Turn the Page
It’s time to turn the page—to change our focus, to look forward to a better future. Here’s an effective way to shift your thoughts away from the negative events of last year and make this new year a time of constructive change—and most important, to leave 2020 in the past, where it belongs.
Episode 34 - Turn the Page
Back in grade school, I remember taking the dreaded “achievement test.” You probably remember this as a standardized group of questions with separate sections on math, English, social studies, and science.
The test was timed and at the bottom of each page, the instructions ‘Go on to the next page” made it clear we were supposed to keep working until finally reaching the last page of the section, which contained the single word, ‘Stop’, in big, bold letters.
The actual content of the test, and the grade I received has long left my memory. But those big, bold words at the bottom of each page, go on to the next page? Those have resurfaced many times over the years. Especially after taking a devastating hit in business, or suffering some other kind of personal loss.
Hey, welcome back. This is Roger Reid with another episode of Success Point 360.
I’m sure the symbolic connection between those old achievement tests, and how we respond to what happens to us in life, is obvious. To move forward, we have to let go of the past. At some point, we have to resign the negative events to history. In effect, we have to turn the page.
I think the correlation is important, especially after the year we’ve just been through. The Covid virus, the political divide in our country, the clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators, and the seemingly constant underlying threat of violence, made 2020 a very difficult year for all of us. Sometimes it seemed like the very foundation of our country was at risk.
But thankfully, we have a new administration, new leadership. We have an effective vaccine that will soon begin reducing the mortality and symptomatic effects of the Covid virus. And with time, political factions will find common ground to begin working together, helping each other to realize the advantages in preserving our democratic system, and to collectively resist the efforts of those who would attempt to destroy it.
And for all of that to happen, we’re going to have to stop living in the past and focus on the future.
That’s why I thought the achievement test metaphor—the idea that it’s time to turn the page—could be an effective way to change our focus, to begin looking forward, and to make plans based on a better future, rather than continuing to remain stuck in all the negative influences from the past year.
To make the process a little more tangible, I developed a set of guidelines to help us shift our thoughts toward the future, and to help you make this new year a time of constructive change, and most important, to leave 2020 in the past –where it belongs.
Here’s the first one . . .
Look At Everything On The Page Before Turning To The Next One.
So many of us work through our daily to-do list with blinders on. We miss the details and overlook the things that could make a real difference in our lives. It might be the smile you didn’t see, the greeting you didn’t hear, the expectant glance that hid the nervous need to ask a question. Instead of drifting through life in a fog, become more aware of what’s going on around you.
And that includes experiencing the victories and achievements, both large and small, whether they’re celebrated by you, a co-worker, or a family member. I also includes leaning from the mistakes, the false starts, and when it happens, the unscrupulous actions of others, so you’ll recognize that red flag when it rises again.
Here’s number two. . . After You Turn the Page, Don’t Look Back.
It was a cardinal rule my teacher ruthlessly enforced — I was never allowed to review, correct, or change my work from a previous section. Whatever I had done, it was permanent and couldn’t be erased. Starting a new day turns the page, and there’s no going back to revise or correct yesterday’s mistakes.
When we realize there’s no “do-overs,” we also understand the importance of paying close attention to the choices we make, the conversations we have, and the priorities we establish.
So choose wisely, and if you make a mistake, remember the circumstances that influenced your decision, and use that information to prevent you from making the same mistake in the future.
Next, When You’re Done With The Page, Move On.
Instead of holding on to the anger and bitterness, ask yourself if there is something you can do, some action you can take, that will bring you a sense of closure. Sometimes, we just need to realize that holding on to negative feeling reduces the overall quality of our lives. And although your anger, or disappointment, or the feeling that you’ve been taken advantage of may give you all kinds of reasons to point the finger at the other guy . . .
So what? That other guy could care less, because he has his own interpretation of what happened. And in his version, he has nothing to feel bad about.
Yes, I understand that it’s tempting to hold on to the hurt and resentment that comes our way. It’s like an unpaid debt we feel we need to collect. But those negative thoughts will eventually take control of our lives, IF we continue to feed them, and keep giving them power. It’s nothing more than emotional baggage, so throw it out, get rid of it, and let it go.
