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The Upside of Not Getting Exactly What You Want

the upside of not getting what you want

Careergasm almost never existed.

Careegrasm was born in a little green Moleskine notebook at a bookstore cafe. I was brainstorming ideas for a business name that combined elements of joy, happiness, and feel-good vibes to work and career. And NONE of the company names I wanted were available. This was sooooo frustrating.

A company named Poppin had just launched a bunch of bright desktop accessories. Their slogan was “Work Happy.” I friggin’ loved that! I couldn’t have it. All the “work happy” domain names and social media handles were taken. Same for “happy work”. Damn it. Also taken: happy career, career happiness, career joy, career shift, and a whole bunch of other happy, feel-good career-ish names. All I wanted was to create a cool name for my company that captured the spirit of my work. And I felt like I kept hitting a brick wall again and again and again. Ugh.

I would have to come up with a more unique spin on “feel-good” careers because all the good stuff was already taken. Then I thought, What’s more feel-good than a careerGASM?! Careergasm, I thought. It’s cheeky. Like me. It’s cheeky enough to grab people’s attention and cheeky enough to weed out any super conservative clients. Yes please!

I bought the Canadian domain and snagged all of the social media handles right on the spot. Bought the .com the week later, and my baby was born.

Not getting what you want is a real pain in the ass, but some very good things can come of it. Why? Because sometimes Plan B is better. tweet it

Does that make you want to put me in a headlock? Key my car? Force me to drink orange juice right after brushing my teeth?

I hear you. I do.

I’m the last person who will bully you into silver lining a shitty situation. Mostly because I always want to dropkick people who say “everything happens for a reason”. (Seriously, let’s take this outside.)

So go ahead and feel shitty about a shitty situation. Feel shitty about it for as long as you like. Then move on. That’s where plan B comes in.

The reason why not getting exactly what you want can be a good thing is because it forces you to think differently and to get crafty with your plan B (or C or D or E). Having constraints forces you to be more creative. There are a hundred ways you could go about doing just one thing, and constraints force you beyond the easiest and more obvious ones.

Your annual budget was slashed in half? Time to get creative.

Your new business idea is already trademarked? Time to get creative.

Didn’t get the dream client or the big deal? Time to get creative.

Heard crickets after your big launch? Time to get creative.

Nobody will listen to your ideas at work? Time to get creative.

Go ahead and throw a toddler-level hissy fit when you don’t get what you want. Roll around in your rage and self-pity for a little while. (I recommend doing this in private.) But once you’ve had your fill of sulking, it’s time to put your thinking cap on. Because plan B might be really awesome. You just haven’t thought of it yet.


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