Are you working hard for a better education, hard at your job, or for your own business? Many people set out every day to make a difference. Sometimes, even the best ask the question, “Does hard work pay off?”
I just glanced at the news reports for the 2017 Heisman Trophy finalists. I’m not sure what I’m more surprised about, the ones who made it, or the ones who didn’t.
So Much Talent
We often see so much talent. Sports, business, and entertainment, they all share a common thread. The perception often is that very few of the really great people ever get discovered and make it big.
That doesn’t mean that the ones who aren’t immediately discovered aren’t worth it. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t great. The brutal truth is that even with all of their talent, their knowledge, skills, and abilities; it is still very rare that they’ll be discovered.
An organization of fifty people, one hundred, or those with thousands of people probably have some exceptional talent. Only a few will make it to vice president, or a position in the C Suite. In most organizations, only one or none will make it all the way to the top.
Most people are hoping that someone will find them. They hope they’ll be discovered within their organization, or that their product or service will become the next big thing. It is even true with social media posts or that really cool video, there is hope that it will become the next one to trend.
All of that isn’t much different from buying a lottery ticket. The moment you buy, the excitement begins. There is the hope for a win. Very few actually do.
Some will quickly cite luck as making the difference. Studies on luck have indicated that it has very little to do with success, but viewpoints may vary depending on how you measure it.
Doing The Work
So people do their work, they do all of it. Does their hard work pay off?
They get better educated. They put in the time and effort at their job or for their own business. Will they ever be discovered? Perhaps they will, but only sometimes.
A different approach is that instead of doing all the right things, you pivot to do more things right.
What if instead of hoping to be discovered by the top agency, be noticed by your boss, or see your video trending, you instead focus on what isn’t visible yet.
Work That Is Worth It
Imagine you are the apple that isn’t low hanging. Consider what people should be doing, only they aren’t.
You bring the list of solutions to the meeting instead of the list of problems. You aren’t requesting a meeting to discuss salary, your discussion points are about creating impact.
Most of this type of work is not a clearly laid out plan. It doesn’t just happen because you achieved the degree, because your card has been punched, or your business has the right location. None of that hurts, but it also doesn’t guarantee you’re next.
Hard Work Pay Off
Hard work pays off because it is hard. All of the easy stuff is already taken. Including everything that is visible in the mainstream right now.
Your target should be the one that is always moving.
The target that is stopped, paused, or visible right now, is already taken. That apple is picked.
Don’t hope to be the next one picked. Become the one everyone wants next.
Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.