1. Believe in Yourself
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t—you’re right.” —Henry Ford
To succeed in life you must first believe in yourself, your abilities to get the job done and know with all your being that you can do it. Without this belief you will allow the naysaying public to keep you from your goals and dreams. They mean well. They are just trying to keep you from the pain of failing. This says more about their belief system than it says about yours. But if you allow them to influence your beliefs, now it says everything about yours as well.
I remember when I first knew I was going to be the National Spokesperson for Catherines Plus Sizes. I had never heard of the company but a friend thought I was a perfect fit for them. Unbeknownst to me she set up a meeting in Memphis. She called me and told me she felt very strongly about it and when I said I had never heard of them she said “I know this is right—trust me.” Well it didn’t feel right to me. While I had been a plus size model, I was not an expert in the arena of fashion. I was an expert on self-esteem but—I did trust her hunches.
She called me on a Saturday and she had scheduled the meeting for Thursday. We tried to get flights out but between my schedule and the available flights and costs we decided to drive down. What a trip. I got into the office with the Vice President and he asked me what I thought I could do for them? I told him the truth. I had no idea what I could do until I knew what they did. This was before computers and web pages so I didn’t know a thing about their company. A real no no. I told him I was an expert on self-esteem and he said he wasn’t interested in self-esteem. He was interested in selling clothing. I told him women buy more clothing when their self-esteem is high and there are fewer returns. They buy because they like and want the outfit not because the sale of the outfit makes them feel good momentarily.
At the end of the meeting he asked me if I could write a newsletter for them. I emphatically said “yes” even though I had never written a newsletter in my life. I did not have a desk top publishing program, much less a computer. I had written many articles for magazines so I knew I could do the writing. But without a second thought I said “yes, give me six weeks to have something on your desk.”
We left the office and I just knew that my friend was right. I was a perfect fit for this company. I knew it before they knew it. I did not know where this would lead but I knew I needed to see it through and I knew without a doubt that I was the person to do it. Other friends and family told me I was crazy but I just knew it was right and I believed in my abilities. I also knew that what I didn’t know how to do I would quickly learn how to do.
2. Take Action!
“You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” —Wayne Gretsky
Many people talk about what they want to do or are going to do. Their ideas are great but they never take action on any of them. If they do begin to take action and meet with an obstacle they stop. This should be a red flag that they have not completely met the challenge of step number one—Believe in yourself. Fall on your face several times if you must but take ACTION. Sometimes people are so focused on what they want and the way they want it that they don’t realize opportunities to take action toward their dreams and desires are all around them.
When I got home from my meeting with Catherine’s I quickly researched computers. Did I want a Mac or a PC? Once I got the computer I researched page layout programs and brought myself up to speed on how to use both. I then wrote some articles, laid them out in the program and voila, Catherines received the mock-up of the first newsletter with two days to spare.
I had a great rapport with the Director of Advertising and she mentioned in passing that she had been trying to convince the owner of the store that they should have a national spokesperson. She had interviewed many high profile women including the three top plus size super models but did not think any of them were right until she met me. She wanted someone with a knowledge of fashion which all the other women had hands down over me. But unlike the VP who was a male she understood the importance of high self-esteem for women and she realized that I could bring something to the table that none of the others could. She just had to convince corporate that I was the right gal for the job. I already knew I was the one the second she mentioned it.
3. Persevere and never, ever give up.
“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th. — Julie Andrews
It is unlikely that everything will be exactly as you envision it. We do not usually move in a direct line toward our goals and dreams. It is more a three steps forward, 2 steps back side to side approach. You must continue to persevere. Before you know it, you will have met your goal and will need to reach for new heights.
Catherines started by hiring me to do their newsletter then they hired me to do talks here and there. Finally they brought me on board to launch their new Body Basics line. I started booking TV and radio to promote my appearances and within a year I signed a contract as their national spokesperson. There were ups and downs along the way to signing the agreement but I knew that I was the right person for the job, I took action and I never gave up.
Unbeknownst to me that job opened the door to my next incarnation. It turns out I had all the tools and skill sets I needed I just did not know how I could create a marketable package with them until I stepped into each scenario.
Follow these three steps and you will definitely be successful in life. You may find you are taken in a direction that is different than the one you initially moved toward, but it will be more rewarding and you will definitely move into your passion.
Debbie Darling, ©2014 The Presentation Pros