Most of you know I work for a major corporation, with millions of customers, they have been in business for over 75 years, and I have, for the most part, become very loyal to them in the three years that I have been employed there. A little over a year ago, the founder and owner of this company passed away after a long illness. It may just be coincidence, maybe its just paranoia on my part, but it seems that ever since the owner passed away, said company has gone away from what made them popular and successful. I am finding myself becoming disillusioned with their direction, with their practices, and above all, their focus on profit over service and employee concern.
I’m not going to name this company, because the internet is a weird place. This blog is public domain, and easily accessible if someone really wants to find it. I value my employment, and will no jeopardize said employment by naming names and calling people out by name. So let me just say that although I am ready for a change, I am not prepared to risk my immediate future by going off on a rant on how my company has moved its focus and seems to be more concerned with profit than it is with customer service, employee happiness, and not to mention, its ethics.
I know I need a change, I am not in love with my job like I was when I first started. I look back at how excited I was when I first got hired. I had just come off an 18-month stretch of not having a Full Time job, and the fact that I was actually employed again, was a great feeling. 3 years later I find myself wondering what the hell I am doing. I am in the same position, I haven’t progressed up the ladder like I had hoped and I wonder to myself what went wrong. I realized in the last few weeks that it is because I didn’t like the company any more. I have become bitter over the fact that they no longer care about their public image in certain aspects. The CEO doesn’t talk to the people I talk to on a daily basis. he doesn’t get yelled at, he doesn’t get hung up on, and he doesn’t hear the anger in peoples voices over practices or costs of their product. I have begun to question the ethics of my employer, and that has caused me to not care any more.
Robert Arnold recently wrote an awesome post regarding ethics in business, and you can find that blog here. He decided that as a business owner, he could no longer compete as a team owner in CTP Teams with a clear conscience due to the potential of there being a conflict of interest when awarding XP and other rewards are concerned. I respect his decision and it has allowed me to reflect on my world and what is happening in it, as well as my behavior, and my commitment to my employer, as well as “My Business”.
I have been lazy, I have been complacent, and yes, I am afraid. I allow my fear to determine how I behave, how I work, and above all allow my fear to determine my results. I tweeted out last night this quote, and yes, believe it or not, it is an original thought, is not paraphrased from anyone, and I didn’t plagiarize it from any publication. the quote is this:
Fear is the destroyer of dreams… Face your fears, Live your dreams…. No one is going to do it for you… take action
Not having a very profound vocabulary, and not much for original thought I thought about this after I tweeted it, and from the response I got, I imagine I struck a nerve. You see, I have been afraid, I have been comfortable in my situation, fearing that if my circumstances, or my situation changed, I might fail, and I hate failure. I am afraid of failing, I am afraid of falling flat on my face and not doing it right the FIRST time. I don’t want to learn from mistakes, because I don’t want to make mistakes. This is where I realized last night that because of this fear, because of me not getting out of my comfort zone, and not taking chances or just simply by not doing ANYTHING.. I have already failed. Jon Olson has preached this daily ever since I joined this fine community nearly three years ago, and I don’t think I really “got it” until now. I have failed because I haven’t done anything.
My weekly routine is to go to work, 4 sometimes 5 days a week. My days are long, 12-14 hours sometimes, and I get up every morning at 4 am so I can surf the necessary sites that I need to not only help my team, but to keep credits flowing in my favorite TE’s. On my days off, I still get up early, do my daily surfing, and from there the day goes south. My days off are spent being pretty much non-productive, staring at the computer screen surfing news or sports sites. watching Twitter, and watching movies over and over again, some of which I have seen many many times. I guess in the back of my mind it is just easier for me to sit here and do nothing, knowing that if I try to move forward it just might not work out the way I want it to, or perhaps I don’t have the knowledge other owners or affiliates have and am unsure which way to go. I don’t know a lick of code, but yet I now have the core of a membership site installed on a domain, but to date, after two weeks, haven’t touched it since install because I am overwhelmed by the size of the project and the fear of screwing it up.
The biggest obstacle I face today is how do I move forward? I do I get over this fear, how do I become the success I have been yearning to be if I am too afraid to take that next step forward and not be afraid to fail at the same time? The answer is.. I don’t know. I don’t know what I have to do to motivate myself, I don’t know how to get out of my situation, and above all, the fear has taken control and I cant move on until I find the one thing that will motivate me out of this mess. I am not poor, I am not destitute, I have a roof over my head, I have food in my fridge, I have electricity, I have internet, I own a car, and I get to watch my sports because I have cable (sorry Rob Lowe). So I am not on the verge of living on the streets, but yet, I sit here for hours and just do nothing.
A new year is now here, and as I enter my fourth year in the business, I look at what I have accomplished, and I see very little success, and again we come back to the fear, the butterflies in the pit of my stomach telling me that “you cant do it, you suck, you will fail, you wont be liked, you cant do anything right, you will not be embraced, and above all, you will end up broke”. I know I cant change things overnight, but I do know that the fear can be defeated, I do know that I am well liked in the community, and I have made a LOT of friends in the last 3 years and for that I am thankful. But taking that first step, making the first move, that is what I lack. I start a project and don’t finish it, it just sits there, like this blog, and waits for me to do something with it. I am on a search to find my motivation, and if I find it, maybe then the fear will go away, maybe then the fear will no longer determine my path. I need a change, I am not happy with my professional life, I need a push to get me going, but right now.. I am just sitting here.
I know I am getting a bit long winded here, so maybe I will have to make a second post on this subject later on tis weekend, but the underlying message to this post is for those that have the same fears, the same questions, and above all, the same behaviors. Get off your ass and do something, stop being complacent and don’t wait for the realization that you have suddenly found yourself wondering… What the hell am I doing?
I refuse to give up the dream, I refuse to let the fear control me forever, and somehow, someway, I am going to find that motivation to get me over that hump. I don’t know when it will happen, and for all I know I probably shouldn’t just wait for it and take control.. but then again… the fear, the uneasiness, the butterflies.