Ready for the best advice I ever got?
Bruce Mihok circa 2001:
“LB, if you’re not pissing people off, you aren’t trying hard enough.”
Remember this, please. You can never and should never please everybody. Even the status quo is pissing someone off somewhere. Internet trolls have taught us nothing if not this. So Judge your success, not by the reactions of the mediocre who surround you. Judge your success by your own results and how you feel about them.
Please also remember that bravery doesn’t just happen at the beginning to do something great, it also must happen at the end when you get feedback. Stay brave, for there will be dissension.
As a culture, we love to tear each other down. This disappoints and saddens me. But do you see the reframe?
I know I’m winning when the tearing down starts.
And until it does, I know I haven’t swung big enough…rocked the boat hard enough. It’s my biggest risks that really change things. And that makes me the most proud. Yes, they are also the more spectacular fails.
Very recent example: I was scheduled to do an expo “demo” 15 minutes after lunch started at a recent conference (thanks for that time slot!). The audience was literally empty. So I grabbed the mic and worked the lunchroom instead. “Hey, how are you? Where are you from?” Bold move right? I know it was bold because my hands were very sweaty and I talked myself out of doing it twice before actually doing it. Know what else?
Massive. Epic. Fail.
People didn’t listen to me, they were eating lunch for goodness sake! I looked like a total loser trying to make friends with a microphone. I wanted to crawl under a table and hide. And my brain literally kept picturing it. I could stay here, I’ll sit next to Joe here and just turn off the microphone. Then casually slide from the front of my chair until I’m under the table…you get it.
Big swing. Big miss. And I survived. Also, I’m freaking proud of myself for trying. I judge this as a success – results = fail but emotions = win. As a bonus, I get to chalk up a failure – cuz you guessed it if I’m not failing sometimes I’m not trying hard enough either right?
Here’s the other side. I got my first management job because I rejected the rep offer. Big swing. And the nice man who went to bat for me did NOT love this. But I played hard to get and won the offer. Getting that job pissed off plenty of people who thought they were more deserving. Starting my own department and cleaning house pissed off even more people. Being recruited to a new company actually scored a lawsuit! Sensing the trend? My biggest wins were always my boldest moves, and
Never ever did they ever please everyone. Just me. And that feels amazing.