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If you had to do your job and not get paid for it, would you still do it? One step further – if you had to pay in order to do what you do, would you take the hit? University students in the UK spend nearly £10,000 per year to access the learning and opportunities their degree course brings. Would you do the same for your career?
I’ve met people who only do their job for the money and they’re usually boring as hell. They just don’t care about their work, clients, colleagues, anything. They don’t speak about their profession or industry with any passion or enthusiasm and it feels more like a burden to them than a choice. The week is a slog and the weekend is an escape. Work is work and life is life – they’re completely different people in each scenario and they aggressively protect the line between them.
It doesn’t matter what they’re selling as long as someone is buying it. It doesn’t matter how much they dread Monday morning as long as the compensation is attractive. Put this person in a managerial position and it fails spectacularly. They assume everyone else is only there for the cash and become fixated on salary, failing to ignite or develop anyone else’s passion in their role.
Based on the fact that you’re not going to live forever, I believe that the business you start or the job you commit to should be something you would do for free. Or even, something you’d happily lose money doing.
Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.
– Steve Jobs
I was recently interviewed for the Connectt podcast and asked why I started a social media agency. My response was that I didn’t set out to start a business; I set out to do the work I enjoyed to do. All I wanted to do was spend every day writing fun and creative social media posts for different companies. The fact that it became an agency of 18 social media managers was a result of expanding that passion and finding other great people to work with who shared it.
Best-selling horror writer Stephen King said “I’ve made a great deal of dough from my fiction, but I never set a single word down on paper with the thought of being paid for it… I have written because it fulfilled me. Maybe it paid off the mortgage on the house and got the kids through college, but those things were on the side – I did it for the buzz. I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for the joy, you can do it forever.”
Are you doing it for the joy or the money? What if the money wasn’t there, would you still do it?
The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.
– Pearl S. Buck
In Gary Vaynerchuk’s 2008 TED talk, Do What You Love (No Excuses) he urges the audience to “stop doing stuff you hate!” because “you can lose just as much money being happy as hell!” Whatever you do, don’t do it just for the money. Do it for the purpose, the vision, the thrills and the fun. Do it for the flow you find when you’re deep in your work. Do it because you’re a craftsperson mastering your craft. Do it for the stories or because there’s an itch that you just have to scratch. Do it because you really believe you’re onto something. Do it for where it might lead, just don’t do it for the money.
I once went to an event where Rob Hallmark, founder of men’s fragrance Gruhme, was speaking. He asked the audience of entrepreneurs “if you were given £500,000, right now, would you spend it on the business you’re currently running?” I was astounded at how many people said no. If you’d take an easy escape at any given moment, you’re in the wrong game and you’re not making the best of your talent or your life.
There’s power and strength in doing work that you genuinely love to do. There’s freedom and happiness in truly believing that your career path is a choice that you have made, completely of your own accord. You commit to it because you know it’s what you were put here to do. You might face challenges and set backs, because that’s what happens, but nothing can deter you or stop you from carrying on because it’s all insignificant compared to what you’re trying to achieve.
If you’re already there, great, keep going. If not, work it out and make a plan.
April 16, 2019 at 05:18AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs