Dr. Martin Luther King once said, “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.'”
Many today suffer from un- and under-employment. Though there are many who are begging for work, there are many who are working and give no respect to their job. Since so many today do not have the “dream job” they desperately think they want, they often despise their job, their boss and the people they work with. Due to this mindset many often close themselves off to the opportunity that job or task may teach.
Every job has value. It is adding to the overall product or service that is being delivered to a customer. You may not want to be the janitor, but without a clean establishment will many customers return? You may not enjoy having a smile on your face every day as customers complain, but good customer service skills are the foundation of many great companies today and when lacking customer service skills can cause a company to go bankrupt.
As we grow Debt Free Guys with little income, for now, we continue to do what many would view as me-nial and administrative tasks. We do data entry and reporting. We answer and respond to custom-er/reader emails and comments, some of which are complaints and corrections. We sift through more junk mail that should be legal. Mostly, we wake and start work before sunrise and work well past our bed-time for little financial return confident in knowing that our efforts will pay off soon. Our ability to do all this and wake up early and stay up late to work, work, work was fostered by what many would consider crappy jobs.
• Matthew McConaughey literally used to clean up crap; he cleaned chicken coops
• Before he was Wolverine, Hugh Jackman was a clown at kids parties
“Opportunity? Often it comes in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat.” – Napoleon Hill
David swept and buffed grocery store floors in the middle of the night when he first graduated high school. John washed dishes for several restaurants as his first few jobs. The jobs seem tough enough, but often the toughest part of the job was the people for whom we worked. John was yelled at by his first boss because he used a whole sheet of paper towel, rather than half to clean a bathroom mirror. At the time, he perceived his boss as a cheap, old man. Now we get excited when we can cut any Debt Free Guys’ expense in half.
Many teenagers and millennials who can find a job are lucky even if their job isn’t what they actually want to do or why they went to school. Each of these jobs, however, teaches at least one lesson. The lesson may not be apparent today or may seem like the exact opposite of a lesson, but with an open and appreciative mind, the lesson will eventually come.
• Ellen DeGeneres used to sell vacuums before she got her own TV show
• Before becoming the Queen of Pop Madonna used to sell donuts at Dunkin Donuts
Many rich and famous people throughout history started from the very bottom and leveraged what-ever opportunity and lessons they could to climb the ladder of success. Today’s economy is a tough one to be sure, but success is possible and eventually the economy will turn around. When the opportunity comes, hopefully you will take full advantage of the lessons you have been provided. Remember when many companies are first starting, the boss has to do all the jobs; sales, customer service, janitor and bookkeeper.
“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca (First Century Roman Philosopher)
• Packing groceries was Oprah Winfrey’s first jobs as a grocery store clerk
• Jennifer Anniston used to be a telemarketer before building her entertainment empire
What first jobs have you had and what lessons have you learned from them that you use in a different job today?