During our visit today I have an interesting concept to share with you that could be a source of inspiration for a good number of people. To begin, please consider the millions of people in America who are working on a job they don't like or on a job where they feel they have no opportunity for advancement. Could I be talking about you or someone you care about? At this point, I am going to make a statement with which you may or may not agree. The problem I have just described in 99 percent of the cases is not the job, it's in the thinking of the person who holds the job.
Here is a good story that will illustrate what I am talking about. It seems there were three negative women who lived on a bayou in South Louisiana, and every day they complained about their circumstances. Each day they would moan and say, "There is no opportunity for us here." Does this sound familiar? Then one day a positive thinking woman came along and heard them complaining. She said, "Look, so you live on a bayou. Well, the bayou runs into the river, and the river runs into the gulf, and the gulf opens up into the sea. You have a boat, and you can go anywhere you want to go from where you are."
To be sure, there are some jobs that are dead-end, but it does not mean that we can't turn around and go back. The three women on the bayou story opens up a lot of thinking possibilities, at least it does for me. My friend, what I have just shared is really exciting news. If you or someone you care about is in a job they don't like or seems to have no opportunities for advancement (in other words dead-end) the problem is not the job, it is in the thinking of the person who holds the job. Like the three negative women on the bayou, we can go anywhere from where we are.
Now, you may say, "that's all well and good, but how do I go about it?" Now, here is my personal recommendation: First, do a simple evaluation. Determine if there is a real need for the product or service you help to provide. After you do this, answer this question: will this industry still be around 10, 20 or 30 years from now? Then move on and answer these personal questions: do you like the kind of work in which you are involved? If you don't like it, why don't you like it? Next, if you or someone you care about has several years of experience, doesn't it make sense that you should use this experience and not start over from scratch and have to learn a new job or career from the beginning?
In a free-market economy, there is only one way to succeed, and that is to find a need and fill it! At this point, think about the leaders in this industry and the kind of rewards they are receiving, both tangible and intangible, that is to say, money and satisfaction.
Several years ago, I heard the late Earl Nightingale talk about this very thing. He said, "If you will get a spiral notebook and begin each day by jotting down thoughts and ideas of how to improve your job and your industry, in five years or less you can become a national expert in your field." Now that is truly something to think about: a national expert in this field.
You will find, as I have, that great opportunities will come your way and you will have people coming to you asking for help and your opinion. The increased income will follow, along with personal satisfaction. All of us can do better than we are doing. Best wishes, Jim.