Last night as I was folding and putting away laundry, a forgotten memory popped up and hit me like a bolt of lightning. All I could ask myself is, “Why am I keeping it a secret?”
If this journey is all about choosing me, it includes finding the places I’ve been playing small and instead learn to show up in a bigger way.
Silence is golden.
You see, in my business as a Breakthrough Success Expert, when people ask about my background, I talk about being a highly successful business development executive as well as a specialist in mindset. But I leave out (had I forgotten?) one of the most important things.
I never talk about it.
Friends in powerful places.
You see, I come from a family of successful entrepreneurs, and I grew up associating with family friends who were highly successful entrepreneurs too.
My grandfather started a family business consisting of over 70 stores in the Midwest. My uncle took over the company and grew it horizontally. Over the years, it became hugely successful. When I was a little girl, I would sit at both the reception desk and at the boardroom table dreaming of the day when I would have my own empire. As I got older, we had deep marketing conversations where I learned so much.
Les Wexler, founder, and CEO of Limited Brands, hired an older cousin of mine who had his own clothing manufacturing business. He manufactured all of the clothes for the Limited store chain (when they were the place to shop!). He was always flying oversees or to Cincinnati to the Limited headquarters. We had conversations galore about buying, selling, and trends.
The circle of friends my parents had was fantastic! One fellow was the co-founder of Lear Jet. Many others sat on profile boards and were highly visible. Others owned extremely successful companies. Our dinner conversations were electric!
I could go on and on. This informal education in business was priceless and, in some ways, more valuable than an MBA. That’s because I had proximity to all of these successful people and could ask them anything. In turn, even at my young age, they would ask my opinion and take me quite seriously. Perhaps, this is one of the reasons that business strategy comes so easily to me and is in my area of brilliance.
Dusting off the mothballs.
The reason I’m sharing this is not to brag. Quite the opposite. I’ve had this huge realization that I’ve kept this significant part of me hidden. It’s almost as if this memory was buried and never to be remembered again. I’m celebrating that it is time for me to dig it out from the archives and share it. It’s a powerful part of my past, helps to define me and worth sharing. What part of yourself are you hiding? Maybe this breakthrough will trigger something for you?
You see, growing up, my family was different than others, which separated me from my classmates. As a young girl and teenager, all I wanted to do was fit in. I wanted to wear the same clothes, talk about the same things, socialize in the same places as the others. If I had talked about things like this, I would have been ostracized. Many of my classmates were what is now referred to as the “mean girls” (bullies). The up and down of my popularity as a young girl would have definitely been more down, than up. So, I stayed safe and played it small.
I’m done with that.
I’m choosing me.
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