Is it “Miner” Hard or Minorly Hard?
Difficult, hard, tough, strenuous…these are all relative terms, yet we tend to use them to describe our lives and businesses all the time!
The Lovely Christy and I were just visiting a town of 400 people called Jerome, Arizona, which is an old copper mining town built solely on that industry. Now their main industry is tourism, but in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Jerome was a bustling community of over 15,000 people, most serving the mining industry in some way. We visited the State Historic Park to learn more about the town and lives of its inhabitants. Here’s what I will tell you: the life of a miner was hard. As I mentioned, all those terms are relative, but by most standards, they lived difficult lives. Every day they went to work and were just hoping they didn’t die that day, based on real physical dangers like explosions, fires, rockslides, and so on. Think about it. How many times have you gone into work and wondered if something about your job was going to literally kill you that day? Now ask yourself: Is your job “miner hard” or “minorly hard?”
Considering those questions, here are a few other insights and inspirations I gained from what I learned about this little town and the mining industry of the past:
Difficult is a relative term
Now, I know some days seem more challenging than others, and it’s true that too much stress can take a long-term toll on your health, but unless some extremely freakish accident happens, you aren’t going to die at work. So, as you go about your day, or as you go into a fresh week, month, or quarter, think about how hard you really have it. You might have a tough customer, but they probably aren’t going to actually kill you. There might be some personnel issues or growing “pains” you experience in the upcoming weeks or years, but most of those miners in Jerome would’ve traded places with your situation in a minute. Terms like difficult, hard, tough, and strenuous are completely a matter of personal view and perspective, so be cautious of what you tell yourself is hard, because if you believe it’s hard, it will be.
There are always planned and unplanned outcomes
When the miners would do their blasting, they never really knew if it would cause some unintended crack, fault or fire, but they knew they wanted the copper out of the mountain, and they typically got it. If they were just worried about every possible outcome all the time, things might not have gotten done at all. Now, what they DID was make their best effort to test the ground beforehand based on the technology they had. Does that mean things always went as planned? No, but they kept learning from their mistakes to develop better testing methods. Again (luckily for us) if something doesn’t go quite as planned in our industry, it’s not usually a life or death-type outcome.
Don’t depend on one income (or lead) source
Once the mining companies pulled funding from a town like Jerome, the workers’ income disappeared overnight. I talk a lot about sticking to what you’re good at, but making sure you aren’t depending on a single force outside of your control. If you depend on one source for 80 percent of your leads, for example, it’s time to look at diversifying, because what if that source goes away some day? If you’re depending too much on just online marketing, just big box leads, or just property management companies, make sure if one of those lead sources scales back, your company will still be able to survive. You don’t want your business to go the way of the “ghost” town of Jerome…the town itself was down to around 50 residents after the mines closed.
As you approach a project or situation you think is hard or challenging in the next few days and weeks, ask yourself: “Is it miner hard or minorly hard?” And remember…it’s all about how you perceive it anyway.