A Powerful Career Tip That Will Grow On You

591419388I’ve just made a major career blunder. Luckily, I caught myself just in time. Please- don’t make the same mistake! Here it is.

You can take the learning from this without going through the lesson yourself. I quit my big corporate job 18 months ago. I had a clear plan on what I wanted to build next. I hit the pavements with a bang! I was everywhere. The work literally poured in. Yet I was failing. I really was. I was neglecting to do this powerful recipe for success, and that is to…:

Grow where you are planted.

Stick to the businesses and markets you know best. Let yourself flourish where you are genuinely in your flow- where you are really good at what you are doing, and you love doing it.

My mistake was to do exactly what I advise others starting out again not to do. “Be selective,” I counsel. “Only take on what you really want to do. Keep yourself available for the right opportunity.”

You see, I was secretly paralysed by fear. Was I still valuable? Wanted? Current? Also, my ego wanted to make damn sure former colleagues who were watching me (I now realise no-one was!) would see me powering ahead. “Wow! What a guy! Look at him fly.”

I got very busy. The cash register was ringing loud and often. I flew around the world, several times. The phone kept ringing. Then I got to the Cannes Creativity Festival in June. And I kind of had a melt down. No yelling, panic, or rants. Just a deep sadness.

I was failing.

What? But I was making more dosh than I expected to at this early stage. I was in demand. On fire!

Yet I was failing.

My health was suffering. I was comfort eating. My core relationships were under pressure. I was neglecting the most important things.

Professionally, I was not having fun. It was a struggle. Many of the assignments I was accepting were not ‘natural’ to me. They felt clunky. My heart sank when I saw they were on my agenda for the day. They were outside my flow, and just not a great fit.

That’s when I realised the true value of the wonderful advice I got a couple of years ago. Grow where you are planted. And now, I’ve actually taken it.

I returned from Cannes and immediately did two things.

First, I went to see a doctor. That’s another story for another day.

Second, I resigned 50% of the revenue I had just spent nine months working hard to secure. Half of my income. Kapow! It frightened the proverbial out of me- but had to be done. Luckily some projects naturally had come to an end. And I also pulled back from some stuff I loved- but involved travel and thus pressure.

I had to slow it down. I had to travel less. I had to focus on what was natural to me. I had to grow where I am planted.

I’m two months in – and there’s a spring in my step.

I look at my diary, and my heart lifts. I’m inspired, and having fun! And all that in eight week’s of change. The cash register has gone a lot quieter, but I know it’s temporary. The results will be awesome. Just watch (Okay- I know, I know – no-one is watching. Move on now…).

So- here’s my question for you and your role right now: Are you growing where you are planted?

Are you working in a role and with an ambition that is natural to you – that is in your element: you are good at it, and love doing it?

Or are you working in your ‘struggle’- as I was for the past nine months….not all of my role, but 50% of it.

Get very real. Tell yourself the truth. And if you are not growing where you are planted, do something about it. Deal?

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11 Responses to A Powerful Career Tip That Will Grow On You

  1. Debra Nixon August 24, 2016 at 10:41 am #

    Worthwhile attitude to self – be confident in your own “skin” know what you know and gradually add new skills, take time to smell the roses !! Great timing for me today. Thanks Chris

    • Chris Savage August 24, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

      Thanks Debra!

  2. Richard Burrage August 24, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    Deal. Sage advice.

    • Chris Savage August 24, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

      Thanks Richard- hope all is good with you. Chris

  3. Jenet Depke August 24, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

    Good morning Chris

    It’s always uplifting and inspirational to read your pearls of wisdom.
    You just made my day a brighter one.!!! Thanks and gratitude for sharing your journey of life and your business experiences.

    It’s easy to say yes to organizations or anyone seeking our services. However, it’s sometimes harder to say NO to an organization or anyone who assumes its their final decision to engage with us or wants us to engage with them. Especially, when it is our responsibility to be true to ourselves, and do what is in the best interests of our business, for our health and well being as well as for financial reasons.

    We both know when we are in high demand for the services we provide, many organizations deem that they can dictate from us what they demand. More and more I have come to realise how critical it is to be growing where I am planted, and doing what is best for my journey, not someone else’s. Especially, having the courage and confidence to say NO to cowboys or anyone who expects us something from us we do not wish to entertain. Yeah!!!
    And it’s a great honour and most humbling to be in high demand but at the end of the day, our personal health, well being, success and happiness is up to us to create.

    Here’s to great health and well being, and to a future journey filled with abundance and fruitful moments of joy and harmony.

    Have a blessed day.

    Warmest Wishes:)


    • Chris Savage August 24, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

      Thanks Jenet!

  4. Caren August 24, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

    Great advice Chris. For me the first warning sign is when my deep passion for something flags. The Universe is pretty good at giving us a good whack when we stray, but very often we don’t recognise it for what it is.

    • Chris Savage August 24, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

      Thanks Caren- yes, good point!

  5. Maha Krishnapillai August 24, 2016 at 8:42 pm #

    Great reminder Chris – just because others think you ‘can’ or should do something they think is perfect for you doesn’t mean it will ring your bell!

    • Chris Savage August 25, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

      Thanks Maha! Hope all is going well. Chris

  6. John August 25, 2016 at 11:31 pm #

    Chris, every time you stumble I always gain something from it. You’re not just pushing the positive but showing that so much of life is based on conflicting priorities — we all get lost at times. And that’s life.

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