by Lori DeRoche

Have you ever wondered how someone became successful? Does it seem their success happened over night?  So often we’re concerned with where we’re going that we don’t stop to look at where we came from.

Where you came from can be so much more important than where you’re going. So I ask you, where did you come from? Do you know where you came from? Do you embrace your past or are you scared to revisit it? While we’re traveling through the journey we call life, we rarely notice the daily things we take with us, including the skills we’ve acquired through experience that shape our future – that is until our future becomes our present.

If you’ve ever had the privilege to watch a child grow day to day, you observe all the things they’re learning.  You see the mental and physical changes as they take place. Once we "grow up" we incorrectly assume that the learning process changes.  We forget that everyday presents new opportunities to learn. We get wrapped up in our busy schedules and we forget where we came from (and sometimes what we’ve learned) because we’re too anxious about where we’re going. 

What is your story? How will your story of where you came from and what you’ve learned help others achieve their goals and dreams? Everyday is an opportunity to use your knowledge and experience, to help others as you help yourself. Everyone has a story, and everyone has something different to offer to someone else.

I heard a story the other day about a gentleman who was on his own since he was 7 years old. It was an incredible story. He found work and survived by going to different farms and working in the fields. He always worked hard and he could always find work because he knew how to sell himself to employers.

Does he have something amazing to offer a company who needs someone to understand the value of hard work and the value of the dollar? Who wouldn’t love to sit and chat with him about his work ethic and what he’s learned about selling? If he hadn’t been able to convince employers of the value he could bring to them as an employee he might have starved.

Too often we’re scared of being rejected or told "no". What if your survival depended on hearing that one simple little word "yes"? What if failure was not an option, would your mindset change?

I bet many of you did not had to sell at such a young age. Even so you have had to sell in order to maintain and grow your business, and to put food on the table for your family. Selling’s not easy and it can be made even tougher, even impossible, if you’re afraid of the word "no".

Remember where you’ve come from and what you’ve learned. Remember the successful interactions you have had with others and the connections you have made over the years.  Remember where you’re from. It will give you a clearer vision of where you’re going and the confidence to sell your abilities and knowledge to get there. 

About the author: Lori DeRoche is co-founder along with her father, James, of Tandem Landscape Services, Phoenix. Contact her at