After a lifetime of personal experience, 15 years of corporate and startup experience, and four solid years helping people learn everything from surfing and pottery to financial planning and dental assisting, I’ve found three factors to be the most important to success and fulfillment in your career:
1. Passion: You gotta genuinely love what you do.
2. Skills: Passion alone is powerful, but it isn’t enough. Specialized training on the specific, practical skills that you need on the job is critical. Sounds basic but I’m constantly blown away by how many people are working jobs they aren’t properly trained for (and yes, even/especially those with college degrees).
3. Mentorship: You need to be surrounded by leaders and experts who genuinely care about you, your company and the mission you’re on together.
Passion, Skills and Mentorship.
If you have those three things, you will do great work. And you’ll have a blast doing it.
Company leaders, please do your best to not only hire folks who already possess this triumvirate, but help your current employees get there as well. You can’t teach passion, but you can definitely help with skills and mentorship. It will not only drive your bottom line, but it will elevate your company culture and enhance your customer experience.
Greatness is a lonely road.
Most people don’t want to be great.
Because it’s harder. And harsher. And more inconvenient.
It demands too much of your time and requires too much of your attention.
It is big and loud and needy.
It’s a beautiful masterpiece that people would rather stare at from a distance than paint with their own hands.
Watch, and not touch.
Admire, not unleash…
When you choose greatness you instantly downsize your ability to connect and converge and communicate with the majority of the people around you.
Because you stop speaking “average.” And stop accepting “ok.” And “nice” becomes just too damn low of a bar.
Most people would rather play it safe and simple and stationary than take the steps necessary to spark their unlit soul.
And when you choose greatness, you’re always burning. Blazing. A fearless flame…
The decision to be great – to live your greatness, your best and most passionate life – is lonesome.
But keep going…
One of my core philosophies is to reverse-engineer everything.
Work backwards, beginning with the intended result, starting with the vision you want to manifest. Then, piece the steps together.
It’s a simple strategy, but one that’s too often overlooked and underutilized. We did it with our brand, building Besomebody around a feeling first – from the inside out – through content and community, and then creating the product around it. We’re doing it with education now, beginning with employers and open jobs, and building curriculums and launching training Paths based on those job requirements. And I personally try to do it every day, as a way of life.
Know where you want to be, and begin every morning with that end in mind.
To build something great, it’s gotta be bigger than you.
It’s gotta serve more than your wallet, or your resume, or your ego.
It’s gotta ignite more than your own passions.
The “experts” say it just needs to solve a problem. But I believe it has to make a difference. It’s gotta truly help people.
Sure, your own financial success most definitely can/should be a part of it. Pursuit of personal legacy or celebrity or influence may play a role.
Yes, you should enjoy it. And of course, you want to make your mama proud.
But the larger purpose, the greater mission, has got to be about others.
It has to be more about meaning than money.
It has to be more about fulfillment than fame. And it’s gotta be a lot more giving than getting.
Those are the missions worth fighting for…
Those are the missions that make you feel alive.
Sitting here during a couple hour layover in Boston. Headed to New York. Was in Cincinnati last night. Austin the day before. Dallas the day before that. Will be back in Ohio Wednesday. It’s been a crazy week of movement. A crazy year of it really. A year ago at this time I was moving from Austin to Boston. It happened so fast. Instinctively. A sudden, life-changing decision that subtly blended “seizing the moment” and survival mode.