The true value of competition
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It was the largest audience I had ever presented for.
Over 3,000 people were at the Fort Worth Convention Center to see my Positivity Magic keynote presentation, and aside from being one of the most important milestones of my career, it was also a valuable lesson in what not to do.
The day before the presentation, April 14, 2018, I had a brief layover in Minneapolis before flying the rest of the way to Fort Worth, but what started off as a beautiful spring morning quickly turned into a gray afternoon.
Standing at the gate, looking out the window at the plane I would soon be boarding, I saw a single snowflake fall from the sky.
And then, before long, the plane was covered in snow.
Spring was in full swing! What was Minneapolis doing?!
Just when the plane should have been taking off, it was announced that all flights were canceled.
After settling into a hotel room for the night, I started considering the odds of flights taking off on time the next morning, and instead of just hoping for the best, I took hopeful action—preparing for Plan B by looking for a substitute presenter just in case I couldn’t make it in time.
The only problem was I didn’t know any other magicians who did anything similar to what I do. The client had booked me not just to engage their conference attendees with amazing magic, but to also empower them with relevant knowledge and skills, and to encourage them to apply these new ideas in their life—to be positively changed as a result of the experience.
As a keynote speaker, just being engaging isn’t enough, we also need to empower and encourage the people we serve.
Several emails, texts, and phone calls later, and finally I got a lead on a magician and comedy keynote speaker named Lyndy Phillips who encourages his audiences to “Laugh More, Stress Less.”
And I busted out laughing.
Who better to solve this stressful situation than the guy who helps people stress less!
During our phone call that evening, I learned that not only was Lyndy the perfect fit for the audience, but he also lived a hop skip and a jump from the convention center!
I asked him (more or a beg and a plea) if he would be available and willing to be on call for the next night, just in case I didn’t make it, and he graciously accepted.
With Plan B in place, I was able to put my head on the pillow with ease for a good night’s rest.
The next morning, the flight took off on time, and I arrived in Fort Worth with plenty of time to relax before the presentation and everything went smoothly.
The next morning I was able to meet with Lyndy before the flight back home to thank him in person for being so gracious, and was thrilled for the opportunity to connect and get to know him better.
A Learning Experience
This experience taught me some important lessons:
There are some who may balk at the third lesson, because they would never consider giving business to competition, but as one of my mentors, Rick Forgay, taught me: the true value of competition is conspiring together for the benefit of the people we serve.
Since this experience in Minneapolis, I have added several professionals to my network who I can rely on to pass referrals to so I will never again have to worry about potentially disappointing another client.
Who is your competition? And how might you turn them into allies to conspire together for the benefit of the people you serve?
If you are a speaker or facilitator, I would love to connect with you so we can “conspire together.”
Jonas Cain, M.Ed. is a storyteller, magician, musician, and facilitator of fascination. Through his company, Hashtag Positivity, he assists individuals, teams, and communities in “Being Well By Living Well” to experience abiding joy. Connect with Jonas today to discuss your challenges, goals, and obstacles: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonas Cain, M.Ed. is a storyteller, magician, musician, and facilitator of fascination on a mission to help you experience abiding joy.