Once upon a time in a land far away, there lived a young girl named Linda. Linda loved to learn and actually enjoyed her school years. One afternoon, as Linda was rushing to her next class, she was stopped by one of her teachers, Mrs. M. Mrs. M looked Linda in the eye and simply said, “You should be a teacher.”
But as is often the case with young people, Linda was sure Mrs. M didn’t have a clue what Linda should do with her life. Since she loved all of her business classes, she naturally gravitated toward business. No one told her that she might be able to combine the two – her love of the “business world” and the natural bent toward teaching that Mrs. M was certain she possessed.
So Linda followed her own yellow brick road. She started in the corporate world as a secretary and progressed to Office Manager, Vice President of Purchasing, Vice President of Customer Relations, and Vice President of Sales. Along the way, she experimented with more creative pursuits such as interior decorating and gift basket creation, but the siren song of business always lured her back.
While attending a workshop with a co-worker friend one day, the friend leaned over, pointed to the instructor, and nonchalantly said, “You would be good at that.” Her friend was making a casual comment, never dreaming of the impact her words would have. But over a period of time, those words became life changing, and when combined with Mrs. M’s comments of many years before, created an “aha!” moment for Linda that changed the direction of her life. Over the next few months, Linda researched the field of training. She discovered that she needed to send an audition tape to be considered for a training position with any of the national training companies.
In her “just do it” way, Linda set up an ironing board (!) to hold the borrowed video camera and proceeded to conduct her first workshop – in front of a very attentive audience, her 4-legged “kids”! Once she was certain that the kitty’s tail was not showing at the bottom of the video frame, she mailed the tapes to 3 companies and heard back from 2 of them. One wanted her to sign up for their very expensive “training school” and maybe they could then get her some work. And perhaps that was legitimate, but the offer that Linda found particularly exciting came from the prestigious Dun & Bradstreet (D & B). D & B flew Linda to New York for an interview that included an audition during an actual workshop they were conducting. The official trainer of that workshop gave Linda a glowing evaluation and Linda was hired the very next day. She conducted workshops for D & B around the country until they closed their Business Education Services Department to focus on the credit reporting segment of their business.
In typical “Linda fashion,” when Linda got the news that she would no longer be presenting workshops for D & B, she reverted to her life motto (which she learned as a participant at a workshop, of course!): When anything happens in your life, you only have 3 possible choices; you can change the situation, leave the situation, or change your response to the situation. Linda knew she couldn’t change the fact that D & B had closed the Business Education Services department. She couldn’t leave the situation – it had already left her! Her only option was to change her response to the situation. Instead of feeling discouraged (well, okay, she did give herself exactly 79 seconds to pout!) or sidetracked from the career she had already come to love, she set about finding a way she could share the vast amounts of knowledge she had gained through her many years of experience working with people.
As Linda was pondering what her next step should be, she received a survey from her local Chamber of Commerce. They were trying to determine how they could help their members fill their... (drum roll, please!)...training needs! She picked up the phone and arranged a meeting with the President of the Chamber of Commerce. He immediately scheduled Linda to conduct a series of workshops and the rest, as they say, is history!
With programs on a wide variety of topics such as customer service, supervisory skills, communication, emotional intelligence, and personalities (along with many others), Linda develops and conducts training for clients across the United States. She is also a certified facilitator for the well-respected talent management firm, DDI (Development Dimensions International).
Nearly 100% of Linda’s business now comes from referrals. Her clients often comment that Linda’s workshops are encouraging, uplifting, fun, and the best they’ve ever attended...
Which only goes to show that Mrs. M was right, lo those many years ago. Linda really should be a “teacher”! Mrs. M just didn’t realize that teaching – and learning – don’t end when we become adults. As a matter of fact, for Linda, that’s when both really began!