For all my life, I’ve been surrounded by the notion of empowerment…”be your own boss,” “take charge”, “change the world,” “climb the ladder.” For a young girl who had quite the imagination, this was a heady notion. I needed to make my mark on the world, however that may be. What I didn’t realize until recently though, was I didn’t need to be the leader to feel empowered.
For all the people you see in the world, making it big as CEOs, politicians, scientists and even as influencers, it sometimes makes you think you aren’t doing enough. I felt that way for a long time. I‘m a highly creative person…I felt I needed to push myself to sell art, make a name for myself. I saw my husband doing just that, creating a pottery business from the ground up, getting his name out there and selling more and more. I felt I needed to do that too. Do all the art shows, grow business on Instagram and constantly churn out art. Problem is, I’m the type of person that dabbles in a new thing every few months, I don’t really have an art form that I consistently stick with. Every time I tried to sell something new I would get stressed when I didn’t see sales, lose interest and quit.
I didn’t have my “AHA” moment about what I was doing wrong until much later. What they don’t tell most people about being your own boss, or being top tier at your field, is that their personality is usually what makes them succeed. Confidence, focus, drive, having an analytical brain, intuition…being able to give 110% all the time. I get stressed easy, my confidence waivers, and I definitely can’t focus for very long before getting distracted.
Yes, some people can overcome their weaker traits if you really work at it, but the push is all the more harder to succeed than someone it comes naturally to. At first, this realization made me frustrated and sad. I wanted to make my mark. Live the dream life. I felt like a failure if I didn’t have my name out there.
What I came to discover though was I was living a pretty amazing life, doing many things I’ve always wanted to do. Travel the world, tinker on my own historic home, collect interesting vintage and antiques. I was also a version of myself that I could be proud of. I enjoy my career and feel like I do a good job being patient and friendly with customers. I have a loving husband and great relationships with family and friends. I worked hard on getting myself healthy, and I achieved really hard goals I thought I’d never see.
This is enough for me, I don’t need to be the innovator, the leader, the entrepreneur. I am loyal, patient (mostly), hard-working, and empathetic. I don’t need the traits of a leader because I have the traits of an equally important role, the support system.
The supporting roles are what makes the leaders of the world succeed. They are the backbone for customers relations, voting in laws, making products, growing food…you name it. For me personally, I take pride now in being the support system that helps my husband’s small business grow. He has all the right qualities in being a successful entrepreneur, but there is only so much one person can do, and that’s where I come in. I help at his shows, pitch in on the behind the scenes grunt work, and provide encouragement every step of the way. I’m also an important supporting role in my airline, giving customers the best customer service I can and getting them safely to their destinations. I support my community in small ways, volunteering or investing at events for local businesses that I care about personally.
A supporting role is the sum of all the little efforts that make big change. The people behind the scenes that make big ideas run smoothly. You don’t have to be the leader at the front lines to make something happen.
Thank you for reading my ramblings, I hope they help someone else struggling with the same issue 🙂