This post comes from a post I wrote on Linkedin. I will write 5 posts this week to re-introduce the people to me on Linkedin. I will re-post in the afternoons for my audience to read. If you know things are repeats, it probably is. Follow me on Linkedin and read my posts.
Recently, Richard Branson did an interview with the BBC and share his top ten tips for success. As a counterargument, Kevin Drum thought Branson was naive to give tips that only the rich can afford to do and our passion (individually) is assigned low market value. Drum’s suggestion is to avoid stuff we hate. The argument reminds me of what comedian Chris Rock said,
“Being rich is not about havin’ a lot of money. Being rich is about having lots of options!”
If you’re rich, you have the resources (money, materials) and you can afford to take risk. Almost 99% in this world don’t have that luxury of having a choice. In that aspect, I think Branson is very naive that everyone can make a choice.
However, what I can find middle ground in both arguments is that line between professional and personal can converge. I don’t mean professional and personal converging with your love life or personal issues. What I mean is bring your beliefs, values, concepts, and ideas to the business that can make it better. For example, If you’re a baseball fan and want to save money, you can use “Moneyball” (I’ll post on the Moneyball phenomenon later this week) by looking at relevant data for a productive workplace. If you are an arts and crafts person, you can scour famous work of art in your free time and if something is interesting that blends to your business, you use that art to design your website, logo, your office, and other business related items.
The point of profersonalism is to make the office a second home for most employees. Employees want to share ideas and make contributions from their inspirations. It is up to the employers to make it accommodating for their employees to have a open platform and draw upon their passions to their office to make your business better. I’ll use myself as an example. I wanted to be a General Manager of a sports team, but discovered that the GM position is a 24/7 job, so I was trying to find a profession that would use my passion and skills into the workplace and I was lead into human resources in college and love the profession ever since. In addition, the TV show, Psych, helped me be a better recruiter using observation, deduction, and tons of pop culture references.
While Richard Branson’s success tips are very helpful, it is hard to achieve because people need a lot of resources to work for their passion. I definitely agree with Kevin Drum’s advice to avoid stuff that you hate and that some are lucky to work on their passion, but work and passion can converge if your employer allows it. What I believe in the workplace is not work-life balance, but work-life blending. It is up to the employer to be yourself…most of the time.