What Are Your “Pinch Me” Moments?

By Jane Atkinson

You’re standing in front of your ideal audience, you had them at “hello” and you rocked them all the way through until you close. As you exit the stage to thunderous applause, the leader of the organization pumps your hand and says “Thank you so much, that was exactly what my people needed to hear.” He goes on to say, “Linda will be in touch about the next two engagements.”

Linda, the meeting coordinator, comes to escort you to your autograph session, and on the way there, hands you a check for the remainder of your fee in the amount of $10,000. After you have finished signing books, there’s a limousine waiting to take you to the airport.

Does any of that sound appealing? If so, which parts?

Sitting in the back of that limo might very well be a pinch me moment for some of you, while to others it doesn’t mean much. Either you’ve done it so often it’s become your new normal, or it’s just not what floats your boat.

Over drinks one night at a speakers’ conference, two of my favourite speaking buddies were talking about how immune they had become to the charms of their life. One of them talked about a venue in Orlando where you had to walk over a short foot bridge, of course it was a stunning hotel. Another speaker told him later that there were dolphins underneath that foot bridge just swimming around. He had totally missed the experience because he was in some zoned-out travel mode.

Those dolphins could have been a “pinch me” moment.

Every quarter I go to Toronto to meet with my coaching group. I go to learn, which is a wonderful role reversal for me and I always come back feeling energized. People fly in from all over the world to attend these events, but I just have to take a short two hour train ride. As I’m walking from the train through the vibrant streets of Toronto, wheeling my roller bag, I always feel so grown up. You know like Mary Tyler Moore in the opening of her show where she throws her hat up in the air – cue music – “You’re going to make it on your own”. (Apologies if that reference is too old for you.) Mary was an independent woman and when I travel to cool places, I feel the same way. Empowered and grateful that I get to have “pinch me” moments so often in my life.

Of course, “pinch me” moments have nothing to do with gender. What we’re talking about here is gratitude for being in an industry where people pay us to talk. To talk! To get up on a stage for an hour and collect $1,000 is kind of crazy, but to collect $20,000 or $30,000 is even more insane! How is this possible?

I wrote this post because I want us all to be more aware of our “pinch me” moments. Start scanning the horizon for one every day.

– Is it when you’re able to be home in the morning to see your kids off to school?

– Was it the other day when a client handed you a nice paycheck?

– Did you get to bump up to first class or sit in the VIP lounge?

– Did something you wrote land well with someone and make a difference?

– Were you able to take four weeks off this summer?

– Do you take extra time and soak up the cities you travel to?

– Does your schedule allow you to volunteer for something near and dear to your heart?

Being an entrepreneur gives us so many advantages to the average Joe. Pinch me.

As I sit here in my comfy writing chair, my next-door neighbor is heading off to work. He’s on the 7pm-7am shift and I haven’t had a “real” job in three decades.

Perhaps you stick a Post-It with the words “Pinch Me” on it for the next time something isn’t going quite right in your life or in your business.

Then, you’ll stop and remind yourself that we, as speakers, live a pretty sweet life!