Profitable, difficult, or important?

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This past weekend, I’m reflecting on a Seth Godin blog post from a few weeks ago – profitable, difficult, or important?

I hope you take the time to go read it.

Seth talks about two talked about trillion dollar companies – Apple and Amazon – who have each gotten to where they are by doing work that is “profitable” and “difficult” respectively.

They made a choice, stated a promise, and kept it.

It is commendable.

He then goes on to make a powerful point about “important” work.

“But the most daring and generous, those that are often overlooked and never hit a trillion dollars in the stock market, are left to do the important work. The work of helping others be seen, or building safe spaces. The work of creating opportunity or teaching and modelling new ways forward. The work of changing things for the better.

Changing things for the better is rarely applauded by Wall Street, but Wall Street might not be the point of your work. It might simply be to do work you’re proud of, to contribute, and to leave things a little better than you found them.”

I have observed that very few careers combine profitable, difficult, and important.

The best most get to is a combination of two of them.

And, it is on us to work toward the combination that fits how we will measure our lives.

I asked a friend how come Prof Clay Christensen has not won a Nobel Peace Prize for his amazing work on Disruptive Innovation and before he could even answer, I knew the answer is because Prof Clay doesn’t measure his life according to awards he wins, but according to the lives he has impacted and changed.

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