I made a big leap last year from the corporate world to the life of a sole proprietor when I launched Get It Done Marketing. As we turn the page on a new year I’ve been reflecting on work, life, family, friends and community. There are a lot of “self-help” books on leadership, management, networking and other resources that a laundry list of success drivers. I’ve spent time reflecting on my career path and although it feels like the opposite sometimes, okay a lot of times, I’ve come to believe our professional lives are a marathon not a sprint. Through all the twists and turns there are four keys to success in my mind.
First, have fun! Enjoy the people you work with and enjoy what you are doing. I’m not talking about video games in the corridors and foosball tables in the common area. I’m talking about the mental game. Are you prepared to laugh or are you taking things too serious? If you were one of the Seven Dwarfs would your co-works call you Happy or Grumpy? There are times to be serious but not all-day long. Give yourself a break. Poke your head in a co-worker’s office and make a joke, literally “skip” past a door and smile. Say good morning to everyone! Acknowledge your teams wins loudly and proudly. Got something on your mind weighing you down? I keep a sign in my office that reads “Lots to think about, not to worry about”. It helps me to keep things in perspective. If you are not having fun it is time to do something else.
Second, passion. Be passionate about your work, your project, your company, something, anything. Passion exudes confidence and it is contagious. Find that one thing that inspires you and run with it. Own it, champion it! It will rub off on your co-workers and partners. Believe it or not your passion will motivate customers as well.
Third, partnership. You are a partner first and a client, vendor, co-worker second. Relationships are far more valuable when you work together towards the desired goal. Being a demanding client, vendor or co-worker will get you nowhere fast and likely result in delivery of the minimum required and a shoddy product. If you’re a marketer partner with your operations team from ideation of a new product or service through execution. Others bring new perspectives to the table offering a 360 degree look vs the single lens you may be looking through. Not for nothing but it’s also a lot more fun when you partner together. Ultimately the outcome will be mutually beneficial, you just have to be willing to find it.
Finally, be kind. You never know what’s going on behind the scenes in someone else’s life. Have compassion, be patient. Imagine a world where we were all just a bit kinder to one another.
Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint. Have fun along the way, be passionate about what you do, partner with others and be kind to one another.
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