I used to be so afraid.
Fear of failing, fear of missing out, fear of disappointing people…
On and on and on.
So I took some time to do some introspection.
I am 30 years old, starting over again as an intern, still single, can’t afford my own place so still live with family, still stuck on the last level of my professional certification and after having worked full time since I was 24 years old I have barely any savings to show for it.
Honestly, this doesn’t sound very inspiring.
In fact what value or insight could I possible have to offer.
So I asked myself what I have I accomplished:
- I graduated university- umm that seems so long ago try more recent
- Okay, I supported one of my ex-girlfriends through her school and now she is working in Canada and helping her family… hey not so bad
- I have at least passed two levels of my professional qualifications and even tutored a couple of people who are now chartered… hmm, lets see what else.
- I fundraised for charities in my country such as Slum2school and MANI… yeah that makes me feel good.
- I spent over two years as a research analyst and then another two years as an investment banker so besides my accomplishments on the job, I now have strong technical and financial skills such that I helped my cousin clean up her books and make strategic decisions for her startup and find investors… wait Huh
- Also I provided the startup capital for my friends media and entertainment business and provided loans for multiple other friends startups in various industries such as food, freelancer services etc. …so even though they are not yet Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Ma, they are growing and providing value.- *#$*^@ WHY ARE YOU EVEN COMPLAINING…
It was then that I realised that hey, I MATTER… I HAVE VALUE… MY ACTIONS MEAN SOMETHING.
Okay so I am not were I want to be…I have wasted opportunities… lost most of my savings in failed startups and bad loans and had to start over again working as an intern IN MY 30s…messed up good relations
BUT, F*ck it … I have done so many great things (and these few listed are just the ones I am aware of not all of the people I have impacted) and still have so much potential to do more
So let’s cut back to the present:
- so what if I am single at 30; I am probably going to live for another 70ish years (God willing); that is more than enough time. Besides I am not alone- great family, great friends, great colleagues
- So what if I don’t have my own place and still live with family; I contribute to the monthly expenses. I am saving.
- So what if I am an intern again; I have a job where I am learning a lot about the right way to face starting a business. I am excited about my work and just recently got a pay raise (…so now 8x rather than 9x less than my former salary…lol still an increase) and they are even signs of getting an offer for a full time roll. But more importantly, my experiences have shaped my understanding of what my purpose is…FINALLY. I know what I want out of life. I know what I want to contribute. I know what my strengths are and where I need to improve or need others to fill in the gaps.
- And all those experiences since I started work as a marketing intern in a Coca-cola Franchise are still mine, the knowledge is still mine, the network is still mine.
And then I ask myself… could it be worse.
Umm yeah… much much worse. So what am I trying to say here. When you fall and you think you have failed… my question is did you really?
We have become slaves to our expectations and cloud our perception… no growth trajectory is 100% upward sloping…ever success story starts with what we call failure…from today please call then learning opportunities.
Don’t say “I fail the Math quiz” say “I learned what I don’t understand about fractions or matrices”.
Don’t say “I lost the contract” ask the client “what would you have been looking for to make this deal workable”
Change your perspective, change the narrative, then change your world.