One of my recent consulting clients, the phenomenally talented Shenee of Eight Thirty Five, invited me to be a stop on her story tour. Enjoy, then be sure to click through to the rest of the tour stops.
The other day I read yet another story of yet another blogger whose blog struck a chord, took off and earned her a handsome full-time income in under a year.
In a flash, I felt the jaws of the Comparison Trap start to close around my psyche once again.
Why hadn’t I managed to make such a success out of my online efforts? What was wrong with me? Was I simply a failure, destined to spend my life working at building an internet empire that never quite makes it? Should I throw in the towel and just give up altogether?
I recognized this feeling. Something about this was familiar…
Then it hit me that I’d felt this way not so long ago, back when I was single and looking, on the quest to find a life partner.
While other single women I knew found “The One” on their first or second internet date, I persevered for years, through dozens of dates (57 in one 2 1/2 year period alone).
There were times when I wondered if I’d still be single and looking in my 80s.
How I envied those other women! It seemed to come so easily for them. Where was my special guy?
It may not be love at first sight, but it’s my story and I’m sticking with it
From my present time perspective, I understand that my story is just different. No less romantic (in fact, I would argue even more so, though I’ll admit I’m a little biased). No less special, just different.
Where others have stories of love at first sight, my story is of persistence and patience, of a slow boil, of taking the time to really get to know myself and to discover that the person I’d never seen as a “contender” was, in fact, the best of the bunch.
Instead of love at first sight, my story is of gradually wandering into love.
Perhaps, I realized, the story of my business isn’t a story of failure, but of gradual evolution, just like the story of my relationship. It seems I’m not one of the blessed destined for overnight success, but that’s not the only valid route.
One more story of persistence
Stories are powerful. Stories can offer hope, a vision of possibility. The simple act of retelling myself my story of slow success in my dating life shored me up for the path ahead in my business life.
As I write this, it’s Theodor Geisel’s birthday. You know Theodor Geisel? He’s better known as much-loved children’s book author Dr. Seuss.
How’s this for a story of persistence: Dr. Seuss’s first children’s book was rejected by at least 27 publishers. Geisel almost burned the manuscript after so many rejections, but it finally did get published, and sold 6 million copies.
Stories of success come with lots of different plot lines. Pick the ones that work for you.