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Has Vicki Barbolak Done What Anyone Can Do?



Vicki Barbolak

If you haven’t been watching “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) recently, you may not know Vicki, so let me catch you up.

Vicki Barbolak is a comedian and a contestant on AGT. Last night in the season finale, she delivered what many argue was her best performance to date on the show. Vicki’s brand of authentic wit, with a trailer-nasty twist, has taken America by storm. Viewers who’ve never heard of Vicki until AGT would say that she’s become an instant sensation. Of course, there couldn’t be anything further from the truth. How do I know this? Because I know Vicki personally — not well, but well enough to know that her journey has been marked by a relentless commitment to her craft over the course of many years.

I met Vicki 10 years ago when we were replacing the carpet in our home. She was the representative who came to our house to show us swatches and make recommendations. She was incredibly knowledgeable and a consummate professional. At some point during our conversation, she shared, in a rather self-deprecating manner, that she was also a stand-up comic. Several years later, I discovered that friends of mine knew Vicki quite well, and I was invited to see her perform at The Comedy Store in La Jolla. Suffice it to say, she was amazing. Vicki brought the same level of professionalism and understanding of her audience/customers to her comedy that she did to her sales job at the carpet company. It’s who she is as a person.

Vicki’s success is neither instant nor accidental. It’s actually an apt story to illustrate a point that author Joe Henderson made in his book, The Long Run Solution, back in 1976. Henderson stated that if you look at most successful people, they don’t rise to the top of their field because of super-human feats. In many cases, success finds those who do the things anyone can do, but that most of us never will.

Vicki is talented, no question about it. That said, talent alone doesn’t get you to the season finale of AGT. Vicki surrounded herself with people who supported her dream, and she worked tirelessly at being a better comedian — doing the things anyone can do each and every day, that most of us just don’t. That’s why she’s in the AGT finals and we’re watching her on TV. There’s nothing instant or accidental about it. A person with a dream just put one foot in front of the other until she realized it.

Vicki could very well be announced the AGT overall winner, but just like in the first Rocky movie, Vicki has already won because she went the distance. She’s reaped the rewards of doing the things anyone can do.

Use Vicki’s story as inspiration for your own aspirations. By the way, no comedian has ever won America’s Got Talent. By doing what anyone can do, Vicki may actually accomplish something no one else has ever done. Good luck, Vicki!

Leo Bottary is a sought-after thought leader on peer advantage, an emerging discipline dedicated to strategically engaging peers to realize your business and life goals. A popular author, educator, keynote speaker, and workshop facilitator, he advises individuals and organizations worldwide. His new book is "What Anyone Can Do: How Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Will Drive Change, Opportunity, and Personal Growth(Routledge, 2018)." Learn more at