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Business is Cut Throat

Business is cutthroat....

The part time cashier job I got at 18 years old turned into a 14 year career. Shortly after I started I got my first promotion. It seems even 19 years ago, hard workers that did what was asked of them were hard to find.

I was quiet and agreeable, management’s dream. I did all my tasks with excellence, even if it was sweeping the floor with the tiny handmade broom (still not sure why anyone would choose that broom when they make full sized, regular ones....).

I rose through the ranks quickly. When I was of age, 21, I took on my first actual management position. By this time we had a new district manager and he took notice of me. I would spend the next 10 years learning from him.

I want to be clear, he taught me a lot of valuable lessons that still serve me, he was a good man, with a good heart and I appreciate everything he did for me.

Now, with that being said, one of the most detrimental lies I’ve ever had implanted into my baby manager heart was that business is cutthroat and to win, you have to be a killer.

Everything was a competition. Each store had the same group of management positions. At one point or another I held four of the five positions. There were roughly ten stores in the district, so regardless of position, you were competing with your 9 counterparts.

Who had the best metrics? Who was on top of the scorecard this week? Who was going to win the contest? Whose department looked the best? Whose team was producing the most?

This competitive culture taught me that I wanted to be on top. I needed to be the winner. Always. And I did whatever was necessary to make my goals.

Berate people publicly to get the results I needed? Check. Speak poorly to people? Check. Fire people and replace them, instead of pour into them? Check.

He regularly called me his “little bulldog” and I fully lived up to that moniker.

At the same time, I always won. I was always on top, got the promotion, got the accolades.

Once I left the corporate structure, I was lost. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Bulldog mentality doesn’t get you far in the real world.

In business, and in life, I flailed around trying to find who I was. If I wasn’t the consummate winner, the bulldog always in the fight, who was I?

I started to study myself and seek out people with mindsets I wanted. Before I had actual mentors like my friend Gale (see post from yesterday) I spent time searching in books. Learning from the likes of Rachel Hollis and Jen Sincero.

Jen Sincero taught me I am a badass. Gale Nation taught me I can be kind, too.

It took a long time to realize that I can win, and still pull others up behind me. That I can be generous in business and still have plenty left over for myself. That I can be kindhearted and a badass at the same time.

Kindhearted badass.

I’m forming an army of kindhearted badasses and I’m ready to go to battle beside you to prove that we can, and should, be both.

Ready to fight?

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