When I first started to search for sponsorship so I could dedicate myself to this sport full time I was told that I’d have to market the crap out of myself. This was a little hard to embrace as I’m usually a fairly modest person, and that would mean a lot of tooting my own horn and talking about myself. I know I’m not the best boxer in the world – yet – and I’ve had struggles and setbacks along the way. So what excuse or right do I have to talk about myself and promote myself like I’m something great?
I have debt with those close to me who, when I first started to promote myself call me arrogant and conceited. I’m sure a lot of people out there have even thought that but never said anything. However, a funny thing happened over time… For every person that doubted me, two wanted to support me! It’s actually blowing my mind. I’ve had complete strangers coming up to me asking how they can help! And the greatest result of sharing my goals and experiences with other is that it solidifies them even more. Now that I’m telling people “this is what I want” I have to work all that much harder to get it. I can’t quit now because people are counting on me!
In the last two month I’ve gained 3 new sponsors who are so excited about what I’m doing with FLAG and with boxing that it makes me excited. I’m also being asked to start inspirational speaking to women’s groups and youth! This is something I’ve always wanted to do! The cool thing is it really gives me a scene that I’m giving back to society!
The other night I asked my coach what he thought about all the stuff I was doing in order to obtain sponsorship and support. He’s probably been one of my biggest challengers along this new path that I’ve taken. His response was “At first I thought you were being ridiculous. I thought you were building yourself up into something you’re not. But then I’ve realized that I was actually scared and didn’t understand what you were trying to achieve. Most people would be scared to do what you’re doing, but you don’t care, you’re doing it anyway and you’re succeeding! I’m proud of you!”
Okay, so maybe I sound a bit goofy or even arrogant for sharing that, but the truth is it makes me happy. Dave was seriously one of my biggest criticizers and to have him acknowledge that what I’m doing is good makes me not only happy, but relieved.
So I’d like to conclude that I’m not conceited (but I never thought I was). Conceit is a result of fear and lack of believe in oneself and a lack of authenticity. I do have fears, but I’m not afraid to admit them. And above all I do believe in myself! And am I authentic? Well I obviously wouldn’t be writing this blog if I wasn’t!