Funny how the world works. I thought today would be a pretty normal, hectic day.
Today I get this e-mail in my inbox. Just an e-mail from a local Patagonia store, telling me about some upcoming events that they thought “might be of interest to me.” Like… seriously?
THAT is how I find out about this event?
I give talks to crowds of hundreds, from Ivy League MBA students to middle schoolers, and in the Q&A portion I ALWAYS hear, “Kyle, you are changing the world and are really inspiring to us, but who inspires you?” And its at that portion of my talk that I lose the facade of cool (okay okay, who am I kidding, that is gone in the first 30 seconds). After they ask, I pause, usually let out a very swoony, smily sigh reminiscent of a 14-year-old girl when asked about Justin Beiber or something, and I say, “Yvon Choinard. He is my hero. I just…. love him.”
Now, I’ve said this enough times, in magazines ranging from Fortune to Inc. to Entreprenuer, that some incredibly kind soul reached out to him and told him that he has a huge fan over here. And he sent me this.
Yes, a signed copy of my most favorite book. I cried.
And when it came time to make small plaque dedications at my childrens home? He was the first name to be stamped into metal as an inspiration. (I will tell you all more about this soon.)
And then today I get that e-mail. From the store. Just like… a normal customer. And my heart starts racing, I check the date, I call the Palo Alto store, speak to a nice guy named Aaron, “HI…. UH… YVON IS SPEAKING?! IS THIS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC?!” I ask. “Yes,” he responds calmly, “it is.” “OH MY GOSH! OKAY!!!! THANK YOU!” I scream. Poor guy. And just like that, tonight, for the first time ever, I get to hear Yvon Chouinard speak. I am already emotional. So excited.
And yes, I have a million other blog posts that I owe you all, but I just had to share this moment as soon as I found out.
Tonight I get to see my hero in person speaking about responsible business. I can’t even tell you all when this means to me. And I am overcome with excitement. Like a 14 year old with Bieber.
My friend suggested I introduce myself after Yvon’s talk tonight, I about melted with discomfort. “No no no no no,” I said, “I will just sink in my chair and soak up his air and brilliance and walk out hyperventilating and wanting to change the whole world.” I’ve met Presidents and movie stars and icons and heroes of the world. I can keep it together like a champ. But the thought of speaking to my hero? I disintegrate.
I can’t wait to tell you all about this event.
Some Yvon for you all today. GUSH GUSH GUSH.