This evening I had one of the best telephone calls of my life…..I’ll get to that shortly, but let me go back 2 days first.
On Monday afternoon this week you would have seen me at home in my lounge. It was 3pm in the afternoon and I had spent most of the day cleaning. Having been away for 7 days coaching at an Elite Public Speakers event, and having come home late the night before to a house inhabited by boys (lol), you can imagine there was a lot to be done!
I was tired, I had too much to do, and I had just sat down for the first time that day to have a cup of tea. I hadn’t even eaten yet. And I got a call through Facebook messenger. I looked at it in annoyance and didn’t immediately recognise the name. I nearly cut the call off thinking it was a scam caller and then I remembered…
Earlier the previous week, a girl had reached out to me. We met at a previous event that I was coaching at and she and I had gelled. I had told her I was away and could she call me on Monday. Well, here was Monday and that was her calling! I answered.
“Carole, I don’t know what made me ring you, but I have an amazing opportunity and only you can help me”, Rukhiya said. Rukhiya, the girl from the event, had been raised in an orphanage in Kenya for 10 years of her childhood. She had been looking for a way to tell her story and make a difference – to get kids OUT of orphanages.
She had contacted a charity that helps children find homes, or get them back into their family, and they had taken her back to Kenya to film her and tell her story. And now she had a chance to speak for 6 minutes at a BIG event at Abbey Road Studios, and tell her story live to an audience of influencers. And she wanted to read it to me for my opinion.
She wasn’t happy with it and as she read it to me I understood why. It wasn’t that the story was bad, it was more that – when you write your own stuff – YOU know the story and so your brain fills in the gaps. When someone else is listening who doesn’t know the back story, that can make it appear jumpy and disjointed. She was also sticking to the facts, when there was far more to her story than dry facts.
“No Problem Rukhiya. I know EXACTLY what we need to do with this story to blow them out of the park. How long do we have?”. “Well Carole, the event is on Weds night!”. 2 days?? 2 days to get the speech rewritten, approved and for Rukhiya to practice it!!
“OK” I said, “Give me a few minutes, I will rewrite it, email it to you and then we will practice it live on skype. We will just assume they will agree it to the changes”. And they did. How could they not?
Her speech started with a question from the presenter “How did you survive?”. And, where previously she had started to recount the facts – adopted after 10 years etc – now we were going to tell the real story, in a way that was going to reach the hearts of the audience and encourage them to donate £1200 each to raise 600k to help 500 children.
“Well Natalie, I think the only reason I survived is because I had a dream. A dream that kept me going through all the hard days and the dark nights. I had a dream that someone would come……………………..Someone would come for me……………………………….someone would come for me and take me away and love me. …………………….And one day, someone DID come…………..”
(6 minutes later)
“Oh my God Carole, that’s exactly what happened, that’s my story. How did you do that? I love it, but I don’t know if I will be able to do it. I’m so nervous”
We spent time then going over the script and learning some techniques to make the presentation of it even more powerful, and help Rukhiya with her nerves.
Fast forward to tonight. I received this text :-
“Thank You Thank You Thank You, you contributed to saving 500 children last night. Are you free to speak later”, followed by a phone call.
“Carole, I can’t thank you enough. I got a standing ovation, and more importantly we did it – we got the £600,000. We will be able to save 500 children. I don’t think it would have happened without you. It was fantastic, I’m so happy and I can only keep saying thank you”.
Sometimes people come into your life so they can help you, and sometimes they come into your life so you can help them. I am honoured that Rukhiya chose to call me and ask for my help. I feel so happy that I have been able to make such a difference to her content, her delivery and her confidence that she was able to go and make a miracle happen.
And even though Rukhiya thinks I helped her, she may not realise that she helped me too. It confirms to me that one of the things I am meant to do is coach. I am a great coach, I love coaching and I especially love the difference it makes. And I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to help this great cause.
I am waiting for the video of the night, when it comes I will post it, so that Rukhiya can get her message out to even more people.