The Show Must Go On: The Promise to Your Client

My friend, Beau Carlson and I on top of Grandeur Peak, 8,300 ft summit on the Wasatch Front in SLC, UT, 2017


The other day I finally had a moment to bag my first peak of the year.  Hiked 3 miles up to Grandeur Peak, an 8,300 ft summit, had a great time with my friend as we breathed in the crisp Utah air and felt extreme gratitude to live in this beautiful place.

As you normally do upon descending, we were halfway galloping and bouncing as we went down.  And then suddenly I found myself on my face, in the dirt, having stepped wrong on a rock, my ankle snapped and rolled underneath me, leveling this large fella completely.

I knew it was bad.  About a mile left in our descent, it was now face the music time.  We still kept a pretty good pace and made it to the car.  Upon removing my hiking shoe I had a very large goose-egg on my ankle, swelling into pinks, purples, and blues.

My first thought wasn’t oh man I hurt my ankle, it was oh man, I have gigs the next 4 days in a row, including one very formal event where I need to squeeze my now nearly broken foot into a hard, sturdy, shiny tuxedo suit shoe.  I am a dead man.

I am typing this backstage the day following the hike and accident, sitting in the dark, listening to the event and hotel staff complete tonight’s set up.  My foot is up on a chair, wrapped in the ice I brought in a roller cooler, knowing I would be back stage from 4 PM until being introduced at 8 PM.

Did I tell the client I am suddenly lame?  Heck no!  Why?  Because THE SHOW MUST GO ON!!!

The beginning stages of swelling on my sprained ankle.


The Show Must Go On is not just an old circus expression, it is the ultimate promise kept to the client and my audience that I will push through this, still deliver an incredible presentation, and they won’t even know I’m writhing in pain.

The origin of the phrase:

THE SHOW MUST GO ON — “Don’t let calamity interrupt the proceedings; we mustn’t stop what we are doing, even if something unfortunate has happened; it would make us look bad or worry the spectators. The saying and principle are traditional in the theater, but apparently they both originated in the 19th century with circuses. If an animal got loose or a performer was injured, the ringmaster and the band tried to keep things going so that the crowd would not panic.” From “The Dictionary of Cliches” by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).


For the past 2 weeks I have had strep throat and a bronchitis worthy cough.  Still did 5 events.  It wasn’t easy, but I made it through.  Tonight and the next few nights I will perform with a nagging cough, a sore throat, and a terribly sprained ankle.

Why reveal all of this?  Because you know what it’s like to come into work having just been in the argument with your teenager, or maybe you crashed your car in bumper to bumper traffic, or finding out you are not going to be getting that promotion after all.


You still deliver.  You still show up.  You still power through because you are a Promise keeper.

Without promise keepers in business, people that are having a bad morning at home decide not to show up at work, losing the company money and opportunity.  The person in the hospital-free car accident justifies in their mind they need a break and call in sick.  The one who just lost the promotion goes haywire and a movie like “Office Space” becomes reality.

Promise keepers and Promise breakers affect the bottom line more than any other aspect in business.

We keep the Promise every time we show up, with our A-Game, ready to conquer and be amazing regardless of how we feel, what’s happened prior, every client deserves an awesome experience, just as every audience expects a great show.

I want to acknowledge the incredible workers out there, the unsung heroes, who still show up when injured, the Mom who still gets up and helps the kids off to school even after being up all night with the crying newborn, to the caregiver of their elderly parent still keeping a smile on that face, the salesman who still gets on the phones after just having learned he didn’t make the incentive trip.

You are The Promise Keepers.  You make all the difference.  No one will ever know about the broken heart, the damaged ego, or the sprained ankle, because THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

Happy Guy on the Summit of Grandeur Peak, Nov. 2017


~ jason

Jason Hewlett, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional), CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame, is a Keynote Speaker for the largest corporate events in the world. His primary message, The Promise, is essential for Leadership, Management, Sales, Marketing, Direct-Sales Companies, and is a combination of engagement and entertainment meets inspiration.  Jason has even received standing ovations from IT guys.  He has been acknowledged as life-changing by Conference Attendees, C-Level Executives and Hollywood Elite.

