Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Success

I think my measure of "success" varies everyday. Sometimes, success is just brushing my teeth twice a day and other days it's crossing every single thing off my to-do list, landing a new client or mastering a new recipe.

Earlier this morning, my friend Jake shared this article, "Hard Things You Need To Do Everyday to Be Successful".

Now Jake is a really successful dude in my eyes. [Go check out his photography blog - Urban Prairie - if you don't believe me.] He is creative and entrepreneurial and interesting. I can only hope I come off that way to others. So if he shared this article, I knew it would be good.

I'll argue any day that these people (my family) make me want to be successful in one way or another.

Family inspiration aside, let's look a little deeper at the list featured on Business Insider. The first thing on the list from author, Dan Waldschmidt spoke to me.
You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
Sometimes (okay all the time), I get nervous talking on the phone to people I don't know. I get clammy hands and do awkward half laugh things. I also end sentences with "...so..."

Not my proudest moment.

But, I still make these calls. Whether it's to someone about some cattle I'm interested in purchasing, or someone who wasn't exactly pleased with my latest photo shoot, or to a new doctor's office --- I have to make these calls. No one else is going to do it, and it's not anyone else's problem. But, sometimes with these difficult calls great things happen.

Like you get a job! Last year, I got hired over the phone to work for Focus Marketing Group.

Another on Waldschmidt's list -
You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
This happens. In my line of work, people will ask you to do things (photos, design work, etc) that you've never done before. A little part of me wishes there was a step-by-step tutorial for everything that we do.

But, then I remember that the creative part of my job allows me to follow my guy. Sometimes it's just intuitive that I take a step to the left or ask the child that I'm photographing to tell me a joke in order to get a giant smile on their face, or I flip the flyer from landscape to portrait style. Often times, these strokes of genius notions lead to the best results and happy customers.

So, it might seem crazy to our customers that I suggest something off-beat. These strokes of genius notions usually pay off.

And maybe my favorite from the list -
You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
Every. Damn. Day.

I have people tell me that they're too busy to make something happen or change something in their routine. Or they complain on Facebook that they have no time to do anything. Excuse me - if you have enough time to post on Facebook ... you're not that busy. The world we live in today, everyone is busy.

Busy is an annoying word in my book. 

The definition of busy (according to www.dictionary.com) is -
1. actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime: busy with her work.
2. not at leisure; otherwise engaged: He couldn't see any visitors because he was busy.
3. full of or characterized by activity: a busy life.
4. (of a telephone line) in use by a party or parties and not immediately accessible.
5. officious; meddlesome; prying.
6. ornate, disparate, or clashing in design or colors; cluttered with small, unharmonious details; fussy: The rug is too busy for this room.
 
We are all busy, but a successful person won't let that be an excuse. Despite all of life's interruptions, they still make things happen.  I try to live by that. And, I'll never use "I was busy" as an excuse again.
 
I also wanted to add my own "hard thing" to the list.
 
You have to put your best foot forward, always. So put a smile on your face, no one remembers a sour puss.
 
With all the people I encounter, I try to treat them with kindness and fairness.  I try to block out the negative things I've heard from others and present myself for what I am - a strong, independent woman who is confident in her abilities, who shows respect and expects respect in return. Plus, a smile might brighten someone's day and I'd love to be that person for them.

Waldschmidt ends his article with this, "The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage — or desperation — to do.

Do the hard things. You might be surprised at how amazing you really are."
 
I like surprises.
 
Until next time,
Robin

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