Thursday, May 21, 2009

Good Things and the Squeaky Wheel

I don't really believe that "good things come to those who wait" is a true statement. I believe that the squeaky wheel gets the grease (full of cliches today, aren't I?). Here's an example:

Over a year ago, a store owner in Raleigh, NC, contacted me about possibly teaching there. I wrote back that I was interested, I downloaded the instructor paperwork and mailed it in, e-mailed pictures of samples, and so on. I waited to hear back and nothing happened. I got busy with other things, and before I realized it, two months or so had passed. I e-mailed the store and they said they'd just finished their newest class schedule, but they'd discuss adding me to their next schedule (this store schedules classes several months in advance) and get back to me. So I waited...and again, before I knew it, I'd been busy and quite a bit of time had passed. So I called them. They said that somehow I'd been overlooked at the last discussion, but they'd get back to me. Are you seeing a pattern here yet?

At this point, some of you must be wondering why I didn't just let it go. Well...I enjoy this store. Shopping there is always a pleasant experience. I like the employees, the clientele, and Raleigh in general. And I like to teach. So I really wanted to pursue this.

I did end up getting back to them once more - and in their defense, as I don't want to sound like I'm picking on them, they are always *very* busy with customers, which of course is their main priority. Every time I've been there, they are swamped! And they have just recently opened another store in the area, so they've been stretched a bit thin with that. Opening a new location is a HUGE undertaking, and I totally understand why it took us a while to all get on the same page.

The end result is that I taught two classes there this past weekend, which were just as fun and exciting as I thought they'd be. It was well worth the effort to keep in contact and negotiate all of this. I met with the employees face to face, and we all got along great. My students were eager to learn and interested in taking more classes, so hopefully I will be returning in the future to share more techniques.

If I'd just sat around waiting for something to happen after the first point of contact, I might well have *never* gotten to the point of teaching there. And if *you* sit around waiting for stores to get back to you, or for your customers to order from your web site, you may also be missing opportunities. Don't think they aren't interested just because they haven't gotten back to you in what you consider a reasonable timeframe. Stores and customers are just as busy as we are, and sometimes things slip through the cracks. Or perhaps the timing of your initial approach isn't right for them, but that doesn't mean it can't work out in the future.

There is, of course, a line between pursuing something you want and wasting your time and energy on a situation that probably won't reap the rewards you'd like. We all have to recognize the difference. But don't wait for things to happen to you. Pursue what you want with all your heart and know that good things those who take an active part in making them happen.

Original post date: 9/27/05

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