I recently attended an elite business conference in the Washington, D.C., metro area hosted by award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, author, and business coach Cheryl Wood (www.CherylEmpowers.com). As a small business owner, I was eager to attend. The theme of the conference drew me like a magnet: “Play Time Is Over!”
When I asked Wood why she chose such a bodacious message and movement, she responded, “Too many are sleeping on their potential and their possibilities. Every day I observe women who have great talent yet put their dreams on the shelf while supporting everyone else’s dreams. They allow their dreams to collect dust which eventually leads to regret about what they could have done or should have done. Too many become infatuated with comfort instead of pursuing greatness. It wasn’t until I embraced “Play Time Is Over” in my own life that I finally stopped complaining and started executing. I endeavored to show other women the power of nurturing possibilities even when it seems impossible—through challenges, setbacks, and disappointments.”
I captured a few strategic takeaways from Wood’s closing keynote on Living Fearlessly as she paved the path of possibility to a sold-out Hilton ballroom of eager and energized entrepreneurs:
Be Unapologetic: Don’t throw away your most valuable asset, time, while waiting for validation or permission from anyone else to pursue your dreams and aspirations. Unapologetically remind yourself that you’re enough just as you are and focus more on what you have than what you’re lacking.
Start without perfection: If you’re waiting for the perfect time to get started, your dream will never manifest. Avoid falling into the trap of playing the “When/Then Game”: For instance, when this happens, then I will get started. Instead, jump in with both feet, fail fast, and make course corrections along the way.
Focus and be intentional: The quickest way to sabotage your dream is to spend time on too many ideas or endeavors at once. Instead, get laser focused on accomplishing one goal at a time that puts you closer to the big dream. Be intentional about what you spend your time doing and who you spend your time with.
Take risks: No risk means no reward. The majority of the world’s population will forfeit greatness because most people prefer to do what’s comfortable, familiar, and safe. But in order to be great and do great things, you must take the risks that most people run from. Your true potential is always on the opposite side of what’s safe.
Dream big: The manifestation of greatness is to push yourself to the edge, dream big, keep discovering who you are, what you’re capable of achieving, and whose life you can positively affect in the process. But if you dream small, you’ll play small and your impact will be small. You owe it to yourself and to the world to dream big — as though your tomorrow isn’t coming, because all you really have is today.
Attendees exited the conference refreshed, retooled, and reminded, as we concluded in a unified crescendo: “Play Time Is Over! Whoop Whoop!”
Roz A. Gee consults as The Brand Empowerment Agent™ and CEO of The Rated Gee Agency (www.RatedGee.com), a brand empowerment company that offers service sectors in brand identity and development, brand messaging, media relations and speaking/training. Gee has masterfully mixed more than 20 years of cumulative experience and has worked corporately for industry titans such as General Electric, AT&T, AOL, IBM, SAP/Sybase, and Northrop Grumman. Twitter: @RozAGee Facebook: RozAGee Blog: www.OwnYourNewStory.com