We’ve all been there. Your confidence takes a blow and you start to say and do things at 50% of your capacity. People will tell you “you’re not yourself?” You will tell yourself “what am I doing, what am I saying”. You know it’s your confidence but knowing it doesn’t help and it certainly doesn’t get you back on track in an instant.
Having spent hours with all sorts of people from various walks of life, the common theme before an interview or a big pitch is that confidence plays a massive part. Gary Vaynerchuk (vaynermedia & winelibrarytv), often says that he doesn’t need a script or a Powerpoint to give him the confidence or boost in front of a crowd because he is talking his truth.
Confidence is speaking your truth. I remember distinctly working for a multi-national corporation and presenting a Powerpoint to an audience of 200 executives. I felt so nervous I wore the wrong pants. Yep I rocked up with a different jacket to my pants and knew it wasn’t going to go well. The presentation was written by someone behind a desk, in another State. I looked at it the night before and just read all these bullet points that didn’t make sense.
One bullet point read, “the consensus is that 50% will be looking next year”…I thought…what consensus, 50% of who and why are they looking and for what? So I started following this presentation, reading it to the crowd and having an ‘out of body experience’ with this room of 400 eye balls, it was a nightmare coming true.
Until about half way through when I realised. Luke you know this topic back to front, you live, breathe and sleep this shizzle and talk about it to anyone that will listen. Screw the presentation and talk the truth, from the heart and get this crowd engaged. It worked (in case you were wondering). I loved every minute. I had half the room waiting around to get a chance to talk to me about their industry and what makes them tick. Clients wanted to discuss gaps in their business to find talent and emails after flooded in for request to get together over coffee and stay in touch.
To be clear, it’s not about the accolades or appreciation but it’s about the fact that they are a symbol of your ability to communicate your truth, passion and insights to get cut through and be the best possible version of you. Therefore confidence is linked to truth. Truth is linked to inspiration. Inspiration starts a tribe. That tribe have a common goal and they will be led by you to the destiny.
I had a great conversation with a leader the other day and I asked them, what they thought the reason they’re living their purpose and in control of their destiny?
She said, “When you make the decision to lead, you attract attention and people want to work with you. It’s flattering at first when the job offers fly in but you realise the decision to join the company or cause is often to satisfy their needs and not yours”.
My response, “so you’ve made a few bad career decisions I take it?”
Her response, “Of course, but I failed fast and learnt to say no when my heart (or limbic system) was giving me a feeling deep down something wasn’t right”.
“What I’ve learnt over the past 15 years of my career, is that you don’t need to make quick decisions and force job opportunities and saying yes to a new shiny job is only the right choice if it’s another step towards your destiny, encourages further learning and gives you room to lead”.
My summary, if you’re a pinkemu…you will be offered multiple roles in your career because you stand out. However, if you’re truly leading, loving your work and have patience…the signs will be obvious when it’s time to change and often you will be the one to instigate.
It’s been talked about a lot but purpose is the new profession and a job for life is dead. School taught us how to work in a factory and we’ve been conditioned to believe that purpose and living our dreams is a thing only reserved for the rich and famous. I remember distinctly thinking that one day I would become a famous football player, then an actor and then a personal trainer.
What I find interesting is that the perception of these careers to me was everything and I didn’t once stop and think…Who am I? What am I? And what does everyone who knows me best say my strengths are? My best mate ‘Smudge’ used to tell me when we were 15 years old, that I could talk to a brick wall…and would get so p*ssed at me because I would spend hours talking to people in the street, coffee shop or pub, finding out what makes them tick instead of focussing on him or the group we were with. I was so fascinated with meeting new people and discovering their journey and hearing their stories.
People would respond to my openness, interest and use of humour to build rapport. They would tell me intimate thoughts and personal secrets, within just minutes of chatting…I never once thought I would end up spending 10 years and over 10,000 hours discussing this very topic for a day job!
Here’s a contradiction…think about what you constantly get criticise for…it’s likely to be the very thing that makes you unique and is your purpose in life.
