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“Paying Your Dues” Isn’t A Personal Growth Strategy

Updated: Nov 9, 2022

We’ve all heard the saying, “You have to pay your dues to get ahead.” It’s something we haven’t just heard, most of us have lived it too.

The problem with the saying is it sounds so painful. It makes us feel like we have to waste a bunch of time to get where we want to go. When in fact, if you think about the road to success, it’s just that – a road, a journey that is full of small milestones. These small events will shape your life and lead you on to your goals and aspirations.

The challenge with these small events is that while they are occurring, we often lose site of the bigger picture. We need to think about these small things as a part of our journey, in the context of our larger goals. Learning something new or building trust with other people leads to success down the road. If we view these events as “paying our dues” and not taking us toward our intended destination, then we fall into the trap of seeing them as a waste of time.

As you embark on your journey, remember to be deliberate in what you are doing and learning. Don’t learn just the hows of doing something, but learn the whys as well. Whether it’s packing boxes, making a cold call, writing a blog, or learning a new software, each and every activity should be leading you to your dream job or career. Be intentional and recognize that the steps you are taking today are leading you to somewhere. Make sure that’s the “somewhere” you want to be.

Yes, you have to “pay your dues,” but just because you put in the time doesn’t mean you are guaranteed growth and development. Only learning from the time you put in will allow you to grow.

Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.


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