It was a little over a year ago I started playing with the idea of doing a podcast. I listened to a lot of podcasts but for some reason had never considered doing one myself. But I finally started noticing a common question people would ask me that I thought would make a great concept for a show.
As a speaker, I would have people ask me all the time, “How did you get into that?” And I found that people asked because either they wanted to be a speaker and weren’t sure where to start or they just thought it was fascinating that someone made a living by running their mouth. I noticed at more and more events I would go to, people would ask that question. Not a variation of that question. That exact question: How Did You Get Into That?
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That question stuck with me. I found myself asking others the same question. Sometimes because I wanted to pursue that career and other times because I was just fascinated with how they made their living. I kinda felt like if they could make a living doing their unique thing, then surely I could make a living doing mine.
Often times, I found that when people would share their story with me of how they got into what they were doing, I could see parallels to my own journey. Even if they were doing something completely unrelated, I could often see my own story in theirs.
And maybe that’s why you listen to this show. Partly because you’ve come across some careers that interest you and partly because you see yourself in the stories of the people that we talk to.
One thing I’m really passionate about is helping people find and do work they love. I firmly believe life is too short to do work you hate. We all have to work. We all need a paycheck. We all have to do something. Why wouldn’t you do something you loved?
So I thought it would be cool to share the stories of people doing what they love and hearing how they got into it. And that became the genesis for this podcast.
For the 100th episode I wanted to do something special and different, but I’ve been debating what to do. Having done 100 interviews with a huge variety of different people in different careers with different stories, I wanted to share with you some themes that I’ve noticed. Here they are:
1. Be Comfortable With Uncertainty.
Almost every day I get emails from people looking for help or advice with their career. A lot of them basically say, “I don’t hate my job and I don’t love my job, but I’m not really sure what I’d rather be doing.” Maybe you know the feeling. Maybe that’s your current reality.
And I think for a lot of us (myself included), we just wish someone would tell us what to do next. We feel like if someone could just tell me what I’m supposed to do with my life, I would be happy to dive in head first. If we could have whatever we’re supposed to do with our career/life just spelled out in the clouds, it would make things a heck of a lot easier.
But it doesn’t work like that. I don’t think you’ll ever be 100% clear on what you’re supposed to do next.
Every person we’ve talked with on the show would tell you the same thing. Many of them have even said they weren’t sure what they were doing when they got started and still aren’t sure what they’re doing today!
So what should you do?
Go in the direction that feels right.
But what are the 47 criteria that make any given direction the right way to go?
I don’t know. Even if I gave you 47 criteria to follow, you would probably still second guess yourself. I would do the same.
We want formulas. We want plans. We want someone just to tell us what to do next.
Get comfortable with the idea that you’ll never be 100% sure.
2. Know Yourself.
Many of our guests have shared how they took the time to take inventory of their lives and their skill sets. They got very clear on what they were passionate about and good at and how that could translate into a career or business.
It’s more than just lying in a hammock one day and hoping it all magically comes to you. People who are doing work they love were really intentional about discovering how they were wired and putting themselves in the best possible situations to succeed.
Have you taken the time to discover what you’re passionate about? What you’re good at? What you enjoy doing? The type of environment you work best in?
In episode 1, I talked about this in my own journey and how I spent months really reflecting on these questions to know what would be the best fit for me.
Until you really do some deep introspection and know yourself well, it will be a challenge to find work you love.
3. Start Somewhere.
In a quest to do work you love, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details. It can all feel very overwhelming, and we can be stuck with analysis of paralysis. There’s seemingly so much to do and so much we still don’t know that we end up doing nothing.
We make excuses. We justify that the timing’s not right. We lie to ourselves and say we can’t do it. But the reality is we’re just scared. We’re scared to make a change. We’re scared to make a leap. We scared to start our own thing.
That’s all entirely normal and natural. That fear just makes you human.
But you can’t allow that fear to leave you stuck. You have to take action. You have to start somewhere.
Every person I’ve talked with on the show would say they same thing. They felt that fear. They didn’t know (and many would acknowledge still don’t know) what they’re doing or where they’re going. But you can’t make any progress staying put. That won’t work. You have to take action.
4. Be Willing To Fail.
The fact is you’re not guaranteed squat in life. You could try something new that you think you’ll love and either you hate it or it ends up being a huge disaster. But you don’t know.
One thing I’ve said on the show many times is that there’s two types of regret in life. There’s the things we did which we wish we hadn’t done (and we all have our fair share of those!). And then there’s the things we didn’t do that we wish we had tried.
Personally, I don’t want to get to the end of my life wondering what could have been.
Pursuing work you love is risky, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.
No one I’ve had on the show would say they just got lucky. They would all say that any success they’ve had has come from a massive amount of hustle and hard work (much of which goes largely unnoticed). We often see someone’s success and assume they won life’s lottery or they had some special advantage we didn’t get.
But that’s often times just untrue. People who are successful and have found work they love are often times willing to work harder than you.
Everyone has the right to find and do work they love, but so few will actually do it. Because it is hard. It takes a lot of work. It requires sacrifice. And even after all that, it may still not work out.
Are you willing to put in the work required to break outside your norm?
6. There’s No Overnight Success.
I think we all wish there was. I know I do sometimes. We wish there was a way to cut to the front of the line. Some kind of secret cheat code that would let us skip a bunch of levels. But that doesn’t exist.
Anyone who is successful has to keep hustling and working on their craft. The reality is that 99% of the work you do in secret that no one sees is what will put you in the 1% of successful people.
Most people just aren’t willing to put in the work. Most of us want to be successful but aren’t willing to make sacrifices in other areas of life.
You just can’t microwave success.
7. Build Relationships.
I can’t overstate enough how important relationships are for your career, your business and your life. The right relationships have the ability to provide a shortcut to your business or career. They can open doors in an instant that it would take you years to pry open on your own. Relationships are the reason we moved to Nashville.
When searching for work you love, one theme we’ve heard over and over from guests is to find people who are doing something you want to do and learn from them. No need to reinvent the wheel. Don’t look at what they do today, but study their early steps of how they got started.
The fact is you can only go so far on your own. You have to connect with other people.
8. Be Stubborn But Wise.
People who pursue something they love are really focused on that goal. They’re passionate about growth and progress almost to a fault. But somehow they find a balance between stubbornness and wisdom.
Stubbornness says, “I won’t give up no matter what.” Wisdom says, “Slow down trigger…let’s think this through a little more.”
You have to have both.
So many people I’ve talked with on the show were extremely stubborn and simply chose to not give up. But again, you need the wisdom to know when it’s time to make a pivot.
9. Not Everyone Needs To Be An Entrepreneur.
I love entrepreneurship and connecting with other entrepreneurs. But I’m not naive enough to think everyone needs to be an entrepreneur. In fact, I firmly believe not everyone needs to be an entrepreneur.
There are a lot of people who listen to the show who don’t want to be an entrepreneur but are just interested in doing some type of work they don’t dread for a company they believe in.
There’s nothing wrong with that at all. Being an employee doesn’t make you a second rate worker. No single person has every skill or talent needed to operate a business, so the world needs good employees who can use their skills to support a business or cause bigger than themselves.
10. Anyone Is Capable Of Doing Work They Love.
This is one of the favorite things I’ve learned from the podcast. ANYONE…and I mean anyone…has the opportunity to do work they love.
You don’t need some special talent or skill set. You don’t need to have a prestigious college degree or come from a successful family. You don’t need a big bank account or major connections.
In fact, you already have everything you need right now to find and do work you love. It’s just a matter of it you’ll actually put in the work to find and pursue it.
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