IN A GALLERY NOT FAR AWAY
by Rosemary WilsonPart One
A chill rain was falling during the evening rush hour that Thursday in December. I was commuting the short distance from my home to a neighborhood art gallery where the fourth annual Olivette 'Business Appreciation Holiday Reception' was to be held. The mail invitation had announced an event with the trappings of valet parking, cocktails and hoer d'oeuvres accompanied by live classical guitar music. After two years of learning to walk and to talk like the small home-based business owner that I am, this seemed to be an opportunity I could not refuse.
I positively wallowed in marketing self-talk as I sat behind the wheel of my car punctuated by the squeegee action of the repetitive arcs of the wipers on the windshield. The slowly moving parking lot headed east on Olive Boulevard past Dielman Road gave me more time that I cared to have when approaching the upcoming close encounters of the business kind.
I finally did arrive at the appointed address. In typical middle-class fashion, I bypassed the valet and parked my own car on the lot behind the local art gallery. In rehearsing the choreography of the upcoming event, I placed an ample supply of business cards in the pocket of my blazer jacket before locking my car door. The concept of 'accountability' kept streaming through my mind as I slowly walked the narrow passage to the front of the building. Just that morning I had attended the monthly meeting of my small peer group of speaking entrepreneurs. At that time I had announced my most immediate objective to grow my storytelling business was to attend this networking event. I had considered being a no-show to this holiday cocktail party but then had decided against this plan as late as the time I pulled into the gallery parking lot. In either case, I reasoned I would have to report my behavior related to this event to the members of my Mastermind Speakers' Support Group in January. It seemed I had more courage to carry out the plan of walking into that gallery with confident body language than I to admit to my peers that it had been a mission impossible. I arrived at the storefront entrance which was flanked by two large display windows filled with colorful and tasteful art. Putting my hand firmly on the door handle, I opened the door and entered the showroom.
(Part Two (the conclusion) of this story is available upon request via e mail.)