Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What have you done for me lately...

During my career, I've sold stuff - primarily technology stuff like hardware, software and services - and I was only mildly successful selling.  To be completely honest, I found the pressure to constantly perform to be overbearing.  No matter what the sales "period" was - month, quarter, year - to meet your quota, there was always pressure to "make your numbers".

I say mildly successful, because even when I was meeting or exceeding my quota, there was always an attitude of "what have you done for me lately" from your sales manager.  Even when you close the big sale, you don't get to rest, it's a clap on the back and then the questions start - so how about this account, or this deal, or next quarter?  Every day, it felt you had to perform at your best, there were no down times.

Now, the reality is, no job should have a down time.  Even in my current position, I shouldn't look to coast or rest (but I do) - because there is less pressure to perform all the time.  There are times during the past year that I worked 100 weeks and then some weeks, I'd be hard pressed to work 20 hours.  It's just the nature of the cycles within my current position.  But there is rarely anyone standing over me (or behind me) asking "what have you done for me lately".

Now I bring that up because that's my professional life.  I expect that kind of attitude from people and the companies I work for.  What surprised me, was that there was the same attitude from my wife during our marriage.  It was not necessarily overt - she wasn't like my sales manager asking me how things were going - but it was there none the less.  She didn't ask in direct words, it was more subtle.  I remember one of the houses we bought, and it was a big deal to me just to get it done - and there was the whole YEA WE DID IT thing for about two weeks, then it was about getting this new furniture, or how about remodeling the kitchen, new windows, flooring, etc and so on.

But now I've come to realize, that eve though I believed I could rest, I could coast once I got married - that was the wrong attitude.  You can't (or you won't be allowed to).  There are many Men that wonder why their wives are so hard to live with - why they don't have sex anymore, why everything is a negotiation.  Well, it's because the Game doesn't stop when you get married, it just changes.  I'm not going to tell you how to be successful in with Married Game - because I sucked at it.  I wanted easy - it's not easy.  Sorta like being a sales guy, I enjoyed it for a time, but got tired of the relentless cycle of "what have you done for me lately" - I'm pretty sure the same thing happened in my marriage, I just go tired of having to Game my wife.  And instead of doing something proactive, I just laid down and gave up.  She left, and now I'm divorced.  Not any different than having a job, and not performing, and then getting fired.

So, I guess my point is this...you will never out run the "what have you done for me lately" mentality.  It is like your shadow, it is always there, it is a constant companion - single, married, divorced, with kids, without kids, employed, run your own business, etc. and so on.  It is a fact of life.  I believe life is really a series of sprints as opposed to a marathon - but you are always going to be in motion, it's when you get tired and just lay down that you start having real problems.

Eyes front Gentlemen.  Live, Learn, Lead.

1 comment:

  1. What have you done for me lately is also a good frame to hold against women, I imagine.

    Wald

    ReplyDelete

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