I have a friend who I have known for a long time. She constantly complains. In person, social media, everywhere. If it is not the traffic, it is the weather, else it is her manager or the number of people waiting ahead of her in line at a restaurant.
I read Tim Ferri’s article on “I did not complain for 21 days and it changed me“, and forward it to her with a hint – try this.
Late last year she was laid off unfortunately. It was an acquisition by a larger company that made her role redundant and she was let go. She called me up and told me that the first time in many years she was “without a job” and felt scared and slightly unnerved at the same time.
After many days of back and forth, I suggested this was the opportunity for her to be an entrepreneur.
She hemmed and hawed for a few days and told me after a week that she had no ideas to start a company.
So, I asked her to stop complaining on Facebook or telling anyone else about her complaints, and instead asked her to write all the things that bugged her about her life in a notepad. Daily.
Then after a week or so we talked again. She had 11 things. She said she still had “no ideas”. I said she had 11 opportunities.
Everything that you complain about is an opportunity for you to do something about I mentioned.
It took her a while, but the “Few opportunities for women in tech resonated with her the most”.
She’s started a company 4 months ago. I rarely hear from her – either on FB or the phone anymore.
So I called her last week to check in.
I know how to push her buttons, so I mentioned that I was missing all her complaining.
“Who has time to complain”, she said. “If I am not doing something about it, I am likely the cause of the problem”.
Do something about it.
That’s an entrepreneur.
Everyone else who complains is an opportunity to be solved. Likely someone whose job will get automated by a robot or software or intelligent technology.
Solve problems that you have complaints about.