Change Doesn’t Come By Forcing Others To Change

Watching The Ocean
Make this mindset shift and you’ll feel incredibly liberated.

You’re the boss. The owner. The manager.

You’ve probably been in a situation where an employee makes a mistake. Then they make it again. Then they make it again.

It can drive you crazy…

Another situation, a client doesn’t pay their bill on time with the terms you both agreed to. Ok, fine. They eventually pay. But then they do it again the next time. Then the next time.

It can drive you crazy.

One more, an great employee leaves your company to start their own company. They take a few of your clients. Then they lower their prices and force you to adapt.


How you react to these situations, I believe, defines not just your success in business, but your happiness in life.

Nobody Owes You Anything

Older generations like to put down the Millennial generation. They say Millennials are entitled. They think the world owes them everything.

I agree. Many Millennials are exactly like that.

But I don’t think it’s just a Millennial thing. I think it’s an every generation thing. In my view, every generation going back probably 6-7 generations at least have had a good percentage of people that feel that others owe them something.

Jobs, salaries, benefits, safety, etc. All of it.

You hear it if you listen for it from just about everybody.

What I’m finally realizing is that nothing is a given in this life. Nobody owes you anything. Especially in business.

First Year On The Job

In 2007, I graduated college and got a job. A good job. A job I loved. The economy slowed down in 2008 and in the Spring of 2009 the executives of the company called us all into a room for an announcement. 10% staff layoffs coming in two weeks.

Welcome to the real world.

I kept my job, but it was a wakeup call. I had always thought about running my own business. This accelerated those plans.

It was probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I’m glad it happened when I was 24 years old.

That moment made me realize that no company owes you a job. They offer you a job as long as it’s beneficial for them. And that’s how it should be. Yes, I think it’s good when they do all they can to care about their employees. I think most companies do because it’s beneficial to them to treat people well. When they do they can attract and retain the best employees. They’re in competition with other companies after all…

Two Types Of Change

When it comes to frustrating moments in business (and in life) there are two ways you can react.

You can decide that other people need to change or you can figure out an action you can take regardless of what others decide to do.

It’s really that simple.

If an employee is driving you crazy you can complain to them. You can try to get them to change. Maybe they will. But there’s a chance they won’t. You’ll just keep going around in circles waiting on them.

Or you could decide that you only control yourself. You can try to help them. Better instructions. Better communication. Better procedures. Or you could fire them and find someone different to do the job or another solution.

Back when I was at that corporate job, which again I loved, there were a few people that would complain about the way the company did things. Complain, whine, protest, all of that.

It wasn’t entirely clear to me at the time, but it is clear now…all those reactions make people very weak. Then they feel weak and they do those things even more and it continues down this big spiral of despair.

When something happens that you don’t like you have two choices:

1) Complain. Whine. Protest. If you choose this route you give up control. You put yourself in possibly the weakest position possible. You tell yourself that you’re not in control of your own life and that others need to change to make your situation better. You’re entitled.

2) Take control. Figure out how you can change and react to improve your own situation. This is not always the easiest solution, but it’s really the only solution.

Final Thought

For a lot of things in life it can seem like others are taking care of you. It can seem like you are owed things in life. The more I think about this situation in life the more I really feel that this world owes us nothing. Not even the most basic things. It’s kind of liberating to think that way. When you understand that the world owes you nothing you realize that you’re in control of things. Not everything. But you take the position that only you can make change happen in life. Instead of sitting back and complaining and forcing others to change you take action to change yourself.

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