Today is my two-year work anniversary with ESS. And it has been a phenomenal journey thus far. You all know me; I am always searching for the lesson in my experiences, so here’s what I’ve learned from my time serving in this role:
Lesson #1: Don’t allow your age or qualification requirements to hinder your success.
When I interviewed with the president of our company, I was beyond nervous. Here I was, a recent college graduate, with no executive or industry experience, interviewing with seasoned professionals that had more experience than I had life. The odds looked stacked against me, but all I could think about was God’s promises. I knew that if I went into this interview, and let my light shine, that God would handle the rest. And that’s exactly what happened.
When we’re looking for our dream job, it’s easy to disqualify ourselves before we even apply. We become distracted by factors that hold little significance. I want to encourage you to try anyway; send in that resume, make that phone call. If that specific opportunity has your name on it, it will manifest in your life. I am living proof of this.
Lesson #2: If it scares you, pursue it.
So I started this career and it met every want and need I asked for. I was fired up and ready to go! But there was one thing; I would have to face one of my biggest fears at the time, public speaking. And I have to be honest, for about 1.5 seconds, I thought about passing up this opportunity. Now, remember I said that this career met every want and I need I had, but your girl was thinking about passing it up?!? Yeah, I was crazy.
I prayed. And I said, “God, now see, you didn’t have to throw that in the mix. I didn’t mention anything about public speaking, so what’s the deal?” My Spirit said, “Trust me.” I accepted the position and started May 29, 2012.
Fast forward to date, I exceeded my annual sales goal in my first year. I have forged new partnerships with companies I never imagined I would interact with. I have flown all over to present to Fortune 500 corporations to discuss multi-million dollar opportunities, and at first, it was painful. But each time I did it, I grew more comfortable and my presenting skills improved. There are times I still get nervous, but I play Philippians 4:13 in my head and press forward.
When you face your fears head on you notice how powerless those fears are. It’s not until you face them that you realize that you’re already equipped with everything you need to overcome them. I was focusing on what I didn’t have, but God positioned me with an opportunity that revealed all of the greatness I did possess. He will do the same for you.
One of my favorite quotes is, “Do it afraid”. It’s very simple, but it’s powerful. Don’t allow your fears to steal great opportunities from you. Do it afraid and you’ll see gifts and talents emerge that you never knew were there.
Faith in God + Faith in Yourself + God-Inspired Action = A Winning Recipe for Success
Lesson #3 – Set the bar higher
This lesson is simple. No matter what career you pursue, you’ll always have responsibilities to fulfill. You’ll be given metrics to measure your success. And my advice to you is to set the bar higher. Always find ways to exceed expectations, never settle for “good” when greatness is inside of you.
It may appear at times like no one is noticing your extra effort. You may feel like it’s not producing anything, but don’t let your ego trip you up. I strongly believe that God is our only Source, He may use different channels to bring blessings our way, but He remains the Source of all good things. I’ll tell you why this is important. If God is our Source, and He uses our employer as a channel, then we should treat the work we do as if we’re doing it for God.
Colossians 3:23 speaks to this: “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men.”
So when your ego tries to convince you that no one cares or that you’re not appreciated, just remember that God sees everything and He will not allow your hard work and dedication to go unrewarded.
Lesson #4 – “If you learn, teach. If you get, give.” – Maya Angelou
We are not crabs in a barrel; I don’t have to hold you down to get ahead. We are not racing against one another; we are racing with one another. There is no competition, compete against yourself to become the best you possible.
I grew up in a single-parent household. My mom did a great job providing for us and making sure that we received everything we needed to be successful individuals. It was hard, but I went to school with people who were worse off. There was no way for them to get a college education; they had to work to provide for their families. After seeing that, I made a promise to myself.
If I learn, I am going to teach. And if I get, I am going to give.
I have carried that with me throughout my journey. Success is not about how much you manage to accumulate in your lifetime; success is about how many people you were able to positively touch with your influence. We, as a Society, often think that service is reserved for the more affluent. That’s not true at all. To serve you don’t have to be a scholar or someone with wealth, you just need a heart for helping others. Whether I teach you the alphabet or how to write a business plan, I am exercising the most powerful action in the world, which is teaching.
Never forget, no matter where life takes you, that you are blessed to be a blessing.
Lesson #5 – Be content throughout the journey
You have time to get that promotion; you have time to refine your skills; you don’t have to go from Entry-level to Senior-level overnight. Be content throughout the journey. Make mistakes and learn from them. You will get where you’re destined to go in the appointed time.
We often see the success of some of our century’s trailblazers and think, “Wow, I want to achieve that level of success!” And there’s nothing wrong with gaining motivation from their success. But, don’t obsess with reaching that level of success overnight.
Give yourself time. Give yourself a break.
Those who have reached the pinnacle of their success did not get there in 24-hours. They made sacrifices, they made mistakes and they even failed a few times. But envy will not allow you to see that. Envy will turn their success into something that makes you feel inferior. Don’t give it that kind of control. Your path is different, your level of success could be even higher than theirs, you’ll never know what your life has in store for you if you’re always chasing after someone else’s.