My first Make It Happen Moment happened 19 years ago next week. I went to Girls State as a summer senior and decided I wanted to run for one of the highest offices: Governor. While public speaking and current events were “my thing” at that time, I had never won a student body office (and I ran EVERY year from sixth grade on). I’m not entirely sure what made me think I could do it, but I started the week with hope.
By mid-week, I could tell my competition was going to be fierce. Some of the best debaters I had ever competed against were there and I knew they were going to run for a state office. The night before I had to file, I called my mom in tears. I told her about these girls. I told her how smart and bright they were. That they were state champions and 4.0 students.
Then she told me, “Michelle, Make It Happen”. She cheered me on and reminded me of a phrase we had learned from Elaine Millet. A youth leader placed in my life and taught me this principle that has shaped my life and my business.
And then I went to work. I gave 17 speeches over the next 3 days. I proceeded with confidence and strength. I did everything I could and won in primaries. Then campaigned again for final elections. My competitor was also a debater. She could also speak well. I remember standing in the polling line petrified. Then I had to wait 7 hours for the results.
When my name was called I felt the reward of visualizing something I wanted, but also working real hard for it. “Make It Happen” became my personal mantra and has shaped my life, my businesses and my future in profound ways.
Girls State changed me. And it wasn’t just winning. I left with a deep love for my country and the many men and women who sacrifice for the freedoms I enjoy. I am more patriotic, more active in my community and a better citizen because of my experience.
I’m also mindful that it was because of my dear Grandpa Joe that I even got to go. He was a member of the American Legion. Because of his membership I was given one of 4 spots to go – 16 girls from my high school applied. As I type, my grandfather is in his final days. I will be forever grateful for him, his military service and how this experience was made possible because of his courage to fight for our freedoms.
Today, my house looks like a mix between a classroom and a patriotic store. Projects in every room, and on every flat surface. It is an honor to be on the staff of Utah Girls State. Something I’ve done for the last 15 years. questions to ask To give back to a program that meant so much to me.
The hours of work, the times I get to remind my husband and kids why this is important to me, the lack of pay (there is none)…it’s all worth it. Today I salute the women of Girls State 1996 who had houses like this, who sacrificed hours so I could have the experience I did. THEY made it happen for me.
I’d love to hear…what is one of your Make It Happen Moments? Or tell me about a person who has helped cheer you on through one of your Make It Happen Moments?
Follow me on Facebook: facebook.com/speakmichelle
Bestselling author, Michelle McCullough is also a sought after business strategist and speaker. She’s the creator of “The Social Media Blueprint For Business” a digital marketing planning tool for entrepreneurs and small businesses. She’s been featured in numerous media outlets including entrepreneur.com and the 40 under 40. She’s also the host of a weekly radio show that hit over a million downloads at the beginning of 2015. As a mother of two young children she knows there’s no time to mess around. It’s time to Make It Happen. (Michelle’s motivational book “Make It Happen – The Success Practices for Peak Performers” will be out in 2015. Sign up for the Make It Happen Toolkit and you’ll be first to hear about it’s release!)