I just finished watching a YouTube video of a girl I knew years ago. She grew up performing in a local ensemble that toured Florida performing music medleys for small theaters and corporate events. I was the sound guy who supported the performances. She was always exceptionally talented, but I am blown away by the woman I just watched. Shortly after graduation, she was picked up by the artist Yanni who developed her for live performance. Recently, she has been touring with Trans Siberian Orchestra. Watching her perform has led my wife and I to elevate her to the top of our favorite vocalist list. I would pay really good money to sit front row at a concert in which she sang even a single song like the one I just saw. It is awesome to watch someone do something they are exceptional at – like watching my dad lay bricks. He was one with his tools, the stones and the rhythm with which he worked. Every muscle moved with efficiency. He loved what he did and it was beautiful to watch him. Like watching professional athletes in slow motion…the accuracy their bodies move with and the training and focus that led to that single act of absolute precision. Like watching Callie Northagen launch the Natalie Cole concert on HSN a few years ago. For someone working in that industry, I recognize that the grace and flawless professional dialogue she delivered did not just happen. It was years of polish and commitment to excellence that led to that moment. I love what I do and count myself very lucky to walk the same halls as some of the people I admire for their own excellence. Excellence does not just happen. It uses talent, motivation and vision as its starting point. It then requires fierce commitment, strong mentoring and eons of practice…which cannot happen without love for what you are doing. The vocalist I just watched is named Chloe Lowery. I’ll attached a link to her YouTube video in this blog. Although I cannot claim to move people to way she can, I hope to touch just as many lives through television and make them better with what I offer. 2 days ago, I launched a new heater/purifier on HSN. The sales exceeded HSN projections. The vendor who contracted me was an iconic man in the infomercial industry. In 1984, he created America’s first weight loss infomercial. He has been in the industry ever since, creating an empire for himself. Following my first airing of his product, he told me I was “awesome,” and “the way I put the presentation together was outstanding.” A day later, I launched a new floor polisher for another vendor. It sold out in one airing and in less time than HSN had planned. I received similar accolades. After selling over 250 products on television, I have been in the limelight of such compliments many times. Circumstances like these do not happen every day. However, they happen to me often enough that I know my talent is there. My Dad told me as much when I was 13. But raw talent is never enough and I’ve always known it. You have to be willing to do the rest of the work as well. I’ve worked very hard at what I do. Nothing holds you back from excellence other than your own decisions. Let me clarify that success and excellence are not the same thing! The first has to do with a certain level of status (whether in family, finances or career). The second is a measure of nobility in attitude and outstanding personal refinement. With the right perspective, abilities and resourcefulness, every person can be great. In my case, motivation, vision, mentors and practice is not in short supply. I only hope I am on the path and can count my successes as evidence toward the excellence I also pursue!
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