I gave a sermon recently at Marie Forleo’s now-legendary annual event, Rich Happy & Hot LIVE.
Russell Simmons took the stage after me. (Russell Simmons, the founder of Def Jam Records, not Richard Simmons of Sweatin’ to the Oldies.) It was Q&A time.
A gorgeous young black woman steps up to the mic. She introduces herself, “I’m RuDee Sade“, and delivers a cocktail line that is tight and on target. She briefly describes that she has an event planning company that works with non-profits and marketers to further good causes. She was full of that raw, anxious, delightful energy that is a gift to witness. 100% loveable in her eager reach.
And then the arch of her story came: “…And my mother let me sell our couch, and our end tables, to afford the ticket to come here.” The audience starts to whoop and holler. “Go, sister!” someone next to me said. We welled up.
“But I could only sell the furniture on one condition, Russell,” she said. We all leaned forward. “That I had the courage to give you my business card and ask for a meeting with you.” She was slightly out of breath at this point, heart racing in front of one of her heroes. She held her business card up in the air like it was gold for the Pharaoh. Then all eyes were on cool cat Russell Simmons. “Sure,” he said, “Yes, I’ll take a meeting with you. My assistant is in the green room. Go talk to him.”
She did it! She recruited people into her dream. She got in the door. She stepped to the front of the line. It’s a good thing she doesn’t have any living room furniture left, because she’s going home to do back flips and turn her family home into a small empire.
Fledgling or founded, we’ve all got a metaphorical sofa to sell, a risk to take. Something to put on the line.
Do what it takes. Whatever it takes.
Go without so you can go for the gold.
Grab the mic.
Make the ask.
Whatever happens, the results will be unforgettable.