“You’ll amount to nothing my boy…”
The parting shot from my teacher as I walked out the school doors for the final time at 15.
I’d heard it before, he wasn’t the only one to tell me I was a waste of space.
The thing is that when you’re older you can often shrug those comments off.
But when you’re around 14 or 15 years old, your wiring is still coming together in the old gray matter and that stuff tends to stick.
It did with me…
I took these thoughts through to the first time I ever pitched for a freelance design and print job.
I was in full time employment but an opportunity came my way to do something for myself.
And to put it bluntly, I was bricking it.
Because people like me didn’t do things like this…
“There’s no way they’ll want to deal with someone like me” - the echos of teachers past rang out. “What if I do it and it all goes wrong?”
In all honesty I nearly talked myself out of even broaching the subject with the client, which was crazy because they were desperate for a solution which I could provide.
I spent hours putting together a simple proposal and finally sent it off to them, safe in the knowledge that I wouldn’t get the contract so I’d have even more time to spend doing nothing.
2 days later I got the call: “Andy, let’s do it, when can you start?”
And so I did, I started. I plucked up the courage and got going.
I had to stump up the money to buy a new Mac, Publishing Software and a crappy old B&Q desk which I put together and worked from on the top of landing.
4 weeks and many sleepless nights later I delivered the project. And I got paid the whole amount!
Not only that, I was invited to their ski chalets, all expenses paid, to do the photography for the next season’s brochure!
People like me don’t do things like that. Yeah, right!
That was the very beginning of Great Circle - my Advertising and Design business that’s now been running for over 20 years.
So what if I’d believed the naysayers and teachers, the ones who told me it wouldn’t work?
I’d likely still be in a crappy job doing everything I hated; the 8-till-late for someone else.
But this story isn’t about me, it’s about you.
When you start thinking “What if it goes wrong?” I want you to change that around to “What if it goes right!”
Every time I go to fly my plane, what do you reckon I”m thinking? “What if it all goes wrong?”
So your mission going forward into 2021 is this: Stop listening to the naysayers, the non-believers and the ones who hold you back.
Start listening to your gut feeling instead and find the courage to say to yourself “You bet your ass people like me do things like this”