By: Kathy Kent Toney, CEO & Founder of Kent Business Solutions
With the 4th of July holiday happening this week, I thought I'd give myself a break and share with you one of the most popular blogs I've written. I hope you enjoy it!
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Have you ever had those moments that were so embarrassing that you wanted to crawl in a hole and hide?
One such instance happened many years ago when I was offered a paying gig as a wedding singer. I had previously sung at several friends’ weddings for free, so I jumped on the chance to get paid for it.
Little did I know this would be a BIG lesson in perseverance!
Murphy’s Law was at play from the very beginning. I came down with bronchitis two days before the wedding rehearsal. Then once I got there, I discovered I had left my music for one of the songs at home, which was a two-hour drive away.
So, the pianist and I decided we’d practice that one song on the the wedding day, which certainly is not ideal!
The day of the wedding came, and I was able to sing, but I still wasn't in the greatest shape. Unfortunately, my unpreparedness and not feeling well got the best of me.
Let me explain….
During the wedding, I, unfortunately, forgot to change keys during one section of the song and I kept singing that same key throughout the rest of the song.
Ugh! Needless to say, it sounded horrible! But I kept forging ahead, acting as if nothing were wrong at all, but inside I was mortified. Eventually, the pianist caught up with me and thankfully I nailed the next song.
Then the funniest thing happened during the reception. The groom said to me, “you sounded great, Kathy, but the pianist sure screwed up!”
I almost burst out laughing, but instead, I thanked him and didn’t say a word about what actually happened. However, the bride refused to talk to me. And then she refused to pay me!
Although this experience wasn’t fun at the time, I can laugh now. Also, I learned several lessons on how to persevere during difficult situations, especially when you’re in the spotlight.
Let's dive into what those are!
1. Fake It Until You Make It
When I made that mistake, I consciously decided to stay committed to my direction, knowing that doing anything else would only make it worse. I pretended I knew exactly what I was doing, even if it was wrong.
Life Lesson: We all make bad decisions, but sometimes the best course of action is to stick to your guns, IF the fall-out would be worse if you suddenly change course. This may be especially true if you’re in a new role and need to inspire those around you to follow your direction. Be confident in whatever choice you make.
2. Have a “Don’t Give Up Attitude”
I committed to singing at this wedding, and I wasn't going to let anything stop me from doing that. I also didn't let the mistake I made limit me from nailing the next song.
Life Lesson: Make a firm decision that when you say you’re going to do something, you do it, even if the going is tough.
3. Be Tenacious at Getting the Results You Want
My perseverance in bugging the bride to pay me paid of. I got a check in the mail six months later. Even more important, the lessons I learned in perseverance with this gig were worth all the time, effort, and even embarrassment I experienced.
Life Lesson: Tenaciously pursue your goals. Then take stock of what you learned, knowing that you can overcome certain challenges can help build a deeper ability to persevere under fire in the future. This builds even greater tenacity.
Speaking of challenges, are you in the midst of some that you’re not sure how to overcome? Could you use an outside perspective on how to tackle them?
If that's the case, I’d love to have a conversation with you! If it’s not something I can solve, I have a whole network of alliance partners that I’d love to connect you with.
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