A while ago I attended a conference that I’ll never forget, and learned a lesson you need to keep in mind as a business owner!
If you’re like me, you struggle to actually attend events that you’ve put money into tickets for because you know it means time away from the constant problem-solving of your business that needs you. When I went to this particular conference, I was feeling beaten down and frustrated. I almost didn’t go, and wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for my sweet husband kicking me out of the house because he knew I needed it.
I was feeling inadequate in my business, and most of this conference didn’t help.
There were incredible speakers (One of the craziest ones I’ll never forget? Edward Snowden!) and everyone else looked so put together. One of the speakers was a woman in a gorgeous, flowing satin dress who catwalked in and out. Every speaker had a custom-tailored suit, and looked like they had walked off the runway. I sat in the audience feeling smaller and smaller, and even more inadequate.
Until this random bald dude in a leather jacket and jeans with piercings all over took the stage.
Only he wasn’t a random bald dude. This was Steve Sims: the dude you call if you want to propose to your girlfriend at the feet of Michaelangelo’s David, at the Vatican with a homemade Italian meal while Andrea Bocelli serenades you. The guy you call when you want to have lunch on the deck of the Titanic, or visit space. Yeah…
And I sat there in the audience dumbfounded that this incredibly successful person didn’t care that he didn’t look like all the other successful speakers at the conference. For the first time all day, I felt a little bit encouraged because his chill attitude told me more than his words ever could have: it’s okay to be 100%, unapologetically yourself.
For the longest time, I was told I had to look and be a certain way to succeed at business. Especially because I was young. Especially because I’m a woman. I spent years trying to fit myself into different molds, and got nowhere from it. It wasn’t until I embraced who I am that I really started to see growth.
I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be anything that anyone tells you is successful in business. You just have to be 100% unapologetically you.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should ignore advice. You can take counsel and keep other people’s advice in mind, but you only have to implement what is going to work for you.
Stop letting other people’s versions of success define you. Let yourself be the incredibly successful business owner you already are!