To Get What You Need, You Have To Do What You Don’t Want

“You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes well you just might find, you get what you need.” — Mick Jagger

To be successful, we’re all going to have to do things we don’t want to do. No one starts at the top. As we go through our teens and college years, we’re taught to “reach for the stars” and dream big.” And all of that is good advice. But for some people, if we’re not too careful, it creates a sense of entitlement. Not getting what we want, when we want it, is one of life’s hardest lessons to learn.

We want to do things we want to do! We don’t want to deal with the B.S. and the menial work that is below us. Little, minor tasks? Save that for the people beneath us — because we want to deal with the big things that matter. Right?

Well, often times, it is the “little things” that determine whether we advance forward. The people who think they’re “too big” for a task, are the people who miss an opportunity to learn and advance. Successful people focus on helping others- and achieving tasks- no matter their position or size. Concern yourself with getting the job done, and treating everyone with fairness and respect.

You see, someone is always watching.

Our managers, peers, leaders, subordinates, whomever — people are always watching the way we conduct our business. If you prove you can handle a small task, you’ll be given a larger one. And so on. So the notion that we should view the things we don’t want to do as insignificant, is missing the point. Whether we like it or not, those “little things” are what come to define our character and reputation.

Suze Orman’s Story

Suze Orman knew this well. She became a millionaire entrepreneur by doing the work others didn’t want, all with a plan to get to where she wanted and needed to be. She had the vision from an early age that she could reach the top, if she started small and learned business through grit, perseverance and a tireless work ethic.

During her freshman year in college, she washed dishes in the dormitory — seven days per week — just to pay her bills. After college, she thought she wanted to own a restaurant, so she began as a waitress for seven years and learned the business. After working for seven years, she received the commitment of loan money for up to $50K from a share of customers at her old restaurant.


Orman went on to lose all of it in a crude investing scheme run by a broker from Merrill Lynch. Instead of facing despair head-on, Orman decided to make the most of the situation. She never wanted to feel clueless about money again. She wanted to become a master — the best. So she went back to the same Merrill Lynch brokerage office in Oakland, California where she lost all her money.

She wanted a job. And she wouldn’t stop until she landed one.

Just like she did the “little things” for seven years in learning about one industry — restaurants — she started working tirelessly to become a stockbroker. She studied everyday, learned everything she could and kept paying her dues until she became a highly successful broker. Only several years later, she started her own financial group.

Many bestselling books, a successful TV show and millions of dollars later, Suze Orman made it to the pinnacle of her profesion. A climb made possible by a desire to learn her craft and work hard to get what she needed — in her case, a life with peace of mind and purpose.

In Closing

We can’t always do everything we want, when we want. But we do find that we get there quicker by doing the job others don’t want. Before you criticize me, understand my friend, I’m not talking about ignoring your passion. I’m a huge proponent of following your passion! I’m just saying, the road there is not all rainbows and butterflies. There will be sweat and toil along the way. There will be things that suck to do.

If you don’t do those things, you may never get what you want. There’s no easy, well-paved road that is well-lit, full of excitement and light-lifting. That’s a fantasy world and it’s not worth daydreaming for too long of that fiction.

Put together your game plan. This starts with an overall strategy and plan, which keeps you in line. It makes all the difference in determining your course in life. Don’t ever let the “little things” — or fear of doing them — stand in your way from becoming the person you want to be. Take initiative! Keep your eyes on the prize. You’ll get what you need.

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