It has always been a blessing and a curse to be as eager as I am to raise my hand. A million times it has gotten me in trouble, embarrassed me or caused major social anxiety and yet i have never stopped being quick to volunteer. As much grief as it has caused, as I watch my daughter grow up, I notice that she is the same way, and I'm proud.
If teachers asked a question, if coaches needed a volunteer, if clients wanted an explanation. Even if it wasn't my place, I always have found myself raising my hand.
i volunteer to help, to lead, to go first, to try, to explain, to read out loud. I imagine some portion of the population has to be like that, or else not much would move forward in life, right?
I also know that very few people are blessed with talents so strong that they never have to speak up. I was not blessed with such talents. I wasn't the smartest- but I was quick and curious. I wasn't a strong hitter, but i could bunt my way on base and steal my way home. And i'm not an amazing designer. But I am a good talker. I can talk my way through a lot of situations- I'm the thousand words that pictures are worth. I'm not afraid to respond, to sell, to question, to fight for work. I am willing to lend a voice to things I believe in that aren't being heard. It's why I named the company Vocal.
Recently I was a featured contributor in a book called The Hustle Economy: Transforming Your Creativity into A Career. (get it here) It's been exciting and nerve-wracking and I've felt out of my league with other contributors but it also feels amazing to just go after things like that. And that's why I'm proud of my daughter. She's wrong sometimes, but she raises her hand. She's the smallest kid on the team, but she tries twice as hard. And as annoying as it might seem to her peers, if she sticks with it, she can turn it into something amazing, because being curious and also willing are some of the most important things to be. And there will always be people who need to hear things, or to have things said, that they themselves can't say.
Discover your strengths, even if they embarrass you sometimes. Turn them into tools. They can be a huge advantage. Everyone has a differentiator that can help them hustle. And if you don't want to hustle, you better ride shotgun with someone who does.