What’s Their Story

Have you ever stopped to think about where some of the most successful people started out their life? Sure, you have probably heard that Steve Jobs started Apple in his garage, but what about people you come into contact with that you don’t know well enough to know their life story? Are you looking at them and the success they’ve had in life and wishing it could be that easy for you?

I recently received a reminder that if you don’t know somebody, you don’t know where they’ve come from. Even if you think you know, they might not have told you the entire story.

The company I work for is serious about our mission and about improving the lives of others and before COVID hosted pretty consistent volunteer opportunities. I joined the company just a couple of months before COVID shutdown life as we knew it and work remotely from across the country so I didn’t get to participate in the volunteering they did. When COVID hit, I didn’t think about the lack of volunteering the company has done, at least in the traditional way you think about volunteering. As a company, we’ve worked with other large companies to give back to our target market, but that is not what I’m talking about today. 

During one of our biweekly company-wide team meetings, the team brought up an opportunity to volunteer with a local organization that the company has supported through the years. This opportunity is to donate food or personal care items to a local non-profit for those in need. Us remote employees have the option of donating locally to participate or providing money (or not participating, but that’s not the option I chose). When one of our leaders started talking about how near and dear this is to his heart, he told a story I didn’t know. Now, the story is entirely his to share and I’m not going to go into detail, but the part that stood out to me the most was something that I related to.

As a child, he was able to eat because his family received food stamps. Me too. I cannot remember a time as a child that my parents didn’t buy food on their EBT card. It was shit food, but that’s another story for another time. This admission from one of our leaders who I haven’t gotten to know very well because of being remote and COVID, slapped me in the face as a reminder not to assume anything about anybody. This leader has been super successful from what I know of him. Like REALLY successful. But I never considered where he came from. What did he overcome to reach the level of success that he has?

When you look at these successful people that have started companies and sold them for millions or billions or who are models or Instagram influencers or whatever, do you ever consider what their story might be?

I haven’t. In fact, it feels like every time I hear a story like this or like Robert Herjavec’s story, my heart drops, I feel so much empathy for them and then I get inspired. If you don’t know who Robert Herjavec is, he is the founder and CEO of cybersecurity firm Herjavec Group and is one of the Shark’s on Shark Tank. Or there is Sarah Jessica Parker or Charlize Theron or Ursula Burns or Geisha Williams.

Remember that quote, “don’t judge a book by its cover”? Well, don’t judge any person that you see as successful before you learn their story. They might be living pretty damn cushy right now, but they might not have started that way. Not every successful person is born into a family with what seems like unlimited funds or perfect parents or even a roof over their head. If you find yourself thinking it was or is easy for somebody, do some research and don’t assume.

That vice president in your company that you think has it all or the CEO who works a shitload of hours and demands (rudely or not) dedication or the actress or influencer or whoever you are assuming had it easy to get where they are, they probably didn’t. I have learned in the past few years that there are more and more successful people who started out with rough childhoods that most of us don’t know about. It doesn’t matter what level of success you are thinking about. It could be the teacher down the road with a beautiful house or that person that drives a spiffy new car all of the time or the doctor at the local clinic. 

As I sit here and meditate on the new fact I learned about this leader in my company, the more my empathic emotion wants to just hug him and tell him it’s okay. There are so many people who start life with little to no food, no shelter, abusive parents, being bullied, immigrating from a warzone or drug cartel area, or so much more. Let’s stop judging these books by their cover and start learning their stories. We might be surprised by the person behind the cover. 

Remember my Imperfect Warriors, you already have what it takes, believe in yourself, and crush every failure on your way to your dreams. Let’s be imperfect together.

Episode 18: What’s Their Story

Failing Imperfectly
Episode 18: What's Their Story
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Those celebrities or successful people you hear about or are in your life, where did they come from?

Powered by Failure

Lack of success. That is what the definition of failure is. What the definition doesn’t tell you is how many attempts at something equates to a lack of success. The thing is, so many of us equate one attempt to being either a success or a failure. What specifically are we attempting? Anything. Everything. 

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Episode 16: Powered by Failure

Failing Imperfectly
Episode 16: Powered by Failure
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Failure is something most of us fear, but it shouldn’t be. Failure is something I want to power me to keep chugging along. Failure is how we succeed.

Little by Little

We’ve been talking about going your own way and making the most of yourself, so today I wanted to talk about what it takes to do both. The truth is that no matter how much pressure we put on ourselves or how many times we say “today is the day” or how many new weeks, months, or years we plan to do something new, nothing happens or changes all at once. No matter what we do, that thing, that effort, that goal, they are always, absolutely always, achieved little by little. 

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Episode 6: Little by Little

Failing Imperfectly
Episode 6: Little by Little
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How do you accomplish things? little by little.

I Don’t Feel Like It

I don’t feel like it. You’ve said that a couple of times, right? Yeah, I thought so. Me too.

In fact, I thought that many times before actually sitting down to write this post. But here I am. I am writing this because I want to talk to you about getting shit done even when you don’t want to. Why is this important? Because if we always give in to the feeling of not wanting to do something, then we will never achieve our goals. We will always stay stuck.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be stuck. I want to achieve my goals.

