In the early days of the internet my sister once clicked on one of those flashing banner ads that said “You’re a Winner!” She called the number, immediately, to claim her prize. The person who answered the phone couldn’t believe Kristen had received the message she described.
“Wow!” the operator said, perfectly rehearsed, “let me ask my manager about that one.”
It was one of the rare ads that would send Kristen on an all-expenses-paid trip around the world. They only had a few of them. How had she found it?
“You’re so lucky!” the operator gushed.
|What's under the bridge?|
Leigh Johnson Reed Photography, June 2012
After surrendering her personal information, enough to allow them to hack her identify and get to anything electronic they considered of value, they told her she would receive her voucher in the mail.
“Congratulations again,” the manager said before hanging up the phone.
It was the blinking banner that drew Kristen in. She couldn’t believe she’d actually won something. The fact that she hadn’t made a lot more sense. It was a scam. No vouchers ever arrived and she’s never been around the world on an all-expenses-paid anything.
The joke was on them, really, Kristen was 19, broke, and had no accounts whatsoever. College student/bartender doesn’t exactly mean “gold mine” for internet fraud. She was pretty lucky after all.
Feeling like a winner is a great thing. It’s great when it’s totally random and has nothing to do with skill or hard work. Every year at the DTC annual party I win the table center piece giveaway. Every year. But feeling like a winner is even better when we’ve worked for that thing we win. When we’ve sweated and sacrificed, studied and practiced, perfected and performed.
Life is a series of contests. It starts when we’re the first baby in play group to smile for something other than gas and ends when we have the longest obituary and the most mourners at our funeral. Some of these contests are true measurements of achievement and hard work. Graduations and the Olympic Games are those types. Some contests like raffles and lotteries are just random acts of good luck. Or bad luck, depending upon the blink of the banner.
This blog post is an entry in a contest. It’s meant to win me a free year in The Freelance Writer’s Den, an online community lovingly tended by den mothers Carol Tice and Linda Formichelli. The assignment was to write a post explaining why I should win.
That’s easy. Because this contest is not about luck or strategy, or politics or money. It’s a contest about finding people who are the right fit. I’m the right fit.
Know Your Story
Since we learned in February that I would have to leave my full time job so Charlie could take the promotion at DTC, I have been in the perpetual state of contest entry known as “job seeking.” I applied for every job for which I considered myself the right fit. I’m a great trainer. I interviewed to be a training manager at a local financial institution. Not a fit. I applied for consulting jobs, teaching jobs, training jobs, all of the jobs I’ve done in the past and none of them fit.
As every job seeker knows, more time is spent feeling like a loser than a winner. So when you can’t find an employer who will take a chance on you, take a chance on yourself.
Make the Leap
My resume has been officially updated to Owner & Senior Consultant, Clemson Road Creative, LLC. That’s right. I started my own business. And like most new businesses, I have limited start-up capital.
What would I do with Writer’s Den resources? Grow my business, of course! I’m a continuous improvement junky. So “micro-business” in not the goal. It’s just the starting point.
Writing for me is not something to do until something better comes along. Writing is building the business, brick-by-brick as the DTC guys would say. Clemson Road is my way to serve others as a writer, speaker, coach, consultant, or provider of whatever other service my clients need to help them adapt to change. Clemson Road is a solutions provider and I am the solver.
I built Clemson Road as a blog about life in transition. Life is always changing. Being prepared for change is one thing, but seeking it, reaching for it, pulling it toward me and wrapping myself in it has taken more courage than anything I’ve ever done.
The vision is my autonomy. Clemson Road is my company. Just saying that out loud makes me feel like a winner.
I am proud of what I do, excited about doing it. I have a very clear vision of what success looks like (thanks, Stephanie Pollack).
It is great to be a winner. I’ll be sure to thank the people who help me get there. The Freelance Writer’s Den can help. They just have to decide I’m the right fit.
What makes you feel like a winner? Share your ideas of “winning,” sans Charlie Sheen jokes, in the comments below.