28 Feb What I Learned About My Day Job
I used to think of my career as an obstacle, an immovable object standing in-between my dreams. I blamed my “day job” for missing out on perceived opportunities to help others, make real change, and pursue a new career as a leader of a non-profit. It burdened me deeply that my career stood in the way.
THIS IS A WEIRD THING TO BE UPSET ABOUT.
I’m currently co-owner of a Screen Printing and Graphic Design company, Forte Clothing Company. Despite all the analytics and data about the recession, Forte has been in business and has thrived over the last 5 years, we’re the lucky ones who haven’t had to feel the sting of a down-trodden economy. Year after year, month after month, day after day the work comes in, and my family has been taken care of. We’re not rich by any means (seriously, some months, we barely make it) but we make it and that’s the point. I design for a living, primarily. I design logos, business cards, make websites (I made this one you’re looking at), and of course, t-shirts. It can be a grind.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
― Theodore Roosevelt
I saw other non-profit leaders doing their thing with a singular focus and filled myself with frustration wondering why I couldn’t be that leader who’s only focus was on living out their vision. Why not me? Aren’t I qualified to give full-time attention to Gamerosity? Sure I am, I truly believe that, but this whole time, I’m missing the answer to a key question: What’s your journey?
The mistake we make in this life is trying to live someone else’s dream. Their journey is not yours. And if your journey is hard, maybe you should be encouraged that you’re the one chosen for such a challenge. Maybe it’s time we change the way we look at our daily grind. Maybe it’s time we transition our attitude into something more constructive, maybe it’s time for you and I to gain perspective.
Check out this quote from one of my favorite books, Love Does by Bob Goff:
“Thinking about work as a day job has made a big difference in the way I approach what I do. It’s also helped me not to confuse who I am with what I do…
I think about my day job as a great way to fund the things we’re doing. Now when I put on a suit and tie or jump on a plane to go take a deposition, we call it “fund-raising.” It still makes me grin every time to say it this way. It’s like a really successful bake sale to get rid of bad guys.”
What if, what I do for a living is what is going to fund what I’m passionate about? What if I used my finances to change other peoples lives? What would it do to my work ethic if I looked at my job as a way of funding my philanthropic spirit? Wouldn’t that change the way you and I approach our day jobs?
What our culture is missing is joy. We’ve quickly traded it for distraction and wonder why we’re no longer fulfilled. Let’s change that. Together, let’s change how we work, how we give, and how we approach our daily lives. Live for Monday.
I get to spend my day creating artwork for small businesses, youth groups, non-profits, families, clothing lines, mom-and-pops shops, and the list goes on. In 6 years, I’ve designed over 600 different shirts for clients all over the world. I’ve created a website that offers fundraising opportunities and custom design to families and non-profits who can’t afford to purchase bulk products to raise money. I get to help small businesses make a living every day… And then I get paid. And then I use those resources to help children with cancer get through the toughest battle of their lives.
I encourage you, reader, to find something to pour into. And every time you look at your job as a road block, remember why you work so hard, turn it into a bridge that connects you to your non-profit, your ministry, your charity, or whatever selfless cause that makes you feel alive.
Maybe these things in your life aren’t in your way, perhaps they’re a part of your way.
What do you think? Have you struggled with this as I have? I’d love to hear your thoughts, or frustrations, or instruction… We’re all in this together.