Being the best

For whatever reason, I was gifted with enough confidence to last me two lifetimes. Something I continuously notice when I consult with clients (and friends) my age is that the biggest thing they’re missing is confidence. I know some of the most amazingly talented individuals from just about every creative and technical discipline under the sun. You know what separates many of the hobbyists from the “successful” entrepreneurs who are making money? The fact that the successful ones are making money.

That’s it. The drive is there, the commitment is there, and the excellence is there. So why aren’t more people making a living doing what they love? Or at least what they’re good at? I don’t think there’s a simple answer to this question, but I’m certain that much of it has to do with confidence. Insecurity and the fear of failure are absolutely crippling many of my friends, and precluding them from taking calculated risks that would likely result in their success—both entrepreneurially and otherwise.

I believe that confidence comes from two things:

  1. A conscious decision not to be overcome by setbacks.
  2. A conscious decision to be confident.

Seriously, that last truism is critical. I’m confident because I choose to be confident. Living life any other way is awful. It’s not that I’m the best WordPress Consultant or Job Search Strategist or Web Developer—I’m definitely not.

But you’d never know that by working with me.

And my clients certainly wouldn’t tell you that I’m not. See, comparing myself to others doesn’t help anyone. It’s a complete waste of time. As a matter of fact, judging people based on a skillset is a worthless endeavor altogether. My clients don’t care that I modified a script I found on a forum to accomplish what they asked or that I don’t know the difference between an affidavit and a deposition. What they care about is that the services for which I’m hired are rendered professionally, skillfully, and quickly.

People don’t pay me for my PHP skills; they pay me for the experience I provide when they approach me with a problem. Professionalism, confidence, honesty, and speediness are a handful of traits that allow anyone to outpace their competition. You don’t have to be the best…but you do have to be outstanding at whatever it is that you do.

::shrugs:: Just thought I’d share. This post won’t be edited for content, grammar, or cohesiveness. Enjoy 🙂

Willie Jackson is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Consultant & Facilitator with ReadySet, a boutique consulting firm based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a frequent writer and speaker on the topics of workplace equity, global diversity, and inclusive leadership. Connect on LinkedIn or get in touch.

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