Three years ago, I was terrible at my job.
In fact, I was on the verge of being put on a performance plan so that management would have to watch everything I did. They would make my failings and keep track of my successes.
While a performance plan is to help get people out of terrible work habits, I recognized what it was: tracking in case they would need to fire me.
Now, I work for a company that will do everything it can not to fire people. They value their employees and want the best for their employees. But it doesn’t mean that you can get yourself kicked to the curb if you suck bad enough and don’t want to do anything about it.
I was bad at my job because I wasn’t getting my crap done. And I was putting our company and our customers in financially risky situations because I wasn’t very efficient. It wasn’t because I didn’t care, I just struggled with getting my work done. It was a new position (well, I had been in the role for 6 months) and I just hadn’t figured it out.
Finally, things were just not getting better. I felt trapped in being a terrible employee. It didn’t seem like I was going to climb out of this hole. And then, something changed…
Making A Choice To Be Remarkable
“I chose to be better. In fact, I remember that I decided I wanted to go from being the worst in productivity in my office to the best.” —7 Traits of Highly Remarkable People
This one decision took me on a crazy journey. One of research, experimentation, and putting in a lot of hard work on my own to improve. What happened after that one decision is unbelievable to me to think of now.
1-Turning It Around At Work
I went from being the worst in productivity to one of the best in a matter of months. Today, three years later, I am one of the most tenured reps and provide a lot of insight to help people become more efficient.
2-Writing A Book
I ended up writing a book out of my experience. That’s right, my transformation from being terrible to remarkable created an opportunity in my writing too. It gave me the experience and research to write a book.
It has provided me with opportunities at work and in my side hustle. I coach my coworkers in productivity and get to do the same for people outside of work too. In fact, productivity has become one of my favorite subjects and something I continue to get better every day.
But how did I do it? How did I go from the verge of being fired to someone who can be trusted with teaching others?
What I Learned About Becoming Remarkable
It is an interesting reality to go from worst to first. I’m not being super prideful about this by the way. I look back at my life over the last three years and what I learned has made this possible.
It took a lot of work, reading, experimenting, and help from others.
But when it all came together, it changed everything. Below are the lessons I learned that you can use to become remarkable in something you might be struggling with in life.
1-Acknowledge Your Struggle
The first thing I finally did was acknowledge that I was really bad at my job. I honestly had never had this happen before. So, when I admitted how bad I was, I finally had a starting point to dig myself out of the hole. The mere fact that I knew I was in trouble helped me come to a point of decision.
2-Choose and Commit to Change
This may seem simple and slightly ridiculous, but it is an important step. If you won’t decide and commit to changing, there is no way you will be able to change. It won’t happen. You will stay stuck. Yet, deciding to change will help you make the changes you need to become remarkable. But you have to commit to it too.
3-Discover What It Takes to Become Remarkable
Not just remarkable in general, but in the area, you struggle. What made the difference in my productivity was the level of study I began in order to stop being so terrible at my job. I looked into every kind of productivity tip, trick, and hack out there. I re-read books on productivity, researched hundreds of blog posts on productivity, and compiled it so I could start using what I learned.
4-Take Action Right Away
The other thing I did was take action as soon as I had learned something new. One of the first things I did was figure out what exactly my goal was at work. Once I learned what my end product was, I could chase it. The thing is, I had to put to use some of the techniques needed to do this. I applied what I learned right away. As I worked hard I began to see payoffs right away.
5-Adjust Your Changes
The other thing I had to constantly do was make adjustments. Some things worked really well and I didn’t need to do much once it became part of my system. Yet, other things didn’t work well or needed some adjustment to become part of my everyday workflow. I had to make adjustments.
6-Find Your Lane and Stick With It
Once you find some things that work, you need to stay in your lane. This is one of the important parts of becoming remarkable. You will find out where you are amazing and you need to stay there. Sure, it is important to constantly be learning, but you shouldn’t try to fix something that works already.
The last thing I learned was the importance to teach others what I learned. Especially what was working really well. This helps solidify what you learn and it helps you grow others around you. Remarkable people aren’t only about themselves, they care about other people. This has helped me a lot over the last year.
Becoming remarkable takes a lot of time. And sometimes, we will fail more before we succeed. In fact, right after I started making changes I got worse. The first month of changing things up was rocky, but I got managements to support to give me time to figure things out.
Three months later, I had recovered from being the worst in the office. In fact, I was starting to get more done than ever before. I was seeing tremendous improvement in my workload and my stress levels were reducing a great deal.
A year later, I was being asked to help other reps who were struggling with their work. At this point, I was killing it at work and no longer one of the worst. I turned out to be one of the best. Since then, I have tried to help wherever I can in our organization. Sure, there are times when I struggle still, but I stick to what I learned and always recover.
Remarkable people decide to be remarkable. They commit to being remarkable. And they do the work that it takes to be remarkable.
But it all starts with allowing yourself to be remarkable and then seeing what happens after that. Are you ready to make some changes?