This is a reprint of Susan Sherbert’s business humor column from Caypen Magazine
Stand up and fight for yourself
This Caypen Magazine business/humor colum is about courage. But not the kind of courage where you are willing to risk everything to make someone else’s life better. No the courage I’m going to talk about is a bit more on the selfish side. It’s about the courage to take a stand to fight for what you believe in. To have the guts to stand up for yourself, and not let others push you around. This selfish kind of courage is what entrepreneurs are made of.
I suppose the battle for yourself really starts in childhood when you want to wear the green cape and purple boots to school but your parents won’t let you. At that young age you’ve probably already learned to please others to get along, so reluctantly you take off your purple boots and put on sneakers. Unfortunately, as we get older, too often the problem gets worse. It’s like when someone asks you what you want to eat. You feel like an ice cream, but you don’t want to be thought of as a pig, so you shrug your shoulders and say nothing. Someone suggests a salad, so you order a salad too. How stupid was that! Would your friends think less of you because you ordered an ice cream? And if you did happen to stand up for yourself and order that ice cream, would you then feel the need to explain yourself and justify that you had an extra long workout that morning?
If you want to be an entrepreneur, you absolutely must learn to stand up for what you believe in. Sure you need to seek the advice of others and value their opinions, but you must be true to yourself and have the guts to stand firm and disagree. Entrepreneurs tend to be dreamers and most grown ups tend to live in a reality based world. For example, one day I decided I needed a lifetime dream, so I decided I was going to golf every golf course inCalifornia, I was excited about my dream so I rushed to tell my reality based golf buddies. “You can’t do that” they all said. “Do you know how many golf courses there are? And how are you going to get on all of those private courses?”
Well it was my dream, my life, and my choice to live the dream or let my friends squash the vision right out of my head. So I stood up for myself. I found a book that listed all 864 courses so I began playing, and checking courses off the list. And the funny thing is, once they realize that I wasn’t going to give in, do you know what happened? They wanted to become part of the journey too. “Hey, I know a friend that can get you on to this private course, and maybe my other buddy can help you with a few more.”
The point of all this is that it takes real courage to believe in yourself. Do you see the little cartoon drawing I use as my headshot? Magazine editors take one look at that and ask for a real photo, but I stand my ground and explain that I write a humor column, and that drawing is Susan Sherbert, so it stays. Using that cartoon takes courage… Or maybe I’m just being totally chicken, and don’t want people to recognize me if they don’t like my humor.