“I Don’t Have the Time” is a lie.

work at computerIf you’re fortunate enough to be employed, work likely consumes the majority of your waking hours. Why do you work? The answer is different for everyone.  There are a fortunate few who can say, “I work because I want to.”  Most people would say, “I work because I have to.” I have a family to feed, car payments, a mortgage, I need clothes, I need cable, I want to retire some day, etc.

How do you get from “having to work” to “loving your work?”

Here’s the answer most people hold to be true: “I just need to find the right job or business idea.”

The Truth: “I need to become the person who is right for the job or business I want to have.”

For those who have been searching for the ideal job for most of their lives, this can be a harsh truth to swallow.  They have been told a different story from the time they set foot in school.  Go to school, learn what you need to learn, get good enough grades to get into a good college, choose a major in college that fits your skills and talents, finish your degree, go to graduate school and your job will teach you everything else you need to know.  DEAD WRONG.

Jim Rohn said, “Work harder on yourself than you do your job. If you work hard on your job, you can make a living. If you work hard on yourself, you can make a fortune.” 

Learning beyond college and graduate school is not something that happens automatically.  You may learn enough to do your job well, but if you want to thrive and consistently move upward toward your dream job, you have to be INTENTIONAL. As Charlie Tremendous Jones says, “You will be the same person you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” I might add, the conferences you attend, the blogs you read, the videos you watch and the action you take!

When you say, “I don’t have the time to spend on growing myself,” What you’re really saying is, “I’ve chosen to spend my time on other things.”

DisciplineAre you willing to take an honest look at how you spend your time?

Here are 5 places you can find the time you need to grow.

1. The average employee starts the workday anywhere from 7:30am to 9:00am.  What do you do from 5am – 7am? Ouch. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

2. Most folks drive at least 15 minutes to get to work and 15 more on the way back.  What do you listen to in your car? Sports Radio? Justin Bieber? Aging sleazy disc jockey’s? Does what you listen to help you grow as a person? You could potentially read an entire audio book every week.  Can you imagine the knowledge you would acquire in a year with this new habit? How about 10 years?

3. Between the hours of 8pm and 10pm is when Americans waste most of their time.  I’m not one of those people that is going to tell you to burn your TV and your Play Station but can you think of one lasting benefit they’ve given you? I even enjoy the occasional 1 hour show but, please don’t choose 2 to 3 hours of TV over putting something into your mind that can change your life.

4. Lunch, “with” people. Yup, you heard me right. The regular habit of eating lunch with new people has directly contributed to my growth. Opportunities present themselves, new ways of doing things and looking at things are shared, new connections are made and doors are opened. Try not to eat lunch alone. Don’t you dare say you don’t have time to eat lunch. What century do you live in? I’ve never heard of anyone getting fired for taking a lunch every day.  Make it happen.

5. Trade the purposeless activities for enriching experiences.  What are you doing every weekend that doesn’t bring you or your family joy? It might be time to try something different, perhaps something that you’ve never done before. New experiences almost always lead to growth. Instead of sleeping in on Sunday or going to church, how about taking the family for a hike in the woods? I think church is important, but isn’t God in the mountains too? What if instead of going out for dinner and drinks, you took your spouse or friend to a conference that sparked your creativity or gave you and idea that changed your life?

Once you experience the joy and satisfaction that results from consistently growing, you will never go back.  If you truly want to have the job of your dreams, you have to become the person who is right for the job of your dreams.  You have to be willing to give up your short term comfort for long term benefit. Will you choose comfort in the moment or will you choose growth that will lead to the life and job you’ve always wanted.  The choice is yours.

Ready to Turn Your Life Around? Let’s Talk, call or text me (716) 713-2957

Are You in Career Captivity?

bison-58161_1280It’s my goal to run at least 365 miles in 2015.  This morning was a beautiful day for a run.  I listened to the beginning of a new book by author Ken Davis called Fully Alive.  So far, the book is incredible. It’s challenging me to look into the areas of my life where I am asleep or not really living. I would highly recommend it.

Fully Alive: Lighten Up and Live – A Journey that Will Change Your Life

As I shuffled past the Buffalo Zoo, I looked into the cage where the Bison live.  My heart sunk. These majestic beasts created to roam the wild untamed prairies of the West, laid in the dusty cage in a sedentary haze. What happened to them? They had food and water and even medical care! They had some space to run around. Why did they seem like sleepy zombies?

1.They no longer have any RISK in their lives. Isn’t that a good thing? Risk is potentially harmful!

2. They are not responsible for their own survival. The pressure is off. They don’t have to do anything. Isn’t that the life everyone wants?

3. They’ve forgotten what freedom feels like. 

Human Example #1  I have a friend (who I’ll call Alex) who works from home for a large healthcare foosball-table-189846__180company. His employer has determined that it takes a certain number of hours to complete his work per day.  When he is logged into the system, they are able to track his progress to be sure the time is being spent to get the work done.  

Alex is a smart guy.  He has the skills to complete the work in only a fraction of the allotted time. He has determined that if he finishes too quickly, the company may give him more work without increasing his compensation.  He has figured out a way to string out his work so it appears that it takes him the full amount of time.  

Alex’s situation makes me cringe for so many reasons.  He thinks he has the upper hand! Where are his opportunities to dare greatly, to meet a challenge while facing fear,  to risk failure and enjoy the thrill of victory?  He reminds me of the Bison at the Zoo, completely unaware of his captivity.

Human Example #2  Ed is a salesmen for a company who provides industrial products.  The company was struggling with high turn-over among their sales-people. Their customers were also taking as long as 3 to 6 months to pay. In order to solve these problems, they came up with a new commission  policy.  

The sales person doesn’t get any amount of money until the customer has paid their bill in full. Problem solved!  Sales people won’t want to leave the company if they don’t get paid for sales they made months ago. In addition they will naturally be interested in convincing clients to pay.

Ed is miserable and wants out as soon as possible.  He’s waiting for a $20,000 commission check from a million dollar sale he made 6 months ago.  The outstanding balance is $500.  Sorry Ed, company policy.  You’ll have to stay until the customer pays in full. man-214200_1280

Unreal.  Ed is fenced in against his will, like the Bison in the Zoo. He’s dying a slow death and losing his heart in the process.

Scenarios like these are all too common. So many talented men and women are barely existing in jobs they hate. They’re putting forward just enough effort to keep their positions while continuing to receive a paycheck. They work around company policies to get away with the bare minimum and make it look like they are still working hard.  So many people just don’t care.

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If this is you, it may be time to jump the fence.

You can’t possibly know what it looks like on the other side. Will there be adventure, risk and failure? Definitely.  You can’t be fully alive without them.  Is it worth it?

Think about the stories that inspire you. Who are the people you want to be more like? What do their lives look like?  Are they fenced in?  Secure? Monotonous? Or are they fully alive?  

You only get one life, don’t let the promise of a paycheck be the fence that steals your freedom. Embrace the risk of wild open territory. You have the choice to live a story that’s worth talking about. 

If you feel stuck in a job and you’re not sure how to get out, I can help.

If you own a business and you’re not sure how to inspire your employees, I can help.

Email me at michael@mcgreevyleadership.com