- Luke you talk way too much to people you don’t know about stuff that doesn’t matter…ummm no that’s my purpose I build people and care about their purpose
- Kathy you’re way too caring….ummm no that’s my purpose I’m a care worker, primary school teacher, community worker, philanthropist
- Emily you spend too much time travelling and not enough time working…ummm I am working…I’m a travel blogger
- Katie you say what you think too often…ummm no I’m creating social change and starting a charity against domestic violence
- Mark you need to spend less time on that computer and more time outside…ummm no I’m creating Facebook and changing the world
- Caitlin that outfit in fact all your outfits are way over the top just tone it down…ummm no I’m going to change the world of fashion design
- Ruth you’re bossy and order everyone around…ummm no I care about achieving goals as a team and one day I will lead a multinational company that survives on my ability to make tough decisions
- Harry you’re a stubborn child just do as your told…ummm no I just have a dislike for authority and believe in mutual exchange of value and freedom of choice…one day I will be a lawyer and defend the rights of the helpless and less fortunate.
So finding career purpose is looking in the mirror and realising that you’re already unique, it’s been defined and shaped from an early age and you’re well on the path to defining your WHY. Because my friend it’s in your DNA…it’s in the biology. It’s the thing that fills your soul with passion and makes doing what you do effortless and limitless.
Is that not enough reasons to be following your purpose? So don’t spend the next 40 years working on stuff that doesn’t ignite your soul put a fire extinguisher on that path and point the blow torch on your future…
Why failure, hurt and pain are key drivers to finding your purpose, being successful and making a dent in this world.
School and almost all of society taught us that failing is a bad thing, one of my biggest issues with schools and parents is the notion of perfection and brushing losing or failing under the carpet. I’m here to tell you it’s your NBFFAEAE (new best friend forever and ever and ever). Failing is learning and the quicker you become comfortable with this fact the happier and more successful you will be. I’ve failed heaps of times and it’s shaped my best ideas, thoughts, relationships and decisions.
Successes and highlights:
- Captain of school and club soccer teams from age 7 – 17
- Met my now wife at age 19 and had our first baby together at 23 (she was 24 had a proper job and was a stunner)
- Became a leading real estate agent in London, top tier company and held number 1 agent in the office after less than 12 months in the job
- Used the sales commission to purchase a apartment in London age 20 for precisely $400K USD equivalent
- Head hunted after 2.5 years to work for a recruiter and doubled my salary with my job offer
- Promoted a total of 6 times in 10 years across mainly 2 companies
- Highest recorded single fee in Australian history for leading global recruiter
- Over $7 million in commission fees for highly successful executive recruitment firms and head hunted for every role I’ve obtained.
Learning’s from the past decade of success…just the one…
- The feeling of material success is short lived and you need to top it up constantly!
Failures and low lights:
- Parents got divorced almost overnight at 14
- Got dropped from first team and never regained my place in the team
- Dropped out of school age 17 because my life got tough
- Got a job handing out towels in a sports club telling everyone I was a ‘Personal Trainer’
- Tried to get into Real Estate, made 23 job applications and had 12 interviews, got knocked back for every single one
- Acting like one person at work and another at home and nearly ended my relationship
- Had 2 longer stints and 2 very short ones at work, by choosing with my wallet not my heart.
Learning’s from a decade of failures…LOTS
- Laughter in the face of adversity
- How to pick yourself up off the floor
- Don’t take yourself seriously
- No-one and nothing can break you
- Failing is the only path to enlightenment
- Leave your ego at the door
- You don’t have all the answers
- Life isn’t predictable
- Change is progress
- Growth is neccessity
- Cherish everyday
- Spend time with the ones you love
- Invest in those who get you and don’t waste time on everyone else
- Friends are people who step up when you need them most
- Ask for help
- Perfection is a myth
- Success is in the eyes of the beholder
- Legacy is currency – thank you Gary Vee
So do yourself a favour, next time you fail at something or think that material success is somehow the meaning of life…make a decision to focus on what you learnt and how you’re going to use this experience to grow and give more.
I never used to read…sitting and reading when you could be doing something to me was the definition of boredom! I was a dude that has to be on the go and loves sport, exercise etc etc..I think this is really common because I know a heap of people in the same boat and often say “I’m not a reader”.
