The single most important piece of advice that someone once gave me was, “Never sell yourself short.” When I heard it for the first time, I dismissed it as “Hallmark card advice.” But when I was let go from a company that I helped start and was forced to make a living and provide for my family on my own, that simple advice became more and more powerful to me.
Days after being let go, I started my own business. It was a small operation printing, packaging and fulfilling media materials, like DVDs or CDs for corporations. As the company started to gain traction, I realized that even though I’m just one guy working from my living room, no one else in the world knew that. I realized that if I worked hard, was confident and could deliver, there wasn’t an order I couldn’t fulfill.
I eventually won contracts with some of the largest companies in the world, companies like Disney, Thomson Reuters, and Cummins Engine. And yes, eventually some of my contacts would find out that I was just one man in a living room. That impressed them even more.
What I’m getting at is that perception is reality. If you think of yourself as just a small organization or a poor non-profit, then you’re going to be just a small organization or a poor non-profit. If you want to be successful, you need to know you and your value. You need to have a clear vision and be confident in your roadmap to success.
If the path to success means charging just a little bit more on your adoptions or letting go of your marketing person, then you need to be confident in those decisions. If your path means investing in technology, then you need to trust yourself and just make the leap.
Change is not always easy. It’s not always fun. But it is the only way that you’re ever going to evolve.
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