What’s your favorite thing about your work? Really, what do you wish you could do every day and get paid to do it? Have you forgotten? Have you given up on that it’s possible to do what you love for a living? If you’re like the successful people in the businesses I know most of you are in, you might have a bit of an issue with that question in a way that you’re happy about. Truth is most of you have really strong work ethics and maybe have been raised to believe that “work” must be hard or unfulfilling. Maybe, but I’ll bet you enjoy most of what you do and have only lost some of your zest for your chosen profession.
I am sharing my thoughts about this as the result of a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago at a large meeting in Cincinnati. The meeting brought together nearly 100 business owners, (mostly women, small and minority owned company leaders) for a day of exploration on how to be more successful by building relationships. What I encountered there was fairly profound. There was a lot of energy in the room and I met several new business owners that I will be following up with. A few really stood out, but there was one in particular that I want to tell you about.
She started her company out of love for what she liked about a piece of the industry – research and learning so she could help people understand what would help them grow their business. She told me how she loved it. Clearly the passion she had propelled her success and the next thing she knew, she had dozens of employees. This was okay for a while, but then she started to dread getting up each morning. The growth was taking her further and further from the hands on work she really excelled in – the work that gave her joy and brought on her success. Most of us have felt some of this in our careers haven’t we? We somehow get off track. We somehow get mired in things that take our focus off what we like and are good at. This week’s blog photo is Gary Vaynerchuck and if you don’t know who that is and you like what you read here, you should check him out.
Well this story has a happy ending. Before it got too far, she had a long talk with herself, did some reassessments of what happened AND did a projection of where she’d be if she kept on the path she was on. Wow! She didn’t just accept that where she was now was where she had to be. I mean that in itself is big. She drove the ship. It was because of her that there was a successful company employing dozens that were fulfilling their career dreams. How could that be wrong? Takes guts but she shared with me how she examined things and drew up a new business plan. Then she actually did that thing that so many of us stop shy of…she executed! She made decisions that weren’t what many around her expected or wanted. She made a promise to herself to get back to her roots of doing what she loved and guess what? Others around her were inspired and she’s happy. Not only is she happy, but the company is doing even better. Really. Even better.
I’m so glad that I gained a lot from taking the time and money to attend a meeting that frankly I wasn’t all that excited about. As I said, overall the meeting delivered big time. But the story my new friend shared, that I’m now sharing with you, was a giant added bonus. Could you use a dose of “how do I get back to doing what I love best?” Could you use a dose of confidence that doing what you love doesn’t mean you’re not “working?” Can you abandon the idea that something or someone will swoop in and save you from the mundane? Could you use a kick in the butt to risk changing up the same old, same old? I hope I’ve given you some ammo to do just that! If this story didn’t do it for you, call me and I’m happy to share more. I’m charged up about this. Charged up enough to take time to share more of the story should you want to learn more!