Are You a Worker Bee or a Wannabe?

Posted by:

I was recently talking to a fellow speaker about marketing. She was complaining (whining, really) because she had to put together a new marketing campaign for her services, and she wasn’t enjoying the process. She said she didn’t want to do any marketing. I asked her what she did want, and she said:

“I just want people to hire me.”

Well, don’t we all? There are a lot of kids out there who want a pony, and that’s probably not going to happen either.

But her comment got me thinking. It seems to me that in the area of achievement, there are two kinds of people:

There are worker bees…and there are wannabes.

One of them gets results. See if you can guess which one:

Worker bees understand that the universe rewards effort and value. Wannabes think the universe rewards wishes.

Worker bees say, “I’ll work harder, so that I’ll earn more money.” Wannabes say, “I’ll work harder when they pay me more money.”

Worker bees are energized by working toward a goal. Wannabes are enervated by working at all. [Note to my friend Tom, who doesn’t know this: “energized” and “enervated” do not mean the same thing. They are, in fact, opposites.]

Worker bees know that true achievement is a long-term process. Wannabes quit if the results aren’t immediate.

Worker bees look for ways to serve others. Wannabes look for ways to serve themselves.

Paul McCartney [for you kids, he was in a band called the Beatles; you can read about them at Wikipedia] once said, “The reason we were twice as good as anyone else is because we worked twice as hard as anyone else.” Those of you who have read Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers know about the countless hours the Beatles put in during their marathon Hamburg sessions. They understood that success is not a gift—it’s a result.

Low achievers look at the wrong side of the equation. To use Earl Nightingale’s metaphor, they look at the empty fireplace and say, “If you give me heat, I’ll give you firewood.” And the world doesn’t work like that.

Ultimately, worker bees understand that in the long run, in life and in business, your results will always be proportionate to your efforts. If you want to get more, you have to give more—and the giving comes first.

My colleague wants people to hire her, but she doesn’t want to do the marketing. She wants the results without the efforts. And the world doesn’t work like that.

Are you achieving the results you want in your life and in your business? If not, ask yourself this question, and answer it with brutal honesty: “Am I a worker bee, or am I a wannabe?” If you can honestly say that you’re a worker bee, and you’re still not getting the results you want, then you need to take a good look at the work you’re doing to achieve those results. Are you truly focused on outcomes rather than mere activity? Remember: a person who is treading water is working hard—he’s very busy—but he’s not getting anywhere. Worker bees don’t just fly around in circles; they have a mission.

When all is said and done, it comes down to this: wannabes whine; worker bees produce. Which one are you?


About the Author:

29-time Emmy Award winner and Hall of Fame keynote speaker Bill Stainton, CSP is an expert on Innovation, Creativity, and Breakthrough Thinking. He helps leaders and their teams come up with innovative solutions — on demand — to their most challenging problems.
  Related Posts
  • Rachel McTague says:

    Yes, I want to work hard; I deserve to be the Queen Bee!

  • >