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The power of choices

A recent post on social media introduced us to a 30-year-old vocalist Jane Marczweski — known professionally as Nightbirde, who went on to win over the hearts of America’s Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofía Vergara.

While singing her original song “It’s Ok,” Nightbirde’s authenticity and ethereal vocals took centre stage. Simon, who is known to be a harsh critic, even called her voice “absolutely stunning.”

During the audition, however, Nightbirde shared some tough personal news — she had “some cancer” in her lungs, spine and liver. Nightbirde also later revealed that she was given a 2% chance of survival.

When Howie told her that “nobody would ever know” she was dealing with cancer, Nightbirde replied, “Thank you. It’s important that everyone knows that I’m so much more than the bad things that happen to me. … You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy.”

In the end, Simon gave Nightbirde the golden buzzer and a hug on stage. “Everything about that was really special,” Simon told the artist, as gold confetti covered the AGT set.   (Article by Kayla Keegan)


This reminds me of a quote by Nelson Mandela, “May your choices reflect your hopes not your fears.”

Starting the entrepreneurship journey is a choice.  Choosing the “road less travelled” is scary, often misunderstood and fraught with hidden obstacles and setbacks.

When I listened to this young lady who had sung this stunning song, share her decision or choice to be happy, I thought about key choices an entrepreneur must make.


Power through pain. 

The pain of being out of your comfort zone.  A tool to build resilience is understanding that growth is reached by powering out of one’s comfort zone, through the fear zone, beyond the learning zone to find the growth zone.  There is a natural tendency to stay in our comfort zone.   I wonder what pain and comfort zone Nightbirde had to overcome to get onto the audition?

Gain through gratitude.  

Research has demonstrated a clear correlation between successful entrepreneurs and the gratitude they embrace. It appears to open more opportunities.  One of the remarkable things about Nightbirde is her gracious attitude, despite what she is facing.

Accept responsibility for your Attitude.

Zig Ziglar coined the phrase, “It is Your attitude, not your aptitude, that will determine your altitude.”  This is true in every aspect of life, inclusive of the choice of entrepreneurs.  I read a transparent and vulnerable account of Nightbirde that emphasises this truth.   Even crying on the bathroom floor, this courageous lady still takes responsibility for her attitude.


Here’s to choices that help and not hinder, strengthen and don’t setback, build resilience and not resistance.



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