WHAT DO YOU REALLY WANT?

I LOVE red velvet cupcakes.

I especially love the red velvet cupcakes from the Cupcake Collection in Nashville.

So, imagine my surprise when Mignon Francois, owner and CEO of the Cupcake Collection, offered me free red velvet cupcakes and I did not take her up on the offer.

Here’s what happened:

I was a panelist at the Nashville Small Business Expo. Immediately after the panel, a luncheon was held featuring Ms. Francois and other prominent leaders.

When it was her time to speak she said, “Everyone always asks me if I have free cupcakes in my purse. Today I remembered, and I do I have free cupcakes in my purse. So, who wants my free cupcakes?”

Mignon Francois, owner of Cupcake Collection. She is the ultimate lesson teacher.

She held up both arms. A Cupcake Collection gift card was in each hand. The audience sat there. I scanned the room. Many people held up their arms, as if to say, ‘Oooh! Pick me!” I was thinking about the process she was going to employ to give the cards away.

Is she doing a drawing?

Is she going to call on someone?

Do we just go up and get them?

My thoughts were interrupted. She said again: “Who wants my free cupcakes?”

A few people rushed to the stage. The first two people who got there were the recipients of free cupcakes. I had squandered an opportunity to get the very thing I say I loved.

Ms. Francois continued. She told the audience that what we had just experienced was a valuable business lesson. She said that nothing is business would just fall in our laps. She told us we had to get what we wanted.

And this is where it got real for me: “The only people who wanted the free cupcakes were the two people that got them.”

No!!! I really wanted the cupcakes. Remember, I LOVE red velvet cupcakes. I really, really, really wanted them.

Didn’t I?

She was right.

While I do love red velvet cupcakes, I didn’t want them bad enough that day. Instead of trying to guess the process, I should have jumped up to get what I say I love — especially when it is ready for the taking.

I could have taken action. Instead, I grappled with process. I looked around to see what everyone else was doing. I heard the information a second time, and by then I was too slow.

I didn’t focus on results. I did not focus on getting what I ultimately wanted. I got bogged down by the details.

That day, it was just about cupcakes. But how many times has this happened in your business?

This is a picture I posted on Instagram recently. This was taken right before I devoured my last cupcake from Cupcake Collection.

How many times have you delayed or halted action, while watching what others were doing?

How many times have become frozen, dealing with information overload and the details of process, while neglecting to MOVE?

How many times have you been to slow to act and missed an opportunity as a result?

If I’m being honest (and I am!), this has happened to me far too many times.

While I sometimes call myself ‘the ultimate dreamer, learner, and do-er,’ I certainly failed to live up to my moniker on that day.

Here is the good news. There is hope.

There is always another day and another opportunity to get red velvet cupcakes, or whatever it is you say you want. To that end, here are three tips to get you into action:

Consume. Then Act.

I’ve mentioned before that consuming information is important. But I’d like to caution you into consuming too much information — so much so that it cripples you into being a vegetable. Read what you need to read. Watch what you need to watch. Hear what you need to hear, and then move. Be a great student … of implementation. This is how you get what you say you want. Get. In. Gear.

No matter what, move.

If you’re anything like me, then you know process and details are critically important. What is even more important is that you actually do take action. Taking action is how you get the cupcakes. You do not get free cupcakes handed to you by sitting at the table waiting to figure out how they’ll be given away. Yes, figure out the process and whatever details are necessary. But don’t wait until it’s perfect to move. Sometimes you have to be willing to jump off the cliff and pray you grow wings on the way down.

Get Inspired at DreamFest Digital.

Yes, you know I want you there. At DreamFest, attendees will hear real stories from real entrepreneurial leaders who have tried, failed, and tried again. They’ll hear from folks who’ve dealt with procrastination, information overload, fear, work-life balance, motherhood, limiting beliefs, and other perceived obstacles on their journey to making their dreams come true. More than a time or two have these people been sitting at a table when free cupcakes were presented to them. They’re going to be sharing their best practices and tips to get into action during DreamFest. Trust me: these folks had big dreams and the courage to make them happen. Learn more at dreamfestdigital.com.

Thanks for the lesson, Ms. Francois. I am better for it.

Tell me. How are you getting what you really want in your business?