I consider this a behind-the-scenes survival guide to doing work that matters.
In 2008, I left Deloittes to start my own business advisory consultancy full time after starting part time in 2006 from scratch.
The following are insights I wish I knew way back then. These are the disciplines, mantras, and “aha!” moments that I believe are crucial to success.
I should probably start by defining what Work That Matters actually means. Doing work that matters is totally different for every person. Your pursuit may be drastically different from mine and that’s great.
Here are some quintessential elements of Work That Matters:
– The pursuit of this work is something you just feel. It burns in your gut. It’s something you know you simply have to do;
– Your pursuit is designed to help people, make a difference, or change the world for the better;
– You feel a calling or a purpose around it, religious or otherwise;
– When you are doing or thinking about this type of work, you sense your greatest strengths are being called upon;
– You have a lot of anxiety or fear about this work. You may lose sleep thinking about it. The idea of it weighs on you, scares you, but you know you must continue; and
– The end goal is massive and probably un-achievable in your lifetime.
Do your work as if it might actually change someone’s life, because it might.
The reason it matters is because it might change someone’s life… The key is “someone” not everyone. Chances are you might not change everybody and that’s fine, as long as you can change someone, then it matters.