"Don't hold the penny so close to your eye you can't see the dollar in front of it," is something my uncle Matt used to say to me all the time.
I was in my early 20's with nothing to my name. I was sleeping on an air mattress and living in a house that the bank could have taken away at any time. One day my uncle comes by and asks what I have been doing with my life. I told him I have been applying for jobs but haven't had any luck. I had made some bad decisions a few years ago and it wasn't making it any easier to get a job. I let him know I was excited about a good opportunity at the new Taco Bell that had just been built. "TACO BELL," he replied in the most disappointing tone. "Nah kid, you don't have to work at no Taco Bell. I'm going to teach you something that will change your life."
A few days went by before my uncle called and told me to go down to the hockey game with him. After a quick pregame at the bar across from what was back then The Bank of United Center it was time to work. I didn't know what to expect, but I did know I was tired of being broke. If this could change my life I would be willing to try. As we walked up the stairs the sound of thousands of Florida Panthers fans started to make me a little nervous. Once we reach the top of the stairs we see a man standing with his family holding up a stack of tickets. Hey was trying to sell them but my uncle knew he was no scalper. My uncle then began to tell him a story about how he worked with a rec center and he had a bunch of kids at the arcade across the street. He told him he wanted to get the kids in the game but he didn't want to spend a lot of money. I didn't know what was going on, there were no kids. I just kept my mouth shut and watched.
The man, feeling so moved by my uncle's story, gave him the stack of tickets for free. Then he walks inside with his family feeling good about himself for the good deed. As I watched my uncle count all his free hockey tickets I couldn't help but have my mind totally blown away. Twenty seven tickets and a few more deals later my uncle had over $600 in that matter of a couple hours. I thought to myself how many hours at Taco Bell would I have to work to make $600. Right then I decided I was going to be a ticket scalper.
One year, dozens of events, and a couple hands worth of road trips later I was struggling to figure out the game of ticket scalping. I would go to these events, walk for miles only to make enough money to help pay for gas, eat a meal, and barely pay my phone bill every month. I didn't understand what I was doing wrong. My uncle had made it look so easy. What was I doing wrong?
After many hours of contemplation I had to come to the realization that my problems stem from my own self doubt. My lack of confidence made me a lazy worker. How do I overcome the feeling of not believing in myself? The only way I was going to get over myself is to find the value in what I had to offer my potential clients. First thing that came to mind was my trustworthiness. I had never sold anyone a ticket that was fake or didn't work. I was reliable. I was at every major event and clients can use me for all their ticket needs. Finally I was more approachable than scalpers that had a more rough exterior. I had something to offer all I had to do is believe in myself.
Shortly after I built my newly found confidence, I began to excel. I was showing up to events and making more than I ever expected. I got to travel over the country. Building bonds and creating memories. I learned valuable lessons that helped me in all aspects of my life..
Sometimes we hold these feelings of self pity, self doubt, and lack of confidence in front of your eyes. It blinds you from seeing the value. It might be the value of a material thing, a service, might be the value of someone else, or it might be the value in yourself.