I recently attended the National Speaker’s Association’s annual conference in Anaheim, California. As I was registering for the event online, I had to fill out a page pertaining to the dinner on the last night of the conference. I was first asked if I needed any accommodations as far as food was concerned (vegetarian, allergies, etc.). Then there was some info about seating. All seats would be randomly assigned unless you made a special request for a table. There was an open blank below. At first, I thought a random seat would be fine. Then the inner dialogue followed:
“Wait, there are going to be a ton of famous speakers there, why don’t I just request to sit at a table with one?”
“Yea right but everyone is going to do that”
“Yea but what if everyone thinks that and no one does it?”
So I thought about all the speakers who would be there, and thought, “Who would I like to meet if I could?” I did know of this one inspirational and extremely well renowned speaker who would be there. In fact, he was headlining a session at the conference. His name was Kyle Maynard. He was born without arms or legs, yet has achieved so much and is an inspiration to all. So in the ‘special request box’ I wrote, “Sit with Kyle Maynard please!”
On the third day of the conference, two days before the dinner, I coincidentally ran into him on the side of the general session room. I introduced myself and we talked for a few minutes before I remembered to ask him, “Hey, do you know what table you’re sitting at for the dinner Tuesday night?” I helped him to turn around his name tag and lo and behold he was at table 58! You can probably guess what table I was at! I told him this exact story and we joked about how cool it was. Who would’ve thought? A simple ‘special request’ box. Most people probably left it blank, but why not take a chance? I literally had nothing to lose, but everything to gain. And because I took a chance, I ate dinner with one of the nation’s best speakers and motivators. What a big payoff for so little risk!
As always, now I must ask you: Next time a ‘special request’ box comes up in your life, what are you going to write in it?