I have a lot of things I want to get done and a lot of things that I want to achieve. I cannot actually do any of this if I give in every time that I don’t feel like it. How do I know this? Because I’ve spent years not feeling like it. Over those years, I have not achieved what I wanted to. I gave in to not being motivated and waiting for motivation to strike.

Motivation doesn’t always strike. Motivation may stay away for hours, days, weeks, or whatever. Motivation isn’t something that just happens. Motivation must be manufactured. You must manufacture your own motivation. Discipline. Discipline is what is required to be able to manufacture your motivation.

Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments.

Jim Rohn

Discipline takes practice. Discipline takes work. 

If you look at anybody that you admire because they are successful, the reason they are successful is that they are disciplined and make shit happen, even when they don’t feel like it. The only way to get from the point of dreaming up your goals is to actually do the work. You have to be disciplined and you have to do shit when you don’t feel like it. 

Yes, the results you produce when you don’t feel like doing whatever it is you made yourself do anyways may not be the best results you’ve ever produced. Yes, you might have what you produced. But you did it. You were successful because you were disciplined enough to work towards your goals. And you know what? You learned. You learned what you didn’t want to write or what colors doing look good together or that you don’t like gardening so why do you even have a garden? Every time you are disciplined enough to get shit done, you learn, you grow, and you get one step closer to achieving your goals.

So what did you not feel like doing today? Why didn’t you do it? What would have happened if you actually exercised some discipline and just did it?

You might surprise yourself with those answers.

Next time you don’t want to do something, ask yourself, what awesomeness would come out of me actually getting this done?

Embarrassed

Embarrassed. That’s how I have lived most of my life.

I’ve always been embarrassed for one reason or another. Why? Because I heard so many negative things about so many people, including me, that I was so afraid to be one of those people who prompted the negativity. I didn’t want to continue being the person people made fun of for anything and everything. I didn’t want to be the person that my parents talked so much shit about.

I tried and succeed at so many things in life, but I’ve still been embarrassed about them. Bachelors degree. Check. Embarrassed about it? You betcha. Master degree. Check. Embarrassed about it? Even more so than the bachelor degree. Being hired for a high paying job. Check. Embarrassed about it? Absofuckinglutely. Live in a beautiful house that we’ve renovated to make beautiful. Check. Embarrassed about it? Yup.

I can go on and on and on about everything I’m embarrassed about. Hell, in a lot of situations I’m even embarrassed about the quality of my marriage. Why? Why am I so embarrassed about all of these things?

Because in my parents eyes, I am too good for other people. I am the person they would incessantly talk shit about. I am living the life that my parents never could imagine actually having. They could only see it from afar and talk shit about it. When you are a young, impressionable child, that leaves a lasting impact. For me, it left a scar. For others, it determines how limited the child will become.

If I’ve been so successful so far, then why does this quote make sense to me?

Trent said this in one of his podcasts recently among a lot of other truths. This one, this one really stuck with me.

I am not more successful in my personal endeavors because I’m embarrassed about getting successful. I’m too embarrassed about what my parents would say so I hold myself back. Most people refer to what their parents would say about wearing a racy outfit or the like. My early life was spent hearing other criticisms.

So what am I going to do about it?

Put one foot forward. Remind myself that my success depends on me breaking the barriers and stigma that is so ingrained in my subconscious. I’m going to keep going. I’m going to keep posting these posts and posting my YouTube videos regardless of how few followers I have. I am going to keep working on developing my style of overlanding YouTube sharing. I am not going to give up because I am embarrassed. I am going to push through that discomfort because the only path to the success that I want is through the embarrassment and fear.

Remember my Imperfect Warriors, you already have what it takes, believe in yourself and crush
every failure on your way to your dreams. Let’s be imperfect together.

Fear of Not Being Like Them

If you can’t get over your fear of not doing it as well as they do, you’ll never have the opportunity to be a trail blazer for someone else. – Rachel Hollis, Girl, Stop Apologizing

I have a lot of fears in life. I was pretty much only taught how to be fearful. I have let most of my life been run by my fear. In fact, this isn’t the first iteration of me sharing my growth or my struggles with people. I killed each of those blogs because of fear.

Not this time. My dreams have rooted themselves within me and I am pushing back on fear. One of my fears is that, as I grow and as I work towards being a life coach, I will not be as good as the coaches that I follow. I will not be as good as those I look to for mentorship. These fears can easily hold me back. And I’d bet to say they have so far.

But if I live in this fear of not being as good of a coach as them, I won’t ever help the women who need my experience and insight. The reason that each of these coaches that I follow is successful, is that they have different stories and different focuses. Some do primarily one-on-one coaching, some never do. They are all different even though they carry the same title of coach.

If I stay in the fear of not doing coaching as well as them, I will never become a coach. I will never grow this blog into something more. I will stay living in the past and in the pain that I so desperately want to work through.

If I dig in and I do me, if I find my voice, I can inspire and help countless women. Women who relate to me. Women to want to hear what I have to say. Women who are going through similar experiences to what I’ve gone through. Women who like me for me. If I dig in and realize that being different is a good thing, I can accomplish my dreams.

I have to get out of my own way. I have to stop living in fear and living in the past. It is time to set all of my fears and anxiety aside and start pushing myself. It sure as hell isn’t going to be easy. And I sure as hell will offend some people. Probably even some of my family and close friends. But my dreams are my dreams and I need to pursue them.

Are you living in fear or are you pursuing your dreams?