Happy Birthday to My Dream
Happy birthday to my dream. It’s officially one. It’s been alive for 12 months, and I am honored to say, it’s a thriving, blissful, emergent little dream. A beast actually. It demands my all, and I gladly give it. I don’t make it to the gym as often, or happy hours with friends, and I’ve been called out by my six year old for too much time on my “devices” but authentically giving all of me to my business, is what I account to it being flourishing. I say yes too much and am incredibly humbled by the opportunities that have come my way (and in some cases stalked, hunted and captured).
People often ask me how, what, why, how much… mostly how though. Here’s how:
Surround Yourself with Good – Energy is everything. People, places, things; stay in the path of good as much as you can. When you are in something bad, change the tide. Rise above. Smile and get out. Yell if you have to make a point, but last resort and smile on the way out. And seek those who build you up, expect a lot from you, want the best from you and for you. You will find the more good you surround yourself with, the more you exude and it has a magnetic effect. Be the magnet.
Know What You Know, And What You Don’t Know – Even QuickBooks thinks I’m math illiterate. I can’t add up a check sometimes (ok maybe it’s a late night bar bill, but still), it’s that bad. I know what I am good at and what I like to do: working the room, making people feel good, sharing knowledge about something amazing (yes I love LED light bulbs and lithium ion technology don’t judge), getting the job done, telling a story, shining on a TV screen, maintaining relationships with people who are good at what they do, and live well. I find business partners who shine, and parallel myself with them so that the light is burning bright. Thank you partners, current, and those I will meet in year two. Keep shining.
Define What You Are – I’m a storyteller. I’ve been a scribe since my teens and knocked on magazines doors out of college and landed editor positions (Cat Fancy was my favorite because of my voicemail recording: “thank you for calling and have a puuuuurfect day”). Words thrill me. Stories move me. I spent two decades of my career inside the largest home improvement retail selling goods through the stories I crafted. It’s what ignites my passion. It defines me. It is how I built my business. My motto: I need to like your product, be able to tell a story about your product, and like you… and it hasn’t failed me yet.
Sure Say Yes, But Don’t Be Afraid to Say No – Yes! A powerful word. Use it, don’t abuse it though. As an entrepreneur we are taught to never say no. I disagree. I say no to things that I know I won’t excel at. I don’t want to take someone’s money and have them disappointed with me or the experience of working with me. I don’t want to tell a story about something I don’t believe in. I don’t want to be micro-managed, on a scheduled weekly conference call just because someone is checking the box on a to-do list. My time is golden. It’s my treasure. Protect your assets.
Be the Person You’d Want to Do Business With: Be authentic in every sense of the word. Be yourself and I promise, you will succeed. It’s so simple. Be honest. Do what you say you will do. Then do it better than you said you would do it. Amaze. Delight. Take time to pick up the phone and have an actual conversation. Check for typos. Be in the moment. Leave absolutely everything you have to give on the table, and the table will soon overflow with opportunities.