In my family business, I would always try to measure the amount of business that I got on my own. How much of our clients were from my promotions. My efforts. How much of the clients are MY customers. Me, me, me. All about me, myself, and I.
It’s a tough way to measure things, because the matter of fact is that we can never do things on our own. We are never alone. We always depend on others for a multitude of things.
For example, for one of our customer base, I rely on my factory to produce the materials for the client. I rely on the client having sufficient demand in their downstream stakeholders to order materials. I rely on the freight forwarder to handle the air freight from China to the USA. I rely on my dad to provide me with invaluable advice on handling this client. And I rely on the upstream suppliers to provide the raw materials necessary to produce this product for the client.
The list goes on and on. It’s a never-ending supply of support. And I can’t do it without the help of all these people. Making money is tough, but you can never do it alone. You always need help.
You can take credit for it as much as you want. But, whether you like it or not, it’s a total team effort from the top to the bottom. So, I am grateful to have the support of all these stakeholders across the supply chain to keep his deal alive and moving.
It’s not easy to find sustainable customers like that. All the factors have to fall into place. And everything needs to fall in line. The customer needs the right material with the right specs. The factory needs to have sufficient raw materials to produce the supply. There needs to be a steady stream of air freight to transport the materials. And we need to trust in the cooperation of all our partners.
It feels like the moon needs to line up with the Earth in order to complete a deal sometimes. So, I respect the businessmen and businesswomen for their tenacity in showing up everyday and accepting the struggle of rejection. Doing business is not easy and it’s a total team effort for all involved.
Same goes with any accomplishment that you achieve on this world. It is never done alone. Michael Jordan is definitely the best NBA player on the planet (in my humble opinion) - having won 6 NBA championships in his lifetime. But, even he needed help. He needed Scottie Pippen, his wingman. He needed Phil Jackson, his hall of fame coach. He needed his teammates to step up during clutch situations. And he needed the game of basketball to provide a forum to showcase his utter talent.
He needed all of those in order to become the absolute superstar that he is today. Without all these factors lined up for him, he would not have won those NBA championships. And he would not have become this global sensation that he is now.
So, all superstars, all success stories, all heroes, all leaders, are not out there simply fighting the good fight on their lonesome. They need a huge backing of supporters. They need fans. They need followers. They need the problems that come with their responsibility. They need all these factors in order to make them whom they are today.
For me, in the Toastmaster realm, I’m glad to have accomplished a DTM in my lifetime. The DTM award is the pinnacle of Toastmasters achievement - having to provide a variety of speeches, and volunteer in various leadership capacities at the club and District level. But, I am well aware that my accomplishment is not an individual accolade. It comes from a wealth of support throughout over a decades worth of progress.
From the members of my home club, True Potential, allowing me to thrive and practice my leadership skills in organizing and producing events. It comes from other clubs I’ve been a part of, like Queens Best and Advance for Excellence, for allowing me the forum to give speeches that hopefully have practical value in someone’s lives. It’s about the members that chose me to be a mentor for them in hopes of helping them develop their speaking, personal, and leadership skills.
And it’s about the mentors that I had that encouraged me to go on. Whom gave me invaluable advice on communication. Whom provided me with awards and recognition to acknowledge my accomplishments throughout this meaningful journey. It’s about everyone that touched my life both within and outside Toastmasters. It’s about all of this rolled in one.
I could not have achieved a DTM on my lonesome. It was a total team effort. Even my friends and family outside of Toastmasters played a role in my progress - whether they know it or not!
So, at the end of day, it’s okay to feel proud of your achievements. You deserve it. But, just realize, that the journey was not done alone. You most likely had so much support throughout the process to reach the end point. Whether it was direct or indirect, there was a wealth of people cheering you on and helping you out on your goals and desires. It’s a total team effort. No one walks the Earth alone ever.