In a very recent issue of Fortune magazine, Jim Collins revealed the best advice he ever got. He was fortunate to be invited to meet Peter Drucker, the management guru, in California in 1994. At the time, Collins was considering starting a consulting firm hot on the heels of his book, "Built to Last". Drucker asked him why he was driven to start up this consulting firm and when he said he was driven by "curiosity and impact", Drucker asked him if he wanted to build "ideas to last" or whether he wanted to build an "organisation to last". Collins’ answer was the former so Drucker advised that he not create the consulting firm.
This story got me thinking about my own business plans. I have the site I spoke about yesterday which is a directory website and my main business activity. That site is run through a company which also has a site. I have been battling to decide on a role for the company itself (which has a separate logo and existence in my mind to the directory) and pretty much settled on a plan to create a consulting business to run through it. After reading about Collins’ discussion with Drucker, I wonder if I am focussing on the wrong thing.
My plan has been to develop the directory into the premier directory of
its type in South Africa. I am beginning to believe that my focus
should be on my most clearly conceptualised business, namely my
directory. This actually ties in with another idea I came across in the same issue of Fortune. Donny Deutsch, CEO of Deutsch Inc said that the best advice he ever received was from his dad who said "Look, whatever you do in life, find something you love … and the money will come and everything will fall into place." I have been thinking along these lines quite a bit the last couple years (about as long as I have been aware of how unhappy I am in my current job and procrastinated about it) and as counter-intuitive as it is in this present climate where we tend to place money ahead of the enjoyment of our work, I believe true fulfillment and wealth will only follow when the work we do is the work we love.
Sure we can learn to enjoy and even love any job, why start off not enjoying what you spend most of your waking life doing?