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Matt Higgins went from humble beginnings cleaning tables at a fast-food restaurant to becoming a self-made millionaire and guest investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” During a speech at Molloy University, he shared the simple three-word question that he credits with helping him achieve success: “Why not me?” Higgins emphasized that life is not determined by where you start or end, but by the distance you cover in between, and encouraged the graduating students to adopt this mindset as well. He believes that asking yourself “why not me?” can help combat imposter syndrome and open up new opportunities that you might not have considered otherwise.

Imposter syndrome affects around 70% of people at some point in their lives, and Higgins personally experienced feelings of inadequacy when he first became a guest investor on “Shark Tank.” However, he pushed past these doubts by constantly reminding himself of the power of the question, “Why not me?” This mindset led him to become the youngest mayoral press secretary in New York history at 26 and increase his salary significantly. In 2012, he co-founded RSE Ventures, the company that ultimately made him a millionaire.

Barbara Corcoran, a fellow “Shark Tank” co-star, also benefited from a similar mindset early in her career. Starting a real estate firm at 23, she struggled to believe in her own worthiness of wealth due to her lower-middle-class background. Despite her doubts, she persevered and repeated affirmations to herself such as “I have the right to be rich” and “I have the right to create something out of nothing.” While it took time for her to truly believe these statements, she wishes she had been more compassionate towards herself during the process.

Higgins emphasizes the importance of having an ambitious attitude and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone in order to keep moving forward. He believes that your past should not limit your future potential, and that by constantly asking yourself “Why not me?” you can break through self-imposed barriers and achieve your goals. Both Higgins and Corcoran serve as examples of how adopting this mindset can lead to success and growth in various aspects of life and business.

As an investor himself, Higgins understands the power of confidence and effective communication in the business world. He encourages individuals to enroll in CNBC’s online course on public speaking to improve their skills in this area. By learning how to speak clearly and confidently, manage nerves, and use body language effectively, individuals can enhance their professional presence and make a positive impression. Additionally, signing up for CNBC Make It’s newsletter can provide valuable tips and tricks for success in work, money, and life.

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