How “Other” is My Brother

My brother at I at the  Houston Business Journal's  "40 under 40" event at the House of Blues. Houston, Texas, May 2011.

My brother at I at the Houston Business Journal's "40 under 40" event at the House of Blues. Houston, Texas, May 2011.

My brother is also an entrepreneur. The Houston Business Journal named us both to its "40 under 40" in 2011.

I'd love to interview my brother for this site someday. We are very different entrepreneurs.

That's no value judgment—we're just very different people, and very different entrepreneurs as a result.

And when you're very different from someone, you can see them at the distance needed to truly appreciate who they are and what they offer.

This is a love letter to my brother.

My brother is a true extrovert.

People gravitate to him. When my brother enters the room, his personality is bigger than the space. Everyone benefits from his energy, his enthusiasm, his sense of humor, and his benevolence. He has always had an entourage—people who feel being in his presence is better than anywhere else.

My brother is 100 percent comfortable with himself.

Confidence may seem synonymous with extroversion, but it's not. People who are extroverts can still be insecure. Not my brother. Not even in the slightest. He knows who he is, he likes himself, and he doesn't care if anyone else has a problem with it. He’s not perfect, but he's the first person to point out his imperfections—and to indicate that he's not going to apologize for them. I could probably count on one hand the number of people who can say the same.

My brother believes things into being.

Self-help gurus tell people to live as though they’ve achieved their dreams—that acting like they're already the reality will make it so. My brother lives this way naturally—without convincing himself or giving himself pep talks. He makes things happen by believing they will happen. Straight out of college, he told my mother and me that he wouldn’t take less than a certain salary. The stated salary was exorbitant for fresh diplomas. Know what? He got that salary. Plus some.

My brother takes risks.

Perhaps because he believes in himself so strongly, he has few inhibitions and few fears. He rushes headlong into what seems to be the unknown without hesitation. This is true in his hobbies and true in his business life. Where most of us would cringe in the face of fear or possible defeat, my brother charges forward—and he’s never defeated.

Me? I'm an introvert who's better one on one than in large groups. I feel socially awkward most of the time and hope no one notices. I doubt myself too much—and I'm often too scared to take the really big risks.

I'll never have my brother's amazing qualities—and I'm okay with that. But there are many, many things I should try to emulate. Appreciating him is the first step.

Love you, bro.