We basically talk about this topic every chance we get. It is one of the biggest reasons why we have created success. Recently we heard someone quote their Italian mother as having said:
“If you shy, you getta nothin!”
We met when we were 15 years old, thanks to some friends. Both of us were labelled as “shy” or “quiet”. It is a miracle that we even connected! This was a label we accepted because we were very introverted. We were very uncomfortable in all social settings, whether it was school, or sports or church. If there was more than one other person in the conversation, we kept quiet for fear of getting judged or laughed at. We even “dated” through MSN messenger almost exclusively in the first year of our relationship, so that we didn’t have to speak face to face!
Fast forward to when we were newlyweds at 22 and trying to figure out how to be successful. We lacked the confidence to express our own ideas and opinions, but deep inside we had big dreams of a full and rewarding life. But who was going to know about them if we couldn’t open our mouths and say something?
IF THERE IS A WHY, THERE IS A WAY
Shortly into the start of our careers, we connected with our cousins who lived a life we desired. We were inspired by their lifestyle and their freedom of not having jobs. But most of all they had joy and confidence. As a family, we observed them growing in their self-confidence and interpersonal skills. But we still didn’t understand how they were able to grow in this way.
Our cousins invited us to come out to a business presentation where they were speaking in front of a few hundred people. We were absolutely captivated by how they led the crowd. They spoke on stage with so much charisma. Inspired by their growth, we started our business soon after that. We knew that we didn’t have to be limited by the labels that others had placed on us. This was an opportunity to reinvent ourselves and to show the world our full potential that we had hidden for so long.
Our cousins, who became our mentors, challenged us to meet one new person each day for ninety days. This was totally terrifying to us and outside of our comfort zone, to say the least. We accepted the challenge because the results of growth and confidence were more important to us than how uncomfortable this challenge might be. That was about nine years ago and we have continued this habit every since. Are we perfect? No. But living out this habit day after day has opened so many doors for us to meet amazing people. We continue to build our people skills by simply saying hi to people. We make eye contact, smile, and maybe go so far as to ask how their day is going. If there is something we truly enjoy or admire about someone, we compliment them.
MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Most of our closest friends today are people who were complete strangers to us before we opened our mouths and said hi to them. If you have a choice between staying the same or growing into God’s potential for you, always choose growth. You could be one conversation away from meeting someone who could become such a blessing to your life.