Growing Pains

When you decide to stop doing average work and instead do more meaningful, remarkable and risky work – which is work that makes a difference, work that makes people notice and then share it with people they know – then you can expect to experience some growing pains.

Growing pains are the feelings that you have when you’re trying to do something new and something isn’t working. You don’t know why or what to do about it and in order to fix it, you’re going to have to try (perhaps) a whole bunch of solutions until you get it right.

That unknown something is a constraint. It’s a snag in the process where things don’t run smoothly. Constraints are problems that get in the way of your goal. A horrible customer policy is a constraint. A horrible front-line customer support team is a constraint. An onboarding process that doesn’t establish your true value or capabilities is a constraint.

Let me give you some advice: learn to celebrate the constraints you discover.

Nothing is going to be perfect or even close to perfect off the drawing board. Getting things right is a process. The sooner you find the constraints, the sooner you can fix them, forever.

Learn to love that part of the work, the thrashing it out to make it perfect. Get excited, not discouraged, when you find the next constraint because it’s no longer hidden and unknown. This latest discovery is no longer stealing from you; it’s no longer affecting the next constraint that you will find much more easily now.

Alternatively, you could avoid all this discomfort and go back to doing what was safe and predictable, and let the market tell you what you’re worth.


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