The other day I sat in a meeting at a bank, and the accounts manager was intrigued by the work that I did and asked how I got into the business that I am in. I told him the story and at the end I found myself saying, “I’m the least likely candidate for a Managing Director of a large company.” He smiled.
I realized afterwards that he has seen it all: big businesses, small businesses, businesses starting up, businesses winding down, hare-brained business ideas and those that make total sense. He has seen economies soar and crash. It got me looking at my point of view of me in business.
The thing is, I was told I would never make it. As a child I was super smart, so smart they wouldn’t put me on the quiz team for a school event when I was 10. I am not sure of the logic in that! In the end I got on the team and we only got one question wrong and won the quiz. I was so proud I got a trophy. I always had a love of information. If I didn’t know something I would go find out. I was a curious kid.
In later years in business class at school I struggled with accounting. The teacher was mean and harsh and told me I would amount to nothing. I was mortified by the constant ridicule and, with little to no confidence in myself, I spent years believing what she said. That led to a strong belief I was terrible with money too.
So there I was, sitting in that bank, talking to that accounts manager as I was heading into my third year of business, making money I never made before, travelling the world with my job and having just overseen the first year of setting up a European business headquarters, which was a mammoth task. I had personally grown and developed my own business and started to get a reputation for being creative, for being different, and for the way in which I saw business and the world. I was unique in some sense and I drew in clients and businesses that were truly looking to expand and go global and have their message shared with the world, and I still thought I was the least likely candidate to lead!
I realized there and then I had to look at the difference of me a lot closer. I could grow and expand my business beyond my imagination or kill it dead in its tracks by having even a hint that I was not good enough for business. So I sat down and had a conversation with myself that went a bit like this (maybe take a few minutes to have this conversation with you too!):
If you keep chasing whatever it is you are looking for, you will miss a lot of the talents, gifts, and brilliance you are in business. To acknowledge your greatness and difference allows you to use these capacities to create more, and not just on a whim or that you got lucky. This is step one on a continuous journey in creating a business you love and a life you desire to live.
You Are Never Wrong
You will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Don’t fight it; you have nothing to prove. You are not wrong. You just see something different and that is totally fine. There are people asking for what you have so don’t ever lose that spark of difference because you have heard “no” a lot. It takes only one yes to change everything!
You Don’t Have To Know Everything
Give yourself a break. You do not need to know everything about business to be in business—you should always ask questions. What if you were willing to be the dumbest person in the room, ask questions, get curious, and gain insights from other people’s expertise?
What Questions Are People Asking You?
A majority of the time when people approach you with a business question they are interested in what you have to say about it. When you are naturally being you, showing up, and doing what you love, there are particular things you are naturally so good at that you think everyone is good at them too. That is not the case. Paying attention to what people ask you will help open that door to seeing how the world sees you and the difference you are.
These are things I look at with myself from time to time, to take a breath and acknowledge the difference that I am.
We could come up with a million reasons why we shouldn’t, but there is only one reason you should—YOU!
Melanie Meade is a business and life mentor, entrepreneur, social media specialist, and habitual happy person.
Melanie is a Managing Director of Access Consciousness International and is the Head of European Social Media for Access Consciousness®, a set of life-changing techniques and tools currently facilitated in more than 170 countries. She is an Advanced Joy of Business certified facilitator and a certified Access Consciousness®facilitator.
Exuding a natural warmth, honesty and practicality, Melanie is renowned for her ability to quickly identify latent potential in her clients’ businesses and lives, and facilitate profound and lasting change. Her coaching style is practical, thought-provoking and empowering, and she is sought after for her innovative insights and her innate ability to capture and illuminate others’ brilliance.