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Do You Take Out the Garbage?

We live in a world in which too many people want immediate gratification and to get rich quick. But we all know that in reality, the world doesn’t work that way. True success comes to people who will work for it. It takes the right combination of working hard, working smart, and working from the heart. You have to be willing to start at the bottom of the ladder.

Media executive Michael Casio put it this way in his recent essay in the New York Times:

Before I was an E.V.P., S.V.P. or V.P., I worked as a janitor. For two summers I cleaned toilets, mopped floors and smelled like garbage. It had nothing to do with my chosen profession. And yet nothing was better for preparing me for work and life as an adult.

People have to earn their keep. When I was a kid, if I wanted to buy something, I had to earn the money to spend. Even before my teens I was stuffing envelopes for my father’s life insurance general agency. I remember getting my pay and then taking a long walk to the local bookstore to buy a new Hardy Boys book.

Experiences like this keep you rooted. They keep you from feeling entitled to the rewards that come your way. They help you understand that it is your assiduous effort that yields either feast and famine.

Do your children understand this? Do your employees? Do your financial representatives take this attitude when servicing your account? Or do they take your business for granted?