Be Your Own Best Employee – You’re Worth It!

Good morning, and happy Hump Day! The week is almost half-over!

As I was working on a particularly mind-numbing task yesterday, I was reminded of something my mom always used to say – “If a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” She was usually referring to the way I would clean. Move a few things around, toss some dirty clothes in the hamper, and wipe some dust off the dresser with my bare hand. Voila! It’s clean! Can I go out and play now?

Make no mistake, there are some jobs where it’s a lot easier to be diligent than others. When I’m putting new brakes on my wife’s car, I take my time and do the job right. When I’m putting brakes on my own car, I may take a couple of shortcuts. I’m tough. I can take a hit. And if all I’m doing is cleaning bugs off the windshield, only one side matters anyway. I don’t want her to see everything in the road.

Okay, what are the odds she’ll spit in my food tonight? Sometimes I write these things without thinking. But the point is, there are jobs we do well, and other jobs where quality just isn’t that much of a concern. And maybe that’s okay if you’re spreading butter on a piece of toast. But for most other things, if we have to do the job anyway, why not do our best?

I’ve often asked myself a really tough question – if I had the chance to retire early, on the condition that I had to pay somebody out of my own pocket to do my job, how demanding would I be? Would I be happy with somebody else doing the same amount of work I do today? Would I be happy with the same level of quality? Or would that person be looking for another job?

Hopefully, the answer to that question is positively yes – I would be thrilled to have an employee who’s as dedicated and diligent as I am. If we have to think about that for more than a few seconds, we may have some room for improvement. After all, I’m betting you didn’t go into your job interview and say, “Don’t sweat it – I’ll come in around 8:00 and do enough to keep you off my back.”

We all know better. And I believe most of us give our best on the job, or something really close to it. Because, in the corporate world, there are managers who watch what we do and write appraisals every year. There are pay raises to consider, and maybe even a promotion. And there’s always somebody knocking on the door telling the boss they can do the job better.

But how diligent are we when it comes to the things we do for ourselves? You would think the answer to that is obvious. “When I’m working for myself? I ROCK!!!” And that would make sense, because the fruit of our labor isn’t going into somebody else’s pocket or making life easier on somebody we may not even know. This is for me! Now, move out of the way and let me show you how it’s done!

Is that how it works? Or is it more like, “I know I need to do this, but right now I’m busy with too many other things and I just don’t have time. I’d do it tomorrow, but tomorrow is bowling night. And there are a bunch of football games on TV this weekend. Maybe next week.” Sound familiar?

So, let’s take that earlier question and frame it around your own goals. If you were paying somebody else to do the work that needs to be done to achieve your personal goals, would you be happy with the amount and quality of work you’re putting in yourself? Or would they be looking for another job?

No matter what you’re doing, put your best foot forward. Do the things that need to be done, when they need to be done, whether you want to or not. And do them well. When you’re working for yourself, you always earn what you’re worth. If you want a little more, do a little more. Your future is in your hands. Make it something you can be proud of.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Give Your Best in Whatever You Do

Good morning! I hope your day is starting off just right.

This has been a week of pretty intense work. It happens that way sometimes. Assignments are coming in as fast as you can handle them, and they’re all the kind that requires a lot of thought and effort. It’s not always fun when you’re in the middle of it, but it does make you realize why the company pays you to do this job.

I’ve often said that, especially at this age, we don’t work for a paycheck as much as we work for the satisfaction of knowing we made a difference. Sure, pay is important. But so is the personal gratification that comes from making the most of your skills to do the job well.

We do the same thing off the job, whether we realize it or not. Raising kids is one of those areas of life where you have to constantly tap your knowledge and experience and pull out the very best from your bag of tricks to do the best job possible. That’s not to say you’re doing anything deceptive. Just that you learn (sometimes the hard way) the best approach for each situation.

When I cut the grass, I tap on more than fifty years of experience. When I work on the car, I know exactly which tools I’ll need and when to use them. When I paint a room, I know why it’s important to cut in around the ceiling and baseboards before I grab the roller. And I know the value of a drop cloth placed carefully over upholstered furniture. As I said, some lessons we learn the hard way.

My granddaddy always used to say if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Everything we do is worthy of our best effort. Whether it’s something major, like building a storage shed from scratch, or something as routine as going to the grocery store, if we have to do the job anyway, why not give it our best effort? And in doing that, we build the experience to do it even better the next time.

Until they change up all the aisles in the grocery store and move everything where you can’t find it. Stores love to do that. It’s their way of keeping you in the store a little longer so you’ll see items you’d normally walk right past as you search for the items you want. They’ve learned that, by moving things around a little, you’ll pick up a few extra items along the way.

Now the stores are offering a service where you don’t even have to go inside to shop. It doesn’t matter where everything is hidden, because all you have to do is go online and tell them what you want, then sit in the parking lot while they load the groceries into your car. In fact, some are now offering in-home delivery where they bring the groceries in the house and put them away.

It’s all about standing above the competition, doing the job a little better than anybody else. And they’ve learned that times are changing, and some people really don’t like to shop. Brick & mortar retailers have put a lot of effort into building a strong online presence because more and more, people prefer the convenience of shopping from home.

But what would happen if the grocery store put its worst picks of produce and fattiest cuts of meat into your order, leaving the “pretty” stuff for customers who took time to go inside and pick out their own groceries? Not only would you stop using their online service, you’d probably find someplace else to shop and they’d lose your business for good. They know that.

So, again, if the job is worth doing, it’s worth doing the job right. It’s worth going the extra mile. And we all do it. What services do you offer, either on the job or off, to make people appreciate your effort and give them confidence in your ability to do the job just a little better than anybody else?

Some people bring donuts to work. That’s always a pleasant surprise. Some wipe down the counter as they’re waiting on coffee to brew. Maybe you take a little extra time to highlight areas of a report that you know the boss will want to see. Maybe you add a special ingredient into your family’s dinner. And maybe, instead of just reading a book to a toddler, you read it with enthusiasm.

All through the day, we do things for the benefit of others. We don’t do it just to stay busy. We do it for the satisfaction of a job well done and maybe to gain a little appreciation along the way. If you’re going to do the job anyway, give it your best. It’s a habit that’ll spill over to other areas of life where that extra effort could make all the difference in the world.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved