When I was a kid one of my favorite holidays - besides Christmas - was Independence Day. I loved the parades, the neighborhood cook-outs, and of course the fireworks. I told anyone who would listen that the reason they were shooting off fireworks was to remind everyone that it was one week to my birthday.
As I got older, though, I lost my enthusiasm for the Fourth of July. I stopped going to parades, I might or might not make it to a cookout, and somewhere along the line I decided that going to the fireworks were just too much of a pain. The Fourth became just another day.
You might be wondering what this has to do with retail or with you. Bear with me, there's a good analogy here. While reminiscing about the Fourth of July it occurred to me how much my earlier work life mirrored my experience around the Fourth of July. I always started a new job or began my own business with tremendous enthusiasm. I would tell everyone I met how happy I was and how much I appreciated the opportunity to do what I was doing.
But over time that enthusiasm would wane. The job I once looked forward to became a chore. Instead of telling people how lucky I was I would start whining about unhappy I was. The result was always the same . . . the great opportunity became just another job.
Over time and with the benefit of some great mentors in my life I came to realize that the job doesn't really change, what changes is my attitude. The Fourth of July didn't change, I did. At work I realized that passion and motivation has to come from within me. It's up to me to make my work exciting.
Happiness and success comes from within me, not from outside forces. I believe that holds true if you're the president of a company or a part-time cashier. Sure, circumstances in a job can change, but it is how we approach change that determines our attitude. While it might sound pretty Pollyannaish, the fact is that you can hold the power or give away the power. It's your choice, and it is your destiny.
Today's Fourth of July is once again a special holiday. My family goes to a local parade every year and we love it although it's almost exactly the same parade every year. I once again appreciate spending the day with my family and seeing my children enjoying themselves. And the best part is hearing my daughter Jane telling people that the fireworks are to remind everyone that it is six days until her birthday.
Happy Independence Day to all, including our readers outside the U.S. Please enjoy the parades, cookouts, fireworks, and life. And if you have to work, make it a great experience for everyone around you. They deserve it and so do you. Keep the passion alive!
Doug Fleener is a proven retail and customer experience expert that helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their results. Visit our website or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create an extraordinary experience and results.