What Is Your (dis) Advantage?

Brian Buffini and Aimee Mullins are about as different as 2 people can be, yet they have one common attribute. They both have what we would all think of as major disadvantages, that they each consider their greatest strengths.

Buffini is an Irish immigrant who came to America in the mid-80’s with $92 in his pocket. He knew no one and had nothing, but knew America was where he would find his destiny. Shortly after coming here, he was in a motorcycle accident that put him in the hospital for 2 weeks and put him $250,000 in debt ($2 million in today’s dollars) with no insurance.

A few years later, he was the top real estate agent in the country and now flies his private jet around the world to train millions of real estate agents through Buffini and Co.

Mullins was born missing bones in both of her lower legs and both were amputated below the knee when she was an infant. A “double BK” is a very rare amputation that conventional thinking would consider incredibly debilitating.

Aimee became a college national track champion, an Olympic athlete and is now an actress (Eleven’s mom in Stranger Things) model & motivational speaker, including 2 Ted Talks.

I had the opportunity to listen to Brian and Aimee speak last week in San Antonio at the Berkshire Hathaway Hoemservices convention. I was struck by two things about each of them. First, neither of them dwelt on their “disadvantages” at the times they struggled. They had a clear mission ahead of them and viewed their problems simply as hurdles to overcome. Second, looking back, each of them considers their disadvantage the primary reason for their success. It made them stronger and more focused. In fact, both of them had stories of people telling them, in all seriousness, that they had an unfair advantage.

I don’t have the space here to tell you their full stories. I encourage you to Google them both and learn more. I would be happy to lend you my copy of Buffini’s book The Emmigrant Edge and Mullin’s Ted Talks are available on-line.

Check the app for this weeks table topic. Have a great week!

Tim

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