I haven’t talked about my dream of becoming a millionaire publicly for years because:
1- I’m uncertain if I can do it.
2- I don’t want to share a pie-in-the-sky goal with the world, royally fail at it and then look like a dreamer who never accomplishes what he sets out to do.
3- I’ve been uncertain if it’s a morally sound goal when I already have so much abundance in my life.
4- The thought that runs through the dusty backrooms, dank basements, and mice-infested attics of my mind that says “What business does a guy with Cerebral Palsy have with becoming a millionaire?”
Fortunately, these are not the most empowering thoughts in my mind. They linger around, more like moldy-cheese-that-has-been-in-the-fridge-three-months-too-long. They’re the thoughts that create a bit of a stench in the corners of my brain and sometimes I let them sit and have influence over me when I should really be throwing them out with the garbage.
Do you too have some moldy-cheese-that-has-been-in-the-fridge-three-months-too-long thoughts in dusty backrooms, dank basements and mice-infested attics of your mind?
Despite these thoughts, over the last decade and some change, I have been quietly experimenting with becoming a millionaire. That sounds deceptively glamorous.
Writing this reminds me of how much I used to dread chemistry lab in high school because, at the time, I was highly invested in the idea that I was no good at anything that involved even the slightest amount of fine motor-skills. This profoundly limiting belief in myself led to dropping a glass bottle of ammonia on the tile floor of the lab. Can you imagine???
Some experiments go as planned and create the miracles of science that enhance our lives. Others don’t. In terms of my experiment becoming an instant-millionaire by pursuing a career as a professional speaker with a speech impediment, I must admit, it feels like I’ve dropped a glass bottle of ammonia over the last ten years of my business . . . which might have been a good move if I’d been brightening windows or cleaning an electric oven.
Luckily, that’s not the end of the story, just the most odorous part.
Actually, I wouldn’t trade the last decade plus of me bumbling around in terms of my goal of making seven-figures for anything. These past eleven years, I’ve gained a life I had once only dreamed of as I felt disabled from living my dreams.
I felt like a helpless victim to forces that were utterly beyond my control.
Have you ever felt like a helpless victim to forces that were utterly beyond your control?
By a stroke of fate, I had a traumatic entrance into this world. My umbilical cord got kinked, resulting in a pronounced speech impediment and coordination differences. The medical term for my condition is cerebral palsy. And most of my life, I would have rather worn serial paisley each and every day of my life than HAD cerebral palsy.
It gives me so much pleasure to declare that after a decade-plus journey, I feel fully healed. I’m nearly 44 and I feel far better than I did when I was 15 or 25. When I say, “fully healed,” I don’t mean that my pronounced speech impediment has given way to a perfect voice and that my coordination differences have given way to me becoming a neurosurgeon? Nope, I still have the voice and coordination I had before, but these days I’m excited to speak so my voice is improving with practice and I can proudly say that I now have the confidence to carry a glass bottle of ammonia across a chem lab without dropping it.
In retrospect, when I started off on my Jason-Freeman-Becoming-A-Millionaire journey, I wanted to make so much money so fast, so I could PROVE to the world that my speech impediment and coordination differences weren’t that bad, and so I could purchase a diamond-studded path to loving myself.
Have you ever attempted to make money in order to try and buy your way out of something you disliked about yourself?
I’m still experimenting with making my million.
It’s a wonderful sign that I’m experimenting because the surest way NOT to achieve a dream is to quit trying.
Just because the last decade-plus has pretty much been an ammonia drop on my get-rich-quick dreams instead of a mic drop, it doesn’t mean the next ten years will be. In fact, within the last year my financial results have improved exponential and dramatically. I know “exponentially” and “dramatically” mean basically the same thing, AND this has been ten years in coming so I want to celebrate in every way I can imagine, including being redundant.
As far as my moldy-cheese-in-the-fridge-three-months-too-long-thoughts of doubt that I expressed at the beginning of the blog? They are still there. If I ever have occasion to do an experiment in a chemistry lab again, believe me, my mind will remind me, probably countless times, that one possibility is dropping the ammonia bottle.
Only minds are never going to be perfect repositories of 100% positive thoughts 100% of the time.
Just because we have some thoughts of doubt doesn’t mean we are unworthy or incapable of doing our Imperfect Best to create our dreams.
My main advice after over a decade of utterly failing to make a million dollars is this:
Go For Your Life!
It’s the best and most magnificent experiment there is.
JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment. He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.
He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “doing your Imperfect Best ™”.
His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.