Wouldn’t you love to see this conversation happen at your office:
You: “I’ve exceeded all of my goals and I’m adding value to this company. I deserve a raise.”
Your Boss: “Hmmm. Not really convinced. Go ahead and bargain that on Facebook. If your picture gets one million likes, I’ll go ahead and give it to you.”
Seriously?! Keep dreaming.
The first time I saw this picture of these sweet kids with their sign, I thought it was funny. I chuckled. I really did. Just imagining a dad trying to get his kids off of his back and throwing this huge number out there, not even thinking. And then, it made headlines. Now I see these all the time. “Here’s a picture of my sandwich. Please like it so I can get a puppy!” The fact that a parent would do this and REALLY MEAN IT… knowing it’s been done before… this is what baffles me.
I am seriously scared for this next generation of kids who are going to think that praise via social media is the way to reach your goals. On one side, I can definitely appreciate the hustle these kids have. Nothing wrong with that. Every kid – every person on the planet in fact – wants to reach their goals in the easiest most effective way. I’m not a parent but I can foresee that the value of hard work is dissipating and frankly, it’s scary.
When I was a kid, I would iron my dad’s shirts for ten cents a shirt. TEN CENTS. If it was long sleeves, I got fifteen cents. As soon as I turned fifteen, literally ON my birthday, I started working at the local summer camp as a Counselor. Our parents bought us what we needed and what we didn’t need – like that ridiculously expensive shirt at Abercrombie that I wanted so badly just because it’s what all the cool kids were wearing – we had to work for. And I’ll tell you I remember everything about it, too – it was Garnet (foresight to my future at Florida State, perhaps?) with a slightly glittery, white Abercrombie across the front. I wore it until I wore it out (or until the freshmen 15 crept up on me).
In my current position, I meet different high school students every single day. Our conversations don’t extend past the hour or so I meet them in the classroom, but there are several that I have known for over a year now that always stop to talk to me when they see me on campus – some of them have jobs, one even has his own business already and he is only 17. He created his own website, and he networks via social media. Sure, he uses social media to his advantage – but he has already laid the ground work. He’s not asking for anything, he’s simply building relationships. I told him that he reminds me of a young Gary Vaynerchuk and he had no clue who I was talking about. He just knows how to work hard, live his passion, and hustle. These students are few and far between.
“Ask and you shall receive”
Everyone has heard this phrase and frankly, I’m not a fan because I believe you need to work really hard, put yourself in a deserving position, and then ask. Not just share a picture on Facebook and hope for a million likes. Obviously it worked for these kids, but what are all of the kids doing it now learning? Nothing.
However, now that I think about it, I used to be the opposite of this saying. I used to be afraid to ask for things – even things I knew I deserved. I have ALWAYS been afraid of rejection. Probably because I did work so hard growing up and just figured that’s the way things worked. Until I got to College.
The Best Professional/Business/Interview Advice I Ever Received
In 2006, I was living in Tucson and attending Pima Community College for Hotel & Restaurant Management. At the ripe age of 20, I had all the confidence in the world that I was the BEST in the Industry (I was humble but my self-confidence was 100% in my ability to out-perform everyone else I worked with). I was always learning, teaching myself, applying what I learned. I was bored in school because I felt like the Hospitality Industry was common sense to me – I’ve been in it since I was 15, after all.
After making connections with someone who worked for the Convention and Visitors Bureau, I found out about a job available at Canyon Ranch, one of the most highly revered health and wellness resorts in the country, as a Group Sales Coordinator. At the time, it was my dream job. Before the interview, I called my Hospitality Sales Professor, Michael Hirsch, for advice. He said to me, verbatim, “at the end of that interview you need to sell yourself. There are a lot of other people with more experience and more years on you, but no one has the passion and ability to learn and no one will work harder. If you don’t close your interview with that, don’t even come to class on Monday.” It literally gives me chills replaying that conversation in my head because he was dead serious about the last part. Most powerful words of advice I have ever received. I showed up looking professional, interviewed with the Director of Sales, Candace, totally butchered some of my answers, but sold myself at the end when she asked if I had any questions. I nailed it. On my first day, we had lunch together at the property restaurant. She told me that she had no intention to hire me until I made that final statement.
The point is, you can’t just want something badly and gain the support of everyone around you without working for it and THEN asking for it. A six-pack won’t appear because all of your friends are cheering you on and believe in you. You have to work out. You won’t be number one in sales because you post a picture of your product and 30,000 people share it. You have to stay at least ten steps ahead of your competitors in the market – all of the other people selling the same products, trying to get the same jobs, whatever it is. Where Social Media will help you accelerate your company momentum, it will NEVER create it for you – you have to put in the work.
Good things don’t come to those who wait – or share pictures on Facebook. They come to those who work their asses off and never give up.