Recently, I was speaking with someone who had adopted the early morning/maximum productivity framework of one of those business author gurus.
He said it was transforming his work results, and I believe him. But in my heart of hearts, I was pushing that message away as fast as I possibly could, even while keeping a smile on my face.
Been there. Done that. Tossed the t-shirt in the rag pile.
Here’s the thing – great advice and compelling approaches can “work” for lots of people – but not for everyone. In my early days in sales, I was listening to tapes by some of the gurus of the day, and trying to force myself into a mold that just didn’t fit.
Truth be told, I’ve tried to force myself into all kinds of outfits that just aren’t tailored for me. It’s a case of trying to use Saul’s armor when going into battle.
I’m one of those individuals who is already drunk on intensity and system-building. I already push too hard. What I’ve had to learn is not getting up at 4 a.m. to do more. It’s been a long journey learning to relax, to be human, to trust, to let things develop instead of forcing them. The last thing I need is another set of mis-matched armor.
Perhaps 83% of professionals need advice and a framework for becoming more disciplined and productive, but 17% may need exactly the opposite approach (especially if your work has a creative emphasis). Formulas are general; people are specific. In the pharmaceutical industry, drugs have indications (here’s what it’s good for) and contraindications (here’s when NOT to use it). Medicines are helpful for some patients, but not others. Same with business guru advice.
Don’t feel compelled to go with the prevailing trend, or fad, or even legitimate formula. Learn what works for you, and toss the rags in a pile. Even if that means you’re counter-cultural.
Better to be counter-cultural than to beat yourself into the ground with something meant for the other 83%.