My best friend cuts hair for a living. She does more than that, but she's excellent at "doing" hair. She colors, cuts, combs, and blows out hair to your particular request and she does it very well. After 35 years, she has pretty much mastered the art of hair. But, she will never be good at selling boats. She's never been on a boat to my knowledge, and if I asked her, I'm very certain she would laugh at the thought of this absurdity.
Yet, when people want to come work for me they are appalled that I won't hire them unless they do more than the one thing they've been doing for years. Someone who is a barista will have to do more than make coffee if they want to improve their financial circumstances. An annual cost of living increase does not increase your value as an employee it's just a reward for remaining an employee.
When I was 15, I started my education on the road of hard knocks. My first job was pumping gas at a Shell gas station and getting paid "under the table" (because I was only 15 and legally couldn't work). The guy who hired me was impressed with me being a girl and riding a motorcycle. I bought it with my allowance money that I had saved from the age of 10 years old. I did not have a driver's license but I could ride the bike legally with a learner's permit. When he offered me the job I jumped at the opportunity to learn my way to financial freedom. I pumped gas, washed windows, and checked the oil under the hood. This was rare as gas stations had recently turned to "self serve" and we were the only ones who offered customer service. I would run between cars, smiling, and say,"May I help you?" and when I was tipped I would say, "Thank you very much!" Every week he would hand be a fist full of 20 dollar bills and I was in heaven. I had no idea how much I was being paid as the money was second to the fun I was having serving others.
One day, a customer began talking to me about my plans for my future. Intrigued, the conversation led to me being offered a job at the McDonald's down the street where he said I could have more opportunity to grow. I snatched the opportunity and the next week was taking orders at the cash register. Over the next 3 months I mastered every position in the place, from fry cook to grill master. When the owner of the store came in, I'd always smile and say, "You're looking nice today, Tom" and he'd say, "Give that girl a raise." By the 3rd month I was promoted to #3 Manager in charge of hiring and training. The owner sent me to McDonald's University where I learned systems and management concepts. I was 17 years old and had seniority over people who were my mother's age. The lessons I learned have never stopped, and the rest, as they say, is history.
So, when you come to interview for employment with me and you've slacked your way to mediocrity, don't be offended if I don't give you the job. I am not looking for people who strive toward comfort and only see money and immediate gratification as the measurement for success. I want people who are hungry to learn, who have a passion and a purpose, and who see the value of personal growth as their reward for a job well done. If you're interested only in wealth development, you are missing it. You might gain money, but at what cost?
"What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?"