You Don’t Need an A+ in Every Class You Take in Life | Career Angles

You Don’t Need an A+ in Every Class You Take in Life | Career Angles

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Sometimes people make too many sacrifices at too great a price.


People are making way too many mistakes by trying to tough it out and do it by themselves. And there’s no need to do that. I’m just going to do a quick little conversation here talking about a call I was just on for a mastermind I’m involved with. Now, we have eight of us who get together weekly on Friday mornings and we spend about an hour with one other and the mastermind here was about . . . well, each of us working on particular objectives that we have, personally and professionally. One of the people on the call had an interesting observation. He’s trying to go into business for himself and for now, he’s a contractor to a number of different organizations and interesting guy, very smart. And he’s a great employee but he struggles to look out for himself, looking out for the entrepreneurial part of himself. And as he was talking, he had a goal in mind for the week where he was supposed to do some work on an e-book he’s involved with, put in a certain amount of time, and came up short. And part of the reason I think he came up short is he’d had a conversation with his largest particular client and they basically said they kind of viewed him as an outsider. As a result, they hadn’t given him the raise that he expected to receive that many other people got.

Now, where am Ieading with this? Real simple. In his case, he’s started to realize his perfectionist qualities keep getting in the way of him looking out for himself, that each assignment he gets from a client of his, he tries to do to a hundred ninety percent of his ability. He is really well-prepared, well organized, he does homework before each workshop and, as he was talking, he said something. I thought was wonderful. I think he gave credit to me. I think it may have been someone else there who may have said it to him. I’ll take his word for it

I said this little pearl and he said “you keep trying to shoot for an A and a lot of classes were pass/fail.” You know, there’s a lot of things that we do where good enough work is good enough and we don’t have to shoot for the moon all the time. We can shoot for getting a passing grade and it’s going to be perfectly fine. Now I know this runs contrary to what a lot of solopreneurs are taught now. As a solopreneur you’re taught “yeah you have to give exquisite effort. So you under promise and over deliver all the time. And that’s the goal as a solopreneur.

Make them fall in love. You say you’re going to do one thing and you do two hundred percent of it. How’s that working? Yet, for a lot of folks, they don’t get business from it. But is it worth the additional effort that you’re putting in for the results that you’re getting? “Oh, I’m putting seeds in the ground. At the end of the day, they’ll bear fruit . . . and that’s certainly possible. But you don’t necessarily have to do two hundred percent. You can do a hundred a quarter. You can do a hundred percent, damn it and wind up in a situation where you look great to the client. You’ve done terrific work. They’re happy and you haven’t killed yourself and you’ve still got stuff leftover in your gas tank to work on your own stuff.

So I want to encourage you, folks, if there’s an opportunity to . . . I want to say it, play smaller, but to do great work, but not super spectacular unbelievable work, do great work, it’s going to be terrific. The client is going to appreciate it. You’ll love it and you’re not going to leave all your energy behind and not be able to look out for yourself or your family..

At the end of the day, all of us are self-employed. I don’t care if you are an employee of a company, the large firm is writing a check to you every week for your work, makes no difference. You’re still self-employed and you have to think like a self-employed individual. As a self-employed individual, you’re looking out for your own instincts, your own needs. You’re the chairman of the board of your own company and your shareholders are their wife, husband, partner, kids or kid or kids and you have to look out for their own interests and if you have nothing left in the tank afterward, it’s not going to be a lot of fun for you. You’re not going to get as much done. So remember, you’re the chairman of your organization.

In my case, let’s say it’s the Altman Organization.. It’s my last name so recognize you are the chairman of your own firm. You have to look out for your own instincts and not do too much.


Jeff Altman, The Big Game HunterJeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2400 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, and Amazon, as well as on for Apple TV and 90+ smart sets.

I do a livestream on LinkedIn, YouTube (on the account) and on Facebook (on the Jeff Altman, The Big Game

Career angles
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Hunter page) Tuesdays and Fridays at 1 PM Eastern. You can send your questions about job search, hiring better, management, leadership or to get advice about a workplace issue to me through LinkedIn’s messaging .You can also message me through chat during the approximately 30 minute show.

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching? People hire me to provide No BS career advice whether that is about a job search, hiring better, leadership, management or support with a workplace issue. Please click here to see my schedule to book a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching.

My courses are available on my The courses include ones about Informational InterviewsInterviewing, final interview preparation, salary negotiation mistakes to avoidthe top 10 questions to prepare for on any job interview, and starting a new job.

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