I Love What I Do
I have a (very) small, fledgling business here in Ashland, and I work with local retailers on a regular basis.
I spent some time talking to a new business owner this week. She told me many of her experiences. She’d bought the failing business last year, and was now breaking even pretty regularly but had yet to pay herself. She’d only owned the business for a year and being steadily in the black for most of those months, in my mind, was not a small accomplishment.
One thing she said struck a chord with me, and that was her words “I love what I do.” I know-- because owning a business is something I love, too. She spoke of coming in early, before the business opened, and just walking around in the semi-darkness thinking “I own this place.” She talked about the late nights in her office, balancing books and planning new revenue streams. As I know myself, there really is no feeling like that for an entrepreneur. Especially when you see it starting to work.
When I started my former business in India, I was burning the candle at both ends for about a year. I wasn’t seeing the results I expected so it was hard to continue to work so fervently. I remember wanting to give up. I remember those late nights trying to figure out how I was going to make a profit, and I remember the feeling of pride as I walked—alone—around my empty facility in the early morning. Despite how tired I felt, I knew deep inside that I loved what I was doing, and that kept me going until I started to see the necessary results.
Do you love what you are doing? If not, what would it take to bring that sort of pleasure into your experience? I encourage you to make those changes. And if you can’t see a way to make those changes, then consider a different approach or a different line of work. Recognizing that things aren’t working is not failure—it’s growth.
Originally written: October 5, 2017