You’re not as irreplaceable as you think you are, so make yourself irreplaceable to the people and things that matter.
This is Mentoring Moments—a series of stories about triumphs and skids from successful women. Mentoring Moments is now a podcast.
In my past life I was a witch doctor. At least that’s what three reputable psychics have told me. And Jane Wurwand, founder of Dermalogica told me that when things happen in threes, we need to pay attention. But even a former witch doctor needs help. That’s why I asked Bea Arthur, licensed therapist and entrepreneur who has been called “innovative and inspiring” by the American Counseling Association, to join me on our latest podcast episode to answer questions from Mentoring Moments readers and listeners. The title of the episode: “The Therapist & The Witch Doctor.”
Arthur is a leader in the field of mental health and telemedicine. The Columbia University alum and TEDx speaker has been featured in Elle, MTV, Fast Company, NPR, BuzzFeed, CNN and more. She talks about launching businesses, flying high and how she went through hell and came out on fire. Arthur was the first African American woman to be accepted into the prestigious Y Combinator accelerator program.
Today Arthur is the founder and executive director of a “think tank” called The Difference, which is devoted to the future of therapy and innovation in mental health research and resources. She says, “The right talk at the right time can make all The Difference.” Here are three of her tips that will definitely make a difference, all from our Mentoring Moments podcast in Arthur’s words (edited and condensed):
1. You Don’t Have To Do What You Don’t Want To Do
You can’t predict the future. With the information that you have right now, do what’s best for you. You have to be able to stand by that when the chickens come home to roost or when you have to defend yourself. You have to be able to say, “This is what’s right for me. I’m the only person who knows what’s right for me.” You don’t have to do what you don’t want to do. If you are basing your decisions on what other people might think, you can’t be doing yourself a bigger disservice. So many people don’t really believe that or live their lives that way. Please believe this.
2. Be Irreplaceable To The People That Matter
I was working with this guy who was afraid to take paternity leave because his legal team would need him too much. I said, “You know who else needs you too much? Your wife and your newborn child. How can you think of these grown people (who are getting paid) before your biological offspring?” Everybody will be fine without you. You’re not as irreplaceable as you think you are, so make yourself irreplaceable to the people and things that matter.
3. Go Where You’re Loved
I always say, “Go where you’re loved.” A lot of times people are good at their jobs and have the skill set needed to succeed, but the environment isn’t conducive to giving their best work. Sometimes it’s just not a fit and you can’t be your best. The world needs you at your best, so go where you’re loved.
To hear more tips from Arthur including the stories behind the following quotes, check out our podcast.
“You can’t make an emotional decision about a practical thing.”
“Fear can be a powerful motivator when you use it to push you.”
“Stop firing all cylinders all the time. It’s important to sit with things.”
“Don’t focus on outcomes — focus on the feelings you want.”
*Bea Arthur is also a Women@Forbes contributor.
Check out my Forbes podcast, Mentoring Moments, and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. My book, Their Roaring Thirties is here.