Stedman Graham, better known as Mr. Oprah Winfrey, often shares the story about growing up in Whitesboro, New Jersey. Now Whitesboro was a tough town. It is the kind of town where young boys are not expected to amount to much in life. Crime, drugs, gangs, and disillusionment are a way of life.
Stedman’s early days were filled with a love for basketball. He played constantly, developing and self into a very talented competitor. His passion for the sport earned him a scholarship. Recognizing the blessing a diploma would be in his future he devoted his time off the court to his studies.
He was proud to receive his first collegiate report card because it was loaded with A’s and B’s. He couldn’t wait to show his grades the manager of the hardware store where he had worked during high school.
Looking at the report card the manager glanced at Stedman and asked, “Did you cheat?”
It was at that moment Graham realized the tragedy of allowing others to place thoughts in his head. The report card validated his ability. His performance on the court signified he was a talented individual. Yet he realized he had allowed himself to go through life, up to this point, believing what others had placed in his head. He committed that he would never allow any idea the manifest without checking the facts and making up his own mind.
Entrepreneurs and business executives hear negative stories everyday about missed opportunities, marketing programs that are not yet perfected, competitive attacks, and more. It is not surprising they believe that success is nothing more than a dream for tomorrow.
News about businesses expanding and growing often go unreported. Nobody is talking about businesses that are currently positioning themselves for growth as their competitors fail.
Stedman’s recommendation that you do not let others get into your head. Believe in yourself and your abilities just as he did.