I see this question being asked by many people when they are starting to explore business ideas or ways to quit their job. Do I choose work that I really love now, or should I be focusing on what makes me the most money instead?
Though there isn’t one way to answer this question, what I can do is share my own experience of doing both.
My first business that I launched before Screw The Cubicle was for money. In order to get me out of my own cubicle, I started an online agency in the same education industry that I knew. Yes, it did encompass skills that I was good at, and at that time, it was the lowest hanging fruit of an idea I had because I already had industry contacts and knew everything about the programs and products I could sell.
I was extremely grateful to have that as my escape route. I do not regret it. It was because of that first business idea, I was able to pursue opportunities and explore a different way to live and work, without a huge learning curve.
However, 6 months later, the lovespell of being my own boss wore off because work REALLY felt like work. And I don’t mean that I was grumbling because I had work to do, but the things that I was doing in my business at the time lacked motivation and inspiration because I didn’t really have any emotional pull to expand or grow it.
It was missing the piece that I left my corporate job for….meaning.
The big “why”. Not the ground shaking “you only have this one purpose” why, but a stronger reason as to why I should be putting any time or effort into the work I was doing.
Because I had to have a creative outlet to express this other side of me that I wasn’t able to do with my first business, I started a blog. That was how Screw The Cubicle was born. From the simple love of sharing a story. Sharing my fears. To help tell others that it was OK to look at life differently, and fuck up along the way of trying to live an unconventional life.
From this blog, it then led me to understand how much better I was at my work, how many more creative ideas flowed when I was in this space, and eventually helping me realize that meaning in work was truly important.
Just as much as a viable idea that would sell and ensuring my skillsets matched the idea.
Watch my video below to find out three reasons to do work you love now instead of later. Instead of “I’ll do it when I make enough money to now consider purpose and meaning”.
I’m going to share with you the benefits of considering that now, as you work out business ideas to go with, and why it’s an important factor to ensuring a successful business idea.
You don’t dread the long hours
I hate to break it to you. Most of us have to do some form of work for the rest of our lives. And since most of us have to work, we need to start re-defining what work can mean for us. Does it have to be drudgery?
In most work that you’ll do for the rest of your life, it’s going to require effort. Even if you love the work you do and would do it for free. Even if you manage to set up a system to make money while you sleep, the process to get THERE takes commitment, time, and energy. So if you’re going to work anyway, you might as well be working in a way that you enjoy.
Building anything of significance require time. You know how natural it was to take time to learn your way up the corporate ladder? Being a successful entrepreneur also doesn’t involve a magic pill or formula. Get ready to commit time to learning curves and new growth of yourself and your business. Sometimes more than your 8 hours that you’re used to in corporate world.
The difference is that if you are working on something meaningful or important to you, then those hours will not feel like drudgery.
Last year in October 2015, I was invited to speak at Pecha Kucha in Ubud, where I spoke about how “Freedom is finding your curiosity”. In my speech, I spoke about how we are programmed to want to work and affect the world around us, so even those of us who have the money and don’t need to work, there is still a sense of meaning and purpose that we want to have in our lives.
So perhaps they go into things like philanthropy or spend their time helping specific causes without needing monetary gain. The reason for this is because as humans, even though it sounds nice to never do any work again for the rest of our lives, most likely we’ll be very bored of this and won’t be able to live a very fulfilled and satisfying life when we have no focus or purpose towards anything of value to us.
You immerse and keep learning
If you’re actually interested in the type of work and believe in the mission of it, you will continue to always grow and expand in your craft. Not because you have a boss or gun to your head to answer to, but that you genuinely connect with this work.
When you’re learning, you’re feeding your curiosity, especially on things you love to get into. Think about your interests and values that can connect you to specific interests that are important to you. And these interests may eventually help others around you that you can charge for.
How do you think experts get their expertise? By continuous learning and experimenting. Take a child like approach to experiment with your curiosities, and seeing where the rabbit hole leads you may start giving you clues as to what drives your motivation and interests.
As you build your knowledge towards topics that you love, you are up-leveling your potential. And you know what else? Your authority in the knowledge that you sell.
You’ll read more about the subject because you give a shit. You’ll be a part of conversations you like and in return knowing more about the things you sell and being the expert in the subject.
That is also how you build trust and know-how to your audience.
Your creativity naturally shows up
When you do work you love, or start exploring a direction that feels interesting to you, your creativity lights up. You’re aligned with that curiosity or interest, and the creative bone in your body get stimulated. So you can’t help but get creative because you’re in the zone of the type of work that sparks a light in you.
Can you remember doing stuff at work that doesn’t light you up? You do the bare minimum right? To just get over it? You won’t do this if you’ve picked a work direction and purpose that you love, because you’ll actually want to do the work.
The difference between working for a paycheck and working for a purpose is that the right skills and passions involved in your work creates a space that you belong in. There’s more reason and meaning to be in the work you do if you love it, and you will care more, and that leads you to doing more interesting things to further your advancement in that work.
When you incorporate your personality, values, and a deeper why into work you love, you can be yourself. So, your natural ways of communication, influence, and connection gets infused into your work, helping you shine in a more unique way to others.
Even if you’re doing similiar work to other people in the world, you’ll ALWAYS be different, because there is no one else that would approach things like you would.