Do you know how to approach and be in the company of an accomplished person?
By accomplished, I refer to a one who’s done something tangible to inspire others. This definition excludes reality television personalities.
Here’s how it’s done.
- Smile as you come forward, and extend your hand as part of the initial greeting.
- Address the person as Mr. or Ms. unless introduced by a third person, and state your name.
- Ask an interesting question about their work to brand you as a fan, not a fanatic.
That’s what happened last week when I met John Grisham at BookExpo in New York City. The event, which brings together authors, publishers, and anyone who loves books or is involved with the industry, is one I don’t miss even if it’s located outside of my local area.
I didn’t plan to attend BookExpo a second day (I’m always there on the first day). When I found out that John Grisham would attend to sign his new book, Camino Island, I had to interrupt my day’s plan, take a chance, and go back to the event.
The phrase be careful what you wish for comes to mind, because I wanted to be on line before others wishing to receive one of 200 autographed books, and that’s exactly what happened.
Although I’m a well-known author in my own rite, meeting prolific authors boosts my inspiration.
Speaking with others who waited for Grisham’s arrival was also joyful. We became a temporary family, chatting about the show while on line for 90 minutes. I took photos of their badges to stay in contact with them for possible business collaborations (there’s always a reason why you meet new people).
The time passed quickly, and the author arrived. I was one of the first ten people eagerly waiting for a quick chat and autograph. Many at the show began taking pictures of Grisham from a distance. Cellphone cameras and their owners littered the floor.
I followed the script shared above — smiling genuinely, extending my hand, and addressing him as Mr. Grisham while announcing my own name.
My next sentence made him laugh, and I asked, “What are you laughing about?” which caused he and I to laugh simultaneously as he inscribed his autograph in my new book.
I then asked the author for permission to take a picture with him, and he graciously agreed. One of the ladies waiting with me to meet the author took my phone to snap the photo, which you see above. Those three glorious minutes with John Grisham went very quickly but inspired me to take action on plans I’ve paused for too long.
I’ve shared this wonderful memory with friends and family, and there’s no doubt you would do the same. How would you transform such a once-in-a-lifetime meeting into positive change in your life?
- Write your first short story, novel, or memoir?
- Create a line of jewelry, clothing, or furniture?
- Start a business, renovate a room, or visit an island?
The power to transform your life is in your control, and any positive (or negative) event acts as fuel to make it happen. Try not to let the inspiration wither so you sink back into old habits and thoughts. There’s a reason why events occur. Allow that moment in time to catapult you to the place you want to be.
You are in control, and this is your time. I’ll use the inspiration of meeting John Grisham to transform my life, and I have enough positive energy to share with you through these words. What’s your next move?