Life’s Not Fair… Get Over It.

Frustrated, aggressive woman asking who caresWhen I was growing up, I HATED it when my dad’s response to my plaintive cry “but that’s not fair” was “nobody ever said life was fair.” I must admit, I still don’t like that life’s not fair, but all the wishing in the world isn’t going to change that.

There will be times, when in spite of your best efforts, an internal or external customer can’t or will refuse to be appeased. Very often their stubborn refusal to recognize and give you credit for doing the absolute best you can has absolutely nothing to do with you. Perhaps the perfect words you use to try and resolve conflict were uttered before by someone who used those words for no other reason that to buy enough time to duck and run. Perhaps they have heard and trusted so many promises or reassurances that never came true, they made the decision to never trust again.

In the service industry,we generally know only the moment in time that includes us. Some customers, internal or external, come to us with with bags full of broken promises and unfulfilled expectations and in spite of our best efforts, we are unable to connect and create the basis of a relationship that allows trust to build.

In our line of work, it’s not about fair, right or wrong.  It’s about ensuring that we are never the reason our customers become disillusioned; it’s about being honest, sincere and recognizing that we don’t deserve trust and respect .. we have to earn it.

The next time you feel an internal or external customer has treated you unfairly, take a deep breath, put yourself in their shoes and never let their sometimes unfair treatment of you impact the high level of service you provide to the next customer.

Oh YES You Can!

Just a few weeks ago, I met someone who has overcome obstacles and challenges  that many of us will never have to face. As I got to know this inspiring young man better, I thought back to an “I can’t” phone conversation I had about a year ago.

That “I can’t” conversation lasted 45 minutes.  Every question as to why a timeline had not been met or a task completed, was met with a plaintive “I can’t”, “I don’t have time” or “It’s too hard.”  When asked “What can you do?”, “Is there another way to achieve this goal?” or “When will you complete this?” she was unable to come up with any ideas, suggestions or revised timelines.

What a difference.  

Sometimes the challenges and obstacles put in our way force us to change direction.  Sometimes our future ends up looking different than we originally planned.

We choose our focus.  We can choose to focus on what we can’t do or on what we can do.  That choice dramatically impacts our ability to overcome obstacles.

Successful people and successful businesses focus on what can be done. Whatever your insurmountable wall, your challenge, or your difficult situation is, focus on what you can do and then do it.

Four Questions to Help Keep You Focused on the Goal

Do you want something?

Then go and get it, whatever that it is.  Spending time focusing on all the obstacles, instead of the possibilities,  wastes time, energy and focus.

When you are feeling overwhelmed by the challenge, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Is the obstacle real or an excuse?

2. What can I do RIGHT NOW to move this forward one step?

3. What are the benefits to myself, to my family and/or to my business when I reach my goal?

4. What do I need to give up in order to achieve my goal?  Am I giving this up forever or just for a while?

Successful people and successful businesses focus on what can be done.  Difficult situations are opportunities for testing new ideas and theories.

Whatever your insurmountable wall, your challenge, or your difficult situation is, focus on what you can do and then do it.  Approaching challenges with an “I can” attitude greatly increases your odds of success.

Now .. what is it that you want?  Go and get it!