I recently flew to New York City to interview for a job that I really wanted. Like really wanted. When I stepped off the plane, I walked through La Guardia airport like I was doing my pre-show warm-up. I was listening to Jess Glynne’s “Hold My Hand” and I was ready. I was back.
I knew exactly what was next for me.
I have walked through La Guardia so many times – with my family, often alone for work, and more often with my former Oprah audience team. Every gate has a story. I remember many gates where we were exhausted and heading home from a remote. I remember the gate when we were going straight to Dallas from New York because we had another site survey.
I remember getting bumped from flights and having to wait for a later flight and other times when a teammate would give up her seat for me so I could get home to my kids. I remember Manny who was the bartender at the Sam Adams bar. I remember commuting to New York when I consulted at ABC and NBC. But most of all, I remember landing at La Guardia and feeling the excitement of show day.
This was SHOW DAY for me.
I knew this job was mine. I was already picturing my apartment on the Upper West Side, I couldn’t wait to text my dog walker to say I’M BACK! My husband and I were discussing the plan for our commuter marriage that would eventually put us on the east coast. Our girls live in New York City and both of our families live there as well. This was my ticket to do what I love in a city where my family lives.
I believe in speaking what we want into the universe. I believe when we visualize what we want, we get what we want. But we have to already be doing the work. A job doesn’t arrive just because we want it. We have to build momentum and be tied to the work so closely that it is part of our DNA. The Audience Producer role is my DNA. I have done the work. As far as I was concerned, this job was mine.
And then I didn’t get the job.
I was shocked. I cried for 24 hours. It felt like my TV career was over. 48 hours later, I had to be ready for an event I was emceeing for a new platform called The Next Collective. This event had been booked for months and I had to be in my lovespeaks frame of mind.
My husband suggested I read the book I wrote, which I am working on getting published, to remind myself of everything I believe in – a closed door is an opportunity, what’s coming next is bigger and brighter than you could ever imagine, you are still you, you will be OK.
This student is always learning. But closed doors sting and they need to be mourned, so I took 24 hours to feel bad. Really bad.
The next day I picked my 57 year old feet up and said “What’s Next?” And that’s when things began to make sense.
A few months prior to me not getting my dream job, my friend D’Rita, who lives in LA, had passed my name along to a life coach named Paige Nolan. Paige reached out to me and we connected immediately on the phone. We became friends through Instagram and Paige told me she had a client in Chicago she’d like to connect me with.
Her client was about to launch The Next Collective – a platform for women exploring a career pivot, entrepreneurship and finding personal purpose. Paige’s client hired me to emcee her event, and while I was thrilled to be part of a mission I live by, women supporting women, I had no idea her mission would serve me in a much bigger way.
Two days after finding out I did not get the job in New York , I stepped into a room of 100 women to talk about what’s next. I channeled my inner lovespeaks voice and I connected that room like it was my job, because it is.
I could feel my purpose. I could feel my connection. I could feel my healing.
Every woman who spoke had a similar story, just different details. We all spoke about what it feels like to lose something we wanted so badly, and how the loss motivated us all to get more than we could have ever expected. My head was spinning from the loud message the universe was sending me. I knew immediately I was going to be OK.
I am in deep gratitude for Paige Nolan, a woman who supports women and who was kind enough to call me. We got to know each other more on Instagram and now I can call her a friend IRL. I am also grateful for my new friend Melanie Penchal, founder of The Next Collective, for putting me exactly where I needed to be. Melanie thought she was hiring me to help launch her brand, but what she really did was launch me. And I know so many other women in the room felt the same way that day.
I may not currently have the Audience Producer title, but I will always be an Audience Producer. That role is who I am and it plays out in every piece of my work.