Tick, tock, tick, tock. The watch on my wrist moves ever so slightly, each and every second of the day. I don’t notice the ticking of time. Seconds swing into minutes. Minutes move into hours. Hours hurry into days. Except on September 17, 2014 at 9:22am.
Time stopped at 9:22. I was in the middle of a presentation to a group of entrepreneurs. CLICK, the clock stopped.
Have you ever had God speak to you?
I believe he spoke to me when the clock stopped ticking.
Let me explain.
I was presenting to a group of 20 budding entrepreneurs.
A woman rose from her chair and came to the front of the room.
She came toward me at the front of the room and stopped about 2 feet away.
She grabbed my right arm.
She gazed deep into my eyes as if in a trance.
She spoke and smiled. Then she gave me a hug.
It felt like her words came directly from the mouth of God.
Her words were hard to process. My friend Mark suggested Occam’s Razor. The most plausible answer is the right answer: she was crazy and off her medications.
Mark’s a programmer and uses his engineer brain too much.
The melody of her words made the hair on my arms dance.
She looked at me, like my mom, and told me I was beautiful. She loved me. She said I was doing what I was supposed to be doing. When I dismissed her, she gazed at me and retorted, “you’ve been asking the question, but you’re not willing to hear the answer.”
If you want an answer, you must listen. I’m telling you, you’re doing exactly what you’re supposed to do.
I had sold my businesses a year earlier and was trying to figure out what was next for me. Only God and I knew these questions.
I hadn’t even told my wife about my conversations in prayer.
Was it possible that God was answering?
I was scared, overjoyed.
Was I worthy?
The ticking started again as she was escorted away.
I finished the presentation and walked into the bathroom, and cried.
I didn’t understand.
Exiting the bathroom, the lady was waiting for me. She told me her name was Annette. She apologized for her actions and didn’t know what had come over her. She couldn’t explain it any better than I. And said nothing like this had ever happened before.
After my encounter, I reached out to my artist friend Matt.
Matt is a successful abstract artist.
I thought a poetic brain might see something I missed.
Over breakfast, Matt told me a similar story.
He was working at a marketing agency. He hated his job.
He wanted to make art through painting but didn’t know anything about painting.
On the way home from work, in a surreal moment, his car pulled into an artist supply shop’s parking lot.
He sat in the car and debated if he was to go inside.
Once decided, he opened the store’s door and sought help.
The employees were distant, even insulting.
Insecure, he started to scoot toward the door when the employee went to answer a ringing phone.
A stranger in a bowler hat stopped him.
The stranger guided Matt through what he needed.
Matt went to the counter to pay for his new treasure. He turned to thank the stranger. But he was gone.
Years later, Matt was one of the best customers at that store. He never saw the stranger again.
He asked the staff about his stranger, and no one knew him.
They didn’t remember anyone like him.
Matt believed an angel put him on the path he was destined to play.
It whispers in the faintest of voices, the slightest of movements, and the dimmest of colours.
If we don’t pay attention, we miss it.
If we dismiss the message, we miss the word. We lose the opportunity.
I believe opportunity shows up when we’re ready for it.
I believe it whispers.
I believe if we don’t pay attention to the little things, we miss the big opportunities.
I believe we need to listen more than we speak.
I believe the world is full of wonder, beauty, and mystery.
I believe the opportunity in your business is correlated with the belief in your own dreams.
Your beliefs are an important part of your message.
Craft your beliefs around stories unique to you.
It is those beliefs that will move customers to you.
For example, my story of Annette is completely true. It all happened as I told it.
For the pragmatics, Annette was sick, off her meds. I triggered something.
For others, she was a messenger of God.
And for others, it was a weird thing that happened.
If you believe in God, you have similar stories where you choose to see the magic. My story becomes relatable.
If you don’t, I’m as delusional as Annette was.
In the end, a customer has her beliefs.
When yours and hers align, she will feel a stronger connection to you.
When they don’t, she will feel repulsed.
Good advertising uses beliefs to find customers who believe in similar things.
Matt has a bowler hat stranger.
I have Annette.
9:22am, September 17, 2014, is the day time stopped for me.