In my earliest days as a seminar promoter (prior to launching Jim Rohn International in 1993) I was promoting an event in Dallas. I had booked Jim Rohn for a day long event starting at 10 am and going till 4 pm.
Typically I would arrive around 6:30 am to make sure the stage, room and tables were all set-up correctly and then my team and I would set-up product tables and get everything ready for when attendees arrived. Often people would start to to show up as early as 1-2 hours before the start time.
Well, for this event I was in for the shock of my life. I arrived at the meeting room to find it packed full of people eating a buffet style breakfast! Another event in MY meeting room! What??
I instantly went into panic mode. When I found my event coordinator they assured me everything was okay since that meeting would end by 9 and they could do a quick turnaround by 10.
Well that’s NOT how it works. It takes hours to set-up the room and tables/products plus we would already have guests showing up before the current meeting was even over.
I went into solution mode and asked if they could give us another room. Answer: no – they were booked solid (one of the reasons they tried to sneak this other event in).
Now I’m beyond upset and panicked. My first thoughts were all the expectations of those who had purchased tickets and their busy schedules. And I have to be honest and admit that I then started thinking about all the refunds that were going to happen as a result.Then it escalated to me worrying how all this would reflect upon me with not only the attendees but also the man I had booked to speak, my future mentor and business collaborator, Jim Rohn.
All attempts to find a solution, a fix were exhausted. Now what I faced was how to best communicate this to the folks showing up and how to tell Jim.
Around 8:30 am Jim came strolling down to check in before going to breakfast. I braced myself to share the really bad news.
I humbly and embarrassingly told him I had somehow dropped the ball and allowed the hotel to overlap us with another event. I explained at best we would be able to start at 11 and sheepishly would need to explain what was going on with attendees and ask them to wait.
I’ll never forget this next moment for the rest of my life. After sharing the bad news and making it clear we were out of options, Jim just calmly looked at me and said, “Kyle it will be okay. It’s not like a good friend died. Now that would be a problem. This is just an inconvenience and I will make it up to them by going longer and making it my all-time, best seminar.” WOW!!
What a paradigm shift! And what an incredible life lesson for me to learn from my future mentor. “It’s not like a good friend just died!” How many times have I since used that line and the real meaning behind it to put into perspective when things don’t go the way I planned or intended.
I will always be grateful for all the remarkable lessons and wisdom Jim passed on to me beginning with the first time I promoted him in 1990, then starting Jim Rohn International in 1993 and up until his passing in 2009.
This lesson in particular, maybe because it was so early in our relationship, has special meaning and memories and appreciation for my mentor and friend, Jim Rohn.
To Your Better Future,
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Kyle Wilson is the founder of LessonsFromExperts.com, Jim Rohn International (JimRohn.com) and YourSuccessStore, he also is the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul. To learn more about the Lessons From Experts Network click here! To connect with Kyle through social media click here.