Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Paying Your Dues: Are You Willing to Do What It Takes to Get There?

To be successful, you have to pay your dues!!
That is a favorite phrase to all the people I know that complain to me about their journey. That journey could be attaining success in any endeavor. One thing that I have noticed is that you listen to any successful person, one thread always comes through: this is what I had to do to get there.
Whether it is long hours, weekends or insurmountable odds, they persevered.
They hung in there. They did the jobs that they despised. They did the jobs that were thankless and no one else wanted. They for the most part did without and endured all in search for that desired destination.
My daughter has been pulling lots of long hours lately and leaving just as early in the morning to get in. This is her second job out of college and she works in the advertising business. She has moved up the food chain and is now directing and leading projects.
We rode together into work the other day, and as soon as she got on the bus, she keeled over and went to sleep for the 50-minute ride.

You have to pay your dues

As I looked over, I knew she was tired, having gotten in at 2:30 am and then waking up at 6 to get into the office early. She is working on some of the most amazing projects in the advertising/marketing business, but more importantly, she is also paying her dues.

She has heard this speech so many times from me that I know that her eyes glaze over from time to time. However, my son told me that she takes in everything you say but will not let you know that.
Success comes from years of hard work. When you arrive at whatever station in life you’re trying to get to, one thing that you need to remember is that the longer the journey, the sweeter the taste once you arrive.
So many people expect the corner office from day one. They immediately expect the same lifestyle of people that they admire. They want it all picture perfect the moment they set out on the journey.

No such thing as overnight success

In the age of overnight millionaires and billionaires, it seems that everyone wants it now. However if you dig down into a lot of these stories and bios, you will see a common thread peaking through. It did not happen overnight. They had an idea and they toiled during the journey; it was actually years in the making.
These so called “overnighters” sometimes worked all night, worked two jobs and literally had no life, trying to build on a product, idea or career. They did not just go through the motions.
There is no easy way to any of this. If that were the case, everyone would be sitting back admiring their accomplishments.
Any of the so-called successful people will tell you point blank that they had to hustle their butts off to get there. There were lots of tradeoffs: no time, no rest, and no money because they knew that they would have it later.

Plan your work, work your plan

One of Vince Lombardi‘s favorite quotes was “plan your work, work your plan.” To the instant overnight wannabe, it is in a lot of cases of having a plan but not working it. I enjoy having these conversations with people. One of the first questions I ask is, “What is your plan?”
I’m surprised that all these smart people for the most part have absolutely no plan. They have a destination but no means or thought of getting there. If they do have a plan, it is very vague. You have to have a plan and you have to have another plan called Plan B.
The journey starts out, and so many times when you come to that fork, it may take you in a different direction. Think of the people that started in one direction and end up going a totally different way.
The new CEO of Yahoo originally was a dancer and fine arts patron, with a dream of being a ballerina.
Somehow along the way she got sidetracked, became an engineer, and now she has reached the pinnacle of success, if you want to call it that.
So next time you hear the story about the hard work and the long hours, reassure them if you work it and play it right, they can get there.
If they have a goal and are willing to make the sacrifices, you have go to the cashier and pay upfront.

1 comment:

  1. I fully agree that you need to work hard to gain success, however paying your dues doing something you hate will never pan out no matter what anyone tells you to keep you motivated along that same dull path.

    It is equally important to continue to look for jobs that interest you so you can excel and will want to pay your dues to turn it into something greater. Working all the long hours in the world will not get you where you need to go if that spark of interest is not included in the deal.