My first business was launched the day I realized I was the smartest person in the room.
I was working in a group therapy practice and just miserable. Long story short, I was working with clients who were not my ideal and giving away 50% of my income for the pleasure of working for someone else.
Being an introvert and a people watcher, I was in a meeting with my colleagues one day and listening to some petty complaint about something or other (It may have been about toilet paper or coffee grounds, leaving food in the fridge…You know, stuff that really matters.) and 3 things suddenly occurred to me.
- This job is bullshit. I have a baby at home and am wasting my time listening to people whine about food in the fridge.
- I’m smarter than these people because if I was in charge of this meeting, we wouldn’t be talking about this bullshit.
- I can do this business better.
And that, as they say, was where history was made. Or at least, MY history.
Because it was in that moment that I stopped thinking like a lowly employee who had to follow the rules and empowered myself to think like a boss, with a brain and ideas that made sense, a vision that mattered and the ability to make my dream reality.
When you are the smartest person in the room
Somewhere you are the smartest person in the room. Maybe it’s at work, or at the gym or in your kids’ playgroup. Often you know more than other people. Sometimes you rise up to expert status.
This is good and wonderful. But you were probably conditioned at some point in your life that smart was bad, knowing you were smart was worse and talking about your smarts made you a selfish “bad” person.
So you spend your entire life trying to hide your intelligence from others and ultimately hide it from yourself.
I have been there. It took me 20 years and the mama-bear drive of wanting to be home with my baby to finally own my own intelligence. Maybe it was exhaustion, post partum hormones or increasing age, but on that day, talking about food in fridge, I had reached the end of my humble rope.
To be clear, I did not leave that meeting yakking about my smarts. I just kept my head down and did what I had to do to build my own business.
I owned my intelligence in myself. I walked taller, spoke with more confidence, believed in my own ability to grow and do good things. Externally, I looked no different. Internally, I was a completely new person.
To build a profitable business you need to own your intelligence and build a business around it. If you are the smartest cupcake maker you know, build a business around cupcake baking (we will all love you for it). If you are the smartest scrapbooker you know, build that scrapbooking business. Don’t build a business you think you should build. Build the one that makes you look and feel competent and where you can wash the windows with the competition (because they are not in their own smart-zone).
Erase the old tapes that told you to keep your intelligence and success to yourself. Playing dumb gets you nowhere.
Don’t accept bullshit. When you are wasting your time with other people’s junk, choose to stop giving your time to them.
You can help someone else build their dream if you just want to get along.
To build your dream, you need to own your smarts.