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Advice, Real Life

Coffee Talk: The World Would be a Better Place if We Focused on Building Each Other Up


Coffee Talk is a monthly series that dives headfirst into real life territory. Consider it like a deep conversation with a friend where nothing is off limits. Take a seat, grab your mug and let’s chat.

I shared a post on Instagram recently and it resonated with a lot of people. And that’s probably because most of us have been here at some point. You might even be there now. I know I was.

Story time…

I used to work at a PR firm, and as much as I liked it, I wont lie to you, it was pretty stressful at times. One random Tuesday shit had hit the fan. Big time. I was tired. I was frustrated. And I lacked one very important thing: self-confidence. I shuffled into my boss’ office, closed the door and before he even knew what I was going to say, he pointed at a chair in the corner of his office and said, “Natalie, the opportunity chair is open.”

The opportunity chair? Was this guy serious? Here I was, having the worst day of my professional career and he’s shoving some stupid, metaphorical chair in my face? (I quickly understood this was about so much more than a chair)

That moment made me realize the sad truth. He believed in me more than I believed in myself. While I spent so much time doubting my abilities, he saw nothing but potential. Potential I was too afraid to face head-on and run with. It’s amazing what you can do when you have the confidence in your abilities and see yourself the way others do. It was a breakthrough.

And it made me wonder…why do we choose to stand in our own way so often? Why do we hold ourselves back from being awesome? Think about that for a moment.

Because, here’s the thing — opportunity is everywhere. Or, as my boss would say, “opportunity chairs” are everywhere.

So, let’s promise each other something. Let’s promise to stop telling ourselves we’re not good enough or not experienced enough. Sure, maybe you didn’t go to school for photography or marketing or astrology or hand-lettering.

You know what? WHO CARES.

I know you have drive and passion (that’s probably why you’re still reading this post). And I know deep down, you know that, too. And the “but, I didn’t go to school for [insert dream career path here]” excuse? Puh-lease. Let’s be honest, you can learn anything on the internet these days. And you can also learn from inspiring individuals around you. All it takes is the guts to reach out. There’s plenty of room at the table for us all to learn, grow and do amazing things.

So, what’s the moral of this long-winded story?

(I know, I know…you’re probably like, “get to the point already.”)

The world could use creativity and passion and big ideas. But you what else the world needs? More people like my boss, who are happy to build others up when they need it most.

So, remember this the next time you meet someone just starting out, struggling to recognize his or her own potential. Take them to lunch and tell them they’re doing a great job. Sing their praises to hiring managers you know. Give them tips to help them grow, so they can then pass that knowledge on to the people they meet.

The world would be a much better place.


What is the best advice (i.e. wake up call) you’ve received from a boss or mentor?

Got an idea for a future Coffee Talk topic? Send me a note at hello [at] nataliewashere [dot] com. I’d love to hear from you!

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