I Am The Parachute


Phone rings, it’s a number I don’t recognize (probably another robocall, I seem to get 5-10 per day now!).

“Hello, this is Jason,” I answer.

“Jason!  Thank you so much for answering.  Oh my goodness, I hope you remember me.  You performed for our event a few years ago and were the biggest hit we’ve ever had.  We’ve been bringing in other acts with bigger name value for years since, paying way more than you charged, but still everyone says it wasn’t like having you…” the voice proclaimed on the other end.

“Of course I remember you, thank you for calling.  How can I help?” I ask, presuming from his tone he is in desperate need.

“Well, we have a problem.  Yesterday we got a call from the manager of the country music star scheduled to perform an evening set for our very high-end clientele, mostly billionaire investors and their partners gathered in a group of less than 100 people in Jackson Hole, WY.   He’s currently the biggest name in Country music, his name is….well, actually, I can’t tell you his name by contract, but he is breaking records set by Garth Brooks.  They just told me he can’t make it.  I’m wondering if you’re available next Monday to fill in for him?”

Let’s step out of this story for one moment and I’d like you to consider the arc of how this type of call feels for someone in my position:

  1. It’s weird.  Weird in the sense that I’m being asked to fill in for someone far more popular, famous, and probably way more talented than me.
  2. It’s uncomfortable.  This client hasn’t returned many messages I’ve sent for a few years, and is now in desperate need.
  3. It’s unfortunate.  I can only imagine how this event planner is feeling, knowing everyone is counting on this amazing performance and now they have few, to no, options last minute.
  4. It’s bizarre.  I’ve blocked off the entire month of July in order to spend time with family, but this is a quick drive from my house and I happen to have the date open to help out an old client.
  5. It’s a blessing.

Of course I accepted the gig and my family will attend with me.  I’ll be there for my former client, and even though I’m no big name star I will deliver something extraordinary for this performance.

I would prefer to be the first person this client had thought of in the first place when planning this event, but understand they can’t bring me back every year.

Thoughts for you, my Reader, are these: 

  • Are you ready to step up when you get a call like this?
  • Can you swallow your pride for not winning the opportunity in the first place and being ok, or even pleased, as the substitute?  
  • Are you confident enough in your ability to keep The Promise and fill in for those considered “better than you” by the eyes of the world, when you know you are every bit their equal when it comes to your performance?  
  • Are you the type of person, as a Legendary Leader, whether in the community or on your team, by reputation and example, that can be considered a life-saver when others are in need?
  • Can you be satisfied that perhaps your most powerful Signature Move, among all others, is your ability to save the day?

My reply to this client was simple:

“Yo Brother, pull the rip-cord!  I am The Parachute.  See you there.”

He laughed.  I laughed.

Promise kept.



Leadership Expert * Author * Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer

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12 thoughts on “I Am The Parachute”

  1. Well done, Jason. Great story, and example. You’ll crush the show and endear yourself even more to a grateful client and an astounded audience. Maybe you can share “the rest of the story” with us afterward.

  2. Few people can be a life saver because it takes someone with a servant’s heart to provide servant leadership. That is your true (and rare) giftedness.

  3. I saw you last year in Vegas at the paparazzi convention and you were amazing!! Now I can’t wait to get e mails and read about your stories. Your e mails are truely helping me through a hard time in my life. Thank you!

    1. Cole, it means a lot you would write this. Paparazzi was awesome, hope all is well there. And I wish you the best going through this challenging time. The Promise will help you keep greater promises to self and others even in the hardest of times.

  4. You ARE such a big name speaker, and to read the thoughts going through your head as you were listening to your client and then reflecting on how you would respond professionally is priceless. Thank you for sharing this!

  5. This is Great! I love it when that happens! You’ve never been too proud to say no because of the past, or for being ‘2nd choice’… and you’ll deliver more than expected, as usual! : )

    1. Yes sir! Totally right. And I know you know what I’m talking about, as you’ve always shown up 100%. Thank you for commenting, hope you are well.

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