The memories that stick with us for our entire lives are our “defining moments.” Defining moments have the ability to completely shift and shape your future. When I think about my own personal defining moments, two different memories come to mind.
Flashback to 2006 when the idea of starting my own business and leaving my (very safe and secure) corporate job was tinkering around in my brain. My mom had just lost her husband and she was going through a terribly difficult time. She was also trying to sell her house but hadn’t had any showings in several weeks, let alone any offers.
I vividly remember standing there in the kitchen with both hands on the counter looking up at the ceiling and saying “God, universe, whoever’s out there, I need a sign. I need a sign to know that I am doing the right thing.” I decided that the sign that I wanted was for my mom to get an offer on her house.
Sure enough, within a couple of days, my mom had an offer.
That was a defining moment in my life. I was feeling ambivalent and uncertain about whether or not I wanted to take that final step and leave my job to start a business. I asked for a very specific sign, and I received that sign…the rest is history and I’ve been self-employed since 2006.
My next defining moment was in 2008. I was at a WBC networking event and I did a lot of speaking there because I was the Vice President of the chapter. I was always talking about Facebook, Twitter, vlogging, and how you can use social media to interact with your customers. That day a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You know, if you would hold a workshop, we would pay you to learn what you know because we don’t know. We don’t understand.”
It didn’t even occur to me that other people might not understand how to do what I knew how to do. So, that afternoon I went to another networking event and I asked if anyone was interested in coming to a workshop on learning how to use social media for their businesses. Half of the room that day said yes and gave me money. I didn’t have a sales page, an outline, or a fancy order form. I simply had an idea and made the choice to act on it. That moment was what kick-started the coaching and consulting business that I own today.
Two different defining moments and both completely changed the trajectory of my life.
One I created myself, and the other someone else created for me. The most important thing to remember is that I chose to ACT on those defining moments. My mom could have sold the house, and I could have still rationalized why quitting my job was not a good idea. I could have dismissed that woman’s idea, but in that specific moment, I took it as a sign and I acted on it.
As a business owner, you have the power to create and design defining moments for other people every day by virtue of the content that you create.
You create defining moments through the coaching, guidance, mentorship, feedback, and conversations you have with other people. You create defining moments when you send somebody snail mail and write a few things in a note to them to make them feel like they have the power to impact change. You instil confidence in people and give them the courage to do something that maybe they are afraid of. Isn’t that powerful?
Have you ever read a blog or book or watched a video and decided you’re going to change something because of what someone else said? I bet you have. I know I have.
What would happen if you decided to intentionally create defining moments in your marketing material for the purpose of inspiring and helping others? We all have the power to construct a defining moment for someone else if we actually think about the difference we want to make in their life. Start becoming aware of the opportunities that you have in your own life and business to create those defining moments for others.
In my business book club, Thought Readers, we’re reading The Power of Moments by Chip and Dan Heath. If you want to read an incredible book about creating these moments, I would suggest starting there.
One final thing for you to consider is this: are you paying attention to the defining moments that are happening in your own life? Are you dismissing or are you acting on them?
Nothing happens until we take action.
Our defining moments only become defining when they inspire change, ignite courage, and cause you to do something different.