(As my first post, I'm going to repost a post I wrote from March 11, 2011.....1) Because I need a test blog for my website and 2) Because this bears repeating.)
“Believe in yourself.” If you have ever watched a Saturday morning teen special, been to a motivational speech or seen the inside cover of a self-help book, you too are familiar with this overly used, incredibly cliché saying. We tell it to our kids, to our homies, to strangers we meet in Starbucks. Rappers and music artists commonly use it as the go-to phrase when asked what the key is to making it in the industry. We hear it so much that it no longer has the dramatically profound effect that it once held. That’s because we don’t have a clue what it really means.
Fast forward to tonight’s United Way VIP Board Training Program session. For the sake of background, the VIP Broad Training program is a 10 week course which teaches the ins and outs of serving as a board member on a non-profit. The speaker, United Way’s fundraising guru, spoke on the importance of the deep belief that you must have in your organization in order to ask someone for more than $10,000. The speaker basically said that most wealthy people have a certain portion of their good fortune that they want to give to others. As a fundraiser, you have to be willing to ask for that money so that the people you want to help can benefit. You have to know that your organization not only needs the money, but deserves the money because of the significant difference your organization is making in the community. In essence, a failure of belief in your organization is the equivalent of saying “just give the money to the other guy.”
Ding. Ding. Ding.
Now, I absolutely hate asking for anything. I completely dislike selling things to other people and I don’t particularly like being sold to. I grew up with the belief that if people want to give you something or buy something or donate something, they’ll just do it out of the goodness of their hearts. I have often felt that people will immediately recognize my talents, attention to excellence and passion. I believed not only would my work speak for itself , but it would speak loudly enough where people would recognize greatness and respond accordingly.
However, the thing I learned tonight is that not only do you have to be excellent, skilled and talented, but you have to have such a deep passion for your skills and talents that you aren’t afraid to make the ask. The ask can be for anything: a job, a better relationship with your significant other, better opportunities in your current position, more money, more challenging projects, or more respect. The key is knowing you deserve to get what you’re asking for. And not just because you’re you. You deserve it because your getting the thing you’re asking for is going to benefit the lives and livelihoods of others. You deserve it because your passion will inspire, motivate and move mountains. It’s not just a matter of believing you can. It is believing that if you don’t, both the world and the lives of others won’t be quite as fabulous. After all that’s been done for you, doesn’t the world deserve the most fabulous you that you can offer? It does. Believe it.