I hate it when people say, “Oh, the stars must have been aligned for greatness.” To me, that takes away all the effort that person may have put into making something great happen. You do have control over your stars. Sometimes you have to ask for a star and sometimes a star is thrown your way, but in the end only you have the net to catch your “star” moment. If you just wait around and watch for the stars to align then you are going to be stuck in limbo with a sore neck.
A phrase I do like: Shit or get off the pot. Now that is a solid saying. (Warning: More bathroom puns ahead.) I think it is totally acceptable to sit on the pot for a while. It’s familiar. It’s quiet. It gives you time to think and plan. “The pot” for some of us means being comfortable at a job you may think is just OK or you’re slightly under-qualified for. Maybe the pot for you is sitting on a book idea or a trip you’ve always wanted to take. Either way, here’s how you get off the pot and make shit happen.
Star #1: Admitting the Problem
I’ve been sitting and planning something for almost a year. I love my job. I work for an amazing nonprofit alongside smart and inspiring people. I am the Social Media Manager and I like to think I am pretty good at it. However, being the only one in this area of marketing in the office was getting lonely after a year. I started to worry that writing about the same topic day after day was burning me out. Fear set it. What if I wasn’t the best person for the job anymore? What if I lost my fresh voice and creativity? I didn’t want to leave, but I was getting nervous about staying.
Star #2: Finding a Solution
I tested a solution. I started helping some friends with their social media in my free time. It maybe took a week for me to realize that working with other businesses pushed me to be more relevant and creative in my industry. My content for the nonprofit improved and even new marketing ideas stemmed from my work with others. Solution confirmed. Now I just had to make it happen.
Star #3: Alignment
I foresaw a problem, stewed over a solution, and finally decided to get off the pot. How did I know it was time? Because I hunted down those damn stars and aligned them myself. Once I realized I had proved my worth, earned respect, and believed in my solution, it was up to me to implement it. I voiced my concern with my Executive Director as soon as I realized the problem, kept her informed, and finally offered my solution. Sounds easy, right? No. I was scared shi…you get the idea. I basically told my boss that I needed to be able to work with other businesses so I could be the best possible Social Media Manager for her and the organization. It may sound crazy, but it really was a win-win solution and she agreed!
The stars didn’t align for me. I hand crafted some myself, picked up one or two from other supportive friends and co-workers, and had a big one donated from my Executive Director. So, I am no longer sitting on the pot. You can now find me over at Little Engine Social Media. Working from home with my senior beagles and writing at all hours of the day. Perfect! My top priority will continue to be the nonprofit I work for, but I’m excited to help other big dreamers reach the top on the side.