How do you get into the rooms with the biggest industry players?Â Invite yourself and crash the party. No, no. Don’t take my advice so seriously because I’m not 100% sure it will work every time. However, the one time I did take this riskÂ it opened up the exact door I wanted and made me visible to the CEO I had my eye on (in a professional manner, duh).
It took place nearly 3 months ago. On a regular-schmegularÂ Thursday morning, I emailed a pitch atÂ 6:00 am to a top executive I’ve only dreamed about working with. I mean, it was a great pitch. I had done my research and spent hours cultivating a solid write up about how my skills can contribute to his success and make his life easier. Because I track my emails using my favorite tool,Â Hubspot, I noticed he opened it but didn’t respond right away.
I thought hmm okay. Perhaps he’s en route somewhere or needs to marinate on the bomb I dropped and how he would like to proceed. At least I was in front of him and ultimately, that was the goal. But it wasn’t enough for me, I needed to level up and take things a bit further. CEOs are busy. It’s important to be consistent but not annoying. The next day, I scheduled an office tour (He runs a tech Institute) and got even more familiar with the workspaceÂ and to be honest, as our guide was showing my assistant and I around, I was reciting affirmations and speaking it into existence. Some how I was going to be affiliated with this business and its leader.
I played it super cool.Â
Oddly enough, that same evening, his office was hosting an event to show off presentations and new app inventions created by the student body for that semester. Bruh, I lit up. I called my girl Alethea over at See Girl Work and told her bishhh don’t make any plans. We walked in, signed in, and grabbed a drink to blend in with the crowd. I show up at this Tech event and immediately notice that we were two of very few people of color. For a second it was uncomfortable but only because I stood out so much. But Alethea nudged me back into the moment and the mission to find the founder. Girl, I saw him from across the room but he was with friends. I thought omg why!? How am I going to do this?
So I leave the 3rd fl party and go downstairs to the lobby to regroup. At this point, I’m feeling super small and undeserving. But I literally traveled out of my way to meet him and I was not leaving until I could talk to him for 2 mins (I’m not a stalker, I swear. Just passionate). I paced back and forth. My breath is heavy. I’m rehearsing my pitch with my eyes closed and trying to think about how I’m going to approach this awkward situation. Just for a moment I open my eyes and guess who’s right behind me. The CEO.
I didn’t even have time to collect my thoughts. I called out his name and extended my hand to wave him over. As he stepped over to me we sat down on a nearby bench and once settled I started talking. Of course, the whole time I’m thinking OMG. This is really happening. I made this shit happen.
But on the outside, I’m playing it real smooth.
I introduced myself shook his hand and pitched for my life. The conversation lasted all of 6 minutes but it reminded me what I believed all along; to go after what you want and break the rules (as long as you don’t hurt anybody). Moral of this story. Raise your hand. Ask the damn question. Get on a plane, train, bus or automobile to make your dream happen. Stop with the excuses.
I was so nervous, but I pushed through my fear and did it anyway. I’m so proud of myself.
Peace & Love,Â