21 Traits of a Successful Person – Dream on!

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Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, author, and comedian who teaches you how to harness the power of your story to connect, engage, and get results. In this blog, Kelly focuses on the business of professional speaking. Kelly’s post day is Friday. If you aren't sure how to comment on this story, click here.

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21 Traits of a Successful Person - Dream on! Funny motivational speaker Kelly Swanson

Yep. That’s me, back in high school.  Delicious, right? I think I still have those glasses.

Check out the boobs. Not much to my advantage if you travel up to the face. Kind of like putting lipstick on a pig.

Giving me a rack was like putting an alarm system on a Dodge Dart. Most days, this is exactly how I still see myself. Weird, huh? Today this post is about her – the dork that lives inside of me. The part you don’t see – or maybe you do.

“You’re the type of person I would never get up the nerve to talk to.”

“Successful women like you intimidate me.”

“I’m honored that you would return my call.”

These are some of the comments I’ve been hearing from you.

Okay. I didn’t see it coming, but somehow somewhere along the way, you stopped seeing me as the dork, and started seeing me as something bigger than I really am.

Maybe it was the fact that I was on stage. Maybe it’s because I have so much more hair than you. Or maybe my confidence and loud mouth overshadows your quiet one.

This story is about nothing other than dispelling the rumor that I am somebody you should be intimidated by. This is to dispel the rumor that I am a “big name”, “someone you should know”, “destined for greatness”.

Because simply put . . . I ain’t all that.

In truth, I’m more like you than you think. In truth, I’m really a mess.  You see forty minutes on a stage of cleaned up practice and skill.  You don’t see every other single minute of my life where I’m struggling to stop from eating the whole bag of chips, where I’m saving pennies to get a therapist for when I’m fully diagnosed as a hoarder, where I’m pretty sure I have ruined my kid in more ways than I can count.

The real me.

In case you’re still not convinced, or think I’m just being humble. I will simply give you a list that hopefully will knock me off your diva list – once and for all.

21 Traits of this successful person —

1. I’m pretty sure my butt would hold up a cup of coffee. Yep, baby’s got back. Got me some junk in the trunk. And the dashboard. And the side pockets.

2. When I wake up in the morning, I look like I’ve been attacked by a flock of homing pigeons in a wind tunnel. If I left the house like I wake up, I am fully convinced I could make more money than I am now, by simply standing on the corner with a cup.

3. I have forty-seven pairs of black pants, and none of them are the right ones.

4. There is not one wall in my house – not one single wall – that doesn’t have crap hung on it. There is not an empty drawer, or shelf, or closet. I have so much stuff that if you lived with me you would feel like you were living in Walmart – only more cluttered.

5. I spend two hours every day getting ready, even though I’m not going anywhere – trying to achieve the “natural look”.  My friends here call me “camera ready.”

6. My idea of cleaning the floors is wearing socks.

7. I have hundreds of pictures in my house – mostly of me. The last picture I took of my son was his first day of school. He’s ten.

8. I can’t remember the last time I even went into my backyard, much less did yard work. If you need to bury a dead body, I have just the place. My idea of cleaning is to close my eyes when I walk by.

9. The last time I ironed anything was when I ironed a big cross on the bottoms of my pants. If I had to iron to save my life, well, it’s been a good life.

10. Speaking of dying – I want everybody I ever knew at my funeral. Forget a humble little service. I want masses. If there aren’t enough people, hire some. And I want wailing and gnashing of teeth. People falling down in the aisles would be super. I heard you can hire professional wailers. I would like some.

11. I have belonged to the same gym for about ten years, and still they don’t know my name.

12. There are four streets I can’t travel in my home town because they belong to hair dressers that I stopped calling and never told why.

13. When I cook, I dip the spoon into the dish and taste it. More than once. In my mind, the heat kills the germs.

14. I snore. Not a cute ladylike snore, but drunk-passed-out-on-the-corner snore.

15. For every present I buy at Christmas, I buy two more for myself. And my present is always better.

16. Sometimes I squoosh the bread in the grocery store, just because I can.

17. When I’m bored, I go on Facebook and look at all your pictures. I love your parties and vacations best.

18. Once, when my kid was little,  I was too lazy to have a birthday party for him. So when he was at another kid’s birthday, I kept whispering in his ear that this was his party, and I took lots of pictures of him, and told him we would open his presents when we got back home. To this day, when he looks at photo albums he doesn’t know that party wasn’t for him.

19. My kid still thinks that when he talks to another kid in line at the grocery store, that’s a play date.

20. Sometimes in church, during the sermon, I write out my grocery list.

21. I love my husband, but some days I really want to stick a fork in his eye.

There you go–and I’m just getting started. I could write twenty more without even blinking. But I think you get the picture.

And even after reading all these dork qualities I have– and I could keep going– trust me. I feel the need to end by shouting:

And I think I am Pretty Awesome!

Yep, warts and all. I LOVE me. I love to be around me. I love to laugh with me. I love this inner dork to pieces. And I think you do too. So maybe, just maybe, you’ll learn to love your inner dorks, and appreciate what they bring to your life.

Because I’m convinced that it was this delicious hot number you see framed in the first photo by the ever-so-popular Country Curtains of the 80’s South – this delicious hot number is responsible for bringing me where I am today.

And for that, I am truly grateful.



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