Long, Hard Work

This next week heralds the arrival of two important professional milestones: 1) NASMM’s 5th Annual National Senior Move Managers Week and 2) the one-year anniversary of my blog for NASMM. I began blogging last year to celebrate 2010 National Senior Move Managers Week, which always kicks off (appropriately enough) on Mother’s Day. This post marks my 60th blog post!

Last night, as I was scanning through the Flipboard app of my iPad for any interesting Google Reader entries, I took special notice of Seth Godin’s post. Many of you may already be familiar with Seth because he has 200,000+ blog subscribers and 80,000 Twitter followers, but I’ve just recently been alerted to his genius. He is an entrepreneur, author and public speaker who popularized the topic of permission marketing. In fact, Seth has authored 12 marketing-related bestsellers that have been translated into 33 languages.

His short post last night – on hard work versus long work – caught my eye. He says, “Long work is what the lawyer who bills 14 hours a day filling in forms does. Hard work is what the insightful litigator does when she synthesizes four disparate ideas and comes up with an argument that wins the case – in less than five minutes.” He continues:

Long work has a storied history. Farmers, hunters, factory workers . . . Always there was long work required to succeed. For generations, there was a huge benefit that came to those with the stamina and fortitude to do long work.

Hard work is frightening. We shy away from hard work because inherent in hard work is risk. Hard work is hard because you might fail. You can’t fail at long work, you merely show up. You fail at hard work when you don’t make an emotional connection, or when you don’t solve the problem or when you hesitate.

I think it’s worth noting that long work often sets the stage for hard work. If you show up enough and practice enough and learn enough, it’s more likely you will find yourself in a position to do hard work.

It seems, though that no matter how much long work you do, you won’t produce the benefits of hard work unless you are willing to leap.

Wow! I couldn’t believe the good fortune of finding this post as I was considering how I would write/blog about NASMM’s 5th Annual National Senior Move Managers Week. Jennifer and I truly believe senior move managers are both long and hard workers, which is why they are so valuable to older adults and family members alike. Senior move managers and their staffs not only conduct the most laborious, physical aspects of a move of 40 or 50 years, they also own a niche body of knowledge to help save time and money. They create innovative solutions to perplexing space problems. They consider all the alternatives before arriving at a decision on which all family members can agree. In their long and hard work, senior move managers also heal the real pain of downsizing and/or relocating from a much-loved home. That’s why the theme of National Senior Move Managers Week, More Than Just a Move, resonates with so many SMM clients, family members, senior living communities, and other referral sources.

The hard work of senior move management is what separates it – by miles – from the long work of our moving company colleagues.  A successful relocation requires both kinds.

And what about the “risk” and “leap” of which Godin speaks? What greater risk and leap than to create an entire profession that didn’t exist until the 21st century? Kudos to all senior move managers, as we celebrate National Senior Move Managers Week, May 8-14, 2011. Thank you for your long, hard and compassionate work in the service of older adults. Congratulations on a job well done.

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