I got in the financial services/stock game many years ago. The job was to call people and sell investment ideas/strategies over the telephone. I got in the game with a bunch of young black entrepreneurial spirited, determined, driven focused men who were either from or lived or existed in the “hood” at one time or another. We were making our way in a business that was made up of mostly white men. The clients we dealt with were mostly white men, the majority of the brokers I have ever worked with were white men etc. There was this ideology that we seemed to have that if these rich millionaire white men knew that we were young black men from the “hood” calling them about stocks and doing big business, they wouldn’t want to deal with us since this was a “white mans business”. So we did everything in our power to make sure that we sounded like what we thought polished young white men sounded like. Eventually the group that I started with split and went separate ways. I ended up going to other firms and even in other places I was the only black broker in the building. So I carried on trying to maintain my “Whitest” voice possible. It was a terrible feeling that I walked around with. I walked around thinking that in order to be successful, I had to speak like and pretend to be someone other than myself. What kind of business am I in where in order to be successful, I have to pretend to be something that I am not. But, I kept on pretending and kept on moving forward In the business. I was 22 years old, I was just a kid and hadn’t realized that there was a difference between sounding like a professional black man and a white man.
Until, one day I applied for a job at a bigger more well named firm and I was called for an interview. I was going in to interview with the branch manager of the firm. When I got into the interview, lo and behold the branch manager was a young black man. Finally I could be myself (I think, unless he was also one of the black guys who thought he needed to be “white” too). We begin the interview and this guy is speaking to me like a professional black man and not a “white man”. We interview, and I get the job and I begin work. This is great but, small problem, this was my first job in the brokerage industry where I will be meeting clients face to face. How can I pretend to be something other than myself now? There is no way I can convince these clients on the other side of my desk who are looking right at me and shaking my hand that I am white. Now, what do I do? Since I was in the habit already whenever I made calls I had my “white” voice on and everyone in the office would laugh at me and ask why I’m talking like that. My manager explained to me that you cant run from yourself anymore, he told me that I just have to be myself. But in being yourself you have to be the best you. You have to know your business, know your product, know your customer and offer extraordinary service. He asked me HOW LONG DO YOU THINK YOU CAN YOU KEEP UP THE ACT OF BEING SOMEONE ELSE? There is nothing wrong with you being yourself, YOU JUST NEED TO BE THE BEST YOU, THAT YOU CAN BE! I took my managers advice and I learned the game, learned the business, learned the products and tools and solutions that I would need to sell, I learned the customers. I learned how to create value etc. Some time went by and suddenly these millionaire clients that I was once concerned about finding out who I really was started asking to take me to lunch and dinner and wanted to hang out with me and stuff. These same people that I was so concerned about hiding from and these same customers who once made me doubt myself were now telling me how great I was. They acted like they even wanted to be my friend. I would ask them all for tips and advice on becoming a millionaire and secrets to their success and they would tell me and even mentor me. I learned that the race issue that I had made such a big deal of and that I was so concerned with was more so in my head than anything else. Along the way I have encountered some blatant and overt racism from customers who were overtly and blatantly racist who made no apologies for being racist, who didn’t care how good I was or how well I knew my stuff, they just didn’t want anything to do with me, but they were very few and far between. The majority of the people were more concerned with how competent I was, they were more concerned with how good I was at my job, they were more concerned with my ability to help them and my ability to represent some sort of value to them, than they were the color of my skin or what city or neighborhood I was from. I HAVE LEARNED THAT TO BE THE BEST, ALL I HAVE TO DO IS BE MYSELF! I WOULD RATHER BE BAD AT BEING MYSELF THAN I WOULD BEING GOOD AT PLAYING SOMEONE ELSE!
