The art of embracing opportunity

As a Motivational Trainer, I actively encourage people to embrace new opportunities and overcome their own resistance to change but, just this last week, I had such an opportunity present itself to me personally, when I was asked if I’d like to be a crew member at an alternative trainer’s event.

Ordinarily I would find myself ‘too busy’; too busy to give up 3 days of my own time upon which I could work on my own business, and to attend and work at another trainer’s event would be something that I probably would not do. However, in a manner similar to Danny Wallace’s ‘Yes Man’, I heard myself rising to the challenge and saying ‘Yes’ and so found myself a few days later standing, front of house at the crack of dawn, with the broadest and brightest smile on my face, meeting and greeting the attendees.

When I said yes, I’d decided to treat this as a practical activity from which I could learn, in short, practice what I preach. I decided on my overall vision of the event and attached to it my own real and personal motivation ... to understand from the ground up just what it would take to put on such a vast event as, whilst Skybrook Consultants are capable of supporting relatively large groups of people, we have yet to cater on a scale of this magnitude.

Starting with this vision, I then set about understanding what my own goals for the weekend would be. I knew that I needed to ensure that I maintained my energy for the duration, and so be conscious of what I was eating and when; I didn’t want to overload with carbs and then find myself sleepy at a time that my services were needed. It was also important for me to keep hydrated, and, if it was important for me then it was equally important for the attendees, and so another goal was formed, keep the supply of water flowing, pardon the pun, and regularly top up the water at their tables.

I knew attendees would be looking to me to answer their queries, so I set about pre-empting their questions, learning as much as I could do in order to facilitate their weekend, and foster a great experience. To do so, I set about understanding what the parking restrictions were, check-in/check-out times at the hotel, what food options were available in order to cater for any dietary requirements, what times the training was to start and end and, of course, to whom I could turn if I didn’t have the answer to hand. I set it in mind that no job was to be too small or too menial, I was going to treat each and every attendee as I would want my own attendees to be treated, if the training at hand was my own.

And of course, from the goals came the tasks, the meeting and greeting, the stewarding of the attendees as training commenced, the answering of the attendee’s questions, and the ‘mic running’ ... oh yes, the ‘mic running’.

For those of you that haven’t had the opportunity to attend such large event ‘mic running’ is the fun observational sport (for the attendees and more probably the presenter), where a member of the crew is asked to run around at break neck speed to provide a microphone so that attendee’s questions and / or contributions can be heard throughout the venue. Now believe me, I am no Usain Bolt, but his world record of 9.58 seconds was mine, although for 10 metres scrambling across desks and behind chairs, not the 100 metres in a straight line that he so spectacularly achieved. ‘Mic running’ was something I hadn’t previously done, but it’s great fun, especially when there are a few ‘mic runners’ around the room to compete with, although it is far more physical when the others have taken a ‘comfort break’ and you have to cover the whole room yourself. Even this, however, came with its own unexpected benefit. I was wearing my ‘Fitbit’ throughout the event, and at the end was very pleased to see I clocked near on 6 miles on each and every day, a total of nearly 18 miles, and thereby had inadvertently satisfied another goal: that of building up a bit of fitness and stamina before I take my skiing holiday.