Thursday, June 3, 2010

Get Clear

What do you want? A job isn’t the right answer. A successful business isn’t the right answer either. Having a relationship, losing weight, going back to school, those answers aren’t working for me.

You need to get clear on what you want … exactly what you want. If you want a job, will any job do? Do you want to scrub toilets? How about picking up trash from the side of the road? That might be fine for some people, but if that isn’t your idea of a job, then you need to get clear.

When I graduated from college, in my youthful arrogance, I turned down a job, a good job. It took me another year to get my foot in the door at a radio station and when I did, I wasn’t getting paid. I toiled there for a year and a half. During that time, I got experience and made a decent demo tape. I also applied to any and every job I could. I applied to places I couldn’t pronounce. I sent resumes and tapes to places I couldn’t find on a globe. My goal was simple, find a job as a news producer. Any job.

Eventually, I got a job as a news producer in a small Midwestern town. The job was fine but I was miserable. Forget dating, I would have settled for just a friend. For a year, every evening, every weekend, I was alone. I ate alone. I went to the movies alone. I never made a local call because no one I knew was local. It was awful.

After a year, I left. I didn’t have another job. I didn’t care. I just had to get out.

I had not been clear about the job I wanted. I didn't want 'any job' 'anywhere', although that was the energy I was putting out. I wanted a job, as a producer, in a medium-sized city that would pay me at least $5,000 more than I ended up making. But desperation overtook clarity. I settled for anything and that's exactly what I got.

Knowing what you don’t want is a good start but you need to know exactly what you do want.

If you want a job, what job? Where are you working? What salary are you making? What are you doing every day? What is your boss like? How long is your commute?

If it’s a relationship, what are your partner’s characteristics? What activities do you share? What do you like about him/her? What does he/she bring to the relationship?

If it is a business, what defines a successful business to you? How much revenue are you generating? How many people are working for you? What are your days like? Who is your ideal client or customer?

Clarity is key.

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