Remember, like that achievement test, life is a timed event, and staying on any one page for too long –especially if that page is full of negative experiences—reduces what we can accomplish in the long term. Make every day count – so that in the end, you don’t regret the way you spent your time, or end up disappointed over what you could have done, and who you could have become.
Here’s The Last One. Sometimes, You Simply Won’t Know The Answer.
And that’s true, no matter what kind of test life throws at you.
But that’s okay. You can research past and similar situations or obtain advice from those with more experience. But sometimes, even that won’t be enough. You simply won’t know the right choice until you make it and experience the results of your decision.
So when you’re pressed to make a decision, and you can’t base your choice on reasonable logic, use your instinct. What is your gut telling you? Occasionally, the best we can do is to make a sensible guess. And even then, you may have to leave something blank. It often happens when we arrive at a point in our lives when we don’t know what to do next, or when we have more than one choice, and can’t see the outcome of either one clearly enough to know which one is best.
Sometimes, all we can do is try one of the alternatives and see what happens, because we don’t always know what’s waiting for us until we turn the page.
Don’t go away, I’ll be back with a question from a listener, right after this personal pitch for my new Book.
The original title my new book was “Corpscrew: The New Rules For The Corporate Maverick.”
But the publisher thought it was too non-traditional, too unconventional, and at times, downright irreverent. And so, the title was changed to: “Better Mondays: The new rules for creating financial success and personal freedom while working for the man!”
Did it make a difference? I don’t know yet. I suppose time will tell.
The reason I’m telling you this is because I don’t want you to confuse “Better Mondays” with anything else that’s out there. Because yes, it is irreverent, and at times, it’s also raw and revealing. Because to convey the truth about working for the corporation, and, to give you the insight you need to use your employer to your advantage, I had to talk about the personal agendas, the politics, and the under the table influencing that’s always a part of the corporate culture.
And that’s been my biggest challenge – trying to describe what the book is really about and who will benefit the most from the content. So I want to give you a peek at what’s inside, so you’ll have a better idea if the book holds real value for you.
For example, in chapter nine, When I tell you that the HR department is not your friend, and why you should consider anyone from HR as an adversary, I’ll back it up with the truth, because The HR department’s number one responsibility is to protect the company from liability, and on any given day, you could be the source of that liability.
Are you tired of the politics at work? Then you don’t understand the system. It’s not really politics, it’s a power pyramid. And you need to know how to use to your advantage.
And there’s something else that matters – and that’s money. “Better Mondays” will provide you a process to make sure your boss knows how valuable you are to the company, especially when it’s time for an annual review – because those kinds of assessments aren’t always based on productivity.
And speaking of the boss, you’ll learn how to keep her on your side, to receive her support in the form of raises and promotions, because you’ll learn what makes her tick, what her hot buttons are, and what motivates and impresses her.
Success in the corporate world is about bringing the right kind of attention to yourself, it’s about getting caught doing the right thing. It’s knowing how to elevate your value, not only in the eyes of your boss, but in the minds of your co-workers as well.
How do you do that? It’s in chapter twelve.
Essentially, “Better Mondays” is about looking out for number one. It’s about coming to the realization that it’s your life first, both on and off the job.
I realize your career situation, and the current relationship you have with the company you work for are unique – maybe you’re suffering from burnout, or feel like you’re stuck in the system and are no longer invested in the work. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. You can turn your situation around by learning how to influence and manage the relationships that determine career success—because it’s not always about the black and white concepts of productivity or meeting a quota.
My goal in writing “Better Mondays” was to help you create financial success while deriving meaning and satisfaction from your work. And if that makes sense to you, go to Amazon, open up the search tab, and type in “Better Mondays” by Roger Reid.
You can also read the first chapter for free. It’s on my web site at www.successpoint360.
This question comes from Joyce in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
I work for a small business with about fifty employees. I’ve been asking my boss for new opportunities because I want to move up. I need to make more money and I’m tired of my current position as a billing clerk.
Last week, the boss called me into his office and told me one of the company’s outside salespeople was leaving, and if I wanted the job, I could have it.
