Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Not Over the Hillel.

All you need to know about running your own business, or for that matter your life, can be summed up by heeding just a few words from a guy called Hillel--a Babylonian rabbi from about two-thousand years ago.

He said,

"If I am not for myself, who am I?"

"If I am only for myself, what am I?"

"If not now, when."

I think about those words all the time.

When I am writing a proposal, for instance, and I become timid about charging what I'm worth--who isn't plagued, at times, by self-doubt--I remember how important it is for me to be for myself. 

When I think about what I deliver to my clients, how I always try to over-deliver, I work to make sure I am not only for myself--that I am doing right by others. 

The last sentence comes into play when I hesitate or procrastinate. Doing things now is a great boon to your existence--there's no better feeling than rolling up your sleeves and getting things done.

Most of the things I regret in my life come from those moments when I didn't act for myself. When I put myself, for whatever reason, on the back burner. 

As a boy, there was no shortage girls I was afraid to ask out. As a young man, there were fastballs in and up that I held off on. I remember making the last out in the last official game I ever played. Rather than taking a whack at the pill, I just wanted to lay wood on it. I popped out rather than giving it my best. Now, there are times I have to remind myself to ask for the sale or to demand adequate payment. 

So much of the world, it seems to me, works to undo people from being for themselves. Salaries, it seems to me, are lower than they were (at least in terms of buying power) 30 or 40 years ago, raises are harder to come by, and you're expected to work more and more hours without pay. That hardly seems like it would encourage you to value yourself. In fact, it seems like just the opposite is true--you wind up undervaluing your worth.

Certainly, the prevailing gloom over the industry now is that people are supposed to feel lucky that they have a job. Not that an employer is lucky to have you.

No matter how used to living you get, there are very few people, I think, who don't on occasion need to remind themselves that they matter. It's good to remind yourself to watch out for yourself, to make sure you're getting what's yours. And you're getting paid what you're worth for the work you're doing and the brain you have.

Maybe this is elementary to you.

It's not to me.

And even if it were, it's worth reminding yourself.

Besides, it's another blog post down.

No comments: