Keep Trying

A ray of light can give us hope
It is an old record, I'm sure.  You have heard the song time and time again, but it doesn't make you feel magical or warm and fuzzy on the inside. Often times the song is more like that gut wrenching agony of the word "again".  I like to think of it as "always".

I'm talking about finding passion in your work, not purpose.  I don't believe work is purpose, unless your are doing something that is altruistic and even if you didn't get paid to do it, you would still do it.  I have had more jobs than the Jamaicans on “In Living Color”, maybe not all at the same time, but I have definitely tried my hands at at few things.  A friend of mine laughed at my resume last week when they saw how many jobs I have had.  My linkedin resume is probably in the neighborhood of 8 -12 pages.  Some of the pages could be removed because they aren't relevant, or are they?

My job history tells a story, maybe not to everyone, but to me.  I have all my jobs listed back to my very first job at Pets-A-Rama in St Petersburg Florida.  People ask "Why do you still have that on your resume?" and I share with them, because there are things that I loved about that company and the atmosphere(the people and working in a mall), and things I did not (like management).  That job was the first job where I got the taste of discrimination.  You see I worked as hard or harder than the rest of the staff, loving , caring, cleaning and selling.  But management had a filter on that said "Chad" isn't up to par with the rest of the employees. The truth is my manager didn't like me.  She did what she could to screw up my sales, jump into my pitch at in opportune times and just keep an overall bad taste in her mouth about me.

Its a bias that still exists in modern day times.  A manager that doesn't like you or personally feels threatened by you, will make your life a living hell.  (This is one reason you should work for yourself, but not many of us can do that financially or feasibly).  The reality in this is that you have to keep trying. An MBA or PhD does not guarantee success.  All those degrees have taught is is A. that you will be heavily indebted for life and B. that you know how to think on your feet.

People time and time again have said, "You should be running your own company" or "How are you not a millionaire" and the truth is "opportunity"  We all need an opportunity...a chance to show who we are and what we can do.  Without that, we must keep trying.  Without an opportunity, I don't have a shred of hope that I can get done what I need to.  For me its business operations.  I am very good at helping companies become more efficient and therefore more profitable.  I don't do this by squeezing more man hours out of the day, I do this by letting technology work for us.

One of my first "opportunities" was at a job I worked in Denver.  It was a Meeting and Incentive company.  I came on board, passionate about travel and eager to dive in and learn the work.  A month after being there, I saw things that would allow us as a department to be more efficient.  I approached my manager and said "I can build a better mouse trap".  She believed in me and said, go with this opportunity.  I was able to build a set of scripts that allowed us to cut booking times from an average of 15-20 minutes, down to 2 minutes...start to finish.  It was crude and but together with my ticketing department, we were able to make it amazing.  It was the start of automation in our department and we increased revenue and decreased errors by 95%.

Fast forward many years and I am looking at my 45th year.  I could have given up a long time ago (trust me there were times I wanted to and still do) but I keep trying.  Every day I get up and say "How can I make today better than yesterday.  I practice this is business and personal life.  My thrill---Opportunity. Hoping that someone out there will see my effort and grant me the opportunity to work with them.  The opportunity to make things better.

I have read many articles that say "you make your own opportunities" But I do not agree.  By definition, opportunity is: a set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something. As much as we may feel those circumstances are in our hands, they aren't.  Thats why its called life.  Life is something we cannot control.  It has been here long before us, and will be here long after. Because things don't always go my way or go smooth, doesn't mean I stop trying, for waking up and trying may bring me a new opportunity.

Until next time.

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