I have a bad habit of checking profiles of successful startup founders, most of time it leaves me admire, wonder, and even feel inadequate in comparison. I see all these extremely smart people either have JD/MD/Master/PHD from top school at an early age, or quit the school all together to become one of their own kind. Lot of times, they are an expert in their chosen fields, a protege software developer, a gifted scientist etc.; If success is measured by how well one is doing what s/he is good at, it definitely seems far reaching to me.
I am not sure how many people are similar to me: have lot of different interests, an active mind but a bit of ADD, “know” many things well but not good enough to be an “expert”, by which standard it dictates the authority of giving speeches, lectures, writing books, publishing papers etc.
Just a few examples based on myself: I am good with mathematics, was fluent with C coding at one point, but nowhere near the level of mathematician/statistician/hackers. I like playing soccer, a lot, but not at varsity level, I don’t think I can coach a soccer camp for kids. I like playing guitar, can even sing along a bit, but not anywhere near to be able to perform. I am proficient with web analytics, but not at the level it needs to deep hacking or customizing it. I am a good analyst who can do a lot of things with spreadsheet, database that most of people can not, but comparing to best in the breed, I am probably not as proficient.
The problem is, I never feel the need to go deeper than I already went. On top of that, I just don’t feel I am smart enough to become a leading authority/force within a field especially in tech industry.
Are there a lot of people like me?
A TED talk by Brene Brown resonated with my inner vulnerability, because it celebrates ”willingness to let go who we thought we should be in order to be who we were”.
Society tells us “you need to be an expert on something to succeed in life”.
What if that is not what I want: to become an expert on something?
What if I deem my worthiness somewhere else? What if I am at my happiest only when I am feel my personal worthiness? Is it possible to still “succeed” at that moment, even when you are not being an expert?
I think to many entrepreneurs (to-be), the inner struggle is to break that curse: the curse of common sense of “expertise”, externally-enforced discipline, the strong desire to turn the table around and prove others are wrong about “me”.
I even begin to question myself, among most successful entrepreneurs, the most critical driving force might simply NOT be their superior IQs, pedigree, gifts. Instead, it may simply be the desire to embrace their inner worthiness and let it shine.
Watch Brene Brown’s talk here: