I was talking with a ranching neighbor of mine the other day. He’s a great guy with a permanent smile on his face despite the hard work he puts in. Driving by his place, I always see him out working on things — cutting, bailing, and stacking hay; moving cattle from one pasture to another — or down the road in an old-fashioned cattle drive; fixing fences and tending the irrigation. Ranching is a lot of hard work. He uses horses and dogs to drive the cattle, and sometimes he uses ATVs, too. During our call, he commented that ranching is all he’s ever wanted to do. He added, “I’m not getting rich, but I’m living my ideal life.” I call that working from the heart.
Caption: Jack moving his herd — right down the main road. (Photo: Randy Cassingham)
Do you know how lucky you are to make money doing what you love to do? I do. Working from the heart is the best! I was in that position while in the bed and breakfast industry. At least for awhile.
I made some unfortunate decisions that had a negative impact on my business. Slowly my business suffered financially. When I worked, my input was appreciated. I just wasn’t working enough after awhile. Rather than fix the damage done by my decisions I was lured into the money that blogging generated. I set up a half-dozen sites, loaded them with meaty articles, and made a lot of money.
But, I didn’t love what I was doing. And then the money dried up. Since I wasn’t loving what I was doing, I didn’t want to figure out other ways to make money blogging. I wanted to go back to some kind of service business, to doing something I would love and would make money doing.
It was a long, slow process. There were ups and downs along the way. Several pivots. I carved a place for myself. With the energy that comes from doing what I love and making money, I have expanded my services by developing an online course.
The course was a delightful success. My students gained such value! Pricing online courses is challenging, I found out. I under-priced mine based on the benefits my students got and for the amount of time I put in reviewing homework and giving feedback in addition to class time. During a debriefing by the woman who taught me how to create online courses, she suggested that I rethink how I handle the homework and interaction in the future so I don’t burn myself out.
Not burning yourself out is a good idea. But, it’s the interactions with the students that feeds my heart and soul. Cutting out the student exchanges would detract from the satisfaction I derive and remove me from working from the heart that I fought so hard to create. No thanks. I’ll find another way to not burn out.
I watch how my husband works and builds his business. He’s going against the advice of lots of successful entrepreneurs who tell him he’s just trading time for money. Well, maybe he is. Maybe he’ll never be a “gabillionnaire”. But, he works from his heart and loves every bit of what he does.
Yes, you need money to live on and for running the business. But, that’s not all there is to being in business. Some have the option of loving what they do and making money. No, working from the heart isn’t easy because it demands standing by your values and behind your dreams despite what others say. It involves uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.
If you don’t love what you do, could you? What would it take for you to make a move in employment so you could work from the heart? It takes courage to follow your dream. It takes a strong back and open front to take your place in your world without becoming bitter or giving up on yourself.
Do you put your life on hold while you work for money? If so, is that going to be one of your regrets on your deathbed? Do you want that? Or, do you want to have less money and no regrets in life? Working from the heart doesn’t mean you will make less money, but the money becomes secondary.
Working from the heart is good for your heart and soul. Literally for your heart. People often don’t give up the security of their present job for the job that is from the heart because of the money issue. It seems to me there’s always a way to make things work out so you can work from the heart and make ends meet.
Working from the heart often means you have to speak your truth to both yourself and those in your life. Speaking your truth is the topic of next week’s article.