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Becoming Irreplacable

By many measures a case can be made that “times are tough.” Gas is expensive, competition is fierce, investment markets are soft and unpredictable. Many individuals (perhaps even you) use these conditions to explain why it seems increasingly difficult to survive, much less thrive.

Yet other people – you know them or have seen them in action – always seem to do well, regardless of the outside circumstances. They maintain a solid stream of work and manage their finances. In addition, they are persistently happy, upbeat, and positive, even as news reports from every angle proclaim drastic downturns and historically high hurdles to overcome.

Do you want to be one of the “bulletproof?” Wouldn’t it be nice to repel negativity as effectively as a windshield freshly coated with Rain-X sheds water drops? (Incidentally, if you don’t know this product, consider this a bonus tip – try it.) You can become similarly resistent to life’s unexpected downpours, if you will simply…

Become Irreplaceable

 You are unique, imbued with amazing talents, sparkling insights, and passionate interests. Does the world recognize your potential? Do you?

If your job performance, products, services, or ideas are simply on par with the rest of what is out there, you and your work are replaceable commodities. Others do it – and some do it better than you. You know this, which fuels the fear that you might be “found out,” replaced, outsourced, or made irrelevant. From this posture, you can’t possibly peform at your best.

On the other hand, if you view your life and your work as “one-of-a-kind”, you will release the baggage and fear, and rise to a new performance standard, defined by you. Refuse to be compared to what is “out there.” Validate and develop what is “in there.” Turn irrelevant into irreplaceable.

You are irreplaceable (to your employer or clientele) when:

  • You turn anticipation into execution – Think beyond the present requests, needs, tasks, and demands. Seeing “what’s next” is an important quality, but “irreplaceable” comes when you not only anticipate the future but act upon it. When your employer or client learns that you thought ahead, anticipated a challenge, problem, or opportunity and then acted on their behalf to mitigate the risk or maximize the potential, you become irreplaceable.
  • You go beyond what is expected – Job descriptions are inadequate. Strive to “defy description.” This means understanding the purpose behind your profession, the need that makes your job necessary, and the tremendous service you provide. Go just a bit further than others are willing to go (or capable of going), and you will stand out by far.
  • You become a “mashup” artist – “Mashups” are new combinations of familiar ideas. The invention and originality comes from pairing diverse concepts, skills, or offerings. The term literally means that two things are “mashed up” into one. In technology and music, it means using existing material to create derivative works (What would happen if we took that Tchaikovsky symphony and combined it with this Hip Hop groove?). In similar fashion, when you combine two ideas, skill sets, or talents that are at the core of who you are, you create something irreplaceable. Nobody else can do it, because it is the essence of you. This is the key to my personal story – combining my passions for performing and motivation. I’m not simply a speaker or an entertainer. I am both, simultaneously. I am convinced this “mashup” keeps my calendar full and provides a flow of inbound interesting opportunities.
  • You handle the small stuff – Don’t leave the details to chance. Handle them. It’s the little things that will make or break your success.
  • You become self sustaining – When it comes to your personal energy, motivation, and accountability, you need to bring it with you. Be the person others look to for strength and support. Become the best version of you.

Into Action

  1. Reevaluate – What do you do? Why you do it? What are your sharpest skills, greatest interests, most indispensible talents? Are you a commodity?
  2. Redefine – Redefine excellence, on your terms. Rewrite your job description so that it could not be performed by anyone BUT you. Create a mashup of two or more of your talents, inventing a new role or new capability that excites you and delivers something special, rare, and useful to the world.
  3. Recommit – Go a step beyond the expected. Deliver more than what you are asked for. Turn your knowledge and belief into action, and become the “go to” person that others rely upon and cannot do without.

When you become irreplaceable, the “tough times” are when your value shines the brightest.

With encouragement always,


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