13 Things An Underdog Should Know Before Following Their Dreams (from an underdog)
Tis' the season to re-evaluate your life and business.
To cut out the unnecessary bullsh*t and keep the wins rolling in. Right? Right.
Being an underdog --your work ethic must be laser sharp, samurai smooth and Betty Crocker whipped into shape. There are folks who will test your endurance, present low ball offers and underestimate your skills. Leaving you to manoeuvre through the swampy waters. Forget muddy, it stinks!
When you're constantly overlooked and counted out, you learn to form thick skin.
It makes you more resilient, actually, and the education you receive from bouncing back from several no's and closed doors is the gift...that keeps on giving.
This writing journey for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
"It’s had tacks in it,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
To quote Langston Hughes. And, yet --still I continue to fumble forward.
Here are a few of my gems for underdogs who want to follow their dreams and never EVER -let them see you sweat.
1. You get to be whoever you decide, every day.
Today you can decide to hit the ground running and hustle your butt off. Tomorrow you can take the day off. Both days you're an entrepreneur, a business person or whatever you choose. You don't stop being you because your actions look different.
2. Where you started --isn't where you'll end up. Hustle.
Cardi B said it best, "I used to live in the P's, now it's a crib with a gate." Hustle.
3. Critics exist. Deal.
Anything worth doing, there will be commentary. Some of it will be motivational and encouraging...other times it will come from bad mind people, who didn't think, you would have made it further than them. You get to decide how many fcuks you want to give it. I usually have none left to give after being a mom, business woman and a girlfriend.
4. Every day won't be magic. Deal.
You're not going to want to give it 100%, every day.
Does that mean you don't want success bad enough or does it mean, you're human and we all have off-days? Don't believe those insane entrepreneurs who don't sleep. Sleep is a necessary requirement to function efficiently. If I haven't slept for at least 7 hours every night, I am useless to you.
Those flaws and imperfections make you REAL. And realness is what's lacking these days.
5. Doing what you hate is just as hard as doing what you love. Choose the latter.
Being on both sides: It takes the same amount of energy to get up to a job you hate, as it does to get up to do work you love. There is no difference in morning routine --only the motivation to do it, that is all.
6. Be kind to whoever you meet. Especially if they weren't, they'll regret it. Hustle.
You never know where life can take people...
A couple months back I was working on a project with a business. I loved their work and decided to hire them. It was going fantastic in the beginning (I FOUND MY BIZ BESTIE) and then it went down hill from there. They were unprofessional and didn't return my messages for incomplete work. I ended up paying for things I didn't order and the service matched their salty attitude. If this had ended differently, I would have referred their business. Over the following months, I gained various contacts by sitting on business committees and working with large organizations that desperately needed service providers who are professional. They needed that same service I just had a bad experience with.
It was lesson to me as well --treat all your customers like royalty! You never know who they know. Word of mouth is alive and kicking. Unfortunately, that business owner wasn't kind and in kind lost future business.
7. Everyone wants to be understood (Underdogs know this more than anybody). Tell your story to connect deeper.
Everyone has a story. We connect with people through our experiences, it makes us more relatable. When we can identify someone's values we can see how their product or service best suits us. Less thinking and more action from the emotional creatures we are.
8. Invest heavily in YOU (books, courses, branding, mentors, practice, exercise, nutrition). It shows in everything you do.
Man, I can't put a number on how much reading has increased my worth and value. What I didn't know --I would go to the library and read up then put it into practice. I've learned how to price my work, ask for more, and be confident in negotiations. Here are a few of the books that poured into me.
Reading is the key!
Investing in yourself is the key!
Don't be afraid to hire someone who can do the job better than you. Time is just as valuable to your growth and you always get ROI when you bank on yourself. That is what I know for sure.
9. Nobody should believe in your dreams more than you do. FACTS.
I can root for you but I can't kneel for you.
I can show you the way but I can't lift your foot.
I can be your biggest supporter but I can't motivate you to get up in morning.
When you have passion it becomes your internal alarm clock. It drives everything you do! Now, I won't tell you to go find your passion but like I mentioned earlier: invest in yourself. Because when you're more educated on WHAT YOU CAN DO, you begin to realize you don't have enough time to do ALL THAT YOU CAN DO.
That's a FACT.
10. Your weakness is your strength. Market it --as that.
Too young? You're more hungry, more nimble. Too old? You're more seasoned, more patient. Not enough experience? You can pivot easier. Run with the cards you were dealt.
11. Be present. That space in time CAN NOT be re-lived.
When I was in Costa Rica last year for a business retreat with 20 other business women. I turned to one of them and said, "We will never get this time back, with the same people in the same place. This is it. This moment. I am going to enjoy every second of it." And she agreed and we did.
I don't miss that time period because I milked it when I was there. Drank all the wine, ate all the empanadas and soaked in all of the knowledge from those women in the trenches with me.
12. Being underestimated is our superpower.
Go the extra mile. Show up earlier, shake everyone's hand, smile brighter, follow through, give 110%. It costs you nothing. This recently gave me the edge for a gig I acquired, not because I was qualified. I did the most simplest thing any business can do --I followed through.
13. It takes time to make money but you'll make it --if you're consistent.
There's a reason why you can't be consistent without persistence. You can't have one without the other. Once you DECIDE to be consistent, every obstacle you can think of pops up and it's your job to charge through them. Build up the resilience and persist.
You must persist.
Persist you must.