Several years ago, I was having a really rough day at the office. It seemed everything that could go wrong was going wrong—at the worst possible time.
One of my biggest authors was threatening to leave. I had a major position I couldn’t seem to fill, despite numerous interviews. And, several of our customers were upset over what I had thought was a minor policy change.
When will it ever end, I thought.
About that time, Mark Schoenwald, now the CEO of Thomas Nelson, but then our Chief Sales Officer, sent me a wonderful quote from Max Lucado’s book, Great Day Every Day.
Citing management consultant Robert Updegraff, Max wrote:
You ought to be glad for the troubles on your job because they provide about half your income. If it were not for the things that go wrong, the difficult people with whom you deal, and the problems of your working day, someone could be found to handle your job for half of what you are being paid.
So start looking for more troubles. Learn to handle them cheerfully and with good judgment, as opportunities rather than irritations, and you will find yourself getting ahead at a surprising rate. For there are plenty of big jobs waiting for people who are not afraid of troubles.
Mark had no idea what kind of day I was having when he sent this, but his e-mail could not have been more timely.
I was guilty of the faulty logic that says,
If I’m in the right job, I won’t have any problems.
Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, as I look back over my career, it is clear that growth and promotions were always dependent on solving problems.
Big problems brought big opportunities.
In fact, If you ever find yourself in a job without problems, you should immediately start looking for another one.
Without problems, there aren’t opportunities. And without opportunities. you can’t grow, be given more responsibility, or make more money.