I don’t know anything about sales, and frankly, the idea of calling on customers, and making presentations scares me to death. I just can’t imagine myself doing this kind of work. It just seems a little pushy and unprofessional.
But I know I need to make a move, I just didn’t think it would be into sales. On the plus side, the position pays a good salary plus bonus, so if I do well, I could substantially increase my income.
Do you have any advice on making this kind of job switch, and how I can learn the basics of selling in the short term? I know the boss expects me to start producing immediately, so I can’t afford to make a lot of mistakes or to drop the ball because I don’t know what I’m doing.
Thanks Joyce for this question. And hopefully, you won’t mind if I begin with a personal experience.
During the spring of my senior year in college, I interviewed with a company called Cutler-Hammer, a division of Eaton Corporation. That was unusual for me, because I was graduating with an engineering degree, and Cutler Hammer wasn’t looking for traditional engineering applicants. They were interviewing to recruit technically-qualified sales people.
At the time, I struggled with the idea of taking a sales related job. But the career councilors encouraged all the engineering graduates to have as many interviews as possible, because they felt we needed to become more familiar with the various job functions within the industry.
So I put on a tie and went to the interview.
As a result, a few weeks later, the company offered me a job in Denver. And although I still felt the idea of “selling” had a less-than-honorable ring to it, I bit my tongue, put on a conservative blue suit, and I went to work. At first, I tried to take some comfort in my job title, “Sales Engineer,” but the work had far less to do with technology than it did with motivating someone to buy something.
Over the next few years, I got a real education. Not the kind I’d received in college, but knowledge about myself . . . discovering what mattered to me, and what would make a difference in my life, both in the present and in the future—the things a formally structured education so frequently overlooks, or outright omits, because it’s a skill-set that’s difficult to test.
Based on what you’ve told me, moving into a sales position is going to challenge you, and it’s also going to give you an opportunity to grow, and to become more valuable, not only to your current employer, but also to the marketplace. In five years, you could very well look back on your decision to go into sales as a positive turning point in your professional life.
If you’re worried about the supposed stigma that surrounds sales jobs, I want to assure you that professional selling is the very backbone of a successful business. It represents the most basic law of commerce: Until Somebody Sells Something . . . Nothing Happens.
Without sales there’s no business activity, no income, and no production. And successful companies know that if you take a break from selling, just a short one, you might as well lock your doors and call it quits.
I can promise you that there is no greater advantage that you can bring to the marketplace than knowing how to sell. It takes patience, and it takes practice, but it’s one of the best investments you can make in your future success.
As far as training, there are lots of courses out there that will teach you the basic steps of making a presentation, determining the buying criteria, answering customer objectives, closing the sale, and making a professional exit. And I’m going to send you a PDF copy of a six step sales model I put together a few years ago, primarily for small businesses owners who needed a highly customizable method of presenting their products and services. It’s based on NLP, neurolinguistics programing, it’s easy to learn, and it’s very effective. If you spend a couple of hours going over the material, and a few hours role playing, you’ll be ready to make your first presentation.
So, I encourage you to weigh the advantages and drawbacks to your decision, and as you do, I hope you’ll realize the importance of the opportunity you’ve been given –to influence, to inform, and most important, to solve problems for others. And as you become more capable, more experienced, others will look to you for the answers – giving you the opportunity to make a real contribution.
Hey, that’s it for this episode. If you have a question, please leave me a voicemail on the website, at www.SuccessPoint360.com The voicemail tab is located in the main header. You can also send me an email at: email@example.com, that’s firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for listening, and I‘ll see you next time.
© 2021 Roger Reid. All Rights Reserved.
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Be sure and check out my new book now available on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback. It’s titled Better Mondays: The New Rules for Creating Financial Success and Personal Freedom (While Working For the Man)
I’ve lowered the price for the Kindle version, so if you or someone you know is struggling with a job that doesn’t provide anything more than a paycheck, or you’re ready to use your employer as a launching pad to start your own business, you’ll find the tools you need to take control of your professional success and to change your life for the better.
You can find more information on my website, www.successpoint360.com. I’ve posted the first chapter on the site as a free read, so I encourage you to take a look.