CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JUN. 15, 2014
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When Did You Last Look Into the Mirror?

There are countless brilliant minds at work around the world which make every day a potential for a new breakthrough. When you are able to leave your mark in your line of work, whether in fashion, literature, web design or whatever it may be, this somehow validates that you are on to something.

However, you may notice that even though your work seems to get better and better, the money isn’t rolling-in as you expect it to be. In fact, there are others who might be stealing away your spotlight and taking credit for your work. This could make you wonder where you went wrong. Maybe then, this is the right time to step back and take a good look at yourself to answer a simple question; When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror?

The question may seem strange, given the situation. However, what a lot of people do not realize is that just brilliant ideas and hard work are often not enough to sustain a career or a business today. You would have to deal with the most complex part of every industry – the people. And it so happens that you need to start with yourself.

Reigning in your Ego

You may not think that you are the problem. After all, you always come up and present the best ideas articulately because you can work incessantly on any project. So, when a client rejects your proposals, you feel a little wounded from the rejection. You probably tell yourself that this is just one client and you can prove later on that you are on the right track.

And then you get rejected again. In the meantime, your bills are piling up by the day. The problem here isn’t in your capability or skill sets. You have already proven before that you are able to make something big. So what happened?

Sometimes success can get into your head. While without a doubt you may be spot-on with several projects, you have to understand that in order to sustain your business you have to give what the customers want. And there might be a disparity between what they want and what you believe in. In order for you to try and curb your overly zealous need to create and provide what you think is the best, try to take a step back and hear out a few advice.

  • Learn how to wing with rejection

As personal as your work may be, at the end of the day it is still work. So when your client doesn’t like your proposal and turns it down, don’t take it personally. This is not an attack on your ego or your work. It simply means that you and your potential client are not a good match for each other. By looking at it this way, you can deal better with any rejection. You can even turn the situation around as you can also be a good sport about it and ask what your client is really looking for. Who knows, you might just end up sealing the deal after all. 

  • Maintain a professional air at all times

It’s great if you can develop a deeper working relationship with your clients especially the ones you really like. However, as diverse as people are, you would expect to encounter some not very good personalities along the way. You probably will be offended by how badly they would interact with you. And at times, when your temper would get the best of you, you could storm out and break ties with your nasty clients just because working with them would be impossible. 

However, this is usually not the way to go. You should never allow your ego to rule your head. You shouldn’t stoop to that level. They could just be naturally offensive or may have some problem that could make them as mean as they could be. Whatever their reasons are, if you are able to maintain an air of professionalism at all times there is nothing that they could do to really faze you anymore. In turn, they may even be impressed with how coolly you can handle any situation. 

  • Create what sells, and not what you like

You are probably very proud of what you are capable of doing. However, your interests could be very different from what actually sells. So try to think of it this way, are you doing your work or projects for personal enjoyment and not expect it to earn money? Or are you trying to carve out a living from what you are good at? If you happen to need the extra dollars, then it is time to swallow that pride and stop refusing to do work that you think is not at par with your skill set. 

  • Do not expect anything, save for getting paid

You may want to hear words of gratitude or a pat on the back every time a project is finished because you always think that it is good work. However, you don’t always get this. And if you get picky on clients who do not really say much then you could be facing rough times ahead.

There are several clients who wouldn’t say “good job” or even say thank you. However, you have to understand that the money that they are paying is just as good as others who would praise you. So don’t be picky; they do appreciate your work. Otherwise, they would never pay up. 

  • Communication is always the key

Never underestimate the power of communication. It will help you better understand your client and vice versa. This way, both of you would be able to avoid trampling egos during the project timeline. 

It is always good to take a step back from everything in order to find out where the problem really lies. You can actually pinpoint several sources where the problem stems from. However if you are truly astute enough, you can find that you are usually the root cause of all your troubles.

However, this is not something that should defeat you. Take heart in knowing that the easiest remedy to any problem would start with you because you can control and dictate your actions. But, if other factors are involved, it would be difficult to influence its outcome.

So when you notice that you aren’t anywhere near your goals, try looking at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself one very important question. Is it me?

 

 Image Source: www.freakingnews.com

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