Strategies for Success: Lessons from the Studious Studs Fashion Show
On January 13 I stepped out of my comfort zone and entered the 2024 Studious Studs Fashion Show.
I participated in three categories: Famous Person, Evening Wear, and the onstage interview question. As I strolled down the red carpet, I playfully tossed out rubber chickens, while my talented sons Kenny and Joe provided live music with their guitars.
Meanwhile my wife Beth, son Tom and Kenny’s fiancée Vanna provided encouragement from the seats (along with a host of Toastmaster friends).
Deep within me, I believe there’s a barrier that separates individuals from success. It’s like a flock of chickens—fear, negativity, and self-doubt.
Recognizing this, I decided to confront and overcome these metaphorical chickens. I fried them away and took on the challenge of competing in the Studious Studs Fashion Show Charity Event. I knew that win or lose I would be helping to raise money for the Hope House Womens Shelter in Middletown Ohio.
And I really went out of my comfort zone. I’ve led the audience in The Chicken Dance before, but never in lederhosen!
And I’ve walked out to the William Tell Overture before, but never in a tux on a runway.
I was advised before the show that bribery of the judges was fine, even encouraged, since money went to charity. So I gave each judge a copy of my book – with a green dead president bookmark.
In the end I successfully fried the chickens of fear and self-doubt, embracing something new! As a bonus – I won the title of Studious Stud 2024!
The Rest of the Story
Before I stepped onto the stage, there was meticulous planning and an exploration of unconventional approaches that I hoped would set my performance apart.
In preparation, I delved into the world of the Studious Studs Fashion Show, immersing myself in the experiences of past contestants through videos. While roses were a popular choice for contestants to offer judges, I wanted to stand out. The quest for uniqueness led me to the realization that my “Great Things Happen Every Day” book could be a distinctive gift.
This revelation prompted a logistical challenge – I needed more books. Thanks to the wonders of Prime Shipping on Amazon, my inventory was replenished in time. The idea of giving judges a copy of my book, complete with a green dead president bookmark, was born out of the desire to be memorable and different.
I owe a debt of gratitude to Bekah, who shared invaluable insights into what worked in the competition. The bribery strategy, which proved successful, was one of her suggestions. Another gem she offered was the selfie idea (in the middle of the show) with Ms. Wanda, adding a personal touch to the event.
The biggest game-changer, however, was the suggestion to have my talented sons, Kenny and Joe, play live. It turned out to be a decision that not only enhanced my performance but also created a memorable and unique atmosphere.
And the unexpected benefit was flexibility. As other contestants walked out in their formal wear I realized I would need more time in front of the judges. The original formal wear plan was to have Kenny and Joe start playing their version of The William Tell Overture as I walked up the red carpet. With about ten minutes to go before I went on I texted them “Hey don’t start the music until I get up and signal you. I’m going to need as much time in front of the judges as possible”.
As it turned out it worked perfectly. I had time to walk in front of the judges, then grab the books and hand one to each judge, then take a selfie with Ms. Wanda. As soon as that was finished, the music finished. Like I planned it…
Amidst the glittering lights and vibrant energy of the event, the behind-the-scenes preparation was equally crucial. Bekah’s invitation to check out the venue the day before was an opportunity I seized, practicing my walkout and chicken dance in front of an intimate audience. The discomfort of rehearsing in front of a few people was more challenging than the actual night, where the camaraderie of the crowd made everything feel just right.
The final moments before stepping onto the stage were a flurry of activity – struggling to get into the tux on time, making sure my fly was up (it wasn’t, glad I checked…), coordinating with my sons for the perfect timing of their live performance, and a timely reminder of an Arnold Schwarzenegger quote from the book “Be Useful” – “The judges are always watching, not just when you pose.” It served as a powerful reminder that every moment, every step, mattered.
In the end, as the title of Studious Stud 2024 was bestowed upon me, it wasn’t just a victory in a fashion show; it was a triumph over fears, doubts, and the comfort zone. The fusion of meticulous planning, unique strategies, and the unwavering support of loved ones culminated in an unforgettable experience, leaving a lasting impact on me and contributing to the greater good through the charity fundraising efforts. As the curtains closed on the stage, the echoes of this transformative journey lingered, reminding me that sometimes, the most meaningful victories are those that take us far beyond what we thought possible.