I giggle every time someone asks me what I do for a living. I giggle because I don’t know how to possibly answer that in a quick sentence or two. I could say “web design and development and Internet marketing” but then what about the rest? I also work with hundreds of authors around the world, manage my own websites, am finishing up editing the 200-page book I recently wrote, constantly creating new products, mentoring … the list goes on.
So after I give that person a glimpse into what I do, the next question is always something like, “wow, how do you do it all?” …Another answer that requires more than a short response.
I hope to pass on a little gem to you today about what has given me so many wonderful opportunities. There are still many people being affected by the economy and I don’t think it’s a mistake that I haven’t been hurt by the economy yet. If anything, I’ve been approached almost weekly with some new opportunity banging at my door.
I don’t say any of this to create enemies or give you the impression I have a huge ego. It’s nothing like that at all. If ANYTHING, I am very humble and give thanks every single day for the gifts and opportunities that are in my life. I don’t take a single minute for granted. I know that at any moment things can change for me. But, I do have a strategy for my stability and growth, and THAT is what I hope to pass on to you today.
One day in my late teenage years, I made a decision. I had a very rocky start in school and did not take my studies very seriously – nor the jobs I had. But one day, I flipped a switch and decided to take myself and my actions seriously. This meant no more lying to my parents, no more slacking off in school, no more just “showing up” to my job. Instead, I would invest time into the things I did and do them with the full intention of doing them well.
In school, I would go in after hours and get help from my teachers, read the chapters in my textbook, and make every effort to retain the information I was being taught. At work, I started to study what my manager was doing, I showed up early, and I tried to look for what was missing and fill the gap. In relationships, I studied what worked and what didn’t, how to treat my friends or boyfriends better, how to learn from fights, and how to show up and compromise or be more responsible in that relationship.
Once I started seeing results, I got somewhat addicted to the process. I wanted to become even better, refine processes and grow. I started getting into more high-level jobs in college. If my employer asked me to do something that was foreign to me, I didn’t whine or put the burden on them to teach me how to do it. I went off and figured it out. If I couldn’t figure it out, I’d return to my employer to inform them I wasn’t sure how to complete the task, I’d tried x, y, and z yet came up short. THEN I would ask for their guidance so I could finish the task in a way that satisfied what they needed.
I remember the first time I was asked to write a press release. I was brand-spankin’ new in this very stressful job. I barely had an idea what a press release was…let alone how to write one…let alone how to write a good one! So, I took notes on the requirements or information that was provided to me and I went straight to Google: “How to write a press release”. I studied for about an hour and then got to work writing. By the time I was done and turned in the document, my employer said it was one of the best press releases she had ever seen. Then, as a result, my new task was to write one press release every week for sixteen weeks.
See how, just in that one example, I took one task and turned it into 16 tasks? Also, I taught myself what I needed to know. This showed strength and confidence and gave my employer MAJOR peace of mind that even if I had no clue what I was doing, I wouldn’t let that stop me. Can you imagine how rare it is to find an employee like that? So, I got more addicted to learning.
I was a sponge. I learned ANYTHING and EVERYTHING anyone would teach me. I kept asking questions and observing. All of my learning turned into massive achievements. Before I knew it, in most of my jobs, I was telling my employers what to do!
Then word got out. People are always looking for a diamond in the rough. Especially in this economy! I just kept showing up and doing my job the best I could. Then, I started to get approached by entrepreneurs and companies who wanted to hire me or add me as a contractor to their existing teams. The more I achieve, the more doors open for me. And I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon!
I could break down my success into these few steps:
- I made a decision.
- I didn’t back down from any task, ever.
- If I didn’t know how, I learned how.
- When I had success, I never took it for granted.
- I kept showing up and doing what I thought was the right thing for me and my employer.
- When new doors opened, I didn’t say no and get into fear. I listened to the offer and went with my gut on if I could handle it, if I wanted it, or if I wanted my name on that project.
- Rinse, repeat.