I know there are a million trite sayings for loving your job, but I found out over the last two years that many of them are true. I started Plain Sight Strategy Group two years ago, and while there have been struggles and not every day is perfection, I sit here to tell you that starting my own business was the best career move I ever made.
Glad you asked.
I am writing this blog from a timeshare in Austin, TX on what I call my “Guy’s Weekend.” This is a little trip that a couple of friends and I started doing about 10 years ago where we fly to a common location to golf, drink and eat our way through a weekend devoid of responsibility and, to some degree, civility. We embrace our horrific golf games, spend too much money and behave badly enough to blow off steam but not badly enough to be incarcerated. Along with this pattern comes a fair share (for us anyway, you make your own choices) of drinking and merry-making.
This morning we are playing the TPC Course in San Antonio and I got up at 7:30 AM to write a blog. I have a few stub articles written that might have been easier to complete (thanks to my wonder intern, more on her later) but I was moved by the very fact that I was up at 7:30 AM to write a blog.
I reflected on a conversation I had last night in the hot tub with one of my friends who is unhappy at his daily gig. He has managed the position well, is well compensated, garners a high level of esteem for his work and by all outward appearances, is doing really well.
He is miserable! (At work that is. This weekend, he is having a great time!)
Our conversation switched quickly to one where we were exploring ways for him to either create his “own thing” (a ‘muse’ as described in The 4 Hour Work Week) or at the very least, find some joy in his daily job.
I realized during this conversation that the decision to start my own firm and control my calendar was the best career move I could have made. I also realized that almost all the people I know, even the very successful (far more successful financially than myself) are slaves to their desk. Even the ones who like their jobs tend to focus on them more than anything else and then end up bitching about how much time they spend on them. They miss major life events attending crappy meetings or compiling Powerpoint presentations. If I am describing you, stop it.
Start working right now to take your time back. Time is the one thing we cannot make more of. If your are overextended financially, build a plan and get your head out of your backside to control it. Do not be a slave to your job because of money. If you are chasing the guy next door’s car, stop it. That car is not as important as going to your son’s hockey practice. If you are incurring medical charges due to the stress and overwork that climbing a corporate ladder can cause, wake up and smell the coffee.
Life is too short. It is way too short.
Take back your time and do something that you actually enjoy. Find your muse. Go on a “Guy’s Vacation.” Whatever you have to do to get to the point where work is no longer something you avoid but rather something you have a passion for, do that thing.
You will thank me for it later.
NOTE: I know I did not tell you how to do it. There is no easy or single way. I am happy to speak about ideas, but finding your particular passion revolves around, surprisingly, you!
NOTE 2: I used male dominant writing here but clearly this applies to you ladies as well. I know many successful career women who are just as miserable as their male counterparts. Oh yea, and seeing your daughter’s hockey practice would rock too! And of course, feel free to organize a “Girl’s Weekend” – I’m sure your adventures would make my trip seem tame by comparison.
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