On Being "Self Made"

Paul Kearley

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Leaders grow; they are not made.

Peter Drucker

I think I was around 12 or 13 when my father started his own business. I remember going in to the city with a stack of flyers that we were supposed to put in peoples’ mailboxes or in between their doors. My brother Neil and I worked one area of the City, while brothers Wade and Geoff worked another. It only took a morning or so to deliver them all, but that investment of time and energy sure paid off for Dad in the long run. It seemed that, from that day on, he was always busy fixing everything that the customers could throw at him. After that, I don’t remember him having to do any more advertising, because the quality of his workmanship always spoke for itself, and his business grew by leaps and bounds with the amount of referrals that he got.

On many occasions, when I would have a day off, or during holidays, I would go with him on his calls. For me, it was always fascinating to watch how he would always know the problem before he even took off the casings of the appliances. On the rare occasion that he didn’t know, it never really took him long to solve the problem. The customers seemed to be amazed at how fast he could be in and out of their homes with the problem fixed so that they could go on with their normal lives. It seemed like there was absolutely nothing that he couldn’t fix.

You’d think that to be so effective as a serviceman that he would have gone to trade school for a long period of time to learn the physics of electronics, the workings of syncro systems, the principles of refrigeration, or even the magic of customer service. But, you see, my father was a self made man. He taught himself. He didn’t grow up in a family business and learn the trade from his father; his father was a carpenter so my father had to find his own voice and his own way all on his own.

Actually, we are all self-made. Some, better made than others, but all self made are all the same. Who we are is a result of the choices and actions that we have made up to this point in our lives. So, we really have no right to complain if our lives aren’t where we think that they should be, we simply need to re-make ourselves. It’s never too late. Ask Colonial Sanders. His Chicken career started when he retired.

“Self Made" people are people who discovered or went their own way instead of following the “family farm" way of life or thinking. There are many “self-made" people out there that we hear about. Many of the largest and most famous fortunes that we hear about from history (Getty, Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, etc. ) were built by ordinary people. Being self made may not be an easy thing to do, but it’s not as hard as you may think either. It takes dedication, resolve, commitment and consistency, but first it takes vision. Self made people don’t go around looking for the right path to take or the right way to live; they have their own picture of what it is that they want to be and they have made their lives a mission to reach that picture. Each and every day they tirelessly create and sometimes re-create the type of people that they want to be. Just as an artist looks at a blank canvas before starting a painting, most successful self made people look at their lives in much the same way. They are only focused on what they could create out of what they have at the present moment in time, not what may have been in the past. They realize that the past really doesn’t matter in the game of life, because it cannot be directed.

What can be directed are our thoughts and our attitudes. When we understand that we can take an active part in the creation of our own lives, no matter what our circumstances, then and only then are we free to paint on our canvas of life. We already have all of the colours and all of the tools for our self-made painting waiting inside of us, just waiting to be used; we have just to use them.

So, this week, why not ask yourself “What kind of self do I want to be?" Leave behind the stereotypes of how you think you “should" be and focus on the road ahead, not on where you’ve been. If you are not where you want to be, then rethink everything. How is your mental life, how about physical or emotional, what about your spiritual well being, are they where you want them to be? If not, what will you do about it? To be self made is to be action oriented. So take action and be who you choose to be!

Have fun creating the you that you want to be!

Make this your best week ever.

For 22 years, Paul Kearley has thrived in the personal development and coaching business. As a Master Coach for the past 10 years, Paul’s passion is in developing and creating increased potential with both clients and other trainers. A columnist for two newspapers in Eastern Canada, and editor for his own weekly ezine, Paul writes articles that address the everyday challenges we all have and face in life and in business, and offers suggestions for success.

If you’d like to connect with Paul or subscribe to “E-Motion" his weekly ezine, simply goto the web site at http://www.mustfactor.com or by calling 506 433 4722.


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