The Evolution of Employed vs. Employee

I’ve held many jobs over my lifetime.

I’ve always had an urge and a drive to be doing something productive and never turned down a job or opportunity to earn money.

I’ve babysat and nannied, I was a lifeguard, a waitress, a secretary, a warehouse worker, a food stand worker at Chiefs and Royals games, emcee, a housekeeper, organizer (dreamy!), an insurance salesman, a marketing manager and much more.

Most recent title: business owner. 

 

Maybe others saw I had an entrepreneurial spirit, a creative drive paired with a constant work ethic or maybe it came as a complete surprise. It was for me.

Over my years of working, before and after college, there was not much consistency. I knew everything was temporary until I graduated and received a ‘big kid job.’ I was highly disappointed by options available for military spouses and even more disappointed in my employers and their business structure.

After two years of working for more, more, more, I decided it was time to take my passion for strategic creativity and develop a business I, and others like me, could benefit from.

I was excited!

I was nervous to say I was a founder.

I was encouraged to move forward anyway.

 

Although I am still waiting for that big salary to reflect the time and effort put in (someday) this is exactly what I am meant to be doing. I’ve loved keeping myself employed on my terms instead of following mundane tasks that lead to no tangible results. I have never once cringed from unethical behavior or business practices. That in itself is a success to me.

Check out this excerpt from Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action:

9.17,2018 039

I’m a firm believer that making money is better than sitting idle waiting for the next big opportunity to fall in your lap. Part of this means you say YES to doing a job and learn how to do it after that. Even the most experienced bartender had a first shift at one time in their life. The best plumber knows what to look for because he’s worked day in and day out in his field.

You have to start somewhere.

I have never been nervous to say I wasn’t sure how to do something but I was willing to learn and ask questions. I was motivated to work a little longer, a little harder or a little more than my peers in order to get the job done.

And it always paid off.

Just like working out you might not always be thrilled to go in to work or motivated to do something but your discipline will keep you showing up day in and day out until you get to do what you want to do instead of what you have to do.

 

Maybe you find yourself ready to take a step toward a promotion? Toward leadership? Toward another job or starting your own business? Hopefully you’re already a leader, boss or employer and are seeking a way to treat your team better.

This is The Evolution Of The Employee I’ve come across online and I not only love that it resembles what’s happened for me personally but also what’s happening in the work culture.

evolution of employee- from linked in

When you find the release from poor management or micromanagement you find what you learned about leaving for college. A newfound freedom. A relief. Maybe a freak out when it comes time to memorize your SSN. I get it.

But you figure it out because maybe mom won’t answer her phone in time. So you have to figure out who to call and what office to visit. Maybe they’re not there to hand you gas money, entertainment money or tuition. So you’ve got to figure out how to earn money and budget your necessities vs your vanities.

“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her away, she adjusted her sails.” – Elizabeth Edwards

 

So I encourage you to start today. Start right now. Go do something that will get you one small, tiny step closer to where you want to be. Even with your full-time job, your busy home life or your lack of resources (time or money) just go do something.

Start writing blogs, start taking photos, go to the gym once a week, then twice then three times.

Start reading books, listening to podcasts and watching documentaries. Start researching, learning, investing and attending.

Show up. Put the work in.

It was always work out in your favor.

If you’re looking for a place to start, ask me how I can help you. 

Cheers!

Marin

A Lot-a-Bit or A Little-Bit

“Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do._

My aunt won a contest the other day by sharing her quick-and-easy business advice “Stay in your lane and pay others to do what you don’t want to know or deal with.”

 

It’s like when you’re driving in traffic (Hey, Seattle) and turning down the radio so you can focus on the streets and directions. It sounds funny because turning down what we are hearing helps us with what we are seeing. It’s the loss of one sense that heightens another. There are several reports on why we do this but it boils down to the need to cut through the distractions and focus on road ahead.

 

Your entire life you are asked ‘What do you want to be/do/study?’ If you were my little cousin you would have answered a firefighting dog, a license plate or a duck washer all by age seven. Her answer at age eight should be just as entertaining.

Throughout high school and early college I was interested in the medical field. I started out as a Biology/Pre-Med student with the aspiration to go into dermatology. By sophomore year I wanted to pursue nutrition or dietetics. By the end of sophomore year, I realized I was interested in learning a variety of topics (noisy distractions) but the reality of doing one thing for a career just didn’t appeal to me. My friends were the ones to suggest Public Relations and Communications because of my personality and strengths and it was the balance I needed. I could focus and enhance what I was good at instead of beating myself up over what I just wasn’t loving.

