading this are sales people and have, or are in the process of, establishing a track record of success. Like most sales people, yours truly included, many of you probably feel pretty good about your skills and your product, market, and competitive knowledge.
But the question we must all ask ourselves is, “Are we really ready?”
Are we ready to perform our very best when the opportunity arises? Have we done everything in our power to ensure that we know exactly what we are going to say, the questions we are going to ask, and the resources that we are going to utilize to validate our answers? Have we anticipated the objections that might be put forth by our “audience” and the specific responses we will use to address those in an effective manner?
Of course, only you know the answer to those questions.
But you should also know this, the brightest of lights don’t shine that often nor do we always know when the switch will be flipped. If we want to truly shine – to be our best – we need to prepare every single day for that one moment when we can be a star. Never forget that procrastination is indeed the bane of stardom. The flip of the spotlight might come on your next call, tomorrow, or next week. Indeed, timing is of the essence.
Make no mistake about one other important fact – there IS greatness within you.
And while you may not know when the lights will shine, YOU have 100% control over how you prepare for your opportunity on center stage. It is truly a choice – your choice.
Choose to shine!
Have a great week everyone and be safe,
For those of you who want to see the Johnny Carson clip, here is what greatness looks like when you are fully prepared and the switch of opportunity is flipped – enjoy!