I Am No Longer The Smartest Person In My Room…
This year, for the first time, my company will take just over £1 million. Cause for celebration? Perhaps.
Unfortunatley, reaching this milestone has led to the realisation that I am no longer the smartest person in my room…
For as long as I can remember I have positioned myself in a way that has meant I was always at the top of my room.
It was during secondary school that the idea of my room came into being. After seeing genius in others, I created a belief that regardless of how hard you worked there would always be someone smarter, fitter or faster.
Whilst I was trying to break into the 1st XI cricket team (Americans, think baseball but played over 5 days…) a young man a few years below me was so incredibly gifted that as a 13 year old he was playing for the 1st team — normally the place of 18 year olds. At 13 years old the sport coaches were saying he would play for England.
As I type this he is doing just that against India.
Another was so gifted at mathematics that he went on to represent the UK in competitions all around the world, Cambridge and Google followed.
Both have worked incredibly hard to get where they are now and have suffered setbacks on the way but both, I believe, had a natural starting point much higher than most.
Upon discovering that people like this actually exsisted I decided that no matter how hard I worked in a chosen field, unless I was a genius, I would never make it right to the top.
I would have to create a different route.
And so I started to build my room. A room in which I would always be at the top.
Rather than struggling to get into the 1st XI cricket team, I would make sure I was the best in the 2nd XI.
In maths, sure I could have worked really hard and made it into the set above (in fact this happened for a year) but in the end I choose the easy path and became top of the class in the set below.
I think this is something we all do at some point in our lives. We reach a certain point and decide that no matter what we do we will not make the next level.
Make no mistake, it is the easy decision and an admission of failure as we retract into our comfort zone.
The journey to £1 million has included many big mistakes but I have always known that I was the smartest in my room and comfortable with that.
In the past few weeks I have found myself in a familiar position. I am now at a point where the people and competitors entering the room are better.
What to do? Do I downgrade rooms? It is after all the route I have come to rely on.
No, not today. Whilst I may not be the natural genius, I have worked hard to move my own starting point. And in moving my starting point I have grown more than I could have ever imagined.
I don’t just need to upgrade my room, I need to start building my house.