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No matter what, you have to go for it…

I remember about five or six years ago I was speaking at an event (still a fairly new speaker and unsure of myself) and afterwards, the main keynote (who was a very successful founder of a company we’ve all heard of…let’s call him Bill) came up to me and said…

“Do you have a valid passport?”

Caught off guard, I responded, “Yes, I think so?”

“Good- because I’m going to make you a world-class speaker.”

We exchanged info and he said his agent was going to call me to get me set up with speaking engagements all over the world.

I ran out of the venue and couldn’t dial my mom fast enough. 😅

“Mom! Mom! You won’t believe it- I met BILL and he believes in my speaking and said he’s going to send me all over the world for speaking engagements!”

We did a happy dance on the phone and then I ran back to my apartment to check the expiration date on my passport.

Then I waited for him and his agent to call. I waited…and waited. I followed up and then waited some more…and then some more.

Nothing ever happened. And for awhile, I felt like I missed the train to success.  I believed that he was my ticket to the top, and he didn’t stop at my station.

The golden ticket slipped through my fingertips.

But I didn’t stop speaking. I kept putting my name in the hat for events, I worked on my keynote, and any chance I had the opportunity to get in front of people (even for free) and share my story, I did it.  

Years past and I spoke more and more and the stages gradually got bigger and bigger.

Then a year or two ago, about three years after I met Bill, I ran into him at a conference…where I was the main keynote.

“Jess! Did my agent ever get in touch with you? I need to get her on that.” He said.

“No she didn’t- but don’t even worry about it. I’m good.”

Here’s the thing: there is no single person, reward, milestone, press feature, or moment that is your golden ticket.

You are your only golden ticket.

Over the years, there have been many moments, people and opportunities that I’ve slapped the golden ticket pressure on: If only I get get on THIS TV show! If only I could partner with THIS company! If only I can meet with THIS person! …then I’ll be set.

A lot of those meetings happened. A lot of them didn’t. But none of them determined my future or my success…only I do.

So there’s good news and bad news to all of this.

The bad news is that there is no train that is going to stop at your station and send you straight to the top.  

But the good news is, your golden ticket is your consistency to show up and keep doing what you love. Get better and better at your craft.

Keep putting your name out there. Keep asking for what you want.

Because the quickest way to get what you want is to ask for it.

If no one answers, you have to work for it.

But no matter what, you have to go for it.

Rooting for you,


Jess Ekstrom is leaving her mark on this world and it’s amazing to watch her do it.

CHIP GAINES / Co-Founder of Magnolia Network


Everything I create is to help you tell & sell your story…so you can make a living and make a difference at the same time. Let me be straight with you – I’m not that perfectly filtered influencer on the internet that promises you the world and doesn’t follow through after that credit card is swiped.

My mission is to guarantee you two things 👇

Enough about my story, let’s help you  monetize your story by being a paid keynote speaker and author!

Mic Drop Workshop® helps women tell and sell their story as paid keynote speakers and authors.


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