Have you ever had the unsettling feeling that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, sooner or later, the person you count on the most…will leave? I know from personal experience that as soon as a great partner walks through the door, within a few years, this person will become so happy, so knowledgeable… and so in love with someone else…they’re leaving me.
It’s important to stop here and note: I’m not talking about my husband. I am, however, talking about my assistants. When I hire them, they are single, struggling, and have usually come through a recent divorce. One or two years later, they’re engaged to the love of their life and resigning to take a new job that pays twice as much as I can. Naturally, I’m thrilled for them. Who doesn’t want their best-buddy-almost-family member to have everything they deserve?
The story unfolds like this: my first assistant, after I became a coach, was thrilled to be coached by me whenever she needed it. Within a year, her life got so good, she hugged and kissed me goodbye as she skyrocketed out the door. Ah ha, I thought, “That’ll teach me. I’m not coaching the next one I hire.” So I didn’t. However, the next person did type up my articles and columns
every week and absorb the information that was in them. She lasted two years before she met her soul mate, found a job at triple the salary – and wrote a book!
With the next person, I tried to stuff socks in her ears and blindfold her so she wouldn’t hear or see too much too soon. Alas—that worked for about three years. But then, she met her soul mate and was offered a job at triple the salary (isn’t repetition boring?). She’ll probably write a book too.
Why am I complaining? I hate losing a fantastic person who helps me keep my life afloat. Why am I smiling? I LOVE seeing people get everything they want—including the great romance.
Would you like to know the secrets to having an amazing life? Consider the following:
1. The environment you choose.
You want to have a supportive setting that is a safe place to grow. Think of yourself as a plant in a greenhouse. You need optimum conditions to flourish. Obviously, plants don’t get to choose their locale…but you do. I’ve coached many people who worked in the most emotionally toxic conditions
imaginable, yet they wondered what was wrong with them. They were berating themselves because they couldn’t stand to go to work. The real issue was: why were they working in a place where they weren’t seen, heard, or appreciated? Some work environments, like some relationships, are not meant for you. It’s important to recognize when it happens and put a plan in place to do something about it. Don’t just suffer, thinking you have no choices.
2. The company you keep.
Be highly selective of the people you choose to be with, whether at work, home, or out in the community. You are consciously, …and most especially unconsciously… affected by everything about them, from their words to their deeds. We rarely understand the impact that the opinions of our friends and colleagues have upon us. Truly…you can’t hang out with a bunch of negative people without absorbing their attitudes and their murky perspective on life. Choose to be around people you admire.
3. The discipline that goes with any job.
My assistants had a pile of work every day … and some nights … from their office details, to reading books, to understanding the nuts and bolts of Internet logistics. Whether you’re learning something new, or doing a task you’ve done a thousand times before, it takes discipline. Developing discipline gives you confidence, brings you results, and gives you pride in your accomplishments. It also will make you the kind of person everyone wants to hire!
4. The risks worth taking.
If you’re working with people you trust and they have consistently shown you examples of a successful life, it’s time to take a leap of faith …and try some new actions. Conversations that challenge
your traditional way of thinking, books that present new insights, courses that give you new skills, and different experiences you might not have ever tried are all waiting to bring you a new learning curve.
5. The invention of bigger dreams.
It is true that you have to prepare, study, work hard, apprentice, and pay your dues in order to accomplish your goals. But ultimately, even with this … we all think too small. We don’t envision a life too much bigger than the one we’re in. Indulge yourself and spend some time imagining what life could be in the best of all worlds.
My assistants don’t just come and go. They come, they fill with the air of joy and possibility, and they float off into the ozone of happiness. You can do it too.