Ever find something you REALLY want but it’s already marked “Sold” or “No longer available”?

I’ve confronted such road blocks many times…

  • “No Lynette, you didn’t get the job” (when I was clearly the most qualified and believed it was a God-idea.)
  • “All the good men are married or have issues,” (circumstances told me this for years while single)
  • “Sorry, we don’t carry that style anymore, there are none left in the entire company,” (see photo/story below)
  • “You can’t do that here Lynette, we need you on other priorities,” (while professionally trying to expand my role)
  • “SOLD” (on a perfect item for my master bath redo, see below)

Over and over we run up against signs and signals that indicate a dead-end.  The first gut-reaction is to obey and stop.  But like a dead-end sign on a road while driving, we can’t end up stranded in the car. Instead, we have to back up, make a turn, and somehow find a way through.

This morning a beautiful custom iPad cover arrived in the mail from Tusk leather goods in NYC.  It represents a recent example of perseverance.  I discovered this beautiful cover after hours of online hunting and stopping by various stores.  I was in search of a colorful-yet-classy portfolio that would fit my personal brand and work for speaking venues.  Bloomingdales had only one left and it was perfect, except for a big black stain inside and a grease blotch on the front.  No more in any other Bloomingdales stores, so I called Tusk directly and ended up talking to the owner.  “Your covers are the nicest I’ve seen anywhere, I’d LOVE to have this color/style and can you please find just one more somewhere in your company?” “Sorry,” the very nice owner, Hiten Manseta, told me. “We made this style exclusively for Bloomingdales and have no more in stock anywhere, we don’t even have this leather on hand anymore.”  “Oh Hiten,” I professionally prodded, “can you PLEASE see what you can possibly do?”  He didn’t sound hopeful, but sure enough, a few days later I got an email… “Lynette, I found the purple leather and we will make this special cover for you in our factory overseas.”  Yippee, so glad I persevered!

A few months ago, while shopping in Tulsa, I saw the most stunning, unusually large antique venetian mirror, marked for a ridiculously low price.  Sadly, there was a big SOLD sign on front.  No surprise, at this price who wouldn’t snatch it up?!  I was bummed as it would have been PERFECT for my upcoming master bath redo.  I kept walking by it, so jealous of whomever had better timing than I did.  “Are you sure this is sold?” I asked the guy at the counter.  “Oh yes, I’m certain the person has already paid for it and will pick it up soon,” he told me.  But something inside wouldn’t let go, envisioning it on my wall where it rightfully belonged!   “You’re SURE they paid for it?” I asked again, feeling by now like a stalker.  “Let me check,” he said, walking to the back room.  Not a minute later he emerged, “Good news, turns out it won’t work for the buyer’s house after all, it’s yours if you want it.”  “YES I DO,” I virtually shouted.  My Mom, who was with me for this adventure, said it best as we walked joyfully to our car, “There’s a message in this one Lynette.”  So very true.

Now granted, an iPad cover and mirror are temporal items I could certainly live without.  But what about those things that are crucial, if not essential, to our future and dreams?  Over 25 years of professional and personal pursuits, time and again all signs have pointed to NO when YES was the true destination, just around the corner via uncharted paths.

What dead-end signs have you confronted lately?  Are you really supposed to stop?  Is there another win-win way around the road-block?  Maybe one more phone call, an offer to serve in order to receive?  Granted, we do at times need stop signs to get us we’re supposed to be, but more often than not we’re better served to persevere, not take no for an answer, and find creative ways around and through to our dreams.

I’m closing this post with a link to one of the best stories I’ve read on Steve Jobs and his perseverance.  I’m a big Apple/Mac fan and am grateful for the lessons we can learn from this man’s life.

So whether it’s in small things or big things, stretch your “YES-I-CAN” muscle and decide not to quit, just like Steve.  The Perseverance of Steve Jobs

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