As much as everyone wants to feel special and different to everyone else, most of us prefer to fit in. It can often be more comfortable to vicariously live through others and instead to look from the outside at people who are “different” than to strive to be different yourself.
From a very young age if you feel different to others and don’t seem to fit in it can make you feel isolated and even abnormal. It’s tough being different.
Tayo Rockson is different. And from an early age, rather than fighting to fit in, he strove to be different. It wasn’t easy—even from 10 years old, he started to encounter how others saw him as “different” for the first time. He grew up in Nigeria with a thick accent in an otherwise French-speaking country, where he attended an American international school.
Tayo described it as, “…the beginning of the worst for me because I had this huge identity crisis where I thought that I needed to be like everybody else… and as a 10 year old, the last thing you want to do is to stand out for the wrong reasons! At the time, everything made me stand out; my accent, the food I ate, my skin color, my hair…”
The stress to Tayo was huge and resulted in a prolonged depression while he tried to figure out who he was and how to be true to himself as a “different” 10 year old without entirely isolating himself from his peers.
As Tayo grew up, differences seemed to always find him, or he was somehow curiously attracted to them. Whether it was the fact he started to live and travel around the world, or the differences in the educational and career choices he made.
But then at 22 it all came crashing to a violent halt. A massive car crash brought everything into stark reality for Tayo—an event that forced him to look deep within. He started to investigate what it was about his identity that he could love. At that point he just started to dive into his passions.
Tayo Rockson is different; how he decided to use those differences is what sets him apart.
Tayo is a three-time TEDx speaker, author, speaker, podcaster, and consultant with an incredible story. He’s lived on multiple continents, and everywhere he’s lived he’s learned how to use his differences to make a difference. He describes that as his personal mission statement and it’s the title of his new book, “Use Your Difference to Make a Difference”.
With such a different, diverse, rich and wealthy background Tayo had consciously built a wealthy life for himself precisely by using his many differences to create many big advantages for everyone he comes into contact with or has worked with.
In our world today differences are increasingly suppressed, either in social peer groups, in the media, and nationally and internally. Differences have become a way to isolate and denigrate people and to promote our own superiority. Tayo leads by example and provides a way for anyone to celebrate, strengthen, and share their own unique differences for the benefit of others.
In this episode of WealthWise Tayo shares a highly self-aware perspective on living a wealthy life and making a difference through celebrating differences.