Waffle Street is based on the true story of James Adams who used to work with a hedge company but was unfortunately let go after he was tasked to get investors to invest in junk. He managed to achieve this target when all odds were against him. He later realised he was just a tool used by his employer. I was drawn to the movie and have not regretted it due to the personal and career lessons I picked from it.
PS: I have not been paid to promote the book and the movie but you should make time to watch it and you would thank me later.
These are lessons I picked from the movie and I hope you find them useful too:
Sometimes, you have to go contrary to society’s expectations to better appreciate yourself
Let me throw a question at you…..would you take a job as a server after losing a big time office job? To be clear you wake up all suited up and business like for work and the next day you end up in casuals with an apron. How many of us would do this? The few daring ones might even pretend to be working in an office by dressing up and changing along the way, which is still deceptive.
Why is that? We have gradually come to accept society’s expectations of us, specifying which jobs are regarded as “respect garners” among others. We find people blessed with craftmanship skills studying courses at the University that would end them up in white collar jobs for which they derive no joy.
Are you working for self-satisfaction or to please others?
As an employer, you have to go down and interact with everyone whether their jobs matter or not, you would find yourself learning something new. As parents, our kids expose us to new perspectives we never bothered to consider or never had it crossing our mind. These examples might not always have the Cinderella ending but nothing is lost right?
James humbled himself and took on the job and trust me, he took home some valuable life lessons.
Believe in yourself! Don’t let others dictate your career or life choices, instead, carve your own route. You would be sure to reach great heights!
Are you searching for job satisfaction or money?
There was a scene, where James had funds ready to buy the eatery and was in a discussion with the griller to poach him as a manager.
Am sure, like myself, you would have jumped at this opportunity. Who wouldn’t want to be addressed as Manager. In our society our love for titles even exceeds respect for hardwork.
The griller asked him some thought provoking questions which eventually led to him redirecting his path. He was about entering into the restaurant business, he thought he had a passion for (might obviously be lying to himself or his mind deceiving him).
Do you love the restaurant? Would you do what you do for free if there was no money?
The question is, the job you currently find yourself doing, do you gain any inner joy or satisafaction from it or you are stuck in an 8am to 5pm routine job like a robot? It’s different if you sacrifice your satisfaction temporarily for the attainment of a higher goal. In that case, check out What if I told you your job doesn’t have to be fulfilling? by Rich Honesty on how best to manage when you find yourself in a job your heart disagrees with. For instance I blog whenever I need a break sometimes from work or stresses of life. It takes me to my own little world even if its temporary but it surely calms me because I enjoy it.
Do not believe you are a failure just because you have not found yourself yet! Believe me I am still in the process of getting to know myself. It takes time, others discover it earlier. Just remember the journey of self discovery is never a race.
Never underestimate or look down on anyone in your work or personal circles
Whoever thought a hedge fund manager would find himself getting lessons from exconvicts he worked with at the restaurant? How many times have we found ourselves consciously or unconscioulsy looking down on others at work or in our personal lives because of the work they do or judging them for their past mistakes.
If James had decided to be stuck up considering his educational background and work experience, he would have missed out on learning new things and gaining fresh perpectives.
Almost everyone has something to bring on board. Just give them a chance.
Give your partner a chance although his plans might sound crazy
James’ wife was against his decision to buy the restaurant but managed to stay behind her husband, believed in him with sound caution. He went to the extent of selling their house and am sure the risk averse peeps like myself would say, “no way”, what will we do if it doesn’t turn out as planned?”.
At work and in life, let’s avoid the phds (pull him down syndrome). It doesnt get anyone anywhere. Even if you are against an idea why not present yourself as the voice of caution. The person might probably discover areas he might have probably overlooked to make his idea stronger or worst case, realise it was not achievevable but at least he or she tried which is better than killing it before it even got any chance at possibly thriving.
Never limit yourself!
This is my personal discovery on my “finding myself mission”. Try out new stuff, be adventurous, see any barrier as a challenge (gather vim and tell the kill dreams and spoilsports to bring it on!). I recently discovered I love to write and research and am seriously pursuing it. Try your hands at new things, thankfully we have free learning websites so why not?
Set a dream, believe in it and implement it a day at a time. Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. So dont give up just yet!
I have come across people complaining about work, life etc. My first response: you might not be able to change your work environment or certain things but certainly, you have control of your life’s choices: value your potential and find another place or activity which syncs with your goals and values. Instead of wasting the limited resources of time to complain, why not find solutions? That’s my new motto.
Today I would like to inform you that I am on course to find my waffle street, what about you?