Being Whatever You Want To Be – Sort of a Myth
Contrary to popular belief, you are not able to be whatever you want in this life.
Let me clarify.
If you want to be the world record holding strong man, or the fastest cup stacker on the globe, you first have to be something else….bad at those things. In order to lift 10 pounds you first have to lift 9. In order to stack cups in 10 seconds you first have to do it in 11. Going a little deeper, you should recognize that before you can be whatever you want, you first have to be whatever you have to be to get there.
I have recently had the opportunity to talk to lots of venture capitalist and angel investors, and was curious about the consistent reason they don’t lend money to a younger business or younger individual. I believe the reason comes down to just that; before they can be investable, they first have to be un-investable. They first have to go through all the struggles you would need to face when you don’t have a huge wad of money to blow on a solution. You can measure the size of a person by the size of the problem they can solve. You can measure a business’s ability to be funded on the same merits, problem solving.
I train people all day everyday and I can tell you first hand, everyone goes through the same stages of success. In order to be good at something, they first have to be bad at it, and in order to be bad at something, you need to try.
Most of us never try because of the opinions of ourselves, our friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. You never have the chance to be bad at something, which is the logical first stage to doing anything new, because we fear being seen as “not good” at something. To try something, you have to be vulnerable.
Once you do try, pat yourself on the back. In fact, toot your own horn. No one else is going to pat you on the back for the minimal success you have had. Just making a cold call, regardless of the outcome is a Herculean effort for some people, and I want them to know I see that and recognize it. Whatever your first step is, the journey will take you down streets past people that will judge you, so you have to be your number one fan to succeed.
Once you get to being bad at it, you can start to get good. We have all tried to do something hard for the first time, like ride a bike or learn to swim. When you first learn to swim, you start by learning to float. When you first try to do that, you will no doubt end up sinking into a face full of chlorine water and a choking fit. As you move from trying to being bad at it, you realize what action you made that forced you to sink. You try again, and make the adjustment, and you don’t sink….now you just got a little better. Before you were a swimmer, you had to be a sinker.
These little realizations are what make you the person you are, the person that pushes past what you have to be, to become what you want to be.
You can’t be what you want to be, until you are what you have to be. What you want to do with your life or where you want to take your career is just around the corner from where you are today and what you are learning to do. Stand up and be proud of where it started. Make yourself the best at what you have to be, and use that to become what you want to be.