One of the most valuable things that I have learned in my life is that “feelings pass” and “we are not our feelings”. You are loved, adored, and damn good at everything you do. Yesterday, I had a blistering headache for hours and hours and hours. Pain meds didn’t help. Coffee, diet coke, none of it seemed to help. I was convinced that I was going to have a stroke or something ominous (you know how we get crazy in our heads sometimes). I told my friend and she said, “Oh, did you drink any water yesterday? You sound thirsty.” Huh???? I sound thirsty? I realized that I had not drunk any water for days… just coffee and diet coke. Lesson learned? When I feel like crap, take it to basic life 101 and ask myself the following questions: am I hungry? thristy? tired? Some days, I just need to be like a baby: eat, drink, and go take a nap. Thankfully, I don’t poop in my pants still!
Every day you are either building a relationship or tearing it down. With your co-workers, your clients, your family: everybody. It bears keeping in mind that our actions and attitudes either grow or kill something. Little by little. Drop by drop.
Death by a thousand cuts.
Life by countless acts of kindness.
It is easy to wish our lot was better, easier, softer. An easy trap to fall into. Especially, if the roof over your head depends on it. Yet, we are all so fortunate in so many ways. Most of our days are good and pleasant ones. Our adversities are trivial and can be surmounted with patience, fortitude and a plan.
So Fortune… as in Good Luck or that Windfall or Lucky Break or Priviledge… do not count on that. Do not seek it out or wait for it to drop on you like a mantle from heaven.
Rather, gird yourself up. Face your life head on. Come up with a plan, and another plan and yet another. How can you solve this problem? How long will it reasonably and realistically take? What is the cost to you, both monetarily and mentally?
Today, I made a decision to let go of a frivolity that has been obsessing me for several months. Ludicrous thoughts of “I deserve it” or “I can justify it” picked at my peace.
I have a plan of action for getting myself not only completely out of debt, but also on a path of steady solvency. A path that will allow me a greater amount of long-term peace than I have had in many years. So I let it go. Not “gave it up”… but rather let go of my stranglehold of thought on it.
Thomas Edison nailed it when he said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overhauls and looks like work.”
I can work to take care of my clients and my family.
I can work to have a positive outlook on life, regardless of my circumstances.
I will do the work required.
You can too.
Avoid the race to the bottom.
You know that one where you can do it for cheaper, faster, every time.
That is a sure-fire way to burn yourself out in a simpering puddle of wax.
Not even a spectacular fireball, but rather someone who has a heart of gold, the best intentions, and a real earnestness to do the job well who is simply ground out of the picture.
I am speaking from personal experience and stepping back from the edge of a disaster of my own making. ” My clients are chosen with care for the mutual respect and benefit of us both. For the relationship to be an ongoing win-win for both parties. My craftsmanship makes your work shine. It amplifies your presence and gives you a leadership position. My job makes your job easier and gives you peace of mind. If you can not afford my rates, I completely understand, but I need to live for another sixty years, so you will respect that I have to maintain my work-life balance as well.”
This is a hard internal conversation to have. And you MUST have the internal conversation before you can have the one with a potential client or a client who has gone rogue.
You are worth the differences that you bring to the table. You are worth swimming upstream for.
You have a choice, right now.
You can either choose to “make something you think people will buy” or you can freaking make that thing that is inside you.
And you will be stuck with that choice for years, for decades, and perhaps for your entire life.
So, think now and decide. Oh yes, you can change your mind, but the pain and the cost is compounded from this moment forward.
Experience shows me that I can not sustain selling myself out. Odds are, neither can you. Nor can the folks who believe in you.
Goodwill it turns out, has an expiration date.
For your client?
For the consumer?
For your company?
Many times we make decisions based on the short-term fix.
Or the short-sighted “answer” because it might serve you best in that particular moment.
But what is the overall best?
If you need to, make a chart and list out the pros and cons if need be.
The answer is there, if you will dig for it and face it.
Get your head out of the sand, Friend.
Look at your finances.
Look at the money pit that is bleeding your business dry.
As tempting as it may be to ignore it, that is lethal behavior and you must not cultivate or encourage it.
Look at the numbers and the facts.
To do otherwise is to be dishonest with yourself and with everyone else invested in you.
First and foremost, you must be you.
Not who you think people want you to be, but you, as you are right now.
Not the you that you once were.
Nor the you that might yet be.
The you now.
Present. Human. Doing your best with what they have in hand.
Not perfect. Not a god/goddess.
That is what the world needs today.
I’m glad we both are here.
Recently, I was helping oversee a large installation project for one of my clients’ buildings. It was going beautifully till suddenly, I was told that I had forgotten to order an entire hallway’s framing. This was on a Friday, and the client was expecting Very Important Guests for a meeting at 8 a.m. Monday morning.
The first thought, as always, is to panic. Then to faint. Then to be swallowed in a hole and disappear.
Thankfully, these thoughts generally only last a few seconds and I am able to keep a poker face of composure while absorbing the unfortunate news. My first action was to place a call and see if there was any way to create a solution to the problem.
- Could my vendor produce the needed materials over the weekend and let me come and pick them up?
- Would the facility be open so that I could come and install the missing pieces before Monday morning?
Once I had the answers, the next and most painful part of the problem was to find my client and confront them with the news and apologize. This was a new client, so I knew that I risked in my mistake, the chance to lose my client’s permanent trust right there in that moment. Yet, to try to cover or to try to shift blame, “I didn’t make this mistake” would only have made the situation worse.
Like most small business owners, there is only one person accountable for whether or not a project succeeds or fails. Only one person the paper trail and conversations lead back to. In this instance, I was working with a team, yet I was the project lead and so ultimately, no matter whose fault it was, I was the one responsible.
So, I faced the client with a smile, and with an honest admission as to what had happened and what the solution was. The client trusted me to follow through on the solution and it all worked out for the good. The VIPs were properly impressed and the contented client and I have now collaborated on several additional projects together with our teams.
Don’t avoid the conversation.
If at all possible, find a solution to offer with the conversation.
Robinson Studio focuses on helping clients behind the scenes with ghost writing, social media, video content, and sound marketing strategies. To learn more visit Robinson Studio.
Make a list.
Write it out.
What words describe you.
Now, what is your company known for?
Make a list.
Write it out.
Look at it: is it true?
Does it reflect and say what you want your company to say?
Consider posting the lists where you can see it multiple times a day.
If you have a business with a cash register… put the business one there as well.
Let your customers read it. They will let you know if it’s the truth.