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I had a conversation this morning with someone pretty early in their career that asks for my advice occasionally. Their company isn’t doing so great and they’re all trying to right the ship. This person is in operations and “not a salesperson”.

Their biggest problem is lack of customers, and to solve that everyone is being asked to cold call leads. They had called me to ask what they could do and I said “it sounds like you should be on the phones with everyone else”.

This was their response: “It’s not my job. Why should I have to make calls to clean up their mess?”


I said that for starters, if they didn’t help out, they’d find themselves out of a job when the company shuts down. That should really be reason enough – it’s up to everyone to pitch in, no matter who “caused” the problem – or everyone loses. In this case, they literally all could lose their jobs.

I told them I was disappointed in the attitude they had demonstrated. “Your job” is whatever the company needs it to be. Your job is not just to understand and execute what is being asked of you.

You need to be flexible enough to meet the needs of a changing company, and willing to grow, learn, and provide input to help the company meet all manner of new challenges. This won’t change just because your company does.

And then I realized what was really going on; they were scared. They were afraid of being threatened, cussed at, told ‘no’. Growth is UNCOMFORTABLE. It’s not always puppies and rainbows, and that sucks sometimes. But leaning in to that discomfort and setting aside your fears or pride is the way to come out less battered than you otherwise would.

I got a text about 2 hours after our call. “I’m going to make 10 cold calls starting at noon”

At the end of the day, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Take your stressors and discomfort and flip it on it’s head. Ask yourself “What can I learn or how can I grow from this”.