Just Show Up | Bruce Turkel

I was speaking at a conference in Denver and met a very successful entrepreneur who told me he wanted to be a keynote speaker.

I offered to show him the ropes and let him know what it would take.

“When are you going to be out west again?” he asked. 

(I live in Miami. He lives in Silicon Valley)

I told him my schedule – upcoming gigs in San Antonio, Dallas, Tucson, and Vegas. Plus, a trip to LA to visit our daughter.

He checked his phone. 

“The Dallas date works,” he said. “Is it okay if I meet you there?”

I told him that would be fine – never expecting to see him again.

But a few days ago, as I was heading to the airport to fly to Dallas, I got this text:

“My flight arrives at DFW tomorrow at 11:00. What time do you speak?”

“Noon,” I wrote. “I’ll leave your name at registration.”

“Dope!!” He wrote back. “See you soon.” And then, “Break a leg!”

Sure enough, when I finished my talk and walked off the stage, my new friend was there to greet me. We spent the afternoon and dinner time talking about the business.

I’m guessing that this doesn’t sound so strange to you. I also assume you’re not nearly as surprised as I was. What you don’t know is that different people ask me to help them become a keynote speaker all the time. I always give them the same advice.

None of them ever follow up.

Making Beautiful Music Together

After I spoke in Denver, Gloria and I stayed with good friends in Vail. They had just redone their new house and created a warm and wonderful showplace. One of the things Gloria and I were most taken with was that there was classical music playing in every room. It made their beautiful home even more special.

When we got home, I decided to install a Sonos system in our house just like we’d enjoyed in Vail. So I went to Best Buy where a knowledgeable salesman explained the technology to me. He even arranged to have an installer come to our house so we could figure out the best way configure the system. 

The installer showed up and spent hours measuring and planning. When he left, he promised me a plan within a few days.

I never heard from them again.

A week later, I went to Brandsmart to try again. Another very knowledgeable salesman showed me what he thought was the best system for us. He also arranged to have an installer come by our house. Their installer showed up and also spent hours measuring and planning. When he left, he promised me a plan within a few days too.

I never heard from them again either.

Frustrated, my IT guy and I went on EBay and ordered everything we needed. Then we spent a few hours installing and tweaking the system. Now our house and gardens are alive with Mozart, McCartney, and Marvin Gaye.

Just Show Up

What’s the morale of the story? If you want to get something, go get it. 

If you want to learn something, go learn it.

If you want a friend, be a friend.

No matter what it is, the first thing you have to do to get what you want is to just show up.

Because nothing starts until you do.


  1. October 21, 2019

    Great article – I always tell my team and my kids – “If you just do what your suppose to do, when your suppose to do it, you will easily be ahead of rest!”

  2. October 19, 2019

    Great blog half of the is just showing up and most people don’t get it!
    Dr. Rick Goodman

  3. Ken Tobin
    October 19, 2019

    I am always frustrated when potential business is offered but for some reason unbeknownst to me they do not show up. Guess they do not need the business. In addition I am sending your comments to my Millennial son. Thanks Bruce.

  4. October 19, 2019

    Amazingly simple.

  5. October 18, 2019

    So true. I have seen it myself. If you have an appointment show up or call to cancel.
    As an advertising and marketing executive for 30 years I can’t tell you how many people just stood me up.
    It must be a gene they are missing.

  6. October 18, 2019

    Laughing at and lamenting past experiences that line up with your two epic fails on following up. Then I shared with my kids in college. Made my day!

  7. Tim Daniels
    October 17, 2019

    It won’t surprise you to see me tie this into fitness; running most especially. You’ve surely heard me say this to newbie runners who ask for advice.
    My two universal pieces of “wisdom” are:
    have fun
    just show up.
    Thanks for eloquently sharing this concept for…. everything.

    • Bruce Turkel
      November 5, 2019

      Indeed Tim. I’ve often heard you say that the best training techniques are the ones you’ll actually do.

  8. October 17, 2019

    Then there are those who promise great service. You hire them, and they give you crappy service. To me, this is a broken promise, and I take it seriously. Usually, I phone the owner and talk it over, carefully explaining how one unhappy customer can kill their company. Guess what? Most could care less and really didn’t intent to keep their great service promise anyway.

    Next step in these situations……..kill the company off.

  9. October 17, 2019

    I agree! Woody Allen famously said that “80% of life consists of nothing more than just showing up.”


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