We have all heard the old saying “If you are on time your late” being used over and over again by our bosses at our job, our sports coaches, our mentors stressing the importance of physically being present and prepared to operate effectively at a specific time.
At work we need to be in uniform, with all our tools, and clocked in ready to be in our position for the start of the shift. In business if we show up late it gives the other individual the feeling that maybe you aren’t the most organized person. The other party begins to question the integrity of your actions being you had told then you would be ready for the meeting at 3pm and its 3:03pm and you are just strolling. This creates a lack of trust with your word resulting in potentially the meeting going sour.
Have you ever been to a presentation or meeting and the speaker walks out and before they get to their talk, they spend maybe the first 5 minutes shuffling papers or maybe moving some elements on the stage around. Then you are left sitting there whispering to your neighbor how awkward it is to sit there and wait for the speaker to scrambled last minute to prepare everything. How much attention did you end up paying towards what the speaker had to say? My guess you probably forgot every word between “Hello” and “Thank you for your time” as you were falling asleep or scrolling through Instagram on your phone. Not being prepared completely ruins the experience for all parties and robs for the potential of the event.
Now I personally have a full time job, as well am growing my own personal business. My time is spread thin and as a result attendance to my full time job took a hit. The only person I can hold responsible for my own attendance is myself and being entirely honest with you I was performing subpar. For the longest time I would clock into my shift 1 or 2 minutes late. Someday it would be around 5 minutes late and I made a habit out of this.
As time progresses in the company and a new position opens up, my eyes widen to the opportunity. I start readjusting my gears seeing what is now in arms reach. I start showing up earlier, I start being more active and social in the group, I start giving more input and attention towards details to show and highlight my skills and what I can bring to the table in hope’s of becoming selected for the promotion.
The time finally comes now for interviews and the corporate manager flies down and arranges a time to meet with me. During our conversation he asks about my attendance. Honestly I confess to my previous lack of punctuality with the company and Express the obstacles I personally faced and shared my own strategy towards how I plan to resolve the issue. Discontent with my answer he replies back with “You can’t wait for a position to open up to step up to the plate. Because while you now have to get ready, someone else has been preparing for this and they have been waiting for the spot to be ready for them”
Initially slightly upset at the statement it starts to fester inside me like a virus. I start thinking along the lines of “How dare he say I am not ready”, “I am just as ready if not more than anyone else”. Feeding into my ego and speaking from a point of weakness I feel as if he has personally attacked me and my efforts. The interview ends and I still am waiting for the follow-up.
Looking back at my actions and choices I can see now the value in what he said to me that day. I took that lesson and now use it to fuel my decisions and actions. My goals for the future are huge just like yours and many of the things I plan to do in this life I am not currently ready for and that’s okay. Some events in life I may never be able to prepare for such as unexpected health circumstances or natural disaster.
The most valuable lesson I received from the interview is to perform at the level you are reaching for before you are even there or before it’s even available. So when it comes time to act, you won’t have to think twice.
I practice this now when it comes to my investing and trading in various markets. As a beginner investor we feel that since our accounts are not million dollar accounts we need to trade differently or invest differently then those who have the large accounts. If you are starting to invest or are looking into learning how to trade and are starting small, that’s fantastic. Since your risk is low the potential damage is minimal. We need to learn to treat a $1,000 account the same way someone would treat a $100,000 account. So then when the times comes and your account grows ten times original size you are ready for it. You don’t need to readjust your strategy or learn how to handle the emotions of trading with such a large account. If you don’t practice the habits from day 1, when that next level opens up and becomes available, you won’t be ready for it. We can not control the outcome of our actions or the decision of others, but we can decide to perform a level above our own. So when the chance to move up and grow arrives, you have been ready.