I guess my point is that whatever line of work you may be in, or looking to get into, be it Real Estate, financial services or you want to be a teacher, lawyer, chef, nurse, barber, beautician, writer, actor, dancer, singer, rapper, poet, photographer, personal trainer etc. Whatever you are looking to do, if you have any doubts about yourself, if you feel like something about you just isn’t good enough to become what you want to become and accomplish what you want to accomplish and achieve what you want to achieve YOU ARE WRONG! If you feel like you need to be someone other than yourself to succeed, YOU ARE WRONG! You do not have to be anything other than yourself to succeed. YOU JUST HAVE TO BE THE BEST YOU THAT YOU CAN POSSIBLY BE. YOU must learn YOUR business and study and master YOUR craft, learn how to create value. Instead of focusing on the little things that might be wrong, focus on and utilize and sharpen the hundred things that you do well. The little thing that you are self conscious about is most likely all in your head and you are most likely making a bigger deal of it than anyone else will. Please don’t let mental hurdles stop you from pursuing your dreams or accomplishing and achieving your goals. YOU ARE GOOD ENOUGH AND YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO TURN YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY.
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
-Henry D. Thoreau
BE YOUR(BEST)SELF! I promise you that YOU are good enough!
I wonder if you took your brand new car which was under warranty and you drove it out into the river because you wanted to see if it would also function as a submarine, and your car sinks to the bottom of the ocean. You get a tow truck to pull it out, you try to start the car and the car no longer starts. You march right to that dealer and you tell the dealer your story and that you tried to use the car as a submarine and drove it into the river, the car wont start now and since the car is still under warranty and you need a new car or your money back now! What do you think the dealer would say? After he busts out laughing he is going to most likely say “I cant help you because the warranty applies to the car WHEN IT IS BEING USED FOR ITS PURPOSE! IF YOU WERE USING IT FOR ITS PURPOSE, THEN THE WARRANTY WOULD APPLY!
I started thinking recently that we as humans come with warranties also. I mean we have heard this stuff all of our lives. Stuff like….
When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.
WHATEVER THE MIND CAN CONCEIVE AND BELIEVE, THE MIND CAN ACHIEVE!” -Napoleon Hill –
I mean we hear and we read all of this stuff, and we go to our jobs and we work hard day in and day out and we sit and we wait for these wonderful and amazing things and we wait for this success stuff to happen for us in our lives, and we sit and we wait and we wait. But, after all of the waiting, we get nothing, no success, none of the promises that we are given under these warranties and we wonder why. I mean we are working and we are struggling and we start to wonder why aren’t any of these great things happening for me. Well, I would imagine that just like the warranty on the car, these warranties on our lives will only apply if WE ARE USING OUR LIVES FOR THEIR PURPOSES!
If you are or aspiring to be an entrepreneur, writer, singer, dancer, rapper, poet, fashion designer, poet, athlete, doctor, lawyer, writer, motivational speaker, nurse, graphic designer, barber, beautician pastor etc and you are striving to live out what you believe to be the purpose for your life and you are striving to fulfill what you believe or KNOW to be the purpose of your life DO NOT WORRY, DO NOT FRET OR CONCERN YOURSELF OVER WHETHER YOU WILL SUCCEED OR NOT. AS LONG AS YOU ARE STRIVING TO LIVE OUT YOUR PURPOSE, AS LONG AS YOUR LIFE IS BEING USED FOR ITS PURPOSE, YOUR SUCCESS IS COVERED UNDER YOUR LIFE’S WARRANTY!
KEEP DREAMING, KEEP BELIEVING, KEEP WORKING, KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, KEEP MOVING FORWARD AND KEEP ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME, and as clearly stated in paragraph 2, Section 4.6 sub chapter 2.C of our life warranty……
IF ONE ADVANCES CONFIDENTLY IN THE DIRECTION OF HIS DREAMS, AND ENDEAVORS TO LIVE THE LIFE WHICH HE HAS IMAGINED, HE WILL MEET WITH A SUCCESS UNEXPECTED IN COMMON HOURS!
-Henry David Thoreau
LIVE YOUR DREAMS!
THAT’S AN ORDER!
One of the greatest lessons that I have ever learned from all of my years being in the Financial services industry is the concept of Unrealized and Realized gains and losses. Its a simple concept but so important and applicable to life and business. The concept is simple.
So any loss that you encounter doesn’t become a real loss until you have given up or no longer believe in the stock and you sell it. When you sell the stock it is called a realized loss and at the point when you sell that stock (give up) that’s when you have actually taken a real loss, because now that the stock has been sold and by selling the stock you have eliminated any possibility of the stock coming back!
