I have been preoccupied with money lately. It happens every October. My summers are pretty empty and slow so I try to live with a small financial footprint. I joke that I make about $0.35 during the summer and then make most of my yearly money in the last 3 months of the year. It’s exciting to go from zero to sixty with the flip of a calendar page. Emails start rolling in about new weekly drop offs, requests for menu samples, and holiday event estimates. And I start getting calls from referrals. People are entertaining more, gathering around their tables more, and opening up their homes for celebrations. I love that I get to be part of this time in the lives of my clients. AND…I’m happiest when I am earning my keep. I feel like I have value and worth and like I’m contributing to society.
Last summer when things were slow I filled my calendar with dates. Gentleman friends, walks on the water, dinners, drinks, and smooches! I’ve written a bit about some of those experiences on the blog before. One of these gentleman friends was a billionaire. No, his online profile didn’t advertise his financial status, nor did he even bring up money when we communicated. I knew he was someone special and I did a little detective work and Google delivered the word billionaire. Wow, right? He wasn’t going to be in New York City for two months, so we chatted and got to know one another during that time. He was traveling extensively. While he was in Israel, I sent him my blog on Petra saying he must go. It wasn’t on his itinerary, but sure enough, he magically made visas and paper work appear for his entourage to privately fly there and be hosted in Petra. All because of my little words! For the next two months, nearly every country they were visiting I had been to. Granted, I knew my travels were on a much smaller scale than his, but a passport stamp doesn’t know if you stayed in an Airbnb or a five star hotel. We talked about culture and food, what to see and where to go. I was keeping up with a billionaire!
As the two months quickly passed and our meeting was approaching, I had all sorts of doubts. What do I say? What do I wear? Am I pretty enough/skinny enough/well dressed enough for this meeting? I thought about my bank account. I felt small. Who was I to meet someone like this? As I was riding up the mirrored elevator to join him for breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental overlooking Central Park, I looked at myself. Meeting my own gaze reminded me of who I am. I’m not my weight or clothing size. I’m not my cute curls on a good hair day. I’m not how much I earn or don’t earn each month. I thought to myself, this guy is only going to have one chance to meet Lisa Adams in his lifetime. Be as true to yourself as possible, give him the best experience of who you are. You are enough.
My mom always asks me in amazement, “Where do you get your self-confidence?” I always say, “From you, Mama. You and Dad raised me to believe that I was extraordinary, that I could do and be anything. I carry that with me every day.” The word confidence comes from the Latin confidere which means 'fidelity.' Self-confidence is a fidelity to oneself. Not only is this a loyalty to who we are, it is a certainty.
I stepped off that elevator certain of who I was, rich with self-confidence and self-loyalty, and that was really the only currency I needed. I kept up. I teased him about being wealthy and I asked him tough questions… I made him think. He stopped a few times and said, ‘No one ever communicates with me like this.’ It was fun. Ultimately, I think I was being auditioned to be a yacht girl, a private jet setter, arm candy. I am a lot of things, but none of those. He leads a really big nonstop life on the globe. He used to live in NYC and I think he wanted to come home and have a normal meal with a normal woman and take a break from his helicopters and VIP situations. I follow his adventures on instagram to see what ‘I’m missing out on.’ His life seems equal parts thrilling and exhausting. I play a little game of trying to imagine myself standing next to him in all of his pictures. It's equal parts ridiculous and inspiring.
I bring all of this up because this week I learned a new definition of the word billionaire - having nothing to do with money! It came from a hero of mine, Jason Silva. “The new definition of billionaire is 'he or she who will reach out and positively affect the lives of a billion people.' This should be our goal. This is our responsibility.” I think that is brilliant.
“So often we imagine THERE is more full of gold than HERE. It is the same with love and dreams and the work of our lives. We see the light everywhere but where we are, chase after what we think we lack, only to find humbly, it was with us all along.” ~ Mark Nepo
Friends, the only way we are going to reach our portion of a billion people is to be who we are. Be authentically 100% ourselves. No one else can do what you can do. You are enough. Build up your shores of self-confidence and start reaching out.
I’m recycling a recipe I’ve shared with you all before. It's my twist on the historic Swifty's Billionaire Bacon so I couldn’t resist. It’s bacon. With sugar. I mean, come on!
Sweet and Spicy Bacon
- 4 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- Rounded 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- Rounded 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lb thick-cut bacon (about 12 slices)
- Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Stir together brown sugar, cayenne, and black pepper in a small bowl.
Arrange bacon slices in 1 layer (not overlapping) on a rack of a large broiler pan. Bake 10 minutes. Turn slices over and coat evenly and generously with spiced sugar. Continue baking until bacon is crisp and deep golden, 10-15 minutes more (check bacon every 5 minutes so the sugar doesn't burn). Transfer to paper towels to drain. Let them cool so the hot sugar doesn't burn your fingers or mouth!