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  • Paul Frey

"Success" Has Never Been More Achievable

Paul Frey

I preface what you are about to read with a summary of my career to date, which has greatly influenced my perspective on what I believe to be one’s opportunity for success in today’s work environment, given our free market economy.  

I’m 62 years old and have had a diverse career. I spent 20 years in the restaurant industry, followed by eight as a self-employed organizational/business consultant for over 100 businesses. In the past 15 years, I’ve been dedicated to roles at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, serving as its President and CEO for the last nine years. 

I believe there has never been a better time for personal and career success in our country, whether you are just starting out after high school or college, or if you are looking to change or start a new career. Why do I say this? Because there is plenty of work and the expectation bar for customer service and work output is so low!  

According to a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce report, there are 11.5 million job openings in the U.S., and only 5.9 million unemployed workers available to fill the openings. High demands from employed workers for remote work, more pay and more time off are making it difficult for businesses to provide their customers and clients with the level of service needed for their satisfaction.  

Have you tried to get someone on the phone to answer questions about your insurance, your cell phone service or to get an estimate for a home improvement project? Or visited a retail establishment, apart from Chick-fil-A and spoken personally with a manager or staff member? What you find instead, often, are self-serve kiosks or long lines. 

And aren’t you pleasantly surprised when you receive the service you would normally expect from a retail establishment? Like a “thank you” from the person you gave money to or a cashier at the grocery store that gives you their full attention instead of looking at their phone during your payment. 

Again, my point is that our expectation of getting what we pay for from businesses we patronize and from those we employ is so low that those who work harder than the other person will be successful in today’s free market economy. Here’s my advice for those wanting to be successful.  

First, show up to work five minutes early. Second, show up with a smile—you’ll be amazed at how it sets you apart. Third, show some initiative by looking for opportunities that go beyond what is required by your boss or customer. Fourth, stay off your phone. You and those you are communicating with can live without each other while you are working with your customers and coworkers. Fifth, don’t complain! Be solution focused when there are problems to solve. Sixth, pick up the phone when you are trying to resolve issues with someone.

While emails and texts have their place, in my experience, nothing beats a person-to-person conversation to clarify expectations and to resolve differences. Lastly, follow the Platinum Rule. While the Golden Rule states, “treat others how you would like to be treated,” the Platinum Rule advises, “treat others how they would like to be treated.” In other words, the Golden Rule emphasizes you whereas The Platinum Rule emphasizes the other person.  

I reiterate again, and close with my belief, that there has never been a better time for personal and career success in our country. There are opportunities aplenty in our free market economy, and I hope you will be wildly successful in all that you choose to endeavor!  

In the meantime, I would enjoy hearing your thoughts and opinions on my outlook for success. You can email me at   

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