I broke through my personal barriers of leaving my 5-year-old (and my 45-year-old) behind for the first time for a chance to grow my coaching business at a US conference. So many wild and wonderful things happened and in case you’re also going to be trying on new and scary things to grow your own biz, I thought I’d share them with you and save you the hassle.
My Pinky Got Me Stuck At Customs
Perhaps one of my biggest worries was that I’d be questioned at the US border about why I was an exhibitor, potentially taking American jobs away from Americans. I asked a thousand people about what to say or not say if questioned. The answers varied wildly, some saying they lied about having a booth and others saying it was completely safe to be honest about exhibiting at a US trade show. Armed with this dubious information, I got my Nexus card out (the pre-approved security card that allows a simple finger print and eye scan to fast track you through customs) and went to their automated machines. When I couldn’t get my fingerprints to register on one machine, I kept hopping to the next one and the next one in a panic. I started to get noticed by the guards so I just hit ‘accept’ and printed out a receipt. On the receipt was a cut-off picture of my head and a giant black X. Not good. Then when I gave it to the officer at the gate, he asked me to step in the ‘little room’. Oh my God, I thought here comes the cavity search. Well, I learned that it was because my Pinky finger hadn’t registered strong enough and next time I should press my other hand on it to get a better impression. Without a single question, I was allowed through. Phew.
My Breast Milk Got Me Clients
The first morning of the conference, I volunteered to take the microphone and talk about what made me happy in the breakout session. In front of hundreds of women, I told the story of how I’d stopped scuba-diving when I gave birth because when I was breastfeeding, I was worried about the pressure squeezing milk out into my wetsuit. I have no idea how that story came out but if you know me, you wouldn’t be surprised about it. I got 2 clients and many many comments from countless women throughout the 4 days I was there because of that story. My point about being authentic and unafraid to spill your truths was proven.
What I Got From Air Canada’s 10-hour Delay
After an exhausting 4 days, I was ready to go home and kiss my little guy’s chubby belly. I got to the airport and 5 hours later, my flight that kept getting delayed was cancelled. It then took 2 hours for the hotel vouchers and rebookings to be done. All this happened with not a single word of information, apology or update from the 3 Air Canada employees who were overwhelmed by the event. Most people in the line up after an 8-hour wait were surprisingly poised and patient. Some started screaming at the staff and yes, they were served first. People became friends, commiserated together and bonded.
A very smart frequent traveler was the one person who, as soon as he heard about the cancellation, hopped onto his tablet, rebooked his own flight online and left without waiting for a voucher. I myself did the same 1 hour later with my darling hubby’s help on the phone. So if this happens to you, leave. You can rebook yourself from your own hotel. Also, the airline will reimburse your hotel, just send in your receipt. Those poor people didn’t know so they waited. The next day, after another 3 hour wait, I sat next to a gentleman who is going to become my next VIP client. How’s that for destiny?
When you scare yourself and leave the safety of your everyday life, you go so much further than you could ever imagine!