Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour knows a thing or two about being successful and making history. In part one of Vernice’s article, she shared the moments that led up to her making her “gutsy move.” In this piece, Vernice outlines the 5 steps she relies on to make her dreams a reality!
Here is the simple outline and steps I use to navigate the challenges and obstacles in my life that helps me achieve my visions and dreams.
1. Create your flight plan (Clarity) Where are you and where do you want to be.
I’m giving you a direct order NOT to think about the how. As soon as you start thinking about the how, there’s a good chance you won’t let yourself go for what you really want, but what you feel you can attain. Decide on what you really want, and then take the next step. This isn’t about creating a to-do list; it’s about taking a gutsy move and creating a breakthrough in your life!
In January 2007, I turned in my resignation and it was approved within a month. I knew I wanted to be a speaker, but I didn’t have a CLUE as to how to make it happen. Was there a little fear, yeah, maybe a little, but I was way more excited by the infinite possibilities. I like to say transform your fear to fuel. I also liked the saying I heard a few years back, don’t play not to lose, play to win. Are you being honest with yourself and creating clarity about what you really want in life? Are you playing to win?
2. Pre-flight (Courage) The pre-flight is the practice of checking out the plane before going on a flight.
In order to increase the odds of having a safe flight and mission, I checked out the engine, the landing gear and other parts of the aircraft. This is the step where we look at the “how” and analyze the risks, dangers, and obstacles – even our inside doubts, and formulate a plan to get us to “mission accomplished”. The cold hard truth was that I had no clue about how to become a speaker. But, I also hadn’t known how to be a cop, a soldier, a Marine or a pilot. I had an instructor or “coach” teach me how. (Thank goodness I had an instructor for the flying part, if I had been teaching myself, the first landing wouldn’t have been pretty!) So, I started thinking…executives and athletes had coaches, maybe speakers had coaches, too. Buy your own custom rims and bling it out! But, don’t reinvent the wheel! Part of my pre-flight was joining NSA once I made the decision to be a speaker. I felt this community would give me a strategic advantage to win. Are you willing to explore, expose the gaps and create a plan to get around them? Once you have a plan designed to win, it’s easier to move with courage and intensity. Are you open to discovery?
3. Take Off! (Power) This is one of the most critical phases of flight.
As an attack helicopter pilot in combat, most of the time I was loaded to maximum weight capacity. Many times I had to pull in 100% power to get the helicopter off the ground and in flight. Just think how much fuel the space shuttle needed. I googled speaker coaches and my computer almost blew up! That simple action led me down a road to meeting the mentors that introduced me to NSA. I can honestly say becoming a part of NSA directly resulted in me breaking 6-figures my first year. Had I not had the guidance and those essential “hallway conversations”, I could easily still be floundering out here trying to figure it all out. There were a few months where I didn’t know how I was going to pay my house note and it was in those times that I dug my heels in even deeper, worked harder on my keynote and community connections. Make a commitment to your commitment, and do what it takes to pull yourself through the tough times. They’re gonna happen! It’s up to YOU to pull yourself through to the other side.
4. Execute. This is where clarity, courage and power come together.
Once you have taken off, you are in execution mode actively navigating around challenges and obstacles that will inevitably come up. I’ll be honest, at a certain point I felt that being a black woman was a huge obstacle in the speaking industry. People would say, “You’d be great for Black or Women’s History Month.” In my mind I could hear myself say, I get two months out of the year and white guys get all twelve?!?! Out loud, I’d reply with a thank you and ask if the organization had a leadership conference or other event for the entire workforce.
I decided it was up to me to change the game if I wanted to play in it differently. I didn’t want to be relegated to two months out of the year because of my package…what I looked like on the outside? My message of Breakthrough Mentality was universal. I hear Maya Angelou say the toughest part is living your lesson.
5. Review, Recharge, Re-Attack Review your success and your failures.
When we would come back from a mission, we always had an afteraction review where we looked at what we did well and where we could improve. Resting up before the next mission was essential. How could give 100% if I wasn’t 100%? The re-attack was essential. If we didn’t get it right the first time, we kept going until we did. There are only two ways to succeed, the first time or again. When things got tough, I knew the most important action I could take was to keep moving forward. I decided any pain I felt was just growing pains, which were preparing me for my next mission in life. What are some of the life lessons that you are going through that are preparing you for the next level?
I would love to offer a handout that’s available at www.GetClearWithFlyGirl.com. And if I can be of service with your personal challenges and obstacles, please reach out to me via email at FlyGirl@VerniceArmour.com or connect with me on Facebook/LinkedIn. Of course, to share this message with your organization, reach out to our friends at Eagle’s Talent and they’ll get the ball rolling! It’s easy to say all this stuff, and it’s quite another thing to actually put what we say into action.
What I know for sure, is we know in our gut, what the right decisions and directions are. We just have to go from merely playing the game and waiting for a break, to being a game changer and taking the gutsy moves to create the breakthroughs in our lives. Security is the new risk. Transform your fear to fuel and don’t let these precious moments pass you by. Get gutsy, get your message out there and get paid! The more money we make the more people WE can help.
What’s Your plan A…what’s YOUR Gutsy Move?
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