Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February 22, 2011: Disneyland on a Tuesday night? Why not!


Well, when you live 15 minutes from the happiest place on earth, and your step-brother is staying at the Disney Grand California Hotel for only a day and a half of meetings, and after karate, the three of you find yourself only 10 minutes from that hotel, what else ya gonna do?  Then, once you're there, it's not like you're gonna pass up dinner and a few rides, right?

Disneyland is fun, but karate is FUNNY.  It is absolutely too cute.

Okay, so let me finish my story from last night...

So, I was standing at my seat in among 700 other people who also had just been through an INTENSE 3-day (9am-11pm, 9am-11pm, 8am-7pm) personal growth seminar on money.  I had just shared my insight and realization that I was afraid of money, and that I was no longer afraid.  I also shared with the group my story and commitment to raising $3 million to fund the cure to my daughter's disease.  That's when the standing ovation occurred.  I wasn't ready for it, and when you share the most intimate, important thing in your life, and the reaction is 700 people on their feet cheering for you... well, it was simply overwhelming.  I could feel Bella smiling down at me, with my dad right next to her.  I started crying and could barely take it all in.

When the crowd sat down, the leader of the money seminar (who is well on his way to a net worth of $50 million currently so he can tackle large scale international peace proliferation), asked me, "What action steps can you take tomorrow?"  I told him, "I have a list of people I have met; I'm going to start asking hem for money!"  The crowd went wild, the seminar leader smiled and I nodded in acknowledgement for letting me share, turned to return the mic, and sat down.

Then, it hit me.

I had the mic, told my story, AND FORGOT TO TELL ABOUT TEXTING BELLA TO DONATE $5!!!!!!

It was such an overwhelmingly powerful moment, that I forgot ALL about my cards!  I started to admonish myself, but it didn't last for more than a split second.  The moment my mind started wondering if I missed my big chance, my heart and spirit told me I hadn't.  Further, it would have been totally inauthentic to bring it up in the moment as my fear has been around asking major donors to contribute, not every day folks.  Knowing how vital major gift donors are to this puzzle coming together quickly, that really is what I had my attention on and liberation with, so I relaxed.

Then, I thought to myself, "Forget tomorrow, if Kieron announces one more break before the end of this event, I'm walking right up to him and asking HIM if the Minnesota Medical Foundation can contact HIM!"  That was it.  I had a plan.  So for a few minutes, he talked, I wrote, "Text BELLA to 50555 to donate $5 to help fund the cure to the worst childhood disease you've never heard of:  Epidermolysis Bullosa," on as many more business cards as I could.

Sure enough, after a few minutes I hear, "Now we're gonna take a short break..."

This was it.  This was my chance.  If I chickened out here, everything I said on the mic would have been bullsh*t.  Up I went with purpose.  I walked up to the side of the stage where his table of stuff was, and waited for the first person to stop talking.  Then, it was my turn...

"First, my mentor is Christine Stevens and she says hi and she just thinks the world of you."

Christine is a trainer for one of the Peak Potential courses, and she knows Kieron pretty well.  This was the time to drop her name to immediately make a connection.  Upon hearing her voice, Kieron's face just lit up.  Rapport established.

"Number 2:  I am working with a team of ROCKSTAR women at the Minnesota Medical Foundation to help fund this cure.  May I have them contact you to share how you might be able to be a part of it all?"

[gulp - SHUT UP, smile, and keep eye contact]

"Sure."  With that, Kieron writes his personal email address down and hands it to me.

"Thank you!  Third, we just set up this mobile giving campaign and I'd like to know if either I or you could announce this to the crowd?"  With this, Kieron kind of looks away and says, "It's really against our policy."

I replied, "It's okay, I was just practicing asking."  ;-)

Then, he just paused looking at the back of my business card.  He taps it with his finger and says, "This is really SMART."  Then, we start talking a little more about it, and I tell him that my friend Joe Polish has been helping me get this campaign running, and he smiles and says, "I know Joe.  Is he helping you?  He's a good guy."  Then he finishes, "I'll ask the back [of the room staff] and see what I can do, but I can't promise anything."

I jump across the room kissing the yellow post-it in my hand.

We come back from break, and Kieron just keeps going with the format.  :-(  It's all good, it was a long shot.  Some seminars are loose, but this one is run really tight, and it just didn't seem like it would be appropriate, given how detailed and structured the format was.  At this point, however, I am feeling incredibly light and relieved.  I did my part.  It was out of my hands.  I watched him play with his phone, go to the back of the room, talk to some people, all while we were filling out surveys. Then, he comes back up on stage, gives some more instructions, and while the room is busy filling out something else, I see he has my business card in his hand...

...and then it happened....

"Remember the gentleman, Tim, who is raising $3 million dollars to ind a cure to the disease that killed his daughter?  Well, if you want to help out, you can text BELLA to 50555 to donate $5."

People's heads immediately perked up.  "What was that number again?"  someone asked.

"five zero triple five," he repeated.  I could tell part of him wanted to get it over with as fast as he could, but obviously part of him wanted to help out!  People started coming up to me in my section and asking for my card.  I saw people texting, while others needed help with it.

Then, one lady walked up and handed me a $5 bill saying, "This is all I got right now, but I want you to have it."  Then, another woman hands to me from five rows away and a bunch of helpers, a $100 check made out to cash.  A minute later, a gentleman comes up, hands me five $100 bills with his and his wife's address saying, "Just send us a receipt and we'll send you more."

Chance favors the prepared and IN ACTION mind.

At the end of the night, I did a video testimonial for the seminar, and the two staffers acknowledged me for being the highlight of the night.  Then one proceeds to tell me how unbelievably lucky I am.  "NO ONE - I mean NO ONE gets their stuff pitched by the course leader!  It is a STRICT policy we have, but Kieron obviously was so moved by who you were being that he made that exception.  You gotta get how special that is."

I had the experience of actually being fearless when it comes to money, and I still have that experience.  If you have any hang ups or stories about money, take this course and you will distinguish how and when YOU made up YOUR story about money, and you will get ample opportunities to SMASH that story into bits!  I feel so grateful, so lucky, but also so confident, because I know that I stepped up to the plate, free from my baggage, and in that space, infectious partnership showed up!

Gratitude.  Also a gift you give others AND yourself.  What a good feeling to have.

God night.

P.S.  In other news, here is an AMAZING update on the latest patient in the U of M study:



  1. WOW Tim! What an amazing story!(I got goose bumps reading it) Bella and Ali must be very proud of their daddy.
    I Love this picture of Bella,She looks very peaceful in mommy's arms. Love, Maria McGovern

  2. Good to see that this seminar helped yo on your fears of money and gave you the opportunity to share Bella's story.
    A beautiful picture of Bella and Ang.

  3. Now THAT'S what I want to hear!!!!!!!!!

    Awesome Tim. Your writing conveyed that you had to really stretch out of your comfort zone. Congratulations. I feel good about the way you are going about getting this money. I know it SHOULD be enough that you lost beautiful Bella but look at you my friend. Look. You are doing what you never wanted to do...dealing with money. Rock on dude.

    Really. Good job. Really.

  4. My jaw was on the floor as I read this entire post (during class-ha!). I also had goosebumps and tears in my eyes! This is soooooooo awesome. SO awesome. Good work. You should be so proud.

    Much Love,

  5. Tim,

    I think as we all read this blog we are all giving you a standing ovation! Great job, way to just ask and for really being out there telling your story and representing!
    WAY TO GO!!

  6. WOW- I am speachless! Smiling from ear to ear (-: Also the pic of Bella and Ang is so beautiful. I think this one is now my favorite pic of Bella, she looks so peaceful, right in her mommy's arms.


    Lara Davidson

  7. Awesome work at that seminar! But I really wanted to comment because that photo of Bella is probably my favorite so far. Absolutely precious.


  8. WOW!
    i'm speachless

    we will see a cure, of that i'm sure!

  9. It's amazing what you're able to do, you are trying so hard to do whatever you can to help to find a cure do EB.

    The Bella's picture is so touching.

    Carla, Luxembourg

  10. sweet!
    All of it...karate. money. texting...
    but mostly that picture...

    It's stuck in my mind from doing Bella's memory album...loved seeing it again :)

    (you should've called us! WE could be at Disney in 10 minutes, too!)

    By the way, did Ang tell you about Ali's comment, while watching the Little Mermaid here?
    Good times!

  11. AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tina in NJ

  12. Wow, wow, wow! What an amazing story. Last night when I read and I was left hanging....I couldnt have imagined the rest of the story. You are right...Bella is smiling and she is also so very proud. I know it.

    Bellas picture with Angelique...one of my favorites. So very beautiful.

    I am getting close to starting my fundraising. I lost my cord for my sewing machine and I need it for one of the crafty treasures I will be selling.

    Sending my love to all and the sweetest of kisses for Ali.

    Denise WI

  13. Wow! How amazing is that?!?
    What a blessing!
    With tears in my eyes,

  14. PRAISE GOD!! That is truly amazing!! So excited for you and am glad He is giving you the words to say and the perfect timing to do so.

    Love that sweet Bella picture - and I know she is smiling at you from heaven!!

    Love from TX,
    Laura (for Team A)

  15. Hey, I'm all for Disneyland on a Tuesday night. How fun!

    WOW, your story has me speechless. You are so powerful when you speak about Bella, it doesn't surprise me at all that you received a standing ovation and that people gave you money for donations right there on the spot. I am also not surprised that Keiron wanted to bend the rules for you. You are that impressive, so I understand why he was so touched by you and was willing to pitch your texting info for you. HOW AWESOME!! Great things are happening and I am so glad to be a part of it with you.

    Lots of Love,
    Amber, Craig, Malorie, and Liam
    The McLaughlin Family, CA