Throughout our conversation, Drexwell shares his experiences of struggling with an inferiority complex almost his entire life, how it was for him to grow up on the small island of Turks and Caicos in a low-income family, and the moment he embraced his purpose in life. We also explore why people struggle with inferiority complexes, people’s most significant obstacles, and how to defeat the fear of failure. Drexwell also talks about his book, why he decided to write it, and much more.
Steve Shallenberger: Welcome to our podcast listeners wherever you may be in the world today. This is your host, Steve Shallenberger. We are honored to have you join us today. We have a special guest with us. He was born in the Turks and Caicos Islands, which is where he lives today. We’re going to talk about that and he’s going to tell us where it’s at. At age 16, Drexwell was blessed to receive a scholarship to attend Wilmington College in Ohio and then, later on, pursued his MBA in Finance from Miami University. Drexwell never imagined he would go to college as his family had very little income and none of his other siblings attended college. So, welcome, Drexwell Seymour!
Drexwell Seymour: Thank you, Mr. Steve, for having me on the show. I’m delighted to be here today. Thank you very much again.
Steve Shallenberger: I’ve been looking forward to this. Before we get started today, I would like to tell you just a little more about Drexwell. Prior to going to college, he suffered from an inferiority complex and continued to suffer most of his life. Eventually, Drexwell was able to overcome this inferiority complex and he discovered his purpose, which is to encourage, influence, and inspire others, which is a great mission. Drexwell has an accounting firm and a property management firm. He also has a YouTube channel sharing inspirational videos on a weekly basis. He also writes weekly columns in the newsletter. He is also the host of Financially Speaking, a weekly radio show. Drexwell also wrote and published his first book, Rise Up and Take Your Position, a motivational book to encourage individuals to pursue their talents and purpose. So, to get us kicked off today, Drexwell, tell us about your background. I would love to hear about turning points in your life, things that have had a significant impact on what’s allowed you to get where you are today.
Drexwell Seymour: Oh, thank you again, Steve. I just want to say, when I look back at my life, sometimes you look back at it with a lot of adversity. But as I got older, I’m glad sometimes I went through the things I went through because it allowed me to be the person I am today. So, as you mentioned, for most of my life, I suffered an inferiority complex because I didn’t like how I look, I didn’t like the color of my skin. And all of that bothered me so much, and I had this low self-esteem. But then about five or six years ago, my life changed. I started feeling confident in myself, I started believing in who I am, and I started believing I have a purpose. And then from then onwards, I started living my purpose.
Steve Shallenberger: Okay, that’s a big turning point, isn’t it?
Drexwell Seymour: Yeah, it was.
Steve Shallenberger: Well, let’s dive into that. First of all, tell us where the Turks and Caicos Islands are and how do you say it.
Drexwell Seymour: We are right below the Bahamas. So you have Florida, you got the Bahamas, and then you have Turks and Caicos. So, we’re right in the Caribbean, and we have some of the best beaches in the world. That’s what we’re known for. We win prizes every year for the best speech. It’s very quiet, but our main industry is tourism, like most Caribbean islands. So, this is where we live, and this is where most people come to visit.
Steve Shallenberger: Oh, I was just mentioning to Drexwell that last week I was in Aruba, a little bit further down in the Caribbeans, just at the end of them, for an insurance conference, and it was a delightful experience, similar kind of area, beautiful beaches. Every day was a beautiful day. That’s our outlook on life. And from there, I went directly to South Africa, where we did a two-day live Becoming Your Best leadership seminar. And I love people all over, and your message is one that people everywhere deal with and have to look in the mirror and say, “Who am I? What am I about? And How can I make a difference?” And how they feel about themselves is a big deal. So, Drexwell, if you don’t mind, from your point of view, from your experience, why do people suffer from an inferiority complex?
Drexwell Seymour: Steve, I believe that people suffer because people do not know who they are. Society has dictated what success is: Success is having a lot of money in the bank account, living in a certain society, and the type of job you have, all that people label as success. So people suffer because they’re not in that category because they’re comparing themselves to other people, they never feel that they will reach the level that other people have deemed to reach. And so they suffer, basically, because they’re comparing themselves to other people.
Steve Shallenberger: Oh, that’s a really keen insight, Drexwell, I appreciate that observation. As you know, one of the things that we talk about is Becoming Your Best, it’s based on research and on what people can do to become their best. But I agree with you, one of the biggest challenges is sometimes people try to become somebody else’s best or they see somebody else and they think they ought to be like that, but the title is Becoming ‘Your’ Best. And that’s it. We should not compare ourselves against somebody else, but it’s taking what we have and moving it up from there. So what are recommendations that you have, Drexwell, on how to overcome an inferiority complex? How do you do that? What are some of your thoughts?
