Yesterday, my family got together with some very good friends - another family - for a socially distanced visit. It was the first time we'd seen them in months. And it was wonderful.
While the visit was just perfect, it came with a surprising bonus. My friend said something to me that will stick with me forever. I'm sharing it with all of you because if you ever doubt the value in what you do and what you offer to others just by being yourself, this should kill it. Dead.
As is to be expected, we were catching up on what's been happening since we last saw each other. Like everyone else, the Covid crisis has placed stresses on all of us, albeit in different ways. While the boys chatted about whatever boys chat about, the girls chatted about work. This may sound like a fairly normal thing to do, but this conversation had a massively profound effect on me.
You see, a year or so ago, my friend applied for a new job in a new industry. It was a role that she herself knew she was under-qualified to do. But she went for it anyway. And she got it. And then she told me why she applied for the role in the first place. And this is what stopped me dead in my tracks.
My friend reminded me that a number of years ago, I'd been offered a role as the General Manager of a new company and it required a move across the country. She said, "I asked you what you were going to be doing in your new role and you said you had absolutely no idea but you'd figure it out." She went on to say, "You were excited and you couldn't wait to get started." She then said, "It was because of what you said - about not knowing but figuring it out along the way - that I applied for this job [the one she's currently doing]. I decided to go for it. I know I'm smart and I believed I'd figure it out."
And that, right there, is what self-belief and trust do for you.
She did figure it out. She's doing extremely well and is now doing her Masters degree to supplement her on-the-job learning. Pretty amazing for someone who, a little over a year ago, knew she was under-qualified for a job she's now nailing!
It's hard for me to articulate how her words made me feel. I wanted to hug her but I couldn't because of social-distancing restrictions. So I simply said, "Thank you. You have no idea how much that means to me.Thank you."
In that moment, my heart was so full I could have burst. My friend followed her heart and went for something bigger than she'd ever gone for before because of something I said and did; and it sparked her own self-belief and faith. I wanted to punch the air and scream, "YES! That! That's why I do this!" Instead, I went quiet and felt massive humility and an even bigger duty to help other people let out what's already inside them.
So keep doing what you do. Put your whole heart into it; whatever it is. Be yourself, don't hold back, let it all out. Because you're impacting people in ways you can never imagine possible. Be that spark, be that person who gives without taking. Be so genuine and real in your mission and purpose that you're a shining example of what you believe.
Oh, and before I go, my friend was right. I did have absolutely no idea how I was going to get that new business off the ground, I was excited, and I did figure it out. I hired a small team and grew that business to over $7 million in revenue in its first year with next to no marketing budget. The following year, we more than doubled revenue with only a slight increase in expenses.
You see. That's what self-belief does for you.
Now, it's your turn.