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Month: March 2023

How I Convinced My Inner Impostor That I’m Actually a Crippled CEO

As a self-proclaimed “Crippled CEO,” I’ve faced my fair share of obstacles in the business world. But the biggest challenge I’ve faced is convincing myself that I’m actually qualified to be a CEO, despite my physical limitations.

At first, I was plagued by doubts and insecurities. I’d wonder, “What if they find out I can’t reach the top shelf without a step stool?” Or, “What if my employees realize I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time?”

But then, I realized that my disability actually gave me an advantage in certain situations. For example, I can park in the handicapped spot right next to the entrance, while my able-bodied colleagues have to trek across the parking lot. And if anyone tries to argue with me, I can just say, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that. Can you speak up a bit?” (Note: I don’t actually do this. Please don’t be that person.)

With my newfound confidence, I started to embrace my role as a “Crippled CEO.” I even started wearing a cape to work, which I think really drives home the message.

So if you’re struggling with imposter syndrome or self-doubt, remember that your limitations can actually be a strength. And if all else fails, just wear a cape to work. Trust me, it works wonders for your confidence.

Stay crippled, my friends.

Crippled CEO Blog #175:

As a self-proclaimed “Crippled CEO,” I’ve faced my fair share of obstacles in the business world. But the biggest challenge I’ve faced is convincing myself that I’m actually qualified to be a CEO, despite my physical limitations.

At first, I was plagued by doubts and insecurities. I’d wonder, “What if they find out I can’t reach the top shelf without a step stool?” Or, “What if my employees realize I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time?”

But then, I realized that my disability actually gave me an advantage in certain situations. For example, I can park in the handicapped spot right next to the entrance, while my able-bodied colleagues have to trek across the parking lot. And if anyone tries to argue with me, I can just say, “Sorry, I didn’t catch that. Can you speak up a bit?” (Note: I don’t actually do this. Please don’t be that person.)

With my newfound confidence, I started to embrace my role as a “Crippled CEO.” I even started wearing a cape to work, which I think really drives home the message.

So if you’re struggling with imposter syndrome or self-doubt, remember that your limitations can actually be a strength. And if all else fails, just wear a cape to work. Trust me, it works wonders for your confidence.

Stay crippled, my friends.

(Do you know who wasn’t experiencing any imposter syndrome last night? Your mom. Your mom also gets a text from me every Sunday with a link to the latest blog post. Send a text to 561-726-1567 with the word CRIP as the message to get a link to the blog as soon as it’s up.

Did you know that I have a YouTube channel now? I do! I am putting up two videos every single week. Go search for Crippled CEO and you’ll find me. I would appreciate it if you subscribed.)

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Crippled CEO Blog #174: Making dad’s dreams come true

Crippled CEO Blog #174:

Yesterday was my dad‘s birthday — the seventh one that has passed since he passed away. 

Life Saver Pool Fence is the company that he founded with my mom, Ruth. And it is the business that I took over running at 21 years old in 2003. These days, I don’t know why a person as smart and prudent as he was would let a 21 year old run the company that was his family’s sole income, but he did. And as crazy as that sounds to me now, coming up on my 41st birthday, given how much we have grown over the last two decades, maybe he’s even smarter than I’m giving him credit for. 

As much faith as he had in me, as much as he apparently believed in me, I think he would be surprised by what we are doing today, the undertaking that we started in the middle of 2022 and finally rolling out now, eight months later. Him and I had spoken about it from time to time, but it was always discussed in the way you talk about a dream. It was too hard, too expensive, and too complex. It was an endeavor difficult for seasonal veterans that we knew nothing about. There was too much to unravel and too much to learn — especially because, like everything in business, it might not work. In fact, it might backfire entirely.

This fantasy was franchising. 

Life Saver already has a network of dealers in 29 states across the country. And while we do a lot for our dealers, the amount of support and assistance a dealer requires is nothing compared to a franchisee. The process of setting up a new dealer pales in comparison to setting up a new franchise. And the work required to set up the franchise entity and program itself — legal, administrative, operations, marketing, training — has been herculean. 

And throughout the process, we have had naysayers telling us it’s a bad idea. The actual experts we have talked to all agree that we are doing the right thing, but that doesn’t stop negative opinions from adding weight to the doubts you are already carrying. 

But we launched it. That, in itself, was a thing my dad thought was impossible. And by all accounts, it seems like it’s going to be great. 

I can’t think of a better way to honor my dad on his birthday than to make his impossible dreams come true.

I don’t think a lot of people get to do that. I couldn’t be more grateful. 

(Do you know who saw her dreams come true last night? Your mom. And her dreams would be somebody else’s nightmare.

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