Please click here to learn about how Jason Hewlett, Speaker Hall of Fame, introduces the opportunity for you, or someone you love, to have the gift of learning how to create a Career From the Stage and begin moving toward fulfilling a lifelong dream as a full-time speaker, performer, or entertainer.

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24 thoughts on “The Show Must Go On: The Promise to Your Client”

  1. One of the finest people I have ever met in my 64+ years!

    Jason Hewlett:

    > A man of character
    > Integrity
    > Selfless
    > A man of Faith
    > Dependable
    > Kind
    > Helpful
    > Generous
    > Passionate
    > Dedicated to his family

    I could go on and on but the fact is, every once in a while, a man like Jason Hewlett comes around. He is a consummate professional that puts others ahead of himself.

    We had Jason perform/emcee at our Healing Hearts Charity event for two consecutive years. If were strictly up to me, he would be back EVERY year.

    What a great performer, keynote speaker, master of ceremony, friend, advisor but most importantly – a GREAT human being.

    We love you Jason and wish you and your family the very best in 2018 and beyond!

    Bob, Diane, Michelle, Nick and of course – Bobby!

    1. Love you guys as well, keep me posted on how I can serve you in the future in any capacity. As you know, you are one of the finest men I’ve ever met in all my years as well, the admiration is certainly mutual my friend.

  2. Jason ….. I just had to send this to our Paparazzi team !!!! Because it’s not just about you as a performer (although i wish you the most healing to your ankle) but it applies to sooooo many of our lives!!!

    Our customers care about us, but at the end of the day they need us to deliver on our end of the bargain!!! Aka THE SHOW MUST GO ON!!!!

    THANKS AGAIN for your kind, heartfelt words!!!! Much love !!!

  3. Jason,
    You are such an inspiration. You performed for us November 9 and 11th. Would never have known you were at less than 100%. Hope you continue to improve from the steep and now that your ankles heals. Your message and it’s delivery were the highlight of the event I attended. Thank you and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    1. Thank you Geri. Yes, I actually wrote the post backstage at Grand America before your dinner show. I was in great pain, but grateful it wasn’t going to affect the performance. Thank you for your kind words!

  4. Today we had a Celebration of Life for my 48 year old son-in-law who fought as hard as he could to beat cancer. We is with Jesus now but for those of us still here, the show must go on. Because, if we don’t get up then who will teach my grand daughter to fight through to victory.

  5. Jason, you da man! We’ve done that hike several times and YES, if you’re not careful after the all the hard work getting to the top, you can stumble and hurt yourself. A lesson, I wish our politicians would learn.

  6. I’m glad you got the opportunity to experience and see one of the true spectacular joys in life, the top of a mountain. Some parts of life are painful and no fun, but often they are there so we can appreciate the highs. Keep bringing us wisdom and fun..

    1. Thank you my friend. I have enjoyed every summit we can see from SL Valley, it’s sad I only bagged one this summer, but you’re right, few joys in life like it. Thank you

  7. Jason, I was at your events on the 9th and 11th and would have never known you were in pain! You did an awesome job and you are a great inspiration to us other leaders, no matter what we may be going through!

  8. Hi Jason. Wow – I am so surprised to read about your experience of spraining your ankle and being in so much pain during our dinner at the Grand America (and again during our training session on Nov 11th) because you certainly didn’t show it. How you managed to do Michael Jackson’s moonwalk, along with the rest of your performance, is beyond me! Thank you for being such a great example of a class act and for providing such a memorable experience for all of us during our Stampin’ Up! OnStage event!

    1. Thank you Tina for the nice comment. Yes, the Michael Moonwalk was certainly painful but when you’re on stage the adrenaline kicks in 🙂

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