Got the Monday Blues? Press On!

Nov 17, 2008

It was 5 pm on Friday. The caller ID display read a solo practitioner friend of mine who touches base periodically just to catch up on what’s new. It’s always a boost to me to hear from this guy. This time, however, it was different.

“Neil, I just had a fall off. I am absolutely sick right now. I needed the money from this one for Christmas, and now I don’t know what I’m going to do. You know, I’m going to tell you something that I’ve never admitted to anyone…ever. Even though I have been doing this business for 17 years…I HATE it!! I always have! Even when I was a national rookie of the year with (a major franchise operation before he went solo), I have always hated this business. I feel like the biggest hypocrite in the world…persuading people to change jobs if they aren’t happy…and I’ve never been happy.”

I am rarely speechless…but this time, I was. Here was a guy who had always been one of the most gung-ho recruiters I had ever known.

He has motivated me and lifted me out of many down times. Now I was deeply troubled for him, not just because my friend was having a bad day and was hurting, but because his words struck a nerve for me.

On many occasions, I have also hated this business, but I never told anyone.

Let’s face it. Any business where you must hire 10 people to get three successful has major negatives. Any business which has franchisors that require you to put your life savings on the line to purchase a franchise because, otherwise, you’ll quit, has major negatives. Any business where you can spend entire days speaking with people who do not wish to speak to you can only be enjoyable to strange people. Any business where thousands of dollars in personal income can go away instantly due to variables you have no control over can only be enjoyable to people who love living constantly on the edge.

Why would anyone make a career out of this?

I’ve found that most who continue doing this business for longer than the usual couple of years do so because, like my friend, they are good at it. They have a talent which only one in 1,000 people have. I’ve also found the majority do not particularly enjoy it, no matter what they may say in public, but they stay at it because they have a part of themselves which asks “If I do not do this, who will?” And they enjoy changing people’s lives in profound ways.

We ALL have hated this business. Anyone who hasn’t is either a liar (or insane). We all have introspective periods where we ask ourselves what else we could be doing, and times of self doubt. As for myself, I hate to wear religion on my sleeve, but I’ve always felt that this is my “calling,” that each of us has a unique God-given talent, and mine happens to be placement.

We should use our talents to serve others, even if we suffer from time-to-time by doing so. I told this to my friend, he agreed, and we concluded our call with him recommitting himself to this business, and a new day on Monday.

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