As a business strategist who has helped many entrepreneurs, CEOs and others create success in their businesses and lives, I find that a lot of popular career advice can make us feel good but is not actually grounded in the power of who we are. Leap and the net will appear; Do what you love, and the money will follow; Follow your bliss –are all slogans, rather than grounded missives that light the path to success.
Take Diana, a very successful entrepreneur in her mid-forties, who was recently telling me about how thrilling it was to sing at one of Nashville’s most renowned honky-tonks.
Diana grew up in a tiny town in Texas raising hogs in a 4-H club program and listening to the radio, especially the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The Opry, a live radio show with a long history of sending out country music greats over the airwaves, reached listeners all the way across the nation, and Diana was one of their avid listeners.
Diana is a woman with passion and energy. Her goal was to go to Nashville and make a name for herself as a country music star. She sang those songs day and night, including in the car with her father. Her father recognized that she could do whatever she put her mind to, but there was one problem. For all her musical enthusiasm, Diana couldn’t really sing!
“I am actually tone deaf,” she confessed to me recently.
One morning on the way to school, Diana was singing away and talking about her Nashville dream, when her father pulled the car over to the side of the road and said, “Sweetheart, you need to know that you can’t sing. You can’t carry a tune. And you will never make it in Nashville. But you do know a lot about ag [agriculture].”
Diana was heartbroken, and it took a while for her to face the truth, but she finally did. She wound up going to Texas A&M, and today has an ag-related business with revenues over $100M. She lives in a beautiful home in Dallas with her family and has a ton of joy in her life.
Redirecting her energy has given her great satisfaction as well as significant financial success. Does she still sing? You betcha’ – to her heart’s content! She has a karaoke room in her house and goes to honky-tonks when she gets a chance.
We are all better served when we focus on our talents, rather than the dreams that don’t have a foothold in the power of who we really are. You are not mediocre, don’t let your dreams be focused on the mediocre areas of your life.
You want to focus on those areas where you actually shine.
If you were ever told you weren’t good enough, and then went on to achieve greatness in another field, let me know! And tell me where your best talents lie. When we focus on those, we achieve oversized goals that can create enormous results.
Until next Tuesday,