My daughter is an entrepreneur and a talented, gifted artist, and I am a professional writer. Often I remark on how God gave us different gifts so that we could help one another. On good days when business is booming, and we are in high demand, we feel validated in our professional roles. But on quieter days, and in slower times, doubt can cast a shadow over our self-belief and sense of reality.
It reminds me of a what young man who was repairing my TV once said to me. “I always marvel” he said, “about how everybody needs me at once or doesn’t need me at once.” From a business owner’s perspective, I found this to be quite hilarious, but I also immediately grasped his point.
Once in our travels out West, my husband and I were looking for a quaint restaurant. We spotted a lovely little Mexican Restaurant. It had charm and curb appeal but there were no cars in its parking lot. We pondered a bit wondering if that was a forecaster of its quality, but then we decided to give it a shot.
When we entered the restaurant, we were immediately capitivated by its compelling cultural ambience and decor. The customer service was exquisite and the cuisine was tantalizingly off the charts! Afterward, we couldn’t help but reflect on the experience we would have missed if we had followed the “no traffic” diagnostic approach. The fact is that we had encountered a fantastic eating place in “off hours”, and its lack of traffic had nothing to do with the lovely experience that beckoned to outsiders who would dare to chance an entrance through its elegant and ethnically decorated doors.
My daughter and I often discuss this phenomenon and remind each other that whether we are overwhelmed with business or in “off hours”, we are still the same talented people. Or, put another way, our talent isn’t fairly measured by our traffic.
And the application for my clients is the same. When we have a job, we feel that our worth is validated. We feel in control. We feel that we are valuable. Conversely, when we do not have work, the terror moves in, and we worry about whether we’ll ever find a job and often we correspondingly lose our sense of self-worth. Yet, it is precisely at such times that we must challenge ourselves to remember that our talent and our value are not related to our customer traffic or our employemnt status. Our value is a constant that never changes. Nonetheless, the outside world can distort our reality by its acknowlegement or lack of acknowledgement. So use your talent to find work in off or down times, and leverage it to serve your client’s or employer’s needs well in those much easier to bear, high-demand times!