Guess how many people hate their job?
It’s about 25%, according a Gallup poll I saw cited in Why We Work by Barry Schwartz (TED Books, 2015).
This poll surveyed over 200K people in 142 countries, asking them how they felt about their work. The results?
- Only 13% felt fully engaged at work.
- The majority, 63%, were not engaged; they had mentally checked out.
- About 25% hated their job.
If you’re an aligned entrepreneur, you fall into that minority – just 13% – who find your work engaging.
The more you understand and cultivate these 5 qualities that lead to true engagement, the happier and more productive you’ll be.
Quality #1. You find your work MEANINGFUL. Your work helps you live out your passionate purpose. It is your Big WHY. Why are you here on planet Earth? There’s a connection between that and your specific business.
For me, I’m passionate about seeing a world where more women have more decision-making power and more responsibility. I believe one way women get that is by making more money. So I’m here to help women make more money and feel large and in charge, through my business.
Quality #2. You have AUTONOMY AND DISCRETION. Beware: This is the double-edged sword of entrepreneurial life!
When you have autonomy and discretion, you get to decide what you’re working on, when you’re working on, and how you’re doing it.
The problem is that can lead to too many choices. You feel overwhelmed. It’s hard to prioritize what needs to be done first, second and third. Because it all needs to be done and you’re the only one there to do it!
All those choices, combined with a long to-do list, make it hard to create boundaries between work and personal life. Particularly if you work out of your house. Some of my biggest struggles as a home-based business show up here, including knowing when the day is done so I can stop thinking about work, and staying away email while I’m off work.
Quality #3. Through your work, you feel SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT. When I worked in a defense think tank, my work product was almost always a report that went to a government agency and I almost never knew what that government agency was doing with that work. So it was hard for me to feel significant and like I was having an impact in my work, because I couldn’t see what the result was.
If you’re an entrepreneur, typically you’re in direct contact with your Ideal Clients, so you get to see the impact you have, how your product or service changes somebody’s life. They get healthier, their relationships improve, their business grows. When you see those results, you feel hugely energized!
Quality #4. Your work stretches you and takes you OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE. Engaging work stretches you. It forces you to move out of your comfort zone.
Entrepreneurship is the ultimate self-growth journey. You cannot be successful as an entrepreneur unless you’re willing to move beyond your comfort zone.
Quality #5. Your work requires you to RELY ON YOUR STRENGTHS. Just like world-class athletes and artists can only do their best work when they’re 100% in their strengths, your best work flows from your strengths. You won’t get nearly as far trying to build on your weaknesses.
To some degree, we entrepreneurs have to deal with our weaknesses, by improving our skills or delegating those tasks or deleting them.
However, the overwhelming majority of our success comes from using our strengths. When you’re using your strengths, it feels effortless. It’s fun. It’s rewarding. The more your strengths are front and center in your work, the more likely you’ll find your work meaningful and engaging.
The more these 5 qualities are present in your work, the more likely you’re in that 13% who find their work engaging. And these 5 qualities are also part of what makes you happy. So the more you cultivate these qualities, the more engaged AND happy you’ll be.
These qualities set the stage for your best work. What happens next on that stage is largely determined by your mindset, which I’ll share in an upcoming video and article.
CALL TO ACTION
- Does you work allow you to live out your passionate purpose? What’s your WHY? This is the deep meaning behind your work. Write it out, speak it. The more you connect in with this, the more energized you’ll feel in your business.
- Do you get see the significance and impact you have on people around you? List the results your clients, team members, colleagues receive through their work/connection to you. Revisit this list frequently.
- Do you have autonomy & discretion? Are you using them wisely?
- Do your strengths get to come out front and center in the work you do? List out your strengths and what parts of your business rely on them.
If you read this list and realize some of these qualities are missing…. Maybe you haven’t had the impact you yearn for. Maybe you feel uncertain what your Big WHY is and that’s affecting your satisfaction. Or perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work you have and can’t seem to prioritize it.
If you’re struggling with any of this, and you’re committed to being an entrepreneur, and you are ready to explore a different way of being, where you feel ease, joy and success, then I invite you to contact me. Simply email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll easily set up a complimentary private call. On this call, we’ll explore your goals, what’s getting in the way, and how my expert coaching and mentoring can support you to have the business experience and results you want this year.