In obedience to a compelling urge, here is another chapter excerpt from my e-book,
Championship Conduct - Excel in Care, Courtesy and Customer Service -
PARACHUTES OR EAGLES WINGS?
I am convinced that currently, in business, there are not nearly enough successful entrepreneurs. Granted, that career choice is crafted for certain types of personalities. It is not an election that should be undertaken without wise study and investigation as to the pros and cons of the endeavor. That said, more people should take the plunge into business ownership. The enterprise can provide rewards that do not exist when at work in other business environments.
Scores of people labor at jobs that do not fuel their passions. They get comfortable by the assurances of steady pay and secure benefit packages though present economic realities have greatly altered those belief systems. People daily do the work drill – they show up, go through the motions, perform with lax attitudes, count the hours to quitting time, go home and bemoan how unfulfilled they are in their jobs. They do the grind year after year because they are not inclined to forsake the parachutes to pursue work that can fulfill. No, that is not all people but far too many in the workforce fit that description.
It is a joy to witness people who love their jobs. They go about their work with enthusiasm and diligence. They demonstrate appreciation for their employment. Workplaces are better because of their presence. Numerous workers, though, settle in their occupations. They settle for less than the best because they believe “It is what it is.” The truth is, it does not need to be what it is but most people do not want to “go there.”
There are great and inspiring reports of entrepreneurs. College degrees were earned by some while others succeeded with limited formal education. Differences abound. Typically, what entrepreneurs have in common is faith with brave hearts to persevere. The stories vary – some entrepreneurs started with scarce resources but pressed on to succeed. Adequate capital was available to others who were fortunate enough to avoid financial difficulties. Full time parachute gigs provided security for many who did the entrepreneurial as side businesses – later some of that ilk forsook full time jobs and became full time entrepreneurs. Then there is that group who did not choose entrepreneurship – it chose us. We got “pink slip” bonuses which led us to seize the opportunities. What follows is a bit about my journey to the ranks of entrepreneurship.
I believe that I became poor to come to a place of understanding what it means to truly have faith in God. When I had steady jobs, like many people, my faith was in the secure salaries, and benefits. I mean there was “safety” in the parachute mentality.
Throughout my entire work history, I received written commendations for my excellent skills, and strong work ethic. I was habitually prompt with an above average attendance record.
One year, the Mayor of Washington, D.C. presented me with a “Customer Service Excellence Award.” My commendable work history did not result in a term renewal after five years of satisfactory and excellent performance evaluations. What followed was the lengthiest period of unemployment that I have ever experienced. It would be an understatement to say that I was jolted. Where I am now about it is at a place of gratitude. Challenges and uncertainties proved profitable as I achieved new levels of confidence. Presently, I am wiser with bountiful belief in the sovereignty of God. He is why I know that obstacles can triumphantly be conquered. It gives me immense pleasure to express that truth. I state it, not as a spectator, but as a living breathing witness of the capability to rise above barriers and roadblocks placed in our paths to discourage us.
One of the many gains in my wilderness trek is that I began Solid Journey, a business that specializes in writing, editing and consulting. Writing for years, has been an avid pursuit that I engaged with a passionate zeal. Newspapers and magazines published my written work and people often commended my literary skills. Frequently, I was encouraged to expand my reach relative to my talents in the field of writing. Previously, my writing was not done as a means to receive monetary profit. I told myself that to do it was reward enough for me. It was an eagerness that convinced me of contentment without benefit of financial payment.
Well, one advantage of unemployment was the precious gift of more time to soul search. That time was used wisely to become informed and educated in additional areas. Study, research, and hands on experiences have better equipped me to invest my talents in areas where I am uniquely and skillfully endowed to make positive differences. One primary goal is to join with those who are so inclined to impact our society in ways that are profitable on an assortment of levels. If exercised prudently, the combined usage of unique talents can emerge into that which transforms on scales that astonish.
My official role as a business president began from what some perceive as a negative – unemployment. It was, in truth, a positive. The absence of my parachute led me to sprout wings. I have long admired eagles. They are known for, among other things, their extremely keen vision, and wing span.
Yes, there is purpose for parachutes - what they do can save lives. Each individual must suitably align with that which is destined. It is my firm belief that more people, from places of fear, select parachutes rather than wings. It is one thing to be destined as a parachute carrier – it is quite another to be destined for wings, but succumb to fear and then settle for parachute status.
People of purpose have supporters but also tend to draw player haters on each level of development. Entrepreneurs oftentimes possess characteristics that are misunderstood. I remember when I worked for a man who left his parachute job and formed a business with a former colleague. His wife could not comprehend why he would leave his secure job. She urged him to get a real job. He persisted in his pursuit. The marriage did not survive his move into business ownership. The business grew, and did quite well.
Most pioneers, trail blazers and innovative people were ridiculed, and mocked. They blazed the trails and endured the persecution. They had brave hearts and knew that within them were winning strategies that would produce that which would prove profitable. They forged ahead and made it happen. The doubters benefited from that which they doubted.
We should extend gratitude to path finders and those who positively go against the grain. This world could not thrive without those of such fortitude and determination. The price can be steep for choices to be boat rockers and wave makers. But if such do not exist, it is to our disadvantage. We ought to celebrate innovators for a vast array of reasons.
My next chapter will go into more detail about customer service issues. It is important that I mention here some key points. Credibility is vital for those who purpose to follow paths that lead to exemplary reputations. The best businesses adhere to principles that promote courtesy, integrity, and excellence. Clients desire to know that businesses are professional on all levels. Much of quality business is about care, dependability, image and presentation. Routinely, regular and timely follow up practices should be in place. We should arrive when we schedule, promptly respond to the needs of clientele, be honest in our transactions, and assure that our characters reflect consideration and appreciation for all. We should habitually, with intensity, strive to provide quality products and services.
Life is such that if we live our best lives, we shall have detractors – you know, the player haters who have not found themselves and thereby are angry because we know who we are. They would do good to expend their energies finding out who they are because, unless they do, they will not have contentment. It is so vital to remain true to ourselves and not yield to temptations to “go along to get along.” It is reasonable to engage with people with some needs to compromise. It is, however, unreasonable to alter the foundational scope of who we are to submit to the whims and desires of others. Keep it real, people, even if that means the loss of some “friendships.” It is better to lose people than to lose ourselves. Also, it is better to be hated for what we love to do that is positive than to be hated for not keeping it real.
There is a definite need for more successful entrepreneurs. It would do our planet good to have more who make that career choice. When done right, the benefits outweigh any challenges. Family businesses are in a valued class all their own. There can be deeper bonds formed when harmony is achieved through family work arrangements. It is certainly well-advised to promote the increase of prosperous entrepreneurs who choose to mentor others to go the route of business ownership.
…Eagle wings, yes?!
© Copyright April 11, 2010
This is included in my e-book, Championship Conduct - Excel in Care, Courtesy and Customer Service. It's available for $3.99 on Smashwords.com. You don't need e-readers to read e-books; they can be read online, as well. A free sample is available on the subject site. Here is the site link https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/lioneagle