More than 10 years ago I attended my first professional training at the Administrative Professionals Conference www.apcevent.com. That experience was life changing. While sitting in a large conference room with over 2000 administrative professionals I begin dreaming of what I wanted.
Goal # 1: Become a Member of the APC Advisory Council
Goal # 2: Become a Speaker at APC
Goal # 3: Become an Author
Goal # 4: Become the Emcee for APC
All of the above is now a reality!
It didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t easy. It didn’t happen because I received an invitation or a request. It happened because I created the opportunity.
Here’s how I create my own opportunity (and if I did it you can too!):
I found out who was on the Advisory Council and met with a few of them to explore possibilities, learn what the role encompassed and who led the group. I reached out to the leader and let her know I was interested and the value I could provide. We scheduled a meeting and the door was now open for a conversation. We brainstormed possibilities. Rapport was built and the invitation to join the council followed.
Serving on the Advisory Council is a rich opportunity. You get to see the conference from all angles. The role of the Advisory Council is to make improvements for the attendees. Thinking creatively, problem solving and conference management skills are all required. One of the serendipity’s of serving on this council is the relationships you create. Two of the people I served with have become great friends and we continue to stay in touch over the years. We’ve teamed on a variety of projects, including being invited to speak and provide training for their organizations.
Becoming a speaker wasn’t easy and certainly didn’t happen overnight. It took time, planning, focus and lots of practice. It began with listening to my inner voice and believing in my dream of becoming a speaker. Courage was one of the most important components. Having enough courage to voice my dream to a co-worker and a speaker at the conference put my dream into motion. That co-worker became part of my inner circle has played a vital role in my support network.
I hired that speaker to be my coach and I became a certified trainer. I created module after module and practiced and practiced, finally, I was time to let APC know I was interested. We had developed great rapport over the years and they were willing to give me the opportunity. I’ve now been a speaker at APC for over seven years.
I had wanted to be an author since I was in grade school. I had toyed with writing my own book over the years, but never got serious about it. My determination shifted while preparing for my upcoming conference presentation. I thought, “I don’t want to speak again and not have my own book!” I called my publisher and said,
“Besides work really hard,
what do I have to do to have my book written, published
and in my hand in three months?”
My publisher said, “I need a chapter a week, beginning this week.” And that’s exactly what I did. I focused my energy and time and sacrificed and accomplished the goal! My book was written, printed, published, arrived on time, AND sold out at the conference!
This brings me full circle. On Sunday, September 17th, goal #4 became a reality! I was the emcee for the 25th Anniversary for APC! As I walked into the largest ballroom at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas and saw a sea of 2100 chairs! I took in a deep breath and was fully in the moment, soaking up the view of the chairs, multiple camera men, AV crew and stage that seemed miles away from the entrance way. As I walked up on the stage I said:
“Dreams do happen when you make it happen!”
A dear friend told me, “You’ve got this, you’ve been preparing for this moment for your whole life!” For years I had studies several amazing emcees. I even made notes to prepare me for this day. I shared my dream of being the Emcee for APC with friends and my contacts at APC — and the rest is now history!
How about you? What dreams do you have?
What do you want to make a reality?