I would wake up in the morning feeling like someone ran over me with a truck. “Why am I not retired and sleeping in?”, I would say to myself. Here I was in my 50’s working 12 to 14 hour days and quite honestly a little burnt out on what I was doing at some level. I pop in the shower, caffeinate a little and, of course, putting that negativity aside was the first business of the day. Sound familiar? It was time to change my stripes.
Earlier in my career I might have changed career directions when less than enthused but at my age that is much tougher to accomplish. Anyways, experience has taught me that the grass is typically not greener somewhere else so I would trudge on being the loyal employee that I am.
In reality, however, I found that status quo was not enough for me . I like being motivated and motivating. I like having something to say and ideas that are new, or based on experience, that are really helpful. In other words, I like having a purpose of more than just doing my job.
Like any honest business owner will tell you there really is no coasting along. You’re either climbing to greatness or declining towards failure. Trying to maintain the status quo simply doesn’t work. This goes for a personal career path as well. A career can’t coast along and I could not coast along either. But what to do?
Here’s how I changed my stripes.
For me to continue to be loyal and give my all to the company that hired me took some changes. First thing I did was make hard mental attitude changes and, most importantly, I had to stop listening to the younger counterparts. These workplace “competitors” typically thought that I should have indeed retired earlier and were irritated that I was getting in their way of advancement.
“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” -Winston Churchill
I started looking around within my current company, and externally, for options that would boost my desire to be the best at what I do. Something that would “fire me up” again. Here is what I did and am doing:
Became a mentor.
Making the mental change of “I had a lot to offer” was first and foremost. I started SalesBlog! and wrote articles based on my experiences, good or bad. These articles became very popular (Google “Sales Burnout”) and career/personal opportunities opened up that would not have prior to. I have met people from all walks of life all over the world. My whole attitude changed about everything I was involved with including my current position. I was more confident at work and it showed in my performance.
Took on other mentally uplifting challenges.
I decided to pro-actively offer my services (not in my current comfort zone) like keynote speeches, start-up business advice, business panel advisor on podcast radio shows, and writing for other websites and magazines to name a few. A boost to a positive image of myself to be sure. I would walk into appointments and people would recognize me from these endeavors. Definitely a boost to my success at the company I was working for.
Found a niche in my company and filled it.
As I was writing my articles on my blog I found myself becoming an adept web developer as well. Offering my services for the company web site I was working for was a natural next step. My latest website build endeavor went from no search engine results to we are now getting leads weekly if not multiple leads and sales daily.
In the end I changed what I could change and used it to help gain experience and a powerful positive attitude. While many aspects of my current position, and personal aches and pains, are the same I now have a renewed vigor that I never had before. I am glad that I made a conscience effort to change my stripes.