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Money & Work

A friend of mine once said that he was comfortable with where he was financially.  He had enough to live on, so he was happy.  This is a great attitude to have.  So many people are unhappy because they want just a little bit more and once they have the amount they still are not satisfied because they feel they need a little more. 

After discussing the concept of wanting more with my friend further, he said that he was satisfied with what he had more because he did not want to work any harder to have more.  He believed that he needed to work hard to have money; a belief that many people have.  And, yes, many millionaires have worked 60+ hours for a large part of their careers to get to where they are today.  Doctors and lawyers had to study long hours to get to where they are.  Thus, you may have to work hard to get money.   

What is work?  It is energy.  It is moving towards your goals.  We as a society have made given work a bad name.  We made Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert) a national icon.  We tend to be working, waiting until we can retire to be happy.  If on the other hand, we did something that we wanted to do, work becomes a fun activity/hobby.  By having the belief that you need to be a slave to your job to have money, you block other ways of viewing life, such as:

  • Seeing your job as something you enjoy rather than just for the money.  When it is for the money, it is a struggle to work 40 hours.  When it is out of passion, it is easy to put in 60 hours without knowing it. 

    If you are not in a job that you enjoy, take an inventory about what you enjoy doing.  Even if it is a garbage collector, do you enjoy your job because it is physical outdoor job that helps keep your country clean.  If it is, I bet you enjoy it more than if it is about throwing rotten food into an ugly truck.

    You may find that there are parts of the job that you enjoy, while there are other parts that you can easily do without.  Before leaving my last job, it  occurred to me that I did not like tracking the profitability of my projects and arguing with lawyers about the details of the IRS revenue code.  What I enjoyed was the interactions I had with my clients and my mentorees.  By focusing on this part of my job, I became happier and more content. 

    If your inventory of what is enjoyable does not match up to your current job.  Look for ways to get into a position that uses the qualities that you enjoy by furthering your education or looking for other positions.

  • Find ways to be more valuable and the money will come.   This is not going to your boss for a 10 percent raise, as some books suggest.  This is about seeing what you can do to help others.  And if you work for a company, how can you help your company reach its goals.

    When my boss and I sat down to discuss the pay raises for our department, we knew who was helping us achieve our goals and who showed up for their own goals (working 9 to 5).  Guess who got the raises?  Guess who we discussed about putting on a personal improvement plan (the step before getting fired)?

    This is not about asking for a 10%-20% raise just to increase your income.  Sometimes we ask for too much and then the expectations are more than we can live up to.  I known people coming in asking for 25 percent raises, and unless they can live up to the 25 percent raise their performance reviews will suffer to the point of losing their jobs.

    This is about seeing your value and putting your energy in places where you can give to the world.  For my friend, he ran a successful program where he could easily raise the price by 20 percent, if he wanted. 

  • Being creative and work towards giving people what they want

    People are buying more based wants instead of needs.  For example, food can be thought of as a need.  Yet, our society buys food based on wants (e.g., what tastes good, what is quick and easy, etc.).  When food is sold based on a need, the sales tactic is focused on lowest price available.

    This also applies to businesses.  Businesses are buying (hiring) based on what they want.  Years ago, many employers bought based on having reliable 9 to 5 workers (need).  Today, employers are buying based on how the employee can improve their business (e.g., the production line, customer satisfaction, profitability, etc.).  So the days of the line worker is gone and the day of the line engineer is here.  Each line worker needs to be creative in how to do his job differently (engineer the process) to help their employer.  So, create your position into one that the you employer wants instead of needs.

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