“I believe that people make their own luck by great preparation and good strategy.” — Jack Canfield
By Dawn Onley
I recently watched a video circulating around the Internet about a guy named Rob Joyce. Rob got a chance to come onstage and play guitar during a Keith Urban concert last summer. It was Joyce’s 24th birthday and as he sat in the front row and held up a makeshift sign (from his show ticket) that read “Can I play your guitar?” the country star took notice and called him up on stage.
As Keith asks Rob about himself, he notices Rob’s girlfriend in the front row. He asks her how they met, and in her enthusiasm, she blurts out that Rob could be his backup guitarist. Talk about getting someone’s immediate attention! She definitely piqued Keith’s curiosity and so Keith hands over his guitar to see what Rob can do, and Rob lets it rip. (see Rob’s capture of this on his YouTube video here)
As it turns out, Rob is a beast on the guitar.
Keith’s mouth drops. The audience seems mesmerized. He plays so good that Keith starts singing the lyrics to “Good Thing” and his band starts backing this impromptu moment up and you can totally get lost in the video, thinking Rob is actually a backup guitarist for Keith.
Talk about taking full advantage of a shot in the dark.
Rob was prepared. He asked for and met his opportunity head on — before thousands of uproarious Keith Urban fans. Confident in his abilities, he was decisive and he took charge. Articles covering the event at the time said Rob was soon planning to head to Nashville to pursue a job as a guitarist.
As I watched the video, it reminded me of this quote from Oprah Winfrey: “I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you haven’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.”
It also reinforced to me how we need to always be prepared for the moment. We never know when we’ll have the chance to present that winning idea, or submit the best proposal or demonstrate our talents and abilities before a larger audience. We need to practice always giving it our best effort, but to not become so encumbered by our preparation that we never push hard enough for an opportunity to open up. Some opportunities fall out of the sky for us, but many more are opportunities that we make happen, through our thoughts and follow-up actions, and through our persistence and drive.
We should all strive to put ourselves in situations where our talent meets the most promising opportunities. And we should make sure we’re ready when — not if — the opportunity arrives, because it most certainly will. Because we are rock stars just like Rob. We’re just waiting to jam.