The balance between being GREAT and being GREATful.
A long-winded, self-affirmation that I’m proactively pursuing my passion.
Someone sent me a message earlier this week— they told me I post too much about my businesses, and that I should “turn my arrogance down a notch.”
Initially, this was was my reaction:
But this statement on my unbeknownst arrogance, prompted a week-long introspection of my passion, purpose, and intent. This post is my long-winded affirmation, that I actually #dgaf (look it up, Baby Boomers) about that person’s opinion.
Do you want to know what makes me somewhat uncomfortable? Talking about myself, what I’ve done, and what I’ve accomplished. Yes, the person that wrote Toot Your Own Horn feels uncomfortable Tooting. His. Own. Horn. Being comfortable doing something and knowing that you need to do something are two different mentalities and I am still working on that balance.
If we are being candid, I was often coined with unwarranted adjectives like the one I received this week, such as: “arrogant,” “cocky,” “conceited,” “uppity,” or “privileged.” All throughout high-school and college I was falsely described, mainly by those that didn’t know me which coincidentally happen to also be those that I didn’t have any desire explaining myself to. I’d imagine that the adjectives stemmed from me being unapologetic starting initiatives, taking the lead when others wouldn’t, excelling against preconceived stereotypes, or would see a problem and create a solution, or just simply did what I wanted when I wanted.
Or maybe it’s because my social media handle is @thatguybmills , but we are going to go with the former explanation.
I still have the same mentality that I’ve always had, and I’m still pretty unapologetic about it.
Those adjectives are probably the reason I try and be tactfully humble in how I present my ideas, my businesses, my accomplishments, or my goals. It is actually the root in why my personal brand is centered around not only BEing Great but also BEing GREATful.
And my goal has been, and will continue to be, to inspire every person I interact with to understand the balance of humility, embrace their greatness, and be greatful for it.
My boy, Jeff, helped me realize that humility and being grateful may overlap but aren’t necessarily one in the same. You can toot TF out of your horn and be grateful for that dope ass horn you’re tooting and the sweet melody that you’re playing.
One realization was that you don’t have to “try and be tactfully humble,” you either are humble or you aren’t. Humility is a component of who you are, not act in which you try to do.
Put simply, it is the ability to retract your pride while retaining your dignity.
Your legacy and impact remain true no matter others’ opinion on it. The sound of your horn will linger, and the fact your sound is impacting others will always remain true. Being great and being humble are not synonyms nor are they antonyms.
Being great is knowing that you were born with an inherent amount of awe-inspiring genius that is waiting to be unleashed and embraced. Everyone has it, but everyone doesn’t utilize it. Being great is understanding that you know things that no one else walking this earth knows. You are unique, and whether it is appreciated or not — you have value.
Put simply, it is knowing you’re the shit!
Being GREATful is acknowledging that you are not who you are or where you are based on yourself alone. You (and your GREATness) are a product of your environment, your networks, your genetics, your experiences, your relationships, and your flaws — yes, those too.
Put simply, it is being appreciative of your blessings; while still knowing that you’re killing it!
You may be trying to understand where this post is coming from, or why I’m not providing a play-by-play on how to innovate your entrepreneurship journey, increase your influence, or motivate you to keep marching towards your goals. But this was post was more so for me, in parallel, I’m hoping it is something you can benefit from.
Essentially, it was a long-winded, stream-of-conscious-esque way of saying:
I Got (Great) Ideas, Bro.
That Guys Graphics, The Black Burdell, The Scheme Team, Too Fly Fundraiser, The 2020 Vue, Be Great Gear, The Guide 2 Great, and all these ventures started as (great) ideas amongst myself, my peers, and my friends. If highlighting our ideas, the greatness they have cultivated, and impact they are leaving is arrogant, I would gladly be that. Though,I will settle for what these activities truly truly are — being great and appreciating their greatness.
For the record, these ideas will keep coming, and I will keep posting them on my Instagram story (while getting on some of your nerves), and I will keep tweeting and encouraging you to buy t-shirts (to support our nonprofits and initiatives), and I will still throw pop-up events in your city and nag you to invite your homies (#itsforthekids), we will continue to provide insightful content on workplace diversity, and post about our graphic design & branding projects — but I will no longer feel uncomfortable doing it.
Put your Beats headphones on, because the tune I’m bout to toot out of this horn is going to be sweet, funky, and for the culture. — and you can tweet that.
You may call it conceited, but I’ll call it being great.
You may call it being arrogant, but I’ll assure you I’m greatful.