In my early days as a newbie seminar promoter (four years before I launched Jim Rohn International in 1993), I was promoting a small event in Dallas. I had booked Jim Rohn for a day long seminar starting at 10am and going till 4pm.
Typically, I would arrive around 6:30am 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 show up as early as 1-2 hours before the start time.
Well, for this seminar, I was in for a bit of a shock. I arrived at the meeting room early, only to find it packed full of people! Another event was already going on in MY meeting room! What!?
I instantly went into panic mode. When I found the hotel staff, they assured me everything was okay since that meeting would end by 9:30 and they could do a quick turnaround by 10.
Well that’s NOT how it works. It takes hours to set up the room, stage, sound, and product tables, plus we would have attendees showing up early to get the best seats before the current meeting was even going to be over.
I went into solution mode and asked if they could give us another room. Answer: No—they were booked solid.
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 admit, I then started thinking about all the refunds that were going to happen as a result.
Then it escalated. I was worrying about how all this would reflect upon me in the eyes of not only the attendees but also with the man I had booked to speak, my future mentor and business partner, Jim Rohn.
All attempts to find a solution had been exhausted. Now I faced how to best communicate this to the folks showing up and to Jim.
Around 8am, Jim came strolling down to check in before going to have a bit of breakfast. I braced myself to share the really bad news.
I nervously and sheepishly told him I had somehow dropped the ball and allowed the hotel to overlap us with another event. I explained that at the very best we would be able to start at 11 and that we would need to explain what was going on with attendees and ask them to wait.
I was angry with myself and ashamed I had dropped the ball!
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.”
“We will just have to explain to everyone the circumstances. They will understand and will wait. And I will make it up to them by going longer and I will make this my all-time, best seminar.”
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!”
And Jim did make it one of his all time best seminars! It was an amazing day!
I’ve since used that line and the real meaning behind it to gain perspective when things don’t go the way I hope.
Now what made his wisdom even more special was that I had never heard Jim say those words privately or on stage ever (and would never hear him say them after). I went on to be Jim’s 18 year business partner. I was executive producer on every audio and video series we released. I published every book and put on every event from 1993 to 2007. So, I knew him and his work. It was just the perfect word, in season, from one of the greatest men I’ve ever known.
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, through starting Jim Rohn International in 1993, and up until his passing in 2009.
Jim, one more time, thank you for your friendship and mentorship in my life. I will forever be honored and blessed! I promise to always share your message and the impact it has had on me and so many others.
With love, Kyle
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