Don’t Stop Believin’

May 11, 2011

Just a small-town girl...

I know my limits so trust me when I say, I can’t sing. I don’t even like to sing “happy birthday.” But, I carry around a list on my phone that I call “Life’s To Do List.” It’s like a bucket list, because it includes major goals like taking flying lessons and visiting London. It also has things on it like go to more movies, play more golf and read more books. One of my bigger things to conquer was karaoke. Yes, that’s right. Karaoke. Even though I am terrified to sing in public, I put it on my list. It seemed like it would be fun to do and I knew it was something that I could do, I just needed to overcome my own insecurities. I have other things on my to do list, but they are too personal to share on a blog.

Last night, after a trip to New York, I stopped at my local pub with Midori. She was visiting and I wanted to show her my local hang out. Guess what? It was “Tone Deaf Tuesday” a.k.a. karaoke night.  After listening to a few songs, I pulled out my phone and showed Midori my bucket list. At the same time, we started chatting with a group of people seated next to us who were equally fearful about standing in front of strangers and belting out their favorite song. We quickly encouraged one of the women to sing and we all gathered at the front to support her.

As we sat there, I began to realize that this was my time to check something off the list. It was all about the fun, right? It was about tackling fear. If everyone else could do it, so could I.  Midori promised that if I would sign-up, she would join me. After a brief  and not-so-scientific consultation, we selected Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’.  When our turned came, our new friends joined us near “the stage.”  As it turns out that if you fear public singing, Don’t Stop Believin’ is the PERFECT song. As soon as music came on, the ENTIRE bar joined in.  Suddenly, it wasn’t just Midori and I singing by ourselves, but a community of new friends supporting us and having a great time.

When the song ended, I was relieved and proud of myself, oh and I had fun too.

In a way, singing karaoke served as a metaphor for life and business.

1. Having clearly defined business goals helps push us to the next level. My list serves both personal and professional purposes.

2. Supporting other people in reaching their goals is good karma. When we heard the woman next to us express her fear, my first instinct was to encourage and tell her that she could do it. It turns out she had an amazing voice.

3. When you support others, you might be surprised as to how people support you back in the most amazing way. You can’t imagine how powerful it was to have everyone singing with me. I’ve received the same type of support from colleagues who have referred business to me or hired me directly.

4. Figure out your fears and find a way to conquer them. For me, this was starting a business and being a full-time entrepreneur. For you, it might be pitching a new idea or challenging the norm.

5.  If you have goals, tell a friend or mentor. Sometimes you need other people to push you along.  Motivation needs to come from within, but encouragement never hurts.

6. Don’t be afraid to start new conversations. The people who we cheered on happen to be potential clients. We didn’t just make friends, but we made new business contacts. You never know where you will find opportunity if you know where to look for it.

7. And most important, Don’t Stop Believin’ in your self. As I write this, it might sound a little cheesy, but sometimes everyone needs a reminder of how great they are.

So, what’s on your bucket list and what are you going to do to cross it off?