Have you heard this before? “Love or Business, you have to choose.” The message is direct - you have to decide what you value more, something/one you love or your work/business. Actually, there is a more factual statement – Love is Good Business.
February is the month of love. A great deal of thought and energy will be spent on expressions of love, usually for a romantic partner. The truth in the old axiom, Love makes the World Go Round, applies to all aspects of life, not only to romantic love. When you are doing what you love, you are going to be more successful in it, and you will also be happier and at peace. It’s only natural.
“I don’t think I have ever worked in my life, because work to me means that you are really doing something you don’t like.”
John Kluge, multibillionaire founder of Metromedia
How do you harness the immense power of love in your business? You’ve guessed it – love what you do. Wait, you say, I work for money, I don’t love my work. Or, I used to like my job but over the years it’s gotten boring; now I am doing it because I can’t think of what else I can do to earn a living. Uh oh, we need to talk. It is highly unlikely that you are going to be able to excel in your business if you are just going through the motions. Equally if not more important, your quality of life is reduced because you are spending many of your waking hours at something which gives you little joy.
How can you love your business and become more successful at the same time? Ask yourself honestly - is your life mission aligned with your business? This may take some quiet time of reflection and digging for you to get your answer. The daily grind and stress may be obscuring your original reasons for being in your line of work. Take the time to remember and reacquaint yourself with the calling that brought you into your business.
Did you at one time feel so excited to be in your field? Recall that feeling and the motivation that got you here; your passion will be reignited. Keep it alive by focusing on that thought when things get tough. Your mission gives you the resilience to get up again when things go awry. Inevitably it does, we all have missteps in business as well as in personal dealings - we’re human.
What if you stumbled into your business and had no specific drive to get into it? Then a closer examination of your life mission would help. What are you dedicated to? Is there any relationship between your business and your reason for being? How can you tie what’s important to you with your business?
One of my clients works in a large technology company as a production engineer. Her passion is to share and help people. At first she didn’t see any connection between what she did and her life mission. It seemed so mundane to spend her days working mainly by herself. After she relooked at her work she realized that she was helping people by developing better systems, she felt better. She still wanted some way of getting feedback to energize her, so she joined an informal consumer survey group in the company. There she got direct input from people who used the product she is working on, and that gave her a deeper sense of why she was doing what she was doing.
Look for that link bridging your life purpose and your work. Once you find that you will discover more meaning in your work. Ultimately we are all seeking meaning in our lives. Viktor Frankl, the Austrian psychiatrist and holocaust survivor showed how people can experience and overcome extreme hardship if they have a greater purpose.
Those who have a “why” to live, can bear with almost any “how”
Thankfully we don’t have to endure the level of suffering that Dr. Frankl described, but the essence is the same – when we have a reason, we can thrive under circumstances that otherwise would have us bored or complaining. With love, we flourish and when we are functioning well, our work is going to prosper.
My life passion drove me to come to the USA as a teen alone so that I can get an education to help others. It was not easy, working, going to school and adjusting to a new country, culture and (cold) weather was challenging for this tropical girl from Hong Kong. But I had a bigger purpose and that kept me going and energized through the many obstacles I encountered. It kept my spirits up and guided me when it looked dark because the love in my heart for what I was working for sustained me.
May the love in your heart keep you happy, successful and directed. Remember that Love is Good Business.
Marilyn Tam is an international selling author, speaker, entrepreneur, humanitarian and former CEO of Aveda, President of Reebok Apparel Products & Retail Group and VP of Nike and the founder and Executive Director of Us Foundation.
Marilyn wrote her books, “How to Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want” and “Living the Life of Your Dreams”, which won the Global eBook of the Year 2011 in the Inspirational/Visionary category. She wrote her books so that others can learn from the experiences and secrets of successful and happy people. Her books and work have helped numerous companies and people globally. You can find out more about Marilyn on her website http://www.marilyntam.com/books.html and connect with her on facebook