I started selling things when I was 6 years old and going to Kindergarten
on the bus. I use to take chalk, grind it up into a powder, add some food
coloring and put it into a little cups. I'd put it on when I was out of sight
of my mother and the other girls would want some too. I would sell it for
5 cents a cup.
Until the bus driver told on me, I had a pretty good thing going! I didn't
have to really sell it. I put it on in front of the kids and they would want
it too. I didn't really talk to anyone, just used it and took their money.
I was a stutterer when I was young, I couldn't really articulate what I wanted
to say, which is a dangerous thing in my family. You were easy prey if you
were damaged in any way. So, I retreated inside my self and decided that
if I wanted to survive this life, I needed to be invisible and I've done a pretty
good job so far.
I grew up around extroverts. My grandfather and grandmother were
politically outspoken and engaged. My grandfather was Royal born into
the oldest living Monarchy in the world, as was my grandmother.
They were active in their roles and among their people. My aunt was Miss
Illinois, very outspoken, beautiful and married a into a prominent family.
My father was All-American in Football, went on to play college and
advance to Professional. He was always in the paper, he exuded that panache
and excitement from the field into whatever he was doing.
My cousins are all the same as well, very much Extroverts...married movie
producers, or ended up as actresses themselves, Real Estate Tycoons or some
thing in business. I was always considered quiet and weak in the tribe.
I could sing, but hated the attention. I was pushed on to the stage, into voice
into performance by my father, probably as a competitive thing with his
siblings. The family always would say, "oh, she's kinda pretty, but she's weak so
she'll never amount to anything. She's not as smart as the other's, she's not
as capable as the other's...so, nothing special." That was what the family
thought about me. My father had other plans for me, I think to prove that
his kid was just as good as the rest of them.
My grandmother loved me. The rest of the family said that she didn't "love"
me, she "pitied" me. She felt bad that I was born "special", I wasn't as pretty
as the other girl cousins, I wasn't as smart, I was fat, I was awkward, I was
doomed to a life of poverty and ignorance because I wasn't as good as them.
If you go to one of our family reunions, they will all still tell you the same thing
about me...I am nothing, I am no good, nobody loved me, nobody cared. My
son went to a family reunion after he graduated from college. He had never met
that part of the family before and thought it would be a great opportunity.
He sat down with my Aunt in a park one day, and she said all the phrases
again. My son came back and said..."I know now why you stayed away
from your family. Wow! I have never heard such hate and contempt for the
memory of a little kid before!"
I think that school of thought from the family is what drove me into introvert
behavior. From our extended family I was raised like cake batter, physically
, verbally and mentally beaten often and thoroughly until smooth and
pliable. I remained quiet until I was older and moved away from the
influence of the family, but while I was with them, I observed.
I observed and remembered everything.
The reason why I write this is because it's important to see your foundation
as a person so you can see your foundation as a business person. What do you
deem important?, what drives you?, what motivates you to do what you do?
Can you forget the past pain, learn the lessons and move on into something
that is productive and profitable? Yes, yes you can.