It’s 7 pm, you arrive at the party, showing up because you promised your partner you’d go to their office Formal Fundraising Event. Well played. But, you have nothing in common with these folks other than most everyone is wearing black and you enjoy champagne. Now is the perfect time to use formal Chit-Chat-Power to YOUR ADVANTAGE. Let’s Do This:
You’re asked several times, “Yes, Nice to meet you too. So…what do You do for a living?” Whatever immediate emotion or response that surfaces, will immediately & automatically tell you if you love doing what you do for a living…or NOT.
For years I’ve worked in an industry most noted for the line, “BUT WAIT! There’s MORE!”, promoting people & products you “See On TV”. The best thing about this industry is government regulation has faded out the fads that don’t work, and what’s left from consumer direct response sales are some of the finest product & services available.
The reason I share is because within the same career for decades and having experienced all the changes within it, I have answered the “What Do You Do” question the exact same way, (”I Help People Sell Stuff – on TV, Online, or Shopping Networks”) but felt completely different in my gut answering, either as a total fake & failure, or a superior solid professional, depending on the sales success of the campaign(s). The diversity was amazing. The way I felt inside with my response was either great pride which instantly faded when an offer tanked, or rose with huge success. And, of course, in this industry, nobody remembers your past success, just the current “show” and you become a nobody quickly. Actually, you would probably agree, in ANY career, the same holds true, (except perhaps poet laureates, inventors of telephony, 5 rock stars, Johann Sebastian Bach, and surgeons who have successfully transplanted organs), your latest performance marks your “true” success to the world watching. I’m not saying this is a negative thing. This Success-Failure Ratio has been the catalyst to many great strides & inventions in our democracy. So, thank GOD! But, speaking of God, you’ve got gifts. Are you sharing them in AND out of work? Here’s why I ask. Obviously, if you’re still reading this, you are curious about improving your work-life, or finding a way to leave it all together for something else.
While I’ve enjoyed what most would say are great accomplishments in my career, the lows are what stuck in my rewind-mind. I must admit I never used to celebrate the accomplishments authentically, knowing there’s got to be something MORE in life than the ups and downs of sales success. Yes, there was great satisfaction knowing I was helping authors, entrepreneurs and business owners prosper. In fact, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the most genius, gifted people and famous faces within this line of work who have taught me volumes. And, collectively, I noticed that not ONE of them stayed “satisfied”, “comfortable”, or “safe” in pushing the bar up, or was immune to huge failure & setbacks to gain their successful footing now. That was actually intriguing to me because I was never bored, just unfulfilled. So, why was I still unfulfilled knowing I loved marketing & P.R., enjoying overall success?
I was lost. I was missing something. Here’s what I did. I took my funky unfulfilled feeling and was so sick and tired of The Funk that I literally got up and wrote down things I wanted to do in my life and began trying...without the fear of failure.
Here’s the data so far: (since data is everything in marketing): 1 BIG WIN, 5 FAILURES! I’ve got my mojo back! It wasn’t my career, but testing it made all the difference in the world. I started to try new things that had nothing to do with marketing, but everything to do with my heart-list. So, what’s my “WIN?” It’s been 1 year now, and I’ve been teaching a class on gratitude. I’ve met some of the best versions of human beings who have helped me be a better version of myself as well and that’s always a big work in progress. Now, to be clear, I had to give up some aspects of my work, and be more choosy with whom I work, and that means, less cash since I started adding new appointments to my calendar (some of which MAY end up making an income), but this choice has given me new-found energy for my career with more fun & satisfaction than ever before.
When people ask me “what I do for a living”, I smile and say, “I Help People Sell Stuff – on TV, Online, or Shopping Networks”. That hasn’t changed whatsoever! Same gig, I just tried new things I’ve always wanted to do without worrying about failure, and one stuck! The one small win made me feel so good I care less about what people think of me. Double-win!
It made me zero-in on how and what I wanted to really spend my life, “promoting”. So, if you’re feeling funky about your job, take this 10 Step Test and find out where your sweet spot is, hopefully doing something bigger than yourself, serving others. You may not even be good at “IT” at first but START! The risk is worth everything. If you know you are doing it for the single purpose to help another person live life better, without any initial return on your “investment”, how rich you will be. Your true ROI will thrive.
10 Steps To an Authentic Work-Life of Your Own:
- Don’t Quit your day job. You need to eat and support you, your family & hopefully a rescued cat/dog.
- Write Down things you love to do, that light you up and helps other people. (*Please note: serving or helping others will fast-track you, even if you are selfish. And, you are selfish, just like me. But Losers lose because they never found out that the good life was giving a better life to someone else.)
- Get Quiet! Take 20 solid un-disturbed minutes, the same time each day for 1 week. Research & learn everything you can about the subject. 100 Hours is enough to either pull you in for more, or move you on to something else.
- Evaluate the skills you have NOW in which to implement DOING more of this “lights-you-up” gig.
- Volunteer opportunities? Online schooling or degrees available? Find out! Big Breath & Sign Up.
- Assess the time you need to add to your schedule to invite this new aspect into your life-week.
- Be Prepared to give up something “good” in your life, temporarily. You’re in the middle of “research” for a kickass life! Serving will ALWAYS cost you, but the return is priceless.
- Don’t Give Up: Yes, you will fatigue. Yes, you will want to give up, but then what? How will you ever really know what could have happened? Be comfortable with getting a little uncomfortable. Comfort is boring in the long run and leads to regrets & mediocrity.
- Meet New People in the industry or activity. Ask to hear their story to spark inspiration for your own ways to begin or get involved.
- GO FOR IT! Opportunities will start to open up. You may feel like you aren’t prepared. You may feel afraid. Someone may even ask you to SPEAK to hundreds of people about your journey. Regardless of what emotions come up: Take the Opportunity! Fail, or not, you will have the satisfaction you tried! People are attracted to your smile, authenticity and passion for trying something you know you wanted to do for someone else to make life, just a little bit easier. Watch out, usually income happens too.
Kimberly McCoy, C.C.O. Founder of HiRise Promotions & Marketing, Inc. Advocate of creative partnerships, public relations, thankful attitudes & people who go the extra mile (not just for the calorie burn). Spends most of her time enjoying the thrill of creating sales & strategy for brands & authors that make life better with a smile on her face in Lycra. Kim, a failed TV Reporter aced it behind the scenes in marketing & PR, which made her realize...failure can be a great kick-in-the-asking for better direction. She never looks back, but up, to support her passion for climbing tall mountains. She lives between Houston and Chicago launching effective marketing strategies and remains wildly attracted to learning new ways to introduce people to brands they love.