Let me say here: I believe you should have a working knowledge or basic understanding of everything. You should always be learning, questioning, leading and exploring.

It took cutting through the distractions of so many options to focus on my road ahead. PR landed me an internship with Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year, Bailey Lauerman. I was introduced to an office where everyone collaborated on projects based on their strengths and were paired up for the best client outcome. I had access to the most creative copywriters, web designers, creative art directors and mentors.

We were all able to meet up, delegate tasks and then focus on what we were good at.

Instead of me taking 4 hours to learn how to master Photoshop and come out with a meh-designed piece, my co-worker had multiple, beautiful examples ready to go and we worked together on adjusting them to reach the ‘vision’. I was able to take my saved time and put it toward other killer work so we all won.

(Sidenote: This was my favorite job experience EVER if you can’t tell. If you get the chance, go work for them!)

Another Example: To me, taxes are the epitome of necessary-but-annoying adulting responsibility. Last year my husband and I went through a professional to file for us as an introduction to W2+1099=Filing Jointly world. We thought this would establish a great template for us to just do it ourselves next time.

Next time came around and after a weekend hermited inside, going through papers, files, missed deductions and faulty communication that can only lead to not-nice arguments with your spouse plus several digits more of a payout….we agreed to invest in our sanity and have a pro handle taxes from here on out.

 

For the tax guy, this stuff comes naturally. He gets it. To my aunt, she wants to focus on her work and it’s worth her time and money to pay others to take care of business. The working couple with five kids prefer to spend their time outside of work with their family so hiring house cleaners and yard work just makes sense.

 

Welcome to working in your Zone of Genius, a concept that came to life when Gay Hendricks published ‘The Big Leap.‘ I first heard about this from an interview with Sara Davison and Boss Babe Academy (Listen to the Masterclass here.)

If you’ve gotten this far you’re obviously a good reader (CONGRATS!) so I won’t repeat everything but there are Four Zones in which we can operate: Incompetence, Competence, Excellence and Genius.

 

As entrepreneurs you wear many different hats so this can be easy to scoff at. Those scoffing will soon fail as they worked: by themselves. Those that are most successful in their work realize what and when to pass some tasks off. No one ever got to where they are alone. 

You’ve heard “You can know a lot about a little or a little about a lot.”

People also say it isn’t WHAT you know, it’s WHO you know.

I see it as this. It’s not a matter of “I’m not capable of doing this” but “My energy is best spent here and I’m capable of noticing that.”

It’s not “How many things can I know?” but “WHO do I know that can do this for me and do it well?” People can only get by on surface-level knowledge of knowing a little about a lot for so long. I feel I’m most succesful when I have a network of people who know a lot about a little. Imagine how productive you’d be if everyone could work in their zones.

 

It might be intimidating to label your Zone of Genius or scary to outsource but when you realize you are investing in services to give you back your time, what you end up gaining is far more valuable.

I want to know: What have you realized is better to outsource or take care of yourself?

 

Cheers!

Marin

PS: Know someone who would like to focus on their craft and let us cut through the distractions of their marketing?  Let’s work together.

Why Are We Doing This?

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morning

People, we are currently on Day Three of Daylight Saving Time (yes, take that ‘s’ out of there!) I have been confused by what time it really is, I have read numerous friend’s posts on the funny things they have done and I have asked myself the question many of us do around this time “Why are we doing this?”

For my friends in Hawaii, Arizona and other non-clock-turners let me catch you up…

Daylight Saving Time’s main purpose is to make the most of the daylight hours. While this isn’t fun to lose an hour of sleep when we spring forward, it does make a lot of people happy because now we can do more in the daylight at a later time. If you want more numbers and details like how it conserves energy, survey results and how this correlates with car crashes, read up here.

I asked my husband “Why are we doing this?” and he answered “It all started for people like you.”

 

UH, WHAT?

