Julie Smolyansky, CEO of Lifeway, became the youngest female CEO of a publicly traded company at 27. She did a lot of things right–but the main takeaway is she believed in herself when others thought she should fold!
Whether others approve of you has much less to do with your success than your internal belief that you can achieve your goal. Yet, if you are like most people, your confidence and enthusiasm is greatly affected by what others say and do. Breaking free from being externally motivated can be a lifetime project in our modern culture. However, there are a few things you can do that will improve your chances of following your own drum beat:
- Put your time, energy, and money into things you care deeply about. When you are passionate about something, what others think becomes less important. (You also feel better about yourself as you tackle whatever comes your way knowing your efforts have redeeming value beyond their immediate outcome.)
- Stop negative self-talk whenever you notice the dialog going. Replace it with internal encouragement. Remind yourself of prior successes often and be your best cheerleader.
- Surround yourself with people who believe in you, will give you solid advice, and can help you in areas you are weak.
After her father died suddenly, Julie took over their family business which her dad had taken public that year. People told her to sell the business because she would not succeed but instead she grew her business from $12 mil to $150 mil! Not bad for someone others thought would fail!
If you want to read more about her, and let her story inspire you, here are two articles about Julie and her success strategies: