Two weeks after my resignation from the Heroes section of TL.net, I still feel lost. I liken this feeling to a breakup, and I think that’s an accurate description. I’ve dumped innumerable hours into Team Liquid over the past five years, so being told that I was worth little more than a trial writer was painful. It was worse than painful; it was the worst betrayal I’ve ever felt. I’ve never had a relationship lasting longer than a year. I’ve never poured that much into something.
Nonetheless, I move forward. Life is full of ups and downs, and you just have to move with it and grow. One of my favorite quotes, as silly as it may be, is from Abathur from Heroes of the Storm: “Work harder, faster. Make better, stronger. Evolution never complete.” If I think about what I’ve been through and what’s coming in the future, I know that everything I do is simply preparation for better things—that I’m actively evolving all the time.
Remember when you couldn’t work a microwave or boil a pot of water? It wasn’t a huge deal back then, but growing up has forced you to figure out a way to feed yourself.
And so I feed myself.
Dragging Myself Out of Bed
There are a few invaluable lessons learned from this whole affair. First, I know that my instincts are correct. I am a good writer, a good manager, and I have the ability to run my own business. These unwavering and unerring instincts have led me so far and are continually reaffirmed when I reflect on what’s happened.
Likewise, I have the equally crippling weakness of affection, which can cause me to lose sight of those instincts. I’ve always been the type of person who looks for the best in everyone. To some degree, this is a good quality; giving people the benefit of the doubt, especially in a management position, is a strength.
The difficulty lies when you know you shouldn’t give someone a second chance and do it anyway because you like them, particularly in a managerial role. If you want things done well, never leave it to someone you don’t trust will do it well. Do it yourself, find someone else, or spend some effort trying to train them.
Recently, I asked a friend of mine who manages a store what he thinks are the most important traits of a successful manager. Here’s what he replied:
- You’ve got to make sure everyone likes you. Because when something’s wrong they need to be able to open up to you.
- You’ve got to be willing to put in more work than all your other workers but still get what you need done.
- There are no days off. The store is your baby.
Interestingly, none of these came as a surprise to me. I have worked long and hard enough at a craft to understand these rules.
However, I’m still young. I’m still ignorant. This experience has also been humbling in a multitude of ways. I realized that the work that I’m putting out—my articles—is not on par with the work I’ve come to expect from myself. The articles I have written over the last three months are, in truth, not very good and don’t live up to my fullest potential.
An Attempt at Success
Success isn’t a miracle or a happy accident, it’s a story full of ups and downs.
I have spent a large part of the past seven years working on my craft (writing), experimenting with styles and formatting and wording. In an effort to further my career as an online (and modern) writer, I learned HTML and Photoshop so that I could deliver a full product to customers.
And yet…I still haven’t really put it all together. My latest article is perhaps my proudest in a while, but it still pales in comparison to what I’m actually able to do. My best work is still ahead of me.
To some degree, that’s a really comforting thought, but it means that I need to get off my ass and really get motivated. It’s both a gift and a curse to know where your potential lies. It lets you know when you need to start working, but it can also feel like an unending and unlikely road to success when you’re continually tormented with the idea that your work isn’t good enough. Still, it’s some sort of fuel.
I’m making an effort to spend more time reading and understanding stylistic writing, and I want to write more on average. I’m realizing that it’s important to live and breathe success…to literally breathe every thought and every word into the model of success. You have to want to be successful as much as you want to live; this is how you transform, this is how you grow.
You have to know hunger in order to learn how to feed yourself.
You have to know famine in order to learn the importance of water.
And you have to be better than you are right now in order to continue moving forward.