Pat yourself on the back once in a while

This week marks the 13th year of my syndicated newspaper column (that you read here on the SpeakFreewithJB.com website!) For 12 and a half years I have been hosting my syndicated radio show. It started a few years before I bought my house and officially formed a media company.

Slugging it out in my parents’ basement as a hopeful entrepreneur I started writing newspaper columns in the hopes of getting noticed. Keep in mind this was long before the days of social media and instant exposure.

My writing caught the eye of a radio producer in Vancouver who wanted me to voice the column for a chat show that aired on his local station. I did it but still had my sights on being a reporter at the Winnipeg Free Press. (I eventually had a column in that paper thanks to my bestselling book about being cheap… er, thrifty.)

But after co-hosting a couple shows on the airwaves I got a taste of what running a broadcast program would be like. I liked it. Ultimately I was given a two-hour time slot to host a music show and then it spun off into the other directions I just listed – writing books, columns, etc.

When I reflect on my time as an entrepreneur – and most people who work for themselves – I find that I give other people more credit than I do myself. You always see that at awards shows where acceptance speeches are a person’s opportunity to thank everyone around them and what made them who they are.

Rarely does someone step up to the microphone and say, “Yes, I deserve this recognition. I worked harder on this project than I ever have before and I put everything I have into it.”

There is a way of saying that without it coming across as arrogant. As an entrepreneur, though it might seem selfish, I give myself all the credit. Sure, I can recognize that friends were there to encourage me or say kind things when I had a stumble but that’s also what you would expect from a friend. At the end of the day, it was me who had the creativity and the drive and persistence to make things what they became.

Maybe I am only speaking from my own personal experience but I don’t consider myself “lucky” or “blessed” or “fortunate” or any of those other pretty words people use to humbly describe their life. I made things happen and I worked damn hard at it. There is nothing wrong with taking credit for your accomplishments.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to spit on the people around you. I am saying to give yourself more credit for your successes than you might normally.

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