Turns out one of the guiding principles of my life wasn’t a genius idea I came up with but was identified early by the renown actor Peter Ustinov. He said “It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously“. I’ve often been heard saying about myself and the work I did when I was selling television advertising time, “I take my job seriously, not myself.” Beyond the obvious meaning of the words, I’ve never really thought about what that meant. At it’s most basic interpretation, I think it meant that I took my clients and my company’s goals very seriously, with all associated diligence to their business. At the same time, the impatience, anger and pressures that were directed at me during negotiations or budgeting weren’t taken personally. I recognized these negatives were a result of things stressing the other person and were beyond my control. I tried my best to help with whatever it was I could impact.
Now that I am self employed, I realize this truism is even more relevant. I am working very hard, getting my business set up, managing every last detail, spending long hours in pursuit of work, putting myself out there as much as I can. However this time I am the product. So the line between taking the job and not the self seriously gets a little harder to draw. Especially when I don’t get chosen to do the work. Remembering that being invited again and again to audition for the job is a win. If I wasn’t doing something right, I wouldn’t get the calls. The jobs will come, just keep taking the work seriously.