Since we started really moving in our business, I’ve been struggling with the differences between Pace and myself.
Pace is a Rock Star.
I am a wallflower.
Being a rock star is super useful when you’re an entrepreneur. She makes friends easily. She’s open, she’s popular, she’s extremely charismatic. People flock to her. Everywhere we go, she runs into someone she knows and likes. She makes new friends easily, trusts easily, and sees the best in everyone. She joined Facebook a few weeks ago and in 24 hours had over 200 friends – and the same with Twitter.
It’s amazing. It’s awesome. It’s even useful.
But for a wallflower, it’s intimidating.
I spent a lot of my time feeling like I’m lost in Pace’s shadow. She’s so bright, people forget about me or don’t see me to begin with – and then I forget about my own awesome and started wishing I was more like Pace. I see how awesome and confident she is, how much others adore her, and I lose sight of myself and focus on how different I am from her: I open slowly. I make friends easily, but get close with difficulty. I have trouble with trust. I’m a Guardian, so I guard myself. And, like most of us, I get insecure sometimes.
When I get insecure, I get that desire to walk pre-forged paths. And Pace forges her path with a flamethrower, so that seems like a nice, easy way to go, eh?
But when I walk my own path, I’m fully myself. And I love myself – I like being me! Being Pace is awesome – for Pace – but it’s not for me. For me, it involves a lot of being someone I’m not and acting in ways that are discordant with my nature.
Wednesday, we were on a marketing call with Naomi from IttyBiz. The subject at hand was “networking for wallflowers”, so when she opened it up for questions I asked, “What do you do when one partner is wallflowery and the other is a rock star, and you want to make sure neither are held back or outshined?”
She responded, “Play to your strengths.”
I started crying.
I didn’t know my strengths! And the few I was aware of don’t feel like anything that would help the business – and I felt like I’m not good enough to be Pace’s business partner. She deserves a rock star partner! After many tears and much talking, Pace suggested I sit down and make a list of my strengths.
So I did.
Sitting there on the floor staring at the blank sheet in my notebook, I expected five or ten things to come out. A few here and there, things I’m awesome at and really enjoy. A short but awesome list.
In the end, I had 53 things.
I was giddy by the end of it. I stopped writing several times, dazzled at myself. 53 things I’m awesome at, 53 things I can count as strengths. 53 things that I do well – most of which Pace doesn’t (which isn’t the point, but was a surprising realization).
I’m the yin to Pace’s yang. I’m the coolness to her heat. She’s the sunshine that helps my flowers grow. She’s the…
Okay, enough with the dorky metaphors, but you get the picture. Pace has strengths – but so do I. And hers aren’t better than mine, they’re different. Without me, there’s a lot that wouldn’t work well for her, and vice versa. Our differences are what make us a good team.
To go back to being dorky, our differences are what make us special. Without them, we’d be on Camazotz, and that’d be no fun whatsoever. All that ball bouncing, ick.
Anyway. If you’re feeling insecure, if you’re wondering what you bring to the table – or to the world – make a list. Write them down. I bet you’ll be as surprised at the sheer quantity of your strengths as I was at mine.
53. Who’d’ve thought?