Drexwell Seymour: Well, my first thought, I believe, is that I think people should do as much research as possible. For example, I wrote the book, Rise Up and Take Your Position, where I encourage people that everybody has a gift. So I think people should practice reading. A lot of us don’t read. When you read, you will discover there are so many people who went through similar things that they went through, and they document it. Because sometimes people feel like they are going through that situation, but when you start reading other people’s stories, for example, Becoming Your Best, you will realize that you’re not unique and that you are somebody. Again, that’s the first thing that we need to do is to read other people’s stories. And the second thing, I think people have to recognize that they came into this world for a purpose. That is not a coincidence, they’re not a mistake, that they’re here for a purpose. And I think a lot of people do not recognize that; they feel that they are a mistake, they feel that they were unwanted, so they don’t deserve to be here. So people have to recognize that. And the third thing I think they need to do is they need to love themselves. A lot of people do not love themselves. They love other people, but they don’t love themselves. And then the fourth thing, I think, people need to be is to be content with who they are instead of becoming somebody else because I believe that everything that you need to be or has to be is within you, you just need to find it.
Steve Shallenberger: Oh, that’s great advice. So, read, open the world to yourself, open your mind up and discover. It’s an adventure. And realize everybody has value. You have a purpose, sometimes you just don’t know about it. Is that what you’re saying?
Drexwell Seymour: Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying, Steve, because we don’t know. They will tell you, “We still don’t know.”
Steve Shallenberger: We’ll talk more about these love yourself, that’s a big one. You need to look in the mirror and say, “I love you. You are of value. You can make a difference. You can lift the world.” And really it starts with their own world, and then that light goes outward. I like to really dig in on the purpose. What’s your advice and experience of how someone discovers their purpose? Because it’s there, I agree with you, and every person is unique. In the San Francisco Bay area, there’s an airport. On the wall is a big art piece, it’s about three feet wide and six feet tall, and it’s of a fingerprint. I took a picture of it and I thought of all the billions of people that live on Earth today and that have ever lived, no one’s ever had that fingerprint. It’s unique and special. So, how do people discover their purpose, Drexwell?
Drexwell Seymour: What I tell people, based on my experience, is that everything that you need to know about your purpose is right within you. Of course, you might need to enhance it and do some research and do more studying, but everything is within you. And I think some of the things that you know your purpose is, I think, when you go to sleep at night, thinking about something, when you get excited about something, those are the steps of knowing your purpose. For example, you come to work and you’re not happy, you know that’s not a part of your purpose. But when you are doing something that you love, that you get excited about, that you put all your energy in, those steps to discovering your purpose. And sometimes they may be dormant, but once you activate it, you will realize that is your purpose. Things that keep you up at night, things that bother you, that you want to make a difference in somebody’s life or make a change in your life. That’s the things that you need to look into to determine where your purpose lies.
Steve Shallenberger: Oh, that’s a great insight. You have a lot of experience and wisdom in this, and I’m glad you’re sharing it. We’re really talking about when a person gets an idea, when a person gets this vision of what they’re about, it’s life-changing because now they have a direction to put their energy and passion in and see this transformation. From your experience, you just shared this and talked about it — reading. That is one way to kind of spark the mind up and think of it, and maybe just reflect on what’s possible. What do you like doing? How do you build your skills? Let’s take you for example, Drexwell, somehow you decided you wanted to go to college, nobody else around you, or very few people around you were thinking like that, that had that idea. And yet, you were one of the few that went to Ohio and went to school there, got a college degree, and later got an MBA. Where did those ideas come from? And once you had the idea, it changed everything, I’m pretty sure.
Drexwell Seymour: It did. I mean, honestly, I always wanted to be an accountant. That was my favorite subject in high school. So I know in order for me to be an accountant, I had to go to college because you have to get a degree and you take the CPA exam. So that was always my idea. I just didn’t know how I was going to get to college. And it so happened that an opportunity presented itself while I was last year in school, I went back to high school for another year, there was a scholarship available and I decided, “I’m gonna apply for this scholarship.” And I was the first recipient, and that’s what I did. The odds were against me because not my family went to college and all that stuff. But because I knew I wanted to be an accountant, I decided to apply for the scholarship, and I got it and I went to Ohio.
Steve Shallenberger: So, for all of our listeners today, for Drexwell and for Steve Shallenberger, I want to just remind us, the offer for the scholarship didn’t come first; it was the idea, the inspiration that came first, and then the scholarship became obvious, it appears, it came to him and you took advantage of that.
Drexwell Seymour: Absolutely, you’re right. You’re spot on, Steve, absolutely.
Steve Shallenberger: I love it. What are the obstacles to someone reaching their purpose or vision? What are the things that get in the way that you’ve seen?
Drexwell Seymour: I think one of the greatest obstacles is being afraid. We have this fear. And because you’re afraid to do things, that just creates obstacles. Because if you have this fear, you will never move to the next level because you’re afraid to take that risk. And then the next obstacle is a lack of confidence. And I think the lack of confidence and fear go hand in hand. Because if you are fearful, you’re going to lack confidence. But if you have the courage and boldness, then you’re going to have confidence. So I think those are the two main obstacles in people’s lives.
Steve Shallenberger: That’s a good observation. I love that. When you think about going forward, sometimes people are fearful they may fail. That’s where the fear comes in, so they don’t act in the first place. So, tell us about your experience with failure. Is it good? Is it bad? Should people fear? What’s the deal here?