Well…I discovered an amazing alternative to reading…listening! It changed my life…it meant I could read all the books and blogs whilst moving! I guess I’m contradicting that by getting you to read this…but it’s work in progress and I’m sure I will be on video and podcast soon enough.
This blog goes out to my fiance, Ms T, because she has been on at me about the benefits of reading for 11 years (as long as I’ve known her) and finally she broke me. She thinks my inspiration came from ‘my network’ but she’s been chipping away in subconscious, I just needed a way to consume that suited my way of learning.
And that was the critical element…I always had a thirst for learning but never a way to consume. A friend of mine pointed out that the little orange book app on my iphone was in fact ibooks and I could download my favourite books from there, plug in and listen whilst running, driving, working and sleeping!
So a dude (that’s me) who had gone from reading half a book in 11 years (Warren Buffets biography in case you were wondering). To reading / listening to 14 books in 6 weeks…yep that’s right I consumed over 70 hours of literature whilst taking copious amounts of notes…getting inspired off my chops and then using this knowledge to engage with my family, my friends and my network differently…oh and I started pinkemu!
That’s how audible changed my life…I now read a book a week sometimes two and it challenges me to be a better person, to think different and to enhance my purpose in ways I never knew possible.
Do yourself a favour if you aren’t a reader…be an Audibler and change your LIFE!
Growing up in England, in humble surroundings, I spent my first 18 years living in a small house with a big family. It was tight but we made it work. I look back very fondly on my upbringing. It was all about the richness of life not the riches in life that mattered. My parents loved music, art, sport and drama and we were encouraged to be creative. Dreaming became an important part of my creativity.
I would often sit or lie on the floor in the living room and watch the clouds move through the sky. I would find myself getting lost in deep thought during these moments. I would think about amazing beaches and exploring other countries. Wearing the latest David Beckham soccer boots and scoring important goals for Aston Villa and England. I would picture precisely how I would take the ball from one end of the pitch to the other and chip the goalkeeper…then celebrate with the crowd. I dreamt about ways to make money such as washing cars and cutting lawns. I distinctly remember the feeling of adrenaline I would get, knowing these dreams were ideas and these ideas could be turned into reality.
Stepping out of this state, I would immediately commence the ‘business plan’ (I was 8!)…writing down how many cars I could wash in a day, how many friends my parents knew that could be persuaded to participate and the revenue this would yield. This plan would be put into action and that action got results. It wasn’t long before those boots were on my feet, goals were being scored and now…I’m living in Australia.
Big dreams are goals. These goals provide hope. This hope provides excitement. That excitement turns into passion. Passion becomes an obsession. Being obsessed creates mastery…and your mastery is needed to change the world.
Millennials listen up you have the greatest opportunity to live out your fantasy since the hay day of Greek Mythology. When I looked at my life as a teenager it all looked very predictable. I remember saying to my mum when I was 18 in a bit of a drunken stupor…Mum what is the point to life…it’s all mapped out…I’ve been ushered to school now ushered to university and then into a job I may not want. I guess then will come marriage, kids a house and I suppose I will build a man shed to protect me from going completely insane. Mum I don’t want that life…I want a life full of surprises, twists, turns and limitless fulfilment.
The response…I understand son…but one day you will see that all those things become unique when it’s created by you. She wasn’t wrong. Creating the life you want is unique even if it resembles a few social norms or if completely doesn’t follow any perceived ‘norms’ and follows a different path. Because it’s your life, your DNA, your unique world view that matters. For me I follow a few social norms and a few that aren’t so normal but I don’t worry about what people think or what I’m supposed to do. So long as I’m being true to myself not hurting anyone and trying my face off to make a difference…then my life is full and purpose is real.
The Emu is a native animal to Australia and sits proudly on the coat of arms. They’re a remarkable animal just like you! Emu’s can only move forward FACT…and in the outback in a landscape full of 1,000 brown Emu’s…a PINK one will stand out and make a lasting impact.
That’s your opportunity…you get to decide whether you wake up and make a huge impact or not. You get to decide whether you leave this world in a better place and help others move FORWARD.
Life is about the impact we create and the legacy we leave…
Make the choice and be a PINK EMU today.