September 24th, 2011

Stand up for yourself: the secret to being respected by life, the universe and everything

Most of my equities clients are hedge fund managers. Usually, these are self confident, overachieving men who have been blessed with success in life. Often they are outspoken. Sometimes insultingly so. Talking with them on a daily basis is great boot camp training for learning to stand up for yourself.

A while back a hedge fund manager and important potential client to my bank called me about information on a market we don’t cover. I did not have the information and told him so, upon which he countered: “You are absolutely useless!” I gasped at the rudeness of this. Then I calmly replied:”If I were useful, I would be sitting on a yacht in the mediterranean.” Pause “And I don’t see you anywhere near a yacht either.” In the ensuing pause, I mentally kicked myself: “Temper, Anna, temper!”

But then he let out a big guffah and gave me a huge slew of orders. He just loved it that I dared to stand up to him. Most people apparently don’t. I made a lot of commission with him that day and thereafter. We have built a great and respectful working relationship based on this initial interchange.

Life is the same way. It does not like shrinking violets. If you are one, life will walk all over you. If you however stand up for yourself, life will respect you and treat you well. Same goes for people, animals and the universe as a whole. They will test you and if you show them that you are not willing to be their doormat, they will respect that.

This week, I would like you to pay attention to situations in which you are timid, avoiding conflict. In at least one of those situations change from your normal way of dealing with it and truly stand up for yourself.

Have a heroic week,
Anna.

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