Yesterday I was driving a friend to the airport and he asked me if my Hubby and I travel much. My first thought was that we don’t because we go long periods of time without taking a trip. And so much of our “travel” has been to see family (his in Oregon and Tennessee and mine in Georgia when my bro was in the military). But when my friend started listing the places he wanted to go, I found myself saying, “Oh, I’ve been there! You really need to check out (fill in the blank here) when you go!”
So me thinking we don’t really go anywhere quickly turned into me telling my friend about the several countries I’ve been to in Northern Europe and that the most take-your-breath-away scenery is The Great Fjords in Norway, which I saw at sunrise while on a ship. Second to that would be the mountains that jut out of the water while driving the Sea to the Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler in British Columbia. I’ve been to Asheville, North Carolina four times to see the Biltmore Estate and it never ever gets old. The most relaxing vacations have been the ones I’ve taken to Mexico where the people are so lovely and the resorts are cleaner than a hospital (they wash the insides of the outdoor garbage cans). Not to mention my favorite U.S. trip was when we drove from Tennessee (during the fall) to Thomas Jefferson’s estate, Monticello, in Virginia to George Washington’s home in Mount Vernon to Washington D.C.
So why do I think I haven’t traveled? Because long periods of time of NOT doing it seems like I never did it. And I notice this happens with accomplishments as well. When you go long periods of time without a “success,” you start to think you’ve never had any. Or because they were so long ago they don’t count anymore.
I made the Dean’s List multiple times in college.
I won the prestigious “Counter of the Year” award as a makeup artist at Nordstrom.
I ran marathons for almost ten years, decreasing my race time by 15-20 minutes every year.
I took a start-up non-profit that was struggling and garnered them over 50 press mentions and a $100,000 donation.
I created and implemented the marketing campaign for the largest public affairs event in Northern California, and wrote the six-hour speech which included the introduction for General Colin Powell, to which he remarked was the best of his entire career.
I started a business—in memory of my 28 year old sister who died from Breast Cancer—which had national press in three weeks, over 100 features total, raised thousands of dollars for charity, and had over 30,000 unique visits a month to the website (from almost every country in the world).
The year after my sister died, I helped my mom and her friends with their American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life Team. We raised $25,000 in three months, breaking the record for our city and getting my sister’s story in the newspaper. Because of that success, ACS offered me my own territory of Relay for Life Teams, to which I turned down.
I helped one of my doctors market his struggling practice and his revenue increased in nine days.
I’ve gotten clients their own columns on The Huffington Post.
I’ve taught business owners, who have spent tens of thousands on PR without anything to show for it, how to do their own publicity and watched them land press opportunities just days after our work together.
I’ve had multiple articles on marketing and PR published.
I. AM. A. WALKING. TALKING. PUBLICITY. MACHINE.
So why do I forget about all I’ve done? And why doesn’t it seem like it was enough?
I think it’s because when you have a business where you coach, launch, write and create products, there is a lot of quiet time where you are buried in your laptop and the person you see the most is your mailman. And unless you’re filming a reality show, no one sees that part of it. Just like you don’t see that part in other business owners’ lives. You just see when they’ve finished something. When it’s done. When it’s launched. Whether it’s a new website, a course, a book—whatever it is, it took a lot of time and effort with no champagne, cupcakes or cheering. Just unattractive work.
When I write articles for publication, coach clients, do research, create my PR course all while in PJs, downing wine wondering if I know what the hell I’m doing, there aren’t 4,000 people listening like there were when I wrote the introduction for General Powell. It’s just me putting it together to put out to whoever needs it. There isn’t always applause, spotlights and a camera crew. Which shouldn’t lessen the accomplishment or take away its glory.
Because I have an online business that is in no way connected to where I live, I’ve gone from not being able to walk into a restaurant without seeing someone I knew (usually the CEO or president of some huge company) to being able to run around town unnoticed (which I love). But the downside of that is the feeling that what you’re creating isn’t seen or big enough, that because it’s no longer done in a suit from a ginormous office but rather on the couch next to your fur baby, it’s not “success.”
I’m here to tell you it’s all a success. Every bit of it. The fact that you went out on your own—despite what others said and being terrified you would fail—and put you and your creations out for anyone and everyone to either love, hate or judge is more than most people ever do in a lifetime.
So don’t forget all that you’ve done, all that you’re doing and all that you will do. Because as insignificant as it might feel to you, it may be the whole world to someone else.