Last week I attended an amazing seminar, Michael Hyatt’s Platform Seminar, but due to the flight schedule I had to leave a couple of hours early. Turns out another attendee had the same situation. Not having met and therefore unaware of each other’s travel schedule, we drove separately to the airport. After going through security I had about an hour before my flight, and I needed to get some lunch.
For some reason, out of all the food choices I chose Wendy’s, and while I was standing in line a man must have recognized me from being on stage just before we left. He approached me and asked if I was at the seminar, and I said yes.
After attending an event I generally like to be by myself and unwind — especially after a lot of networking was going on — simply because I’m usually exhausted and a little brain-dead. But I felt a strong nudging and I noticed that this man was also alone, so I said, “Let me grab some food and I’ll join you at a table!”
When I sat down, the man said that he felt bad that he had to leave early because he missed the Q&A session. Turns out he was writing his first book, part of his platform, and had wanted to get some feedback and coaching on how to finish and market it.
Now, I’m not in the habit of coaching someone I just met, nor am I particularly comfortable sharing my backstory with a complete stranger. But today was different. A few minutes earlier I had felt an unmistakable nudging to be open, to connect, and to share not only about my experience writing and marketing four books but also to share my faith journey with this man.
I’ve experienced what it’s like to ignore the Lord’s nudging, so I started to share some tips and strategies that I’ve learned about writing and marketing books. My new friend reached into his bag, took out a pad and paper, and started writing nearly every word I said. I love coaching others, and he was so enthusiastic that my energy level just took off! We even rewrote the title and subtitle of his book!
And then it happened. The man looked at me, and with tears in his eyes he told me how disappointed he had been that he flew to this conference and missed his opportunity to get his questions answered about how to finish his book. He then told me that meeting me and having me share this information was truly a blessing from God. I knew that my face could not contain my smile because in the span of about 10 minutes I knew what the nudging was and felt darn happy that I did not ignore it!
I then shared my backstory and how I was saved 12 years ago, and my new friend was as interested in this story as in my book coaching. A half-hour flew by, and while we could have talked for hours more, I had to catch my flight. We exchanged contact information and promised to stay in touch.
I heard from my new friend this past Sunday night when I received this email.
“Jim, I must tell you that I have testified of God’s good providence at our meeting in BNA to a ton of my friends and family as well as to my Sunday school class, and I also tweeted a pic of that Wendy’s counter as the spot we connected. Here is the tweet: ‘Just met Jim Palmer author of 4 books @ Wendy’s in BNA, NASHVILLE. He gave me his first book & blessed my socks off.’
“I am so grateful that we met and cannot wait to dig into your book and your guidance on the use of newsletters in marketing strategy. More than anything our meeting affirmed to me that I MUST press on to complete the book. Thank you for being so open and helpful. My two flights home were filled with unusual comfort and rest even though the jets were the smaller regional types with little room to relax. I had been refreshed by God in our meeting. Actually a wave of blessing poured over me and kept me glued to that chair for a good while, and then I needed several minutes to compose myself and get to the gate. You cannot imagine the total effect of that meeting upon me. God bless you, Jim!”
It’s fair to say that his encounter has been a huge blessing for both of us. A couple lessons from this experience. We are to help and serve each other and always pay attention to the nudges! Over the last several years I have retrained myself, sometimes stubbornly so, not to ignore the gentle nudges I get as I go through my busy days. They are there for a reason, and as this story illustrates, sometimes you actually get to know why!