This week I was called by one of my clients who has delayed in sending my company money that it is owed. She was asking for a letter regarding being the sole provider of my product, meaning that I’m not a reseller.

At this point, we’ve already jumped through numerous hoops with this company. We’ve provided invoices, made calls and have continued to get the run around. We’ve been passed around from department to department and no one has wanted to take responsibility.

Finally, I got on the phone with the lady who was calling us to confirm we received a fax. Our conversation was one of those dumb conversations where I was talking about one thing and she was talking about something completely different. We couldn’t seem to sync up our conversation and both sides were getting frustrated. I asked her what she faxed: she answered: “I don’t know, I’m JUST A SECRETARY”. I said, “who did you fax it to?” She answered: “I don’t know, I’m JUST A SECRETARY”.

I finally told her, “you’re not giving yourself enough credit! You’re one of the most valuable people in your organization!! I couldn’t do what I do without administrative help, and I bet they couldn’t either.”

With that, she calmed down a bit, but sill had annoyance in her voice when I asked WHERE she sent the fax!!! When she called out a (704) area code, I told her that this number changed almost 3 years ago, and someone higher up in her organization not only has been using a faulty address, but a faulty fax number… from THREE years ago!!!

I then gave her the correct address, phone and fax number, and she hung up. It started me thinking about what she and others must think about themselves to suggest… “I’m only a secretary.. or I’m only a sales person, or I’m only a financial person, or I’m only this or that…” Where is the attitude, of: “I don’t know that answer, but I will find it!!!” Why wouldn’t she do whatever it took to hunt down the information and to do her job with passion and gusto, even if it wasn’t in the job description?

Certainly, every organization has their rules, and people can’t be doing other people’s jobs in corporate America but if they’re dealing with a customer, it is every person’s responsibilty to FIND the answer!!! Entrepreneurs are EXPECTED to do every job, because if it needs doing, they do it. It’s a different mentality I know. Unions instill that “don’t touch someone else’s job” mentality at times too… and it can just cut a person’s motivation to achieve greater results. I do understand and appreciate what unions stand for, but sometimes, it hurts organizations more than it helps. (and that’s a completely other topic!)

Consider your “title” and ask yourself.. are you JUST this one role? Or do you play many roles at different times of the day? Of course we have different roles and responsibilities!!! I am a wife, a mother, a sister, daughter, entrepreneur, an athlete, a speaker, a coach, a friend, a colleague, a supporter, an activist, a dreamer, a doer, a employer, an employee, a freelancer, a spokesperson, an expert, a TV host, a TV guest, a radio personality, an author, a trainer, a survivor, a thriever, listener, a blogger, a marketer, an investor, a traveler, and so on and so on. I’m not “just” anything.

If you catch yourself thinking I’m JUST anything.. think again!!! You’re doing that role for that minute, or that day or that week… and if you put on that hat, then take the responsibility for that role. Do what you can to do it well. If you don’t know how, then ask for help. If you get frustrated, take a break and then try it again. Don’t stop until you’ve got it right.

But never, ever, undermine yourself, and say you’re JUST anything.

It’s just simply a cop out…. and simply not true.