I met my hero. My hair looked like a wig. It did not start well.

“You don’t. Understand.”

I was using that gritted-teeth, quiet but solid tone of voice. The kind you use when you really, really want to scream your words out, but know that you can’t. In this case, I couldn’t because:

(1) I understood that she was just being nice and trying to help, and
(2) on some level, deep below the surface, I knew I was being wildly unreasonable.

It was Saturday night, and I was getting ready to meet my hero.

About seven years ago, my best friend introduced me to The Daily Love, a daily email by a guy called Mastin Kipp. It’s kind of a guide on How To Live Well – and it was my first proper introduction to the world of self-help, self-inquiry and realizing that there were ways I could look at things (life, people, situations) that would make me substantially more peaceful.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 10.50.16 PMMastin’s style of writing is exceptionally accessible, very (sometimes brutally) honest, and he’s absolutely upfront about his flaws. Everyone else I’d encountered in this realm had been a bit…. floaty yoga goddess. People about whom I’d think, “You and I would not have fun hanging out. I’d accidentally fart and then try and laugh about, and you’d look kind of disgusted”.

Whereas Mastin… Mastin seems like the kind of person who spills ketchup down his front. Or gets excited and knocks things over while gesticulating. My kind of person.

Long story short: since then, The Daily Love – and Mastin’s writing – has changed my life in a TON of ways. Both through what he’s taught me (for example, his notion that you should always use fear as your compass, and if your safety isn’t threatened, move towards what makes you terrified),

And also through who he introduced me to, more heroes, like Chela Davison and Marie Forleo – whose B School course led to Yes Yes Marsha being started, my life being turned upside down, and me making a living from actually doing the thing I have been doing for free my whole life, that I otherwise corner strangers at parties to do, that I can’t believe I get paid for.

So I have a lot to thank him for. And I was about to meet him. And I had a plan. But things were going wrong.

The sharp words I spoke above, were to my chum Nadine. She was one of a bunch of friends coming with me to Mastin Kipp’s book signing and meet-and-greet, for his then-new book, Growing Into Grace (read it in a week, loved it), the final stop on his North American tour.

Nadine had met Mastin a year ago, and her response to my nervousness was to say, “But he’s such a normal dude, you don’t need to be scared.”

I tried to explain that this was the problem. If he was some aloof, Jack Nicholson type, it wouldn’t matter how I behaved. But because he already so much feels like my buddy – and because I knew my dork goblin would be out in FULL FORCE – I was nauseous with fear.

And, my hair looked like a wig.

My usually very obediently straight front bit was doing this:

RIGHT?

We all went into the room – about 50 of us, in rows in chairs, and it turned out it wasn’t just mingling and chatting. It was a kind of workshop Mastin was running, where he talked about bits of his life.

I resisted the urge to shout, “I KNOW THIS ALL YOU’VE WRITTEN ABOUT IT IN THE BOOK THAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS JUST BOUGHT BUT I GOT IT THE MOMENT IT CAME OUT AND READ IT COVER TO COVER I LOVE YOU.”

Then he got us to do a ton of very emotional exercises, mostly based around getting us to feel our feelings fully. In a good way.Photo 2014-10-25, 6 42 22 PM

The workshop ended up running long, so we were there for five hours. To make matters worse, I’d been so nervous, that I’d forgotten to have lunch. I was a bit hysterical.

Finally, it was time to get my book signed – and to give him the present I’d made him. Yep, like a fourth-grader at the end of term.

Quick back-story: in the book, Mastin talks about how, as a kid, he loved Star Trek: The Next Generation, and how he had sometimes wished he was in Starfleet himself.

So, it gets to my turn. Everyone else has been getting him to sign the brand new book they got with their ticket, and I say [please imagine my slightly hysterical mouse voice here],

“I switched my new copy out for my old, dog-eared one. I already read it all – and loved it. Look how many pages I turned down!”

And he — side-note, Mastin is a MAN MOUNTAIN. I’m pretty tall, 5′ 7”, and he stands a full head above me — says, “Aw, awesome!”

Then, as he’s signing, I say [still with the voice], “Um, Mastin, The Daily Love has changed my life in so many ways, and I wanted to give you a card to say thank you, but I wanted to give you something else too, and I know that I can’t make fiction reality…” He’s looking confused at this point. “But I figured I can give you a souvenir from an alternative universe”, and I hand him a card, that has this on the front:

Mastin TNG

He takes it, looks, and suddenly starts yelling, “OH MY GOD!! THIS IS AMAZING!! THIS JUST MADE THE TOUR!!! THIS IS THE BEST PRESENT I’VE EVER GOT!! WHAT!!!”

And gave me, like, three, massive bear hugs, and I offered to send him the original, and he gave me his email address, and then we took a photo together, and here – LOOK HOW HAPPY I AM!!!!

I danced home that night. I was biking, and I kept standing up on the pedals and shaking all around. People were grinning at me as I passed them. It was so awesome. It was so awesome.

