As part of my business, I meet with hundreds of business owners every year interviewing them. I am constantly asking them questions.
Some of the questions I ask are:
-How did you get to where you?
– What was the biggest/boldest move you ever made?
– Where did you get the idea to start your own business?
– What do you feel like your biggest need is as a business today is?
After doing this for four years I saw a pattern forming.
A lot of businesses started very small. What started as a part time job or what was viewed as a short gap position turned into a career and then a business.
Most of the businesses that were started weren’t what they envisioned when they originally started.
A lot of them started from nothing but took a big leap of faith by doing their own thing.
The biggest problem I find among business owners
I also noticed most businesses have a hard time finding good workers even if the pay is good. I found this so intriguing. I see so many people complaining about not having a good paying job or jobs that are so draining.
Why do hundreds of businesses have the same problem of not finding good workers? After thinking about it for a while the thing that kept coming back to me was the word passion. I don’t think we need really skilled workers to get every single job done. I believe it comes down to effort or trying. We’ve seen talented people fall from not caring. Not caring in my opinion comes from a lack of passion or drive.
What I see in a general census.
I see most people chasing money or a “Safe Job” only to live a apathetic life because its not what they are excited to do. The job becomes mundane which leads to no passion which leads to doing the bare minimum work needed. We see it all the time. Memes on the internet about people laughing about getting paid to crap at work. How they feel leaving work on Fridays. Even more so how they hate coming to work on Mondays. We’ve even made Wednesday “Hump Day” because we are officially over the hump to get to Friday. You know exactly what I’m talking about. This all comes from a lack of passion at work. If there is no reason to care why would we?
So whats the solution?
I think its easier than we think. We don’t have to quit our safe jobs and just go all in on our “dream business” or job. We can take it one next step at a time. Most of us just go home and net flix. Or we get caught up in our busy busy busy life with our kids, sports, events, cleaning etc..
A lot of us are addicted to being busy because it distracts us from our mundane jobs or even dull boring life. We feel important by being busy. We feel like we are doing what we are supposed to be doing which is… being busy. Am I the only one who feels a little guilty when I am just sitting on the couch doing nothing? Another way to put it is whats the #1 Answer you get when you ask someone how their doing? I get “busy” more often than not. What about you?
Everything big starts small. If I asked you what would you love to do if you didn’t do your current job right now? What would you love to do? What are you really passionate about? Well whatever your answer is why can’t we pursue that a few hours every week? After our jobs and after doing our evening activities why can’t we pursue something that we love doing? The point is we can. 3 days of 2 hours a week working on something we love doing over a course of 52 weeks equals 312 hours of doing something we love.
Whether it being a super part time business idea, giving advice on something we are knowledgeable on, or doing a hobby we just love doing we can really create something that expresses our gifts and passion.
We don’t have to quit our jobs. But we don’t have to let what we can’t do interfere with what we can do.
Most people trade Passion for safe jobs. Then I see a lot of people eventually give up the safe paying job to go after their passion. Why can’t we just go after our passion? Even if its just part time.
Back to my original thought
Most businesses start small or part time.
Most businesses have a hard time finding passionate workers. But here’s the secret I think. If most of us were pursuing our passion/ gifts even on a part time basis we would bring that energy even to our mundane full time jobs. That excitement would carry over to our families, friends and coworkers.
Better workers are created. I suggest employers to have their employees pursue their passions even if it hasn’t nothing to do with their job. We want employees who are thriving in life. They are better workers and they bring a better culture. Again if workers have no reason to care then why would they? Paying them isn’t enough anymore.
Work Life Balance Myth
I remember reading Matthew Kellys Book “Work Life Balance Myth” years ago. The myth we tell ourselves is that we want balance in our life. However, what we really want is satisfaction. Would you rather have balance or satisfaction in your life? I rather have satisfaction. We can’t separate life from work and work from life. They are co-mingled. If work sucks that affects our life at home. If life at home sucks it affects our life at work.
Whenever we are excited, we see light at the end of the tunnel. When taking our next steps of pursuing our passions we are just a different person. We focus more on what’s right verses whats wrong. We stop caring about what other people think and we start living our life on our terms.
Businesses can’t just pay workers and expect them to perform at a high level. As leaders we need to create environment and a culture where people are free to pursue what they love to do. Even if its on a part time basis. We all have unique gifts and passions in our life. If we don’t create a culture of empowering people to pursue what they love they will be become apathetic workers who do the bare minimum.
We don’t want balance in our lives. We want satisfaction. We want purpose and we want to become who we were meant to be.
What is the culture in your work place? What are you leading and empowering others to do through your actions?
Are you chasing balance or satisfaction?