I met with a woman the other day whose husband just retired from a job he hated for most of his career. I was shocked.
“Why did he do it?”
She said he had graduated in architecture but after a year of doing it decided, “You can’t make money in architecture…” and jumped to a job that paid more but had horrible quality of life.
Again, I was shocked. I don’t know much about architecture, but I know enough to know thatsomeone is making money in architecture or else we would have no architecture.
I spoke with a friend the other day with the same dilemma. He’s a born educator with a passion for marriage counseling. He’s felt drawn back to that career path over and over by his inner voice, but each time he starts down the path the thought surfaces, “You can’t make money doing that…” and it’s enough to dissuade him.
Meanwhile, the world is in need of passionate, talented marriage counselors more than ever.
When I started my career I wanted to teach seminary for my Church, but the voices were overwhelming. “You can’t make money doing that!” So I bailed on it and only came back to it 6 years later. Turns out you can make money in it. In fact, the best can make a great living doing it.
Enough of the “can’t make money” excuse. I can’t take it anymore. Show me any job and I’ll show you someone who’s making dang good money doing it.
If we’re going to use the excuse, we should at least say, “I can’t make money doing it” instead of “you (as in ‘people in general’) can’t make any money in that.” Oh, and what sets apart the people who are making the money, regardless of the industry?
Passion. Grit. Determination. Effort.
The standard drivers of success. But it all starts with passion.
“There’s always room at the top of any industry for those who love what they do.” -My Dad
We know what we should do, and have repeated thoughts about it, but convince ourselves not to do it because it might not work, might not be sustainable, or might not make money. So we don’t try it.
Instead, we do something similar or close enough or we bounce around from job to job searching for what we already know we should do. We finally land back where we were and decide to give it a shot and it works. Except we lost all of that time in denial.
I’ve worked with three people in the past few weeks who all followed this pattern. I, myself, have followed this pattern (and may still be following it!). It seems that the key is to embrace the change we know we should make and make it without overweighting the “what ifs” that might come as a consequence.
I have a good friend and mentor that says, “If you think something more than two days in a row, do something about it.”
Seems like sound advice for career, leadership, and virtually any other area of life.
I’ve woken up every morning for the past month with gripping fear.
Like, the kind that momentarily paralyzes you. I pull the covers up to my chin and stare at the ceiling, mind racing. By the time I’m going through my fear routine, my wife has been gone for an hour or so working out. She’s a morning person. I lay there for a moment letting the panic subside before throwing myself out of bed.
This usually happens around 6am.
Fast forward 16 hours and I’m usually on a high, feeling like I could bust through the wall Kool-Aid man style. Momentum is in full swing and I feel like I could take over the world. I’m full of energy with no desire to sleep, especially because I know what I’ll face the next morning.
This usually happens around 8pm.
Why the mood swings? Because I’m leaving my job.
As of June 15th, 2015, I’ll be unemployed. That’s right. I’m leaving a job I’ve worked my whole career to get.
I love what I do every day and get paid really well to do it. I love the people I work with and the organization I do it for. In my book, Reset, I coach people how to go from a soul-sucking job, like my first few jobs, to a rewarding and authentic job, like my current gig.
And yet, I’m leaving.
Sometimes I think I’ve lost my mind, but more often than not I feel a sense of peace and hope and a serious drive to go make something happen.
The fact is that for the past 6 years I knew this day would come. I’ve known since 2009 that I wanted to build a business helping people love what they do every day. My wife has been cheering me along, encouraging me to build it, never afraid that it would fall flat. There’s a lesson to be learned here: sometimes the people around us see things in us that we don’t see in ourselves. Listen to them. They are smarter than us.
The fact is that fear and self-doubt have held me back. And, interestingly, I landed in a job that was just close enough to what I’ve always wanted to do that it satiated the desire for some time.
But, alas, my inner self can’t be denied. I’m drawn to another work. I’m still not sure what that is, exactly, but I’m figuring it out quickly. I’ll be doing two things and seeing where they go:
1. Helping people figure out what to do with their lives and do it. (Career)
2. Training leaders how to lead. (Leadership)
What’s the common thread? Authenticity. And loving your work.
In short, I’m taking my own advice from my book. I’m betting on myself. I’m resetting and seeing if I can add value to the marketplace.
Entrepreneurship is a scary and sometimes lonely but exhilarating thing. And you really never can do it alone. It takes a tribe.
So here’s to finding my tribe and serving them with all I’ve got.
Let’s do this.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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