• Mandi Graziano

Not throwin' away "MY SHOT"..again!

I recently revived the Hamilton Soundtrack out of some dusty playlists and reconnected with the song "My Shot." Do you remember it? Hamilton talks about this being his moment and he's not going to waste it. This was "his shot" and he was going to take it and make something of it. It got me thinking about "my shots" and have I made the most of them? It also got me thinking about the shots I threw away.


The song opens with a chant:

"I am not throwin' away my shot, I am not throwin' away my shot, I'm just like my country I'm young, scrappy and hungry, And I'm not throwin' away my shot."


I love this. I hear it over and over in my head and I keep telling myself "do not throw away your shot." "This is your time to thrive and make the most of this ridiculous Covid situation." I believe I've made the most of this time since March and have not thrown away "my shot" by adapting, pivoting (I hate that word), and adjusting to the situation.


Book is just about finished.


Entire website revamped.


I did not get Covid. I did not gain Covid 15. I did not get Covid Divorced.


Written and published over 40 blog posts in 6 months about sales, business coaching, covid safe conferences, hotels, how to travel during Covid, and shared many non business related brain rants.


Created a YouTube Channel Mandi's Excellent Site Inspection Adventures .


Captured and posted forty-three ten to twenty second videos of a live meeting illustrating what travel looks like door to door, from Uber to Airport, from conference space to the Las Vegas Strip and back home to San Diego.


Became a student of the Covid 19 crisis and have been vigilant to be on the pulse of the most relevant information needed to redesign safe meetings.


Attended a live client conference --and reported back to the masses.


Hosted focus groups and conference calls for clients, potential clients and hotel partners to share knowledge and gain knowledge of up to date relevant data for the hospitality industry.


I believe I have captured "My Shot" in this moment. I still have so much more to do like get the book published, book more coaching and speaking gigs but I think this is a good start from March to November.


It makes me think of the other times where I actually did throw away "My Shot."

It makes me wonder about the times where I threw away a shot that I didn't even know was "My Shot." Sometimes "Our Shot" is here and we don't recognize it until later. I believe I threw away "My Shot" last fall.


I was on track to finish my book-by December 2019. From February 2018 to September 2019, I had completely changed my life to write and pursue the dream of publishing a book. I had writing days and writing hours where I put everything aside to write. I had made a financial sacrifice to get this done because it was so important to me. I was in the finishing stages of my first book. I was so damn close to realizing my dream. And then.....just like the devil and angel on my shoulder, the carrot was dangled and I sold out. I veered from the plan. I threw away "My Shot."


In October 2019 I learned I was on track to be in the top 10 again for sales performers. Since I had dedicated most of 2019 to writing, I had assumed I wouldn't be in the top 10. I accepted that I had to make some professional and financial sacrifices to finally publish the book. I had a plan and it was on track. I had done less work for HPN in 2019 than I had in previous years and was surprised to be so close to the top 10 again by October. Ironically, even though I worked less at "my real job" I made more money in 2019 than I had in previous years by working smarter and managing my time more wisely. However, due to the amount of time I had dedicated to writing the book in 2019, I didn't expect to be so close to winning a trip. This time, the trip was to Dublin, Ireland. I had to go to Ireland and wanted to win the trip very badly.


I abandoned my book plan. I abandoned my writing plan.

I stopped writing all together. I didn't coach. I didn't speak.

I was all HPN, all the time from October to December 31, 2019.


I eventually made the top 10. and won the trip to Ireland. We were set to depart for London, then Ireland with dates of April 2020. The tickets were booked. The itinerary was set and then.....Covid happened. The trip had to be cancelled.


I was devastated.

I wasn't devastated because I wasn't going on a fancy trip. I was devastated because

I threw away "My Shot." I knew better than to be tempted by the allure of a top 10 list and a free trip. I sold out. I was so disappointed in myself. There I was, 5 months behind book schedule, a top 10 performer without a trip to Ireland and full of shame. I was happy to service my clients over that time and fill their conference booking needs. I was happy to be in the top 10, again. But, I felt ashamed that I didn't follow through with my book plan. I felt sad that I hadn't finished on the timeline that I had planned. 18 months of work, on hold because I wanted to win a trip and get a title. And for what? It felt really bad.

I vowed, if "My Shot" were to come again, I wouldn't throw it away.

From March to now, I battled. I've worked really hard at HPN cancelling meetings and moving them to future years. I've worked really hard at finding new sources of incoming within the meetings industry and to find new clients that are actually booking safe meetings or that want to booking meetings in 2022 and beyond. I haven't been paid much for most of 2020. I've had two jobs--HPN and Writing a book--working round the clock to get both done. I was playing writing catch up and trying to keep my HPN business alive by maintaining relationships with customers and staying on top of Covid trends.

It occured to me during this whole experience that Fall of 2019 was never really "My Shot." 2020 is actually "My Shot" When given the opportunity I didn't really "throw away my shot" in 2019, it just primed me to NOT throw away the real shot in 2020. Working two full time jobs and barely getting paid for either is not fun. But, there has been something exhilarating about doing both at the same time & doing both well-even with less pay.


If I would have finished the book in 2019, would I have been so motivated to revamp my website, blogs and write for the meetings industry in 2020? Would I have buried my head in the sand in 2020 and said I'll see you in 2021 when meetings start booking again? Would the content of my book been as relatable in 2019 if I skipped the entire Covid 2020 Debacle? As a result of thriving during Covid, there is a chapter in the book now about Disaster Selling and Sensitivity Selling that didn't even exist in the Fall of 2019.


I don't know what that answer is but I do know that when the moment I realized in March 2020 that this was "My Shot", I was all in. I didn't throw it away and I am thankful for every moment.

Do you have a story about "Your Shot" you want to share? Visit my website and tell me more. I want to hear about the Shot you threw away or the shot you took. If you like this story and want to hear more, sign up for info on my upcoming book and chapter releases by clicking on EMAIL or Let's Chat.


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