I was once on a panel with someone who explained that he put on a different accent when he was talking to potential clients. He tried to hide the details of his upbringing that he was embarrassed by. He had worked hard to succeed and carefully guarded the story of his childhood. He thought he had to be someone else for anyone to take him seriously. Within the audience I saw nods of agreement and looks of confusion, in equal parts.
The ace card you don’t know you’re holding is the one that makes you different. Oprah once said, “Excellence is the best deterrent for racism or sexism.” For “racism” or “sexism” read ageism, heightism, and so on.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – AUGUST 06: Oprah Winfrey attends the Premiere Of OWN’s “David Makes Man” … [+]
Whatever opinion someone has made of you based on how you look or speak can be stopped in its tracks by excellence. Excellence surprises. It puts others on the back foot and catches them off guard. Excellence that outshines any negative prejudice or stereotype intrigues someone’s curiosity and catches their attention. Combine your differences with excellence and watch it become a superpower.
It’s remarkable to watch the underdog becomes the dead cert. It’s exhilarating when you prove wrong someone who had dismissed you. Turn your quirks into your ace cards by displaying excellence at every opportunity. It builds your tribe and turns sceptical onlookers into superfans.
Plenty of people born with less than me have made more of themselves than I have. Plenty of people born with more have made less. I’m sure this will be the same for you; think about who you know. The playing field is more level than it seems. Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future if you don’t let it. Money, power and success are fluid, not fixed. Jenny from the block “used to have a little, now [she has] a lot”.
NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 15: Jennifer Lopez seen filming on location for ‘Marry Me’ in Clinton Hill … [+]
When you attend a seminar you might notice that some attendees are listening intently and making notes, whilst some chatter away at the back. What about the acquaintance who asks for your business card and promptly follows up, and the other you never hear from. Some use the internet to learn and produce and others use it to scroll and pass the time. We all have choices, so make the good ones.
Nelson Mandela once said, “everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated and passionate about what they do.” Every day there are opportunities to do things to the best of your ability. To research, prepare and exceed all expectations. Why would you settle for anything less and why would you let anything half-hearted or sub-par near your reputation?
Success doesn’t have to be an uphill struggle. Whatever the reason for why you’re not where you think you should be, flip your perspective and succeed because of it, not in spite of it. There is no good reason to not achieve your own version of success, whatever that might be.