One of the questions I am often asked when I meet someone is … “And you are …?” And of course, I oblige by giving the person my name followed by whatever I happen to be doing at the time (We have all been well-trained to respond to such questions 🙂 ).
Most of the time I do say “I am an accountant …” but only because it tends to stop the question dead in its tracks and I can move on to more interesting discussions. Sometimes I will say “I WAS an accountant … but I saw the light and now I do …” It still doesn’t get away from our trained reply to define ourselves as WHAT we do instead of WHO we really are. Have you also noticed how so many homemakers, if asked the same question, will answer “I am JUST a housewife” – as if that is not a worthy position!
But is that what defines us as a person? Does our chosen profession dictate who we are as a person? And if I choose for a period that I do not want to be in the workforce because I actually WANT to spend time raising my kids, am I then “just” a housewife without anything that defines my worth? In today’s modern society of equality, whilst much of the stigma of being “just” a housewife has gone, some vestiges of it still remains. It will likely take many more years before it is completely relinquished to its rightful place, never to be raised again!
So … WHO am I?
There are quite a few words of wisdom on this. You are the sum total of the friends you hang out with. You are the sum total of the books you read. You are the sum total of the people who influenced you. In the bible, Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it. I could therefore legitimately claim that I am who I am and it’s not my fault!! EXCEPT – whilst we cannot choose our family, we can choose our friends, we can choose what books we read (if we choose to read at all), we can choose what we watch (on social media, on TV and at the movies) and we can choose whom we follow on social media.
First and foremost, I am UNIQUE. I am a part of the human race – in that sense I am just another human being. BUT, and it’s a huge BUT .. Did you know that I am also uniquely different to the 7.7 billion people in this world today. No one else has my DNA – not even my family. I always thought that I am 100% Asian. Being the curious person that I am, I decided to get my DNA test done. I was so surprised to find out that I had 9% Polynesian in me! Now I know why my best friend is an islander!! I always say to my clients – Be yourself. Everyone is taken. YOU are the only person who can be YOU. No one can be a better YOU than YOU can! Yet so many try to live their life as someone else and we wonder why we fail so miserably. As Emerson said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
When you know all that about how we are so uniquely made, it is a logical step (at least for me) to then believe in the Christian God, to believe that I am a Child of God. The bible says …
I will praise you,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvellous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
~ Psalm 139:14 ~
But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
~ Luke 12:7 ~
Knowing all this, it is therefore not surprising (at least, not to me) that I am very confident about WHO I am. I am therefore also very largely defined by my belief in God.
Family-wise, I am a mother, mother-in-law, a grandmother, wife (or should I say, ex-wife …. No one is perfect 🙂 ) and sister. This is the one where you almost lose your identity. You get introduced as someone’s partner or spouse. At school, you are someone’s mum or dad. Your name becomes almost unnecessary in the social introductions. And let’s face it – most of the people you’re introduced to in these circumstances, don’t really care what your name is or who you are. And I am OK with that. In those situations, it’s not about me.
Work-wise, I am an accountant and an entrepreneur. Out of these two “base skills”, I have also amassed a whole regime of other titles that define who I am. I have been a CEO, CFO, a COO, migration agent, a company auditor, a tax agent and a financial planner. In all these things, I am basically an entrepreneur who has been fortunate to have received great training as an accountant. Business is in my blood and always will be. I still get excited any time I get a whiff of a business opportunity – whether for myself or for one of my clients. I now put those base skills to good use as a business coach and mentor.
Today’s politically correct society dictates that we are not to discuss religion, politics or sex. But that would be like removing a part of me and saying that it doesn’t exist. I’ve already talked about my beliefs. Politically, you would call me a Thatcherite in UK, a Republican in USA and a Liberal in Australia. I am aware in today’s politically correct society, my political views are not exactly flavour of the month. However, I would challenge everyone to consider why that is the case today. The Overton window probably best explain why this is now the way it is.
Our political views do not have to agree for us to be friends – all I ask is that we agree to disagree on such matters. But I do find the current gutter politics in ALL countries most distasteful. Why oh why can’t we be adults and discuss our differences sensibly without reverting to gutter tactics. It is a sad world indeed when opposing political parties feel that they can only win office by sinking so low.
