Doing Work That Matters
Every work that we do matters somewhere or to someone.
Work matters. All of it.
If you’re doing work that you don’t think matters, I’d really challenge that.
I’ll use myself as an example. I have been working at Lexington International for almost 3 years. Their main brand is Hairmax and I’ve progressed through different responsibilities to be where I am now. Throughout my time, I have added various tasks to my key responsibilities while maintaining an abundance of mundane and administrative things that I could train anyone to do.
However, these are tasks that need to be done. Without them, certain things just wouldn’t function. If no one was ordering the paper or printer ink, there wouldn’t be the ability to present internal documents for review. If no one was processing the retailer returns that come back from Nordstrom or Costco then our receivables balance would be overstated and there wouldn’t be a proper picture of where we are financially. If no one was entering the invoices received, vendors would stop working with the company.
None of those three things are particularly “fun” or “rewarding” should I say, but they are essential.
It’s like an oil change or a tire rotation for your car. There aren’t many people who get excited to change the oil in their cars but everyone knows it’s an essential aspect of what keeps the car running and operating as it should. Similarly, you might have tasks that you believe are nonessential or below your pay grade. However, there are really two things that should be done and these, in my mind, are ultimately the only two things.
1. Use your own resources to make the process for these tasks as efficient and teachable as you possibly can. That way, if there is a discussion of adding or re-allocating people resources, you can smoothly transition everything.
2. Ensure awareness with your supervisors regarding what you are doing and (more importantly) present what other areas of the company you think your value would better serve the company’s goals.
Once these two things are done, it’s up to you to make a call. You either continue to serve the company humbly and faithfully through excellence in these tasks or you move to another place where you can focus greater time and energy on the tasks and responsibilities that you think are of higher value to the company.
I know that I should not be doing the bill entry forever. It’s simply not something that’s in my long-term vision. If this company triples in the next few years, it’s a full-time job and it’s not about to be mine. However, I am the most efficient person for this task by far and I operate with excellence and minimal errors — I am the best fit for now. I’ve worked hard to ensure that my CFO and CEO are aware of how much time this is requiring of me and while they have iterated that they would like for me to be able to focus greater time and energy on higher-value strategical endeavors within the organization, they have also iterated that they want me to continue with these tasks for now. So, I keep on keeping on. I work with excellence. I do my best. I strive with all that I can to bring value to the company.
Working with Excellence
Well… I didn’t know what I would be writing about until I wrote it. 15 minutes after I started this piece of writing, I am nearly 600 words into it and I guess it’s coming together.
I need to remind myself more than anything that all aspects of work are important. There are a mere few things that we are required to do for companies that are actually of no value. Almost everything has value to some aspect of the company or some person within the company.
If you don’t understand what value your work is providing, do what I did and present it to your supervisors and the company’s leadership. If they don’t know why you are doing certain things either, it is now their responsibility to change the situation and do your best to gather a timeline from them regarding this newly determined mutual expectation.
It doesn’t matter what we are doing as much as it matters how we are doing it.
Andy Frisella said this best. I’m currently watching the video so I can insert the correct time snippet here. Also… I was going to reference some of the other writing I’ve published in the past regarding work… but I ran out of space… I wanted to keep this piece short — around 700 words (at 787 as I type this sentence).
SO, here’s what I’m going to do — I’m going to link a few things below and look if you want or don’t look if you want (it honestly makes no difference to me. I hope this impacts you and I’ll put all types of water in front of you but I can’t make you drink it).
If you only click one of those, click on the third one please. There are also different articles linked within there about strengths. If you want to understand more about yourself — read them.
Okay, back to the final part of this week’s writing now that I’m coming up on 1,000 words.
I didn’t find the exact video that I wanted but I’m going to use this (it’s also on Spotify and Apple Music so sometimes I queue this up when I’m working out)
The first 90 seconds is what you want to listen to… you might even want to continue after that since Eric Thomas comes on and his energy is UNDENIABLE. He wakes up at 3:30 am every day with NO alarm clock.
Bottom line — work with excellence.
I don’t care what you’re working on. Let me run through a few examples to close this out and we’ll call it a day.
- Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. Why? Because he obeyed God and prayed as he had every single day for YEARS.
- Joshua was sold as a slave and WORKED. Why? Because he served God and he was FAITHFUL in the situation believing that what others meant for evil God could use for GOOD (and He did).
- Nehemiah took the responsibility to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem. Why? Because he felt led to do so and he ASKED the king (of whom he was the cupbearer) for his permission and support. (HE GOT IT).
The most important thing that was just HAMMERED through my brain is this:
“How you do anything is how you do everything.”
Jesse Itzler spoke on this at the 10X Conference in Miami in 2019. He was talking about his kids running through the sprinkler in the yard and he started to walk inside then in his head, “how you do anything is how you do everything,” and he turned around and put the sprinkler and hose away.
FINALLY, three years later this HIT ME. I get it now. No compromise. No shortcuts. Excellence.
God did not create us for a singular reason. He created us for an ABUNDANCE of reasons. Lester DeKoster writes an excellent commentary on Matthew 25:31–46. I might write about that, we’ll see.
Let me just say one more thing… I wanted to make this piece about 500 pages and write it in 30 minutes. I am at 1,400 words and it took me 75 minutes. I couldn’t stop until I was done. I am done now. Finish the task. Finish what you start. Keep going. With excellence.
“God knows our potential because HE created it. We need to remain in Him if we want to become that all we were created to become. Let’s become all that we were created to become and live our lives with a mission that wakes us up each and every single day. Let’s store up our treasure in heaven and bring all those around with us.” — Harrison Wendland
“What was birthed in the Spirit can only be maintained in the Spirit.” — Jimmy Rolins
“Through His fellowship with the Father, Jesus ordered His life around the will of His Father. Communion with Jesus is the building block on which our days are to be built.” — Vance Pitman