When I talked about the entrepreneurial mindset, one of the things I discussed was taking responsibility for yourself. That’s what this article is about.
Everyday, we’re given (force fed?) ample amounts of “it’s not your fault”, pat you on the butt, “everything is going to be OK” drivel.
We’re constantly told that someone else will take care of things and to just sit back and be patient. Here are just a couple of the examples that I see everyday.
We sit on our couches, eating potato chips while the glowy box says that our weight problem is “probably hereditary.” Most weight problems are within our control ((http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/obe/causes.html)). The glowy box is lying to you.
The danger of this is that we allow the problem to stay the same or get worse because “there’s nothing I can do about it.”
We sit at our desks, day after day, not really making anything. We are paid to retrieve printed papers off the copier, and to be a voice on the other end of the line, but we really don’t create value. Then we are surprised when the company lays everyone off.
We were surprised in:
- 1993 when IBM laid off 60,000 people. ((http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1996/04/01/210981/))
- 1993 when Sears laid off 50,000 people. ((http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1996/04/01/210981/))
- 1996 when AT&T laid off 40,000 people. ((http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1996/04/01/210981/))
- 2001 when Bank of America laid off 30,000 people. ((http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jul/29/business/fi-61041))
- 2001 when Boeing laid off 31,000 people. ((http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/biztravel/2001-09-18-boeing-cuts.htm))
- 2001 when Chrysler laid off over 25,000 people. ((http://money.cnn.com/2001/01/29/europe/daimler/))
- 2002 when Ford laid off 35,000 people. ((http://money.cnn.com/2002/01/11/companies/ford/))
- 2002 when KMart laid off 22,000 people. ((http://www.cbsnews.com/news/22000-layoffs-at-kmart/))
- 2008 when HP laid off over 20,000 people. ((http://www.infoworld.com/t/business/hp-announces-24600-layoffs-in-wake-eds-acquisition-819))
- 2008 when CitiGroup laid off 50,000 people. ((http://money.cnn.com/2008/11/17/news/companies/citigroup/index.htm))
- 2009 when GM laid off 47,000 people. ((http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/20/layoff-tracker-employment-leadership-careers_report.html))
- 2010 when US Postal Service laid off 30,000 people. ((http://blogs.federaltimes.com/federal-times-blog/2011/03/11/yes-the-postal-service-intends-to-cut-30000-positions-this-year/))
Quit being surprised. If you sign up to be an employee, then there is an increased risk of being laid off at some point. The business is there to make money. If they aren’t making enough money, employees are let go. Is it any wonder that it is often quoted that the average person may have between 5 and 20 jobs during their lifetime? ((http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2012/08/14/job-hopping-is-the-new-normal-for-millennials-three-ways-to-prevent-a-human-resource-nightmare/))
It is your fault
It is your fault. Where you are, what you’re doing, how you’re living and what you have rests squarely on your shoulders. These are just two examples where I see people shrug responsibility in exchange for a convenient thing to blame.
“It was the TV that made me fat” or that “evil corporation that laid me off.” Don’t get me wrong: this stuff sucks, it’s awful, but you have the control and you don’t have to keep giving it over to someone or something else.
Here’s the awesome part: the moment you accept this responsibility, you accept the reality that you have control over your circumstances. This is called self-determination aka freedom.