I’m not one for soliciting pity or playing on others’ emotions. In fact, in my professional life, it is only known that I come from a standard, All-American, white picket fence family, with a dog and 2.5 kids. I had a decent upbringing. I’m normal.
I guess that makes me a liar, too.
Every time a client asks me about my youth, my personal life, I rattle off this same story and can’t help but think “au contraire”…
But that’s being a professional, isn’t it?
Being someone you’re not in order to get to the top? Not exactly.
You see, the way we are raised, the family we came from, and the childhood we had affects both our personal and professional lives. Now, I’m not saying that because you grew up without many luxuries, you’re going to be a failure. On the contrary.
What I’m saying is, the way you grew up affects the way you portray and carry yourself in your professional life.
I grew up poor. I don’t mean poor, like I couldn’t get the big tv I wanted. I mean eating boxed macaroni or frozen pizzas every night because it was cheap and it was all my single mother could afford to feed two children. She worked two jobs and went to college, she often went without eating to make sure we did. We lived in a small two bedroom apartment, in a… less than desirable neighborhood.
The park down the street was set on fire at least a handful of times. I got used to the sounds of gunshots at night. I started having panic attacks and night terrors at 7 years old. By 9, I was heavily medicated.
My childhood taught me to always live in survival mode. Because I had to.
Now I’m sure you’re thinking, why are you telling me your life story?
Here’s why. Because I didn’t come from that decent, all-American family. I came from a broken one. One that screwed me up. But also taught me an important lesson;
You have to look out for yourself first. Do for you. Because no one else will.
I started this business with no money. Just a laptop, a few notebooks and some cheap business cards. I learned digital marketing, advertisement, networking… all on my own. Maybe I’m not making six figures a year. But every quarter, I see my client list grow.
I didn’t learn social skills as a child. I was left alone much of the time or emotionally neglected. I didn’t learn what it was like to have someone be proud or approving of me. Sounds like a bad thing right? Not completely.
Now I can meet or conference with potential clients and not really take it personal if they choose to go with another consultant or company.
I can put these posts out there without shame or embarrassment. I can hold my head up and say…
If I made it through that, I can make it through anything. I can accomplish anything.
And so can you. So before you give up on your entrepreneur dreams, or settle in for that third glass of wine because today you’ve just abandoned all hope; remember this, success comes from within. It’s not just influenced by external factors, but internal ones. No matter where you come from, you can achieve. If you want to.
You create your own success… so go on creating.