March was a busy month at the White House. I was in town as a recipient of the prestigious White House “Champion of Change” Award for being an Entrepreneurship Mentor. Helping others success as a SCORE volunteer is one of my passions. For the Life of Your Business is my story of the work I do in my community. Here are the 5 things I observed about my day at the White House:
Events run precisely on time. Not early, not late, at the appointed time. When you arrive for your event as the early bird, you do not get the worm. In fact, you cannot even stand in line. When you arrive at the check point more than 60 minutes before your time, your name is not yet even on the entry screen.
The Secret Service are there to help on your White House Tour. Those pulling guard duty must stand and protect. And they provide unusual nuggets of information that you can only learn by asking. Admiring a portrait? Ask who painted it and you will receive an interesting story of adventure and intrigue. Sometimes a special peak behind the ropes to examine portrait detail up close.
There are no free beverages during your event. Not water, not coffee, nada. Your tax dollars are not at work providing me a cool beverage while I await my award.
Everyone is genuinely interested in your story and ebullient that you are being honored. That includes your State Senators and Congressmen. Fabulous press for your community and your cause. Press Release from Senator Snowe.
When the cameras are rolling and you are asked a question and 300 pair of eyes focus on your answer, you better be able to stand and deliver. Or in our case, as part of a panel, sit and answer the questions. Contrary to what you might think, panelists were not briefed on the questions prior to live time. The excitement of accepting your award is tempered by the unreasonable fear of being asked a question you can’t answer. The good news is I did.