Picking Yourself — An Example for My Kids

I want to set an example for my kids of taking risk and not waiting to be picked.

Picking yourself is so much better. No one is going to give you permission to do something. You have to give yourself permission.

I have to give my parents credit for planting this idea in me. They were both entrepreneurs.

My dad set a goal to become a lawyer after an elementary school guidance counselor told him people like him (Mexican boys) become construction workers. He did it. He also started businesses to create jobs for his siblings and even support our family of 5 for a period of time.

My mom owned a gymnastics gym that she eventually sold. That gym is still running today and has been in business since 1991. That is incredible!

They both picked themselves instead of waiting for someone to pick them.

While they didn’t actively teach and promote entrepreneurship, risk taking, and goal setting, their actions planted seeds in me as a young kid.

My dad’s mantra for my siblings and me is “Always do your best.” This doesn’t mean be the best or never fail. It is a message to keep pushing, never quit, and never settle. It is a message that values trying over results and creative problem solving over passive acceptance.

This has stuck with me, and now it’s my turn to pass it on.

When my kids look back on my life when I am gone, they will be able to say their dad practiced what he preached. They will tell the story of how their dad taught them to go for it and how he helped others do the same.

If you want a great book about the importance of picking yourself, pick up a copy of Linchpin by Seth Godin. It’s perfect if you feel like you have great potential, but don’t know where to start.