22 Sep The value of Brazil
Last winter was so cold that I seriously thought about retiring and moving to Florida. I mentioned this to one of my oldest friends who happens to live in Florida. “What?” she said. “Are you crazy?” (She says this whenever moving to Florida pops into my head.) But then she said something else. She said, “You can’t retire. You still have so much to give to the world.” At the time I let that comment pass right through me.
Two weeks ago, when I found myself standing in front of 956 people in Brazil her words came back. An hour and a half later, when I finished my lecture to rousing applause and kids running on stage to take photos with me like I was some marketing rock star, I realized what she was talking about. I had lost sight of my own value.
I run across people all the time who have some version of this. Many of them are clients. Some have trouble asking for the fees that compensate them fairly for what they bring to the world. Others feel they are too old to contribute to world that, changed daily by technology, seems increasingly foreign to them. They have forgotten what has gotten them to this point in the first place. Or some just feel like charlatans fooling the world, believing if it’s that easy for them, it MUST be easy for everyone else too.
When we’ve been doing something for so long and it’s relatively effortless to us, it’s easy to forget that the knowledge we have accumulated over the years is not knowledge that everyone else has.
We forget that experience is really what matters. Not what degrees you have or how many folks are connected to you on LinkedIn. But what you have actually done in the world. How much time you’ve put in. What successes you’ve had, for yourself and for others.
My two weeks in Brazil were fabulous. Rio, São Paulo and the Pantanal. Each a different adventure. But by far the best part of that adventure for me was sharing my skill set. Hearing the appreciative applause. And remembering my own value.