WHO ARE YOU

No really, who do you think you are?

Too many times the answer to this question is what other people think you are.

In my life, I have thought I was many things:

  • A cowboy.
  • A cook.
  • A rapper.
  • A high school dropout.
  • A loser.
  • A waste of time.
  • A father.
  • A husband.
  • A son.
  • A procrastinator.
  • A fraud.
  • A failure.
  • A pastor.
  • A consultant.
  • A mistake.

But those are titles I have held or reflections I saw.

Not who I was or am today.

But those are titles I have held or reflections I saw. Not who I was or am today. #TruthClick To Tweet

Are you defining who you are through titles as I did?

Through reflections in a carnival mirror?

Through others?

Negative Thoughts Kill The Soul

Above I mentioned several negative thoughts.

Things like:

  • A loser.
  • A waste of time.
  • A procrastinator.
  • A fraud.
  • A failure.
  • A mistake.

To be honest, all of those items tie back to me being a high school dropout. A life decision I had run from for over 25 years.

A decision that guided me through many of the darkest years in my life.

A decision that as I look back, has made me much of who I am today.

But what changed and made me realize this decision did not define me?

What made me realize I needed to share my mistakes with the world?

What made me realize I was human?

What made me realize I needed to share my mistakes with the world?Click To Tweet

Being Human By Being Vulnerable

I will never forget it, I was sitting at a restaurant with Marcus Sheridan and Tiffany Cavegn. We were discussing a keynote I would soon deliver at an Inbound conference called Minbound. That is when it happened.

Marcus looked at me and said, “start out your talk proclaiming you are a high school dropout.”

I about jumped out of my skin. There was no way that this was going to happen.

Then he asked me, “are you still a dropout?”

I didn’t understand.

“Are you still a dropout? Have you dropped out in life?”

“Of course not”, I exclaimed.

He continued, “Then lead with your weakness to get to your strengths”

I was perplexed. That was much easier said than done.

In the end, however, I mustered up enough strength to do it.

I took the stage and standing there all alone with a couple hundred people staring at me, it came out.

“I..am a high school dropout.”

There was a burst of laughter.

I stood firm and once again stated, “no, I am a high school dropout.”

You could hear a pin drop.

I went onto explain a unique experience I had in school, which rocked me to the core.

How in math class my teacher told me how I wouldn’t amount to anything, and how 6 months later, I was a dropout.

I delivered the rest of my keynote like a pro, and closed to applause 200 times the volume of the starting laughter.

And then it happened.

It’s Not Really About Marketing

As everyone was leaving the room, an older lady approached me.

She thanked me for my talk and explained how it had impacted her and how she thought inbound could help her business.

She then said something that blew me away.

“I really appreciate your story about your math teacher and being a high school dropout.”

She then said “for me, it was my mother.”

We talked for another 20 minutes about life, forgiveness, and moving on with life.

And that is when I realized those old titles I had given myself were wrong. I am simply a human.

  • A human that loves to educate.
  • A human that loves to be helpful.
  • A human that loves to love.

A humble human that embraced being vulnerable long enough to help someone move into their own journey of life.

A journey that started with me asking…

“Who do you think you are?”

Because that’s all that matters.

What Are Your Thoughts?

Speaker | HubSpot Accredited Trainer | Video Jedi | Podcaster | Inbound Marketer | Listener | Thinker | Strategizer | Consultant | Pretty Darn Handsome

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