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Are you still waiting to be “picked”?

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Every eligible person in the kingdom hoped to be picked by Prince Charming. No one knew what Prince Charming’s selection criteria were as he went from door to door. The criterion was arbitrary – shoe size. And, somehow, Prince Charming managed to skip all those hundreds of houses where he could have found several perfectly eligible matches.

Because this is how real life works.

From the playground to corporate HR, our cultural impulse is to want to be picked. From reality talent shows, to being the teacher’s pet. We are waiting for someone – anyone – to hold us by the hand and say “you are the one, you have my permission to succeed”. We don’t care so much about what their criteria are – all we care about is that “we deserve to be picked”.

The life of an entrepreneur or freelancer is rarely like this. If you are either, you can safely assume that Prince Charming has already moved on.

Not because you aren’t special enough. But, because, as it turns out humans are terrible at reading each other’s minds. If you’ve ever felt undervalued and invisible, if you’ve ever thought “it’s not fair!” you’d be right: people’s perceptions of us (and our perceptions of others) are biased and incomplete. Your resume, portfolio, email pitch, book, or idea will not be chosen from the pile. If it is, it will most likely not be for the reasons you think. You never know what the rest of the pile had to offer or what the picker had in mind. Chance is a poor growth strategy.

No, you do not want to submit yourself to the reign of terror of waiting to be picked and the emotional hatchet of being rejected (or picked) for all the wrong reasons. Instead, you can put all that valuable energy and time into creating something. If you truly believe that you deserve a chance to play, then, your best – your only – strategy is to create the game.

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