SXSW Poker #12: Laurie Davis
When I was 18, I wanted to be a rock star. As a student at Berklee College of Music, I met an alumnus who owned an entertainment company and I had high hopes of being his next lead singer. When we met, he told me more about his other business — a music education service. Through stream of consciousness, he blurted out a business challenge: He didn’t have enough time to focus on the education side of things though it had higher margins than the entertainment company.
One week later, I showed up to meet him, notebook in hand, and ran through a list of innovative ideas for his music lesson business. If he did these things, I said, his revenue would dramatically climb. He stared at me, listening patiently, mouth agape as I outlined my 3 page manifesto for a business that wasn’t even mine. When I finished, he said, “Great ideas. And I know exactly the person to do all this. YOU.”
I didn’t become a Director of Operations at 18 without taking some initiative. What I’ve learned is that inspired moments happen when you least expect it. I didn’t scribble down business ideas in a notebook 11 years ago because I wanted a job; I was just trying to help someone out. The same happened with my first business, an event planning company — the demand came before the LLC. Similarly, what once was a hobby helping my friends date online morphed into something that no one could have expected — my internationally recognized brand, eFlirt Expert. Ideas generated by circumstances can often become the most powerful ones in your life. Being ambitious isn’t necessarily always about climbing the ladder; it’s about noticing opportunities and taking advantage of them.