Yesterday was a big day for me; I dove headlong into my dream interview and came up smiling. It was also one of the toughest challenges I’ve experienced. Rather than having 30 or (better yet) 60 minutes to pick this person’s brain, I was nominally granted 15. And oh, by the way, those 15 minutes would happen some time within a window of two hours, with little or no warning.

When the call came, I literally stopped in the middle of a sentence during the training I was conducting to take the call. Before passing the call to the interview subject, the handler on the other end let me know that I would have FIVE–not fifteen–minutes to do the interview. Gulping, I threw down my pen, hit the speaker button, and embraced my keyboard. I immediately commenced firing my questions, fingers flying as the answers came back. I even pushed out the limits so that the entire call actually lasted 9 minutes and 52 seconds. Whew.

Given the tight time frame, I didn’t have time for nerves. Interestingly, the hard part was the mid-sentence about-face, having to be “on” in two completely unrelated arenas with no transition.

Of course, the prospect of writing a 1000-word article based on nine minutes of verbal exchange was daunting, too. I thought, There is no way I’m going to be able to make this happen. I can’t eke that much out of this conversation. It’s not fair! I need more time!

When I went back and read some of the email threads, I realized that this is the way the game is played. My time slot was one of many in this person’s schedule. My subject was giving 5-minute interviews in rapid succession; everyone got the same opportunity. I was lucky to be on the schedule at all. Small-town Tammy, welcome to the bigs. If you want to play, you have to suck it up, babe.

If they can do it, so can I. And with 725 words of the article written and counting, I am.

Stop complaining about circumstances and get to work.

%d bloggers like this: