“What was I thinking?  After all… I took a risk.  I took off the gloves and put it all on the line.

The worst part is that my name wasn’t the only name on the line. I was responsible for the reputation of Paul, the Event Planner who hired me. He took a chance too.

But… was it too much?”

My mind raced into the night well after the event.  But I thought I did what Paul wanted.

He said, “Edgy! Bold! Funny! Audacious! Basically… 1000% never been seen before DAWNNA! I want the Pitfalls, the Peaks, and the DAMN PARADE!”

I said, “Really? You want unmedicated Dawnna. Are you sure?”

His response, “F**K IT! Yes! And only you can bring it that way. Your energy; your authenticity, your humor. I WANT YOU to motivate the entire audience to think bigger; take bigger risks; and feel bolder. I am trusting you to do that; I will deal with the fall out.”

My mind churned, “Fall out!  He thinks there will be fall out?”

Paul continued, “We can put some guy on the stage that tells a story or two like we do every year or we can get you up there, get people out of their seats, get the ANGRY RAGS or whatever they are called in the air, and we can turn this thing into something… EPIC… into a PARADE!”

Now Paul was quoting me and that was scary.

But his belief in me was intoxicating.

So I went for it.  I even cut my hair extra short to be extra edgy!  I was all in. When Paul saw the new look his eyes popped out of his head. “YASSSSS!  That’s what I’m talking about!”, he shouted across the hall of 2000 seats.

I took the stage like a lion hunting for prey.  I remember feeling completely uncaged. No gloves.  No chains. No nothing.  Just GIVE IT EVERYTHING YOU GOT!

After I got off the stage Paul was gone!  Nowhere to be found.

“Hmmm… I usually see the event planner before I leave.” I thought.

I texted Paul.  No response.

“He must be busy there is a lot going on”, I conceded.

Then I started thinking about THE FALLOUT as I waited for Paul to call.

“Was it too much?” my mind raced and still no call from Paul.

After 5 days a text from Paul – “Hey. Phone died. Got bz. Sry I missed you. Chin up.”


After weeks of waiting…

and waiting….

and waiting….

Paul sent me an email explaining with the Subject Line: FALL OUT. This is an excerpt.



BTW – Paul later explained, “GURRRLL! If I told you how epic you really were you would have had to pay luggage fees just for your ego.  I had to let you sweat a little.  LOL!”

OH YES!  And the gloves are OFF I will never go back into the cage.  Only “unmedicated Dawnna” will take the stage from now on.  HA!  And to think – this wasn’t even my target audience.

The only question left is – What to do with this kind of amazing feedback!

Any suggestions?


The Video Below is a Periscope shot by an audience member.  It is from a Breakout Session with a women’s group at a conference titled Stand Out! Stand Up! Lean In!   This small segment is titled “OWN THE SPOTLIGHT!” which gets ladies on the stage to do crazy stuff while owning the spotlight.  The audio is good but the wifi killed the video.