When I first encounted this goal, shared by my two very good friends, I must admit I was both flattered and a bit embarassed. I mean, I know I’m good, but for some reason I never expect other people to know I’m good.
When I made my contract recently with the client to do the sit-down dinner, one of my friends, whom I was expecting to offer congratulations and good wishes, made some rude and thoughtless remarks regarding about how I came to get the contract. I was working a gig for this friend when someone approached me and asked me personally if I would be interested in doing this dinner. I gave them my personal email, which they asked for, to pass onto the the client hosting the dinner. The client then contacted me, we worked things out, and I’m doing the dinner next Saturday.
My friend felt that since I was working the gig for her, I should have given the guy all her information and let her be contacted by the dinner client and let her get the contract. She was kind of snarky about the whole thing, wondering if I was at her events handing out my business card and poaching clients from her. I explained the situation very clearly, how the guy approached me, not her company, and all the details involved. It’s a gray area, I must admit, but it is less murky on my side of the argument. I didn’t tell her, but I thought she was being small and petty, and rather unappreciative of the numerous clients and business I have sent her way. We have kind of patched things up, but not completely. I am doing some more events for her company, and I was going to ask her help with my dinner… but screw that now.
What bothered me the most was coming away from the conversation with the distinct impression that my friend, my peer, my associate, felt that somehow I was unworthy of the job I had contracted to do. That by virtue of her owning her own business she and her staff were more qualified, talented and capable than I was. I had to finally tell myself that the reason they contacted me was because they wanted me, not my friend or her delicious, albeit it unsophisticated, food. I’m fully capable of executing this dinner in 1st class style. If that hurts her feelings, I’m sorry. But she should work harder at making herself better, not at trying to tear me down. I’ve been doing dinners like the one on Saturday for years for other employers, for other people’s praise and glory. Now the praise and the glory, and the risk and the drama, is all on me. I must admit: I like it.
And maybe by offering some entries about what kind of food I am doing here and there I will strengthen in confidence that I am good at what I do, that I can play in the sandbox with the big kids. Also a place where I can honestly assess and adress what works and what doesn’t; where I soar and where I tumble. I know the time is coming where I have to move from the realm of dreams to the manifestation of reality. Maybe this adopting this goal will help me achieve that. Along with equal measures of esteem and humility.