I’m not the best.
Neither are you.
I know that I’m not the best at what I do. You can work with other branding and design companies that have more experience. You can read the words from other writers who are far more eloquent and well versed than yours truly. You can follow leaders who have spent far more time earning the trust of their tribe. You can go for a run with someone who’s going to push you a helluva lot harder than I’ll ever be able to.
But if I dwell on this – if I dwell on my inability to be the best, I’d be giving up on striving to get there. If I only ran with a group I could leave in my 8 1/2 minute mile dust, I wouldn’t get faster. If I didn’t push myself to lead my team at Proof with confidence, I wouldn’t earn their trust. If I hadn’t bought a domain and started scrawling my ideas – if I never had the guts to hit “publish”, well, none of you would be reading this.
I was a nerd. Growing up, I chose marching band over sports. I opted for chat rooms over roller-rinks. I rifled through Goosebumps books and spent every Saturday night watching Snick.
Like most nerds, I eventually broke (or should I say, attempted to break) out of my shell – went off to college, spent a year drinking copious amounts of cheap beer, and did everything I could to deny my nerdy roots.
Somewhere along the way I combined my knack for all things nerd and my outgoing personality to become the man I am today. A married man with an amazing wife – a marathon runner – a business owner. Every part of who I was has shaped me into the person that I am.
“In moments of sheer panic, when everything is in question, I wonder if all this insecurity and frustration is worth the cost of losing what I left. Couldn’t I just go back? Back to a steady job, one that paid the bills and let me off the hook for creating art? Couldn’t I just blend back in to the status quo?” - Jeff Goins – Today, I Want to Quit
“Instinctively resourceful and at ease.” Michael Carroll, author of Fearless at Work, defines this as the “kind of confidence that remains fearlessly unshaken in the face of life’s often terrifying paradoxes.”
In the past 4+ years of not walking into an office, not working for someone else, not having a guaranteed paycheck or sick days or PTO, I’ve learned more about myself than I could ever be able to define here for you. But perhaps more than anything I’ve learned that fear is real and you face it every single day.