I used to know a guy who was a professional speaker of the “life coach” ilk.
Meaning: he talked about growth and personal development, but not about anything specifically that I could pinpoint.
He was a White man, and since the professional speaking business is made by and for White men, this guy was able to secure enough business to support himself most of the time (according to what he shared).
What was most interesting about this guy, aside from that fact that he had very poor people skills (we’ll discuss that another day — or not), was his personal story.
A suburban kid, he had gotten hooked on drugs as a teen, and remained an addict for years. Then he got clean, and viola, he had a redemption story on which to build his professional career.
I didn’t really get it.
This guy, he had not accomplished anything. He dug himself into a hole, lived there for a couple years, then finally got out of it. Great that he’d cleaned up and all, but what exactly would he teach an audience of people who’d never taken drugs?This guy, he had not accomplished anything. He dug himself into a hole, lived there for a couple years, then finally got out of it. Great that he’d cleaned up and all, but what exactly would he teach an audience of people who’d never… Click To Tweet
I looked the guy up between that last paragraph and this paragraph. According to his online profiles, his business is doing great.
I guess there are lots of addicts out there — and/or, there’s always space for a good negative-to-neutral story.
None of my articles, which I always send by email, were reaching inboxes for two whole weeks.
Which might not be that bad of a thing if I were publishing once a week or so. But I send out 3-5 broadcasts a week.
It took me 4 days to notice that my messages weren’t going out — I get every email that you get, and I noticed that I hadn’t received anything for a few days.
I reached out to the support desk of the email server. They needed time to “escalate” the issue, since they could see that l had everything set up properly for which things should have been running.
That took a week. And their quasi-solution wouldn’t work the way I needed it to work.
They finally told me, ten days after I’d initially reached out, that they’d had a 2-day outage that was now fixed.
For me, the fix to my sending process would be a healthy amount of manual work — work that I told my email provider that they should offer to do, since they messed up, and I am a paying customer and all.
They told me that they’re not allowed to perform such work, but they offered to waive a month’s worth of service fees for my trouble.
I appreciated them acknowledging their error (though that waived monthly fee didn’t equate the costs of time invested in fixing things).
Fixing the now-messed-up process I’d had in place was very frustrating.
I spent a Saturday morning, into the afternoon, working on it. I felt like hitting something with a closed fist. Non-working technology will do that to you, especially when you know you are not the problem.
Finally — I think — I fixed the issue. If you’re reading this in your inbox, I was right.
I immediately felt a lot better. As if I’d achieved something — when in actuality, all I’d done was gotten back to neutral. Things were back to how they were supposed to be, and I felt good about it.
Funny how that works.
It got me to thinking about how many of us feel self-satisfied with just keeping our heads above water. You gotta admit, oxygen does feel good when you’ve been submerged and nearly drowning.
But if that’s all it takes to make us feel accomplished, we won’t get far.
Everything and everyone doing their job should be a normal thing, not a victory. There’s no trophy for doing what you’re supposed to do.Everything and everyone doing their job should be a normal thing, not a victory. There’s no trophy for doing what you’re supposed to do. Click To Tweet
The paradox: a lot of people are happy with neutrality. Stagnation is better than going backwards.
It comes down to what you expect of yourself — and of others around you.
I talk about standards and how to raise yours in my book Work On Your Game: Use The Pro Athlete Mindset To Dominate Your Game In Business, Sports, and Life. Get the book, plus $1,279 in immediate-access bonuses, at http://WorkOnYourGameBook.com
Be sure to check the following MasterClasses on this topic —
#1189: What You Would Accomplish Without Fear In Your Way
#96: Having A Proven Track Record
#433: Being Who You Wanna Be: What’s Stopping You?
#432: Never Let Circumstance Know it’s Kicking Your Ass
#704: “Dre, That’s Not Nice!!!”
#703: To Have Authority, Have An Opinion
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