 

Allow me to translate his humor. Drew was referring to the fact that I come from a family of farmers. While this was kind of funny (What do you mean YOU PEOPLE?!) this isn’t the sole reason for DLS and many agricultural professions actually opposed DLS because they preferred more daylight in the morning. Still, it got me thinking…

So many people are fatigued and tired. It’s argued that DLS actually hurts work productivity. It has people asking “Why are we doing this?” come Sunday (and Monday …and Tuesday) morning. It can impact your productivity and, as with any change, provides an opportunity to adjust. Here are three ways I answer ‘Why are we doing this?’ and ‘What am I doing this for?’ every day.

  1. Get Up. Just do it. You know this change is coming up so if you’re able to go to bed earlier and sleep in that weekend, do it. Take the time to adjust.
    • If you haven’t already placed your alarm clock far away where you have to walk to turn it off, do it.
    • Every night I make sure my alarm is set, turn on ‘Do Not Disturb’ and charge my phone on the bathroom counter. It’s not fun when that early morning alarm goes off but once I’m out of bed, I might as well get dressed in those clothes I laid out.
    • Just keep moving no matter how unmotivated you are. You will be more upset come 3 p.m. and you have tons to do than you would be if you’ve been getting it done since 6 a.m.
  2. There’s always a bright side. This should be your mindset every moment of every day but take this literally. It is all about your mindset.
    • Sunsets are pretty but I prefer sunrises. It is so much nicer to wake up to sun than it is to a dark, cold morning.
    • Each morning I walk my dog before working out and even when it’s cold, it wakes me up. If you were coming home from work in the dark, now you’re coming home in the sunshine.
    • I heard the kids next door playing basketball outside yesterday and if you’re familiar with the PNW, that’s a miracle in itself. Go do something fun with your time.
  3. Prioritize. I am a Type A personality which means I make lists about lists I should make. I hold firm to getting things done ahead or on time, I must be rigidly organized and I have this underlying competitiveness about weird things (EX: When a commercial comes on TV I see how much I can get done before the show comes back on. Like putting away dishes, folding laundry, etc….just try it.) Yes, this has caused some problems with the impatience it brings on but it has also been a consistent strength for my work ethic and achievements. This can be as simple or as detailed as you’d like. Maybe you’ve got it figured out or maybe you don’t even know where to start.

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Here are some ways I hold myself accountable and stay on track every day:

  • I use a planner and pen because it makes sense for me. You might prefer your phone. I write out everything I have for that day and carry over anything that didn’t get done yesterday. When a box is full, I look at the rest of the week and put remaining tasks in an emptier box. Here is what I have for Tuesday, March 13.
    • Go through dog closet and cleaning closet for donations (truck comes by tomorrow so this is important today but not the end of the world.)
    • Walk, 15 min HIIT and upper body workout
    • Shower
    • Blog post (I will be posting every Tuesday!)
    • Finish portfolio & get prices lined up
    • Discovery call with potential client
    • Do nails after supper
  • Now I prioritize those tasks by writing a number and circling it to the left. I will go in that order for the rest of the day, inserting time if I can and when I am done I scribble it out of existence. Ahhhhh.
  • I stay flexible for life to happen. For example, the call with a potential client didn’t come up until 9 a.m. I scheduled time with her at 11 a.m. and factored this in to a top priority. So now my list looks like this:
    1. Walk
    2. Blog post
    3. Discovery call with potential client
    4. Finish portfolio & get prices lined up
    5. 15 min HIIT and upper body workout
    6. Shower
    7. Go through dog closet and cleaning closet for donations.
    8. Cook supper (in my mind’s timeline, I don’t write it)
    9. Do nails
  • When they day is done I put a large X through it. If there is anything left undone I will move it to the next day.

Do I realize this won’t be for everyone? OF COURSE. There are people with office jobs, people with kids and their schedules, people who get stressed by an ordered timeline and prefer to just deal with whatever comes up…I get it.

This is something that works for me and if you’re feeling a change coming on like I often do, I hope you will at least give one of these a try. It takes 21 days to form a habit. If you saw at least one new idea I challenge you to commit yourself to trying that out for 7 days. No excuses. After that you can toss it, you can adjust it or you can expand on it. When in doubt, ask yourself “Why am I doing this?” The answer will either drive you or it will check your priorities.

Please tell me which of these new tips you’re going to try out and share any ideas on how you stay productive. I love reading your comments.

Cheers!
Marin

 

Interested in working together? I’m celebrating my one-year-launch with Free Discovery Consultations + 50% your Branding+Positioning Strategy now through March 31st. Let’s talk!