Skip to main content

How to love what you do.

Three decades into my career I am happy to proclaim that I love what I do for a living.  Each time I lecture at Chapman University or UC Irvine, I always start by telling this to the students and sharing my hope that, regardless of what they end up doing, that they too will stand up some day and proclaim this.  Life's too short to waste time on things you don't enjoy doing.

Clearly, the first step is to know what you're passionate about and then find someone who will pay you to do that.  But then what?  How do you stay engaged and passionate for three decades or more?  Here's the advice I tend to share with the students.

Pursue a profession, not a job.  You can punch in and out each day, doing what's required and no more.    Or you can be constantly curious, always pushing yourself to learn more and develop new skills.  Not to get ahead, but for the satisfaction of knowing you are the best you can be at what you do.

Be great at something.  Sure, you work in a department and you have many responsibilities and functional duties.  But what are you the best at?  What is that one skill that you are known for and that your coworkers depend on?

Accumulate skills.  Attend as many training programs as your company offers.  Volunteer to work on project teams that are outside of your day to day responsibilities.  Listen to a TED talk on issues related to your field.  Read.  Discuss.

Fail. Improve. Repeat often.  There's an old saying that it takes a lot of hard work to get lucky.  Successful people are simply those who took the time to learn from their mistakes.  And those who willing to learn from mistakes also tend to be the same people who are more open to taking chances.  Courage and humility often go hand in hand.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What makes a premium brand premium?

I was thinking the other day about the DNA of premium brands . One thing is certain -- it's a relative idea. For example, Hyatt is not a premium brand if you're used to staying at a W or a Ritz Carlton. But if your vacations to date have been holed up in a Holiday Inn, then by all means a stay in a Hyatt is a premium experience. Another thing is certain -- a brand is considered premium only when we believe it is worth the price. And that's where we can dig deeper. Why are we willing to pay more for a product when there are others that provide the same service or function at a lesser price? I have spent a good part of my marketing career developing strategies and ideas for a wide range of  premium brands, including American Express, Sony, Callaway Golf, Hilton, Jaguar, Land Rover – even the Toyota Prius.  Through these experiences I have come to believe that a premium brand is built upon specific tangible and intangible attributes that give it a sense wort

Zen and the art of an EV roadtrip.

I remember the anxiety I had when I cut the cord and switched from Cable TV to streaming.   Could I still watch live sports? Would I get all my favorite programs? Sure enough, with YouTube TV, the answer was a resounding yes to both questions.   Now I’m cutting a new cord — the gas pump — as I take my new Mustang Mach-E on a cross-country trip.   And like the time I cut Cable TV, I'm experiencing the same questions.  Will it have the range for a long drive?  Will I waste hours recharging along the way? Well, today is Day 1 on the Mach-E's first ever long distance drive , as we say farewell to Detroit and head to La Quinta.   For those of you thinking about buying an EV, I’ll be sharing daily posts to help alleviate so-called “range anxiety.”   (Trust me, in pressing the start button this morning, I’m taking a big trust-fall to shed the comfy muscle memory of ICE vehicles.) Today’s cool feature:   The FordPass app which plans the route and most efficient charge points, then send

Super game. Dull ads

As a passionate Giants fan it is safe to say that I had a good time yesterday. But as an advertising professional I felt a bit underwhelmed by the caliber of the advertising . Many were entertaining. But few possessed that intangible Super Bowl-ness...big, pop-cultural, fun. Even fewer seemed to have anything relevant to say about the brand, such as the Planters "uni-brow" spot. I loved the Bridgestone "screaming animals" spot, but it would have been a much better spot for the Saab featured in the spot than the tires the car rode upon. As for Bud, good spots, but I've seen the dog and horse thing before. Tide's talking stain was funny, but did it have Super Bowl-ness? My fav? The Coke "balloon float" spot. It was classic Coke (for Coke Classic). Big. Entertaining. Unexpected twist. Utterly charming. And Charlie Brown finally won something. Coke is about smiles. And that spot was just that. The Audi spot that I wrote about last week