Skip to Content

What Happens to a Dream Deferred?

Monday, April 6, 2020

Promoting your business in the times of Coronavirus

I always assume you and I have a lot of common. So, naturally I assume what has been weighing on my conscious is weighing on you as well (please allow my latitude in assumption). How do we continue to do business and be our BEST selves during this pandemic?

People are hardwired to have two similar drives; to be successful, and to be good, purposeful and virtuous human beings. Accomplishing both in times of suffering and uncertainty can feel incongruous. It can make trying to move forward with “work as normal” feel, well, wrong.

We are quarantined at home. Some of us are working remotely, some of us are fearing (or coping with) the loss of our jobs, and some of us are holding together our businesses with duct tape – waiting eagerly for life to resume and commerce to ride to the rescue. None of us know exactly how to deal with it. Lest it seems like I am touting my magic elixir, let me clarify, I am part of the none. We are wading in cloudy waters as a team.

Who is in Control?

So, do we keep moving forward, and if so, HOW? Is it OK to set appointments, make sales, keep our business, our dream, in motion?? My brain wonders: Is it cool to reach out to you on LinkedIn? Would an email seem bothersome or even rude?

The best answer hearkens to an amazing lecture from my undergrad about “internal” vs. “external” locus of control. To simplify; we either believe we impact our our own success with choice and action or that the world around us shapes our results – often against (or at least impervious to) our will. I am assuming, again, our commonality, and place you in the first bucket but also acknowledge you (we) struggle with a vacillation towards the latter. We want to believe we are behind the wheel, but, man, this month is making it tough to drive…

My business, Empowering Voices (EVI Training) is my dream manifest. I worked tirelessly to build a business that empowers other’s success; starting with speaking to students across the nation when I was barely older than the audience, and branching into the professional world for the last decade. I’ve built and run my own Learning & Development firm since 2012.

For many of you, the career you enjoy today is also the ever-evolving culmination of a still-ongoing life of purpose; studying and learning, training and developing, putting in hours and passion and effort. Your success is NOT an accident. So, does the current global situation mean your dream should go on pause??

What HAPPENS when we defer our dreams? Perhaps no one has ever said it better than Langston Hughes…

HARLEM – Langston Hughes

Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Three Internal Locus of Control Actions for Success

Do I send that email request? Do we reach out to prospective clients, knowing their lives are as uncertain as ours? Do we sit idly by awaiting bailouts and assistance? Do we stay in motion of freeze? How do we soldier onward? I don’t have all the answers, but I do know one thing with certainty.

Don’t defer your dream.

Continue to CONNECT – This may not be the ideal time to set the appointment. This may not be the day to close the sale. But it is absolutely the time to connect with compassion, understanding, and a sincere drive to add value and serve others. Is there something you can do to help other’s connect and grow? A service you can provide? A helping hand you can lend? Yes, seeking ways to help and serve others may be a subtle form of marketing, but when approached with sincerity, is never a bad method of promotion.

Thanks Kendall – Our Fantastic Marketing Assistant (and 2nd grade daughter)

My “other” business (which my wife runs and gets ALL credit for) is severely impacted by the inability to host weddings and events. To continue to serve and connect with our community, we are using our small country market to organize a food and produce service with free local delivery. We will make next to NO profit on this endeavor, and could even lose a few bucks fueling up the SUV. But we have received some local media attention and an increase of traffic on our social media platforms. Likely, in the long run, the “earned media” will have been a great financial value. But the beauty in serving others first is that we DON’T CARE. The connection is the primary value. When we seek first to serve, rewards that come are ancillary.

Stay in MOTION I am not generally a fan of idle activity. More hours spent doesn’t always equate to more success accomplished (in fact, it is often the opposite). However, with these wide stretches of open space, remember an object in motion stays in motion. Get up and get dressed, and create a list of items that excite or interest you; a new vertical you wanted to explore with your business, a relationship you always sought to forge but never got around to (or were too afraid), concoct a unique way your product or service can help others. Then, start. Even if you can’t see the whole staircase, take the first step in faith.

Remain a REALISTIC DREAMER – These two words might seem contradictory, but their melding is a fundamental key to success. In times of challenge, be wary of falling prey to accepting an external locus of control. It is seductive. It allows us to rationalize ‘failure’ as ‘not our fault.’ However, there is a stark difference between ‘excuses’ and ‘reasons.’ Don’t abandon your goals, but be cognizant you might need a different plan of action. I recognize that positive thinking alone is no more likely to get me back in front of a packed audience in April than it is to help me dunk from the foul line, no matter how much I think it’d be fun.

Dreams are wonderful. But they must be dreams we can take action upon.

My 2020 dream is to empower more than 1,000 presenters to unlock new successful career potentials by bolstering their executive presence, story-telling techniques, and confidence from the front of the room. I could sit and hope and pray that someday, soon, June? July? the audiences will be back. Or I can choose STAY IN MOTION with an internal locus of control. We’ve adapted our programs to be effective in virtual formats, incorporated remote presentation coaching and video review and have even scheduled Zoom chats with students and participants who share our belief that there is no time like NOW to build skills and prepare to emerge from quarantine new and improved.

