I have a big sister.
I don’t mean being in a sense that she is taller than me I mean big in that she is older than me.
My big sister, Gillian, spent three days with my wife Gimalle and me this week and what a pleasure it was to spend this time with Gill.
Gill retired several years ago from a successful career as a medical biochemist, pediatrician, researcher and professor at UBC.
Gill is the oldest and we have a brother, Ivan, between her and me so by the time I showed up the available brain power had been largely depleted which should help those of you who have labelled me as not too bright to understand and to perhaps be a little more tolerant in dealing with me.
Gill, perhaps as a result of her previous professional life, is what can be best described as a serial sceptic. She is one of those folks who needs to examine, and approve, the science behind anything before she will consider endorsing it.
Several months ago Gill stumbled upon a company offering a host of products, and other stuff, claiming to help us live longer and better while appearing younger each day.
Gill’s natural scepticism came into play and she set out to disprove the claims of this company.
To her surprise and delight, her investigation led her to conclude these claims were based on good science, so she decided to use the products herself.
She has been using these products for a few months and they have certainly lived up to their billing.
She looks fabulous.
But that’s not the story.
Gill, my shy retiring and somewhat introverted sister, decided, at age 70, to begin a new career as an entrepreneur and has become a distributor for this company.
We spent three days together this week and Gill, with her usual determination to excel at everything, demonstrated the passion and commitment necessary to succeed in any business.
The only reason people fail in this type of business, or in any business that requires interacting with people, is because of an unspoken, irrational fear of rejection.
This fear has caused many people to abandon potentially lucrative and satisfying careers and scurry back to the security of a career that will not provide them the fulfillment they crave but will wrap them in a cocoon of protection that will help keep their self-esteem intact.
Gill, who will privately admit to all those same fears, boldly approached everyone we interacted with, including clerks in stores, during her short stay because she understands that learning to become comfortable with being uncomfortable is not optional if one wishes to rise to new heights.
I’ve always loved and looked up to my big sister and been inspired by all her accomplishments. Truth be known I have often compared my miniscule accomplishments to her gigantic ones and found myself to be lacking.
Her passion for what she is doing, and the obligation she feels to share these opportunities with all who cross her path are not just an inspiration to all, but are also a lesson that must be heeded by those who wish to succeed.
Gill is testament to what we have discussed in these pages so many times over the past two years. Passion, exuberance, and excitement move mountains and Gill demonstrated repeatedly what can happen when we act as if we truly are on a mission.
There is absolutely no doubt my big sister will not only soar to new heights in this endeavor but will more than likely shatter any existing records for speed of progress within the company.
Her passion is infectious. Her willing to “put herself out there” stare rejection in the eye and then kick it in the butt will leave her critics breathless.
Those fortunate folks who will become my sister’s business partners are indeed people of real good fortune for becoming involved with my sister will place them in constant contact with a person who truly is a great teacher, terrific friend and a passionate role model.
Thanks Gill for being my sister.
Gimalle and I both love you and respect you.
Despite the enormous age difference.
Till we read again.