A while back, when I was really into Oprah, she said this about luck and her career:
Nothing about my life is lucky. Nothing. A lot of grace, a lot of blessings, a lot of divine order, but I don’t believe in luck. For me, luck is preparation meeting the moment of opportunity. There is no luck without you being prepared to handle that moment of opportunity. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for the moment that is to come.
I paused for a moment.
It was a revelation. No luck? Instead preparation leading to this moment or the next? It not only made sense, I made a mental note. Luck wasn’t something that happens to me — or you — it’s something that aligns. When the time is right. When you’re prepared.
A few weeks ago, a Philadelphia friend brought on a new client. She asked for help in spreading the word about an upcoming social media bootcamp and empowerment session for teen moms. I pledged my support and asked her how I could participate. She introduced me to the director through email and I didn’t hear anything back.
So last night I wrote a brief introduction that included a paragraph about my accomplishments over the past five years.
I have worked with Planned Parenthood (as a grant writer and researcher) and was named a Young Global Leader by Girl Scouts of the USA. My clients for Geek Her Media include The Little Treehouse in Chestnut Hill (recently named a top 10 indoor play space on the East Coast and voted Best of Philly in 2010), Philly Parent Circle, Belly Pilates (another Best of) and more. Additionally, I was picked as one of 12 iVoices for iVillage.com and my vlogs have been featured on NBC 10 and NBC NonStop in New York City, Chicago and Philadelphia. Next month you can find me showcasing one of my writings as part of Listen To Your Mother with bestselling authors Jennifer Weiner and Andrea Buchanan.
Sure I wrote it, but then I read it. I let the paragraph sink in.
Back in 2004, when The Kid was barely a toddler, I found a collection of writers sharing their experiences of motherhood. Some of the women were welfare moms, struggling authors, teen mothers, doulas, queer; they really ran the gamut of experience. One of the writers was Andrea Buchanan, the co-author of the bestselling The Daring Book for Girls. But this was before all of that. I mean it was a zine for Christ’s sake!
And, just in case, a zine is a self-published “magazine.” Usually zines are photocopied and stapled together. Very low budge.
When Daring became a bestseller, I thought: wow, I read her writing in a zine. We all start somewhere, huh.
I wanted to meet Buchanan because, back then at least, I thought it takes meeting one to be one.
Then, the years went by.
On May 11th, I’ll be meeting Andrea Buchanan.
It’s not about the writer, it’s about the moment where I spoke to my inner plan and began the hard work that would make this day a sweet one. That plan didn’t always make sense: the cut off electricity, the food stamps, the mean bosses, the overwhelming debt, a trickle of publishing credits, the blog, Girl Scouts, grant writing, pressing on; being, doing, connecting.
Years condensed into a paragraph.
I can see it all now.
Preparation meeting the moment of opportunity.
A few days ago, I was asked how it is that I have clients. The exact question went something like: How did you initially start? Did you put the word out? I gave an answer which amounted to find one person.