When I was working as an engineer (my first and only job), I was lucky to have a good manager who had taught me many things.
Once I spent half a day fixing a faulty pump. The manager saw it and asked,
“Is the company paying you to fix pump?”
“No, but the pump is faulty. Someone has to fix it,” I defended.
He said yes, but that person was not me.
My manager, who was the company’s co-founder, had high expectation of me. He hoped that I could be in his position one day so that he could take on a bigger role.
He explained that everyone had something that the company would value them for. I should spend my time on what the company valued me for. The company would not give me a promotion because I fixed a pump.
“You don’t have to be good in everything nor satisfy everyone. You simply have to be damn good in areas where you are valued for and you will get all the recognition you want.”
Since then, I had been careful on how I spent my time.
It is not about working hard but working smart.
You work smart by spending your time working on things that you are valued for.
From time to time, I have to remind myself of this lesson because I have a tendency to fix any problem I come across, big or small.
For example, if I see that the sink in my house is clogged, I have a tendency to clear it. But such chore should be left to the domestic helper.
This lesson applies to business too.
In business, I have to constantly remind myself what is it that my customers are paying me for.
Take LeadsLeap for example, while developing more tools for members, I have to remind myself that our main business is advertising.
We have to keep on improving our advertising system to make it more effective.
All other tools we provide are just sidekicks.
I remember some years back, there was a private label membership called plrpro.com. It provided private label articles to its members and was pretty successful.
Then it added hosting, site builder and other bells and whistles and relaunched it with a higher membership price.
They had forgotten what their customers really wanted.
The website folded soon after the relaunch.
Always remember what your boss or customers are paying you for. Make sure that you do that one thing very well.