My 2nd Grade Teacher Dissed Me

Read Time: 5 Minutes

I made a 1 minute TLDR video for you if you don’t want to read the newsletter (but I really hope you do):

Mrs. Person Had Something To Tell Me

My Grade 2 report card is on a faded green heavy stock paper and smells like a closet in my grandparents’ house. It is sitting on my desk and in good shape, considering its age.

I earned B’s in Reading, Phonics, and Punctuation and A’s in Spelling and Mathematics. S’s (as in satisfactory) in Science, Music, Art, and P.E. It was one of my best report cards ever.

Besides my grades, this report card bears witness to my teacher's thoughts about me:

Nick - you are an interesting boy who has the benefit of an enriching home environment.”

Mrs. Bonnie Person, my 2nd-grade teacher

Yes, she underlined the word interesting.


What makes a 2nd-grade kid interesting?

When I moved from California to the south for college, I learned the phrase, “Well, bless your heart.”

It didn’t take long to find out that phrase was a proper southern version of “I wish I could say what I’m really thinking.”

I have been called many things. Most are kind. Some are ugly. But rarely are they ambiguous; I leave an impression on people.

“Interesting” seemed like the equivalent of “I want to say a lot more things about you, but I value my job, so I will write “interesting,” and I hope by the time you are 45, you will have done enough work on yourself that you will understand what I mean.” (I may be projecting a little here).🤷‍♂️

And check out that last part about my home. Here, she hit out of the park; my home life was enriching on all sorts of levels.

Flannery O’Connor said, “anyone who has survived childhood has enough material to write for the rest of his or her life.” Consider this fair warning, dear reader.

In the nicest way possible, she knew my family was anything but basic.

That sentence was “Well, bless your heart” via a report card. Mrs. Person saw something unique in me before I learned cursive.

And she was right. I am interesting. I am unique. I am quirky. And leaning into my quirkiness has led to most of the good things in my life.

According to Mrs. Person, I was born that way.

I’d bet a lot of money 💵 that you were born with some specific character traits. And when exercised, they become your superpower.

It’s stunning to see a person who has tapped into their superpower. They are dangerous. They are alive. They are called.

They love a thing so much that they would do it without any hope of fame or money.

Quirks and Features

Doug Demuro loves his job so much that I bet he would do it with fame or money. He is one of my favorite YouTubers because of his passion for cars.

Doug dresses in wrinkled t-shirts, khaki shorts, and dad shoes. He is unpolished.

But none of that matters because Doug is a car enthusiast in the purest sense. His enthusiasm is palpable, starting each episode with a loud “This is the ______, and today I am going to review it” and ending with a “Doug Score” for each car.

I have watched dozens of his videos. Many of those videos are in cars that I am not interested in. But when Doug shows their “quirks and features,” I become invested because he is interesting.

In the video below, Doug shares his car enthusiast journey that started with him taking a picture of a Porsche Carrera GT as a teenager. This led to a series of writing gigs, starting a YouTube channel (4.5MM subscribers), and building a company called Cars and Bids. which he recently sold a stake in, allowing him to buy his own Porsche Carerra GT. (These cars range in price from $1.2MM to $2.5MM)

I love this video. It is honest, and it is true. It is like most entrepreneurs’ journeys. It includes hard work, late nights, and irrational risks. It also includes the magic of unexplainable epiphanies along the way. Deus ex machina, a close companion on his journey.

This video honors Doug’s interesting personality. He became obsessed with what interested him, and he ran with it. He was never in it for fame or money; he was in it because he loved cars. And he had to share that with the world.

Work for free

None of my business ventures until now interested me enough to do them without pay. In fact, the main reason I was pursuing risky entrepreneurial ventures was that I was chasing the illusive “capital event” in which all of my risks finally paid off.

Now I spend my time as an executive coach, and it is the first time in my professional career that I would do this work without getting paid (but please don’t tell my clients this 😉).

I was designed to create sacred experiences that lead to truth-telling and life change.

I am typing this at 5 am on the morning after a ski trip with three entrepreneur friends who are all passionate about their work.

They have arrived at that mythical place in their career where they are aligned with how they were created. They have aligned their passions with their career, and they are thriving.

This is not to say that there aren’t painful seasons. They are still there. But since they focus on their legacies, they integrate the pain and run towards it.

And as you can see by the picture below, even in our 40s, we are still finding ways to be interesting.

You Do You

Mrs. Person saw something in me, and she named it.

“Interesting” may have been a slight, but I wear it with pride. I don’t want to be like anyone else. I want to be the best version of myself.

I want to thrive.

Standing out from the crowd. Following your own path. Listening to your own drum beat.

Call it what you want, but whatever it is, be you.

Your main job is to find out what you are designed for and then attack that with everything resource you have. This is true if you are in college, in a midlife crisis, or recently retired.

It will be messy and might require you to kill some of your idols.

It’s worth it.

It is never too early or too late to follow your calling. When you find your calling is when you are supposed to have found it.

What about you ? What will you do with this one wild and precious life?

Resources for your journey:

1) A book to read to help you get comfortable with being uncomfortable:

The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort To Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self

2) An audiobook that illustrates the power of following your calling:

Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story

My favorite quote so far:

If I can stay inside the songs, they will sing me and this night will not be work, but play.


3) A piece of beautiful writing from Seth Haines:

Coming Clean: A Story of Faith

If you like what I share with you, would you please pay it forward by sharing it with someone you think may benefit as well?

As a thank you, the reader with the highest number of referrers for the month will get to choose one of the following:

  • One-hour coaching session with Nick ($1,000 value)

  • A $100 donation to your favorite charity in your name

  • A reMarkable Tablet 2

It’s easy to share; use the links at the top of this email 👆or the personalized link below👇

I provide audacious coaching for courageous leaders. When you are ready, there are five ways I can help you grow:

  1. Connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter, or just hit reply to this email if you have questions or want to continue the discussion.

  2. Check out Nick’s Good Books for a free list of books to help you create a new lens in your life.

  3. Online courses through The Good Entrepreneur Institute (Releasing six new courses in 2023)

  4. Group coaching through the Kennedy Leadership Program (Full, but please add your name to the waitlist to be notified when enrollment opens again.)

  5. Private coaching as a Platinum Coaching Client (Full, but add your name to the waitlist to be notified of openings in the future.)

Talk soon,