You’ve made it! You’ve followed all of the DREAM principles and you’ve built yourself a pretty sweet programming career. You’ve DISCOVERED who you are. You’ve REFINED your identity and you’ve set your goals. You worked hard to ESTABLISH your presence in the industry. You’ve done all you could to ADVANCE towards the goals that you have set for yourself. Now, you’re working on MASTERING your success by leveraging your experience and honing your awesomeness. You’re at the top of your game and things are great right?
Well, maybe not. Maybe, there is something inside of you that remains unfulfilled. You might not be getting all that you want, or need, from your current job. But why? This doesn’t make any sense. You love what you do, the people you work with and even the company you work for.
The problem, I think, is that a job, by definition, is not very fulfilling. Yeah, I know, that’s a bit of a downer, but bear with me. I am not saying that a job can’t be fulfilling at all or that a job can’t be fun, exciting or awesome. In fact, I absolutely LOVE my job. I think I work for the best company in the software development world! What I’m saying is that it just isn’t what you would be doing if you had your way. If you could choose to do anything, odds are it wouldn’t be to go work for someone else. You would probably do something for yourself.
In the end, a job is exactly that…A JOB. Somebody pays you to do something for them.
In the end, a job is exactly that…A JOB. Somebody pays you to do something for them. Let that marinade for a while. You are getting paid to do something that somebody else wants you to do for them. The fact that you’re getting paid for it implies that you would not otherwise be doing it. Maybe you wouldn’t be doing it at all or maybe just not at that very moment. Whatever the case may be, you are not getting paid to do what you want, but what someone else wants. Now that doesn’t sound very fulfilling does it? But what if you could do the things that YOU want to do?
This is something that I’ve struggled with most of my career. I’ve tried several times to starts something for myself but haven’t had a lot of success. I tried to go out on my own but was never able to make it work. I also tried, on several occasions, to start something with family, friends, coworkers and other people that I respect. Each time, the project started with a frenzy of activity but would eventually fizzle out as enthusiasm from other team members subsided. I’ve been trying to figure out why this happens for a while and I think I’ve finally made a breakthrough. I just haven’t been doing it for the right reasons.
Each and every one of my previous attempts to do something outside of work was missing passion.
Every time I’ve tried before, I’ve started a “project” for the wrong reasons. Maybe it was that I wanted to quit my job or that I wanted to work with a group of people that I liked or maybe it was just that I wanted to make more money. Therein lies the problem. Each and every one of my previous attempts to do something outside of work was missing passion. Yes, I love software development and I liked the people I partnered with but I wasn’t working on something that I was truly passionate about. My drive was to build a business, not to do something that I loved.
This endeavor wasn’t one that we were searching for or had to conjure up. It was born from the things we were already doing every day and were excited to share with our family, friends and coworkers.
This time around though, I think I’ve stumbled upon the perfect storm of circumstances. I am extremely fortunate that I’ve partnered with a couple of really talented guys that share my passion for helping people advance their careers and avoid the mistakes that we’ve made along the way. This endeavor wasn’t one that we were searching for or had to conjure up. It was born from the things we were already doing every day and were excited to share with our family, friends and coworkers. Eventually, we realized that others might benefit from it so we decided to make it available here. This has translated to a wonderful collaboration that is unique amongst all of my attempts to start something outside of work. And the key, I believe, is the passion that we all have and that was missing from all of my other endeavors.
So my advice to you is to find those one or two things that you are passionate about. Look for the things that you are always happy to discuss and that make you happy. Share those things with your coworkers. Share those things with your friends. Share those things with the world. Who knows, those things might be interesting, helpful or a useful resource for others.
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