July 17, 2012 § 1 Comment
“Good things come to those who wait.” -Proverb Ever hear this before? Joke’s on anyone who actually takes this advice. (Zero offense to the ancient human being who came up with this phrase, who is most likely 1000 times more intelligent than myself.) This day and age things are moving and they are moving fast. In order to get what you want you’re gonna have to pop off your tush and go get it. This week was proof of that for me. If you are anything like me, you spend hours taking in content online, in magazines, newspapers, having to know everything and anything. So much of these great ideas, jobs, ventures, dreams, goals that I discover, I end up always thinking, “Wow wouldn’t that be cool if …” but somehow it just gets lost in the black hole of things I’ve meant to do and never achieved. Last week I decided to change all that. I don’t know what came over me but I finally made the choice to put my dreams into actions. For those of you who know me understand that me telling you I love ballet is an understatement. Obsessed would be a little bit more suitable. I started dancing when I was three and never stopped. As my hopes and dreams to become a prima ballerina grew and changed I found myself picturing life behind the scenes. How absolutely incredible would it be to work for a major ballet company in marketing, fundraising, event planning, or anything that allows me to shamelessly share with the world how amazing the ballet is? This has been a dream that I just can’t shake. I want a big city life filled with, busy schedules, chaos, constant coffee runs, a beautiful office with gigantic windows, an assistant (my most coveted business must-have), galas, early mornings, late nights. Is this plausible? Maybe, maybe not. It’s probably not as glamorous as I paint it out to be, but I want it. Badly. Obviously being a fresh young thing right out of college is not gonna get me there right away, but the climb starts now. I had the amazing opportunity yesterday to meet with Christopher Clinton Conway, the Executive Director of the Joffrey Ballet, and Brian Smith, the Chief Marketing Officer. I had arranged for a casual sit down with Christopher solely for the purpose of picking his brain. I mean… just read this, the man is a superhero:
Directing positive organizational change through a unique combination of business and legal acumen, high-energy leadership, trend setting brand development, and fundraising savvy. Christopher Clinton Conway is one of America’s most visible arts management and philanthropy experts, previously serving as counsel to major non-profit organizations, funders, and leadership including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and wine legend Robert Mondavi.
Mr. Conway joined The Joffrey Ballet in September 2005 and his tenure has been a dynamic one marked by the completion of the largest capital campaign in the organization’s 58-year history which led to the planning and construction of Joffrey Tower in Chicago. Unparalleled corporate collaborations have positioned Joffrey as one of the world’s most prestigious brands leading to record revenue and publicity. In 2009, Christopher Clinton Conway was named to Crain’s Chicago Business prestigious 40 Under 40, 2010 CS Magazine’s Ten Most Stylish Men, 2011 Michigan Avenue Magazine’s The Influentials: 100 People You Should Know in Chicago and 2012 TCW Magazine’s A-List Chicago Style. –LinkedIn
What I thought was going to be a simple learning opportunity for me turned into a serious networking advantage. Not only was I gaining invaluable insight from Brian and Christopher but they were also getting to know me and seeing how I could connect to them as well. They shared with me what was important in administrative work, things that they’ve learned advice and steps to take to achieve my way into working with companies like theirs. I was even offered an opportunity to volunteer with a small promotional event that is coming up in the near future! My resume booster radar went off. Naturally as a college student I snatched that up like crack to an addict. I walked away with a warm glow in my heart when I realized I had found a way to get myself one step closer to my dream. It was that one baby step that had lead to another and I can finally feel momentum gaining on achieving my goals.
So if you read all that, thank you. You must really like me. What I hope you can take away from this is don’t let big dreams scare you. Sitting and wishing for things to happen won’t get you anywhere. All it takes is a small baby step to start. As soon as you start taking smaller actions it could snowball into something tremendous. Go out and find a mentor! Sit down and have coffee with someone you idolize, ask questions, get your name out there ( Twitter. Do it. I’m not joking), start a LinkedIn profile and connect to others who you know and their aquintences, collaborate with people who share your same dreams. Starting seems a little immense but its not hard. You do the leg work I promise you will reap the benefits.