There is one key to success in any profession or career – that key is YOU!
Let’s begin with a paramount truth: You are responsible for your own success or failure in life. Whatever the circumstances, you choose to react how you react. You choose action in the right direction, or neglect and complacency. Accept this responsibility and you will begin to make changes to help your life improve. You won’t be able to NOT guide yourself towards better things. Don’t be a victim.
You are your own “Personal Services Corporation”
This concept is stolen directly from the author and speaker, Brian Tracy. It’s absolutely true. While you may work for a company, it isn’t “you” that they are paying for. It’s not payment for your time at your desk. They are paying for your skills and abilities, commitment and hard work, attitudes and orientations, production and output.
As your own personal services corporation, it’s up to you to invest wisely to improve your business. What skills can you gain to make you more valuable? Is there equipment that you can use to make your corporation more efficient and profitable? What can you improve upon to help you be more valuable?
It’s hard not to think at this point – “I’m putting in this time and effort for someone else!” Agreed. It feels just like that. Don’t get caught in short-term thinking. The enjoyment that you will get by being able to leverage your own investment on your own behalf makes all of the time, money, and other sacrifice worthwhile. The moment when you realize that you have options because of your own efforts is like hitting a home run or scoring the winning basket.
Stop complaining. Invest in yourself and you’ll never be sorry. Your investment is the foundation for success in your life.
Pick a goal – now!
Ok, so you feel like you are in a rut. You don’t make enough money or perhaps you are not happy enough. You are carrying too much weight. You don’t like the way you dress. Whatever it is that you want to improve or accomplish, pick a realistic goal and attach a timeline to it. Goals without dates are just wishes. Pick a modest goal and set a date. For example:
By the end of this month, I will lose 5 pounds.
By August 1st, I will pass that certification.
By September 1st, my website will be online, and I will have a main page, a contacts page, and an information request page.
Write the goal down somewhere you can see it all the time. If it is some goal that you want to keep private, just print out a page with a circle on it. You know what it means when you look at it and that’s what matters. At my last job, I had two symbols looking me in the face every minute of every day. I was able to keep my goals in my mind and be reminded of them all of the time. It was a GREAT tool to help me refocus on what was important.
Action Orientation – get it!
Do it. Start. Go! Take a step NOW. Action orientation is about making things happen. Planning is important. Doing something is more important. Take my advice – even if you feel like you have no idea what you are doing, do SOMETHING. Often our best lessons are often in the form of our failures. If you have many paths before you and you choose the wrong one, you now have one less wrong path to choose. If you make things happen, you will gain wisdom and you will accomplish your goals. It’s inevitable with enough effort and persistence. These ideas are again stolen from various positive thinkers, including Brian Tracy and Anthony Robbins. I invested in them while investing in myself and it has paid off.
Failure? Not if you are still asking “How?”
Short term failure is OK. Everyone hits the brick wall from time to time. Everyone has an off day or a bad performance. That is just fine and it’s not the end of the world. The key is to keep asking yourself the very simple but important question: “How?” It’s important because it provokes thought. When you ask yourself how, you will immediately get your mind in the mode of searching for an answer. “How?” brings up options. Hit a brick wall again? Ask “How?” again. Another byproduct of continuing past small failures is that they become less important. In my life I’ve had presentations fail. Equipment that doesn’t perform for some reason when I need it to. In the beginning, it was traumatic. I was upset that I had spent so much time preparing only to have it blow up when I really needed it to work. Over time, I’ve learned that failures are going to happen and many times I can turn that into an advantage. Everyone understands what it’s like to have something go wrong and if you have the right attitude about it, everyone in the room can be pulling for you by the end! Ultimately, failure doesn’t happen until you give up. Before that, you are still working on it. You can always decide to go a different direction, but that’s not failure either. That is learning through a process and making the decision to change your goals based on the new information. One less wrong path to pursue.
“Trinity, GET UP!” Ok, maybe it’s corny but I refer to this line from “The Matrix” movie in my head all of the time. In this scene, the character Trinity has just been through a stressful time and she is on the ground. She’s got a choice – to lie there and wait for doom, or get up and keep fighting. She tells herself to get up – and guess what? She gets up and keeps going. We all need that message and it’s not going to mean more from anyone else than it does coming from your own lips. If you are down, GET UP!
Invest in yourself, set goals, become action oriented, become responsible in your own mind for your own success and one of two things will happen for you:
Your employer will see your commitment and the benefits, and they will reward you accordingly. That is great and everyone is happy.
Your employer will ignore your contributions. They will treat them as an expected part of the job. They will act as though you are doing the minimum and guess what? You are lucky to be employed. Let me tell you, magic will happen for you if this is the case. This is a game changer for the rest of your life. You understand the effort, time, and expense that you put in to upgrade your job skills or equipment. If you paid the price, the finance and sweat, you own the upgrades. Your boss may not think you have more value – but most importantly – you will KNOW you have more value. Everything can change for you. You can be more confident. You can use your confidence to upgrade your life. If you happen to be in a position where you can market your own skills directly it will become clear that your value is being abused and unappreciated. Why not keep the benefits of your extra effort and training for yourself? If you don’t happen to be in a career where you can easily go off on your own, you still benefit. There is no more attractive trait for a candidate to have for a prospective employer than self confidence. You are someone who knows how to get your job accomplished and you have done what it takes to get the job done right.
Bob Langys is a lifelong nerd with a passion for solving problems. His passion for solving problems and working with technology has led him to a career in networking and IP Telephony and has afforded him the opportunity to work with a wide variety of businesses and solutions. Recently he has specialized in using Cisco equipment on Asterisk IPBX systems. For more info checkout his personal website at: http://www.langys.com