“If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” – Vincent Van Gogh
“I love creepy old dudes. I love that they have so much self-confidence, despite having no evidence whatsoever to back it up.” – Ke$ha, popstar
“What the heck am I doing?” I thought as I drove in to the nudist colony.
I had just finished “orientation” at what I thought was going to be a job working in a warehouse for $7 an hour. “Those positions are all full,” the guy at the front of the room informed us. “All we have left are these jobs selling vacuum cleaners for straight commission.”
As I got up to leave he started telling us a story of how he had sat in the same chair we were sitting in and how he was now driving a red BMW* and flying places. “Fine I’ll at least stay and listen,” I thought. I was only seventeen years old, and I really wanted both those things.
Next thing you know I’m driving two hours across three towns to some place called “Paradise Lakes” with a $1,700 vacuum cleaner riding shotgun. “This thing costs more than my car,” I thought to myself. “I gotta get that red Beemer.”
So I pull up to the guard gate and the first thing I notice is the guard isn’t wearing a shirt. But I can only see the upper half of his body, and I’m beginning to suspect things.
Shirtless Security: Howdy.
Me: I’m here to see Mr. and Mrs. Iforgettheirnames. My name is Preston Ely. I have an appointment with them at one o clock.
Shirtless Security: Ok, you’re all set. Enjoy.
“Enjoy? Enjoy what?” I wonder apprehensively.
I quickly found out as the gate swung open. Naked people. Everywhere. Not cute one’s either unfortunately.
You ever have one of those moments where you see something so absolutely horrifying and you try to look away, but no matter how hard you try, you just can’t? This was one of those moments. I felt like the fabric of reality had just ripped open and I was getting a glimpse of an alternate universe that was trying to suck me in.
It turns out the owner of this particular vacuum cleaning distributorship had a sense of humor. He initiates all his new salesmen (I was seventeen) with sales calls to the local two-hour-away nudist colony.
“Screw it. I want that Beemer.” I drove up to my prospects building.
Fully Nude Prospect: Yes?
Me: Hi, I’m here to do the demo.
Fully Nude Prospect: Where’s my free prize?
Me: It’s in my pocket. I have to do the demo first.
Fully Nude Prospect: Ok come on in.
I kid you not … I sat there in front of a fully unclothed 80 year old couple doing a vacuum demo for what seemed like 3 days. I was beginning to think it was all an elaborate conspiracy to kidnap me into the colony, but out of nowhere the lady just stood up (I just threw up in my mouth a little bit remembering this) and goes “we’ll take it.”
Me: You’ll take what?
Fully Nude Prospect: The vacuum cleaner. What else?
Me: Are you serious? It’s $1,700. This place is 500 sf.
Fully Nude Prospect: So what?
Me: It’s all tile.
Fully Nude Prospect: Do you want to sell this thing or not, son?
Long story short, she handed my $1,700 in five dollar bills and penny rolls, and, after stopping for a quick game of naked volleyball, I got the heck out of there. I repeated that process a bunch of times (thankfully not at nudist colonies), dropped out of high school, never went to college, switched from vacuum cleaners to real estate, currently drive a 7 series BMW, and I fly places.
I even had the pleasure of flipping two houses to the owner of that vacuum distributorship just a few years ago. Anyone who doesn’t think this is a true story can stalk my mom Susan Ely down on Facebook and ask her.
And I tell you THAT sick story, to say THIS …
What in the world gave me the confidence to think I could take a $1,700 vacuum — which may as well have been a million dollars as far as I was concerned back then — and sell it to anyone, let alone a naked person with no carpet?
Answer: I have absolutely no idea.
I just did it. I knew I could do it, and I did it.
Some people say the key to self-confidence is being prepared, but honestly I’ve never really prepared much. I’ve just always gone out and done the dang thing.
“Well good for you, Preston. That’s you. I’m me.” No, you’re not — not anymore. That’s the whole point of this. Study “mirror neurons.” You’re becoming me as you read. So keep reading.
When I think deeply about what has attributed to my success in life, “self-confidence, despite having no evidence whatsoever to back it up,” as skankstar Ke$ha says, seems to be the underlying factor. I’ve just always believed that I can do anything I set my mind to. A big part of it has been my utter, total and complete disregard for what any human on earth thinks about me. So “fear of failure” never entered the picture.
Maybe it was the fact that my dad used to tell me “son, you are the best” in regards to anything I happened to be doing. He must have told me that a thousand times. Did your dad tell you that? No? Well allow me to temporarily adopt you and be your daddy for a day …
You are the best, my son (daughter). There is something you were born to be the best at, and you are going to find it and be the best!
Your alternative is mediocrity, and I know you are not going to settle for that.
You’re in my world now, and no one loses in my world.
You can do it. Whatever it is you are trying to accomplish right now, I am telling you, you can do it.
How do I know this? Because I did it! And I’m nobody! I just read a bunch of books and got busy. Whoopty doo. It’s not rocket science. But you have got to believe in yourself. You have to KNOW that you are going to succeed. You have to realize that you have it in you to change your life (because you do) and make your dreams come true.
Newsflash — the people up there on stage getting the awards aren’t special; you know that right? They’re not like aliens from outer space and you’re just a mere mortal. Believing that is keeping you average. They simply had the guts to chase their dream, the willpower to stick it out through the “dues paying” period, and they believed in themselves. You’ve got to believe. You absolutely must increase your faith in what you’re capable of or you’re doomed before you even start.
One thing I used to do is repeat the words “I believe” over and over every morning. I’d say it a hundred times over and over. Read books about people who have accomplished great things and let their belief inspire you. Seek out high-minded people who will believe for you. Get a mentor. Mentors don’t just fall from the sky you know. Stop whining that you don’t have someone to help you and go get someone to help you. You’d be amazed the conversion rate “Can I take you to lunch?” has on millionaires. I’m batting a hundred so far (or a thousand – whatever “perfect” is in baseball. I wouldn’t know. I’m too busy counting blessings to count bats). Try going to church. It’s like a rule they have to believe in you there.
I am convinced all of humanity is born with more gifts than we know. domain name appraisals . Most are born geniuses and just get de-geniused rapidly.” – Buckminster Fuller
Listen, there are two types of people in this world — people who make things happen and people who have things happen to them — people who are causes and people who are effects.
You’ve got to take control, start creating your reality, and set yourself up to win. No one is going to do it for you.
You have to make it happen.
You have to take responsibility for your life and realize the truth. And the truth is this …
Every single person on earth was born to be great; it’s just a matter of “at what?”
There is greatness in every single person.
There is greatness in YOU.
But it’s up to you to find it, believe in it, develop it, and live it out. Maybe your parents didn’t cultivate your greatness. cheap hotels Admittedly that is a handicap. But it’s a curable one. I’m telling you now just like Jesus told the lame man 2,000 years ago, “rise up and walk.”
And if you just can’t manage to find self-confidence no matter how hard you try? Freakin fake it.
“I don’t possess a lot of self-confidence. I’m an actor so I simply act confident every time I hit the stage.” – Arsenio Hall
Open up a blank Word document right now and type out “I can do it” one thousand times. I’m not kidding. Do it now. I do stuff like this all the time. Then leave a comment below to tell me how you feel. And don’t forget to click the Facebook and Twitter icons to share the love with your friends!
* He left out the fact that it was a 3 series and it took him 17 years, but oh well; I got my first lesson in Convenient Detail Omission Marketing.