I like working my way up the ladder. It’s fair and egalitarian. I never accepted a favor or a bump up because of who I knew or what my last name was and I shuddered when I saw it happen to others. I would interview for a position and then work to make it mine. But when my father passed away all that changed and I was brought back into the fold to run the family business. I imagined this could happen, so I made a mad dash during my college and first twenty years working all over this planet to learn as much as I could, from as many as I could. My proverbial “experience bag” runneth over.
When I moved back home to run the family business, I began getting amazing input from great folks who were genuinely eager to see me succeed! I came across many new acquaintances as I got entrenched back in town and the in the new business, all of whom were doing amazing things, networking with numerous organizations, and appearing to be über productive every single second of the day. I read so many amazing blogs, viewed so many gorgeous websites, and listened to so many wonderful speeches that I began to get intimidated. They must be gifted motivational and inspirational superheroes to continuously churn out such amazing amounts of written and spoken material! I began to feel insecure and wondered if I could ever get “there”.
Now I know why my Dad would only give people 15 seconds to introduce him as a speaker! You can really intimidate people quite easily. Everyone instinctively measures up their lives according to those they meet, read or hear about. Where’d you go to school? How many kids do you have? How long have you been married? What do you do and most importantly, what have you done? My Dad taught me early on that the only person I should be competing with is me. Robert Browning said it beautifully: “My business is not to remake myself, but to make the absolute best of what God made.”