Everyone wants to matter. Yet, how many of us truly feel that the work we do “matters”? Or even that our contribution to that work “matters”?
Too many conversations about the dreaded “job” revolve around the negative aspects: office politics, dreading Monday morning, the unfairness of that thing that happened, not getting paid enough, boredom or the pointless nature of much of the work.
That’s just depressing.
There are three places where I have been honoured with the opposite conversations. And by “the opposite” I mean conversations dominated by the positive. Perhaps not perfect, maybe even very far from perfect, yet voices and faces become full of enthusiasm and energy.
The first is entrepreneurs and, in my particular experience, location independent micro-business entrepreneurs. These people have all consciously taken control of their lives and are on a mission to create businesses that empower and enable the lifestyles they want to live. They challenge the rules that society tells us are “normal”. They value freedom of time and location much more than “traditional” career building.
The second of these positive conversations have come from people working in charities or non-profits. In particular, the people who have seen the evidence of the impact their work brings to the people or causes they work for. There are usually plenty of frustrations and a significant lack of funds, yet the passion and drive and feeling of working on something that matters is obvious.
The third and final group is a small, diverse group of people who work in very special companies or teams with an inspiring culture. In many ways it is totally unfair to lump these into one group as, in my experience, they are unique and very different. Diamonds in the rough. Yet, they have at least one thing in common; a positive culture that goes beyond the superficial wording on a website or company recruitment ad. Those places that people want to work. Where you can see the staff genuinely grow and develop as people, even as the business grows and develops.
Reflecting on these three groups of conversations has helped me to strengthen and clarify my definition of what it means to “matter”. That is fortunate, and no coincidence, as I am about to launch into a new stage in life. (Nothing to do with hitting the big four zero next year, honest).
This post is a public statement of intent. (So you can point and laugh if I go off the rails in the next few years.)
I intend to build a new business and lifestyle that truly matters. Matters in the broadest possible sense of making the world a better place, as well as in the specifics of living a fun and rewarding life.
It is unclear, yet, how this is going to happen. But I do know three things:
- I will work with people that are fun and inspiring (fortunately I’ve experienced this lots already so know what I’m looking for!)
- We will be completely location independent; enabling choice and variety of lifestyle and valuing time and experiences at least equally with money
- We will work directly on and/or enable projects that make the world a better place for other people
Vague you say? You are completely correct! Yet I am excited about making it happen. And about feeling like it matters 🙂
(PS: if thinking and talking about this sort of thing interests you then I’d love to chat!)