Career Advice: Do the tough stuff

A few years ago, I was travelling to Winnipeg to do a TV segment. My flight had been delayed multiple times, so that by the time I arrived, it was nearly midnight. I had to get up at 5am. I waited for my luggage to come off the belt, watching the minute hand on the large clock in the airport move past midnight. My bag never arrived. There had been a belt issue in Toronto, and dozens of bags never made the flight. Now, I could’ve cried, sent the station an email saying my luggage was lost and I wouldn’t be there in the morning, watched a movie, slept in, ordered room service and then caught my flight home. I could’ve made the best of a bad situation and actually enjoyed myself. But I was there to work, and taking the easy way out would’ve caused my producers more work, made me look unprofessional, and let down the brands that I had told that I was going to be featuring on live television that morning.

And so, I filled out the form about my lost luggage, told them to hold it at the airport as I’d be back within 12 hours anyway, then got in a cab, googled the closest 24-hour Walmart, and directed the driver on how to get there. Then, he waited while I shopped for all the products I was planning to present on TV, as well as a dress, heels, a curling iron, hairspray, contact lens solution and case and all the makeup I needed to look TV-ready. It cost me hundreds of dollars and a lost hour of sleep.

And it was totally worth it. Especially when the host complimented me on my outfit, and I explained how and why I had bought it at Walmart at 1am. “You could have cancelled on us,” the producer said when she heard the story. Yep, I could have. But I didn’t. And what could have been a very negative experience turned into a win for me. I showed that I was willing to do the tough stuff that other people just aren’t willing to do.

Do the tough stuff that others won’t. You will never look back and regret it.

Want more career advice? Try my 5-4-3-2-1 rule and let me know what you think.