 

 

I have a small request, because of this experience. Here’s the thing:

Maybe this will serve me well in a networking sense. Maybe something will come up, and Mastin will remember me and think well of me and that might end up helping my business. But that isn’t why I did it – and it certainly isn’t why I’m so glad I did it.

The feeling of thrilling one of your heroes – it’s incredible. I still feel light headed at the thought. He posted my card on Instagram that night – “Best fan gift EVER”.

So here’s what I’d like you to do:

Thank your hero.

You don’t have to get your friend to photoshop a special card for them. You also don’t have to think of this as the only time you thank them. So many of my clients say, “I just know I need to make that first impression count”, and I explain that you don’t. Life is long and people are busy, and you’ll have plenty more chances.

Here’s an email template – the one I use for the Thursday Thank You on my Facebook page – that you can use. Click on it to look or to save it, you can right click/Ctrl+click:

https://www.yesyesmarsha.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Yes-Yes-Marsha-Thursday-Thank-You-Email-Template.pdf

Do yourself the favour of getting to feel incredible by making your hero happy.

If YOU have a story of thanking your hero, let me know in the comments below!

Thanks so much for reading. If you know someone who enjoyed this story, you can share it with them using one of the little round buttons below. And if you’d like help telling any of your stories – on stage, on video or on your About page – I’d love to help you. Take a look at how I can, here: yesyesmarsha.com/storycoaching.

You rule,

xx (Yes Yes) Marsha

 

 

PS want to know my best-ever client secret – and get even more advice, tips, plus stories that I won’t put on the internet? Come and join the Yes Yes Family – it’s free! Just pop your details in below:

Credits:

Photos by me or strangers I made take a pic. Except for the Starfleet one: I actually paid my genius friend Tim Leng to do the Photoshopping for me. If you’d like him to do any for you, you can get hold of his email and other links on his blog – here’s a post he wrote about the previous photoshopping jobs he did for me: http://sparkymalarkey.blogspot.ca/2013/09/your-best-ever-wedding-party.html

10 Comments

  • Lucy Picken

    Reply Reply December 9, 2015

    Hey Marsha,

    I loved hearing this story and it also reminded me of my thanking my hero story….the time I knocked on Tony Benn’s door to deliver a card to say I though he was amazing and he answered it himself and INVITED ME IN FOR A CUP OF TEA IN HIS GARDEN!!!

    I’m sure I will have told you that before, but it really makes me smile, as did your story, so I am hoping it will bring a smile to your face today in return.

    Lucy
    xx

  • Catarina

    Reply Reply December 9, 2015

    Thanks for the suggestion Marsha – going to email my hero asap! On a related note, back in my NGO consulting days I created a thank you card for someone who put me in touch with several potential clients. It was a pic of Yoda accompanied by the text “Thankful I am.”

  • Julieta

    Reply Reply December 9, 2015

    Marsha, fellow B-Schooler, I just going to say I LOVE YOU!!!! Your e-mail with this awesome human post make my day.
    This is the kind of things I think only happens to me, now, I am not alone =)

    *Refering to getting nervous when meeting your hero + giving him/her a present like a fourth grader*

    Thank you!

  • Brian Gryphon

    Reply Reply December 9, 2015

    As is true for so many things in life, ‘Social Media’ has benefits as well as drawbacks. Some people use it only to ‘push’ their message or build their brand, but some forms (Twitter and, to some degree, Facebook) are well-suited to actually interacting with a diverse range of folk.

    I’ve recounted on my blog (http://briangryphon.com/index.php/category/brushes-fame/) a few stories of interacting with people of fame. Specific to your post here, I was able to use Twitter to express my appreciation to Paul Williams for what was an off-hand comment at a performance he gave in Toronto back in the ’80s. As I blogged, “At one point he stopped to say something to the effect of ‘I talk about loving ladies; that’s personal preference not moral judgment’.”

    He might not have remembered the actual comment, or even that performance- he has been in recovery for over 25 years and quite open about his addictive behaviours in those days. However he replied “Ah yes. Strong feelings then and now” and now follows me on Twitter. We are certainly not besties, a stretch to say we’re friends, but the interactions feel more sincere than a form letter (remember autographed 8″x10″ glossies?).

    Brian

  • Craig

    Reply Reply November 8, 2017

    (Y) Club here! You’re stories are honestly THE BEST…so much fun that I’m a proud credit reader. Now, I’ll be thinking a lot more about how I can up my hero and overall gift game…

  • Hazel Behrens

    Reply Reply November 8, 2017

    Great story, Marsha. By the way, you are my hero from Toronto. Does it matter that I’ve never met any Britsh ladies from Toronto before? (Big silly grin)
    Even items at the bottom of a blog can catch the curious eye. I clicked on THE CAT IS FINE and loved it!

    Wishing you lots of joy & laughter and some good sleep.
    Blessings from the Tribe Mermaid who lives in North Dakota, USA

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