Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Chances are good that you are scared. Scared about your job, scared about the value of your home, scared about your investments. It's ok to be scared, but it's very worth turning scared into an opportunity. I would argue that scared is the best opportunity, especially as it relates to your job.

Let's be honest: even once the economy recovers, things are probably not ever going to be the same. Once it's been proven that profitability can be achieved with less people doing more things, most will not quickly go back to excess. How are you reacting to this? If you are continuing to do just enough to get by, you are probably really scared and very likely with good reason: 80% is no longer good enough (for that matter, many of you are probably being asked to or finding that you need to give 110%).

You are easily replaceable in your job because there so many people that don't have one. The focus has never been stronger on what you are achieving on a daily (hourly?) basis because your boss and your customers want high value for their dollar. If you only do the right thing when someone is watching, if you strive for nothing better than mediocrity, if you do as little as possible to just get by . . . it has never been more likely that you'll get noticed and not in a good way.

It's possible that you're lucky. It's possible that you have someone other than yourself (customer, boss, mentor, etc.) leading you that pushes you hard so that you provide high value. The push can make you scared because it can be intimidating and the intimidation may create fear. (i.e., make you more scared) Here's the thing: you wouldn't feel scared if you were already performing at high value. Think about it: if you stepped back from yourself and looked as an independent third party, would you be able to say that you performed at high value every hour? It's one thing to say that you are a high value employee or business owner or service provider, but it's quite another to prove it through observable action.

High value, 110%, however you describe it, may seem unsustainable. I disagree. It is sustainable with proper care and feeding. If you have someone pushing, hopefully whomever that is makes themself available as a resource, allows you to fail as long as you learn, and pushes you to balance your life between your high value work and your personal side. If you're pushing yourself, you have to be careful not to lose yourself to your work or burn yourself out.

It's ok to be scared, but use scared as an opportunity.

Picture from Melissa Segal

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Harsh but true my friend