Photo by Quinten de Graaf on Unsplash

It was our company’s biggest event of the year. Something we do every year to celebrate our partners. I’m seven months into my new job. This was the first time I was being introduced to many in our industry. Many whose accounts I’d be involved with. Many who I was eager to impress. It was a huge event! For the company. And for me!

Everyone on our sales team, me included, was tasked with explaining our personality according to the DISC personality profile. We were given these instructions during a five-minute break between sessions. We had very little prep time.

This is my chance! What story can I tell to illustrate my I personality (I for INFLUENCE)? Light bulb. I’ve got it. I look at my boss, Chuck, seeking affirmation: “I know what I’m going to do. I’ve got the perfect story.” So, I tell him. But I could tell right away he wasn’t feeling it. “I’m not so sure I’d do that. Remember Wells, Power, Politics and Positioning,” he says. That certainly wasn’t the affirmation I was looking for. What am I going to do now?

Screw it. I’m sticking with my gut. I’m going for it!

I get on stage and tell the story about how I got my nickname. I was a happy lad as a youngen. Always laughing and smilin’ (still am)! When my Mama would come into my room to get me out of bed in the morning, there I’d be. Holding onto the crib railing. Jumping up and down. Smiling from ear to ear. Happier than a kid on Christmas. So, my mama appropriately nicknamed me SUNSHINE (ain’t that cute!).

I used my ‘I’ personality and typical goofiness to tell the story. And they loved it! The whole room was dying laughing! I passed Chuck as I walked off stage. He smiled, nodded his head in approval and gave me a fist bump. As to say, “Well done Wells. Wells done!”

Now, everybody calls me Sunshine. Even those who weren’t giving me the time of day. All because I trusted my instincts. Something I don’t always do. And here’s the kicker… I was vulnerable. In a room full of wealthy, proud men, I was able to break through, simply by being myself. People can smell fake. We’re turned off by phony. But vulnerability’s endearing. And this experience has helped me better understand this powerful truth.

Be true to who you are regardless of the scenario!

“To live with courage, purpose, and connection – to be the person whom we long to be –
we must be vulnerable. We must take off the armor, put down the weapons,
show up and let ourselves be seen.”
-Brene Brown-


Keep the faith,


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