Let's play a game
You read this email that was sent to me and then you're going to guess who wrote it!
Sound fun? Ok… Go!
“I have worked in my job for several years, I'm pretty good at it but it doesn't feel like a very good fit. In fact I've learned that it's almost the opposite of what I want to be doing! In college i majored in _________ in but never really figured out the perfect career path. Years later I'm in this joy sucking job and I'm over it!
Here's the problem: I like lots of different things and have a lot of strengths but it feels overwhelming when I try to narrow down what I should be doing. I actually don't even know where to begin. I know that I want something more but I'm just really having trouble figuring out exactly what matches up with my strengths and passions.
I'm not sure what to do next!”
Who wrote this email?
I'm going to tell you the answer but first let me tell you a story:
In 2005 I was selling franchises to would be business owners. My job title was “General Manager” of the region, but I pretty much did everything!
Recruiting franchise owners, selling the franchises, interviewing, coaching the brand new business owners, dealing with legal issues when stuff went terribly wrong, even doing collections with the bills that had gone very astray!… even purchasing office supplies for my Portland OR office nestled in the Rose Quarter!
I knew before I even took this job it was going to be far from perfect for me!
So why did I take it?
I don't really like telling you the answer, it's a little embarrassing:
It was available.
Ok, it might not sound that bad when you read it the first time right? I knew that I could have the job if I wanted it and it was available. So I took it.
So what's wrong with that? I mean that sounds pretty normal. The job was offered and it paid pretty well and it provided for Alyssa and I after we just got married.
It's the “normal” part that gets to me!
I don't want to be normal.
Normal means I live for the weekend, It means I go in every day to a job that doesn't make me all that happy and saying things like “TGIF” or “it's hump day!”
Normal sounds terrible to me! I would rather be fired than be normal!
And that's where I was 10 years ago. I was the living poster child for normal.
It took me almost a full 12 months to realize and admit to myself that I wasn't happy doing my job. I finally did and I told my boss. He apparently felt the exact same way, because three weeks later he fired me…
Actually he didn't just fire me, he invited all the people in my region up to the office and told me and them it was a training, then confronted me 30 minutes before hand and presented me with severance and then asked if I could make the announcement to all of the people I had been working with for the last year.
It was one of the most embarrassing things that has ever happened to me!
I didn't know what else to do so I got up in front of everybody else and told them I was “moving on.”
I'm sure that I was bright red the whole time and probably looked like crap (I had to fight back tears 30 minutes before hand when I was being handed my paperwork).
I'm so glad it happened! I would have stayed in that job for a lot longer even though I hated it.
At that point in time it was easier to be normal. So I was.
I didn't know how to do it any different, I didn't even really know that you could have a job that was sucking you dry taking all your energy (much less a job you actually enjoyed!)
After it happened I felt relieved. I also felt the pressure of a Mortgage, car payments, very little savings and a wife who I didn't want to let down! More than anything else it was just relief to not have to get in the car and go back to that job ever again.
It takes most people a big external life (like getting fired or laid off or something else) before they wake up and are willing to stop doing the things that are making them miserable.
I don't want you to have to go through that.
I stayed there because I didn't know any better way and it was easier than actually doing something about it. As long as you are part of HTYC, I will make sure you know how to do something about it!
So who do you think wrote me the email at the beginning of this?
If it sounds familiar at all it's because YOU probably did.
I have been sent this same email hundreds of times in the last couple years. I mean the details and the verbiage and the majors change a little bit but for the most part… same exact email!
Don't feel bad… it just means right now, your normal!
Tomorrow we are going to talk about how to do it differently
but I want to hear from you!
Leave me a comment below and tell me what it would mean to you to NOT have to be normal. I want to hear how that would make a difference in your life,
For me it meant no more stomach pains on Sunday nights thinking about having to go into work the next day. It also meant I didn't have to use the snooze button on my alarm anymore because I had this weird excitement to get up and get out of bed in the morning. it also meant I didn't have this permanent bad mood cloud that followed me around and I didn't even know it (everyone else could tell my job sucked, it just took me a long time to come around!)