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Over the last decade I have found myself conducting a lot of mentoring of young professionals, and even some old ones. The one thing I constantly emphasize is understanding a person's worth. Many people have no idea of what they are worth, or what they need to charge for their time, and services. There’s a lot of reasons why this is, and I believe it has a lot to do with lacking confidence in yourself, the service you provide, or your preparation and training.
I do my absolute best to let my mentees fully understand that our ancestors already paid the bill for you to be present, and in the conference room, in the position of status, and controlling a circle of influence! It is too easy to walk into a meeting, or interview, lacking the confidence you need to convey your professional astuteness, and intellectual brilliance. It really does not matter what school you graduated from, the financial status of your parents, or your social pedigree. In essence I’m confirming you do not have to have 1,000 likes in your social media to be accepted and viewed as an influencer. What is necessary is processing the professional presence, intellectual toughness, and social comfortability has already been delivered.
Your time is NOW! Not tomorrow, not next week, but now. Learn to speak up and say everything that is needed. One caution, ensure you’ve done your homework. You never want to attend a meeting or attend an event unprepared. It is necessary to invest in yourself ahead of time by conducting the research on the objectives of the meetings, understanding the issues and importance of issues of concern, to include the challenges of the organization or group. Take pride in knowing you know the facts surrounding these matters. This way when you arrive, there’s an assurance of knowing you are going to add value to the meeting or assist in what needs to get done.
When you understand your worth, your chest sticks out a litter broader, your head sits higher, and your vision is clearer. You do not allow anything or anyone to stand in your way. You can afford in these instances to be reserved, and not comment on every single thing, but carefully study the room for your chance to speak up and add value. Over the years I have deliberately used this strategy to make my points, and I leave the meeting feeling more satisfied, and my colleagues leave wondering how did he know all that he does? Simply put, it has to do with nothing but preparation. When you invest the time to prepare, it pays off in dividends.
Another caution I need to mention is not allowing your ego or pride to get in your way. I believe it was famed Speaker Wayne Dyer who said, E.G.O. stands for “Edging God Out!” When you allow your ego to get in the way of your decency, you are edging God out from what you are attempting to accomplish. You want to sit your silly pride aside and focus on the greater good of the organization, and others. Your recognition will come in the form of the reputation you build. I like to think each of us are building our own individual brand every day we engage others. A brand is what they say about you when you are not in the room. What are others saying about you?
Regardless of what they are saying, you are not defined by other’s comments, but what you respond to and how you behave/react. People’s thoughts and comments are nothing more than a prelude to your arrival. Either you live up to those comments, or you live down to them. You get to decide. I prefer to set my own markers and boundaries. Every day I show up, people around me know they are going to receive a unique level of goodness they have never experienced before.
I have learned to take ownership of my presence and fall madly in love with myself. I’m not saying I am self-absorbed, but self-focused to ensure I meet and exceed my own expectations. I get to define me, and no one else has that responsibility or latitude. Somethings you must keep for yourself.
Know your worth and allow it to be a blessing to others. Stand up for those things’ others will not. Take on the tough challenges in life, and know you have the unique skills required for this activity. Your ancestors paid it all simply for you to be able to have opportunities, access, and freedom. Understand you are worth it!