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?