Work w/ Purpose & Profit

Stop leaving so much on the table

Writer E. B. White once wrote this to a man who had lost faith in the human race:

"Man's curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope these same traits will enable him to claw his way out."

Ain't that the truth.

If you work a 9-5 that you really don't like —or god forbid, hate —you're leaving fulfillment, a sense of purpose, and a roaring river of creative energy on the table.

I believe for the world the get better, we collectively need to stop leaving creativity on the table. Stop trying to fit into workplaces models that are outdated and based on goals of the Industrial Revolution. We are post-Industrial, you guys. That means doing work that matters with all the tools and leverage that's available to us.

That's why I do what I do. 

As E.B. White said so presciently, it's the only way we're going to get out of this mess.

Why others' success is hard to take

Bill Murray, when the other guy won. 

Bill Murray, when the other guy won. 

Our brains are very interesting. There's a thing called "cognitive dissonance", which is the gross discomfort of holding two conflicting ideas in your head at once.

For example, I used to believe work is something you have to get through, that adults just grit their teeth and find a way to pay the bills. When I met anyone who was lit up from doing purposeful, profitable work, it scrambled my brain and heart. I thought that something fishy was going on, because this person lived so differently from my bummed out belief. So I did what a lot of people do: Packed my social life as best I could, and hung out around others who were just mreh about their jobs.

Maybe you can relate.

It can be really hard to see passionate people making their own cool brand of ruckus in the world.

It's easy to hide out by saying "That's them. I can't have that." You feel the painful difference between their world and your own. So, maybe you brush the feelings under the rug and distract yourself, because...

You know you can do better than this. 

After you replace that tired out belief, you'll want to only surround yourself with people who radiate love and fulfillment in their careers, instead of avoiding them. Because what they think is possible will match what you believe is possible for yourself.

How to get paid what you're worth

There's a 5-step process to getting unblocked about getting paid for what you love to do, full-time or as a side hustle. Here they are:

  1. Understand what it means to be human: Absorb experiences, make lots of mistakes, get in your way, and also, occasionally, do beautiful, unspeakably great things, like create something meaningful. 
  2. Delight in your mistakes, because it means your brain is growing. Laugh when you get in your own way, because it means you're trying. To be succinct: respect yourself and the work you do. Let your actions reflect that respect.
  3. Ask yourself what's the better action to take next time? How can you not make the same mistake again?
  4. Take the better action next time. 
  5. Loop Steps 1-4 for as long as it takes.

These 5 steps get you to understand and feel your value as a creative. After a lot of Step 5, you can sit in front of someone who wants to pay you for the great, important work you do, and you'll be able to charge what you're worth. Because what they see in you will match what you believe about yourself.

How to Age Peacefully

If you lose money, you can always make more. But time? You can never get lost time back. 

My grandma is 86 years old, born in 1930, when the Japanese were occupying Korea. Anyone who's met her is charmed by her splashy, matchy-matchy fashion sense and broken English: she greets all my friends with "Hullo! Berry nice to-meet you!" and bids good-bye with "I love you!"

Grandma's short-term memory has been steadily fading. She tells me repeat stories from her senior community center: she's been making impressive progress in her adult coloring book. Snack is always better than lunch. She wants to take dance class, but she's too shy. "If I were just 5 years younger..."  

Her long-term memory, however, is still in great shape. She remembers every sweet detail of her coming-of-age. Here's the one she tells the most often:

"As a young woman, I wanted to be a nurse," she confided. "I was smart and could have done so. But your great uncle said college is no place for a woman and I should instead learn how to cook well. And I obeyed, because I was scared. I should tried." This misstep has deep roots in her consciousness. Few ideas cause more inner turmoil than "I should have shown up for myself when I had the chance." 

While my grandma's shot at a career full of meaning has passed, you still have yours. Take it. Free/affordable resources and services abound that make it easy to create work that's both purposeful and profitable

Find a way to do work that matters to you. It's 100% possible to find career fulfillment, even if your job is currently the pits. 

So, tell the truth: How long have you been stuck and wasting time?