The Problem with Cliche’ Values
A guy wrote me yesterday and finished his message to me saying, “Do what you love and love what you do, right Larry?” I told him if I followed that advice I would be broke. After all, no one is going to pay me to pet my bulldog, smoke cigars, drink bourbon, eat BBQ, play with my grandkids and talk to my wife. Which is too bad because those are the things I really love to do. Why isn’t there a paying market for that? Here is why: The marketplace doesn’t care what I love. The market only cares what value I bring. There is no value to anyone but me, my bulldog, grandkids and wife on my list. That’s why no one will pay me for it.
I told him instead of buying into the silliness of cliche’s that I decided long ago to do what I was good at and that provided the most value to the marketplace. I told him I loved it some of the time, liked it most of the time and even hated it a bit of the time but I was rewarded well for the value I worked hard to bring to the market so I didn’t much think about loving it. Here is the problem: Our current culture of believing that you must love what you do and do what you love is hurting us. It is hurting what gets accomplished in the workplace and it is leaving a lot of people sorely disappointed from their work. Too bad.
So remember, you are not paid to love your job, you are paid to do your job. Loving it is your concern, not the customer’s and not the company’s. Be clear that loving what you do is a bonus, not a requirement. Instead, fall in love with the honor that comes from being good at what you do and bringing value to the marketplace and the reward you receive for doing it.