From Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work

It Takes Chutzpah!

To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. To not dare is to lose oneself.

Søren Kierkegaard

Shortly after I began a career in business, I learned that Carl Weatherup, president of PepsiCo, was speaking at the University of Colorado. I tracked down the person handling his schedule and managed to get myself an appointment. I was told, however, that he was on a tight schedule and only had a 15-minute block available after his talk to the business class.

So there I was, sitting outside the university’s auditorium, waiting for the president of PepsiCo. I could hear him talking to the students . . . and talking, and talking. I became alarmed: his talk wasn’t ending when it should have. He was now five minutes over, which dropped my time with him down to 10 minutes. Decision time.

I wrote a note on the back of my business card, reminding him that he had a meeting. “You have a meeting with Jeff Hoye at 2:30 P.M.” I took a deep breath, pushed open the doors of the auditorium and walked straight up the middle aisle toward him as he talked. Mr. Weatherup stopped, I handed him the card, then I turned and walked out the way I came. Just before I reached the door, I heard him tell the group that he was running late. He thanked them for their attention, wished them luck and walked out to where I was now sitting, holding my breath.

He looked at the card and then at me. “Let me guess,” he said. “You’re Jeff.” He smiled. I began breathing again and we grabbed an office right there at school and closed the door.

He spent the next 30 minutes offering me his time, some wonderful stories that I still use, and an invitation to visit him and his group in New York. But what he gave me that I value the most was the encouragement to continue to do as I had done. He said that it took nerve for me to interrupt him, and that the business world or anywhere else was all about nerve. When things need to happen, you either have the nerve to act or you don’t.

Jeff Hoye

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