You Just Never Know

An awesome part of the creative journey is: “you just never know.”

Random things can happen that can lead to inspiration – or sales – and you’re best served by always being open and prepared to accept them. Be in the moment.

More on mindfulness down the road. Anyway, back to our show…

I’ve always been a fan of, “you just never know.”

When I was in Junior High School, our 8th grade social studies class went on a weekend field trip from Long Island to Williamsburg, Virginia, to learn about colonial life. Or at least that was the excuse used to let us go.

On the ride down, the wire on some kid’s braces broke, causing a bit of a stir on the bus, not to mention discomfort for the kid. We were on a highway and there was no way this was going to be dealt with until we got back.

As one of the teachers escorting us went up and down the aisle of the bus, I stopped him, reached into my carry on bag and pulled out a pair of wire cutters, which I suggested he use to cut the offending wire until a trip to the orthodontist the following week. 

The look I received was priceless and when I was questioned why I was carrying wire cutters on this trip, the answer that seemed best at the time (factoring in self-preservation) was: “You just never know.” Yeah, good thing he didn’t go through he rest of my bag. But I digress… (again). 

Net-net, calm was restored and the trip went on.

Fast forward to this week and I am traveling with my kids on a road trip through Texas and we stumbled on a tour that was going on at a museum in Austin. The kids tagged along as the guide was giving a detailed but engaging explanation of the exhibits. We followed them for the better part of an hour and a half. Towards the end, I thanked the guide and his wife and found out that they provided much of the exhibit material and were giving the tour to friends of theirs, but appreciated our attention and participation. We crashed a group of friends going through the museum!

After a few minutes of chit-chat, we exchanged business cards. Imagine my surprise when my phone rang a little while later with an invitation to dinner and to see more materials that didn’t make the museum. We all shared a great meal and spent the most wonderful time at their home!

In the morning we were strangers, linked only by the randomness of being in the same place at the same time. By nighttime we parted as friends, with plans to see each other again. I am hoping to have their exhibit come here, to Kansas City. A great story!

You just never know.

So… What are you doing to promote “you just never know” in your life? In your creative endeavors? Are you carrying the means to capture ideas? Are you actively engaging with people who have expressed interest in your work? Do you have well designed business cards handy, to pass out to people that you meet? Does the story you tell about what and why you do what you do engage and flow? Would you be interested if someone else told it to you?

When opportunities do come, are you taking advantage of them? Why not?

Like the Boy Scout motto says, “Be Prepared.”

Be prepared for the unexpected. Be prepared to be great!

You just never know.

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