I looked out my NYC hotel window over Times Square. I spotted the black Lincoln Town Car Fox Business had sent to pick me up. It was finally time for our bite at the Big Apple.
Odyssey Teams, the company Bill and I started over 20 years ago, was going to be on Fox News to talk about our Helping Hands program and the newly launched www.givebackactivites.com website. The goal for the day was simple: Share with the world the power of combining philanthropy and training to make profound change happen. It was a philosophy I’d lived and breathed for two decades—and I couldn’t wait to talk candidly about the work I so loved.
I was invited to be on the Fox News segment, “Small Business, Big Ideas,” to share how Odyssey Teams had turned traditional corporate training on its ear and started a “give back activities” revolution. This was an unbelievable opportunity for us to share our story with the world. I couldn’t wait to arrive and do just that.
My first stop at Fox News was the Green Room for makeup, and then—a truly exhilarating moment—a peek into the live studio where Fox Business would interview me.
Three to five minutes: that’s how much time I had to articulate what we’d spent 20 years (and months away from our wives and families) developing. My mind raced to find the best words for the moment. I segmented my ideas into three clear headers to help me:
Head: We give people profound lessons
Hands: We give them something to do to test the theory
Heart: We make them feel something to drive their ability to learn and retain.
But, the clearest part of the message had to be this: we’ve created a team-building program called “Helping Hands” where participants build prosthetic hands that are given to amputees. This particular year, Helping Hands was on track to deliver 11,000 hands to 64 countries across the world.
Powerful stuff, I know. How could I screw this up? It was the philosophy I’d lived by for decades: Don’t just tell stories, create one.
“Just Trust Yourself, Lain.” The words of a past mentor were ringing in my ears as I took my place in the studio chair. 5,4,3,2….1. And, just like that, our big moment began. The words started to flow and the interaction between Fox Business and me felt surprisingly natural.
Odyssey Teams, The Helping Hands program and www.givebackactivites.com were having a BIG moment (and I was along for the ride as much as anyone). I did my best to express the power of our program and the passion we bring to the team-building world. And that was it. It was over as fast as it started.
I remember one thing so clearly from that day: wandering back out onto the streets of New York amongst the crowd of dreamers and prisoners and knowing, more than ever, that Odyssey Teams was making things happen. Givebackactivies.com and Helping Hands were making global impact, and our story had now been told on the biggest stage to date. It didn’t feel like the end of something, but, rather, the beginning.
I wonder what each of you are beginning today that will become the “overnight success” we hear about after 15 years of you working to bring your dream to reality.
Take a moment to watch the interview, from the outside in.