Thursday, June 28, 2007

You Get What You Get


It is no mystery that input = output. That is, if you give a bank teller 4 quarters, they're bound to only give you one dollar. From the beyond obvious example here, something is lost in the translation when we apply this useful principle to our every day lives...

I interviewed a potential candidate recently who, when asked about their future career aspirations, replied that they'd like to own a chain of successful franchise stores. When I asked if they knew what went in to operating (much less owning) 1 successful store, their answer was no. How is this any different than giving the teller 4 quarters and thinking you'll get a $20 back? It's not. We are plagued in today's society with a real disconnect between our perceived worth, and the effort we put in, with what we expect to be rewarded with.

That is, rather than demonstrate our value with hard work, sacrifice, and building a business, we think because of "who we are" that we will be rewarded first based on how good we are, and then worry about earning said inflated salary later.

I had a customer recently share a similar anecdote... in a real hiring crunch, she thought she'd found the perfect employee for one of the key positions they were hiring. When she offered the compensation plan to a 22 year old candidate, that candidate turned around and said, "I'm sorry, but my lifestyle requires that I make at least $1000 more per month than that".

There it is summed up for any employer or business owner, the plague of entitlement facing our younger working generation today. In any other time period in history, it was common sense that your lifestyle was dictated by how much you made, and if you wanted a more lavish lifestyle, you worked for it and earned it. People today expect the lifestyle first, and are far less willing to actually earn it.

This is making it's way into every sector of our economy - shitty service at restaurants, longer line-ups at any cash register as turnover is at epidemic proportions and someone is always "brand new and just learning".

The lesson then, for the 22 year old fashionista (who by the way did not get the job because of her outragous demands) and for anyone out of touch with reality is...

you get what you get. If you leave your job tomorrow for a $1 raise, regardless of future opportunity, you get what you get. By continuously making short-sighted decisions, you will always be paycheck to paycheck, because you'll never stick around long enough to benefit from profit sharing, advancement opportunities, or part ownership.

For business owners who cave to such ridicouls demands... you get what you get - another employee who feels that your operation exists so that they can make money, and if you ask them to work for it, the middle finger is what you get.

to anyone... you get what you get, You're either part of the problem or you're part of the solution. Demand more from yourself and those around you first, and then opportunities will follow and you'll realize the only reason the nature of reap - then sow has changed, is because we are losing our values and we are caving into the selfish; not because they are right, but because they are the majority.

If you want greatness, but you only demand sub-par...

you get what you get.

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