by Deb Andrychuk

4 November, 2011

I am a lucky soul.  I wake up every day and get to work for a company I love, learn from co-workers I respect and admire and do work for clients I truly enjoy.  Roll back the clock to 4 years ago.  I had just joined Arland and I was excited about working for a really cool and unique branding agency.   I was also keenly aware of the challenges associated with working with a small company and I was more than a little intimidated.  We were lacking some basic tools; marketing collateral; processes and support that I took for granted from my prior sales role and I knew that I wouldn’t change the world overnight. Back then, as is the case now, we were running “lean and mean” and wearing multiple hats in our roles.  My work life could be described as frenetic at best.  At the same time, my personal life had been turned upside down, having lost both my brother and my mom unexpectedly in a 2 month period shortly after coming onboard.  I was depressed, anxious, worried and I could have easily let Arland’s short comings and my own personal tragedies slow me down.  What is more, I could have allowed sadness and fears extinguish my passion for helping my customers and stunt my growth as a sales person, mother and wife.

When I was at my lowest, I picked up the phone and called my good friend Brian Corey, SVP of Sales at SimplyHired.  He is by far the most positive individual I have ever had the good fortune to meet.  He consoled me, gave me a pep talk and then reminded me that there is always someone who has it worse in life than we do. It was a gentle reminder that I needed to be grateful for all that I have and that I am the sole gatekeeper to my happiness.  It was a turning point in my life.  I decided from that day forward that I was going to be a happy person- no matter what!

I know it sounds silly to say that I was going to flip the happiness switch.  So, here’s a secret for you: I don’t wake up every day with a smile on my face. In fact, without my morning coffee from my magical Keurig machine, I can be pretty darn cranky.  No one experiences 100% happiness all the time.  But, I have resolved to spend my days in a good mood or will myself into pretending that I am having a great time.  In my opinion, your attitude is three quarters of your success in life and it determines the outcomes of your daily interactions.  It’s pretty simple; you can make it really good or really bad. This attitude shift is how I can smile even after I have wrecked my car into the garage (yes that just happened), my dogs have decided to mark my new jeans as their territory or I miss my flight home from a meeting. This might make me sound a bit Pollyanna-ish, but it’s how I have made it through some of the most trying situations of my life and I know it’s why I know I will continue to prosper and succeed in years to come. I am really glad that I have made these conscious decisions to maintain my optimistic outlook and I am so proud of our team’s growth and evolution here at The Arland Group.  It’s been a wild ride but I am holding on tight and enjoying every bump and turn in the road!