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Monday Morning Motivation: Why You Should Always Be “Paying Your Dues”

photodune-271916-hard-work-ahead-sMonday Morning Motivation:
Why You Should Always Be “Paying Your Dues”


Happy Monday everyone!

Wow, what a weekend; I did some work with GMC, appeared on The Today Show, emceed a Moms+ Social Good event, participated in the Komen Global Race for the Cure in Washginton, DC and then back home for a terrific Mother’s Day with my family.

And now it’s back to work.

Late last week I had a “moment”, you know what I’m talking about, don’t ya? Those moments that occur every so often when you say to yourself:




Yeah.. that was me.

Recently,  I was working on a project that was pretty physically taxing. I was up late, running around and ultimately unsuccessful.

In short, it reminded me of a time 25 years ago.

Related: Monday Morning Motivation: The Proper Care And Feeding Of A Dream

One day, as a cub reporter in Reno, Nevada, I was out covering a fire at the end of a very long day. I ran around, grabbed people by the sleeve, got eyewitness accounts, got back to the newsroom, wrote up the story (smelling like smoke the entire time) and thought I had done a good job.

In the end, I missed a large part of the story and was scooped by the competition.

I hated it and myself.

I beat myself up pretty badly afterward but it ultimately taught me what questions to ask and how to keep pressing.

Many years have passed since then and I thought those days were over, until recently. I was back in a situation that was eerily similar to the one more than 25 years ago, which is what precipitated my “moment”.

AM I EVER GOING TO BE DONE PAYING MY DUES? I angrily posted on Facebook.

I wondered aloud how long this was going to last. Was I chasing a pipe dream? Am I really building something or simply spinning my wheels?

Related: Monday Morning Motivation: Compare=Despair; Why This Keeps Up From Moving Forward

In the interest of full disclosure I must say that I was really, REALLY tired and about to lose my baby toenail so of course that totally colored my world. But a few days out I was able to gather the proper amount of perspective and here’s what I came up with.

I thought about the definition of dues. According to, dues are, “A charge or fee for membership.”

So if you want to be a member of the same club (level, job) then yes, you will, in theory, at some point, ultimately get to a place where you are no longer paying your dues.

But if you choose to move on to a different, more advanced level, well, you guessed it, you have to pay more dues.

And because we know that learning is life long, and presuming the things you are learning require higher stakes, then you have to pay more as the price of admission increases.

So in my haste last week (and cooling off this week) I realized where my faulty thinking was. The first time I was paying dues, I was working for someone else; now though still working hard, I am working for me. The confusion lies in the fact that while the jobs were similar, the employers were not.

Get it? Good!

Now go out and be GREAT!

Have you ever tired of “paying your dues”? How did you get past that thinking?

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