I have moments of doubt. We all do – awkward moments where I hesitate to send an email, make a call, market and promote with enthusiasm. I wonder what normal is going to look like, and when. I feel the hesitancy and fear dancing dangerously close, the seductive pull of external locus whispering; it’s OK to fail, look at all the reasons why… But I (we) know the best reason to persist…

I refuse to defer my dream.


  1. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I stumbled across this in my hunt for something relating to this.

  2. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Superb work!

  3. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

  4. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few interesting things or tips.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read more things about it!

  5. Hello, you used to write magnificent, but the last several posts have been kinda boring… I miss your great writings. Past few posts are just a bit out of track! come on!

  6. I’ve been surfing online more than 3 hours lately, but I by no means discovered any interesting article
    like yours. It’s beautiful worth sufficient for
    me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content as you did, the internet might be
    a lot more helpful than ever before.

  7. I’ve been browsing on-line more than 3 hours today, but I by no means discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It’s lovely price enough for me. Personally,
    if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content as you
    probably did, the web shall be a lot more useful than ever before.

  8. Unquestionably imagine that which you stated. Your favourite reason seemed to be at the net the easiest thing to take note of. I say to you, I certainly get irked at the same time as other people think about worries that they plainly don’t understand about. You controlled to hit the nail upon the top and outlined out the whole thing with no need side-effects , other people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thank you!

  9. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that
    automatically tweet my newest twitter updates.
    I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite
    some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this.
    Please let me know if you run into anything.
    I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

  10. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this
    website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very difficult to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability and appearance.
    I must say you have done a amazing job with this. Also,
    the blog loads super quick for me on Firefox. Excellent Blog!

  11. It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.

    I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things
    or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I wish to read more things about it!

  12. Its such as you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the guide in it or something. I believe that you just could do with some p.c. to power the message house a little bit, however instead of that, that is great blog. An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  13. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally,
    it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You definitely know what youre talking about, why
    throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to
    your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  14. I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I
    never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally,
    if all website owners and bloggers made good
    content as you did, the web will be a lot more
    useful than ever before.

  15. I have been browsing online more than 4 hours today, yet
    I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It’s pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers
    made good content as you did, the internet will be much more
    useful than ever before.

  16. Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your
    website on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the information you present
    here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, good

  17. After checking out a few of the articles on your site, I truly like your technique
    oof writing a blog. I saved itt to my bookmark website list
    and will be checking back in the near future. Please chheck out my web site
    too and let me know your opinion.

  18. hi!,I like your writing so much! percentage we keep in touch extra approximately your post
    on AOL? I need an expert on this space to resolve my problem.
    Maybe that is you! Looking forward to peer you.

  19. I really love your site.. Great colors & theme.
    Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my own personal
    website and want to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called.

  20. Woah! I’m really loving the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s very hard
    to get that “perfect balance” between usability and visual appeal.
    I must say that you’ve done a awesome job with this.
    Also, the blog loads super fast for me on Internet explorer.

    Exceptional Blog!

  21. Pingback: viagra connect
  22. Pingback: viagra price
  23. Together with every thing which appears to be developing throughout this particular subject material, a significant percentage of viewpoints are actually relatively exciting. Having said that, I appologize, but I can not give credence to your whole theory, all be it stimulating none the less. It appears to everyone that your opinions are actually not totally validated and in fact you are your self not completely confident of your point. In any event I did take pleasure in examining it.

  24. Hi there! This post couldn’t be written much better!

    Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He always kept talking about this. I will send this information to him.
    Pretty sure he’ll have a great read. Many thanks
    for sharing!

  25. I just could not depart your web site before
    suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual information a person provide on your guests?
    Is gonna be back steadily to check out new posts

  26. Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get
    a lot of spam feedback? If so how do you reduce it, any
    plugin or anything you can advise? I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so
    any support is very much appreciated.

  27. Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar
    one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any assistance is very much

  28. Pingback: cialis india
  29. Pingback: herbal viagra
  30. It’s thee bes tie tto make soke plwns for tthe futufe andd itt is time
    tto bbe happy. I’ve ead tis pst aand iff I could I ant too suggest youu spme interesting thigs
    oor advice. Maybe you could write nnext articlews referrung tto thiss article.
    I desire to rewad even mkre thimgs about it!

  31. Greetings! I’ve been following your web site for a while now and
    finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Tx!
    Just wanted to say keep up the good job!

  32. Вас лишили водительского удостоверения ?
    Не знаете как быть и чем кормить
    семью? Есть решение, купить водительское удостоверение при
    лишении можно оформить в
    компании on-prava, предлагаются различные
    варианты решения данного вопроса,
    на любой вкус. Обращайтесь в он-права и решите вопрос лишения водительского удостоверения.


  33. It is the best time to make a few plans for the future and it
    is time to be happy. I’ve read this publish and if I may just I want to recommend you some fascinating things or tips.
    Maybe you can write subsequent articles relating to this article.
    I desire to learn more issues about it!

  34. Pingback: rx cialis