And I have barely scratched the surface of who I am.
I am also the sum total of what I read and what I watch. What do you get when you mix a Disney fanatic with an accountant. You get Edna, the fictional character who appeared in the animated superhero movie The Incredibles. She’s the fashion designer, the engineer and the scientist all rolled into one. When I went to the movies with my friend and her daughters, Edna came on the screen and her kids yelled “Aunty Patsy!“
I can so relate to that one-liner from Edna “I don’t do capes”. Well, my one-liner is … I don’t do “fluff”. That’s why, when you sign up for my Business Mastery course, you find nothing but good solid material for running your business. No fluff. Just practical hands-on tools and advice that works. Not only does Edna not do capes, she’s also the fun confident brilliant little old lady who designs costumes to fit the different super hero power … stretchy suits to fit Elastigirl and a powered suit for Mr Incredible.
I see business the same way. No two businesses are alike. That’s why the teaching in Business Mastery is not a “business in a box”. If you want a business that’s “off the shelf, one size fits all” because you don’t want to do any work, then my course is not for you. I’m into teaching you how to get the entrepreneurial mindset, how to find YOUR perfect business, how to run and grow your business and ultimately, how to think and work your way out when trouble hits your business.
What do you get when you mix a love of science fiction, historical drama, biographies, psychology, neuroscience and personal development books with an accountant and a Christian? Science fiction feeds the creative part of my brain. There’s so much that can be learnt from biographies and historical drama (Proper history books are a bit boring). Psychology and neuroscience helps me to understand human behaviour – Why do we do what we do? Why do I act the way I act? Why do I think the way I do? The bible is my foundation for doing what is right – not just in public but also doing what is right when no one is looking. And last but not least, personal development challenges me to be the best me I can be. That doesn’t mean I’m perfect. My kids will tell you I’m not! The books you read can change how you see the world. Malala Yousafzai said “Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” If we are to change the world, then we must learn to devour books!
Who have made me who I am today? I am a sum total of the people I choose as my mentors. Who do I choose to follow? I am sure it’s no surprise if I tell you that in leadership and personal development, I follow people such as John C Maxwell, Jim Rohn, Brendon Burchard, Stephen Covey, Simon Sinek and Zig Ziglar. Of the masters, I follow the teachings of Napoleon Hill, Emerson, Dale Carnegie, James Allen and George Glasson. But when it comes to management, my favourites are still Peter Drucker, Jim Collins, Tom Peters and Patrick Lencioni. So much of my thinking, and therefore my teaching – both style and content, has been influenced by these experts.
And despite my telling you all these things, you STILL do not really KNOW who I am, do you? We all tend to hide our real self behind a façade because we fear what people might think of us if they really know us.
When you look at what people project on social media, you THINK you know who they are. But often it’s not what it seems. Goldie Hawn rose to fame playing dumb bombshells. The persona she projected is that she is only a bubble-headed blonde. Don’t let that fool you. Goldie Hawn has a tested IQ of 140+ and is a card carrying member of Mensa. Marilyn Monroe was reputed to have an IQ of 168 (although that is not fact checked). Kim Kardashian has chosen to project a “wild, sexual” persona to the world but one of her posts claims that she is really quite “conservative” in the home. I will leave it to you to decide who is the real Kim Kardashian.
In reality, if you only read my blog, or you only follow me on one of my social media platforms, you will only know a small part of me. I am an accountant, an entrepreneur, a Christian and more. Come and hang out with me as I go live on Facebook to answer any business questions you may have. Or even if you do not have any business questions, come hang out with me anyway and let me get to know you better. I will be starting a new blog series on my life story. So if you really want to know me, then follow me on this blog (which will also be on the Equipped 4 Success blogging platform). Don’t worry, the business blog will still continue – once a business person, always a business person!
We all have a story to tell. You may think that your life is not important … but it is. To the world, you may be just one small insignificant person. You’re not a Donald Trump. You’re not a Mother Teresa. You’re not a Gandhi. But to those close to you – your child, your partner, your parents … you are the most important person in the world! What is your story? What legacy will you leave to your children? Let me encourage you to share your story too. It is time to be intentional about what legacy you want to leave behind.