I guess the whole point in me saying all of this is that stocks like life are governed by unseen forces. So we never know what wonderful and amazing things are possible and around the corner waiting in store for us if we just continue to hold on. Its been my experience that when stocks go down in value people sell them out of fear. They sell them because they have lost the faith and belief and confidence that they once had in the stock. I have found that people give up on themselves and their dreams when they are in fear of the future. When they no longer have the faith and confidence in themselves that they once had. So they give up on themselves and their dreams all together. But when you give up you have made your loss real and you have eliminated the possibility of your situation ever coming back or improving.
IF YOU ARE GOING THROUGH SOME TOUGH OR DIFFICULT TIMES, THEY HAVE NOT COME TO STAY, THEY HAVE ONLY COME TO PASS!
We will never consider defeat and we will remove from our vocabulary such words and phrases as quit, cannot, unable, impossible, out of the question, improbable, failure, unworkable, hopeless, and retreat; for they are the words of fools. We will avoid despair but if this disease of the mind should infect us then we will work on in despair. We will toil and we will endure. We will ignore the obstacles at our feet and keep our eyes on the goals above our head, for we know that where dry desert ends, green grass grows.
Sometimes when the weather is nicer and its warm outside, My wife and I will take a walk through the neighborhood or we will walk/jog around the track at the local high school. I noticed that If I have something to do or someplace that I need to be later on that night, I will tend to walk or jog a little faster and my wife will kind of lag behind. Or If she has something to do or someplace to be later on or if one of her favorite TV shows are coming on that night that she wants to make it home in time for, than she will jog/walk at a faster pace and I will lag behind. But, since we go out walking/jogging TOGETHER we try to stay with one another and not leave each other. So depending on who feels that their agenda is more important (If I have something really really important to do or if she has something important to do or really doesn’t want to miss her show), only one of two things can/will happen when we walk together. ONE OF US WILL EITHER HAVE TO SPEED UP TO MATCH THE PACE AND CATCH UP WITH THE OTHER THAT IS AHEAD, OR THE ONE OF US THAT IS AHEAD WILL HAVE TO SLOW DOWN TO MATCH THE PACE OF THE ONE WHO IS FALLING BEHIND. Whether either of us slows down or speeds is determined by our agenda and what our plans and goals are for the future. If either of us have something really important to do or someplace to be and we are really focused on what we have to do in the future, than we aren’t going to slow down. The other person is going to have to speed up to catch up and keep pace.
I guess my point is if you have goals, or an agenda, or a plan for your future exercise caution when you decide who you choose to “Walk/Run” with. Be careful of the people who you choose to spend a lot of time with. Be careful about the people who you choose to exchange and share energy with and have in your world. Be careful who you choose to take your “walk of life” with. Because if you are ambitious and focused and determined and you have a plan for your future and goals and objectives that you are looking to achieve, if the person you choose to “Walk/Run” with, has no plan or goals or agenda and they are just “walking” and you are out front making progress and making strides and making things happen for yourself. Only one of two things can happen, the person/people that you have decided to “Run/Walk” through life with will either have to step their game and their pace up in order to catch up with and maintain pace with you or you are going to have to slow your pace down and perhaps put off or delay the achievement or fulfillment of your dreams and goals and ambitions in order to keep pace with them.
When it comes to accomplishing and achieving our goals and objectives in life I think it would be advantageous to us if we ran with and in the same direction as others who are and have already been running in the same direction that we are looking to go in. I think we increase our chances of success if we ran with like minded people who will constantly encourage us to keep moving forward by constantly trying to move forward themselves and forcing us to keep. I once read that you will rise or fall to the level of your associations. Dare to hang around and spend time with people who challenge and encourage and push you to your greatness and those who you can learn from, not those who hold you back.
I encourage you to KEEP GROWING, KEEP DREAMING, KEEP WORKING, KEEP ACHIEVING, KEEP WALKING TOWARDS YOUR GOALS AND KEEP PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE WHO WILL ENCOURAGE YOU AND THAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM.
“IF YOU ARE THE SMARTEST ONE OF YOUR FRIENDS, YOU MAY WANT TO LOOK INTO GETTING SOME NEW FRIENDS”
“SHOW ME YOUR FRIENDS, AND I WILL TELL YOU YOUR FUTURE”
“HE WHO HANGS OUT WITH WOLVES, WILL EVENTUALLY LEARN HOW TO HOWL”