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The Power of Saying Yes

career & business leadership & impact Aug 04, 2022

Have you ever taken a leap and said yes to an opportunity, even if you did not feel fully prepared for it? Many times, accepting these unexpected opportunities can open new doors, leading you down paths that you may not have foreseen otherwise.

This was the case for Naomi Rhode, our guest in Episode 96 of The MINDSet Game® podcast. Early in her career, Naomi was working with her brother, who was a dentist and acclaimed speaker. When speaking in front of a group of 600 dentists one day, he had to take an important phone call and offered the stage to Naomi, who did not have much public speaking experience at the time. While she could have declined the opportunity, she was driven by her passion for the topic of preventive dentistry to speak to the audience for a few minutes. By saying yes to this unexpected opportunity, Naomi quickly booked several speaking engagements, thereby launching her career as a highly sought-after professional speaker. 

Today, Naomi is the President of the International Federation of Speakers, author of three inspirational books, Past President of the National Speakers Association, and one of the first women to receive the coveted Council of Peers Award of Excellence from the National Speakers Association for her outstanding speaking skills and professionalism. 

In this week’s episode, Naomi offers a framework for the four key stages—the “Four S’s”—along the path to a fulfilling life:

  • Student. We all start out as students, learning about the world around us and exploring our options for different life and career paths. At this stage, Naomi emphasizes that it’s important to build a strong foundation in order to be happy later on. For instance, she suggests considering whether there is anyone you need to forgive or anything else you need to reconcile before proceeding to the next stage.
  • Success. Many people plateau after achieving a comfortable level of success in life. However, Naomi says that in order to truly be fulfilled, it’s important to keep growing even after you’ve become successful. To do so, she suggests that the success stage is perfect for taking a “halftime,” during which you examine your life choices and identify opportunities to which you should say yes or no. While saying yes can be a powerful way to unlock great opportunities, Naomi mentions that if you say yes to everything, you won’t be able to do anything as well as you’d like. Therefore, she recommends pausing at the halftime of your journey to ask yourself, “Is my cup too full?” If so, simplify and edit your life to make room for the things that are most important to you.
  • Significance. Once you’ve moved through halftime and realized that there is more to life than just achieving success, the next stage is becoming significant. In Naomi’s case, her significance has largely come from the influence she’s had on others as a professional speaker—but she says that you may achieve significance in your own career, family, or other realms of your life where you have an impact on those around you. She emphasizes that one way to guide yourself in becoming significant is to establish a mission statement for your life, and possibly sub-mission statements for different time periods. 
  • Servant leader. Naomi proposes that the final stage of a fulfilling life is becoming a servant leader. While these two words may seem contradictory, she says that a true leader is also a servant—someone who is readily willing to help and serve others when the opportunity to do so arises. 

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