• Bill Petrie

Opportunity for Work

Avoiding the most dangerous trap in business

As a society, we really don’t care for the word “work.” Let’s face it, many terms that are usually combined with work don’t generally make anyone feel full of joy: paperwork, housework, busywork, yardwork, homework. Honestly, none of those appeal to me at all. In fact, the mere thought of traveling back in time to help with middle school homework is enough to send me straight to the liquor cabinet, but I digress.

For all of my youth and the early part of my professional career, I had disdain for the “w” word. However, as I’ve grown older and, ideally, wiser, I’ve come to realize three great opportunities present themselves as work:

  1. Leave a Mark - too often, we allow ourselves to get sidelined by meetings, meetings about meetings, conference calls, zoom videos, and responding to the crisis of the moment to understand the work we do can positively impact others. A legacy isn’t formed by showing up to the fifth meeting of the day; it’s created by solving client problems, taking the time to mentor a newcomer to the industry, putting collaboration ahead of competition, doing the right thing all the time, and always giving your best.

  2. Path to Success – while many will always seek a shortcut or an avenue to a quick buck, the only way to success – however you define it – is through hard work. That doesn’t mean you need to spend 16 hours a day, six days a week, for five years at your desk to succeed. What it DOES mean is that you do have to dedicate yourself to your craft and do it with reckless abandon. Whether it’s sales, marketing, graphic design, accounting, creating content, or customer service, only hard work will lead you wherever you want your journey to take you.

  3. Self Esteem – Just like you, I know when I’ve been “busy” all day but accomplished nothing. I also know when I’ve been in the zone and cranking out client deliverables at an astonishing pace because I’ve been laser-focused. It won’t come as any surprise I feel much better about myself when my day has been full of focused, intentional, and quality work.

We have all encountered people that continually grumble and groan about their work. Like a Machiavellian character, they just want the accolades without effort. To me, the most dangerous trap in any organization is someone with an insatiable appetite for success without the drive and work ethic to achieve it. People with that very flawed outlook don’t realize that work, in and of itself, is a privilege that allows you to push through the mundane and reach for brilliant results.

I’ll end this missive by letting you in on a little secret: you don’t have the be most intelligent, the brightest, the funniest, the most creative, or the most attractive to work hard. Hell, I’m none of those things, but no one will ever outwork me because I know it’s a privilege to work as hard as I do every single day. I owe it to my clients, my family, and myself.

The privilege of working as hard as I do? I get to do it all again tomorrow, and I can’t wait.

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