I don’t know about you, but when I feel the world is about to collapse around my ears I take refuge in the toilet. I can then sit there, free of distraction or disturbance and reflect on the sequence of events that led me to drop my trousers and opt out of things for a while.
A common strand that runs through my mind at these times is the feeling that for whatever reason, I’ve somehow lost control of an important aspect of my life. The events that prompted me to take refuge vary, but it’s the loss of control that most upsets me.
My guess is that you too get pretty pissed off if you feel your views are being overlooked; your contribution being undervalued and you see what look like golden opportunities give to others, rather than yourself.
What I’ve learned over the years, that the way to avoid those lonely vigils, is to be more enterprising. You see if you have an enterprising mind-set, and approach everything as an opportunity. It means you are proactive, rather than reactive. It means you’re the first to ask a question, not the one left at the end with questions still to ask.
Too often people carelessly assume that enterprise is a synonym of business. If not ‘running a business’, they don’t see the need to be enterprising. Too often they come to feel they’re victims of circumstance, overlooked, ignored and perhaps even wrongly blamed for what’s going wrong around you.
Let’s pop back to the toilet because there’s something I want you to think about. Imagine your bum is the organisation that employs you. On one cheek you have a large, red but harmless birthmark. It never bothers you and only now and again does your partner comment on it as you climb out of bed.
On the other cheek is a small red spot. It itches like crazy and so you scratch it all the time, talk about it all the time and invite your partner to per closely so they can see it and appreciate the discomfort it’s giving you.
The birthmark is the passive employee. It might be larger, but it attracts less attention that the smaller red spot. The small itchy spot is the enterprising employee. Keen to be noticed, involved and proactively seeking attention.
Of course unlike a spot on your bum, being enterprising means a lot more than making sure your organisation knows you are there. It also means understanding the goals of the venture and having the common sense to translate them into action. It’s not about doing things you cannot do, but doing things you can and knowing their impact on the bigger picture.
Do you know the difference between being a spot on the bum and a pain in the . . . . If you do, you are already enterprising!