Since the start of my career, I was taught that achieving success was difficult. During my first job, my co-workers told me how hard it would be to get to the next level. Then when I got to the next level, my new co-workers complained about how difficult their work was.
Apparently, the higher I climbed, the harder the work would be. Buying into this concept, I spent seven years battling through various sales jobs. I thought that if the work would be hard for the rest of my life, then I better get used to it.
But as the years (and hours) mounted up this struggle up the ladder began to wear me out. Could I really spend 40 years like this? There had to be an easier way.
This all came to a head last year during my sales job at a tech startup.
Getting Stuck Behind A Door
In April 2017 I started a new job as an Enterprise Account Executive for a tech startup. It was my first time selling technology and I was excited. A new challenge awaited me. Surely I would prevail as I had in other challenging jobs.
Only, it didn’t work out that way. After a year at the company, I could count the number of sales I had made on one hand. By any standard, I was failing terribly.
Despite my struggles, I did not give up. I had been taught through athletics and other sales jobs that hard work paid off. So I worked harder. I buried myself in my work. I kept telling myself that eventually, I would see the results I wanted.
But the results never came. All of my efforts over the next six months amounted to one more measly sale. By summer 2018, I could tell I was on the chopping block. Sell or pack my bags.
Finally, on August 30th in the late summer heat, I was laid off. In one sweeping blow, it was all over. Success never came. All of the hard work I had put in had seemingly amounted to nothing.
As I reflect back on this time in my life now, I can see where I went wrong. I was trying to open the wrong door. I was convinced that I HAD to succeed in tech sales so I tried everything I could to barge through that door.
I pounded on the door and fiddled with the lock for a year and a half. What I didn’t see was that down the hallway there was another door I hadn’t tried opening yet.
A few months after being laid off from my tech job I decided to try the other door. For me, this door was going into business for myself. I went into coaching, speaking and training.
Within a month of starting my business, I had five clients. A few weeks on my own and I had already been more successful than in eighteen months at the tech startup. I was astonished.
It turns out this door was unlocked all along. It opened easily and I walked right into success.
Finding Your Door
Consider your own career. If the door is not opening easily, there’s a good chance you are trying to open the wrong door.
When you feel this resistance, step back and reassess your struggle. There’s always another door right down the hall. In fact, there are countless doors. The key is to find the one that opens effortlessly for you. That’s when you know you’re on the right path.
Commit yourself to success by way of ease and you will open doors you never could’ve opened by trying to kick them down.
Lasting success will come from this path of ease, not one of struggle.