I originally posted this on Linkedin when I needed to ask questions of myself (I’m Leaving Work. Maybe You Should Too?). I was unsure if was doing the right thing working for an organisation rather than being self-employed. Questions many of us ask ourselves if we have doubts about the work we do and are thinking of leaving our job.
I Had a Breakdown
I’ve done this before 8 years ago to be exact. I’d had enough of working flat out, not seeing my young family only to make a huge corporation even more profitable. To be fair it was an easy decision to make, the breakdown and depression accelerated the decision to leave what was a well-paid job. But my mind (albeit on anti-depressants) decided enough was enough so I quit work and went self-employed. Those who have followed a similar route will know it isn’t always as easy it seems.
Work, Work, Work
When I became a business owner I found that working for yourself can be tougher than working for someone else. Work is just that “an activity, such as a job, that a person uses physical or mental effort to do usually for money.” The problem is we have a limit to mental or physical energy and the term work is usually used negatively; I’ve got too much work to do. It’s hard work. Can’t wait to finish work. Only I can do most of the work myself. My work involves lots of unnecessary tasks.
A Quick Story
I bumped into a good friend and business associate Tom Lambert of Candidsky in KettleBell Kitchen a few weeks ago. I asked how he was and he asked how work was. My immediate reaction was to think negatively about the work I had to do. Before I realised I recalled my to-do-list and the never ending cycle of clearing emails and paperwork. Tom and I have an open relationship (edited; dialogue we’re not seeing each other) so we theorised that actually what we do on a day to day basis is brilliant. I meet and support wonderful business owners and mentors every day. He creates amazing digital platforms and is a digital nomad. Yeah, we also have to do some stuff that we don’t always enjoy but I guess there’s always compromise. Tom gave me a great book suggestion to add the list of recommended reading and I went off back to the office.
Then there was the realisation working is meant to be hard and a job is something we do for money isn’t it? It then struck me; I probably have the best job, except for maybe being a Masterchef judge or Top Gear/Grand Tour presenter.
That day I had walked from Harpurhey to Oxford Street on the other side of the greatest City in the world (err Manchester?) If you work in the city you’ll know that driving and parking is really quite stupid considering the costs, roadworks, extortionate parking, fuel, road rage etc. North Manchester Community Radio wanted to interview me about Mentoring. So I took the tram to Harpurhey and answered some emails, tweeted and caught up on Linkedin en route. Walked back to the office after my meeting, Google maps said it was 1 hour and 3 miles. I love walking for obvious reasons. It’s easy to exercise, fresh air, not glued to a monitor and on this occasion, still being productive.
On my walk back I made a call about improving our great mentoring programme. Then I popped in to see Darren Ratcliffe and Chris Buckley’s new offices (Digitl & Pixel Kicks), lovely Northern Quarter location. We had a conversation about business growth and took another book recommendation. Decided to go to KettleBell kitchen for my lunch to see what the fuss was all about. That’s where I chatted to Tom and concluded that what we do doesn’t feel like work. Consequently, we achieve so much more with our time.
Here’s the Point
If you ditch the word work and replace it what you do, your mindset instantly changes. If Tom asked, “How’s mentoring” or “How’s it going at the Business Growth Hub” my answer would be incredibly positive, I’d be Buzzing.
Eight years ago I worked too hard for a good salary to make a bank even richer whilst destroying my mental health. Now, after owning a franchise and growing my own business, I support mentors and business owners. I have productive meetings and drink lots of great coffee. Why? Because I love the people of Manchester and all the surrounding towns, especially Oldham. I’ve always wanted to be a part of something that does well for lots of people. Oh and my clients seem to really appreciate what I do for them.
Psychology students will recognise that all my boxes are ticked in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and that’s why I am so motivated to do what I do (notice I didn’t say job or work).
Confucius is accredited with some of the best quotes, none are more appropriate than;
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”
Stop Working and Start Enjoying
So let’s stop working and enjoying what we do because we know WHY we do it!
Who’s with me?