A Powerful Career Tip That Will Grow On You
I’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?