Some Shameless Bragging About A Self Confident Person I Love

Today is Monday, so this post is on self confidence.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, optimism and a willingness to face one’s fears are two of the three main characteristics of self confident people.  Surrounding yourself with positive people is the third.

Morgan McIlwain is my niece.  I’d like to tell you a story today about how she embodies self confidence.  Morgan was working in Jacksonville, FL.  If you don’t know Florida geography, Jacksonville is in north Florida.  Love intervened and she ended up moving to Boca Raton in south Florida, several hundred miles away.  This meant that she had to leave her job, and look for a new one.

Looking for a job is never easy – especially when you are young.  However Morgan was optimistic.  She was confident that her skills and experience would be more than enough to land a job in her new location.  She was right.  Within a month of moving to Boca, she had three job offers. 

When I asked her if she worried about finding a new job, she said that it was scary to quit one job without another, but she was committed to the move and was confident she could find a job that she wanted.  She was both optimistic and willing to face her fears.  Her self confidence was impressive to observe.

However, her self confidence came through in other ways.  She was offered three jobs.  The one she wanted paid the least.  The one she really didn’t want paid the most.  She turned down the highest paying job, because she said she just didn’t feel comfortable with the work atmosphere she observed during the interview.  She went back to the people at the company where she wanted to work, and negotiated a higher salary than she had been offered.  She explained that she really wanted to work for them, but she needed more money than they had offered.  These folks must have been impressed with her confidence, as they raised their offer.

Good for you Morgan.  Good luck as you begin your new job today.  Your self confidence paid off.

One more thing – Morgan made another smart move.  As I mentioned in my post about Beatrix Potter last week, she didn’t settle.  Beatrix Potter loved writing and illustrating children’s books – and she became rich doing so.  She didn’t even realize that she was rich until she wanted to buy some property.  She was happy writing and illustrating.

Morgan was offered a job for more money.  However, she didn’t like the work atmosphere.  So she turned it down.  She took a job with a company that she likes, doing the kind of work she likes.  In the end, I’m sure that she’ll be happier and more successful because of it.

In the Beatrix Potter post, I mentioned the old saying “do what you love and the money will come”.  I’m sure this will be the case for Morgan.

This reminds of a podcast I did last year with Bill White, author of an excellent career book, From Day One.  We were discussing how doing what you love is especially important early in your career.  Here is an excerpt from that conversation.

Bud:  I know it’s probably hard for people to hear that money isn’t the most important thing early in your career.  They’re sitting there thinking “well, I have X-number of dollars in student loans, and I want to have a nice car and get a nice apartment”.  I think your point about having a little patience can be helpful here.

Bill:  Patience and delayed gratification is important.  We’ve grown up, and our kids have grown up, and my grandchildren are growing up not understanding what delayed gratification is.  They tend to get what they want, when they want it, so it’s very difficult to move into a delayed gratification mode when you’re young and looking for a job.  There’s no question about it.  But if you get yourself into a mindset where you believe that the big payoff will come later if you’re willing to make an investment – it truly will work.  You can rationalize it pretty well by just looking at compensation levels.  The difference, the deltas, between a really good job and a not so good job when you begin may look like a big difference percentage wise, but dollar wise it’s not significant.  The real money doesn’t start rolling in until you’re successful mid-career or later.  That’s the best reason not to focus on the dollar when you start.

One last thing about money.  I saw a quote from John D. Rockefeller the other day that says it all: “if your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it”.  I agree.  Life is too short to spend all of it in pursuit of money.  And, that is only common sense.  I’m proud of Morgan, my niece for the common sense approach to her life and career that she has demonstrated lately.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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