Do You Love What You Do?

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Do You Love What You Do? (Still?)

Do You Love What You Do?

Imagine you have a business which you share with business partners, and one day you come into work to find that they have decided to kick you out!
Well, you wouldn’t be the first person that it happened to, and I’m sure you wouldn’t be the last. It happened to Steve Jobs, the famous founder of Apple, and I’m sure at the time it happened that it felt like a real gut punch. Ironically, the way things worked out, he’d later say that it led to a chain of unexpected events, whereby he learned completely new skillsets in another business that later on gave him an extraordinary insight into how he could take back control of his old business and use those skills to change the world with smart phone technology.

It also happened to one of my old clients. She had been feeling out of sorts with her business for some time, but it was only after her partners ganged up on her, and when she finally left the business and sold out to her partners, that she realised she had actually feeling been feeling there was an incongruency between her values and theirs.

If you are feeling unappreciated, not valued, out of your depth, burnt out or suffering from stress, it may just be that you have taken on too much and need a break, or it could be that ‘things aren’t right’ and you need a complete change.

So, Really, Do You Love It?

If you can’t do what you love, you’d better love what you do!

Now of course we can all have an occasional off day in the office (or whatever your version of an office may be), but if the answer to this question is a definite ‘No’ or a half-hearted ‘Sometimes?’, then you really have to consider whether you are doing the right job or running the right business.

It’s not an admission of failure to accept that this may be the case, rather it’s an alarm bell from your subconscious mind.

Sometimes we can be so busy trying to do a good job that we get bogged down in the daily grind and don’t even stop long enough to stand back and ask ourselves this question.

As I said before, there is a difference between an ‘off day’ and an ‘off choice of career direction’. Only you can truly know what it is that will be right for you. Success can often cover up the cracks, whereas struggle or downturns will really test your resolve.

It’s Easy For You to Say!

Years ago, when I worked in retail management, I used to walk through the ‘Sales Office’ of a department store to access my office. Every morning I would come in to find the two ladies who worked in that office, muttering away, whingeing, whining and complaining about the company, the Store Manager, the Senior Management, and especially bitching about any new ideas or new policies, which they insisted ‘wouldn’t work’ and were ‘a waste of time’. They were like a pair of miserable witches, so I used to take great pleasure in walking in, being very upbeat, clapping my hands, and loudly saying things like, “Good morning ladies! Isn’t it a great day to be alive!”
They would always look at me in disbelief, ask “What’s wrong with him?” and continue muttering.

When I questioned them, “If things here are so bad, why don’t you just leave?” and they would reply, “That’s easy for you to say. We’ve got a mortgage and bills to pay.”
I’d respond with “True, but there are plenty of other jobs out there. Surely you could find something else where you could be happy at work?”

They were so lacking in self-confidence or enthusiasm that they wouldn’t even contemplate trying. They’d just put up with their misery.

Are You Listening to the Clues that Your Body Is Giving You?

Years later, when I had a group of my own businesses, I used to keep a sign on my office wall that paraphrased a quote from a marathon runner – I changed the word ‘race’ to ‘business’:

‘There will be days when you don’t know if you can run a business, but there will be a lifetime knowing that you did.’

I only had to look at that notice to remind myself that setbacks and hurdles just came with the territory but that I still loved what I did.

There are also some very simple techniques you can use to snap yourself out of a bad mood or an unwelcome state. You can always change the way you choose to react to setbacks, just by changing the way you think about the situation.

Here’s an idea to help spot the difference…  

Make an appointment with yourself and free up an hour to be quietly by yourself without interruptions. Turn the phone off. If you can’t do an hour, do half an hour.

Take a pen and paper and write down all the reasons why you love what you’re doing. If you can’t think of any, there’s a clue.

What If I Think Maybe I Don’t Love It  Anymore?

My view – if you no longer love what you do, this will eventually take a toll on your happiness and insidiously eat away at your self-confidence.

If this is the case, then it’s time to think about what else you could be doing that fits in with your core values and your life’s purpose, and if you don’t know what those are, maybe it’s time for you to work with a Coach to help you figure that out. If you need help, you can call me for a ‘Strategy Session’.

Don’t tolerate just being ‘stuck in a rut’ (aka a ‘comfort zone’, or in reality ‘a discomfort zone!’). Life is too short to waste it being unhappy and unfulfilled!

Tony Inman

Tony Inman is an author of several books, mostly in the self-help arena. An entrepreneur with over 40 years of leadership & management experience in numerous companies in Europe and Australia, Tony has founded many of his own businesses in several fields, employing hundreds of staff and generating millions of dollars. He has worked with thousands of people, including many small business owners all over the world to develop and implement strategies for effective change and the achievement of their unique definition of success.

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