Nobody becomes a success alone, period. There is no such person who is "self made." I know this because I have regularly involved myself with some of America's most successful people and as I listen to their stories I realize that all of them have had what I call their own "booster club."
When I think back over my life I realize that I have had my own booster club: People who gave me a boost, either through direct help, opening doors to others or opportunities, or through their belief in or encouragement of me.
I think of my mother who was left a widow at age 40 to raise me alone. She believed in me. She sacrificed for me. She gave up much so that I could become what I dreamed of. My mother was my booster!
I think of a man who is the CEO of a twenty five billion dollar a year company who, when I was only three years out of college and striking out on my own, sent me a check out of the blue. It wasn't an investment; it was a gift. Then he sent another... and another. Every month for nearly 7 years he sent me a check. Nothing large enough to live on but enough to be a sign that he believed in me. When I asked him why he did it, he said, "Because I believe in what you are doing and that you are the one to do it." To have someone of his stature believe in you! Wow - is he ever a booster!
I think of my good friends, Tony and Jenni. When they were married they moved in right next door to us. They have become our best friends. Every step of the way they have loved us, challenged us, and encouraged us. They have been there in the darkest hours and in the brightest days. They are definitely boosters!
I think of my two friends named Kevin. The first, my best friend, lives here in Seattle. He is a guy that I laugh with, talk about things with and thoroughly enjoy all of my time with. He always comes through for me. In fact, as I right this, he came through for me just yesterday! When I know that I need a boost, he does whatever he can. And being one of the most competent men I have ever met, he always gets the job done. Major booster!
The second Kevin lives in Atlanta. He is a "new" friend but has already been a big booster. He has been willing to open doors for me that I never would have been able to budge because those on the other side would have been unwilling to open them. But on his recommendation, they have. A great booster and a person I will get to know better throughout the years.
I think of Kyle, who I have never met in person, but have spoken with on a few occasions and swapped many emails with. Kyle has boosted me literally millions of times - ever time he publishes my articles he helps me bring my message to the masses. To know that a person like Kyle sees the value in my message is an incredible boost!
I think of my most fanatical booster, my wife Lisa. No one believes in me more than she does. In fact, there are many times I wonder who she thinks she's married to! She sees the best in me even when there is nothing good to see. She sticks by me through it all and encourages me to go for my dreams. What a blessing - what a booster!
I think of my kids. They boost me every time I leave in the morning and when I come through the door at night. They boost my life and my career! Above all, they boost my happiness and my spirits each and every day. Big boosters in little bodies!
I think of God - the ultimate booster. In a scene from The Count of Monte Cristo, the Count, still in prison, tells the old man prisoner who is with him, "I don't believe in God." The old man replies, "That's okay. God believes in you!" While I don't understand all that God is I do believe that if God is for me, then it matters not who or what is against me!
So where does this leave us? Is this just a trip down memory lane? No, in fact, I have two specific actions for you as it relates to boosters:
One, make a list of your boosters. Then take a moment to send them a note to say thanks for what they have done and been for you!
Second, decide for yourself that you will be someone else's booster! Be very specific and begin to invest yourself into that person's life. Encourage them. Open doors for them. Challenge them. Give of yourself to them so that they can soar. Be their booster!
Bring on the boosters!