Once upon a time, I had a very nice high-level job managing one of the largest employment insurance offices in Ontario. I made great money, loved my job. Then I met Mary Kay skin care products, fell in love and thought I’d sell the product to get the discount.
But I discovered something much, much bigger. The women I met were not only making money and having fun, they were also becoming top leaders and helping to shape the company’s vision.
I made a decision to be one of them. I wanted to inspire women to go after their dreams, to believe that they can have and create anything they want if they are willing to do the work and do whatever it takes.
Here’s something that will probably surprise you – I AM AN INTROVERT! Years ago my Myers Briggs profile was ISTP and more recently it has switched to ISTJ. I decided that to achieve what I wanted, I needed to become an extrovert so that’s what I did. Which means YOU can decide who you are and what you will be.
It’s all about making a decision to do something. When I worked in government, a career path opened up to me, and I took advantage of it by deciding I would do what was necessary to get that position. I applied for all kinds of positions – stepping stones to the ultimate job – studied massive binders jammed full of information in order to pass the written exams that would lead to the interview. Most of my co-workers were content to stay in the same government job they’d had for years. Not me. I decided to go for something more and by age 30, I was responsible for millions of dollars and managed a department of more than 100 people.
Once I make a decision or set a goal, I work my cojones off to get there, jumping at every opportunity. When I worked in Mary Kay, I didn’t want to be just a director, I wanted to be a TOP director. And within two years, I rose to the top 1% of the company earning all three cars – if you know the Mary Kay structure you know those three cars are THE coveted milestones on the way to the top.
Even though I am willing to take risks and I leap at opportunity, I always do so with forethought. I’d never advise someone to quit their job to build a business, because you need that paycheck to support yourself while you’re building.
I prefer the idea of transitioning — I held on to my job for six months while building my business, working full time at both. Yes, other things suffered – I had no weekend free time or time with family. But I considered it short term pain for long term gain, and once my business had taken root, I took a leave of absence from the full-time job and only resigned a year later when the business was on solid ground.
Sacrifice is a word some people don’t like. But in order to achieve one thing, you will need to sacrifice something else. Wanna write a book? Give up Netflix. Want to get your interior design degree — give up salsa dancing. Netflix will still be there, but that opportunity to achieve may not be. You never hear people at the end of their life regretting something they did, only regretting something they DIDN’T do.
Pick someone you admire and listen to them. My leader in Mary Kay believed in me and my abilities. Once I DECIDED to move into Mary Kay management and become a director, I only listened to her. Once I’d decided those two things – believe in myself and believe in what my leader said – I achieved every promotion the company ran.
It’s all about making decisions, not about having a feeling, or waiting till the muse hits you, so:
1) Decide who inspires you the most
2) Decide who you want to be, and what you want to do and accomplish
3) Decide what it will take to get there
4) Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Only believe certain people whom you respect to tell you whether you’re going in the right direction.
5) DECIDE on a goal – and you must always have a goal in front of you – then DECIDE you will do whatever it takes to achieve that. If achieving that goal depends on heavy research, then do it. If it depends on going out and meeting new people every weekend, then do it.
I believe my best job and purpose right now is to encourage you to achieve great things, whether it is direct sales, online marketing, coaching, writing, publishing, design. A wise marriage therapist I know once said feelings follow actions, not the other way around. You must DECIDE what you will do and how you will achieve it because dreams don’t come looking for you or me – we need to take the step, change the thinking, do the hard work, and take the risks that are necessary to achieve the dream.