A dear friend of mine, (whom I’ll call “Bill” for the purpose of this blog), just found himself having to terminate a fairly new partnership. His arrangement with his partner was based upon the goal of getting funding for a very large, ambitious project.
Funding has not yet come through, however he felt it was better to end the relationship at this point. Needless to say, the woman, whom I’ll call Linda, (not her real name), was very angry that she had been asked to resign. Keep in mind that there had been NO money involved in any of this; the work she was to do was all speculative, based upon the partnership securing funding!
WHY was she angry? People just hate rejection of any kind! But what is rejection? It’s actually just a concept, according to speaker/author/success coach Jack Canfield. Jack says, “There is really no such thing as rejection! You’re not any worse off by hearing ‘No’ than you were before you asked.”
He continues to explain, “Being rejected doesn’t hold you back from anything. Only YOU hold yourself back.” So it was in Linda’s case. She needs only to look in the mirror to see the culprit responsible for this rejection!
Not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Sometimes, it takes long hours, innovative thinking, and an extra dose of creativity and motivation. It often requires a person to wear many hats or work outside of their comfort zone. With a start-up company, it’s even worse. There is so much to do and just a few people to do it – often with little consideration or reward in the beginning. Linda dragged her feet on EVERY task and -when she did finally turn in a project – her work didn’t live up to the partner’s expectations. She needs to see that her own actions are what caused her outcome!
Linda was asked to design a website. Bill was not excited with her work, which was nothing more than some clip art on a template. The more savvy one becomes technologically, the harder it is to impress them. So it is with graphic design today. I’ve helped friends buy ads on Facebook, download videos, and create killer Power Points. My friends and I joke that you only need to know 5% more than the next guy to sound like you REALLY know what you’re talking about!
Meanwhile, Bill has been teaching himself several graphic design software programs and web design programs. As Linda went on about how much work was involved in what she had to do for this collaboration, Bill became aware that it was not all she had said it was. And so it went. He can whip together a website template in just a few minutes; he swears it’s not that hard! In fact, he created a logo while we were on the phone together – and it was brilliant! He soon discovered that the list of what was involved in building a site – the list that she went on about – was not anything that would take him more than ten minutes.
Linda missed deadlines, didn’t return phone calls, and did uninspired creative work. Bill had to keep redoing her work. So why was she surprised when she was asked to resign? Did she think she had pulled the wool over Bill’s eyes? She had not.
Like Linda, we are each responsible for where we are in life. Sure, some people get better breaks than others, but there are certainly enough breaks out there waiting for us to seize them. Opportunity is knocking CONSTANTLY! It is up to us to recognize it and work hard to make sure we make it the best opportunity it can be!
When Bill told me that Linda was upset that she was being asked to leave his new partnership, I was surprised. Do people really think no one will notice if they are not doing their work – or if they are not doing it WELL?! I remember years ago when an advertising account executive put herself through real estate school during the day – when she was supposed to be out selling! She, too, was surprised when her bosses found out and terminated her. She felt as if they’d “done her wrong” – after all, she was still working for them the OTHER 5 hours a day!
If you expect to keep your job, excel at your job, and thrive in what can be a challenging economy, you need to exert more effort than the next guy. You need to SHINE! It’s important to address each task as though it was the most important work you ever had to do. Otherwise, you will only have YOURSELF to blame if you lose a rich opportunity.