Drexwell Seymour: Well, I think, naturally, people are going to be afraid of failure. And that’s why a lot of people are not successful businesspeople because they don’t want to take the risk, so they’re afraid of failure. I failed my first exam in college, I have failed on businesses. But out of those failures, I learned from them. I didn’t let it keep me down. And I think that’s part of the problem. People need to realize that they will experience failures, but they are opportunities, you learn from them. Most successful people in the world, they went through failures. But they didn’t like to keep them down, they keep trying until they became successful in what they do. And I think that’s what they need to overcome, overcome this fear of failure because failure will take place, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.
Steve Shallenberger: I love that healthy view of failure, that it’s really the way forward. In life, we all get knocked down, and that’s okay. But what’s not okay is just laying there and giving up. And that’s the difference. And if we think about the history of people that we love and respect, that really inspire us over history, they have all been knocked down. But what inspires us is that they got back up, learned from their experiences, made adjustments, and turned it into a triumph, over and over again. And that’s the very same thing that you’ve done and I’ve done in my research, Drexwell, it’s interesting. I interviewed over 175 CEOs around the world and I was fortunate to discover quite a few things: Number one, none are perfect; number two, I saw over and over 12 things that they did that created this chemistry of success, that’s what I put in the book, Becoming Your Best. But here’s the other thing I learned, Drexwell, is that average one of these people that by most accounts, most people would say, “Wow! They’re really successful, they’re making a difference.” Failed, on average, they had four major failures, big-time failures, but they also had seven successes. So, this is life. Is that what you’re saying?
Drexwell Seymour: That’s exactly what it is, Steve. You’re gonna have failures, but you’re gonna have more successes than failures.
Steve Shallenberger: Tell us about your book, Rise Up and Take Your Position. That sounds like a fun book, I can’t wait to get it.
Drexwell Seymour: Thank you. It’s a motivational book. And what I decided after I discovered that I have this gift of writing, I decided to document a book on my experiences of suffering from an inferiority complex. Because I believe a lot of people out there are suffering somehow, I wanted them to read the book, to motivate them, to overcome it, and to encourage them that each of them has a gift, find that gift, and cultivate it. And when you cultivate it, you rise up. And when you rise up, you take your position as well. Everybody has a position in this world, we just need to find it, rise up, and do it. And that’s what the book is about.
Steve Shallenberger: What a refreshing approach; helping people realize their potential and bringing out the best within others. Way to go. That’s a good job. I’m always, Drexwell, how fast these interviews go, and we’re at the end of our interview already. So, before we’re done today, one thing that I would really enjoy, and I’m sure our listeners would, is any final tips that you have for our listeners today.
Drexwell Seymour: Yes, I would love to encourage our listeners to– a lot of people do not do this, but I want to encourage them to document their goals. I believe that everybody has ideas or things that they would like to achieve, and I encourage them to document their goals and put it in a place that is visible so every time they get up or before they go to bed, they could see it, it reminds them, “This is what you have set,” so that they will be encouraged to pursue their goals. Once you see that on your face, I believe it will give you momentum to pursue your goals. And I also want to add, which I’ve already mentioned, is don’t compare yourself to anybody. Things might happen and you might experience failures, you may see other people succeeding, and so you may end up doing the same thing they do. Don’t do that. Stick to your goals. Do what you believe that you believe that you are called to do. And I just want to end with that.
Steve Shallenberger: Well, that’s great. That’s really wonderful advice, and it really stimulates even more thinking. So, Drexwell is saying, keep your goals in front of you, write them down physically. Your purpose, your vision, these thoughts that you have about the future and your goals for now, so that you see them, and you’re reminded of them, and they guide you. I’d like to add one thing to that, and that is, we would like to recommend that you just buy a notebook or a journal and just write down your thoughts about your ideas. Because what happens as you write down your thoughts, you see more. And as you do what Drexwell has talked about today, you read and think about yourself and how wonderful you are, you’re going to have inspirational thoughts and ideas about what that looks like. So together with your goals like that, which is a great suggestion, have a place where you can put your thoughts down, and that’ll become one of the most valuable assets that you have, you can keep it right next to your bed or wherever. Well, this has been wonderful today. Loved your thoughts. For all of us that have been listening, I’d like to invite you to just sit back and think about some of these points that we’ve talked about today. And Drexwell, how can people find out about what you’re doing?
Drexwell Seymour: I have a website, which is www.drexwellseymour.com. I also have a YouTube, Drexwell Seymour, where I do inspirational videos every week. And of course, the book is on Amazon.
Steve Shallenberger: It has been a total delight to have Drexwell Seymour with us today. Congratulations on the accomplishments that you’ve experienced, the things that you’re doing, and the inspiration that you are to so many people. We wish you all the best as you continue to be a light to people all over.
Drexwell Seymour: Thank you. I appreciate that opportunity. And same to you, Steve, and with your book as well. Thank you very much.
Steve Shallenberger: It’s been a privilege, Drexwell. All of our listeners, we are honored and privileged that you joined us today. It says so much about you, your desire to become your best, to bring the best out within your life, and the fact that you bless other people. So, we wish you all the best today and always. This is Steve Shallenberger, your host, with Becoming Your Best Global Leadership, signing off.
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