Hi Douglas, we’re so appreciative of you taking the time to share your nuggets of wisdom with our community. One of the topics we think is most important for folks looking to level up their lives is building up their self-confidence and self-esteem. Can you share how you developed your confidence?
Growing up in a lower-income household and small industrial town in Ohio, I really didn’t have much of a foundation for self-esteem or confidence, aside from an innate sense of capability. I usually felt like one of the smartest kids in any class I took for example, so that was the initial source of self-confidence & esteem. I really burnished this while excelling at one of the most competitive Universities (Carnegie Mellon) in the country.
If you had to pick three qualities that are most important to develop, which three would you say matter most?
FOCUS: i have many entrepreneurial-type friends who I’ve witnessed over the years bouncing from one idea or project to the next, always super excited about the “newest” one. I hate to say it’s the cause of failure, but when i catch myself “drifting” to another project, I remember to FOCUS on the ONE at hand!
DISCIPLINE: whether it’s working out or getting the job done, i think the most important trait is the discipline to execute. This is a day after day approach. you can’t really give yourself any breaks. I learned this important lesson in college. I was attempting to be a 4.0, straight-A student, when in my first semester as a freshman, i came very close. When i looked at the mostly “B”s that I earned that semester, that were so close to As, i thoroughly examined my course over the semester and noticed just one “pop” quiz or one homework assignment that I wasn’t fully prepared for. It was the smallest thing. From then on, i was fully disciplined throughout the ENTIRE semester on every detail!! I was on the Dean’s List every semester thereafter :).
Work/Play Balance: while i work very hard, at times, and i am disciplined, I ALWAYS make time for the things I enjoy — I am avid tennis player (playing 3-4x week), and enjoy vacationing. Sure I take my laptop with me on vacation, but I don’t let it interfere with my fun!
All the wisdom you’ve shared today is sincerely appreciated. Before we go, can you tell us about the main challenge you are currently facing?
I’ve witnessed unbelievable changes in the Ecommerce industry over the years. It was SOOO much easier in the beginning if you can believe that… Nowadays, there is a continual nonstop bombardment of marketing firms from every angle coming at you. It’s important not to waste too much time on this and most importantly, money. So stick to the BASICS of running your business!