“Do not wait for your ship to come in – swim out to it.” ~ Unknown
On January 23, I had the extreme honor of opening for Jeff Foxworthy on the first night of the two day Hudson Family Foundation benefit at Auburn Arena. Since then, I’ve been asked repeatedly how I became a part of the show.
When opportunity knocks, one must answer; however, we shouldn’t always wait on opportunity to knock. Sometimes we have to be the ones doing the knocking. We must be assertive, face our fears, and never give up.
The opportunity arose back in August when I was one of several opening acts for Uncle Si and Alan Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame, at Youth First’s Characters of Character event.
My comedy was well received by those in attendance, but it almost didn’t happen.
Last year, I wrote about the turbulent morning I experienced on the day of the Duck Dynasty event. I’d been at Ft Sill, Oklahoma, for the week and had missed my flight for Dallas that morning. Lawton-Ft. Sill has a very small airport, and every flight for the day was filled. I’d dropped my rental car keys in the drop box at the rental car company. I wanted to drive to Dallas to catch a flight to Atlanta, but it was a Saturday morning and none of the car rental companies opened until 9:30.
Many folks would’ve given up at that point but not me. I put on my thinking cap and said to myself, “What would MacGuyver do?” I then removed the wiring from my notebook so I could make a hook. I then used the hook to remove the car keys from the drop box. Three minutes later, I was in my car headed to Dallas.
My motto in life is adapt and overcome.
Had I not executed that motto and used my skills that morning to retrieve my keys, I never would’ve opened for Jeff Foxworthy because Kim and Tim Hudson never would’ve seen my performance that night back in August.
In September, I saw a post on Facebook from Kim stating she’d just finished the promotional flier for their annual fundraising event in January. She’d mentioned that Jeff Foxworthy, one of the most successful comedians of all time, was performing at the benefit.
I was hesitant about sending her a message, because I was afraid of the answer. I decided not to message her, but I prayed that God would show me a sign one way or another.
Lunchtime had arrived, so I was going to meet my buddy at Kitchen 3810, our favorite lunch spot, for a quick bite to eat. When I sat down in my car, God showed me the sign I’d asked for as Tim Hudson was staring right back at me. His face was on a water bottle that I’d gotten at Lynch Toyota while having my car serviced the previous day.
When I got back from lunch, I sent Kim a message but didn’t immediately hear back from her. Several hours later, while traveling to a gig in Florida, Kim and Tim’s right hand man, Brent, called me to inform me of the good news.
The opportunity was there, but I did the knocking.
In July, I’ll be the keynote speaker at the National Stuttering Association’s (NSA) annual conference in Washington DC. I’m every bit as excited about this as I was opening for Foxworthy. Keynote speakers in the past have included professional athletes; Arthur Blank, co-founder of Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons; David Seidler, Oscar winning writer of The King’s Speech; and Vice President Joe Biden.
I’ve been an active member of the NSA for years but was still hesitant to ask considering the heavyweights who have come before me, but I prayed for guidance and God showed me the way.
Once again, the opportunity was there, but I did the knocking.
Always keep your eyes and ears open, for opportunity is just a knock away.