Is your cheese still being moved?

Is it ever, make it stop; this is an edited version of my original post from February 6, 2012; back when I used to be somebody…

If you are familiar with the bestselling book, ‘Who Moved My Cheese‘ you know it deals with change and how to deal with it in work and life. Sometimes too much change and turmoil makes me want to cut some cheese, that’s for sure. One thing I have come to expect, and that is don’t get too comfortable, whether it is life or business these days because change is just around the corner.

Most know my day job is commercial insurance sales; this is an old-school traditional job if there ever was one. The original model was you work extremely hard your first 3-5 years, ‘grow’ a book of business and put it on cruise control from there.

If you plan on that being your model today I would advise to not even bother because you might have a better chance of taking care of your career by picking a winning lottery number.

Change can be good

Change, because it has an element of the ‘unknown’ typically brings about a certain level of stress. And whereas too much stress might not be a good thing, it can actually work for you.

Although relaxation ought to be, um, relaxing, stress management has somehow become yet another pressing item on our to-do lists. We’re made to feel like failures if we can’t live in a state of balance. But some stress is good; great, even. The discomfort of stress is a sign that you are tackling life’s problems head-on. Stress also improves productivity and performance – at work, the gym – and your body will be stronger if you alternate periods of calm and heart-pounding excitement.

Some know of my trail bike riding exploits these days and you certainly have enough oh-shit, heart-pounding excitement moments just about every ride.

How it has worked for me

Some of you might also know I have been doing this ‘insurance gig’ for 30+ years……….all at the same place. Talk about a breeding ground for complacency. The good news is we have forward thinking management and try to be pro-active and relevant in a fast-paced information overload society. This means don’t get too comfortable in your chair, because you might have to move soon if they even let you keep your chair.

I certainly don’t want to be the ‘that’s the way we always did it‘ guy but try to set the example and lead the charge if I truly think it will benefit the corporation. We are an ESOP (employee owned – employee stock option plan) corporation so everybody’s performance impacts not only our success, but our ‘retirement’ account as well. If everybody has some skin in the game it’s a lot easier to hold everyone accountable.

Has all this change made me uncomfortable at times? Absolutely, but it has also kept it interesting, challenging and fresh. I feel my eagerness to learn and adapt also keeps me young at heart and always growing.

Other changes I see

There are quite a few of us in my community who entered the ‘social’ journey at about the same time. When we jumped on the hamster wheel we were led to believe more followers and more comments are how you succeed. There is nothing wrong with that per se, but you do have a tendency to ‘chase’ under that model; and it’s circular.

Just about everybody I know has varied from that model now they are deeper into their journey, and some have just given up. We are all smart enough to copy and emulate what we perceive as ‘success’ in here, but I feel we have come to the realization there really is no ‘right way’ or ‘wrong way’; it’s ultimately only ‘our way’.

Just like life, if you are going to be a survivor in here don’t get too comfortable in your seat. What is working for you today could be totally different in 30 days…or less; that is how fluid social is.

This is what keeps me going

Numero uno – it has to be fun; fun is a great motivator for me. I work plenty hard in my day job. In my ‘spare time‘ I’m a volunteer Guardian ad Litem and sit on several boards; all non-paying positions. Therefore, it’s important to find a fun factor in all, even if there is hard work involved.

The jury is still out for me if I have the motivation to take any of this social stuff any further than I already have. Not that I made any lists in the first place, but I don’t expect to make many in the future as well unless somebody is doing a ‘whatever happened to‘ list.

What about you?

Has traditional blogging run it’s course? Do you feel there are greater opportunities to be successful with a social platform now or has the newness worn off and most are on the other side of the curve right now?

Is the continual moving of cheese the new norm, or will we ever get back to being able to take a deep breath and actually enjoy the fruits of our labor before running off to the next big thing?

At the end of the day, what is important to you?


11 thoughts on “Is your cheese still being moved?

  1. Dude. I love what we do… here in the mountains and here on line. I love Blogging and dealing with the website, love to learn so many things, both technical and about living a good and right life so that I can help others too. I love all the people who are a part of our lives, everyday, through the power of the web. I love knowing it is in doing all of this it may have made a difference to a 90 year old business that has helped so many people find their own dreams.

    I read so much these days and I hear what you and so many others are saying about Blogging being so “then” and what everyone thinks is the next wild ride to fame and fortune. Still, I find myself smiling as I read again “fun factor”… isn’t THAT right there what we’ve learned? Loving and enjoying WHAT we are doing so we can do it really- really well? From selling insurance and making it right to heart-thumping rides on your bike?

    I believe so.

    • There is a sense of connectivity online and we are able to stay up w/ each other even if we don’t live close to each other; that’s worth something, right?

      Fun is my motivator.

  2. Well Agent 86, you and I entered the fray around the same time. We’ve been through our heady romantic days online, our “chopped liver” discouragement, our comments and camaraderie, #TeamBlogJack fun but now, through it all, the shiny new object has become a somewhat tarnished old bowl. I haven’t blogged in weeks. I’m tired of seeing content that revolves around creating content while little content is actually being produced. Our friend Mark Schaefer recently wrote what is my favourite blog post ever here
    I printed it out and framed it, and say an out-loud amen to it!
    I’m not sure where it will all wind up. You and I still dip in and out, and it’s always a delight when your post arrives in my inbox…like the prize at the bottom of the cracker jack box…you’re old enough to remember that, right?
    I’ve been doing lots of writing offline, longhand in lined beautiful journals. Poems, cinquains, haiku, fiction. It might just see the light of day one day.
    Just keep being the “invisible” you, because we love it when you show up. Cheers! Snowshoes

    • Oh yes, I certainly remember the Cracker Jacks and Leave it to Beaver.

      I like parties, what in the hell happened?

      Writing is good for you soul; writing the same thing over and over, maybe not so much so and I have to be careful because I have a tendency to do that.

  3. Hi Bill, I loved that book. I’ve been at the same day job now 22 years and can relate to your experience as I’m in sales too. I think the cheese is constantly being moved today and we must continue to learn new things and grow or otherwise get left behind in the dust.
    I love learning new things thankfully so that part is easy for me. I do see others struggle who do not like changes. It’s just how IT is today in work and play.

    • If it doesn’t kill us it will only make us stronger first, right?

      We all have some type of routine, we just need to be careful it doesn’t turn into wagon ruts….:).

  4. I’m with Jack. I’m doing this for the fun of it and as long as I’m having fun then I’m going to keep at it, no matter where the cheese moves.

    You’re right, Bill. We need to stay on top of change, which is quite the challenge with tech. But that means I never run out of blog fodder!

    • If I was trying to find the ‘right’ formula to make a living doing this it might be a lot more stressful. However, it would probably give you better focus too. For now, fun is my driver.

      Yes, you will always have something to write about as long as it’s tech related; I can’t wait until the time machine is perfected….

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