Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Be Your Own Hero

Best Actor Winner Matthew McConaughey is in competition with himself
In the middle of his Best Actor award acceptance speech, 2014 winner Matthew McConaughey touched on something many may have mistaken as arrogance. During his somewhat bizarre and long (3 minutes and 49 seconds) tale, he said he needed, "someone to look up to, something to look forward to and someone to chase."

Within that context, I was expecting to hear about a person he admired and strived to be like - another actor, a public figure or even someone in his private life that we did not know at all. Like the rest of the world watching, I was shocked to hear that he is chasing himself, his future self. But it did not take me long to realize how awesome that concept is and how I, too live that way.

For so many people in the world, the game of life is a game of comparison. We look at people similar to us and compare where we are versus where they are. Or we look at people extremely different from us but in similar circumstances and compare our little hearts out.  It's often about keeping up with and surpassing the proverbial Joneses in our lives.

The nugget of wisdom that flowed freely from one of Texas's most treasured natural resource's mouth is one of being only in competition with yourself. Looking ahead and figuring out how to top yourself in all you do. There is a strong sense of self-reliance in that statement and I can dig it.

3 years ago, when I started my business, it was very easy to compare myself to other female entrepreneurs. I was gobbling up all info I could on small businesses, business led by women and the fastest growing segment of businesses - minority women owned shops. One part of me was eager to absorb and learn all I could from the mistakes of others and take their insight into my journey. But another part of me was in full-on comparison mode. Where did these women work before they launched? Were their networks as strong as mine? Did they have clear objectives and goals? I'd read about a successful female entrepreneur and immediately dissect what I was reading with a side-by-side, tit-for-tat comparison of her business to mine - whether or not it made sense or even was relevant. It was tearing my creativity apart and within 9 months of intense "recognizance" as I called it, I stopped cold turkey.

I began to just look at where I was 6 months prior; what I was learning from my clients and how my business model was evolving. It was the best thing I ever did. Looking back now, I am certain that slight change in focus fueled the over 900% growth in my business year-over-year the last 2 quarters of 2013 that is continuing as we speak and move through 2014.

I'm my own target. I'm my own s/hero. Just like Matthew McConaughey, I only have the facts about me - where I've been, what I've faced and where I can possibly go. It is a complete waste of time to compare ourselves with anyone or chase anyone else's success. I often cringe when I hear folks say things like - "I'm gonna be the next Oprah, Tyra or fill-in-the-blank."  No,  you are not.  You are going to be the first YOU and that is absolutely fanfriggintastic if you allow yourself to feel and dream it. When I heard Mr. McConaughey say he is chasing "me 10 years from now," I got chills. I feel the same way. I've been growing my business steadily since I started it and based on what I've done and what I can do, I have visualized what I could be 10 years from now and it is sweet.

So like the Academy Award winning actor - I am going to challenge you to be your own hero. Chase your own dream and future self. Stop the comparison game. Start the competition with you.


No comments:

Post a Comment