This article starts, like many of them do, with a story of me being coached. I have my clearest moments when I’m asked tough questions and I verbally process my thoughts.
We were talking about marketing and how I don’t like most marketing strategies, and she asked “What do you find fun in your business?”
I paused, because I really couldn’t think of an answer. Do I find anything fun in my business?
She continued “Do you even want to do it if it’s not fun?”
This slapped me right in the face. I LOVE my work. How could I say it isn’t fun? How could I love something that isn’t fun? What do I even find “fun” anyway?
Then it hit me. A whole flood of feelings about my work.
Of course I don’t find it fun. It’s soooooo much more than that!
What other words could give meaning to your work?
I use a lot of other words to describe the work that I love. Words that feel deeper and more powerful than the basics of fun.
Maybe you can resonate with a few of these:
· Fulfilling — We each have unique skills and interests, so to pursue our own with depth and autonomy can be extremely rewarding. This can totally fill your cup, and fuel you to continue. You may want to shift your work so you can do more of this kind of work. The kind of work that feeds you.
· Impactful and Meaningful — It’s likely your work reaches far beyond yourself. You’re probably making someone’s life easier, more beautiful, safer, happier, or any number of other things. Your work has a ripple effect and it’s okay to draw meaning and joy from helping others. This work isn’t always fun, but it has great effects.
· Satisfying or Challenging — Your work probably isn’t easy. There are moments that stump you or frustrate the heck out of you. Times when you’re not sure what to do next, or where you’ve reached a dead end. And then you get through it. Each time you do, your confidence grows and you’re more capable of facing the next challenge that comes your way. I doubt you would describe these moments as fun, but boy do they feel good!
· Energizing — You know the stuff. When you’re exhausted, but then you do something energizing and you’re back up and running again. The work that gets you buzzing. It probably puts a smile on your face. You can’t get the ideas captured fast enough because you’re on fire. This one you might sometimes be able to describe as fun, but that would totally diminish how awesome it is to do energizing work.
· Rewarding and Proud — When you complete something difficult, or something you maybe didn’t enjoy doing, but you’re happy with the result. Putting something out into the world that you’re eager to share and that others enjoy. Boy does that feel good. The celebration can absolutely be fun!
· Passionate — No, I don’t mean “find your passion”, but I do mean you can be passionate about an aspect of your work. The thing that you enjoy learning about. Something you like debating. Something that drives you forward when things get tough. It might be something you would continue to care about even if this particular work ended for you. Sometimes having a passion can be the opposite of fun.
· Ease and Flow — It is certainly nice to have moments in your work that you find easy, or that get you to a state of flow. Where you’re not looking at the clock. You’re blissfully unaware of your surroundings. You’re probably too focused to call this fun.
· Connection — Getting to share experiences with other people, and getting to know colleagues that are going through the same thing as you. Learning from mentors, or mentoring others. Trading insights, or collaborating on projects. Being with other people can add a whole other level to the work you’re doing. Often this work can be described as fun.
And there are many more words, too.
Does your work need to be all of these, every day? Of course not. Some days it’s boring, thankless, and draining. And that’s okay. But no one talks about those days. Hopefully you don’t have too many days like this, though. If you do, it might be time to work with a coach or a thought partner.
The standard is incredibly high, and entrepreneurs especially are expected to have work they don’t need a vacation from.
I used to say shit like that.
The truth is, everyone needs a vacation. Time away from work is what makes it amazing when you’re in it. Time away gives you time to miss it. Time away gives you inspiration and makes you a well-rounded person. You aren’t a bad entrepreneur if you enjoy going on a work-free vacation.
What do you do next?
Take a few minutes to think of the words you would use to describe your work (not your business).
How do you feel about those words?
Are you satisfied with them?
Does it feel like something is missing?
There’s no right or wrong answer. It just is what it is.
And, you have the power to adjust.
You can have your work be whatever you want it to be, you just have to know what that is, first.
I really mean it. I believe we can all have our businesses exactly the way we want them. Often it’s as simple as adjusting the business model or your offerings so you can pivot to work that feels better to you. Or maybe it’s something else. I’d love to talk to you about it. It may not be a “fun” conversation, but it will be enlightening and impactful, for sure. I offer free coaching calls with no strings attached so you can experience what it’s like to work with me. If you’re interested, you can book here.